Breaking up With the Sofa

Writing is healing. Writing is a way to let go of the past and move forward, to be right here in the moment. Writing unravels the issues within, writing releases the creativity within. I have many stories within, and I am blessed with both fiction and non-fiction writing, more so memoir writing. I don’t have any troubles letting the imagination run loose; in a blink of an eye, I can see a story unfold. Here is a little glimpse of how creativity quickly can take over. This is excerpt is from my Hospitality Memoir: Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ Summer 1:

I loved canoeing on the Lake. I would paddle out to the middle and let the canoe float around as much as the lake would let me. I glided my fingertips on the surface of the chilly waters (only a few degrees above freezing). As I got closer to the middle of the lake the color would change from clear turquoise to a dark murky green almost purpley black. I’d look over the edge of the canoe and wonder what mineral feed creatures lived down at the bottom.

Sis: Maybe an ancient type of dinosaurs like Loch Ness or Ogopogo.
Marion Ann: I wonder why they don’t have a legend at the Lake?
Sis: Too snobby for this place.
Marion Ann: True, it was named after the Queen’s daughter.
Sis: Not saying we can’t have fun with a story.
Marion Ann: Maybe a type of mermaid. Maybe a whole village. The lake goes deeper than anyone knows.
Sis: I like it.

So, did I liked when my imagination was stirred up and I had a story within a blink of an eye. The Lake had mystical energy and I wanted to dive into the deep waters to feed my passion for writing.

Now I should explain who Sis is. Sis is me, Sis is the voice that whispers to all of us. I like to introduce Sis as my sassy-pseudo-guardian-angel, who says what’s on her mind, which is essentially me speaking my mind. She helps tell my story.

When I reread this memory I’m taken back to those moments when I worked at the luxury resort in the Canadian Rockies. I had the privilege to canoe for free when guests were charged up to twenty dollars an hour to say they canoed on a national park lake. I loved when I stared over the edge of the canoe, gazing into the water, wondering what lake creature would pop up to see what lived beyond the surface of their watery existence. I would daydream about these fictional characters more than I thought I would. I would be serving my guests in the dining room, looking out at the lake wondering what the movie would be called if there was a screenplay that went with my daydreams about this magical and mystical underwater alternative life. You can clearly see how my imagination turns on quickly and wants to run wild. So why not? Stand aside and let creativity take over. I love the creative process! Then why am I having a hard time lately to get to the page? I clearly want to be writing and the ideas that enter my mind are crying out to be written. I only have one person to blame, me. I am in the way, along with the sofa and Netflix. So I’m breaking up with the sofa.

I’m getting up from the comfortable routine that the ego is holding onto and dragging me down with it. I’m walking away from the TV shows and movies that will always be there to watch when it’s time to zone out but not now, not any longer. Creativity and I have had enough. Not that I spend hours sucked into House of Cards or Netflix Original movies, but it’s too easy to sit down and get sucked into the promise of a funny and exhilarating movie that will surely leave you with laugh lines.

I’m breaking up with the ego. It’s a process, the ego has been around for a long time and I’ve had moments where I can clearly see the true self, the writer I have known for even a longer time. Yet, there is a moment where the ego slips in and a week goes by and you haven’t written a damn thing and wonder what Walter White and Jesse are up to.

Like any break-up, it may take time to not miss the sofa and curling up with a cup of tea and watching one of my favorite Woody Allen movies. Now it’s time to take that cup of tea to the writing room and write my own movies. Hear-hear! The creative cheerleader enthusiastically confirms as I sit down and begin to write.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

I should also mention where the Lake is located. Without giving it away, it is in a town called Lake Louise, Alberta. If you would like advanced Free chapters of my Hotel Memoir, please sign up for my Newsletter. See you there!

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How Can You Tell If You’re In Limbo? #MondayBlog

It has been a week since the 3-day novel contest and I have the feeling of being in limbo. I’m not quite in the reality of the world I left behind as I entered my writing room for three days over the labor day weekend. I went into the contest with a goal, to finish the edits of my current work in progress. I felt like I needed to push myself with the last of the revisions so that I can move forward with the next steps of my book. To publish and to share with all of you.

Limbo: a state of uncertainty.                                                                                                                 an intermediate or transitional place or state.

I was searching for clues this week to get myself out of this feeling of uncertainty. Then I realized it’s not uncertainty that I am feeling. I am restless for the next step. I jumped into the revisions and focused on taking risks with my work that I forgot all about from the first memoir I completed. I was still holding back, I was keeping the story at an arm’s length, even though I thought I was not. I have shared details about my time living in resort towns throughout the years but with caution. I didn’t want anyone to think less of me for the choices I made. You know what? It doesn’t matter. What matters is putting the words on the page and letting go of the fears and that my friends is a scary process, but it has to be done. There is no hiding in a memoir.

The is no hiding in a memoir

There were moments during the writing contest that I walked circles in my writing room, pacing back and forth, with the knowledge of great frustration but also an overwhelming sense of joy that I was on the right path. Somewhere I kicked the Ego to the corner and my true-self was taking over and letting it all hang out there. All the dirty laundry and adventures that were experienced during this time in the Canadian Rockies. I spent a decade of my life working through my adolescent ailments in resort towns that brought more heartache than joy at times, but also provided me with what was exactly needed in those moments. For this, I am truly grateful.

Now you must be thinking, come on, when can we read these adventures you have been talking about? Soon. I promise. If you sign up for my Newsletter I will send you advanced chapters to read before I start the publishing journey. I will also send you a little gift of thanks because you’re awesome!

I appreciate your support and stopping by to read about my writing journey. I believe a sharing in me is a sharing in you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing. . . .

A Trip Down Memory Lane #MondayBlogs

By the time this post is published I hope to be on the home stretch of the 3-day novel contest.

I’ve been writing Monday Blogs for a few years now. When I started to take my writing more seriously I found 10-minute novelists Facebook group and noticed a post about Monday Blogs. Publish your latest blog post on Mondays. This was the push I needed to start writing my blog on a weekly basis. 10-minute novelists group is a great resource for writers, I highly recommend them.

Let me go back for a moment. I created this blog site in September 2010 and thinking I would blog about my raw food chef experiences along with my writing/meditation/spiritual journey. The ego got in the way “thinking” I wouldn’t have anything to contribute or why would anyone want to read my blog. I didn’t open my blog page for another three years. Oh, how I love procrastination mixed with old behavioral patterns of fear and excuses. During this time I was writing my first memoir about my maternal grandparents and growing up in Nova Scotia. Then we moved to Victoria as I accepted a job in the hotel world once again. I had left the hotel life for the second time in my career because I felt burnt out from the ego trying to think I should be something I wasn’t. I went back to the hotel life because it was a position with potential and that was and still is very interesting. I returned to the hotel business because it has always provided me with what was needed to get me where I was going.

What’s that they say about third times a charm?

When I started my new job I knew I had to maintain and move forward with my creativity. I was writing morning pages and kept saying how I wanted to share more of my writing. I wanted to contribute the stories that creativity has blessed me with, so I re-visited my blog page and started to write again. My first blog post was May 2013, three years after I opened this account. But, now that I have started, I can’t stop and I won’t stop. I am dedicated to Monday Blogs and now other blogging adventures, such at the A to Z challenge in April. I’m toying with the idea of another 30-day blog challenge, maybe that will be in the New Year.

I constantly want to improve my craft and writing every day is helping. I’m pushing myself to write on different topics for my blogs posts, however, I keep coming back to my true passion. Writing. I love writing and I love to share my journey with you. Maybe you are someone who wants to start writing and I can be of assistance. Maybe you are someone who has the same experiences and like me, wish to connect with other writers going through the same adventures of the writing life. Either way, I am happy you are here and we are in this creative life together.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

The 3-Day Novel Contest Journey

What is the 3-day novel contest? Basically writing a novel in three days. Simple. Right? Some of you maybe saying, no way. Some of you are getting that jittery exciting tickle deep in your stomach that might feel like nausea but it’s not, it’s the pure awareness of knowing you want to leap onto the page and write, write, write!

My first attempt at the 3-day novel contest was very similar to this decisions. I registered a week before the event and had no idea what I was going to write. I read how hundreds of other participants were preparing their outlines weeks even months prior. They had their shopping lists done for their meals, snacks, and beverages so there was no time wasted on anything. I gave myself a week to get my act together. I picked up ingredients for easy to prepare dinners, stocked up on tea, coffee, and wine for those late nights where I would need a jolt of Pinot Noir inspiration or relax the ego out of stressing over the word count.

The second attempt of the 3-Day Novel contest, I started with one idea that I actually outlined a few weeks prior and was proud that I was more prepared than my first year. After 12 hours of writing and a few hours of sleep I had a different idea pop into my head and started over. Yikes! But, I finished that novel, all 47,654 words of a thriller/drama/romance that I will one day go back and edit and give the attention it deserves.

This year? Third times a charm, right? I decided about a month ago I would register for the contest, but I wasn’t going to write something new. I know, I’m a rebel. I planned on taking the 3 days to focus on finishing the memoir I’ve been working on. It is finished but now it needs revisions and more of my attention. Taking time off from work to dive in deep to the pages was my intention. Then I started to get ready for work on Friday afternoon and I felt like I was missing something like I’ve been away from creating anything new. All the ideas that are waiting to be written are coming to the fore front. I think this is ego and wanting to not work on what I know needs to be completed. The ego and I have been doing this dance for a while and it’s my turn to take the lead.

But I wondered why now? Why this sense of writing something new when deep down I know I want to finish my memoir that I’ve been working on for far too many years now. As I write this I think, Yes, stick to your plan and edit that memoir, move forward, you know this plan is good, so get to it! I think I have answered my own question. The one thing I know to be true, more like a feeling, is to keep writing and work on my craft to be a bit better each day. There is a little part of me that wants to write something new, and I will, that is a promise to me and creativity.

Thank you for sticking around to read my ramblings this week. I’m learning more about my last-minute decisions regarding writing contests. I’m learning I need to finish one project and move forward. I’m aware that I need to give my attention to the stories that are waiting to be finished, one word at a time.

Until Next Time, Kep On Typing. . . .

 

 

Rethink the 9 to 5 life

I’m busy. I know, I know, no one is that ‘busy’. What I mean is I’m busy with my full-time job at the hotel. I don’t doubt that we are all busy – trying to make it through to the end of day. I can’t remember it being this busy at the hotel over the past six years that I have been working there. But, I have changed my responsibilities, I wear two hats and it is keeping me on toes.

 

 

I love my job, it provides me with what is needed to maintain and excel this creative life. I’ve been professing this gratitude statement for years because deep down I know it to be true. I wouldn’t be on this beautiful Canadian West Coast Island where I am surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and mountains. I’m happy with the rain over the heaps of snow that tend to pile up over the winter across the country.

Today, it’s Friday, I work in the afternoon. Some people who work 9-5, Monday to Friday cringe when they hear this. They tend to say, That’s terrible, I could not have weekends off. You’ve been doing this job for over twenty years, you’d think you’d get weekends off by now. Do you want to know what I think when they say stuff like this to me? I’d like to keep it PG here, but the f-bombs go off in my head as I smile politely and tell them it’s okay, it’s part of the job and I like working Friday nights. I get to people watch and you know I love to people watch – I’ve seen and heard some interesting conversations that have triggered my creative juices and I have another story swirling around to be written. Thank you. I also get a lot more work done than on a Tuesday afternoon when stuff is hitting the fan; like the hot tub going down or an employee calls in sick for the overnight shift and you are calling all the backups desperately wishing someone will be available or I’ll be the one sitting at the front desk making sure I roll the day over for the accounting team. (This hasn’t happened to me, but it has come pretty damn close over the years in different hotels I’ve worked at.)

 

The one thing the people who cringe that I don’t have weekends off are right about is I have been in the hotel business for over twenty years. That much is true. I haven’t been at this hotel for twenty years and your time served in one industry does not guarantee you weekends off. The only hotel job I ever had weekends off was when I was an administrative assistant and the office hours happen to be Monday to Friday, 8:30-5:00 pm – getting home at 5:15 pm (I lived 15 minutes away from the hotel) was so foreign to me. What do I do with myself on a Friday night when most of my friends are working at another hotel? I soon filled my weekends with what I really wanted to be doing. Writing. Spending time with other writers, attending workshops for writing, volunteering for art festivals, promoting the writing group I was a part of. It was my heaven. It was the creative life I had been visualizing myself living for a very long time. It wasn’t even me seeing myself doing this, I was living the life that I knew to be true. Does that make sense? I hope so, it sure feels like it was at that moment. I miss that work-life balance that I am currently striving to have in this moment.

 

The other time I had weekends off was when I worked at a bank before weekend hours started. This was when I briefly left the hotel life for about a year and a half. After working in a bank and then retail, I couldn’t run fast enough back to the hotel world and I never looked back. I may vent about my job, and I know I started this blog off with “I’m Busy” and I am, but I am so very grateful for this amazing opportunity that has been provided. One where I get paid to be a coach to great employees and to myself. I also get a bird’s eye view of every kind of personality and they all help add to any story I am working on, even inspire a few short stories here and there. Thank goodness for visitors and random people who walk up to the front desk and share their story.

Even if you are busy, what are you grateful for in that moment?

Until next time, keep on typing. . ..

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What Has your Writing Journey Been Like so Far?

What has your writing journey been like so far? Good question. I follow many authors on Instagram and this week a fellow writer has put together a mini writing Instagram challenge. All the questions are writing related and this particular question intrigued my creative child within.

My writing journey so far has been like a familiar but unpredictable weather system these days. Drizzly rain mixed with sun and cloud with a rainbow in the horizon. A mixed bag of emotions and events that have brought me to the page.

As long as I can remember and even deeper than that, it’s like I’ve had this past life, even lives that I can see and feel but they seem unclear at times. A life where I’ve been writing, telling stories and sharing. It seems that creativity is and always been in my veins. I cannot, not write. My imagination is a black hole, it is never-ending and swallows me whole at times. The vivid places and situations that occur in my mind baffle me at times, where did the ideas come from so quickly, so vividly that they play out like a movie?

I have never been afraid of the stories that have been and continue to be shared with. The one detail I am afraid of is that I am not sharing this talent and creativity will move on. It frightens me more that I will lose what has been graciously given to me. I have this deeply seeded knowing I should be participating like an excited cheerleader on their first game day – what gives then? It comes down to old behaviors and me, myself and the ego are in the way.

So how do I get out of my head? How do I stay on this great journey of writing? By writing, by reading about writing, by writing about writing, by surrounding myself with other writers to talk about writing and ultimately to keep writing.

My writing journey so far is mostly positive and there are some frustrating times, but as I have shared before, the only person that is stopping me from doing something is me. I choose to sit here in my beautiful writing room watching the trees sway in the breeze on this lovely Sunday evening. This is what I have to do more often. To choose writing over the sofa and Netflix. Writing over staying late a work just because I “think” I should stay for another hour over time to help out. It’s not helping anyone out when I’m pissed off because I chose to stay and would rather be home writing. A vicious cycle the ego plays over and over again.

My writing journey has provided me with beautiful places to live and experience moments that I have been able to soak in and share. Creativity has brought me across the country to live on an island and experience so many wonderful moments. Creativity has provided everything I need to excel this creative life and for this, I am truly grateful.

Now, I will ask you the same question: What has your writing journey been like so far?

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .