Missing The Writing Life

I have been writing memoirs for over ten years, with oneself published book and a handful of poems and short stories floating around the worldwide information highway. These days I am miss writing fiction. I have more than a few notebooks filled with half-finished romance, thriller-type stories needing my attention. To be truthful I have been filling my time with ego-related activities that are pushing me away from the one thing that I love. Writing. How do I get back to my routine of writing every day? Practice. I do write morning pages every morning. It is how I start my day. It is where I dump all the stuff filling up my brain that needs to be shuffled to the corners so creativity has space to play. I haven’t been writing much after my morning pages. I go to my day job and after eight to nine hours, I started to tell a story that I didn’t have time to write after work. That is downright a lie. I have all the time in the world to write after work. I just need to sit my butt down in the chair and at least be in front of a notebook or a laptop and start writing, even if it ‘I have nothing to write’ something will show up after the pen or fingers start taping on the keyboard. I have to remind myself of this.

Other ways I get back to writing. Reading about writing. I am a big fan of reading other authors’ books about their writing experiences. At the moment I am reading, Turning Pro, Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, by Steven Pressfield. Steven is downright truthful on how to become a better writer, he doesn’t hold back. You either want to write or you don’t. There is no waffling. Yes, there are hurdles to jump to get to the writing life, but it comes down to one thing, do you want to write or don’t you?

I want to write

One of the chapters (which are either one to two pages ) that I have posted around m writing room is: qualities of the Professional, Steven shared these habits and qualities in, The War of Art, another inspiration book about the writing life. It comes to the habits and qualities that the professional possess that the amateur doesn’t:

  1. The professional shows up every day.
  2. The professionalstays on the job all day
  3. The professinal is committed over the long haul
  4. For the professional the stakes are high and real
  5. The professional is patient
  6. The professional seeks order
  7. The professional demystifies
  8. The professional acts in the face of fear
  9. The professional accetps no excues (something I need to work on)
  10. The professional plays it as it lays
  11. The professional is prepared
  12. The professina does not show off
  13. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
  14. The pforessinal does no hesitate to ask for help
  15. The professional does not take failur or succes personally
  16. The porfessional does not identify with his or her instrument
  17. The professional ensures adversity
  18. The professional self-validates
  19. The professional reinvents herself
  20. The professinal is reconized by other professionals

This is a big list and there are more qualities Steven shares with us. I will share these qualities in the upcoming blogs in September. I can look at this list and say that I am not a professional. I have the qualities of a professional, but my habits are of an amateur at the moment and that is my motivation for being a professional. I have to stay put in my writing room and keep writing. I will start with number one, the professional writes every day. I can say that I do write morning pages every day, but I know I need to work on my other writing projects every day. I will start creating a habit where I spend at least 15 minutes on my writing projects every day. I will share my progress publically and honor my commitment because creativity chose me to work through and I have to show up to honor that privilege to be chosen by creativity. It has to be that blunt for me. Sit down and write for 15 minutes and after that 15 minutes see what happens. Keep writing or get up knowing I honored my commitment to myself and creativity. It feels good to share this commitment with all of you. Now back to the writing.

Thank you for being here with me today. If there is anything I can offer to help you with your writing commitments please drop me a line at marionann.berry@gmail.com or message me on social media. I am here to help and support your writing life.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

The Road to Turning Pro

Can you turn pro?

As I read Steven Pressfield’s, Turning Pro, Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, and have Gabby Bernstein’s, The Universe Has Your Back, rolling around in my mind, reminding me of what I know, what I’ve always known, I am a creative being. It’s true. I am a creative being. I have been provided the talent of making up stories, and writing my personal experiences to share with the world. Now, it is my job to share it with the world. The problem is, the ego as Pressfield describes it, our shadow life. Aka: Resistance and our addictions.

Before we get serious about our writing life, we tend to hold onto additions that seem like they are needed. We know they are bad for us but we can’t help ourselves. Pressfield shares a few addictions that I know related to.

  • Addicted to Distraction: Resistance hates two qualities above all others: concentration and depth. Why? Because when we work with focus and we work deep, we succeed. Resistance wants to keep u shallow and unfocused. So, it makes the superficial and the vain intoxicating. When you sit down to do your work, do you turn off the internet? How many times do you check your email? It can be fatal, keeping up with the Kardashians.
  • Addicted to Failure: Sounds odd but it’s true. Pressfield shares; There is a difference between failing (which is natural and normal part of life) and being addicted to failure. When we’re addicted to failure, we enjoy it. Each time we fail, we are secretly relieved. We are off the hook. We no longer have to ask and answer Stanislavsky’s famous three questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want?

These are two examples of our resistance getting in the way of our true selves. There is hope though. We have to be committed to our professional writing life. We can’t afford to half ass our lives any longer. We deserve to share our great work with the world.

Here are a few facts about habits and qualities that the professional posses that the amateur doesn’t:

  • The professional shows up every day.
  • The professional stays on the job all day.
  • For the professional, the stakes are high and real.
  • The professional is patient.
  • The professional accepts no excuses.
  • The professional does not show off.
  • The professional will not be distracted: The amateur tweets. The pro works.

The last one rings true for me. I am easily distracted these days. I was distracted by other work for the past year. Being on call as a GM of a hotel is a big distraction. It didn’t’ matter how many times I set boundaries, I am the one to be called if there is something wrong with the building and there tends to be something wrong with a building every Sunday afternoon. It was like waiting for the shoe to drop every time I sat down to write. I would wonder, will the hotel call? Will I need to go in on my “day off”. I witnessed my ego take over my true self and the road to my professional life was on a major U-turn back to the amateur lane. My true self was not having any of it, she was frustrated and had enough. She picked me up my shoulders and got me back on track. More meditation, more reading, more engaging with other authors and sharing with the universe that I was ready for a change.

I know I already went through a major change in the past two years, but why not again? If it is going to get me to where I am to be then let’s do it. The thought of waiting for the other shoe to drop was making me sick. I had no excitement left. The only joy I witnessed was when I was in the greenhouse planting or harvesting and when I as writing. So, my true self was pushing me towards doing more of what I loved. Then guess what, I got back on track.

I joined a writing sprint group and that helped me connect with other writers. I applied for a job that I have been gaining experiencing all these years in my hotel life and I accepted the position and have been working at the new hotel for less than a month and feel the weight on my shoulders lifted. The restless sleeps over being a GM of a hotel stopped. I now have full nights sleep and that helps me concentrate on what needs to get done.

I am serious about my writing life and this week I am taking steps to not be as distracted. Social media can wait, the story can’t.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Habits ~ Amateur vs. Professional

An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro ~ Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work

Steven Pressfield doesn’t hold back. Why should he? There is no time to dance around the subject of your writing career. You either are all in or not.

Pressfield goes on to say,

‘We can never free ourselves from habits. The human being is a creature of habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. We can trade in the habits of the amateur and the addict for the practice of the professional and the committed artist or entrepreneur. It may help, as a jumping-off place, to consider the interior world of the most passionate and traffic creative of habit – the addict.’

I have been listening to other writing/spiritual wellbeing books, most recently, Gabby Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back. I am fully aware of my spirit guides, I have been on silent meditation retreats, ran a meditation retreat resort where I was surrounded by nature, and supported my creative life. I am connected to the earth. Nature is my power source. When I am outside in nature, around trees, water, the earth, I am grounded to my true self. I am aware of this. The past year and a half I have not been as grounded as I know I can be. We have been living in a pandemic and for the past few months, I was feeling full-on Covid-19 burnout. But even before that, I was stuck in a story that I created. It was my bad habit coming back to bit me in the butt. Like, Steven Pressfield, I can not hold back any longer. There is no time to dance around my ego anymore.

I shared in a previous post that I would be going through Mr. Pressfield’s, book, Turing Pro, as I believe we all need help to stay on track to maintain our creative life.

The next chapter (The chapters are one to two pages) that I am going to dive into is about resistance and addiction.

Steven shares that when we are younger, we experience a calling. To our art, to service, we experience positive aspirations. We see our higher purpose. Then it is immediately followed by resistance. Resistance can look like the following:

Fear, self doubt, and self sabotage.

Though we know we are called to do something with our art we don’t know where to begin. We are asleep, we don’t know how to fix something that doesn’t feel right. We become restless, bored, angry. We want to create something but we don’t know where to start and if we did, we’re so afraid that we don’t take the first step.

Then a habit replaces the aspiration. I tend to say that my ego slips in the smallest crack that I thought I shut tight, but in a blink of an eye, when I am not pay attention to my true self, ego will take any chance to slip in and find their favourite habit to mess me up.

What is my habit? Routine. My week-day habit. More so, after my day job routine. I leave my job to head home where I can’t wait to start cooking because I enjoy cooking. But that involves that glass of wine while I cook. That glass of wine turns into another while we eat and chat about our day. Then after dinner, I don’t have any energy to head to my writing room to get just a few words down or spend on my work in progress, promotion of my writing. I slip into the routine of sitting on the sofa and zoning out on whatever Netflix or Amazon Prime show we have chosen to put on as background noise as I start to scroll on Instagram, read articles, do everything but write. It has been this way for over a year now and there are weeks where I will break the cycle for a day or two, but it is so easy to slide right back into the routine of sinking into the sofa rather than sitting at my writing desk.

So how am I going to break the habit this time and replace it with a professional habit? I am pulled to meditate more, to spend more time outside in nature. I crave to sit in silence to get myself ground, so I am going to follow that calling. My writing life depends on it and I have to take it seriously. I can’t do this half-assed life any longer. I have manifested for far too long to waste what the universe has provided. I am sitting at my writing desk in a house that I envisioned on a farm since I was in my mid twenties. I have always said I am a write who happens to be a manger at a hotel. This is now true. I am a writer who happens to work at a hotel. The hotel provides me everything I needed to get to this very moment. I don’t ignore that. I am grateful. Now it’s is time to live the life as a writer who has a job to maintain and excel the creative life.

Next week I will focus on my progress of the after-work routine. I am committed to making this change to ensure I am focused on my calling. To creativity. To my true self.

Thank you for being here with me. Are you struggling with any habits that deter you from your true calling? How do you deal with them? I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

3 Reasons I Blog

I hear a lot that blogging is a dying medium. Is there anyone really reading my blog? I see that people stop by but I’m not sure if they are reading or clicking and moving onto the next article. Writing is a solitary adventure and when you’re putting your work out there for the word to read, the fear of no one reading can consume you. So, I don’t go there. I don’t feed into the ego and write like no one is reading, without a filter, without any fear. Here are my top three reasons why I started and continue to blog.

  1. I crave to tell stories: As a young girl (and honestly now) my imagination went off in all directions when I started to think about a story. I could be watching something as simple as a family walking along the sidewalk and it only took a few questions: What if? Or Where are they going and why? I would enter into a world that I could create and then soon realized that the characters had a life they wanted to share. I was the one who happened to be lucky enough to share their tale. Sometimes I share new story ideas on my blog, but somewhere the ego whispers,

‘no one is reading this, why even bother…’ the ego is self doubt on steroids. The only way to stop the ego for a brief moment is to write the thoughts down and let it go.

  1. I blog to share my writing progress, in hopes that others who may be going through the same struggles as a writer will know they are not alone. We may be alone when writing but we are surrounded by other writers all cheering each other on.
  2. Because I can (and need to): The internet makes it very easy for anyone to create a blog. There are several free blog sites to choose from. I use WordPress because that was the one I knew about 10 years ago. I like WordPress because it was easy to set up and the support is great. I have since started to create a site for our Nice Family Farm business. WordPress has my commitment.

The reason I need to is simply I need to write. I can-not, not write. I was chosen by creativity to be a vessel of writing, the craft of telling a story. I am fully aware of this and want to stay true to the process of creativity.

Do you have a blog? What do you write about? What are your top reasons for writing a blog? I love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever wondered what working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies was all about? I share my experiences of working for a then Canadian Pacific Resort, now, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, during the summer seasons where the tourists flooded to the magical glacier-fed Lake to witness the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers is my first self-published memoir of a series of memoirs reflecting on working in the hospitality industry.

Amazon

 

Writing Prompts Help Your Creativity Flowing

I am participating in an Instagram monthly challenge and one of the topics was for 5 writing prompts. I decided I would try one of my suggestions.

It is 2 am and you can’t remember how you got home. What happened? – I am going to set my timer for 10 minutes and see what happens.

********************

I’m standing in the middle of my kitchen, I am focused on the bottle of wine that is empty but the two glasses are half full of pink sparkling wine. Why is there wine on my counter? I don’t drink a lot but I know I had a glass of champagne with my best friend before we had dinner, a Thursday evening routine we haven’t missed in ten years. Why Thursday’s and not a weekend night? My friend is married and has two children, twins, and her husband has Thursday and Friday’s off. He is a manager at a popular downtown restaurant and Saturdays are the business night of the week. Jen and her husband, Paul, met fifteen years ago in a restaurant we all worked for. Jen and I are high school friends and landed a job in Lake Louise in the Fairmont Hotel on top of a mountain. Paul was a supervisor in the same dining room. Jen and Paul fell in love at first sight, I mean literally. When Jen and I walked into the dining room on our first day after orientation and she gasped when she saw Paul. He took a step back, exhaled, and smiled. It was magical to watch love work so swiftly. The three of us had typically had Thursday nights off and started to go out for dinner in Banff or Canmore. Mostly to try out new restaurants but to get away from work.

I am a romance author. I started writing when I was a young girl in elementary school. I always had a story floating around my mind and would entertain friends with my made-up stories about love. I have faith in love. I believe in love. Love will set us free. I am romantic at heart.

My Friday morning routine after a girls night with Jen has resulted in sleeping in, and I’m good with that. I never let myself sleep in because I do my best writing in the early mornings. I usually wake up at four o’clock to work out and then I settle into the writing. My latest series has taken a life on of its own. Hot single dads trying to maintain their children’s lives, work, and no room for romance, until they meet the woman at the grocery store or garage sale or the kid’s school pick area. Then the sparks fly. I haven’t been able to walk away from the series and when I look at my calendar to see ‘Jen & Carol’s Night” I know there is a break soon.

Jen likes her free night off and if she can take advantage of her husband taking care of the kids, she will go to bed early for that extra hour or two of sleep that she has missed out on for the past five years.

When Jen left I knew it was around nine o’clock I picked up my iPhone to see what time it was and noticed I had a new message on my Instagram author page. It was from a loyal reader, RomanceReader2229, I wondered if that meant there were 2228 other RomanceReader profiles out there on Instagram.

RomanceReader2229 – Carol, I wanted to tell you how much I loved your latest series. I want to know more about Billy, the brother of the couple who got married at the end of the book. Does Billy show up in another book? He is my perfect man, I want to know more. Write faster, please!

I laugh out loud, copy, and paste the message to Jen. She sends me a laughing emoji then a quick message,

JenandPaul: Why do I feel a little Stephen King’s, Misery, lingering around.

CarolK: Don’t even.

JenandPaul: Just be careful.

Carolk: Thak you mom. I will.

I write RoamanceReader2229 a quick note.

CarolK: Thank you for your message. Like a magician, we never give away our secret, but I can say that Billy will show up again. Keep an eye on my social media and website for updates for a pre-order of my new series, Single Dad’s Passion.  Thank you again for your message and for reading my books. Readers are 150% the reason I am successful. Have a good day.

I put my phone down and start to clean up the kitchen. I drink what is left in my wine glass and start to think about Billy, the character RomanceReader2229 asked about. Billy is based on an old boyfriend who I recently connected with by chance. He happened to be visiting his friend in Halifax who owns a restaurant and asked Billy to come in to look at the kitchen to make sure everything was up to speed. Billy is a chef, now living in Colorado. His wife recently passed away from cancer and his five-year-old son was needing a break from the daily check-ins from his grandmother who seemed to be smothering him with far too much poor-you attention. I was walking out of my favourite cafe after a two-hour writing session and Billy and his son were walking in. We both took a step back and looked at each other up and down, then we leaned in for a quick hug.

I’m Kendle. Who are you? I can’t talk to you unless I know you.

Hi Kendle, I’m Carol, I’m an old friend of your dads.

You’re not old. You’re pretty.

Thank you. You’re pretty handsome yourself.

Mommy said I have daddy’s eyes and I’ll be a lady killer when I’m older.

Billy and I laughed.

It’s good to see you Carol.

I ended up sitting with Billy and his son for another hour in the cafe.

My phone made a bing the sound was for my Instagram account. Then Jen called.

Carol are you still home? I just got a message from RomanceReader2229. Jen’s voice was shaky. My spidey senses started to tingle.

*****************

Well, this story could go anywhere. This writing prompt took over quickly. I love the creative process.

Thank you for being there with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

Writing Expectations vs. Reality

The reality of writing is at the forefront these days. I should say the reality of working full-time in hotel life, starting a small scale farm, and writing my next memoir is hitting me in the face on a daily basis.

My intentions are to write every day, especially to work on my next memoir about working in the hospitality industry. I do write morning pages every morning before I start my day. Morning pages: three hand-written pages of whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I will write, I have nothing to write a few times and then creativity shows up and a new idea begins to show up on the page. I will take the time to work on my work in progress after dinners or after we have harvested the microgreens for delivery the next day. My mantra for some time was, everything is a balancing act and sometimes that is true, but I am very aware now that I have to accept the balance is going with the flow. To think more in this moment. At the moment I am sitting outside at our farm stand writing this blog. That is what I call balance. I am present to creativity while I promote and work at the farm. This is my reality. My expectations of sitting in my writing room for hours on end have been swapped for moments in my writing room, or at the kitchen table or here at the farm stand. Write when you can. Take the time provided and write, write, write. Then do the other things that come up as they show up. That is my reality.

What are your writing expectations virus your reality? How to manage your writing life? Do you have tips on how to maintain your writing life? I love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today. Have a fantastic day!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

Did you ever wonder what happens behind the kitchen doors of a luxury hotel dining room? 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.

Amazon | Goodreads

2 Steps To Get Back to The Writing

 

Now that the Blogging through A to Z challenge is over I was aware of how out of touch I was with my work in progress, the next memoir in my hospitality memoir series. The title is yet to be confirmed, I’m still working it out. I know it will come. I’ve put some distractions between me and my WIP, like the blogging challenge, and I’ll be completely honest, I would think about my memoir, I keep thinking how to open the first scene. I am aware that I am thinking too much and not doing enough of the writing.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, shares, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality, referring to creativity. Creativity has chosen me and I need to remind myself of this. So as per Julia’s recommendation, I once had the sign taped to one of my vision boards in my writing room. I will do that same now. I have put up my vision boards I created in Victoria, BC, and brought with me as a reminder of where I was and how many of the items on the boards have come true. Some of my boards are favorite quotes, images of writers, writing. Everything is about creativity if that being writing, cooking, planting, or harvesting microgreens. Everything I do is for creativity.

 

Two Ways to Get Back to the Writing and Keep Writing

There are many workshops, suggestions, lists out there on ways to start writing and keep writing. I have a few suggestions for myself but there are two that help me stay here on the page.

  1. Morning pages: I write three longhand pages each morning between 5:00 am – 5:30 am. This is the start of my day by dumping all the racing thoughts of the ego that need to be let go of. I write about everything and nothing. There are days I will write about the weather or life at the hotel or what I want to cook for dinner. There are times where I write three pages of ideas for a story and I want to continue writing beyond the three pages. Once I start writing I keep writing. If the pen is gliding along the page there is something that will show itself. That is the magic of writing. It allows you to go as deep as you are ready to dive.
  2. Work on your work in progress every day. This one is a bit more challenging for me, but what I was going to write about why I know it is an ego related excuse. What I was going to say was I don’t have time after a day at the hotel life, then come home and do what is needed for the microgreens farm then make dinner and clean up. I surely can review my work in progress and write instead of sitting on the sofa to zone out with Netflix. I have had an on and off relationship with the sofa over the years. There are weeks when I rush to my writing room after dinner, and then somehow the ego slips in and I follow the temptation to the newest Netflix original and the next thing I know is a week has gone by without working on my manuscript. The ego is sneaky. Tell the ego to go in the corner and wait until you get words down on the page. Do whatever it takes to write every day.

I am ready to get back to my work in progress. I am excited to get the words on the page to share with you.

Thank you for being here with me today. Have a great day!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Surving a Blogging Challenge During a Pandemic

Blogging Thorugh A to Z Challenge has come and gone for another year. There were times I wondered if I would make it through the month. My intention was to write all twenty-six blogs prior to the month of April. I knew my theme and with the exception of a few letters, I felt prepared. I wrote 15 blogs before April 1st and was feeling pretty confident. When Covid-19 started to unravel quickly and our province went on lock-down on March 19 I still felt like I was prepared. Writing grounds me and I knew if I was writing I wouldn’t take on the natural stress of the world during a pandemic. This novel virus showed up for a reason and I wasn’t about to let it take over my creative life. Until it did at times. I can’t deny or hide in my bubble and say I wasn’t thinking about the impact Covid-19 was having on our lives.

 

During the Blogging Challenge unlike many Canadia, Americans, the plant that was not working due to Covid-19, I was fortunate to keep working. My full-time job as a manager at a hotel was needed after we laid 95% of our employees. I would now be more on the frontlines than ever and I didn’t mind that one bit. No one was traveling so I knew it wasn’t going to be overly busy, but we were still open for essential workers and anyone that needed a place to stay due to everyday circumstances. Right before the state of emergency was announced our hotel was going through some changes. One of them being a new General Manager. I had applied for the position to say I was interested in staying at the hotel no matter the outcome of the position. I wanted to be part of the very unique resort that the hotel is a part of and every experience I’ve had in my hospitality career has brought me to this hotel for a reason.

 

In-between the changes in the hotel and Covid-19 life, I still had blogs to finish. My them was ‘When I’m Not Writing, I’m Cooking’. I was writing about recipes that my hubby and I enjoy from other authors. I was sharing information about microgreens and writing a recipe for each microgreen we produce. My plan with this year’s challenge was to find the recipes that I am going to put together in a series of cookbooks. Simple, quick, and healthy meals for people on the go. Adam and I both work full-time jobs and run our small scale farm focusing on microgreens at the moment (more produce to come as we grow). The saying, ‘my plate is full’ is an understatement for us at the moment, but I swear it doesn’t feel like work at all. I love the hotel life and I love growing food to nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits and for others who purchase our microgreens. It is fun! Sure there are times where I complain about being tired or the ego wants to sit on the sofa to watch Netflix, But I get up and move forward. No one else is going to harvest the microgreens or write the blog for me.

The last few weekends of April I sat down and finished the blogs. I did not want to quit halfway through. I do not quit on something that I love. I may shift gears from time to time to make compromises, but I don’t give up. Like any book I’ve started to read, I want to see what happens at the end. I want to uncover what creativity has in store for me.

During the week at the hotel, I was leading our small team to keep the hotel running. We were waiting for the GM they hired and offered me to be #2 (the title would be either assistant GM, director of operations). I was happy with this scenario. Then we didn’t hear from the new GM. They stopped responding to emails and texts, it was very odd. I worried about them, I reached out to see how they were. Nothing. Then out of the blue, I received a call from the management company that I have been working with. They were providing me with guidance as I was the acting GM until the new manager arrived. I was offered the position of GM of the hotel and I accepted. I couldn’t stop smiling. I know I have told myself and everyone that I didn’t want to be a GM, I didn’t want the level of responsibility, but deep down I knew I was more than capable of doing the job and told the ego to mess off and here I am during a global pandemic wit so many uncertainties, yet, I feel very grounded with where I am right now. I know there will be times when I will feel overwhelmed or second-guessing myself, but I know like any situation those emotions and feelings will pass. I have learned a lot in the last 25 years in my hospitality career. If I have opened every door of opportunity presented for a reason. To be right here and now.

The one area of my life that I will be focusing on is creativity. I will finish my second memoir and self publish it and the next one and the next one. I have so much to share. Creativity has chosen me for a reason. Hospitality has chosen me for a reason. I am grateful for this amazing journey.

It has been less than two months since Covid-19 has closed down our province and our countries. On my days off I will stay in my bubble and keep on writing. Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

To learn more about my Blogging Through A to Z Challenge, please start with the letter A, right HERE. Thank you.

Yardlong Beans

These beans are actually from the legume family that is closely related to black-eyed peas. Some of the common names include asparagus-bean and string-bean.

Health Benefits of Yard Long Beans
  • The pods contain large quantities of soluble and insoluble fibers. Since the entire green pod is eaten as in green beans, a sufficient amount of dietary fiber is obtained in the diet.
  • Fresh beans contain a good amount of vitamin-C. 100 g yard-long beans provide 31% of vitamin-C.
  • Yard long beans also provide average amounts of minerals such as iron, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium. The body uses manganese as a cofactor for the important antioxidant enzyme.

Quick Garlic Yard Long Bean Recipe

What You Need

  • 2 cups of Yard Long Beans washed and trimmed to 3″ lengths
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

What To Do

  • Heat up wok, add oil. When shimmering, add minced garlic. Fry just for a few seconds until fragrant. You want to make sure that you don’t wait too long before adding the garlic to the oil, otherwise the oil will be too hot and the garlic will burn. Crunchy burnt garlic is no good.
  • Add your long beans, fry in wok for 30 seconds, tossing the garlicky oil all over the beans.
  • Add water, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Cover the wok. Let the beans steam for 5 minutes on medium heat. Check to see if beans are almost tender, but not too soft. If not, re-cover and steam an additional 1 minute. Uncover, let the rest of the liquid evaporate, about an additional minute.

This dish is great on its own or served as a side dish – I like to serve this on the side with a lentil loaf and mashed cauliflower.

Let me know if you get a chance to make this dish, have you cooked yard long beans? Any favorite recipes? I love trying new recipes!

Until Tomorrow, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

Thank you Nutrition and You for the quick tips!

What Foods Start With the Letter U?

There are not too many foods starting with letter U. I have used Ungai in past Blogging Thorugh A to Z challenges and now I am stumped. This post is going to be short and sweet.

Some ideas I had:

  • Unsalted nuts
  • Udon
  • Upside down cake (I know it is a stretch)
  • Umbrella Fruit – this is intriguing so I looked it up.

The Umbrella Fruit comes from a tropical tree and is a citrus fruit with a fibrous pit. It is juicy with a hint of tart acidity. I imagine it tastes like a tangerine.

The umbrella fruit helps boost immunity with its high levels of vitamin C. It helps with suppressing a cough and improving vision as the fruit contains a good amount of vitamin A that helps with vision. Who knew this little fruit could do so much and taste even better! I looked where I could find some umbrella fruit in New Brunswick and when I go for our weekly groceries I will be happy to find this new to me fruit in our local grocery store.

How many foods can you name that start with the letter U? Help, please.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Tomorrow, Keep on Typing…