Archive for Travel Posts

The Simple Yet Sacred Act of Showing Up

 

Menu in the Farmer’s Market, The Grove, LA

“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”

― Sukhraj S. Dhillon

Wowsa…what a wonderful week I had in Los Angeles! I was reminded, yet again, of the importance of simply SHOWING UP…and then letting the magic unfold.

“Most of life is showing up. You do the best you can, which varies from day to day.”

– Regina Brett

Nina & Maryanne, lunch at Nordstroms

I went to LA to meet my friend, Nina – who is the granddaughter of the Canadian-born silent screen star, Nell Shipman. As you may know, I have been working on a screenplay about Nell for quite a few years now. Nina has been very supportive in encouraging me to take the time needed to ensure the God’s Country project becomes…well, what it is capable of becoming!

And it is getting there 😊

Nina and I chose early August to meet in LA because it was her grandson, Charlie’s, 3rd birthday. And what a party it was!

Lani (Nina’s daughter) and her son, Charlie

You just never know who you’re going to meet beside a bouncy castle…especially in La La Land.

Marian & Nina, Los Angeles

“Without the kindness of strangers, where would we be?”

– Jill Johnson

As an example, Nina and I were sitting at a picnic table, catching up, when a woman by the name of Marian introduced herself. She was Lani & Charlie’s neighbour. We got chatting and I mentioned that I would be passing through LA again in March on my 3-month writing road trip with my dog, Sadie.

She tilted her head to one side. “What days will you be here?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Not sure…sometime in early March, I’m guessing.”

“Well,” she said, “if you can plan it so that you’re here for the two weeks I am out of town, you can stay at my place.”

For free.

YAHOO!

And…THANK YOU!!

After all the cake, cupcakes and pizza had been consumed, I waddled back to my hotel for a nap. When I met up with the family again for an evening BBQ, Nina handed me a piece of paper with a name written on it.

“That’s the name of a production and distribution company that specializes in Canadian film and television co-productions,” she said. “After you left, I got talking to a friend of Lani’s and she said you need to give them a call.”

WOOHOO!

A few days later, I had an excellent phone meeting with a representative from the company. Not sure what will sprout from that discussion…but several seeds were certainly planted.

Stunning view from Jean-Pierre’s lovely home in the Hollywood Hills

In between all the fun activities – a scrumptious lunch at the home of a charming costume designer (a dear friend of Nina’s from her acting days) high up in the Hollywood Hills, delicious dinners, scrumptious breakfasts at The Grove’s Farmer’s Market, a movie, a musical, a train trip to Santa Monica and much walking about my LA neighbourhood – I still managed to get a TON of writing done!

God’s Country screenplay on MA’s laptop

Although I had been disappointed in myself that I wasn’t completely finished the next draft of the screenplays associated with the God’s Country project before meeting Nina in LA, I soon realized that working on the scripts IN Los Angeles was extremely beneficial. For Nell’s mischevious story-telling spirit came through in spades! Each and every time I showed up at my laptop for a writing session, a creative new insight popped to the surface.

“Work with all your heart, because if you show up for your work day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough to burst right into bloom.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear

On breaks from writing, I would soak up the sun and have a delightful dip in the hotel pool. Oddly enough, not once did another person show up at the pool when I was there!

And get this…while I was in LA, another writing project “came through.” By that, I mean, snippets of a story that needs to be written (by me, apparently) kept coming popping into my mind. In this case, it was for a play about the days leading up to Marilyn Monroe’s death.

I had been reading about the recent sale of Marilyn’s home in Brentwood (where she passed away) and the story-wheels started turning. I would wake up in the middle of the night with vivid clarity on how the stage needed to look, who the three characters needed to be and what the key plot points were. So, ever the dutiful scribe, I jotted down detailed notes and then went back to bed.

Perhaps when I am back in LA in March, I will have time to work on that project. You’ll have to get in line, Marilyn 🙂

Nell Shipman, Virginia Woolf (Saviour play script) and Emile du Chatelet (Falling screenplay) are all ahead of you in the writing line-up!

And on that note (re my strange connection with strong historical female figures), you may find next week’s blog of interest…it is about CHANNELING!

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

– Woody Allen

Sunset in Santa Monica, CA

Links to Related Blogs

Introducing God’s Country

Sitting by the Pool Popping Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

Put It Out There – Whatever “It” Is For You

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Activity, Beauty, Inspiration, Travel by Maryanne | August 1, 2017 | 2 Comments

Oregon Road Trip – Headache Free!

 

MA on early morning ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, WA

“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.”

– Walt Whitman

Hallo and Happy Summer!

How is your summer going? Fantastic, I hope 🙂

I had a fabulous road trip to Oregon last week for a friend’s 50th birthday party near Portland. On the way, I stayed a night at Seaside on the Oregon Coast and then headed inland to the delightful McMenamin’s Edgefield property (just East of Portland) for two nights. No cluster migraines this time…hooray!

Here are a few photos from my trip:

Baby swallows in their nest, waiting for Momma to return with breakfast

 

Morning fishermen at Seaside, Oregon

 

Happy to be at the beach, Seaside Oregon

 

Seaside, OR

 

Oregon coastline

 

Garden at Ruby’s Spa, McMenamin’s Edgefield, Portland, OR

 

Japanese garden at McMenamin’s

 

Some of the gang wandering the grounds at McMenamin’s – the birthday girl, Ellen, is second from the right

 

Pretty spot for lunch on the way home, Washington Peninsula

 

Have a great week!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

The Question That Took Me to Chicago

 

MA having her first slice of Chicago deep dish pizza, WINx Chicago, Apr 2017

“What if there was no secret but there was a question? Not just any question…Life’s Most Powerful Question: What’s Important Now?”

– Brian R. Willis, Winning Mind Training Inc.

What’s Important Now?

The question, “What’s Important Now?,” can serve as a guide to help us prioritize the choices and decisions we are faced with every day. It is a question that can help us overcome life’s challenges, obstacles and road blocks.

Brian Willis first heard about the question (represented by the acronym W.I.N.) while reading the book Winning Every Day by the famous college football coach Lou Holtz. Coach Holtz used to remind his players at Notre Dame to ask themselves this important question throughout the day.

“There is a powerful lesson to be learned from ‘Coach’ for all of us,” explains Willis. “Every day during our personal and professional lives we are faced with a number of critical choices and decisions. Our responses to those choices, the decisions we make, have a lasting impact on our health, our relationships, our careers and our finances.”

In order for us to achieve excellence in our lives, Brian suggests we ask ourselves this simple, but powerful question throughout every day – What’s Important Now?

Why?

Because the simple act of stopping to ask this question causes us to briefly pause while our mind imagines the impact of the choices we have and almost immediately brings to mind the most desirable choice.

“When I say most desirable I do not mean the choice that will give us the most immediate gratification,” Willis explains. “I mean the choice that will have the most positive impact for us in our lives, based on the foreseeable future. This one powerful question allows us to prioritize decisions, choices, actions, and events in our personal and professional lives.”

The reason “What’s Important Now?” is such a powerful question is that it is about both the present and the future.

Brian Willis is a mentor of mine – and a good friend. Interestingly, our paths crossed before we did. Brian was a Calgary police officer who trained my husband, John, when he was in recruit class. After John’s death, Brian and his lovely wife, Lynda, became strong supporters of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund…and of me, personally.

Brian first introduced me to the “What’s Important Now?” question more than a decade ago. And the older I get, the more often I find myself utilizing it as a powerful tool throughout my day.

Brian recommends we ask ourselves this question 35 to 40 times throughout our day – and I suspect I am probably getting pretty close to doing just that.

Why? Because it works like a charm to help keep me on track with what is REALLY important in any given moment or situation.

For more information about What’s Important Now, please visit the W.I.N. website. And I highly recommend signing up to receive Brian’s weekly blog via e-mail.

Which brings me to Chicago…

When Brian and his colleague, Roy Bethge of the Virtus Group, asked me to be one of nine speakers at WINx Chicago 2017 in late April – a TEDx Talks style event for growth and advancement of the law enforcement profession – I immediately said yes.

Our presentations could only be 18 minutes in length…which was a real challenge! But I did it. We ALL did 🙂

And the experience of being part of WINx 2017 was amazing. It was an opportunity of a lifetime…and I am so glad I had the courage to embrace it.

All of the talks were filmed and will be shown on You Tube. Here is the link to the 2016 WINx talks.

And since I was in the Windy City anyway…

For those of you know me personally, this won’t surprise you in the least – but since I was in Chicago for work anyway, I figured I might as well extend my visit a few days to see the sights. Lynda Willis joined me and we had a blast, roaring around the streets of Chicago!

Here are a few pics from the fun portion of the program:

Unbelievably decadent Chicago-mix Garrett popcorn…cheddar cheese & caramel!

 

Looking up at the Willis Tower, Chicago

 

“The Bean” in Millennium Park

 

One of “The Faces” in Millennium Park

 

MA & Lynda on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, Chicago

 

One view from the Willis Tower, Chicago…skyscrapers galore!

 

MA & Lynda standing not so steady on the glass shelf, 103 floors up, Willis Tower, Chicago

Back on solid ground, here we are outside the theatre where we saw the Hamilton musical. OMG…it was incredible!!

Meanwhile back at the ranch…or the country kennel, as the case may be, Sadie was NOT impressed with her overly cozy canine companion!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.