Archive for Writing Posts

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

published in Change, Collaboration, Creativity, Dreams/Goals, Playwriting, Writing by Maryanne | December 6, 2017 | 4 Comments

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

 

MA writing in Anacortes, WA

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

– Anais Nin

Greetings from Victoria!

My apologies for not getting a blog written last week. I was on Orcas Island (San Juan Islands) in Washington state and the power kept going out. And when the power was on, I was madly writing The Neighbours play script – now tentatively titled Bungalow by the Sea.

The good news: I made tremendous headway on the play over the past two weeks – thanks in huge part to Lynne Karey-McKenna, an actress and director who is helping me develop the script. Lynne also has a background in psychology, which is turning out to be rather handy.

Lynne reading script

Getting the key scenes in place has been relatively straightforward since the play is based on my real-life experience of living next door to noisy neighbours on a busy street. There’s no shortage of comedic scenarios to draw from…blaring music, spectacular arguments, boa constrictors in the shed, bandsaws, an old fridge in the yard, power washers, raging bonfires, leaf blowers, nail guns, rats in the crawlspace (mine), trucks roaring by, etc.

The sound tech is going to LOVE producing this play when the time comes!

The not-so-good news is that trying to determine the main character’s (“Josie”) motivation for putting up with the noise and madness for seven years has been a little…uncomfortable, shall we say.

For who in their right mind would STAY – when they don’t have to?

It’s a good question…one this particular playwright is in the midst of trying to answer.

I am (obviously) a firm believer in the old adage: “Write what you know.” I like this advice not because it’s easier to write what we know – but rather because writing what we know has tremendous potential to teach us what we need to learn…if we can get out of our own way.

But writing, of course, isn’t the only way to explore potentially useful lessons that may be hiding in a difficult life experience…or, perhaps more importantly, our response to that experience.

MA & Lynne by fire at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island

Working with Lynne on Bungalow by the Sea is helping me do just that – kicking, screaming and arguing all the way, of course…rather like my former neighbours. But there have been an awful lot of laughs, as well…for good ol’ “Josie” is quite the nutty character herself 😉

As for life on the road?

Ahhh…plenty of valuable lessons being offered up here, as well. As an example, I am learning (whether I like it or not), to be flexible. This has never been a strength of mine.

I am a planner…I like things to go according to plan. I love order. I need to be organized.

Hah! All of this has now officially flown out the window of my jam-packed CRV.

For as a friend recently asked (in a kind way): “Uhhh…isn’t the point of a Bohemian adventure to NOT plan every detail and just go with the flow?”

In theory, yes. In practice, this micro-manager has some adjusting to do.

Here are a few more photos from my travels over the past couple of weeks:

Lovely shot of dusk at Eastsound on Orcas Island

 

Waterfall on the way to Mt Constitution, Orcas Island

Great shot of Sadie & her pal, Monte, in Anacortes, WA

 

Wow…poor old Garfield didn’t fare so well after Sadie & Monte got a hold of him 🙁

 

My writing assistant slacking off by the fire…again!

A note about WWOW…

So that I can focus on my road trip and bigger writing projects over the next few months, I will be sending out a WWOW blog every second Wednesday, instead of every Wednesday.

See…look at me learning to be flexible 😊

Related blogs by Maryanne

It’s Never Too Late to Revise – Lessons in Creative Collaboration

It’s Never Too Late to Revise – Part 2

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 Childfree, Home, Inspiration, Travel, Writing by Maryanne | October 16, 2017 | 12 Comments

She Packed Up Her Potential…

 

 

“She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things…her heart glowed with a degree of happy assurance.”

– Anon

All our bags (and boxes) are packed…we’re ready to go

Have you ever come across a quote that resonates with you so strongly, you just KNOW it’s going to impact your life in some way? That’s what happened with me with the above quote – it was on a fridge magnet. I found it at a shop in Sidney in the spring, a few weeks before the developer came knocking at my door.

 

Sadie supervising the packing process as only a Retriever can 🙂

It’s been a busy couple of months, purging items and getting the house all packed up. But I’m on the homestretch now…the movers come on Oct 19th. All my worldly belongings are going into storage and Sadie and I are hitting the road on a writing adventure for at least 6 months, possibly longer. It depends on how much we like the bohemian life and, of course, what the universe offers up in terms of new digs.

As for my “cute pair of shoes,” these are they:

 

 

Yup, that’s right…PINK GAZELLE runners by Adidas! I found them in Nordstrom’s when I was in Los Angeles in the summer. I don’t think the salespeople had ever seen a customer so excited about a pair of runners before 🙂

And this is our road trip vehicle:

 

 

I wish! I created this little blue bus prototype over the summer for my brother, George, and his wife, Donna. They actually have a converted school bus (for road trips) that they painted blue, so I thought they might appreciate some decorating suggestions. Hah!

Take care and stay tuned. I will be blogging about our gypsy adventures.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

When Opportunity Knocks on the Door – Literally

Why Pink Gazelle

The Simple Yet Sacred Act of Showing Up

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