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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Well, hello!

 

While I enjoy writing my story, it’s a bit of a curtain, isn’t it? I get to hide behind it, keeping it shut tight while I madly hit the keys.

 

I’ve missed you.

 

It’s been a very big month here at the Hazy homestead. My oldest son has graduated. Wow. I still can’t take that one in. We attended his commencement and it was slightly surreal. We are now the picture that comes with the frame, proud parents standing beside a kid in a cap and gown.

 

Next was Dry Grad. These kids are so spoiled. I don’t know about you, but I never had anything like this. And, I wish I did. Off they went to a dinner dance at a very shhwanky venue. Dressed to the nines in tailored suits and dapper duds, the girls in the glitteriest gowns I’ve ever ogled. Bejeweled to the bejeezus. It was a spectacular thing to witness. Besides the fact that he came through the door at 7:30am. I digress.

 

Then he turned eighteen. Another inconceivable moment in a parent’s life. The kids seem to take it just fine. So yes, he’s eighteen and he will head off into a wild blue yonder called University, where, instead of being a few footsteps or a dinner call away, I will have to take a ferry to see my boy.

 

Father’s Day came and went in a flurry of food and festivities. Barely commentable seeing as life is all about the kids these days. So it took a Father to get them here. Minor detail.

 

My youngest, my girl, is also graduating to the big house. She’s trading in the scissors and glue, silent reading and recess for cramming, crushes and relentless temptation.

 

Yeah, parenting is so easy.

 

 

I’d write about my middle boy but he’s the only one not giving me anxiety right now. Knock on wood, he’s on an even keel and I’m enjoying it while the waters are calm. There have been days in the past where I could be heard begging them to go outside, find a friend, hang out. Now, I find solace in knowing he’s locked himself in his little room, stuffy and hot because he refuses to open the window. He’s here. He’s healthy. He’s home. He’s mine.

 

We did have a kid’s camp thrown in there too. Surrounded by fifty rambunctious thirteen year olds for three of the coldest days I’ve felt since winter, but hey…the kids were awesome. They didn’t try to shave my eyebrows or sharpie my face while I slept, I got to be a good mum and…drum roll please…the camp had a “Stillbucks” where I wrote to my heart’s content. Not too shabby if you ask me.

 

Hey! Is that a happy face in my beer residue? Why yes, I choose to believe it is…

Beer Face 2

Photo untouched, unedited. :)

 

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I want to start by saying that my life is crazy right now. And I’m leaning towards using that as an excuse for my lack of presence. Presence on my page, existence in the blogosphere and a whereabouts with the words I throw around this place. This place that locks my sanity down.

 

But, I can’t.

 

I can’t do that, because, just like everyone else, my life is always crazy. Isn’t that what life is? Unless you’re a character on a page, sketched with an unbreakable status quo, life is eventful. It’s supposed to be. We are kept moving through its cogs, spinning and turning, suspended upside down at times, because we are living. Living and learning. Growing.

 

We practice and perfect. Train and triumph. Realize and rectify.

 

Producing. Developing. Cultivating.

 

It’s why we read books and run marathons, join teams and take tests. Eat Flax and wear lipstick, crave new music and paint our walls. It’s why we hang on.

 

Emerging. Budding. Rising.

 

We don’t climb through mundane. We don’t stretch with a lack of reach. We sit stiffened without attempts to transition.

 

Forever. Farther. Forward.

 

We move.

 

With that, I leave you with my latest Women on Writing Contest Interview and a few photos of my children leading the way to where the wild things bloom as big as their minds allow them room.

 

And, just because Miley has been never been far away throughout raising my kids, I can’t help but also leave you with this…Yes, I’m sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. Glass-bottomed slippers are as slippery as they look

 

2. After several “free” drinks, you will still feel pain

 

3. Walking over fire will not save your soul…s – it will burn them

 

4. “Extra waterproof”my sunburned everything

 

5. Gravol is as much a liar as sunscreen

 

6. When you’re over 21, Pina Coladas make your feet swell up like chubby babies

 

7. All-inclusives only pretend to have the real thing. What they actually have is TP Zero

 

8. You may get shanked for your $20 towel card

 

9. Never bring a friend’s pristine novel on a humid, oil-filled, alcohol infused beach vacation

 

10. It is entirely possible to feel like there’s “nothing to eat” after a few days of 24/7, all you can eat buffet

 

 

I don’t mean to put you off, but you will slip on wet marble floors while wearing gripless flip-flops and alcohol will not make you feel better about this.

 

That bridge is as long as it looks and its brown, glossy paint is scorching. Wear your gripless flip-flops.

 

Rough waters will ruthlessly strip your allegedly waterproof SPF and eradicate any Gravol from your needy system. You will be feeding the fishes digested buffet food faster than you can say mercy.

 

Drinking all day will make your feet swell up like puffer fish and TP Zero is exactly what you think it is. Somehow the simple concept of card equals towel and towel equals card becomes complicated. It might be the fact that each missing card means a $20 charge. Of course at least one must go astray during your stay. This also demonstrates how desperate people are for soft, cushy toilet paper.

 

When a friend lends you a book that’s in mint condition, so much so that you’re questioning whether she’s even read it or not, you should leave it at home or it will definitely look like it’s been read when you hand it back…and dragged along the bottom of the ocean.

 

Why will you stand in front of hundreds of delicacies and feel there is nothing? Because you’ve had all you can eat. You will come home full.

 

While the above may not be the most upbeat of points, I feel they are things you should know. But there’s something else. Something more important. There’s no proof of the unfavorable. No photos. No videos and in a few years time, no memory of those of minor details.

11. All you will be left with is a fantastic family vacation. There’s a vast difference between what you should know and what you need to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am thrilled to host a fellow writer today who has been, not only a steady flowing fountain of furtherment, but a creative character with a reliable routine. Her name is Francis Guenette and she is, by George, a Canadian Author Extraordinaire.

Francis Guenette

Please meet Francis Guenette

Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. Francis’ second novel, The Light Never Lies, can be found HERE and her blog, Disappearing In Plain Sight, can be enjoyed through this LINK. She also hosts a facebook page, so please do drop by and say hello!

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The Light Never Lies by Francis Guenette

A Little Teaser for The Light Never Lies:

As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.

Francis Guenette works tirelessly to get her work into public view, a sometimes daunting task for us introverted writers. But, as you can see, she has been more than successful in stepping beyond that stigma and letting it go.

Guenette's book in her local supermarket

Guenette’s book in her local supermarket

An tiny Guenette enthusiast

A tiny Guenette enthusiast

Francis is currently running in a blog tour and I am one of the lucky stops. She is offering two trade paperback copies of The Light Never Lies, mailed right to the lucky winners door. One copy goes to the blog host who garners the most engagement with his or her post on Francis, and one to a commenter whose name will be drawn from a communal commenter hat compiled from all across the tour.

 

She has written a post especially for my blog, so I’m excited for you to read it below and share your thoughts…

 

Let the Story Go

I am thankful for this opportunity to appear on Hazy’s blog. As my second novel, The Light Never Lies, makes its inaugural way out into the world, I decided to focus my guest post on the fear we writers have when we must put our work into the realm of the reader. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

I often write with the radio playing in the background. Now and then something grabs my attention. The other day a few words jumped out and I jotted them down on a scrap of paper. No matter what you’re trying to create – if you’re not scared you’re not really doing it.

This message is a bitter pill for a writer. We must face our fears about letting the story go. We must send our work out into the world where people will judge and horrors of all horrors, maybe not even understand what we’re trying to say – a scary prospect, indeed.

There is no way around this dilemma. If we want to write a story that means anything, other people will have to read it. French philosopher, Paul Ricoeur wrote extensively about the art of interpreting written text. He tells us that the act of fixing anything in writing is the beginning of that story’s journey away from the meanings the author may have intended. The story is freed from the one who created it and enters the field of interpretation – the land of readers.

There is a vital reason why writers must let their stories go. You see, my fellow quaking with fear writers, stories matter. As human beings, we have a driving urge to tell and understand stories. It is our way of making sense of the world. Telling a story lets us drag the threads of our life backward in reflection and forward as we construct new ways of interacting with one another and our world. Each story becomes a bell echoing out past the storyteller.

Here is a call to action, my friends – as the Bard would say, screw your courage to the sticking post and put those stories out there. Cut the apron strings, I say. Let the readers do their job of interpretation through the lens of their own unique experience. In this way, our words will bounce away, leading others to thoughts, places and insights we could never have imagined.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Francis’ post today and that you’ll show her the support she needs to continue weaving stories that entertain our hearts and souls. After all…

If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.

~ Peter Handke

 

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I give my utmost hats off to travel writers. While traveling lends an appreciable amount of material, writing during traveling is not for the weak fingered. The already challenging task of sitting down to plunk one word in front of another tends to be strained by jet lag, bewilderment, distraction, preoccupation and a broken status quo. The strength to string sentences is somewhat suspended by mayhem and marvel.

 

Though, you think about it. All the time. You’re stunned by scenery and envisioned with views, you’re floored by feasts and enamored with elegance. Conversations and connections sizzle your senses. You want to nail it. All of it.

 

And, you are absolutely frozen by the enormity of the task.

 

The pressure of capturing it all with the swoop of a pen is enough to bring the ink to a boil, but making it right, doing it justice and being fair to your hopeful audience are all part and parcel of the job.

 

Thank God I’m not a travel writer. I’m just a writer who likes to travel. Lucky me.

 

I get to write when and if I feel like it. I type only when I believe I’m up for the challenge. I’m allowed to sit one out if I don’t think I’m going to make the cut. Most would say I have it easy and I’d have to agree.

 

Especially when I get to come home to kids like this…

Best Kids Ever

Best Kids Ever

 

 

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This is where our journey started!

Well, we got here. And fairly unscathed, I might add. Apart from the fifty security checks, the twenty-mile hike at Heathrow from terminal three to terminal one and the nasty border guard that stood between us and our escape from that behemoth barracuda of an airport.

 

All worth it though, because we’re free! And we’re having a great time.

 

Last night ended up being a little too great though. As I mentioned, my husband is here on business so after my long walk I was ready to hunker down for the night while he attended a Hewlett Packard dinner.

 

I was relaxed and ready for bed when up popped a late, unexpected text to meet them at a pub. Okay, so our arms are made of rubber. But let’s remember for next time, more than one glass of Pinot Grigio, jet lag and no food for forty-eight hours do not bode well the morning after. Not well at all.

Looked so pretty at the time

Looked so pretty at the time

 

So, this is what we’re doing tonight.

Dublin Dinner

 

Terribly tame and remarkably less potential for danger.

 

Fortunately, we managed to salvage what could have been a wasted day and went out walking for hours. We wandered the streets of Dublin meandering through beautiful parks and quaint shops. We even came across this gem of talent. My video skills are not the best and the sound doesn’t do him justice, but this guy’s voice made me stop in my tracks.

 

 

The only thing that might have enhanced today’s experience? A size three in those lovely little boots I found. But, there’s always tomorrow…

 

I’ll leave you with a few pics to enjoy:

The lounge in our hotel where we're hoping to sit and write tomorrow

The lounge in our hotel where we’re hoping to sit and write tomorrow

My hubby on a quick stop in St. Stephen's Green

A quick stop in St. Stephen’s Green

Mmm, Gelato

Mmm, Gelato

Cool Eddies

Cool Eddies

Love Indian food and this entrance

Love Indian food and this entrance

Dublin Ivy

Lovely lights

Lovely lights

Dublin National Concert Hall

Dublin National Concert Hall

Flushed with pink

Flushed with pink

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Exciting news, folks. I hope you have your seat belts fastened, because not only is this the first time I’ve typed and posted a blog from my phone, but I’ve also decided to take you with me.

You are now on an all expenses paid trip to Dublin and the United Kingdom.

You get to sit here at Gate D65 and keep me company for the next hour, which is nice because I’m not used to traveling alone.

Don’t worry, we had an incredibly easy check-in with only one (long) wrong turn (I told you to wear your glasses!), but we still managed to get here with way too much time to spare.

We’re chilling at a bistro table and considering writing more on Helena but we’re a little too nervous excited to settle in. We’re not really looking forward to getting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 at Heathrow, the monster of all airports, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes.

20140426-170444.jpg

20140426-170755.jpg

When we first arrived at our gate it was eerily quiet. So much so, that we almost wanted to ask what time the airport closes for fear we were about to be locked in. But now there’s plenty of people watching to do and enough distraction to keep us from our real writing. We will write when we’re folded into our 2x3x2 seat, right?

Anyway – we’re through security, boarding passes in hand and soon we’ll be flying high.

Thanks for agreeing to come along. It means a lot.

See you soon, kids! (Our seats aren’t together)

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