Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Workshop: WRITIING FROM LIFE Oct. 10 in White Rock, BC

Writing from Life involves exploring your family stories, past experiences, knowledge, skills and interests for germs for fiction, non fiction, poetry and memoir.

Writing from Life involves rooting out the resonant themes in your life to use in all kinds of writing projects for adults or children.

Writing from Life involves digging deep for details than can be incorporated into stories, poems, and non fiction work.

Writing from Life allows you to create bigger stories from small incidents and believable characters from elements of the people you know.

Writing From Life involves understanding the demands of fiction, memoir, biography, poetry and non fiction, and learning how to adapt the germs you've identified for one - or more - of the genres.

Writing From Life allows you to benefit from your writing peers' insights, experiences and interests.

Writing From Life is a dynamic full-day workshop that involves listmaking, brainstorming, in-class writing and discussion for new and experienced writers.

Writing From Life
Saturday, October 10, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.White Rock Library, 15342 Buena Vista, White Rock $79.00 includes lunch.

Registration info here.
Or call 604.535.1601 or email

Presented by the Surrey Writers' School. Co-sponsored by the White Rock Library.
Just Imagine....

NOTE: All students attending this course receive a free copy of 101-and more-Writing Exercises to Get You Started & Keep You Going by workshop instructor Lois Peterson. (Value $19.95)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

BC Unchained - Day Three

Williams Lake - Barkerville - Wells - Quesnel

Coffee on the road at the only place we saw between WL & Quesnel, with only one other customer eating breakfast, leaving his idea of his 'hybrid' outside.

Loved the miles of farmland before the Quesnel turn off to Barkerville, then the long hour driving between trees, past Wells - after a quick stop at the Quesnel Farmer's market for carrots, crabapple jelly and antipasto, and to hear a song or two from the young fiddler performing between stalls of baking, wood carving, jewelry, and produce.

Didn't expect to love Barkerville (too touristy) but it's been so carefully preserved, and the place was not overrun. And you can get a real sense of history on these dusty streets, with long grass and weeds between some buildings. We found lots to photograph, and a place to eat a reasonable lunch on a table set with doilies and dry flowers.

Barkerville, BC

Wandered through colourful Wells in the blazing heat, then headed back to Quesnel, signed in at the Talisman Motel, and walked along the riverside path into town, past the restored bilding that once housed the Hudson Bay Company trading post.
Then back to our room for a picnic supper, and the novelty of surfing the 83 channel TV - finding nothing at all to watch.
(Doug said I was not to admit it, but I will. No decaf on offer at the Fort Alexandra cafe, so he grabbed one at Timmy's on the highway at Quesnel - our only lapse today.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

BC Unchained - Day Two

Coffee Shops, bear cubs and capris

I guess farmer’s markets are the epitome of buying local. Although all I could find at the Lillooet one today was a very comfy pair of capris ($5!), the perfect traveling pants. I was in search of fresh carrots, but there was only one produce stall with bunches of basil and flowers - and no carrots.

Look interesting? But best avoided.

Not a Starbucks or Timmy’s in town (can that be possible? – what a relief…) the first coffee shop we visited is not to be recommended, despite its quaint appearance and promise of being an Internet café. The café was grubby and unkempt (had the floor been swept all summer?). But after a visit to the Ma Murray exhibit in the museum, we found The Garden Patch coffee shop, hiding right behind the Lillooet Museum. Nice coffee, fresh decaf, and the best sausage rolls I’ve eaten in years - and the place was humming, always a good sign.
We enjoyed our picnic lunch and an hour’s doze in the balmy breezes at Green Lake, in yet another change of topography after the vertical scenery around Lillooet and the barren cliffs – an environment that seem to feel most like home to me – overlooking the Fraser.

And how different is the Cariboo range land around Williams Lake, compared to that near 100-Mile house! I’m constantly awed by the variations in geographic landscapes you can travel through in just two days!

We found a room at the recently-renovated Lakeshore Motel at Williams Lake – flowers everywhere, a grassy place outside our room with a view of the lake. And this is definitely an independent. (We can’t be sure we can say the same of last night’s Mile Zero Motel… but it was the best we could come up with.)

Downtown William's Lake very quiet on a Friday evening, and not far from the local malls, few restaurants in sight. But someone on the street recommended Karen's on 2nd. Avenue where we had a gpod supper for two for under $30... and the side vegetable was stuffed zuccini - not a favourite of some diners, according to the staff conversation going on in the kitchen - but they get points for trying something different.

Today’s wildlife count – a young black bear clambering out of a stream somewhere on highway 97 near Pavilion and one deer in the Cariboo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BC Unchained - Day One

DAY ONE: Mountains, mushrooms and malls...

Mountains are everywhere in BC, and on every side as we traveled 650 km from White Rock to Lillooet.

We had a picnic lunch at Murrin Lake Park where we found a fungi straight out of a children's storybook, and watched a man flyfishing alone in the middle of the lake.

We then carried on along the much-improved Sea to Sky Highway - other than an unexpected 1km stretch between just north of Porteau Cove which is still a bumpy single lane that reminded me of a long-ago hair raising-drive along the old highway on a dark, rainy night with a screaming baby in the back of the car.

Highway 99 at Squamish longs to be the Langley Bypass it seems - now lined with Canadian Tire, Subway, Walmart - all the usual suspects... a far cry from the small town that I first saw in the 70s - where a square dance group were performing in an empty parking lot on what was then the main drag.

Bald-headed eagle or turkey vulture? You decide. This taken from the Tantalus Viewpoint.

In Pemberton, I took a pic of the art centre - to celebrate the fact that in Surrey today my dear friend Barb Gould is being recognized as the 2009 Cultural Treasure for all her work for the arts community. Wish I could have been there at the celebratory shin-dig, but she promises pics. So this one's for her,to show how the arts thrive in all parts of the province.

No sign in town of my '70s friend Dave, who in those days lived in a teepee in the middle of meadow just outside town, but we loved the ride along the newly-paved Old Duffy Lake Road, where, until it begins its rise to the sky, travles between meadows where horses graze between old barns.
So to bed in Lillooet at the end of Day One. In the Mile Zero motel - to which we returned after a Greek supper at Dina's restaurant and a walk through town, watching the glowing golden twilight set on the ragged hills across the river.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BC Unchained... liftoff minus one day

Just as soon as the clothes are packed and the fridge cleaned out and the bikes brought up from the underground parking and the balcony plants watered and moved out of the sun and I remember how to remotely leave a message on my work phone that I won't be back for two weeks and I've saved the files I need to take to my laptop and my to-do list has been checked once, then again and we've had good night's sleep... we're off.

On a long-overdue break.

Traveling around the province unchained - no chain hotels/motels/restaurants/grocery stores if we can help it - just shopping and sleeping and dining local as much as we can.

Can it be done?

Check back from time to time and you'll find out. I'll be blogging every day that we can get a wifi connection, and maybe posting a pic or two.

Right now I have to go and put out the garbage and find a tube of toothpaste... and a map.