Sunday, 14 April 2013

Relay for Life – Connecting in the Community

Yesterday was one of those inspiring days. I worked a table for the Relay for Life at our local Save-On store to promote our June 7 event here in Spruce Grove. The table was intended to provide information to the event – not to garner donations. As an aforementioned introvert, this is, of course, outside of my comfort zone but the cause of fighting cancer is near and dear to my heart so that means girding my loins and putting myself out there.

I was situated just inside the doors so was able to greet people as they entered the store. Tucked between the watermelons, cantaloupe and deli, it was quite funny to see how many people had eyes only for the melons as they caught sight of me sitting there and sidled past without making eye contact. At first, it was disheartening but I consoled myself by remembering that most tables set up at grocery stores are there with the primary purpose of raising funds so it wasn’t unexpected that customers had that impression.
It’s a great way to people watch and I was hoping that there might be one or two people who might truly be interested in learning about the Relay. To my surprise and delight, there were indeed such people. They smiled as they came through the door, actually held my eye contact and made a beeline towards me. Some of them did make donations, some purchased daffodil mittens and some told me stories of loved ones they had lost to cancer.

By the time my shift was over, I was exhilarated by their energy and encouraged that not only was our Relay going to raise much needed funds to help fight cancer but our Tri-Regional event was going to also make a difference in our community.It was three hours well spent. Thanks to Save-On Foods for their great support and thanks to our residents in the tri-municipal region.

We still need teams, volunteers and of course, donations. Interested in joining the fight? The Canadian Cancer Society hosts relays across Canada - if you're not in our area, there's sure to be one near to where you live.

Our Spruce Grove event is called the Tri-Municipal Relay for Life and will be held in Central Park, Spruce Grove from 7 pm to 7 am on Friday, June 7. A night to celebrate, remember and fight to conquer cancer once and for all. Special guest performers on this evening will include Brandi Morin, Cory Rosenke and Freeburn. Join us for a night you'll never forget.

Twelve hours of people coming together to celebrate survivors, remember those we’ve lost, join the fight against cancer and pledge to make a difference for today and the future.
For more information, visit our website: http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?fr_id=12368&pg=entry or visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Cancer-Society-Tri-Regional-Relay-For-Life-in-Spruce-Grove/164920873533692

With your help, cancer can be beaten. Together we are stronger, together we will win this fight.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Getting back to writing...

I am one of those writers who writes in her spare time and it’s always amazing to me how much of that spare time ends up being spent NOT writing.

There’s always a load of laundry or something on TV or a book to read or any number of other diversions that prevent me from sitting down at my desk and actually doing what I truly love to do – writing stories.

When I am at work, I long to be at home writing but when I am actually in front of my keyboard outside of work, I go into a state of numbness where I apparently lose all memory of what I intended to write about. I end up on Facebook, checking my horoscope, catching up on emails or tidying the piles of paper on my desk.
Yet, when I sleep, I dream my stories.  When I drive, I think about my stories. I see my characters everywhere, I eavesdrop on conversations and revel in what people talk about every day, I see my stories like mini movies in my mind. I have notes everywhere – on Post It notes, on random scraps of paper, in one of my multiple notebooks but combining these notes into actual stories is apparently just outside of my reality.

Romance stories, young adult stories, short stories – they are all there, just waiting to be released.
What gives, I wondered? Why don’t I actually write more often than I do?

I came up with any number of reasonable reasons and excuses: too tired, not focused, too busy with day to day things that needed doing, etc.
But the real reason is simply that I haven’t been assigning my writing the importance in my life that it truly has. When I actually did sit down to write, I was dismissing it as an indulgence and therefore a luxury I didn’t need to be spending time doing as often as I honestly wanted to. I was treating it as if I didn’t deserve to write unless the ten things that were dancing around my head that I felt needed to be done first were done.

Well, I have decided phooey to that.

I breathe, dream and live my stories every day – inside my head while the rest of my life goes on. Getting those ideas out of my head and into my computer is the only way my writing aspirations can come true. I do remember that occasionally and have great waves of hours and hours of writing but when life around me is busy or I am tired or winter in Alberta seems to be never-ending, I forget.
Today, I remembered again why I love to write and why I have to write.

It’s as much a part of me as breathing. I would never consider not breathing - therefore I need to write as much as I can, when I can, where I can, and while I can before my ideas dry up and atrophy.
It’s good to be back.