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 Christmas, Photos by Maryanne | December 19, 2017 | 14 Comments

House Rules for a Happy Holiday 🙂

 

Rule #1: Chillax

My great niece, Rosie Mary Grace, at the baby spa in Australia 🙂

 

Rule #2: Hang out with friends

Rosie & her baby buddies at the spa

 

Rule #3: Don’t party too hard

My great nephew, Liam, recovering from a run-in with the coffee table 🙁

 

Rule #4: Nap lots

Eddie the cat all cozy on my bed in Victoria, BC

 

Rule #5: Nap anywhere

Baby Rosie taking a wee nap in Oz

 

Rule #6: Ask for a second helping

Jadie and her dinner bowl…hoping for more

 

Rule #7: Enjoy nature (regardless of the weather)

Jadie & Sadie in the SNOW at Cordova Bay, near Victoria, BC

 

Rule #8: Be a good sport

Me & my Dadio a few years ago…I miss him!

 

Happy Holidays and all the very best to you & yours in 2018!!

MA at the Last Chance Christmas Gift Show in Sidney, BC

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