Tag Archives: When Glad Becomes Sad

The Joys Of Writing

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.


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.



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.

Image result for cartoon images of writer's block when your imaginary friends stop speaking to you

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?

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.


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.


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.

The Ocean The Moon And Chocolate


I was walking through Centro this morning on my way home from school and decided to treat myself to a donut at Croissants Alfredo. It’s not a Tim Horton’s Boston Creme, but it was a tasty sugar donut and still warm from the oven. I then parked myself on a bench and observed the people around me.

On a blanket sat a group of inflatable penguins, guarded by an old man in a baseball cap, cigarette dangling from his mouth.

Next to him was another blanket watched over by two men gobbling down tacos. Their treasure was several bottles of knock-off perfumes and colognes.

And then a child no older than ten years approached me selling candies and gum, followed closely behind by an old woman hobbling on two canes.

Yes, Guadalajara is a fascinating city. Apparently there are no laws or regulations regarding what you can sell and where you are allowed to sell it. Claim a space on the sidewalk and display your wares.

And this applies to buildings as well. There are no zoning bylaws. Pay the rent and do whatever you want. A restaurant, a pharmacy, a laundromat, a school, a gift shop, a clothing shop, a church…….above, below or next to a house.

Aside from teaching ESL here in Guadalajara and people watching, I am an aspiring writer. Although I have kept personal journals off and on throughout the years, I actually published a book six years ago.


And my second book will be live as soon as I can figure out how to download the sign-off forms and master an electronic signature. Actually I thought I had done this. But hours have passed and several emails have been sent back and forth. And one form stubbornly refuses to download and be electronically signed. Grrrrrr……….. Those of you who know me well are probably laughing by now. Especially my friend Laura, my computer guru back in Winnipeg, and my friend Craig who is somewhere between here and Cambodia right now. People jokingly refer to me as technologically challenged or technologically impaired. But I prefer the way in which one of my current housemates expressed it today. I am just not computer savvy!

However, it turns out that I have been unable to download and electronically sign the form because it is locked on my publisher’s end for viewing only. So that means that I really have mastered the art of downloading and saving PDF files and electronically saving them. After all it did work for one of the forms. Hah!

I think it’s time to vent my frustration, or become more frustrated, not exactly sure which. Candy Crush Saga here I come! And if anyone has some tips on how to pass Level 765, please pass them my way……..