Recently, someone asked me, "When do you plan to retire?"
I laughed, saying that I’d already tried retirement and found it didn’t work. Actually, I retired early from Rogers Engineering in 1992 so that I could spend more time writing. Even before leaving there as a technical editor and writer, I had started writing and editing for the Christian aid organization, Partners International. By April of 1991, I had written my first regular column for The Guelph Mercury’s Senior’s magazine. So, in a sense, I started my retirement career even before retiring.
In that so-called retirement, I authored my first book, I Cannot Dream Less, published by Partners International. I kept writing for them until about 2005, having written three books and nearly 100 articles and editorials for their Partners magazine. During that time I also published three other books, and since then I have added two more. One book became a Canadian best-seller and another won an award.
I continued writing regular columns and occasional features for the Mercury and seven other newspapers and magazines until the late 2002 when I ended my relationship with The Mercury. I continued the occasional piece for other publications and moved my periodic column on-line. In July 2004, I returned to newspaper writing with a weekly column in The Wellington Advertiser.
I continued writing special items for various publications, but became busy during the last six years critiquing manuscripts, typically for first-time authors. Because I write from a Christian world-view, and because I have helped so many other writers, in 2009 The Word Guild and Tyndale University College and Seminary presented me with the Leslie K. Tarr award. The award bears the words, "In recognition of an outstanding contribution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada."
I feel humbled being listed among other recipients such as Rudy Weibe, Grace Irwin, Janette Oke, John H. Redekopp, and this year’s winner, Jean Little.
After I received the award, they called Anna forward and presented her with a special award which bears the words, "Presented to Anna Wiseman in recognition of her exceptional support for the writing career of her husband, Ray Wiseman, winner of the 2009 Leslie K. Tarr Award."
That draws Anna into the picture. For years she acted as my executive secretary, bookkeeper, proofreader, and manager. Her name appears on one book as coauthor, the book that won an award. She has been a major part of every success in my life (and no part of my many failures). About four years ago a doctor diagnosed her with “probable Alzheimers.” That doesn’t mean she has Alzheimer’s, but she does have serious short-term memory loss. That means that I now do all those special things she once did, with the exception of proofreading. She still far outperforms me in that field. It means that I have now taken over the majority of household tasks. Thanks to my mother’s training, I can even cook.
Most of you will have figured out where I’m going with this. You have just read my last weekly column for The Wellington Advertiser. Although retiring from facing that weekly deadline, I hope to continue writing on a reduced level.
A special thanks, and an "I love you" to all my faithful readers.