Today, November 1, 2011 the “O Canada” version of Chicken Soup for the Soul is released in book stores with a big Portage la Prairie connection. Portage la Prairie published author, Terrie Todd with the newly released O Canada version of Chicken Soup for the Soul. If you look close on the wall just above the book you’ll see a sign reading “My souls had enough chicken soup, now it wants chocolate!”

Portage’s very own Terrie Todd not only has a story included in the collection, but also served on the book’s editorial board. After publishing 5 previous stories in the Chicken Soup series Todd was asked to help oversee the selection process for the latest Canadian edition. So in her own way she got to become a Chicken Soup Nazi saying “No soup for you!” to the stories she didn’t fancy.

“They sent us 145 or so stories and they cut them down to 101 based on our scores,” said Todd. Terrie Todd was the only representative outside of Ontario and received some special thanks in the book. The Chicken Soup veteran explains how the process of getting onto the pages of the book series works. Chicken Soup for the Soul O Canada is available in book stores everywhere – just not in Portage.

“It’s very easy to submit stories. You do it all online.”

“Each book they choose 101 stories out of thousands of entries.”

“They are looking for uplifting stories that will tug at a person’s emotions or make them laugh.”

Todd offers one of the secrets to getting published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books. “Send a lot of stuff. For the six stories they took (of mine) they rejected thirty.”

“The style of my (newspaper) column is similar to what Chicken Soup likes.”

The heaping helping of positive stories Chicken Soup for the Soul offers is not everyone’s favorite flavour Todd acknowledges. “I just howled when I read Steven King’s book on writing and he said his idea of hell is getting there and finding the only thing to read is Chicken Soup for the Soul books.”

While Mr. King may not be rushing out to buy the latest copy, its likely many thousands of Canadians will gobble up this concoction of uplifting stories on our home and native land. The collection of Chicken Soup books Terrie Todd has been published in. Todd’s story in the book is taken from her weekly column “Out of My Mind” in the Central Plains Herald Leader from last year around Remembrance Day.

With a twist of irony it was written on a WWII surplus desk in her office. She points to three things that inspired the story on why she feels wearing a poppy is important.

One is her memories of her father’s time in the military, the other was a comment from someone who refused to wear a poppy and the last bit of inspiration came from a friend who served for the Canadian Army in Afghanistan. “Fifteen years ago a friend gave me ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul for Writers’ as a gift and it was very inspiring. I never dreamed I would become a Chicken Soup for the Soul Writer.”

“I just howled when I read Steven King’s book on writing and he said his idea of hell is getting there and finding the only thing to read is Chicken Soup for the Soul books.”

The Hoop and Holler even asked the inappropriate question of how much money she makes on these stories. “You get two hundred dollars a story and ten free book copies per story,” graciously offered Todd. Well, that may be just enough to buy some soup and not much else in exchange for this labour of love.

Todd has published plays and articles and has completed a novel that has shown well in contests but has yet to find a home with a publisher. “I’m giving it ten years before resorting to self-publishing. I’m at about two and a half years now so I have a ways to go.” Readers of her weekly column can look forward to something a little different coming up. “I’m kind of thinking about doing a fictional Christmas series for my column.”

Out of Her Mind

No matter what she comes up with you know it will be “Out of Her Mind” and it’ll be on her blog at:

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