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Showing posts from February, 2004
Chicago, That Marvelous Town

Hangin with the fam right now in the Windy City.

Sorry I have been lax in writing but my days are getting away with me.

We are gearing up for our own invented holiday - Vint Day.

My parents decided when we were young that they didn't want to put pressure on us for Christmases or Easters or Thanksgivings and so they invented Vint Day, Februrary 29th, once every four years, when all of us have to get together. We can miss birthdays and the anniversary but not Vint Day. It's like all of those things wrapped up in one.

I have been explaining this to people my entire life. Many find it quite cool. Others look confused. I think it's great.

The older I get and the more spread out we all are, Vint Day becomes truly what my parents envisioned. A time for us to just be together, even though we live miles apart.

And so, I will write again although I can't guarantee that it will be before the end of the festivities.

Be original. If I've learned anyt…
I've been moved today in two different ways. I'll start at the very beginning (*sing* a very good place to start)

Saying Goodbye

I was at the funeral of my dear Great Aunt Florence today. She died last week of some kidney complications at the age of 74. It was very sudden since she only went in for an ultrasound to find out why she had the stomach flu.

Though I have probably only been in her company a dozen times in my life, I have always admired her gentle, kind disposition.

You know those people who's smiles light up the room? They have that sparkle in their eye, as though they were meant to listen intently to your story and make you feel like you're the most important person in the room.

This was my Aunt Florence.

She was married to Uncle Tom, who was my dad's father Grandpa Wilmer's only brother.

I was very affected when my Grandpa Wilmer died. My sisters and I had spent a week with him at his new house in Port Hope. He had dropped us off at my parents'…
A Friday Night of Work

Well, I had too much fun last night in Toronto with some friends and now - after sleeping in and napping - I will be sitting in front of my computer to complete the writing I was supposed to have finished today. Thank goodness for self imposed deadlines.

I have one final piece for Mosaic Minds - it's half done anyway so I forsee myself actually finishing it before dinner. That would be good.

I get to hang out in Chicago with my parents all week - so much fun. D and I will be taking the train - 10 hours - so I hope to get a lot of reading and writing completed. I need to pack myself a travel-work kit for the train. I love the prospect of 10 hours to just sit somewhere and complete projects and tasks I have been waiting to do.

Will be blogging from there next week.

A bit boring today so I'll sign off and get to work.

A for Effort

Since we've been home, D and I have had a lot of time on our hands. We haven't been at work regularly and the work we were doing wasn't by any means stressful so we always had energy at the end of the day to do more work if we wanted to.

I've enjoyed getting my writing career on track. I feel like I'm getting into the zone and figuring stuff out, simply because I have the energy all day to do it. I have written more in the last two months - mostly for Mosaic Minds - and my editing skills from long ago are all coming back to me.

So, when I saw this opportunity to take a free online writing course, I figured why not? It's more a fiction writing class, which I don't have any direct experience in and thought I should try it out.

It seems I haven't really changed all that much since university because I missed the deadline on the first assignment. Doh. I've been so busy with all the writing and editing for Mosaic Minds, the days go away from …
Wedding Bells

No, not for me silly!

By my good buddy J finally got the courage up to ask his lovely girlfriend L of many years to be his wife forever. Not sure why she said yes - ha ha - but I am very happy for them!!

I am also very happy that I figure I can get to this wedding - I missed two important ones last year - as it's set for October 2005.

Guys - congrats again. Can't wait to hear all the romantic details.


*********

On another selfish note - what do you think of the background? I just was experimenting but not sure if the yellow is too 'in your face'?
Countdown

One month today, I will be in England.

I will be jetlagged but I will be there.

I confirmed today with my friend from Leeds that we could crash at her place for the first week we are there. She's all for it - and sent me a reminder that a big work 'do' will be in the works because everyone is excited to see me.

Excited to see me? I was banking on the fact that most people forgot who I was!

I'm getting a little anxious. I'm not sure who that person was who left their life over a year ago, lived out of a backpack for months at a time and made the committment to do it all over again.

It's like I've kinda lost my confidence. Once you get into your comfort zone again, I think it's easy to slip back into your 'comfort zone' ways. I'm a bit scared to think I can't remember what I missed about Canada because it's all become day to day now.

I hope I have done everything I wanted to in this break back here.

But listen to me, there is…
On the Road Again

Back on hiatus for the weekend. Not sure when I'll be near a computer.

Left my cute little town today. Always sad to go.

At least it's not goodbye yet. I think it might be even harder this time.
Chicks Rule

It really doesn't matter how much time passes, the friends you have had the longest are the ones that know you best.

I have a funky little unit of chick high school friends that - in a word - ROCK!

We got together last night. And it always feels so great to have adult relationships with them. Everyone's lives are going in different directions - one is pregnant, one just bought a house, one is in school.

It makes for great conversations but there's no competing. We all support each other and are genuinely interested in what everyone has to say.

I have made some great friends in this past year away and I do hope that I will keep them as long as girls I have now.

But there will always be something special about the long timers. I will always work hard to make sure these friendships stay intact.
The other day I met some new ladies at a dinner thing I went to with my friend.

It was the first time that it just rolled off my tounge.

After chit chat about what all these ladies did, the question I have dreaded and hated since I left Toronto:

"So A, what do you do?"

Since last year's epiphany, I have always hated to be defined by 'what I do'. It is, however, a common and honest question but one that still makes my skin crawl a bit and I have to stop my judgemental frustration from creeping up the back of my spine and out the top of my red-haired head.

"I'm a travel writer."

And just like that, I was born.

I haven't actually said it out loud. I've talked about "trying to" or "thinking of" but I haven't really actually yet defined myself as a freelance writer.

To the new people I met last year, I was always a former journalist turned communications turned taking-a-year-off-to-travel-Europe.

The the old people that kn…
Same Old Story

I had the best of intentions this morning. I was going to get up early and go to the gym.

I got up around 9 - which is not too bad considering I was up working until 1:30 and I have this thing about 8 hours sleep - and started to get ready.

I decided I might as well throw in the load of laundry I had brought to my friend's house. You know, the satisfaction of checking things off your list.

It was only when I went to look for my workout outfit that I realized I'd thrown a wrench in my plan.

I am now washing my workout outfit.

And so keep your fingers crossed that something won't come up this afternoon that will make me bail on getting fit.

******

Mastering the Craft

Mosaic Minds stuff is coming along. Had a great editor on the first major piece I wrote, which was quite helpful. Took in her suggestions and I think the piece is a much stronger one.

The editing process made me realize I have a recurring writing habit.

I tend to write all the pieces but mix up the …
Communicate, Communicate

I cringe when I watch people have a miscommunication.

I have always been a talker and so when I see the lines of communication broken down so easily, it really irritates me. I have trouble understanding how and why people are not talking to work through their problems.

There has been a miscommunication. It really has nothing to do with me. I really should just stay out of it. But my gift for gab is pushing me on to try and help resolve a situation I see WILL be resolved by talking.

At the same time, I think there is too much talking or more correctly too many people talking.

When two people have a breakdown in communication, the best way to fix that is to let the two people have a conversation. The more middle wo/men you have, the more likely you are to have more miscommunication.

And so I'm torn in that I foresee how easily the miscommunication could be cleared up. But I also see there are already enough people trying to bring the communication back togeth…
Weekend Off

First, thanks to everyone who has sent me nice inspriational emails. I'm sorry I haven't had time to respond but there has been a bit of chaos in my life this week and haven't been close to a computer.

Before you feel too bad for me *wink*, let me just say that everything is fine and no one is sick or dead.

D and I will be 'shifting spaces' so to speak for the next couple weeks in order to help give some family members some space.

The point of my cryptic writing is to say that I won't be near a computer with access until Monday so I won't be writing here - or able to access Mosaic Minds stuff until then as well - (for all you Mosaic Minds ladies who are reading:) - although I will be doing a lot of writing since I'm back to loving the pencil and pad:))

My positive sister made a great point - it kinda feels like we're travelling all over again - thanks kiddo.;)

Have a great weekend.
BABIES!!!

MY BEST FRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL IS PREGNANT!!! I am so excited. I think I could have only been more excited if my sister called to say she was pregnant.

I am SO HAPPY for her. I can't wait to see her. I was already being an annoying mom figure - "eat more broccolli, drink red wine - the French say so!!"

Only one thing made me sad - I won't be here to see cutie pie being born. I wasn't there for her wedding and now, another milestone missed.

What's next? Retirement? Well, let's hope I will have stopped touring the world and settled down by that time to see her through another milestone.

But never mind - I have to get there as soon as possible!! next week even!!!

E and D - congrats so much. Can't wait to see you!!!

Still Writing and the Weekend Jaunt

Had a great weekend in the city again. Walking down the club district streets to my friend's house I get so much inspiration for writing. And then, as usual, I get to the computer and it all goe…