Time for a little fun. I have written about working in hotels and my passion for cooking this month. By the end of the alphabet, I’m searching for words to relate to my themes. My plan was to use Zealous for my last blog on how many people who work in the hospitality business have a zealous personality. I know my true introvert self has been put aside many of times to get through a few nights of serving guests. However,  I have used zealous two years ago during the blogging challenge. So I thought I would go with something completely different.

Disney has the best songs and sayings to explain what we may not be able to explain in one word. In 1946, Disney’s movie, Song of the South, shared the song, Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, sung by James Basket. The film won an academy award and best original song.  What does Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah mean? Press play to find out.

Thank you for being here with me this month during the Blogging Through A to Z Challenge 2019. It has been fun and I’m ready to get back to working on my next memoir about how I survived working for the luxury hotel in Lake Louise during the winter months and everything else in between. For more about my first memoir, head to Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…


North of the Border with Guest Marion Ann Berry #GetLostInAStory

Thank you Jacqui for having me as your guest on “North of the Border” series in Get in lost in the story. I had fun listening to Sarah to spark my story.

Jacqui Nelson's Old Blog Site


Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Marion Ann Berry, author of Behind the Kitchen Doors!

Where does Marion Ann get her inspiration? How is Canada part of that inspiration? Read on and see…

~ * ~

I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am an east coaster at heart. I am also an only child which I contribute to my overactive imagination. If my friends and I couldn’t get together I would create stories to keep me company. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories to keep me entertained. I knew I wanted to write and one day I would share my stories.


When I was growing up in the late 1980s my source of social entertainment and information was CBC. Much Music and Video Hits introduced me to one of my favorite…

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No Wasted Ink Writers Links

5 Overused Words in Fiction

I enjoy learning about overused words to help me with my writing craft. I noticed how many times I have used the word ‘was’. Time to get out the editing pen.

A Writer's Path

by Kelsie Engen

I’m deep in the throes of editing my current WIP right now, Broken Time, which is why my poor blog has been taking a backseat. And what this really means is that I’m deep into the nitty-gritty of grammar, word usage, syntax, and pretty much the non-glamorous aspects of writing.

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NaNoWrioMo Update – It’s getting real now

How is everyone doing? Anyone participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge? (write a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November). This is my fourth year that I’ve dived into this great writing adventure, and it is some kind of an adventure. This year I took the first seven days of November off from my full-time job to get a good start on my second memoir about working in luxury hotels in the Canadian Rockies. It is now day 18 and I’m still going strong. I’m taking the time to get the words down and I have to be honest, the words may not be good, and first drafts are just that, a draft to be massaged and shaped into what you know it will be.

I’m also participating in an Instagram photo challenge with a NaNoWrioMo theme, actually, it’s focused on memoirs. A great challenge for me. One of my favorites prompts during this week: Who didn’t believe you? Do you write for fun or hope to publish. Great questions to spark the memory.

1. Who didn’t believe you?
I would have to say that everyone I ever told I was going to write books believed me because I believed me. Yes, there were times self-doubt and ego hung heavy over my head, but I stepped pasted those dark times and kept writing. I believed in myself and creativity to keep writing because I have stories to share that creativity what to share through me.

2. Do you write for fun or do you hope to publish?
How fitting to be paired up with the first question.
I always wanted to publish my work. I didn’t mind if only knew person read my work but I saw my book on the bookshelves and now they sit on a local bookstore waiting to be read. I’ve #selfpublished my debut memoir in September and over 100 people have bought and read my book. Thank you! What a blessing!

I will continue to write and publish my work. I believe that when we share we contribute for a reason. We share to say we are not alone. We are not going through the joys or sorrows alone. We can celebrate and heal together. This is how we connect and grow.

Do you have a story to share about who may not have believed in your writing? Do you write for fun or hope to publish or are you already published? I love hearing from you all.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…









Did you ever wonder what it was like to work for a luxury hotel? My hospitality life started in a beautiful hotel and resort in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

My debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, is about my journey working for a luxury hotel. I knew my life was about to change when I had to share a staff accommodations room with three other girls. Talk about a reality check for this only child.

Ebook and Print book available on AMAZON. US | CA | AU

Quotes to Survive NaNoWriMo #MondBlogs

It’s is NaNoWriMo season. For the month of November, I will be writing to meet my goal of 50,000 words or even more to complete my second memoir. I am sharing a few of my favorite quotes that I have on as my background screen on my laptop and on vision boards. I hope they inspire you and your writing journey as much as they do mine.

Happy Writing!

As a memoir writer, Natalie Golderg’s quote hits me to the core. There is no hiding behind a memoir. I am going deeper each time I am on the page.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…








If you liked Kitchen Confidential and the Grand Budapest Hotel, you will enjoy this eye-opening life experience of one employee’s journey of working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

My debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, is about my journey working for a luxury hotel. I knew my life was about to change when I was faced with a black bear in our staff accommodations.

Ebook and Print book available on AMAZON. US | CA | AU

Vacation Adventures

Time for a vacation. I’m taking time away from the hotel life to spend with my family in Nova Scotia. I will be working but I don’t consider it “work”. Writing for me is not work, it is my passion. I will be preparing for NaNoWriMo and then on November 1st, I will begin the writing adventure of writing a novel of 50,000 words in one month. I should also clarify that the hotel life is not per se, work, it’s part of my life. I enjoy what I do at the hotel and there are days that it doesn’t feel like a job. I feel like I do when I’m writing. I’m going with the flow.

For now, I am packing my suitcase and trying to figure out which books will be in my carry on along with my laptop and earbuds. I tend to over pack my carry-on when I know at some point I will take a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief and relaxation and fall asleep to the white noise of whatever movie I choose on the airplane. I love to travel and I go with the flow.

I will be travel solo this trip. My husband visited his family in New Brunswick at the end of August, and we usually take a trip to the east coast together every three or four years. It’s nice to connect with family as a couple, but we both know we have our own little family quirks and even after 15 years together we still don’t get our families inside jokes and isms and I don’t expect my husband to understand when at times I may not quite understand my family. I love them and that’s all that matters. We go with the flow.

This trip I will be spending time with my dearest friend of over thirty years. We met when we were six. We may have moved away from one another, but it’s like not one moment of time has passed when we get together. We are like Anne of Green Gables and Diana, we just get one another. I am looking forward to connecting with family and friends. I crave spending time with family and friends. I need them. They need me. We are not only connected by blood, but by spirit and energy. We are in each other lives for a reason. We all go with the flow.


I’m in the flow at the moment and it feels good. Every step I’m taking feels natural. It feels like I’m in the zone, very much like when I am writing. When I am here on the page, sharing, letting go and going with the flow.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…


NaNoWriMo Adventures

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. NaNo what? It is a writing challenge for the month of November where you write a 50K novel in one month. There is a whole community of writers who commit to this creative adventure. We connect by writing forms within the NaNoWriMo website and Facebook groups. This is a great way to connect with other writers. We help each other by words of encouragement, sharing about our progress, there are laughs, tears, and great energy.

What Kind of NaNo Writer are you?

In the past, I have been a full-on rebel NaNo writer. I didn’t really plan. I had an idea and went with the flow. I knew other writers were planning with outlines for their stories. I was sitting down and putting words on the page and thought I would edit at a later time because the goal was to write 50,000 words in a month. Then last year I used NaNo to shape my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers. I made an effort to plan what I was going to work on and by the end of November I had my draft completed and was actively looking for an editor by January and I self-published on September 15, 2018. What a journey!

What’s Next?

This year I’m going to be a bit more active in the NaNo adventures. I am part of a local NaNo group where we will meet up every Monday in November. We will write and share our progress. We had our kick-off event this week and I’m excited to cheer everyone on.                                                                                                                This year, I am planning to write the second memoir of my trilogy hotel memoirs. I have loosely outlined with the stories to share and that has made a big difference for me. I look at the list now and I’m still happy with what I want to focus on. I know if I am prepared that it will be a lot easier to execute throughout the month of November. I am very grateful for finding NaNoWriMo and the community that I am involved with.

Have you participated in any writing challenges/contests? What has been your experience? Any recommendations?

Have you ever wondered what it was like to work for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies? Find out in my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors,~ The Summers, how I survived three summers of working atop a mountain.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Words of Wisdom #Monday Blogs

Mary shares her thoughts on trying and learning. Thank you, Jo-Ann, for sharing.

Jo-Ann Carson

Have I told you how much I love podcasting lately? Well, I’ll say it again. I love being a podcast host.

I love interviewing people and talking with them about writing, their passions …  their lives. People always surprise me. I’m humbled that they let me into their lives.

Mary's photo 300dpiThis week I interviewed Mary Buckham. The episode won’t go live until December, but I couldn’t wait to talk about it, at least a little part of it. One of her statements that blew me away was about making mistakes.

I always say if you fall down, you get back up again. You know the Chinese proverb that if you get up one more time than you fail, you succeed.  Don’t we all say: If  you try something and you fail, you try again. At least that’s what I always said.

Mary stopped me, “No, no, no,” she said. “You don’t…

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What is Quinoa?

qui·noa  ~ pronounced ˈkeen-wa’
When I first heard of quinoa I had no idea what it was. I think I must have pronounced many different ways. As many as I get with my first name, I get everything but Marion-Ann from time to time. Just last week I had a woman say, Marion-and-ann – that version makes me shake my head every time.
Quinoa is an interesting grain to work with. I didn’t know it was part of the spinach family and it is gluten-free ~ a bonus for everyone looking to eat healthier. My first time making quinoa didn’t turn out so great, it was moist and had no flavor. After a few practices and spices and the right dressing, I finally was able to get the grain to a fluffy texture that both my husband and I enjoy. Sometimes I will add couscous with quinoa for different textures and flavors. That’s what cooking is all about, having fun!
I found a great salad recipe for this diverse grain, it’s full of flavor and is good to bring to any potluck. Thank you too, Two Health Kitchens for providing this easy recipe: Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette