Thursday, June 08, 2006



Today at my Memoirs group we discussed the topic "Recipes for Success." There were only three of us today but the topic generated some interesting thoughts.

Margaret told of an incident she experienced yesterday when she had been on an outing to the Sunshine Coast. On the bus returning to the city, the bus was crowded with some rowdy kids with skate-boards. One of them was using a lot of foul language which she found distatesful and disrepectful. Rather than directly confront the young man though, she used an ingenious method of diplomacy to draw attention to his potty mouth language, which began with a discussion with his companion about their skateboards. In the end, her diplomacy and tact really had a positive impact on the kid. He stopped swearing and was quiet the rest of the way home, no doubt thinking over what she had said to him once she's got his attention with questions about his skate-boarding, which was that if his mother had been on the bus she'd be quite embarassed about the way he was behaving. Diplomacy and tact were Margaret's recipes for success.

MJ, who has just returned from six months in London Eng, said she thought 'teamwork' was necessary for success. She read about her adventurous jaunt to France and Italy (by car) with her friend and how together they managed to find their way and figure out directions even though they didn't speak the language.

My recipe for success would be 'discipline' and 'determination' -- to stay focused on the goal and not give up when the going gets tough. I hope I can use this 'recipe' to finish work on my novel this summer as well as some of the other tasks I have in mind to do. If you keep putting things off, they never get done. It's better to just launch into it and do it. DO IT!

I'm such a great procrastinator and waste a lot of precious time dawdling or doodling around instead of doing what I should be. But this week I set about trying to get a few of these tasks finished, such as planting my balcony garden, cleaning my balcony, washing windows. I intended to carry on today but alas, it was pouring rain so instead I spent my afternoon browsing the shops uptown. Tomorrow I have various errands to run but I am hoping the weather will clear again so I can finish the gardening and move on to another task -- such as refinishing the coffee wagon table and painting my telephone shelf. I can only do it when the weather is nice enough to have the bird outside because of the toxic fumes. Then, there's the job of getting back to my writing. I have been thinking about it all day today but was unable to spend any time working on it, but I must do something before Sunday because then my guest arrives from Germany and it will be three weeks of adventures and visiting. One thing though, Patrick likes to roam about town on his own, so I have no excuse no to work on my novel while he's out and away.
And I'm sure the days we plan to spend in the Interior and on the Island will be inspiring to me too.

What are your recipes for success?

Monday, June 05, 2006


JUNE 5, Monday.

OKay, Sam has tagged me to participate in this meme about 'six strange things about me".
This is the beginning of my new year and in looking back I guess I have certain idiosyncresies
that I take for granted. Yes, I know, even years ago people would said "You're weird, Wynn!" So that's me. Weird.

It started this morning:
1. Sometimes I'm absent minded and this morning I caught myself slathering hair gel on my face instead of face cream. Duh!

2. I whistle and hum a lot -- all the time. When I walk, I whistle/hum and sometimes walk with my hands behind my back and my head down. I inherited this trait from my Dad. Sometimes people turn into their Moms. I have in some respects, but mostly I've turned into my Dad. I hum and walk head-down, with my hands behind my back while I meditate.

3. If you heard me talk to my bird (my cockatiel Cheeky) you'd think I was nuts. I have a strange birdie baby-talk I use with him. And I constantly chatter to him. No wonder he's so vocal and chatty himself. He's away at the bird sitters this weekend and I still find myself talking out loud as if he's here. "Where's my little birdie-wirdie?" and silly stuff like that.

4. I usually have a set routine every morning when I get up: go to the toilet, rinse my face off with cold water, brush teeth, turn on computer and radio, dress, make bed, put coffee on. If I digress from my routine (forget to make the bed, for instance) I'm discombobulated the rest of the morning.

5. I usually always follow the exact same path when I go to the Drive for errands or shopping. I could walk it with my eyes closed. I do the same routines on the Drive too -- always walk up on the same side of the street and back on the opposite side for part way, then cross over. I do my errands and stop at the Calabria coffee shop. There's other coffee shops but I'm a creature of habit and I like the Calabria best. I always order either a latte but more likely an iced tea. And often I order a Franks Special or House Special sandwich. (Heaven forbid if I ever asked for pizza instead!) When I am in Athens, Greece, I also follow the same routes all the time and in my mind I can imagine them each step of the way, every broken piece of pavement, every place where someone has parked their motor-bike on the sidewalk. I can walk those paths blind-folded.

6. I also have a set routine (except when it's pouring rain) when I got uptown for my Thurs. morning Memoir group, afterwards I walk back up the side street to exactly the same cross-street, go over to Robson, the main street, always walk up the same side of the street til I get to the hot-dog vendors. Order a Smokie with fried onions on which I put mustard and saurkraut, get a can of iced tea and walk over to the Art Gallery benches to sit and eat my lunch. After our stretch of cold wet weather I couldn't find my usual hot-dog vendor. So for a couple of weeks I didn't follow this routine, which bothered me. Last week I found him, on the opposite side of the street. So I got the smokie and iced tea and felt like I was back on track again! (though I'm still a bit perturbed that he's changed his location!)

Well, there's six kind of 'strange' things about me. I guess we all get stuck in our ways the older we get. And as I just celebrated my birthday (one of the Big Ones -- yikes!) I feel I'm entitled to my little weirdnesses.

And on a final note: How come when the rule is "I before E except after C" the word "Weird" has those two letters switched around. And how come I just noticed this?

OK, that's I'm tagging Di, Deb, Scott and Gabriele
Go for it, you weirdos!

Friday, June 02, 2006



Tomorrow afternoon my writer's group and I are off to Mayne Island for one of our bi-annual retreats. I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a special weekend because it's my birthday and on Saturday night we're having a Gemini birthday party.

I've been celebrating Gemini birthdays for a number of years now -- probably since at least '78. It's always a gala occasion and anyone who is a Gemini is invited to join in the fun along with other friends. I've had parties on the beach, at home (often theme parties), in Greece we had a weiner roast (or 'boil' as we couldn't have a fire) up on Filopappou Hill and once at the Pynx.
This one has a theme: come as your alter ego or twin in literature or poetry (character or author.) I toyed with the idea of Peter Pan but don't have any green duds. Marilyn Monroe would be my alter-ego but I don't have a slinky sexy dress or blonde wig. So I'm going as Jack Kerouac, the literary hero of my youth. ( I always wanted to write like him.) We have to take readings along to introduce our character.

There will be party games and writer's exercises and all the usual party treats, treat bags, balloons, and other fun stuff. I'm hoping to find a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game.

As well, we always go on special hikes (I hope the rain stops!) and do all sorts of interesting and fun things related to writing. It's always a highlight of our year when we go to Mayne so we're looking forward to it. It's disappointing though that none of the new members are joining us so we'll be a small group this time. It's the one thing that makes our group unique -- the retreats -- so it's kind of a let-down when the new members don't participate. Maybe next time!