Tag Archives: Alive Again

The Joys Of Writing

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The Joys Of Writing

As a child and also as a teenager I enjoyed writing poetry. That came to a grinding halt when I got married and had children. I had no time for writing anymore.

Flash ahead two decades and I enrolled in a creative writing class at Red River College in Winnipeg. “Write about what you know.” This is what our instructor advised.

When I was studying for my counseling certification, I was introduced to the concept of journaling. This correlated really well with what I had learned in the creative writing class.

Journaling became a part of my daily routine. It also was a major influence in my decision to write my first book, When Glad Becomes Sad, which was published back in 2009.

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That was also the year my marriage ended. My ex got custody of the computer we had shared and I bought a new laptop. Sadly my journals were never transferred to my laptop along with numerous other files. I was so upset and angry about this that I stopped journaling altogether.

Until December of 2013. I was living in Guadalajara and two of my housemates were computer gurus. One was also a web developer and he introduced me to the world of blogging.

I began publishing posts and also got back to daily journaling. And in 2015 my second book, Alive Again, was published.

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Next I decided to try my hand at writing fiction, a huge change from the two self-help books I had published previously.

At first I had a blast creating characters and devising scenarios. I had an outline and I believed my plot and sequence were solid.

But the more I wrote, the more complicated it all became. On occasion the frustration would overcome the fun, and my work in progress would be set aside.

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Yes that has been my experience for a while now. But…..the other day my characters once again began speaking to me!

Maybe there’s hope for publishing a third book.

Who Am I?

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Who Am I?

I’ll be honest. I’m still trying to find myself. Yes, I know that this expression is decades old. But so am I, and I still crave adventure and who knows what else. I have been so many different people throughout the years. Baby to child to teenager to adult to wife to mother to name just a few. Babysitter to bookkeeper to manager to business owner to counselor to social worker to motivational consultant to teacher to writer to fitness instructor to name just a few. But who am I really?

Many followers of my blog know me personally. However there are others from around the world who read my posts and have never met me in person. So this post is dedicated to you. Here is a glimpse of who I am as I travel through this journey of life in an attempt to find myself.

My name is Karen and I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Winnipeg is the capital city of the province and is smack dab in the middle of the prairies. It is infamous for the brutal winters and has justly earned the nickname of “Winterpeg.” Other than a brief few years in Oak Bluff, Manitoba I lived in Winnipeg all my life until November of 2010.

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I still vividly recall the day I left. First stop was Grace Hospital to say goodbye to my daughter, who was a nurse there at the time. From there my son took me to the airport where another tearful goodbye transpired. I was on my way to my first ESL teaching job in Mexico. I had never been apart from my children for more than a couple of weeks at a time, and this was going to be a ten month separation. I cried all the way to Minneapolis and my first layover on the journey to Culiacan. And I must admit that I am still tearful as I don’t see my children often enough. I love them, I am so very proud of all their accomplishments and I miss them terribly. But we are all adults and we all have our own lives to lead. 

I returned to Winnipeg in July of 2011 and halfheartedly began looking around for a job and a place to live. I also had legal issues to deal with as my divorce decree was nowhere in sight although the marriage had ended in January of 2009. And then I received the phone call.

Are you interested in coming back to Mexico? We have a job opening in our private school here in Irapuato. Really? Hmmmm, teaching in Mexico was to be a one year plan. But the Skype interview went well and a couple of weeks later I was on my way back to Mexico.

It is now February of 2018. And I have retired from teaching. I’m into my third year here in Mazatlan after a few years in Guadalajara. I have also discovered a new summer home in Leavenworth, Washington where I lead an active life including a fair amount of volunteer work. Yes, summer home. Mazatlan is far too hot in the summer.

I have published two self-help books. “When Glad Becomes Sad” deals with depression and anxiety. “Alive Again” deals with separation and divorce. I am currently working on a book of fiction and enjoying writing it immensely. I have contributed articles to books published by other authors, and hope to publish more of my own poems and short stories in the future.

When I’m not writing, my favorite pastime here in Mexico is attending music and dance performances. I enjoy traveling and meeting new people. I belong to a Red Hat group and I play Hand and Foot regularly. I spend hours walking along the malecon. I love the ocean. That is what influenced my decision to leave Guadalajara. I like to watch movies and am hopelessly addicted to Candy Crush. I also take hundreds of pictures with my smart phone. And I have more recently begun volunteering at a Christian mission. And as an aside to my friends in Leavenworth, yes I am still coloring.

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I am forever indebted to former Tlaquepaque housemates Omar and Sean who encouraged me to begin writing a blog on WordPress. And I am flattered that so many people take the time to read my posts. And I now have the time to read other writers’ blogs.

Now that I am retired, my focus will be on my writing, especially my current work in progress.  I have no idea what my next post will be about. I hadn’t anticipated this one until the words began to flow. So we’ll all be in suspense until the next one.

Second Week In The Peg

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Second Week In The Peg

After a relaxing weekend,  the pace picked up. Monday meant two medical appointments.

And then it was cinco de mayo. My second book, Alive Again, was launched at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Since I’ve been away from Winnipeg for so long, and I knew that several of my close friends were not able to attend, I was most gratified by the turnout. Sales are going well in Winnipeg and on the internet which is also encouraging. But I am determined that my next book will be fiction. Two self-help books are more than enough for this writer.

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I moved in to my son Kyle’s that night after the book launch. I was exhausted and basically vegged on Wednesday. On Thursday Laura and I went out computer shopping and then enjoyed a delicious lunch at Fionn MacCalls. I spent a lovely day with Donna and Eleanor on Friday. A highlight was going to the Conservatory at Assiniboine Park.

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I spent the night at Donna’s and in the morning we went to some local craft sales. Then Glenda picked me up and we had a great visit over lunch at Montana’s.

Now I’m back at Kyle’s and catching up on my writing. I can’t believe that the time has flown by so quickly. Hard to imagine that two weeks ago at this time I was sitting in the airport in Puerto Vallarta awaiting a flight.

Back In The Peg

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Back In The Peg

It’s Sunday and I’m back in Winnipeg, or Winterpeg as it’s so commonly called. Only this time there is no snow on the ground. And the temperature climbed to a balmy 20 degrees Celsius, almost as high as our night-time lows in Mexico.

My flights back to Canada were uneventful and actually quite enjoyable. On the flight from Puerto Vallarta to Calgary, my seatmate turned out to be a man from Guadalajara who didn’t speak English. I was pleased that I got to practice my Spanish and was able to help him with the customs forms.

I had a six hour wait in Calgary for my next flight and drank way too much coffee in an attempt to stay awake. I also ran the batteries down on my iPhone, my Blackberry and my laptop. But the flight took off promptly on schedule despite the need to deice the plane. Yes, Canada is not quite as warm as Mexico.

Inside the terminal, my bag was one of the first to come down the chute. David was there to meet me and we headed to Tim Hortons for breakfast. 

Breakfast was yummy but very different from my usual at Jahanve in Tlaquepaque.

I’m staying with my friends Donna and Loris now. It has been so great catching up on everything. As an added bonus, their granddaughter Ella was here. When I left for Mexico she was an infant. Now she walks and talks and just turned two!

Tomorrow all my appointments start and this will be a hectic week. Doctors, dentist, financial planner……….that’s what happens when I stay away for such a long period of time.

Of course the highlight is my book launch next week, and I look forward to seeing old friends as well as new at this event.

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