Madelaine Shaw-Wong



My writing journey, stories and poems. Click on the category to the right or scroll for newest entry.

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What the Heck is an Author's Platform?

Posted on May 23, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Quietus, my dystopian fiction, is nearing completion.

My premise: A greedy, hardened doctor of eradication and elite member of a dictatorship confronts a woman who fights for the resistance.

This all-consuming project has taken up a huge chunk of my life over the last four years. The lives and deaths of my make-believe people, I’m ashamed to say, have sometimes take precedence over the real-life people in my life.

“Sorry kids, you’ll have to make your own supper tonight.”

“What’s there to eat?”

“Whatever, sandwiches, mac and cheese, cereal and milk. Don’t bug me. I’m in the zone!” My fingers fly over the key-board. “I’m on fire! This is going to be amazing!”

I’ve been so focused on writing the manuscript that I have been neglecting my author’s platform, which is more than just social media, I’m told. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so on are only part of what’s required. I need to update my website and blog regularly.

Apparently, I will also need an e-newsletter, whatever that is, and personal contacts to help with blurbs, promotion and so on.

I need to research my target audience, my market, print some business cards, work on my Facebook fan page, and get something called Hootsuite, whatever that is.

I need to create my bio, review other author’s sites and blogs and make myself known by commenting.

One website says I must set up a social media schedule. Now that’s a good idea. Get in, do what I need to do and get out without being sucked into aimless hours of reading Facebook and Twitter posts. But seriously, how can I resist cute kitten videos?

I must be strong, dedicated towards the final outcome, which is promotion of my upcoming novel.

My next question: Do I self-publish or look for a traditional publisher?


Cradling the Past to be in the Glenbow Museum

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (2)

I recieved a request from the Glenbow Museum in Calgary for a copy of Cradling the Past, a Biography of Margaret Shaw. How exciting to be able to share her story with a whole new audience!

A Gift from my Father

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (5)

My bookshelf looms

Holding many stories

The imaginings of many writers

I reach my hand

Touch the cool covers

Smooth and familiar

My old friends and companions

My father gave me this book

A History of Alberta

I remember his face

Calm disposition

The way he spoke

The way he listened

Read this, he said

Tell me what you think

His hand warm

I put it on the bookshelf

And there it stayed

I have yet to read it

Now it’s too late

My father is dead

Photo albums

With their puffy, plastic covers

Much handled, much loved

Spines broken

I open to the pages of my childhood

The home where I grew up

My sisters and brothers

So long ago

My teenaged friendships

Giggling and whispering

A photo of my father

He is smiling

I know he forgives me

He encouraged me

When the world beat me down

He knew I needed to be stronger

I am shy, like he was

I take down the book

Sit on the floor

Flip pages of text and photos

The laying of the railroad

The First Nations people

Looking sad and confused

Calgary one hundred years ago

Dark and barren

The World Wars

Black and white misty images

Dead soldiers splayed on battle fields

Oil rigs

A hope for the future

I hear my father’s voice

Telling me stories of long ago

His voice

Deep and soothing

I turn to page one

And begin to read

                                                                                                             Dedicated to Albert Shaw 1920 - 1995

My Journey with Cancer

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The medicine that heals me

Makes me sick

My hair falls out in clumps

My brain swirls


A fog that will not lift

I despair

I see fear in my children’s eyes

They suffer also

I’m afraid

Don’t take me from them

Do you hear me?

I cry out in anger

This is wrong!

Do I deserve to suffer?

Help me understand

You know me

You know my heart

Truth will set me free

I don’t know what that means

You live in eternity

We live in time

You created the universe from nothing

 And saw that it was good

You did not create suffering

We rebelled

And fell from grace

You suffered

Showing us the horror


Suffering points to the evil of sin

To the evil one

Your innocence

You could have called on the angels

But did not resist

Your suffering



Help me

What can I do?

Can I trust You?

Put your yoke upon my shoulders

Take up my cross

So that with You

My suffering will be redemptive

You are all-knowing

I submit to Your will

I trust You

Not passive acceptance

But a struggle

I fight for my children

Against the evil

That brought this illness into my body

And into my home

I ask again

And again for strength

So like Job

I can honour You with prayer

A powerful weapon

Against hopelessness