For the last two years of working I was looking forward to retiring and was getting tired of getting up at five thirty am. I gradually cut my week down to three days and joined an art group in my community. It was a fun way to spend Wednesday afternoon. It felt strange going to work for one day, because Friday was always a day off. This schedule was easier to manage on long weekends, because the days could easily be shuffled over and then came the last two weeks of working. I was training someone to take over my job. It was nice to have someone to work with,  because most of the time you were on your own. I went around to downtown offices watering and maintaining tropical plants. The last week was a bit boring,  because by that time the trainees knew their job. I was doing gardens that just needed a bit of pruning and tidying up. At first it was hard to let my accounts go to someone else . The last day  was only a half day. It was difficult to keep busy but I managed. There was one last lunch with the supervisors and then freedom.

The first week or so I simply relaxed with my morning coffee. It was summer so the garden kept me busy most days. As fall approached there was a lot of clean up so the days were busy. Late in the fall I started wondering what I would do with my time. I had bought a book on writing picture books and started one, which is now finally finished and ready to send out. At the back of the instuctional book on writing there was a section on how to come up with ideas. Over coffee I started scribbling and came up with an idea for a book. It seemed like a bigger project and too much material for a picture book. At the time I had no idea how to write a book of that size. So I enrolled in a writing course and that laid the ground work for a middle grade book, which I have just recently finished.

Then someone approached me about illustrating the picture book she had done for her grandson. This is something I had never done before, but I agreed to give it a try. She liked my black and white illustrations. That was when I decided to illustrate my own book. A year later I had finished the illustrations for Granma Mouse Tells A Story.

I have sent Bess’ Magical Garden, a historical middle grade book,  into another publisher. It took several revisions and help from different sources before I sent it in again.

It has been five years since I retired. I don’t know where the time goes but it seems to have flown by. I have other projects that I am working on. I keep working back and forth on different projects,  so that I don’t start to memorize the stories. I am presently doing a rework on Annabelle and Jessica of Whistling PInes, which is now called the Secrets of Whistling PInes. I am also working on some short stories.

About mhembroff

I am the author of Bess's Magical Garden, a middle grade novel, The Mystery of the Hidden cabin which is the sequel to Bess's Magical Garden and picture book Gramma Mouse Tells a Story. I am the member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Writers Guild of Alberta. My series The Ghostly Encounters and other short stories can be found on, listed in the short story section. I have been an avid reader since early childhood and has always been imaginative. It wasn't until my children were growing up that I started taking writing classes and put my creations onto paper. When I'm not writing I like to paint, draw, work in the garden and spend time with my pets and family.
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