Archive for Writing Posts

published in Beauty, Dreams/Goals, Gratitude, Inspiration, Writing by Maryanne | June 19, 2018 | No Comment

Mill Bay Bonanza – Writer’s Paradise Found

 

The view out my front door in Mill Bay

“Each life needs its own quiet place.”

– Melody Beattie

Well, I sure hit the jackpot on this rental! 

Wowsa woo…I have landed in a writer’s paradise, my friends. My temporary home in the retirement community (50+ so I just squeaked in!) of Arbutus Ridge in Mill Bay is not only beautiful, it is beyond quiet. Hooray!

Mill Bay is 40 minutes north of Victoria, BC (on Vancouver Island).

I suspect I am one of the younger residents and that suits me & Sadie just fine for a summer of writing.

My backyard backs onto the 7th hole of the golf course:

We arrived on Friday morning and within 30 seconds of getting out of the car, Sadie vanished from the back yard…gone. I raced around, calling her name and wondering where the heck a senior retriever could have disappeared to – so fast. Silly me. A moment later, Sadie saunters back into the yard – from the golf course, of course – stolen golf ball in mouth. Proud as a peacock, she drops the ball at my feet. Oh boy.

 

Sadie not nearly as impressed with her stuffie as a golf ball

On a happier note, there is a pool in the Village Centre!

I am thankful to be able to stay here for three & a half months – which is a record for me, of late 🙂

How is your summer shaping up? 

I will be focusing on getting some larger writing projects finished over the summer, so you may not hear from me as often. But I will whip up a WWOW blog every now & then.

Take care, stay safe and have a wonderful summer!

“Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.”

– Rumi

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is 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. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Creativity, Dreams/Goals, Gratitude, Inspiration, Travel, Writing by Maryanne | March 14, 2018 | 2 Comments

Sedona Unplugged

 

“The person who knows you the best is you. We have eyes that watch ourselves. We know what we want. You need courage not to turn away from that.”

– Ilchi Lee, The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart

Howdy! 

Oh my goodness…I am SO flippin’ grateful to be seeing such breathtaking beauty on this road trip. What a planet!

After leaving Yuma, my GPS took me a bit of an odd way to Sedona and I ended up in the Sonoran Desert. Check out the size of these cacti (when they are this big, they’re likely hundreds of years old):

Cacti in Sonoran Desert

Seeing the red rocks of Sedona for the first time really DID take my breath away. I had never been to Sedona before and wasn’t entirely convinced it could possibly be as beautiful as they say. It was. I think I left my heart there.

The gate at my sweet casita

Our casita rental was perfect…clean, cozy, extremely quiet and high up in the mountains so there wasn’t much in the way of cell phone service or wifi. HOORAY! I needed to unplug for a few days…no texts, no e-mails and very little social media. When I went into town (to get to the different trail heads), I would quickly post some photos on social media but other than that, the break away from the damn phone and e-mail was very much needed.

While in Sedona, I focused on some bigger writing projects and did plenty of hiking. WOW! Here are some photos from Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte:

 

 

 

I came home from a hike one day and got chatting with the woman, Sue, who lived in the home behind my casita. She invited me for a drink so I went over, hummus & crackers in hand. We talked like we’d known each other for years – and then went back to our respective routines. I suspect that is how it goes in Sedona.

Of course, Sedona is also believed to be a vortex meditation site…places of power in the red rocks that enhance prayer, contemplation and reflection for people of all faiths. A vortex, I learned, is an area of enhanced energy that is thought to provide inspiration and well-being.

There are several well-known vortexes in Sedona, such as Boynton Canyon (which I got to hike on a blue sky day!):

 

Whatever the heck is going on, energy-wise, in Sedona I tapped into it big-time.

From a writing perspective, I stopped being so adamant about finishing one project before working on another, which is really scary! But in Sedona, I felt the need to relax a little and allow myself to work on the project that was calling to me that day versus forcing myself to finish what needed finishing.

Sure enough, my creativity soared…and I had insights in one project that sparked insights on another. The combination of unplugging from technology for a few days and allowing myself to write for the sheer joy of writing, (instead of writing to get the damn thing done) seemed to unplug whatever it was that had got stuck…the old synapses were certainly firing in Sedona.

And then, on the day I went hiking at Boynton, the parking lot was full so I asked an old-timer where I could park. He suggested (a tad grumpily) that I park in “RV only” area. So I was just about to pull away when he reached into his pocket and pulled out a heart-shaped red rock and handed it to me.

“This is for you,” he said. “A gift from Mother Nature…unconditional love and magic.”

I smiled, thanked him and took the rock. Magic was just the word I needed to hear for the writing project I’d been working on that morning. I suspect that sort of thing also happens quite a bit in spiritual Sedona.

Because it was too hot most days to leave Sadie in the car, I left her at the casita when I went hiking. But don’t feel too badly for her, this was the scenery on our morning walks around the ‘hood:

On our last day, the weather shifted back to the more seasonal norm and it was cool enough to take her with me on a hike. This is a great shot of Sadie…she matches red earth!

Then we left Sedona and headed to Tusuyan to see the Grand Canyon…I shall save for those photos for next week.

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!

“Even when it comes to our own problems, there are many times when we say, “I don’t know,” and fool ourselves. Because when we acknowledge we know something, we have to act on it, so we tell ourselves we don’t.”

– Ilchi Lee, The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart

If you are just joining us on our Bohemian Writing Road Trip Adventure & would like to do a little catch-up reading 🙂 here are my previous blogs:

She Packed Up Her Potential…

Write On – Writing What We Know May Help Teach Us What We Need to Learn

On the Road…But Nearly Not

Surprise! Greetings from Newport

Is That a Dipstick in Your Pocket – Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Dipstick Theme Continues – Don’t Get Excited

Hunkered Down in Hollywood

Celebrating 50 in Style

California Chillin’ (Sorta) in San Diego

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is 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. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

 

 

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Change, Inspiration, Travel, Writing by Maryanne | January 17, 2018 | 15 Comments

On the Road…But Nearly Not

 

MA & Sadie, on the road to Washington State

“When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favour.”

– From The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

And we’re off!

Sadie and I set off from Victoria, BC on our 3-month writing road trip through the Western U.S. on Fri Jan 12th. I even cleaned out my CRV (a.k.a. “The Dogmobile”) for the journey!

I must confess it was a bit difficult to leave our cozy little feathered nest in Cordova Bay, BC (near Victoria) where my amazing friends, Dave & Heather and their three girls, Taylor, Paige and Ella (and Jadie the black lab and Eddie and Sam, the sparring cats), had ever-so-kindly put up with me and Sadie for the past three months. We LOVED staying with them and are extremely grateful 🙂

Sadie and Eddie the cat snuggled up in bed, Cordova Bay, BC

But a new adventure was awaiting, so leave we did…and made it as far as the US border at White Rock.

The conversation with the officer (the second one – inside the building…gulp) from Homeland Security went a little like this:

HIM: How long will you be in the United States?

ME: Three months.

HIM: How do I know you will return to Canada in three months?

ME: Because…uh, I like Canada.

HIM: Can you provide me with written confirmation of any obligations – work, house, family, etc – that indicate you will, in fact, be returning to Canada in April?

ME: Uh…like what?

HIM: Ma’am…I believe I just told you what I’m looking for.

ME: But I sold my house, my stuff is in storage, I’m single, no kids and I don’t have a job to return to.

(which is when it occurred to me that being a gypsy does have it’s drawbacks)

HIM (sighs): Okay, Ma’am…then are you able to provide me with any proof of where you will be staying during your three months in the States and when you will be leaving?

ME (pulling out my cell phone): “Why, yes I can!”

(which is when I realized that being an organized, planning gypsy is perhaps a good thing after all)

I proceeded to scroll through my “Travel 2018” file and flash him multiple confirmations of where I would be staying and when, including a reservation in early April near the US/Canada border. And while I was proudly showing him all sorts of reservation confirmations, I came across an e-mail (from myself to a VRBO owner) that said, clear as day: “I am a writer from Canada who will be on a 3-month writing road trip with my dog…”

ME: “Look what I found!”

I showed him the e-mail. He looked at me a moment then starting filling out a piece of paper.

I held my breath. He typed something into the computer. Then he hands me the piece of paper.

HIM: Here’s what we’re going to do…

So the long and short of it is: I have until Apr 11th to return to Canada.

ME: THANK YOU!!!

Then I took my piece of paper and passport, jumped in the CRV and Sadie and I hightailed it out of there before they could change their minds.

Our first stop was the Olympic Club Hotel (another fabulous McMenamins Property) in Centralia, WA. A century ago, it was a Gentleman’s Club.

Breakfast in a brothel

Then we headed on to Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast…and hit sunshine!

Cannon Beach

 

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

 

Sadie outside our adorable “Sunflower Cottage” (300 square feet)

We are staying here for a week. The project I’m working on is the “Bungalow by the Sea” play script (formerly “The Neighbours”), which is kinda perfect – except it’s too quiet here. Kidding!

A delightful place to write

“No project is completed until its objective has been achieved.” 

– From The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Sunset at Cannon Beach…wow!

Next stop: Newport, Oregon

Till then, take care and have a great couple of weeks…and I shall do the same.

“Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

– From The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is 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. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life