Where I Find Inspiration ~ Blogging my way through 100 Topics for writers

Do you have a place you go to for inspiration? I have a few favourites. A local café, my writing room, walking around in nature, and the airport, yes, the airport. My favorite thing to do as a writer is people-watch. I don’t stare; I watch people walk around the airport as I sit and write or read at a restaurant. Or sitting in the gate seating area waiting for my section to be called to board the plane. I usually wait until everyone else has gotten up and boarded the plane. We are all going to the same place. There is no rush.

During the pandemic, I was lost not being able to go to a café where I would sit for a couple of hours drinking coffee, and people-watching and writing. It was my go-to place. The first memoir I wrote was in a cafe. I had a ridged routine on my days off. I got up, worked out, and then headed to a small café in the small town of Campbell River, BC, on Vancouver Island. Like clockwork, once I sat down with a large Americano on the table, laptop open, my fingertips hit the keyboard, ready to type the morning away. I wrote a draft memoir about growing up in my family, about the two people who I was the closest with, my Nanny and Bumpy. I told their love story and my story of being an only child who knew she didn’t fit in with other people. It was the first time I really put everything on the page. This draft sits in a drawer waiting to be massaged into the memoir I will share one day.

Now, I find in other places, our farm. Walking around the lush green space and walking through the path I created amongst the wooded areas gives me great inspiration. I have found a local café, a ten-minute drive from our farm. It’s called the Purrfect Café. One side is the café and the other side is for cats that can be adopted. They have a lot of space to roam, and lots of cat trees to play on and nap in. There is a large window between the café and the cats. I sit at a table next to the window and now cat watch. A sense of calmness flows through my body as I sit and type, and every so often, I glimpse over to see a cat watching me. I imagine they are sharing their creative energy with me.

Inspiration comes from all around. I am open to all the possibilities for inspiration to find and work through me. Oh, how I love the creative process.

Thank you for being here with me today. I love hearing from you. Please share your favourite places to find inspiration. It’s nice to learn from others.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Vintage typewriter keys by Markus Spiske

Morning Routines and Writing

Blogging my way through 100 suggestions by Mixtus Media

Share my morning routine

It is 4:45am, the first wake-up call is ringing next to my ear. I hit snooze. There is a second alarm coming within 5 minutes. I get up out of bed and wrap my housecoat around my body, pop a vitamin C, and head downstairs to the living room with a glass of warm water and lemon, my morning pages journal, and a pen. My cat, Micro, follows me into the kitchen and meows for food. He has learned the 3:30 am requests are not tolerated any longer. He sometimes rations but he’s a cat and when he is hungry, he eats, but he waits until one of us is up to ask for more. After giving him a hug and filling his dish, I headed to the sofa to write my morning pages. I write the three long hand pages filled with random thoughts of how I am not awake. I hear the birds singing. I now hear Micro at the door wanting to go outside. I continue to write about what comes to mind. Lately, there have been more thoughts about the hotel life and the reoccurring theme of my creative life suffering. I stop the thoughts with a deep breath. I am the only one who can make the change.

After I finish writing, I schedule social media for the day for my author and the farm pages. I attend to what is most important for my creative and farm life. The hotel life takes enough of my time during the day, I have to honor the creative life. Don’t get me wrong, the hotel life has and continues to provide me with what is needed to maintain and excel this amazing life. I thank the universe multiple times a day.

After I finish writing, I head to the basement and work out for an hour. I love to move the body and sweat. Afterward, I make a smoothie while I get ready for work. The mornings are a fresh start to the day, and I love the stillness of the moment.

What does your morning routine look like?

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Blogging My Way Through 100 Suggested Topics for Writers

I am blogging my way through 100 suggested topics provided by mixtusmedia

Suggestions #2: Talk about how the story you’re currently writing stands out from others in your genre.

My genre is memoir. I write about my experiences working for luxury hotels in the Canadian Rockies, in Alberta, Lake Louise, and Jasper to be more specific. My debut self-published memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, is about my first three summers working at Chateau Lake Louise before it was a Fairmont. It was a Canadian Pacific Hotel when I started. Fairmont became a part of the hotel chain before 2000. I remember the weeks before the new brand was in place. I was working at Jasper Park Lodge and was sorting through hundreds of spoons, trying to pick out the old CP logo because someone dumped the new Fairmont logo spoons into the main cutlery bins. The back of the house was in chaos most of the time to ensure guests only saw the perfection they paid for in the front of the house.

The question was, how does my story that I am currently writing stand out from other memoirs?

Great question.

Chateau Lake Louise

My self-doubt says it doesn’t stand out compared to Frank McCourt’s, Angela Ashes, or Matthew McConaughey’s, Greenlights, but it stands on its own for being a hotel memoir and second, how I worked through my personal self-doubt. From the experiences of being thrown into my unofficial first day of work, where I stood in the middle of the main ballroom that could seat 600 comfortably, to being cheated on by a guy who knew was too good to be true. Everyone else knew he was cheating and didn’t tell me. I was fortunate enough to find out myself when I caught him in the act.

Say’s my sassy alter-ego, Sis.

Sis: hi there!

This is another way my current story stands out. Sis, she is me, but I use her voice to share what I can’t seem to say upfront.

I don’t hold back about how I feel about guests who ask for everything on the side, to the personal debate over trying cocaine for the first time one random Saturday morning before the breakfast shift. A supervisor offered it a few of the servers, and this was my first week at Lake Louise.

My story may stand out to only one person or to those who have worked in the hospitality industry, focusing on food and beverage life, then the front desk/operations life. My story is mine but everyone who has travelled will understand, and anyone that has worked for a resort hotel will shake their head in agreement over the nights where we worked until 2am cleaning up after a wedding, conference, insert event here. I wouldn’t change anything, even the personal drama. Everything happens for a reason and being able to share the experiences with you is one of those reasons. Thank you, universe.

To learn more or read my debut memoir, click here.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

How to Get Unstuck – The Artist’s Way

I’m feeling stuck with the blogging process. It’s not that I am stuck about writing, it’s what to share with you and wondering if anyone is really reading these weekly blogs. But I have to remember that I am writing for myself and it’s my hope that one person reads my work and maybe they connect with my writing and get something out of what I am sharing. I write about the difficulties of being a writer who works full time and has a bag full of excuses.

To move forward, to shake things up, I am going to follow a list of topics created for writers to blog about. This comes from Jenn Hanson-dePaula, a content contributor of MixtusMedia.

There is a list of 100 Blog Topics for Fiction Writers. I am a non-fiction writer at the moment, but have fiction stories waiting to be written, so why not work through this list for the next 100 Mondays.

The first one is not my favourite topic,

Write a review for a book within your genre. I was never a fan of writing book reviews, but I love the book I am going to share with you.

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.

You may have read some of my blogs about my experiences while going through this great creative book.

How I stumbled upon this book. As I have shared and believe, everything happens for a reason.

I was working for a new meditation retreat resort and met some lovely people from the weekly mediation class offered at the resort. One woman, Christine, and I connected when we shared our stories, to find out we both were writers helped us connect quickly. She told me about a writer, Julia Cameron’s memoir, Floor Sample, but told me it was dark based on Julia’s substance abuse and how she quick cold turkey and wrote a screenplay within a month after becoming sober. It intrigued me. I asked to borrow the book if she brought it by the next meditation class. A week later, Christine left me a copy of The Artist’s Way in the mediation’s entrance room. There was a sticky note with my name on it and I placed the book on my writing desk that evening and didn’t open it for another month. The morning I opened the book was a regular morning for me at the resort. I got up and went to go work out. I took the book with me and read as I moved on the elliptical trainer. I was hooked when she shared, ‘I teach people to let themselves be creative.’

It’s not that I wasn’t allowing myself to be creative. I was living and working at a spiritual resort. Creativity surrounded me. It was that I didn’t know how to make my creative life a priority.

As I worked through The Artist’s Way, went on Artists Dates, started morning pages, went for long walks, and read more about writing, I was investing time in my writing life. I was shifting into the creative being I knew I was.

The Artists Way is a book on how to get creatively unstuck. It is full of experiences, situations, and routines of how to move towards creativity.

A few of the core themes of the Artists Way:

·      Creativity is our natural state. Creativity “God” wants to work with us.

·      It is safe to be open to creativity. It’s safe to be yourself.

·      To move towards creativity is to move towards your true self.

The breakdown of the book:

You will read a chapter each week for 12 weeks and focus on the exercise provided to look at our limitations and move through them.

The main activities:

·      Morning Pages: Three long hand pages to be written in the morning, as soon as you get out of bed, or write them while in bed. No rules, no topics, just write to clear the cobwebs to help get unstuck. Morning pages are to be written by longhand, no typing because it’s easy to delete. Writing from the heart on the page can let go of what needs to be said to get unstuck.

·      The Artists Date: Take yourself on a date. A date to nurture your creative self. A few examples: Go to a local festival, music, art show, or museum. Write a letter to a friend. Go for a walk in the woods, take a sketch pad and play around, draw, write, or simply sit in silence and soak it all in.

Julia guides us along the way. There are times when I didn’t want to do the exercises, but I would sit down and push through them, and afterward I felt something shift. My mindset mostly. On how I can take the time to write and do creative things to help my writing life.

Julia loves affirmations and so do I.  A few of my favourites:

·      As I create and listen, I will be led.

·      My creativity heals myself and others.

·      My creativity always leads me to truth and love.

·      There is a divine plan of goodness for me and my work.

·      I am willing to create.

·      I am willing to use my creative talents.

The Artists Way is a reboot back to the creative life. This book is a journey of self-discovery and self-actualization. If you are feeling stuck and need a nudge, get a copy of Julie’s book and start your journey. 

Thank you for being here with me today. If you have been reading my blogs and have a moment, send me a note to say ‘hi’. I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Did you ever wonder why I put a picture of a typewriter at the end of each blog? I love typewriters, and love to share the fun pictures I find intriguing.

The Farm Life; Trying to Create Balance.

I am a writer. I am a writer who happens to be a manager at a hotel to pay the bills. Because I am not Danielle Stelle or Stephen King. I am an amateur writer. I can say that about myself because it is true. I haven’t taken my writing career as seriously as I know I should be. It’s a sad story.

I am a writer who is a manager at a hotel that happens to have a small-scale farm. I am a writer who doesn’t write as much as she would like to. I am a writer who is more into hotel life than farm than writing. Okay, I’ll be very truthful. I barely help with the farm, only on the weekends when I try to squeeze in a few hours of writing.

On Saturday morning I did some hotel work because my job doesn’t end at 5:00pm on a Friday. I’m not a GM, but I am part of an senior leadership that doesn’t equal a 9-5 model.

It’s hard to find work-life integration. Human resources, Lifestyle experts say it is possible, and I’m trying to find my integration. I’m trying to blend my lives to live as one. Why? Because it’s hard to keep things separate in the world we live in. Yet, I love boundaries. I use to be the queen of telling people politely that when I am not working; it is my time. Unless it is a life-or-death situation, it can wait until I return to the office. It’s true. Nothing is that earth-shattering that I need to leave the comforts of my home to go to my day job. Yes, sometimes it was a serious situation, and I put my work hat on because it is part of the job. I choose to be in the world of management in hospitality. I am good at what I do and I love sharing how great it is to work in an industry that brings people together. I am of service and I am aware of the choices I make. I am grateful for this awareness.

I started off by saying I was a writer who happens to be working in the hospitality business, who has a small-scale farm, and who is trying to live all three lives in harmony. There are days it works. I can do all three. There are days I am not able to and I have to come to terms with this. The true self is crying out to be writing and I have to pay attention to her. My creative life is my priority. I will keep working on integrating my three passions to live as one.

Do you have work-life integration? How do you do it? I would love to hear about it. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Reflections of the Creative Life

The past two and a half years have been a blur. We have had little time to settle into our new life, but we have learned how to figure out boundaries, what is a priority, and what can wait until another day.

My husband is resilient, he is focused on the big picture of our farm. It is more than a full-time job. I have a full-time job in a hotel as a manager that requires my attention more than I like. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the amazing opportunity; I am learning work-life integration. I tried to have a balance where I tried to separate my life from work, but it didn’t happen. When I’m working at the hotel, I am the creative person who is needed to maintain engagement. When I’m at home, I bring traits of my ‘work-me’ home to keep me on track with what I need to be done. It’s all one. My hotel life has provided everything that I needed to get to this very moment. I can say the same thing about my creative life. I have said yes to almost every opportunity that the universe has presented. My creative life wants to soak in all the experiences to fill the creative well. I have said this before and I will continue to say it,

Everything happens for a reason.

I love where we are living, meaning I love our property, the farm, and the quiet town outside of the city. We once lived away from the city when we lived in Oyster Bay, BC, where I helped run a small boutique meditation retreat resort. It was twenty minutes away from the principal city. I prefer the quiet. When I am still, I can tap into my true awareness and remember that I am here to be of service by creating books, blogs, recipe books, and screenplays to be enjoyed by you. I am here to help maintain a farm that provides us with our food source and to provide local produce to our community. Locals should eat local food, and farm-fresh food. We are here to provide that experience.

The community has welcomed us at the local farmers’ market. It has been a wonderful experience to connect with new people and do what we said we wanted, to provide fresh local food to the community. Now we are opening a farm stand at the farm. We are on the main road to the smaller towns in the area. To quote the Field of Dreams,

“If you build it, they will come.”

We live in an area where change is slow, but there are progressive-minded people around that want to support locals, especially farmers. As the gas prices rise and people may think they can stay close to home and still get the food needed to nourish the body. My focus now is to grow beans to have the staples of any plant-based diet. We are not trying to change anyone’s food preferences; we are here to offer an alternative and save some money on gas and fewer emissions on the road. If we can do our part to heal the earth, even in our little area, that’s a win for us.

When I pull weeds in the greenhouses and help with planting and harvesting, I am living my creative life. Being part of nature is important to me and the writing. The more I am grounded, the better I am when I sit down to write, then when I spend time in my creative life, I am happier and able to go to the hotel life with ease. Everything is connected and I say,

Thank you, universe.

Thank you for being here with me today. I wish you a fantastic week!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

S is for Sis

Who is Sis?

Sis is my sassy alter-ego/guardian angel.

My dad called me Sis once, and it just stuck as one of my nicknames for him and my mother.

Sis is commonly used between siblings. Sis is like my imaginary sister. I am an only child and didn’t use my voice until I was older.

Sis says what I could not say when I was working on my debut memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers. I used Sis as an internal dialogue on the page. A banter of internal thoughts back and forth. Here is one example of Sis helping to tell my story;

I’d met Julie in one of my university English classes. We weren’t the best of friends right from the start, but we became close. Now, we don’t talk anymore because of my stupidity. I was grateful for Julie’s friendship. She was a genuine friend, but I messed it up over a guy and booze.

Sis: Story of your life.

Marion Ann: Don’t give it away.

***

Sis doesn’t hold back and neither do I, but I find it easier to tell my story with Sis by my side.

She doesn’t have patience. She is nattering at me to finish the second memoir in my hotel life series. But I’m stuck and I shouldn’t be. I hear the sayings, write like they are all dead. Who cares what they think? This is your story, not theirs. It’s true. I don’t care what people think; it is none of my business of what other people think of me. I haven’t cared for a long time because when you work in the hospitality business, you can’t take it personally. I have been accused of ruining a daughter’s wedding because it rained. Sure it hurt a little to hear that, but seriously, it is not my fault that the rain started. I don’t have some magic switch that I can turn on to ruin someone’s day.

            Sis: But wouldn’t it be cool to do that?

See what I mean. Sis always has a snappy answer. It’s what I want to say to the guest, but won’t because I know my job. To make sure the guest knows they are right.

            Sis: Ummmm

            Marion Ann: Not now.

This is how I move the story along. Sis and I work well together. I discovered Sis through a series of serendipitous events. My writing mentor pushed me by asking some hard questions when I was working on my first memoir of my maternal grandparents, who I called Nanny and Bumpy. Then there was a part of the book I skipped to when I stopped trusting men. I shared how a boy I had a crush on used my affection for him for a friend’s phone number. He played me for months, having lunch with me, asking me out to family outings, and sharing his secrets and aspirations. I was hooked. Then he told me he wanted my friend’s number. She was one of the smartest people in their class and he had to collaborate with her to maintain his grades. I was heartbroken, and that was where Sis showed up.

Sis: Excuse me! He thinks we’re dumb.

Marion Ann: She is the smartest person in class.

Sis: I don’t give a

Marion Ann: Hey.

Sis: No! He’s not getting away with that. 

She cut him off as a friend without question. I was the one speaking when he tried to make up with me, but Sis was the one who yelled at him to stop it and I didn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. I buried that hurt for a long time.

My writing mentor said that was my breakthrough. I had found my writing voice.

Sis: Hello.

So why am I feeling stuck? I am sharing the darker side of the hospitality world when I worked in Lake Louise and Jasper. My experiences of the heartache of my own choices are not the problem. I admit I made some bad choices with relationships. Everyone thought of me as a good little girl, but they didn’t know what I was going through. When I shared some of my first memoir with a friend, they read the pages and said,

“I didn’t even know you were dating.”

            Sis: What The F…!

            Marion Ann: I feel sick.

It was a messy time. What I thought was an actual relationship was possibly a lie. Maybe my rose-colored glasses were on for too long. I was living in the honeymoon stage for longer than I should have.

So I am using this month of the A to Z Challenge to work through these speed bumps. Sis is ready to be let loose, to share the truth, and so am I.

I also have asked myself, why do I even bother with writing memoirs? Why do I need to share this time? Because it could be like another situation someone is going through, and I want them to know they are not alone. It’s not about me, it’s about the act of writing and sharing.

I may be ready to finish this memoir.

Sis: Thank Gawd!

Thank you for being here with me today.

If you want to learn more about Sis, please send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Risks and Rewards

Risk: a situation involving exposure to danger.

I think risk is more like taking a leap of faith. Taking a risk that you wouldn’t normally have taken in certain situations. I have taken a few risks in my life and followed my heart, which may have been the wrong decision, but if I didn’t follow my heart, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

There was no risk in me accepting a job in Alberta when I was nineteen. I only knew life in Nova Scotia. I had been to Florida and Boston and traveled back and forth from Ontario to Nova Scotia when my father was posted back to Nova Scotia when he was in the military. Many of my non-military friends were traveling to places that I wished I could visit, New York, Mexico, and Ireland. I lived vicariously through them and I found myself daydreaming about traveling and one day living somewhere other than where I was born.

I was presented with an opportunity and I took it and I haven’t looked back once. Okay, maybe once or twice when my heart was being broken by a boy or by my vice.

I said yes to every opportunity presented to me. I accepted the job in Lake Louise, Alberta and the only risk was missing the comforts of home. But I was ready to learn, to grow. I was a writer and wanted to experience more.

When I moved to Lake Louise for the third summer, I stayed for the winter, then I moved to Jasper to transfer to the sister property, Jasper Park Lodge. The only risk was starting over and I was use to that. I moved so many times in my young adult life. My mother would want to move because the neighbors were too loud, or she could smell cigarette smoke, or whatever excuse she found to move. My mother is lovely, particularly, so it felt like she was picky about where we lived. But to her credit, I learned how to adapt to change quickly.

After Jasper, I took the risk to move to Edmonton because my boyfriend at the time moved to Atlanta for his career. I thought I was moving to the US as well, but I didn’t. I didn’t take the risk of moving with him without a job. I didn’t define the odds of getting caught of living in the states legally. I stayed in Edmonton and when we broke up, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. I was in limbo. I continued working at the hotel and trying to fill the void of our messy breakup with a fling. But that quick love affair sparked my creativity back to life. When that fling was over, I was ready to move on. I was ready to leave and maybe return to Nova Scotia. Then the universe placed another opportunity in front of me. The man I had been waiting for. My hubby. We are not married, but what do you call someone who you have been with for nineteen years?

After six months of dating, Adam said he was moving to Vancouver Island, BC, to become a golf pro. I said yes. We got jobs in Tofino, BC, the farthest away from my family, but how could I say no to the rainforest? I needed to heal from the past 10 years of dysfunction of the hotel life. Yes, we were going to work for a hotel, but it was an independent hotel tucked away in the forest along the ocean. The risk of being semi-isolated was worth it. I learned more about myself and took one more risk. I left the hotel life for two years. I worked for the only bank in Tofino and then at a pharmacy retail store. My hotel experiences are transferable. All the risks of moving from hotel to hotel provided me with exactly what I needed to learn and move forward. I returned to the hotel life and haven’t looked back. How could I turn my back on the very experience that has provided me with a lifetime of stories to share.

I am truly grateful – Thank you, universe.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Q is for Questions

Every year when I plot out the letters for this blogging challenge, I seem to turn back to the same thought about the letter Q. Maybe I should look into why I choose the same topic or ask a different question.

What I was going to write about was the questions guests have asked me when working at Chateau Lake Louise. They are the same questions I would get year after year.

· How heavy does that mountain weigh?

· Are the shrimp from the seafood chowder from the lake?

· When do you turn on the Northern lights?

· What time does the staff paint the lake?

· What time do you let the animals out?

At one point, I wondered if it was just me. Maybe I was the only one who got the questions. Then I would hear guests at other tables in another section ask their server the same questions. As the weeks passed, my work friends would not complain but mention the same questions asked by guests. The bellmen would tell us stories about what guests would ask about what they packed for their trip to the Canadian Rockies, “Do you think three pairs of sneakers are enough? Do I need an umbrella for the snow? Should I bring snacks for the bears?” It was never-ending.

Questions I would ask myself when I talked to guests in my early twenties:

· Why am I here listening to someone ask about how heavy a mountain is?

· Do they really think the lake is painted? Common sense is not so common.

· How can I get them out of my section?

· If I spit in the soup, will they notice?

· Why are they married, all they do is bicker about nothing?

· Can I just leave and no one notice?

There were times I stood at my side station organizing my tables and watching people eat the overpriced meal that I placed in front of them and wondered,

If I just left, would anyone notice?

I know it would go noticed, but when guests dismiss you and call you, honey, dear, you… it gets a little draining. There were times I wanted to walk out on my entire section because of the same questions, the same self-entitled odour coming from their comments about how they couldn’t believe they got a room facing the back of the hotel, they spend all this money and they don’t get the room with a view. I may have said, you have a beautiful view now, waving my hand towards the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Victoria Glacier and Lake. Maybe a guest would pay attention and realize I was right, but there was the odd guest who gave me the stink eye, as if I knew nothing. In those times, I wanted to drop my wine opener and walk out the door.

Why I stayed? I was living in one of the most stunning places in Canada. I was gaining experiences; I was learning about myself and filling up my creative well. I was doing what I needed to get to the next step.

I focus a lot on Chateau Lake Louise because it was a special place for me. During my time there, I connect with many people I am still in touch with today. During the mid to late 90s, we had something special. We had fun, we laughed, we cried, we did everything together; we went through the same heartaches and the same celebrations. It was amazing and the one question I ask myself, is what if I stayed? That is another story percolating on the side.

Thank you for being here with me today. Have you worked in the service industry and been asked silly questions by guests? I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

P is for Pride

Pride: a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

I am proud of my accomplishments. They go with the opportunities that have been and continue to be provided to me. I am grateful for all the wonderful experiences and opportunities that have been provided to maintain and excel this creative life.

The accomplishments that I am proud of:

· Moving from Nova Scotia to Alberta on my own for a summer job that provided me with a lifetime of experiences to share.

· Writing my first poetry book that I thought I would publish, but it turns out that it was the start of my memoir writing. I turned that work of poetry into my first memoir, My Name is Not Mary-Ann, a memoir that I will self-publish one day.

· Working with a writing mentor to help me find my writing voice. This helped me write my first self-published memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, where I share my experiences working at Chateau Lake Louise for the first three summers.

· Working for amazing hotels that took a chance on a girl who didn’t have all the experiences required, but enough to get the job and to learn those required skills for the next opportunity. Thank you, universe!

· Saying yes to every opportunity presented. When I met my husband in Edmonton, we were dating for six months and he said, ‘I’m moving to Victoria to become a golf pro. You can come if you want.’ My response was, ‘why not!’ and after eighteen years we have been on an adventure every day.

· Besides writing and self-publishing my work, I am proud of my husband and I for taking a leap of faith before the pandemic to buy a house in Fredericton, NB, uprooting our lives in Victoria to move across the country to be closer to family and start our farm. It has been a full two years, moving in August 2019, starting a new job, setting up our farm, then the pandemic started in March 2020, continuing with our farm, and then I change jobs in the heart of the fourth wave of the pandemic. I am so proud of how strong we both are to keep moving forward. I am proud of making it through all the experiences provided that helped me to build the strength to handle the next opportunity. Being aware of the true self and of how amazing the universe is something that I am proud of. Thank you, Universe!’

I am proud of being here and now, writing these words, and sharing the experiences that have brought me to this very place.

How does this fit in with my second memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ Resort Life? I have to be more honest in this book. I have to share these moments of joy, the experiences that may have not been so great but necessary to show me I am enough, I don’t need a job or a man or a thing to tell me how special I am, or what great things I can do. There was a time when I lost my sense of being enough. I stopped listening to my intuition, and that is something I am not proud of, but very proud that I stopped that behaviour and listened to my true self once again.

I have had the nerve to live this life and now I have the nerve to write about it. There are times I see when I’m hiding behind the words, and these are the times I need to stand up taller and write from the gut.

Thank you for being here with me today. I am asking for feedback this month as I blog my way through the A-to-Z challenge. Is there more you want to know about my experiences working for luxury hotels? Drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…