'I loved telling stories': 87-year-old Regina woman's dreams become reality in first published book
Published Saturday, August 8, 2020 6:22PM CST Last Updated Saturday, August 8, 2020 6:36PM CST
REGINA -- Jackie Arnason has always loved reading, writing and telling stories, and on Monday, she will become a published author at the age of 87.
Arnason started telling stories to her brothers and sisters during the latter part of the Dirty '30s. She kept those stories to tell to her children and her grandchildren.
“I have had this story for 45 years,” said Arnason. “My oldest daughter said, 'look, I know this publisher in Halifax. Send the story in and see how it works. I did, and here we are – we built Hambone.”
Her children’s book, "Hambone: Why Pigs Have Curly Tails" is the story of a resourceful, yet determined, pig. He sets out on an adventure to find the biggest, juiciest dill pickle to ever exist.
Fittingly, it will be released on International Book Lovers’ Day.
“I always had in the back of my head I like to publish,” said Arnason. “But I was scared to try. I didn’t know how to get a hold of publishers. It seemed too big of a chore.”
Arnason’s daughter Trish got in contact with OC Publishing for her mother.
“[My daughter] said, ‘give it a try. What could she say except no?’” said Arnason. “I sent the book in – crossing my fingers. She replied immediately – loving the book.”
Arnason always used reading and writing stories as a way to escape her reality.
“I’ve always done it, my whole life,” said Arnason. “Going to the library, I could escape from all of that. I could pretend to be anyone. I could be a princess; I could be a dragon. I could be anything.”
“I loved telling stories.”
Daughter Barb Krause-Snow and her granddaughter Emma could not be more proud of the work Arnason has done to achieve her goals.
“I'm just the tiniest bit jealous but so happy to be able to share it with everybody else,” said Barb. “To see my mom's dream come true, of being a published author is beyond anything we could have hoped for.”
“I'm also incredibly proud of my ‘Amma’,” said Emma. “It's just been so great seeing her grow and learn so many different things throughout the process of this publishing. It's just been fantastic.”
Although jealous they no longer get the stories just for themselves, Barb and Emma want to see Arnason continue to publish the stories she’s told for many years.
“All of her stories should be available to everyone,” said Barb. “Our memories of her stories and her telling those stories to us are never going to be any different despite the fact a book has been published.”
“She has told me her stories for as long as I have been alive,” said Emma. “It’s been helpful for me, going into a new chapter of my life, to watch her and learn from her that great things can happen at any time.”
Arnason says the story of Hambone has been reflected in this new life experience
“The lesson I think is, no matter how crazy your dreams are, follow your dreams with all your heart and be kind to people along the way,” said Arnason. “I know for a fact that it's never too late for your dreams to come true, even though there may be a twist at the end you weren't expecting.”
"Hambone: Why Pigs Have Curly Tails" will be available on Amazon, Indigo-Chapters and others on Aug. 9.