Wednesday, November 22, 2006


What can I say? Thank you God for your faithfulness. Thank you to all the friends and family who encouraged me to do this. Strange, after delays and set backs and a switch of publishers right at the end of the process, what I feel is relief and an urging to get on with the next book!!!
Who could imagine this miracle would finally come after a lifetime of writing? I don't believe I ever would have done this if it hadn't been for Linwood House Ministries, a mission trip to Bulgaria and a Path Workshop at Linwood House just two years ago. I would never have written this book if it were not for the excitement of blogging and the encouraging comments of blogging friends.
The book is available in person at:
The Gingerbread House and Reader's World, Manitoba Street in Bracebridge for $16.95
By snail mailing me with a cheque enclosed:
Connie Knighton
13 Dawsonwood Drive,
Bracebridge, Ontario
P1L 1G5
Friends and family pricing for books including shipping and tax is:
$20.00 for one book
$34.00 for two books
$15.00 each for three books or more
My website will be up and running in a few days and it will be possible to order books through that using Paypal. Bookmark Self Publishing are sponsoring the web page and books will also be available through their online service. Xlibris, and other big names have the book listed on the websites but they do not have books. Don't try to order from them.
Pray that this book will provoke reflection and bring beauty into the lives of readers, because that's where it all started, with a mission statement.
To conceive and give birth to Beauty.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Okay. So there are real people out there who are trying to make a difference. In a real way. Check out what Mike Todd and his friend Robert are doing for HIV/AIDS by supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation. It's brilliant, and who needs a red ipod anyway? Check out Mike's idea at

And then there is Joan Chittister, peacemaker and world activist. This week she is writing movingly about her trip to Syria. Theologically profound and morally challenging as ever, Joan says that the Road to Damascus is still a place for conversions.

Here in part is what she has to say. Read it in full at her site below:

"We decided that this time we would go straight to the religious leaders of the country to ask them what kind of a place they thought Syria to be.

First we met with His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, Patriarch of Antioch and the Entire East for the Russian Orthodox. He was very kind but very straight forward:

"We don't know the American people. We only hear the President . . . and we have a deep resentment about the image of Syria in the U.S. Syria is not an Islamic country. Syria is a secular state. . . . We are not oppressed as Christians. Look at our cathedral. It is no tent!"

His points were clear and the scene was set: Christianity was not being oppressed in Syria. Christianity was one religion among many there. Just as it is in the United States...

They would show us the modern church, they told us, in one of the oldest Christian populations in the world.

Our first appointment, they told us, would be a trip to "meet with the Iraqis."

The Iraqis? What did that mean? We were, after all, in Syria."

As we wound our way back from the Patriarch's palace, through the narrow back lanes of the city, I realized that Paul of Tarsus had walked in this very area, too. "Not in this area," our translator said. "Paul walked here. Here. On this street. I will show you." And, all of a sudden, we emerged "on the street called "Straight" talked about in Scripture.

The impact of the statement was far more than biblical. Damascus is the longest continuously populated city in human history. More than 7,000 years old, they tell us. We were on the very street that ties the early moments of Christianity with today's struggles..."

Read this brilliant work in full at:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Deb, over at Constantly Abiding, has written on procrastination. Click on the title of this piece to view some art and her words on the subject.

I’ve given this some thought and this thought turned itself into a post. Of course, by doing this, I am neglecting to finish the story I have to tell in front of 1,500 people on December 2, 2006. But at least I am doing something! And it involves creativity.

Procrastination is the dreaded twin of perfectionism. Perfectionism is the good twin, always clean and prompt, always saying the right thing. Procrastination is the outwardly compliant child, who seethes with inner rebellion. She is the one who desires success and fears failure to the point of immobility.

My father always claimed that life was short. By repeating this endlessly, he hoped to spur my brother and me on to action. This became a family slogan. ‘Life is short.’ ‘Life is short.’ We should have it on a coat of arms. But I never truly believed my father until I myself reached my fifties. There is nothing like the brevity of time to spur a soul to action. Life goals become urgent goals when one can see the horizon of old age.

One thing that always interfered with my beginning a project was the certain knowledge that I would run into obstacles to its smooth completion. Now I have embraced this notion as a friend and give myself some time to resolve these obstacles without adding to the time-line stress of the project. Sometimes I just look at procrastination as planning time...time to figure out how I am going to tackle something.

Strangely, procrastination is related to impatience. I want the job done and I want it done yesterday. Since that is impossible, I don't begin at all. But amazingly, I am learning to calculate the length of time it will take me to complete a project and budget in difficulties and fatigue. I am actually tackling my ridiculous kitchen cabinets in this way...with small roller and tiny brush, a bank of cabinets at a time. It is so much better than trying to cram the whole project into an eight hour push.

Then, if a task is boring, I find music, conversation or an interesting documentary to provide the background intellectual stimulation required for the completion of the job. At my age, time is compressed. I multitask on tedious tasks; quietly clean out a cupboard while talking on the phone, for instance.

I suspect when it comes down to it, I will procrastinate about dying. I will linger on the brink of eternity, gazing over into the Promised Land and tarry, hoping to get one or two more things accomplished before the next life. Which is totally ridiculous!

What does the Lord require of us? Do we procrastinate about those things? Living justly? Loving mercy? Walking humbly? It seems to me that it might be possible to do these things while walking down the street. They aren't something to procrastinate about. They are a way of being in the world which obviates the necessity to accomplish anything at all.

In the end, self acceptance and forgiveness will go a long way to healing the problem of procrastination. I get more done when I am not nagging myself to death. And I think this pleases God who welcomes loving service as opposed to grudging obedience.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I have never done this before. Carefully crafted words have appeared on this blog. I have wanted nothing less. But right now there is no time for anything except an update. Here is the Knighton news in brief:

My grandson Robbie underwent successful surgery on the twenty-third of October. He is doing extremely well as measured by the amount of mischief he is getting into on a minute by minute basis. His asthma is well controlled. We are praising God.

I cancelled my book project with Xlibris when I discovered that the book would cost me…drum roll...$60.00 US, per book, on top of other costs to bring it to Canada. Of course, this was not stated up front. I was told there were hundreds of Canadian authors in their stables. Who? Margaret Atwood? Farley Mowat? I can’t think of any author whose work might be worth in the neighbourhood of $75.00 in paperback.

Xlibris did me a favour, although for a couple of days I was reeling. I have never in my life been both as speechless and as articulate in anger at one and the same time. In truth, if I had not been able to go straight to the phone to sign on with Xlibris last March, I might never have written this first, long delayed book.

Bookmark Publishing is doing the book in Canada. The small team there has been attentive, enthusiastic and helpful in the extreme and the book will be ready for December 2, 2006 when I tell a story at Christmas with The Salvation Army at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. Yes.

The often delayed book launch will be at The Gingerbread House in Bracebridge on the twenty-fifth of November. Yes, this year.

The website for ordering the book is and is being set up and hosted for me by Bookmark. I’ll let you know when it is running…but I suspect this will be within the next two weeks. While Bookmark will have a few copies to supply through its own online services, the first volume of The Dawsonwood Diaries will be lovingly wrapped and shipped out to you by me from Dawsonwood Cottage.

Birthdays have been celebrated by Rachael who says proudly that she is five and she is the oldest grandchild and by my daughter Sarah who is twenty-nine, where I expect her to remain for some time, and by me, aaaagh, and by my mother, who is eighty-eight but blissfully unaware of the fact. My niece Carolyn, also turned twenty-nine and gave birth to her daughter, Hannah Gabrielle, a few days later. Rob’s sister and her husband celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. Barbara is half way through her pregnancy and we are much relieved about that.

My brother Len and his wife Heather have taken on the responsibility for Yorkminster Community Church of The Salvation Army which is visible from the 401 corridor and is a Toronto landmark. For those of you who know the area, it is the A-frame church which appears to be at the corner of 401 and Yonge, but is really on Lord Seaton Drive. Drop by if you are in Toronto at eleven on a Sunday morning. Great blended worship, wonderful multi-racial, multi-cultural congregation with simultaneous translation of the service if you are a Spanish speaker. Yes, not French, Spanish. Yes, in Canada.

God is blessing me with new cupboard doors in The Dawsonwood kitchen, because I didn’t do a good paint job last year and things look shabby. I have never posted pictures of the Dawsonwood kitchen renovation because I HATED WHAT I DID to that poor room. Well, not the colour scheme, the countertops or the built in seat…but the cupboards. Aaagh.

My client base is building. I’m not sure if I am happy or sad about that. But life is full. I always need to measure out my commitments and have a tendency to over schedule myself. I’ve accepted the responsibility of being rehearsal pianist for our local production of Oliver, which Rob is conducting. This will be a stretch for me.

This post sounds like a Christmas letter but it encompasses only a month of events in our family. I’ve added a site meter to my blog and if I want people to linger more than 24 seconds, I’ll have to write MORE INTERESTINGLY, MORE CONSISTENTLY and visit you all at your sites. And post pictures and do more frequent links. I doubt that I am going to get political, but you never know.

Our municipal election is happening by post as I write. Rob got two ballots. Does this mean he gets to vote twice? I think it was safer when we all lumbered ourselves in to the polling station. So far, an astronomical number of ballots have been spoiled because the process is so complicated. And, I would really like to know how many people got more than one ballot in the mail.