Friday, May 18, 2012

By The Sea

I'm on a little excursion this weekend. I've been wanting to visit my Mom, who lives in Chemainus, for ages, and things kept getting in the way. Now that I'm feeling better (yay antibiotics!) and had a free weekend, I hopped in my truck and headed to the coast.

There's nothing I like better than getting to the ocean. I really miss it. Yes, Kelowna has a beautiful lake, but it's just not the same. The waves, the smell of seaweed, the marine life.....bliss! So, I left a day early and snuck into the Beach Club Resort in Parksville for a night. I've never stayed here before, and I was pleasantly surprised. The rooms are lovely, with little balconies looking right onto the beach. There's a boardwalk that goes forever, and when the tide is out (like this morning), you can walk for miles. It's a great place to get inspired and, for me, do some writing. I'm working on a new story idea, and I must say, sitting on the deck looking out at the sea is sure helping in the creative department!

Here's some pics for you!

                                             the ferry leaving Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver
                                              the beautiful beach

                                                    Beach Club Resort

                                                      view from my balcony
                                                     view this morning, with the tide out

Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. Happy Victoria Day!!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Doctors and Fevers and Chills, Oh My....

If you read my previous post about being sick, you'll be interested to know that I Am. Still. Sick.
The doctors don't think I've contracted pneumonia, however my body and my research on the internet (which is enough to scare the pants off anyone, do you agree?) tells me differently. So today, I'm off to see Doctor #3. Considering I can hardly pull myself off the couch, this should be interesting. I've never seen my kids so eager to leave for school/work, as they listen to my convulsive hacking with alarmed glances.

I've never been one to whine about my health. I don't believe it benefits me to harp on about this or that pain or illness. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and have been dealing with it for five years. I have a 'soldier on' mentality, and tend to just deal. So forgive me my self-indulgent whining in this post.

Anyhoo, as my brain capacity is at a bit of a low point, (my daughter asked me how I was doing with life these days, and I honestly couldn't think of an answer. All I know is YUK.) my blog posts have fallen to the wayside. But have no fear, faithful readers! (and if you are one, thank you! I owe you chocolate :) I am giving you a little Instragram update for your viewing pleasure. Hope you enjoy my rather inept attempts at photography.

                                                 pensive Victoria
                                                     Shasta, close
                                                possibly my all time fave of Shasta! She's smiling!
                                          the spectacular view (and wine!) from Mission Hill Winery
                                             Kelowna during a thunderstorm
                                              photo credit, Hunter
                                             3 pretty martinis!
                                             a tree decorated for Easter I spotted while out on a run.

                                              A Dome in Rome!

Happy Monday!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

The War of Art

I have a new favourite book these days. It's called The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. He starts out the book with this statement:

'Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.'

He goes on to explain the concept of Resistance as the force that keeps us living in the mediocre - the treadmill we never use, the career we never pursued, the passion we never followed. He defines Resistance as the thing that prevents us from achieving the life God intended for us.
It keeps us from our calling.

Otherwise knows as Fear.

As a writer, this is all too familiar. Anyone I've met who is pursuing their creativity struggles with it. When I was in Banff for the Writing With Style Series, this subject came up a lot. Here we were, artists surrounded by a nurturing, supportive environment. And yet when we were faced with reading our work in front of everyone else, we all felt the same. Scared silly.

Pressfield writes: 'Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five. In other words, fear doesn't go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.'

When I was writing the first draft of my first novel, I entered this battle every morning at my desk. Resistance was strong, urging me to give up. Fear had a tight grip around my throat. They whispered in my ear, 'Who do you think you are? As if you could ever write a book. Why don't you just check facebook, or watch a movie.' And every day, for six months, I fought, and just wrote. It was an amazing feeling, to stare Resistance in the face and win.

When I started my second novel, I figured I'd have it easy. I'd already battled, and won. The words would flow, the confidence would surge.

Surprise, surprise, Resistance was there again, ready and willing to go to battle once more. I wilted in it's presence, and backed away. Surely I couldn't still be struggling with the same old fears? Hadn't I learned anything?

That's why The War of Art is so great. It's a lovely kick-in-the-pants, get-off-your-ass and be professional about this, kind of message that I think many artists need to hear. Stop looking at what you do as 'special' and 'intuitive' (even though it is) and treat it like a job. Expect that fear will be lurking around every corner, and that every day will be a battle. And with that knowledge, don't ever let Resistance win. Be a warrior in your life, and amazing things will happen.

Next week, I'll delve into Pressfield's chapter on 'Turning Pro.' Lots of good stuff there.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sickness and Other Stuff

It's been just over a week since I've been home from the Banff Writer's Workshop Workshop on Steroids. Last week, I gave myself permission to relax, process, and recover. I didn't have any expectations on my writing, exercising, or cooking. This week, however, I planned to re-enter life with a whiz-bang. Resume my running schedule, cook some healthy meals, and crack at my WIP with renewed gusto.

The best laid plans....

I got sick. My oldest son, Jordan, acquired pneumonia while I was away, and my younger son, Hunter, got a mini-me version. So, sure enough, Monday morning I get hit with the sick stick and now I'm on the couch, shivering, coughing and generally feeling sorry for myself. No running, which is kind of driving me nuts. No cooking....well, I'm not too broken up about that one. I got my daughter, Victoria, to bring home won ton soup from work last night. Super yummy!

As for writing? What better opportunity, than to be relegated to the couch all day? There's only so many episodes of The Walking Dead I can watch before I turn into a zombie. The books I'm reading aren't really doing it for me. So, time to open that sucker up and get some words down. I'm struggling with setting in a major way with this novel, and I'm still not sure how I will fix it. But I'm going to keep plugging away, and trust that it will sort itself out.

Hope you all have a great week!