P is for Play Time

We all need play time in our life. The little girl or boy inside us is itching to have some fun. In the hotel life, especially when working at a resort where you live only steps away from the where you work, you need time off to play, let go of the stresses of work and do something that makes you smile.

When I worked for two different luxury hotel properties within the Canadian Rockies, play time was mainly skiing, hiking, white water rafting, camping, pretty much anything to get away from the hotel/resort. Guests that came to visit the luxury resorts would say ‘oh you must feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful place, how can you get sick of the view, the ski hill, etc…’ Yes, I was so very fortunate to live and work in two of the most stunning areas of the Canadian Rockies, and yes, there is a but. Sometimes, you wake up at five in the morning to rush to your five thirty start to serve the very same guests you served dinner the night before. Then on your days off when you want to go for a quick hike you bump into the same guests and you are still a representative of the hotel so you can’t turn off the light switch of customer service when all you really want to do is walk by quickly, with head down so they don’t recognize you. So when it comes to play time, we would go to another small town in the Banff National Park area and go for hikes where no one else knew us.

In the winter, play time was on the ski hill, we would ski for hours, run after run, in deep powder, on top of the world with no cares and never bumping into one guest. This was pure bliss and play time for us. For me I was drawn to cross-country skiing where I could go on a trail that took me deep into the trees along Moraine Lake on moon light nights. What joy. Sure, I like the thrill of rushing down the ski hill, but I’ll take the slow lingering moments while cross-country skiing.

It’s important to give yourself some play time, give yourself a break from the routine that keeps you afloat. Get out side and have some fun!

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

M is for Moving

I’m use to moving around a lot. I’m use to people coming and going in my life. This made it easy for me to deal with the ever revolving door of people who I have dealt with and deal with in the hotel life. Moving around has made it easy to pick up and transfer to another hotel within the hotel chain I use to work for. It made it easy for me to move from hotel to hotel as I broadened my experiences with in the hospitality world.

My mother moved me around a lot when I was younger. I’m an only child, so I find myself saying, me or I a lot. My dad was in the military and you would think we moved around because of his career choice, but that was not the case. I love my mother, however she was easily annoyed by people, once we moved from one great townhouse to another because she didn’t like living on the end unit closest to the street, it was too noisy for her. This is what I remember, it could have been for a completely different reason, but in this moment I’ll keep that memory in the filing cabinet to be reviewed at a later time.

Working for a luxury hotel chain has its perks, one of them being able to transfer to another hotel within the chain. I was very fortunate to experience four different properties in a short ten years. When I was ready to leave Lake Louise, I transferred to Jasper, AB, that is where my hotel career started to really develop. I was provided with so many opportunities. I look back and count every lucky star.

I left Jasper to try my hand in the big city, Calgary. Not only did I move locations, but I changed departments, I left the food and beverage world to the front office life. Serving guest wine is much different from talking to them on the phone or checking them in. I latest less than a year, but it wasn’t because I couldn’t handle the job, it was over a guy, and that is a different story to be told later. I was lucky to move back to Jasper and stayed in the front office department which gave me the experience to move to Edmonton as a Front Office Supervisor/Duty Manager. As I write these memories of my time in the Canadian Rockies and major cities in Alberta I can’t remember once thinking, what the hell am I thinking? I moved swiftly like the fresh powder on Lake Louise and the Bow River that ran through two Alberta cities. Am I still moving? Yes, I have and I will continue to move towards the next chapter in life.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

H is for Hotel Life

As I as thinking of what to write about for the letter H, I was sitting in my car on my way home from work and like most of the ideas of what to write about, appeared very clearly. Hotel life. Then I wondered if I could maintain the theme of my hotel life for rest of the A to Z challenge? Why not? I will certainly try.

The Hotel life is something I haven’t shared about too much. A part of me wants to keep that part of my life separate from my writing life, however, they are one. The hospitality business has provided me with some pretty amazing opportunities and experiences that I am so grateful for. It has provided me with many stories to write (which are currently on note cards waiting to be written). The ideas and story lines come from a simple conversation with a guest or colleague. Some ideas pop into my head while I’ve worked on a buffet, replenishing scrambled eggs for another tor of fifty to heard through or sitting in the staff pub having a few pint with friends to blow off steam from a busy night in the dinner room or a busy check in at the front desk and dealing with angry guests who have nothing better to do but blame you for their poor choices.

The Hotel life moved me from Nova Scotia to Alberta and now Vancouver Island, I have seen and done some pretty incredible things and some not so amazing moments. I have lived in the Canadian Rockies working for Canadian Pacific and now re-branded Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.  have worked for Relais & Chateau Resorts and Best Western in Tofino, BC, then I left the corporate hotel world to independently owned and operated hotels that have pushed me even further in my personal and professional growth.

The main theme of every hotel I’ve worked at and every hotel is the same. Hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Being in customer service is hard work. You have to have your light switch always on to provide great service to people all the time. If you have a bad day at home you can’t bring that fight you had with our spouse, family or dog, it has to stay in the back while you smile and be friendly to the guests in front of you. Being part of a guests great experience is rewarding and fulfilling as any job that you enjoy. Like anything, the Hotel life has its ups and downs and I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t accept the job offer that one day to work in my first hotel and resort.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

G is for Gratitude

I am having a moment where I can’t think of something different to write about for the letter G. The top words I think of are:

  • Golf (I wrote about gold in last years A to Z challenge)
  • Gratitude
  • Greatness (my husband called this out when I asked him what comes to mind for the letter G. Not sure if he was talking about himself, haha)
  • Gravy (my husband again) and then I said while laughing out loud:
  • Good Gravy
  • Goodness
  • Going (only because we are packing as we are moving in a month and I’m happy to going to our place)
  • Green (I’m starting at my green fountain pen on my desk)

As you can see I’m at a loss at the moment. I just got home from a long day at the hotel life and what comes to mind about this blog challenge at the moment is, good gawd what have I gotten myself into? There are three g words there. I left work after a nine-hour day which I didn’t plan on, but when you are a manager and something goes wrong, you are the one to deal with it, then I got home and made dinner (to my husbands credit he started the process which is helpful), and the days events are still racing through my mind as I’m dicing a red pepper for the Farro salad for dinner. The word that comes to mind is Gratitude.

I am so grateful and full of gratitude for this very moment, to be right here on the page with you. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity that is being provided to maintain this beautiful creative life that is fully intended. I am grateful to have fun with these blogs. I realize this is a pretty much a personal blog today and that’s okay because I’m doing what I need to be doing. Writing. I think I will take the letter H and write a bit more about the Hotel life.

If you are part of the A to Z blogging challenge, how is it going? Are you stuck on a letter? Do you prewrite your posts or do you write them the date of? I would love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

When I’m in my flow I can…

Let’s get back to the writing prompts. I’ve been knee-deep in revisions and trying to find a place to live. The rental market in Victoria, BC is down right horrific. I don’t usually display my dark feelings so randomly, however I’m feeling the pressure of moving without any glimpses of hope. Deep down I know everything will unfold naturally as it will, but damn! It’s hard being patient while floating around in limbo land.

So to keep me in check and to listen as creativity is whispering sweet stories in my ear, I have picked up my writing prompt cards that I bought from Danielle Pope, a lovely woman who is a great inspiration in her commitment to creativity.

The writing prompt cards shares: When I’m In My Flow I Can… (Write for 10 minutes – write in poetic point form, list it out) I’m going to hit the timer and let the words flow across the page as this is my gut feeling.

When I’m in my flow I can do anything. I sit down at my laptop and sometimes it takes a bit to settle into the flow of things. I fidget with my pens and note pads on my desk, I straighten and re-straighten books that are piled on the floor next to my desk. I stare out the window and watch the grey squirrel run across the neighbors fence. It stops and looks around, what it sees I am not sure. It scurries off again. I look back at my laptop and I put my fingers to the keyboard and feel the flow of the words emerging. These days I am working on revisions for my WIP, but I am very aware of the stories that are lingering around within me, waiting to be written. As I am revising a chapter about the time my friend and I were canoeing at Lake Louise I remember when I sat in the canoe, and a story came to me in  a blink of an eye.

What if there are lake creatures living deep down in the frigid lake bottom? Are they friendly, could they be mermaids, how did they get here, how do they survive, maybe they take people from the canoes, but that’s not right we would have heard about mysterious people disappearing. Well that can happen, it’s a story that’s the beauty of it, make it all up the entire world of mermaids or a versions of mermaids that somehow live in the bottom of the lake. Did the founder of Lake Louise, Tom Wilson, maybe know about the magical creatures, did the person that told him about the lake in the last 1800’s know there was a mysterious energy about the lake and that’s why he told Tom about the lake, did the creatures need food and they prey on humans? What’s the story behind the lake?

All of this came to me as I’m sitting in a canoe facing the Victoria Glacier as my friend is softly paddling us around the lake and I’m gliding my finger tips along the glacier fed lake that hundred of millions of people have visited. Of course the sea creatures could feed off humans, but only people who have bad energy, the magical entities only want positive energy for the earth.

I am in the flow. I can see clearly that I was where I needed to be at that time and place, being idle, letting the creativity have fun. When I am writing, I am in the flow of the here and now.

The timer has stopped and I’m filled with excitements about remembering a moment that sparked my imagination. For this I am truly grateful

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Making Space for the Unknown

It’s been a creative week. I left the mini-marketing/writing gathering last week filled with enthusiasm and joy. I didn’t really have to tell myself that I had to hold onto the feeling, I just knew that what I was feeling, the pure awareness of the true self wanted to stay a front, to use her voice and you know what? I stepped aside and went with the flow.

My partner and I have been looking for a new place to live as you know we have been given notice so that our landlords son can move into the condo now. I have gotten over the grief of it all now, I went through all the stages, anger, sadness, and now I’ve moved onto the let’s-get-the-next-chapters-of-our-lives-going stage.             I’ve been ready to make space for what is to come. However the truth of it all is a bit frustrating. Victoria, BC, much like other major cities, is in this housing bubble where it is very difficult to find a place to rent. There are many places for rent but when you make an appointment to view a place you show up and the landlords have already rented it or are just showing it to see who is going to offer them cash on the spot to ensure they have a place to live. Or the pictures on the Craigslist add are slightly not what you is in reality or ten people show up to a showing and it’s basically a crap shoot who is going to get chosen. It’s very disheartening. What I am grateful for is our friends who are looking out for us, calling, texting, sharing with me places they have seen on their way to work, word of mouth, just a heads up. It’s all very comforting.

Faith is your best buddy when you’re scared shitless – Jenn Sincero

I have been packing up my books and cleaning out closets to make space for the new. This is to say that I am ready to leave this place and move into a new place, a safe and welcoming home that will help us get to where we are going. Sure I have fear pop up and say hello from time to time, but I’m okay. I have faith and trust in the universe that all will be as it should.

Then creativity shows up and whispers, don’t forget about me. How could I? I can never forget my creativity, she is right here with me. In the middle of what seems to be a daunting time, I have to carry on, I go to the hotel life and do my job. I hosted a first aid class during the week and without warning, like most of the time, creativity was there waiting for me. Our instructor was this amazing human being who said one line and creativity pointed feverishly like a little kid, did you hear that, that’s golden, he’s your Broc, he’s your Paris story! Get writing! In one moment I knew my story that I was given over a month ago was now falling into place. I watched our first aid instructor all day and made mental notes while learning how to save someones life. It was a very abundant and grateful day. Creativity is everywhere, it’s our job to pay attention and write it all down.

With change comes insight. I’m embracing the shift and taking one step at a time, I’m trusting that I am being led in the best direction that is meant for me.

Have you been faced with an unexpected change? How are you managing? Know that I am here to support you, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Friends & Writing

Spending time with other writers is a great way to get inspired. My good friend and award-winning author Jacqui Nelson organized a few fellow writers together for a writing/marketing/goal rally over the weekend and like everything that is meant to be this little gathering was exactly what I needed to commit to the goals that we were asked to share with the group. To take this commitment further, I will share my goals with you:

  • Finish final draft of my current work in progress (One of a three book series of a hotel memoir) by April and send to editor for a copy-edit.
  • Start writing book two and three – I have several notes that need to be organized and put together.
    Book two first draft to be completed by May/June
  • Send query letters to a few publishers to see if there is an interest in the hotel book series.
  • Start working on some book covers. Along with blurbs, front and back, tag lines, all that fun stuff.
  • Start the self publishing train for my memoir about my family.
  • Continue writing one to two blog posts a week. – maybe focus blog posts on hotel series to start promoting.

When we share what we were brought here to give, we are in alignment with our highest, most powerful selves. ~ Jen Sincero

My list of goals are very attainable and the key to my success is focus and actually taking the steps to get to the page and write. I also will ask for help when I feel like I am drowning in my own watery pool of self-pity of “thinking” too much. I am aware that the ego tries to slip in to whisper, hey you, you can’t do this, who do you think you are trying to write and self publish? There are a millions books out there why are you special? I say, because I am that Special and Unique! I have been chosen to tell a story and it’s meant to be shared! Move over ego, the authentic self is here to stay.

                               From left to right: Me, Jodie, Sharron & Jacqui

Jodie Esch our lovely host for the day and talented author is going to join me on writing a weekly blog for Twitters #Monday Blogs As we have shared in our like-minded group we have connected to support one another. This sense of community brings joy to me, I feel connected to my creativity and even more so when we connect as a group and uplift one another where ever we are in our creative path.

What are you writing goals? Have you committed to them? Please share with us, I’ll be happy to help any way I can. Just know that I am here cheering you on.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .