Thursday 17 August 2017

How Writing is a lot like Hiking

I did it.

I survived all seven days.

Last week, I hiked the GR20 north in Corsica and it was by far one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. But I'm not going to lie, it was physically grueling, especially on my knees as well as emotionally taxing.

But, it was worth every single -

bead of sweat,
swollen ankle,
sore leg,
chapped lips,
swollen knee,
scraped shin,
sore back,
and sleepless night.

The landscape was breathless of course, but the best part of the trek by far, was sharing it with some of the most wonderful, kindhearted, generous, and inspiring individuals I’ve met in a long time. We were a group of thirteen hikers from all over France, and every single person was amazing in their own light.

During the hike I realized how similar writing can be to hiking. Standing at the base of a huge jagged granite mountain, it seemed impossible to ever reach the top. From where we stood, all the way at the bottom, we couldn't see the path to take, it all seemed so far from reach. But, we put one foot in front of the other, focused on one step at a time, and little by little we started to ascend. We didn't focus on the top, instead we simply focused on the few inches in front of our feet, making sure not to stumble, or trip, and alerted those behind us if there was an unstable rock, or outgrown root in the way.

Eventually, we got into a rhythm that was almost meditative. I started to forget the little things, the weight of my 17 lb pack on my back, the blisters on my feet, my sweat-soaked t-shirt, the person behind me, the person in front of me, I simply focused on securing the next step...and then the next..... until eventually, something amazing happened. I looked up and there we were, all of us at the very top of the mountain I once thought impossible to climb.

It's an amazing feeling and I'm so glad I made it through. It was important for me that my children, my daughter and son, see their mother doing something other than cooking, cleaning, and driving them around town. I needed them to see their mom, a woman, have a dream, plan for it, and succeed.

There is no grater satisfaction. 

In short, writing a book is hard, and sometimes it seems impossible. But, we want to write, we plan for it, and we take it one step at a time, one chapter at a time, one page at a time, one word at a time, until eventually, something amazing happens.... the book is done.

Anyway, I'll let my pictures tell the rest, I'll simply add that it was an incredible journey and I'm already planning the next. And, I'll never forget our guide, Agnès, she was terrific and a wealth of knowledge and I wish everyone many happy trails for the years to come.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Hiking The Blues Away And Hope My Knee Doesn't Crap Out

Ok, so this is really going to happen….. 

In the next couple of days, I’ll be going off to hike in the northern mountains of Corsica. The hike is part of a much longer trail called the GR20. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone though… not exactly anyway. It’ll all depend on my knee.  

Rewind to six months ago…. 

I sign up for a week long trail hike in Corsica. Probably (most likely) my version of a mid-life crisis (thinking I should have bought the sports car…ha!) 

Anyway, end of April rolls around and I tear my ACL in my left knee in an Ultimate game. I was so upset thinking I’d have to abandon my Corsica hike, but…. 

Two months later, my orthopedic surgeons tells me my ACL is only partly torn and when I asked him about possibly doing the GR20 north, he shrugs his shoulders and says, why not? It’d all depend on my physical therapy and recovery…. 

So, fast forward to today, and here I am packing my bag. I never canceled my trip and I've decided to risk doing the hike. I may only last a couple of days, or maybe I'll last longer …. nothing is certain at this point. Hell, I may not come back at all…. I know, I have a penchant for the melodramatic, can’t help it, it’s the writer in me,  ;)  

Should I have postponed my hike until next year? 


But you know what? Next year isn’t promised. Hell, tomorrow isn’t either. 

So why do this at all? Well, I believe experiences make us happy or at least happier. I’ve seen what years of boredom and sitting in front of the tv day in and day out does to people. Heck, I bet most of us know or knew someone like that and they typically end up being paranoid, lonely, grouchy individuals and it rarely ends well for them. But going out and doing new things, traveling, meeting new people, experiencing the 'awe effect', that’s what energizes us and changes us in positive ways. When you think about it, experience adds to the total sum of who we are as individuals.

And as I get older, I find myself looking at life as just a handful of hours given to us at birth. Some of us have lots of hours to spend, while some very few, and others are given only mere seconds. And when you start to look at your life in terms of hours spent, you find yourself wanting to spend less of your time on the trivial and the material, and more time with people and experiences that bring you fulfillment and ultimately that crazy dash of happiness. I read an article that talked about how we are more likely to connect with people we meet on vacations, or parties, or other shared events, than we are with those who just bought the same exact car or iphone…. experience vs material. Makes sense. 

And remember, experience makes us better writers! 

So, from now I’m going to spend more of my hours doing positive things, being around positive people, and hope my knee doesn’t buckle at 8,500 feet.  ;P

Happy Trails All !!

TLDR: Going on a hike, go do stuff, don’t be a dick.

Wednesday 1 February 2017


Despite all my best efforts.... this past January was a bust for me and yet, a lot happened. Why just this past week my reading glasses broke in half, the clutch in my car gave out, got a 1300€ estimate to get it fixed, and my grandmother passed away. 

And it's only Wednesday. 

Tomorrow, I go to a funeral and in a few days it'll be my birthday. *le grand sigh

Last month I was hoping that this post would be full of great progress and stuff.... but...... nope. 

No dice. 

I've been hearing people say lately that in times of great difficulty, get creative. I love this idea and I wish I could get creative, but I just can't seem to get it together. Here's hoping February is a little easier on me that January. 

So, guess who needs a ton of chocolate and a tub of alcohol but can't because she's still on her this-isn't-working diet? 


In any event, I hope your past month rocked the house and I'll leave you with my current sentiment: *takes a sip of imaginary champagne

"In a world that seems to be going backwards, look to those moving forward. May we help them, support them, move with them--be them."  
--me :)

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Blurb Writing Rage

I haven't written a back cover blurb in a long time, and now I remember why. It's like trying to thread chunky yarn through a tiny sewing needle. You know theoretically how it's done, you've even seen other people do it, but no matter how many times you rewrite the damn thing, it all just sucks, your fingers are bleeding, the yarn is in knots, and now you've got writing rage.

Blurb writing rage.

Blurb rage.




I hate yarn.  

Someone get me some scissors. ;)

Thursday 5 January 2017

My Belated IWSG, Wonder Woman, Resolutions, and Congratulations Post

Insecurity getting you down?

There's only one answer to that :


I’m a day late for my IWSG post, and I apologize. Got back from the holidays, which I spent most of it sick in bed, but I’m now, finally, feeling better. This is the second year in a row I’ve spent the holidays with the flu. I think this is my body telling me I’m allergic to holiday cheer. Makes sense. :P

Anyway, I’d like to take this moment to congratulate the winners of the IWSG Anthology contest, BRAVO!! But also congratulate everyone who submitted and who is part of the IWSG Anthology book. It’s not always easy putting ourselves out there so bravo to all of you as well.

January marks the beginning of a new year (duh) and this year I’d like to do something different. In the past I’ve kinda turned my nose to the idea of making a New Years resolution, because lets face it, most of them fizzle out by spring and you end up feeling like crap by the end of the year because, you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do…. But now, I’m thinking that might not be the best way to look at it, because for those who do make new years resolutions, at least, for a few days, weeks, months, they’re setting goals, and doing their best to achieve them, which is far better than not setting any goals at all. So, I’m ignoring my grumpy-ass self, and have decided to make a new years resolution …. Actually, I’ve made a whole page of resolutions (I figured the more I make, the greater the chance I accomplish at least one or two by the end of the year! Ha, see I’m using the ole noodle….:P )

One of my New Years resolutions is to set monthly writing goals. And I’m starting today. My goals for January are to one, post regularly to my blog and two, find a home for my short story. Last year, I wrote a short for an anthology that never made it off the ground, so instead of sitting on it, I’m going to see if I can get it published some where online, find a home for it, if you will. That means, I’m actually going to have to submit my story! EEEEEKKKKK!!! *paper bag, deep breath.

We’ll see what kind of progress I can make by February. *crossing fingers and toes

Ok, that’s I for me today. Hope every one had a great holiday and a wonderful New Year and congratulations again for all you winners of the IWSG contest!!!!!! 


Friday 23 December 2016

Screw The Holidays

At the start of November I felt like.....

Then, about a week later, things kinda came crashing down......

But like everything else, when life gets you down, there's only one thing we can do. Get back up, and just keep going. Keep trying.... bla, bla, bla.....

Screw that. I'm getting drunk for the holidays.

Hope you all have a great end of the year, and a fantastic new one filled with happiness, health, and peace..... and most of all, free from pianos and trains. 

Cheers! ;)

Monday 7 November 2016

The Challenges of NaNoWriMo and Dieting at the Same Time

Because participating in NaNoWriMo isn't crazy AF challenging enough, I've decided in addition, to go back on my restrictive sugar diet. 

How's it going you ask?

Well, let's see......


Wednesday 19 October 2016

French filmmaker Luc Besson Has an Important Message: Sometimes it's Best to Throw Your Writing in the Garbage

I recently read an article on iO9 that talked about Luc Besson's newest passion project, a movie he has waited his whole life to make, and it's scheduled to come out next summer:  Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets.
One of the reasons he has waited so long to make this film, is because the technology he needed to bring the movie to life, wasn't ready. He said it wasn't until the movie Avatar was released, that he realize he could begin working on Valerian. He also mentioned that James Cameron was very open about the making of Avatar and invited Luc to the set during production, which I think is pretty cool. But that's beside the point. The point I'm trying to make is this-- when Luc Besson watched Avatar his reaction wasn't what you'd expect. 

Here's a quote from the article

 “When I [Luc Besson] saw Avatar for the first time, I took the script for Valerian and I threw it into the garbage and I started again,” he said. “Literally, I was depressed. I was happy for the film and him, because I like [Cameron] a lot, but totally depressed. Threw it away. Wait for a month. And then say, ‘Okay, start again.’ So I start again. And I’m happy because it’s better. I was right to throw it away." 

This is an important reminder that no matter how attached we are to our stories, successful writers know when it's time to let it go and they're not afraid to start over. No matter how painful or depressing, Luc Besson didn't give up. He had a dream. He was patient. He was inspired. Then he rewrote the whole damn thing. And from what fans have said after seeing the first footage from this movie at the San Diego Comic-Con, Valerian sounds very promising. But what's more important is that Luc himself is happier with the new script. 

As writers, we sometimes need that same courage, that same drive to do what's necessary to produce the very best. And sometimes that means throwing it all out and starting over. 

Wednesday 5 October 2016

IWSG: Getting my Writing Time Back

This week marks the end of our B&B season. I've waved good bye to our last clients, locked the doors, and let out a big sigh. I'm always a bit sad when the season ends, no more meeting and chatting with interesting people. No more getting up at 6:30am to bring them breakfast, no more washing tons of towels and bed sheets. No more ironing duvet covers, pillow covers, and fitted sheets.... or waiting tirelessly for clients to arrive who are almost always late and never call ahead ....

Yeah, did I say sad?

My bad.

I meant....

and maybe a bit of.....

But what this really means is that I'll be doing a lot more of this >>>>


I hope you all manage to find the time to write, sometimes it comes in waves, for me that means high tide every 6 months. The trick is, making the best of the time you do get for writing. 

Happy writing everyone and see you all soon on the blogosphere!

Thank you to everyone in the IWSG. I'm posting away from home and have limited internet connection, but I'll be visiting everyone when I get back tomorrow! 

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Finished Not Perfect

I posted this on facebook a few days ago but I thought it'd be perfect for today's IWSG post. It's a short video focused more on art and drawing, but the underlying message can be applied to writing, heck to just about anything in life worth doing. If you want to succeed, you have to stick it out to the end, cross the finish line, complete your project. 

And here's the kicker... it doesn't have to be perfect. 

Let's repeat that again.... It doesn't have to be perfect. That part comes later. 

So, for those of you like me who stress over the imperfections to the point we never really get anywhere, here's a wet slap in the face. 

Finished, not Perfect. 

Enjoy and happy IWSG day!

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