Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Journey Askew - Get a Plan

Let's get a caveat right up front - I am creative - I am not into charts or schedules or outlines or even plans and this post well it's about - gulp - plans.

Why is it that what you imagine is never what happens? What I dream always has a straight line to the finish with a clear end result and the reality... well that was always slight askew. Not saying that I didn't meet my goals but they were never exactly as I anticipated.

Why? Well as I write this it becomes clear, no defined plan, only a goal. When I was a child I loved to travel - anywhere. As an adult I traveled sporadically, on a whim with no real thought and, yes, no plan. Then I planned, budgeted and really began to travel. Now I travel regularly.

Writing - well I always wrote, sporadically, continually and I got a full-time job which ate into much of that writing time. Then one day I realized that I loved to write but it would never support me. And it was clear, there had never been a plan and as long as that was the case there would be the full-time job. Well you see the never-ending circle. How would writing support me? So I drafted the plan. Then my first novel was published. Then...

Well you see where this is going...

Get a plan!

Sometimes I think for the really important things in life you need a plan. Especially if you want to reach your destination. Of course if you're into surprise well - you're on your own.

Knowing what you know now - would you still fly by the seat of your pants - or would you get a plan!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Touch of Nature

The wood ticks are still happily larking their way through Saskatchewan. So I've resigned myself to concrete travels for now, just a touch of nature. No wading through tall grass or ducking under trees and through shrubs. The wood ticks love that kind of stuff. I was averaging three wood ticks a day after the City Meets Country post. I never did post the record ticks on that journey. It was kind of like counting how many candy in a jar - it was just that many. So my recent journey was confined to the city sidewalks but it really wasn't so bad.

Everything is blooming - finally!

I mean everything - including the dandelions.

Do you know that dandelions originated in Europe? They weren't even native to Canada and now, well now they're everywhere. Kind of pretty in a virulent kind of way. And a sure sign of a spring that's slipping quickly into summer.

Even my characters are feeling the excitement of spring as they demand their stories are told and in a timely manner, thank you very much. Claire is anxious to get her story just right and for not beginning as a very assertive character - she's been totally in my face. I spent alot of time in Cambodia the last few days making sure that Claire's story is exactly like she wants it. She insisted on a few changes. My ears are still ringing from her demands. Fortunately, Claire's happy - and quiet, for now.

What's spring looking like in your bit of the world?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dreams, Life and an Edge

It was a journey made for prime time TV. A journey into someone else's reality, a window into their dream.

The battle of the Davids is over. That's American Idol and yes, I can't help myself, I watched the whole thing. But it's inspirational even if some of the contestants really would be better off as Cabaret singers as Simon so sweetly says. But for someone who can't sing at all, I find all the contestants amazing and all talented, even those that Simon bad mouthed.

But between the two Davids, well I'm glad it was David Cook. Because it really wasn't so much about the singing as the desire to reach a dream and it burned brighter in David C. His passion was intense, edgy and some nights it took your breath away. Every season it's the desire and passion for a dream that reflects so deeply in the contestants that brings me back. It's a weekly reminder. A reminder to peel back the layers of every day life and expose the dream's raw edge and make this life journey that much more vibrant.


“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.”

James Dean

I Couldn't Resist

The tick infestation has settled down and I'm not venturing far from the city, at least for the next little while. Turns out I'm more city than I'd ever admit to before. Don't get me wrong. I still love the country, just in small doses, at least during tick season. And my dog, well he's not even a little country!

So today's journey took me through a downtown mall where I found another author doing a book signing.

I couldn't resist.

I had to stop.

It didn't matter that I'd never heard of him or his book. Here was a fellow human being on the same path, following the same dream. I couldn't not stop.

And what a great discussion we had! I left with that rejuvenated feeling you get when you talk to someone who shares a passion and, of course, his book under my arm. So from one writer to another - happy trails - in ink!

What can't you resist?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

City Meets Country

Today's journey was short, thirty minutes away is the Qu'Appelle Valley. The part of the world that Eva and Tate from "From the Dust" call home. It is windy today but still beautiful with the crystal clear sky that this part of the world is known for.

I may be a city person but my companion is even more so. With a yellow Guess purse in hand she gamely followed me out to the country and a bit of hill climbing.

Unfortunately, while we expected fresh air, sunshine and a commune with nature, we got a little more than we had anticipated.

Spring in Saskatchewan means prairie grass, trees budding under crisp prairie skies, crocuses, gophers and plenty of them and, one other thing - wood ticks. They might be little and barely visible in this picture but they're mighty - mighty annoying! and mighty prolific! For us city dwellers, that was a bit too much. So a beautiful day in the country ended with wind and sunburn and well...

Let's just say the tick eradication program is well under way.

Are you country or city?


Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Slightly Discombobulated Moment

On today's road trip the prairie clouds lay precise and brilliant against a blue prairie sky. They are so perfect they appear almost artificial.

The road always brings interesting moments. Today's moment began with a craving for a denver sandwich. A quick bite at an early hour was about to become a head scratching moment.
The waitress informed me that it was her first day but she was pleasant and quick, as she poured me a cup of coffee and took my order. A few minutes later another waitress returned and asked me if I wanted a denver omelette or sandwich. I told her sandwich and was told I would have to wait fifteen minutes when lunch was served. Anxious to be back on the road I opted for the quicker omelette. When it arrived there were two slices of toast on the side and the omelette, which was really only the filling for the denver sandwich.

I had the makings of the sandwich right in front of me! So, waiting the fifteen minutes meant they would have put the omelette between the toast to make - well, you get the drift!
Instead - I did.

Hmmmm. What a difference fifteen minute makes!

Any strange happenings in your neck of the woods?


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Myanmar You Are Not Forgotten

The tragedy in Burma/Myanmar, is beyond comprehension. Only a few short months ago, I was there. It is impossible to believe what nature has imposed on people who were nothing short of amazing. Friendly, intelligent and ingenious in their ability to work within a restrictive environment. I loved my time there. My heart breaks for those who died and those who struggle to survive.

Myanmar you are in my thoughts every day.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Time Travel With Man's Best Friend

The park was full of them - dogs! Yesterday's walk for the local Humane Society took place around Regina's Wascana Lake. There were dogs everywhere and people and dogs dressed in all sorts of costumes including yours truly and a group of dog-loving friends.

Although we didn't start out with anything but an Hawaiian theme
we did end up with the handle of best tacky tourist.

Yesterday's walk got me thinking about how much Wascana has changed through the years. It is one of North America's largest man-made parks, a depression-era make work project that created a beautiful lake from what was once really just a creek. But before the dirty thirties, before it officially became a lake, people came to swim here. In the years before World War II and even for a time after, it was still a place to go swimming.

Now, it seems only the birds and the occasional dog take a dip.

The park is still beautiful, maybe more so, and there's all sorts of recreation but it's not a beach destination - at least not anymore. And yet - once, it was.

It amazes me the imprint of time, how it changes our lives.

If you could journey back in time, would you?

For me, with a slight hesitation, a resounding yes - just give me a return ticket!

Til next time