November 2, the second day of a new month. I’m still motivated and since it is NaNoWriMo I could come to this space and write a post a day. I don’t have it in me to write a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. I have tried to a couple of times and failed. I’m a woman of few words. I believe what I have to say is more important than the number of words. It could be that I am just comforting myself with that idea. It works. Comfort is what is needed in November.

I am still pleased with myself on how I am staying on course with my missions began in October. Some days are better than others. No matter how they are, I keep plodding along. If I do fall and I have, I pick up where I had left off. I do not think I am behind. It’s a phrase I picked up from The FlyLady. I’ve been on this self-help, self-improvement gig a long time. Even though I am no longer a FlyLady follower, some things stick, coming back to help me along this road. I never give up. I pick myself up,dust myself off and continue on. The road of life is very interesting. There are many things to see and learn.

It just happens that I am reading novels about the times of the Depression and the Dust Bowl. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and Whose Names Are Unknown by Senora Babb are excellent reads. The Four Winds was published in 2021. Whose Names Are Unknown was written in the 1930s, not published till 2006. These stories of those difficult finanical times and ecological disasters are revelant to what is happening in today’s pandemic and climate change world. They also remind me of our early years in Canada as immigrants. They were lean though we had a roof over our heads, warm clothing and we never went hungry. Our little rented 2-room house was between the cafe and the town outhouse. Often it was mistaken for the outhouse. It had a pot-belly stove and peeling floors. We lived in the community but we were not of the community. It was no one’s fault. I’ve never felt despair. Difficult times prepared me for living.

November 3. I woke to see snow on the ground. I felt it before I saw it. It was not enough to light up the world. It was still pitch black at 6 am and -5℃. It got colder to -7℃ but the sun is shining on me at 9:22 am. The greenhouse is sitting at 6℃. I hope the sun will linger though the forecast calls for clouds. Traffic is moving slow on this first day of snow. It is backed up from Taylor to 8th Street as we are on the only street out of StoneBridge. I wonder what could happen if there was a huge emergency. How will vehicles get in and out? Best not to think about such things so early in the morning. Bad things might not happen if we don’t think on it. Somehow, I don’t think things work that way. Just look at history. Wish we could/would learn from it. Wish we could do better. If horses were wishes.


October mornings are so beautiful once the sun has roused and shined her light upon us. I’m feeling at ease, basking in the sun’s warmth, tapping on my keyboard and sipping my second cup of tea. I love this morning ritual. A friend had introduced me to blogging in 2010. I started out at Blogger, posting photos and a few blurbs. It was a struggle as I was a late comer to the computer and the digital world. I was still lugging a camera with film when school kids had cell phones with cameras. It was frustrating but fun learning. I abandoned Blogger and my blog for a couple of years. Then I found WordPress, an easier fit for me.

I’ve created this writing space at the end of May 2012 – 10 years and 4 months ago when blogging was a rage. I’ve been writing, writing and still writing since, falling off now and again. I wrote flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers for a couple of years. It was a great supportive community for learning. I wrote fiction of 100 words. It suited me well. And checking back this morning, I’ve been doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge as early as April, 2014. I can remember missing just one challlenge – this past July. I guess I do have discipline and staying power.

In the beginning I had a lofty goal of writing a thousand words a day, hence the name of my blog. I dream of writing that great Chinese Canadian novel. I joined NaNoWriMo a couple of times. I soon discovered that it was all beyond me. I haven’t ever made the 1000 words at a single write yet. I am not crushed. I’ve come to my senses and just write – a sentence, a paragraph, whatever I am capable at the time. I’ve come back to my first goal – to write for the joy of it. I am not competitive but I can get hooked into it sometimes. I am paying attention, focusing on my first goal, not getting distracted, write, share and read at least the 2 must posts.


A very warm welcome back to my writing space. Today is day 4 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. If we were having coffee together, what will we talk about? Writing/living consciously and intentionally is very hard work. I was exhausted after yesterday’s effort. You see I used to write/live by the seat of my pants. It worked and is desirable for a coffee conversation but not optimum if I want to write a book/my memoir or ‘get ahead in life.’ I’ve had to adjust my aim/goals accordingly. Instead of writing that book, I’ve settled for writing this blog. I’ve settled doing UBC instead of the NaNoWriMo because how can I possibly write 50,000 words in 30 days?

I’ve settled for things because it is easier. It was not an intentional thought or action but rather just going with the flow. I have done ok – a successful career and life. It was good enough was my often, much used retort. It was good enough BUT I could do better. It’s never too late. Now is the perfect moment. I’m inspired by a story I’ve just come across. It’s about a woman who climbed El Capitan on her 70th birthday. She took up mountain climbing at age 60. Then I found the story of the oldest man who climbed the same mountain, 81 year old Gerry Bloch. You’re never too old.

I’m not going to take up mountain climbing, bungee jumping or even downhill skiing. Taking up cross country skiing last year was exciting enough for me. I am happy to recognize and accept my limits. I don’t have to be the oldest daredevil on the steep slopes. If I can coast down the snowy bumps in our local park without falling, it’s more than good enough. I fell down and up the bumps alot last winter. There’s lots of room for improvement. A few weeks ago I bought an all new ski package – boots, poles and no wax skis. Tomorrow I hope to get snow pants from Amazon. I am ready to get better- when the snow comes.

If we were having coffee, the words would come alot easier. I have no end of things to talk about. I was a nurse for over 30 years so I’ve talked alot to many people. I got good at talking about nothing in those years. My dream when I graduated from high school was to become an artist. Everybody told me I was good at it. My grade one teacher told my dad that even before I learned how to speak English. I believed everyone so I majored in fine arts at university. No one told me I had to work at it. I thought if I was really good, I could whip out creations. That didn’t happen so I dropped out and settled for being a nurse. It was no picnic either but difference was I stayed and worked at it and just talked about my old dream. My claim to fame was having taken classes taught by notable artists like Dorothy Perehudoff, Bill Epp and Hans Herold.

I’ve lost my whole portfolio of drawings from Dorothy’s class and the sculptures from Bill Epp’s. I have only one painting I did in Hans Herold’s class. It is my best and favourite. It is of my two young cousins sitting in a field of daffodils in Central Park. I had another one of a small country church. I gave it to my dance instructor at Arthur Murray so many years ago.

It’s nice having this coffee and conversation. I hope you will drop by again tomorrow.


What Now, The Day After

November 1, a new month, the day after completing all 31 days of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. What do I do now, rest on my laurels? I’ve decided to blog on. I brush my teeth every morning and evening. Writing is another thing in my self care tool box. It is effective. I shall keep it. Besides, someone mentioned that it is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. It’s writing a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November. I had high hopes of writing one ever since high school. I gave NaNoWriMo a go or two. The first time I had a few chapters of 7,358 words. The second time 300 words. I still have the files on my desktop.

I didn’t know how hard words are to come by till I tried. I’m not aiming for a novel or 50,000 words. I haven’t lived up to the name of this blog yet – a thousand and two (words) , my daily goal. My goal for this November is to write each day concentrating on the progress of our greenhouse and food growing. But who knows where I will meander. Like Caroline Myss often says, this is an amazing time in history. I have to perk up, pay attention and make notes on EVERYTHING. And maybe, after this month, I can write that novel.

I had aimed to have fresh greens from our raised beds till end of October. I gave up too soon in the 3rd week in a cold snap. Had I left the crop covers on, the spinach and kale would be fine. And maybe the lettuce and Chinese greens, too. I harvested them, not wanting to lose all. But I see that the ends are still green and alive in this bit of warm spell. I shalt cry over spilt greens. I shall grow more. The herb spiral still looks pretty good, too. The basil, of course, bit the dust, but the lavender, thyme and oregano seems ok. I have them in pots inside just in case.

Our greenhouse is almost finished – 4 walls, roof, vents all closed up. Just missing a door. It’s pretty snug and warm on a sunny day. We’re been mostly lucky with the weather building it.There were a few cold days but it’s warmed up for the finishing stretch. I took this opportunity to fill a few planters with top soil to warm up inside to ready for seeding. It looks like we will have 4 days of warm weather before it dips again to daytime minus temperatures. I hope that’s enough time to help them germinate. It’s a grand adventure. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.


It’s exciting to hear that one of my Instagram friends is a nanowrimo winner with her 50,274 words. It is quite a feat. I know that for a fact. I’ve tried a couple of times to write that novel in 30 days and have failed. To win you have to come up with 1,667 words a day. I have trouble coming up with 500. It’s getting easier though. Stretching, trying for more does make a difference.

Talking about excitement, I noticed how my body felt the jubilation at the news. I felt hopeful for myself – that I COULD be a nanowrimo winner, too. I wanted to sit at my keyboard and start writing then. But I was right in the midst of mixing bread dough. Those 1600 some words would have to wait – probably longer than today. I have learned that excitement doesn’t get me very far. Hard work and persistence are the tools.

I’m waiting for the dough to proof. Meanwhile I’m sipping lemon tea and tapping out my meager words. The sun is shining through the windows, warming my back. Sheba is napping on her bed in sunshine. It is still morning. I am changing my routine a bit. Maybe it’ll bring me more productivity. I’m being conscious, paying attention – to everything.

My body betrays me sometimes. I hate it that I am such a truthful person. Life could be easier if I could lie – a little bit even if just to myself. But no, I can’t. I feel so disappointed and annoyed at the inability to accept myself as I am or to change so far. Maybe if I can change my body posture, I can change the way it feels. It doesn’t hurt to investigate and try. Fake it till I make it.


When you change anything, you change everything. I changed my morning routine, now I am not running behind. I’m picking up where I left off. My poofed bread dough, covered by Saran wrap, was in the refrigerator while we went out for lunch. Our lunch was longer than we thought – 3 hours. But it is all is good. The dough is warming up to room temperature on the kitchen island. I’m trying to finish my cast off thoughts here. Sheba got her lunch. Of course, now she is whining for her walk. She can and will wait.

My body now fed, is feeling much better. Food and blood sugar does matter. My thoughts and words are flowing smoother and easier. Life does not feel as heavy or serious. A little yeast helps everything besides the dough to rise. I will savour and remember this feeling. The next time my body gets too serious and rigid, I will remember the effervescence of yeast. I will be resurrected.

The dough is now warm and pliable. I best get on with shaping it into loaves. They will need to be proofed again before baking. Meanwhile Sheba and I can go for our walk. We have time before the bread goes into the oven. She needs chilling.




Can one possibly get real on Halloween night with little ghosts, goblins and little princesses knocking on your door and yelling, Trick or treat! ?

It is October 31, the eve of NaNoWriMo.  My pencil is honed.  I am ready to write.  In fact, I do have a title for my novel, a somewhat plot and an introduction.  I wonder if I have done too much and have already disqualified myself from the contest.  No matter.  I am serious and I am going to write my novel, one page at a time.

To be real and serious, can one write a book in a month?  I am already losing sleep and energy with the pressure of writing 50,000 words in a month.  My brain is blank, my creative juices frozen and my words are nowhere in sight.  How can I write a book under these conditions?  I feel like I am lined up with my laptop along with a kazillion other writers at the starting line.  We are all waiting for someone to fire the gun.  GET READY, SET, BAM!

This part is no longer fun for me, I’m sorry to say, NaNoWriMo.  But I am grateful to you for perking my interest and getting me started.  Now, I need to get real and serious and write.  I will write every day in November – and beyond as much as I can.  But I cannot go at it at a gallop.  Sometimes I have to let things simmer and percolate.  I have to let the child in me dream up dragons and such.  I have to let the stories in me come out a page at a time.


It might as well be a fantastic book that someone will want to read, even if it’s a friend or relative.



The stage is set.  I have a title for the novel.  There is a plot and a cover.  I have drank enough coffee and I have lost sufficient sleep the last two nights, wrestling with the project.  And my desk is certainly messy enough to start the creative juices flowing.  That is what you get when you sign up for the project with just a week to go.  Now is the time to let go of the doubts and researches on how to write a novel.  I just have to write.

The other day I took out Alex Quick”s 102 Ways to Write a Novel.  The cover said that it has indispensable tips for the writer of fiction.  It defined a novel as fiction having at least 50, 000 words.  Otherwise it would be a novella.  Well, I haven’t even ever done a novella either.  It also said that writing a novel could be an arduous task – taking months, years and even DECADES to complete!

WOW!  Not very encouraging words.  So, I’m going to have to leave conventional wisdom behind and charge forward.  How else can I write a novel otherwise?  A novel by definition is fiction.  Fiction is not truth.  Hence a novel is a bunch of lies strung together.

How hard could that be?  Well, it could be very hard for me.  I’m like George Washington.  I can’t tell a lie. I have my work cut out for me.  I am thinking with three days remaining before the kickoff for NaNoWriMo, I better clear my energy field in my work space.

I went to my special place in my mind.  I opened my heart space.  I breathed stagnant chi out.  I opened my arms to embrace my heavenly creative chi.  November Novel Writing Month, here I come!  I wonder if my nose will be like Pinocchio’s at the end of November.  I sure hope so.



The days are getting shorter and cooler.  It’s harder and harder getting out of bed in the morning.  There is this heaviness in my body and mind.  That is my awareness when I wake up in the morning nowadays.

I did not step out of bed till eight this morning.  But I still did better than the sun.  It did not show its face till nine!  And then it hid itself behind clouds as if saying, Oh no, not today!  I am tired.  Just can’t do it.

Mr. Sun, I know exactly how you feel.  I am feeling YICK!  I don’t feel like getting out of bed, never mind doing anything.  But part of my mind recognizes that it is the time of the hibernation season.  It is too bad that we can’t be like bears and sleep the winter away, curled up warmly in some cave.

We are not bears and we cannot hibernate.  We have to rise and shine somehow, even if only dimly.  I’m remembering that I’m suppose to write a novel in November, 50,000 words in 30 days.  Well, it’s only some 1700 words a day.  What’s the big deal?  Nobody is saying that it has to be a bestseller, or that it even have to be good.  It just have to be written.

Somehow that makes me feel better.  I’m thinking, too, that even if I can’t write 1700 words a day, I could try for a 1000.  That is the goal of this little blog – a thousand and two words a day.  So far that goal have not been reached.  But wait just a cotton picking minute!

I cannot think like that.  I am already setting myself up for failure.  Why not aim to succeed from the word get go?  I WILL not compromise or booby trap myself into failure before I have even started.  How often have I done that to myself?

Look at how far I’ve come so far.  Tenacity is in my genes.  I love words and have been told I have some talent with them.  I have two blogs to show for it.  I can work on imagination.  I just need to get my head out of linear thinking and into possibles.  I CAN.  I CAN.  I CAN.

I am the woman who can!  Alice still lives here.  Now where’s that damn rabbit hole?  I need to fall into it and come out and see what’s on the other side.



I register for the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge yesterday.  I’m one of those wannabe writer who thinks she has a story to tell, but just waiting for the right time to do it.  It’s been years, since high school, that I’ve had this calling. The right moment has not come and there is no book.  But now, the time has come – to do, to write.  No more just talking.

I read the fine print, accepted the terms and policies and created my account and profile.  I was pumped up.  I was up to the challenge of 50,000 words in November. …. a little over 1,ooo words a day.  I had a title, sort of a plot, and maybe even a cover.  Then I read somewhere that it has to be fiction.

Fiction!  That gave me cause to pause.  Wait a minute!

Though I am an a voracious reader of fiction, I’ve never thought of writing fiction, never told a story, never even had a fantasy.  I have never daydreamed about a perfect wedding, the white picket fence, children, etc.  It’s no wonder that I have none of those things!

But now is the time, like the walrus says (from Through the Looking Glass):    ‘To talk of many things:  Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —     Of cabbages — and kings —And why the sea is boiling hot —And whether pigs have wings.’

And why not talk of cabbages and kings, whether pigs have wings and other fanciful things?  Why not wish upon a star and ask for the moon?  Why not dream a little and dare a lot?  Why ask for a small thing and not the whole shabam?   Just think, I could have had a tea party like Alice in Wonderland instead of shared Retirement/Farewell party between 4-5 people.  Where is my pride and sense of worth?

Wait, it is not too late!  There’s still time.  I can still do many things.  I can write about cabbages and kings and whether pigs have wings.  If Mary McPhee can write books and blogs at 87 from her retirement home, there is a lot of hope for me yet.

I just did the math of 50,000 words in 30 days.  It equals something like 1700 words a day.  No matter.  I will still give it a good go.  I will do my personal best.  I have a week to relax into it.  I will call forth all the creative forces within me.  I can do it!  Or die trying. 🙂