Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG: Wednesday, January 4, 2017: Going with the Flow!

It's the first Wednesday 
of the month ~ 
the day when members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and offer their encouragement
and support to other members.

To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are stepping up to help IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are:
Eva@Lillicasplace,  Crystal Collier,  Sheena-kay Graham,  Chemist Ken, LG Keltner,  and Heather Gardner.

I hope you have a chance to visit them and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate an encouraging comment!
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Happy New Year to each of you!
I wish you health, happiness, love, and fulfillment in 2017!

This morning I've been looking back over the year that was
and looking forward to the year that may be.
I say "may" because my life rarely cooperates with my plans.

Mojave Desert from Davis Dam
Near Bullhead City, Arizona
November 27, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I had two lessons to internalize in 2016
and not by choice or planning:
Be Careful What You Wish For 
and You Can't Fight the Universe,
against the unrelenting drumbeat of Control is an Illusion.

Right now I'm trying to write this post with a weak, piggyback internet link,
on a computer with jumping, switching, resizing screens,
and an independent cursor that's half water skipper, half mule. 

I missed posting for the IWSG in December because I spaced it out.
I can't believe I forgot it!
But those cheap Wednesday flights, lack of internet access,
and computer crashes can provoke an alternate state.
And Wednesday I am again flying on IWSG Day.

Flying to Calgary from Las Vegas 
WestJet, December 22, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Throughout my life I've wished for the day
that I could travel as much as I wanted.
Be Careful What You Wish For!

In 2016, with Terry retired, it finally happened; 
and I've spent a month or more in Honolulu, Victoria, and Bullhead City,
with shorter stays in England, Italy, and Nova Scotia,
Phoenix, Baltimore, Vegas, and Calgary.

Being able to travel as much as I wanted is fabulous,
but I have learned that it is also stressful and challenging.
My brain is a scramble of seasons, climates, cultures, and time zones.
My regular, at-home routines and responsibilities have descended into chaos,
my waistline has expanded, and my word count has decreased.

Dinner in the Eternal City
Rome, Italy,  May 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I've found myself writing on all sorts of tables, desks, and sinks.
My current spot is an honest-to-God desk
in the latest trailer we moved into on New Year's Day,
after dancing the night away on New Year's Eve,
after returning from a frigid Christmas in Calgary via Vegas.

Writing Nook
(the only spot where I could pick up the hotel internet in our room)
Royal Grove Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

My gentle husband, who wants nothing more than to play pickleball in warm sunshine,
has been trying to convince me for ages to spend some winter months
in Bullhead City, Arizona, just across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada.

In a trailer.

Chasing Pickleball in the Warm Sunshine
Phoenix and Honolulu, January and March, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

No!@#$%^ way!" said I over and over.
"I will never, ever stay in a trailer in the middle of the Mojave Desert."

I should know by now.
You Can't Fight the Universe!

Every time I take an absolute stand,
the Universe strikes back,
and if I keep fighting it,
the result is usually ugly for me.

We were visiting Vegas, and our Air B&B plans fell apart.
A large convention had snapped up all the rooms in Vegas.
Terry scrambled and found us a room an hour and a half away in Laughlin.
He scrambled some more, and twenty-four hours later we returned to Vegas
with a trailer rented for November in Bullhead City.

Yes, I know it's January.
My husband will be playing in the Bullhead City/Laughlin Senior Games:
Two States, Two Time Zones, One Gold Medal!
He'll be competing in singles, doubles, and mixed pickleball events.
Apparently winning medals in two tournaments already just isn't enough!

A Happy Guy!
Winning a Medal for Riverview RV Resort!
Bullhead City, Arizona, December 15, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

This little salmon is so tired of swimming upstream.
Terry has morphed into a social butterfly on the pickleball circuit.
I just can't keep fighting the Universe,
so I'm drifting downstream in a swift current.
I caved and agreed to stay in our trailer resort through January.

Are those mixed metaphors?
I'm too tired to know or care.
The writing rule I wish I'd never heard of
is to not write mixed metaphors.
Argh! I catch myself doing it all the time.


The ultimate irony for 2016 is that I'm really enjoying Riverview in Bullhead City!
The people are great, a trailer is easy living, and I'm having lots of fun!

Find a Flat Surface:  Write!
Bullhead City, Arizona, November 8, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Playing with My Camera!
Oatman, Arizona, December 8, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

As for writing?
Through all of zany 2016 I've kept on writing;
not as much as I wanted,
but writing no matter what the Universe threw at me.

My goal for 2017?
To finish my !@#$%^ memoir manuscript.
I'm going to keep writing through it all.
I'm going to focus on the positive and get it done!

Just like when another life-long wish came true recently; 
I finally saw a live, Brighty-of-the-Grand-Canyon burro,
and then he kicked me.  
I focused on the positive and bought some burro food,
so I'd get more attention from the front end than the back!

Think It Through Before You Leap!
Pat demonstrates the right way to approach Pickles and other burros with treats in hand.
Oatman, Arizona, December 8, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Good luck to my fellow entrants in the IWSG Anthology Contest!
I'm hoping to keep my computer hobbling along
until I find out who the winning writers are.
Maybe even force my shape shifting screen
and half water skipper, half mule cursor to cooperate
in McCarran International Airport,
so I can send congratulations to the talented winners.

Here's hoping my Denver Genius Bar
can solve my latest computer woes quickly. 
I'll be returning to Bullhead City
for card playing and boot scooting very soon.

My mantra for writing and life in the new year:
Just Go for it!

Happy writing in 2017!

Just Go for It!
Me (front) and My Sister Donnie (rear)
Christmas Eve 2016
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Tobogganing on Christmas Eve 2016
My Sister Donnie and Her Family with Me (front):  
Lisa, Martin, Gavin, Krista, and Donnie (right) 
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


  1. it is great to know that you are part of writing group dear .such communities keep positive spirit high and provoke for better .
    English is not my native language though i love it but to write something worth enjoying l still seem far for me.

    Each passing year [even a day] teach new lessons and make us rearrange our priorities .
    I believe that everything happens for the reason and all results come to us to make us better .
    i wish you best of luck for your script ,hope you complete and publish it soon!
    you and your husband make wonderful couple and as i know you through your lovely writings you are wonderful lady and your husband looks very humble and generous person.

    in my life i have dream to visit Europe one day my heart says it will be come true because i never wanted much but what ever i asked for God blessed me with it sooner or later .
    loved your photos too.
    keep writing and stay happy .
    hope your p.c screen gets better .
    Hugs and best wishes for your new year dear friend!

    1. Happy New Year, dear Baili! Thank you for your wonderful and encouraging comment! It sent my spirit soaring this morning!

      I thought your story about the two sisters was inspiring, so full of life and heart. I am in awe of someone who can write in a different language. Yes, your language was definitely that of a non-native English writer, but the story was powerful and the images you created with your words were poetic. With the help of a good editor, you could smooth out the rough spots in your manuscript and have an even more powerful story. I encourage you to do that!

      And, by the way, you are welcome to join The Insecure Writer's Group (IWSG) that I belong to. You just sign up to join. The sign up list is at the bottom of the IWSG post:

      As a member, you write a post for the IWSG on the first Wednesday of each month, and then you try visit a dozen member posts throughout the day. I say "try", because sometimes life gets in the way, so you do the best you can. If you miss posting for the IWSG two months in a row, you get eliminated from the group, but you can rejoin at any time. Your IWSG post can be brief, as long as you post something ~ Usually about your writing. 300 words is supposed to be the maximum length, but as you can see, I and others often write past that word count guideline. Soon you are making writing friends and visiting their blogs throughout the month. The encouragement I've gotten is wonderful!

      I agree with you that everything happens for a reason. I look back at my life, and I can see the turning points and forked roads in it. The paths I chose led me to where I am today, and the lessons I learned and the decisions I made made me a stronger, better person. The most difficult things I experienced turned out to be some of the best things that ever happened to me, because they improved my life and me! (Even if they were devastating at the time).

      I hope that you get to visit Europe, Baili! It is wonderful to experience new people, places, and cultures. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel. But truly, the most important blessing in one's life is the love of one's family. You and I are truly blessed!!!

      My husband got our internet up and working in our new trailer last night, so now I have a good interned signal, and my computer is working better this morning. The screens are still changing randomly, but my cursor is working properly for now. What a relief after fighting with it for the last three days! I'm hoping the Apple Genius Bar techs can fix my computer quickly, so I don't have to be without a computer for long. I may have to buy a new one and have it shipped to me.

      I encourage you to keep writing too!
      And I wish you all the best in 2016!
      Sending you a big hug!

    2. you are such a angle dear .
      i adore and respect your positive response and support that means LOT to me .
      My eldest son also insist me to join and write such special groups but here comes the main reason that to conceive new ideas and write them properly one needs time and space [for me at least]and these are the main thing i lack in my life right now may be when kids get in college level and do not need me while studies i will find some time to sit and think .because after the tiring routine of my day i do not find energy in my brain to work actively .
      i used to write lots of poetry in my native language .but since my third son born i got much busy with life and everything went in background but it does not mean that my personal being does not exist anymore i kept it alive through my online journal and have many positive ideas to whom i will give shape when i will have time .
      i once again really appreciate your acknowledgement for my primary effort ,it is honor for me .
      sending you my heartiest best wishes for each step you take in life dear friend!

    3. Hugs, Baili! I hear and so understand what you are saying about life making it difficult to find the energy, time, and space to write. I had to postpone my personal writing during the twenty-five years I taught in elementary school. Sometimes I despair over that lost time, but then my dear and wise sister Donnie (who was on the toboggan with me in the photo) reminds me that there are seasons in life and NOW is my time to write.

      I've been struggling and things haven't gone as quickly or easily as I hoped, but I am thrilled to be in this writing season. My memoir will get done! I'm going to take my short story which didn't get chosen for the 2017 IWSG anthology and rewrite it, and I am going to keep writing my blog. Your writing season will come too, but I hope that you find moments to write more poetry in this busy season of your life. I was not surprised to learn that you wrote poetry, because your prose writing is beautifully lyrical.

      And don't forget ~ Your blog is legitimate writing, just in a very new genre. Your words are connecting with people around the world and educating and inspiring them! I'm so grateful that I found your wonderful blog!

      Have a happy day! and kudos to your eldest son for supporting and encouraging you!!!

  2. haha I can imagine all the climate, time zones and things could get hectic. But at least when writing you can't say you don't have a pot to umm pee in. Got one right there lol never say never indeed, I've learned that can come back to bite one in the butt.

    1. Hi, Pat! You got a good one in ~ LOL! I am currently living where two time zones come together, and sometimes my computer and iPhone will pick up the zone I'm not in. What's really bad is when one device picks up one time zone, and the other picks up the second. Terry and I are perpetually checking the clock on the microwave oven to see what time it actually is. And the clock in our car is on a third time. I'm in an airport bar right now waiting for my flight to Denver. I had to ask the bartender to confirm what time it is, because my computer and iPhone don't agree! I'm trying to get as many replies and blog visits in before I have to board. I'm heading into a snowstorm in Denver, and I left my jacket in our car when Terry dropped me off at McCarran. I hope this start to the new year is leading to lots of travel in 2017. I'm getting better with being discombobulated! It all goes easier with a glass of wine. Cheers, my friend!

  3. What a great post! And I just love that shot of you and your sister making a sled run to end 2016! I am envious of all your wonderful travels, especially the time in Honolulu where some of my family lives. A wonderful travel journal you have shared with us. Thank you. All the best to you and yours for 2017! And by all means, the Universe needs you to write! It's calling your name! Tune in...Aloha!

    1. Thank you, Hula-la! How lovely that some of your family lives in Honolulu! It's one of my favorite places in the world! My family certainly had fun tobogganing on Christmas Eve, even if it was very cold and gloomy. I was scared to take the front of the toboggan, but my sister was more scared. It was a blast! Thanks for your encouragement about writing. All the best to you in the new year!!! Aloha!!!

  4. Anna, you are so right. It never works to fight anything anytime. The word fight should be our clue. You had quite an adventurous 2016. I'm thrilled for you. I would love to travel more. But flying a plane isn't fun for me. I went to Heathrow sitting in the very last seat. It was not good. I need Scottie to beam me up. That would be better. Happy 2017 to you, Anna. Can't wait to hear what's happening next. Looking forward to your memoirs. I'm already captivated by your stories.

    1. Hi, Joylene! Thank you for your kind words! Shhh! Oops! Just between you and me, I think you have crossed my name with someone else. My name is Louise, not Anna! No worries, just thought you'd appreciate knowing!

      I used to be uneasy flying, but I love it now ~ although the very last seat on a flight to Heathrow would certainly be uncomfortable! I'm sitting in the Vegas airport right now waiting for my flight to Denver. I could fly every day of the year!!! We just moved into our second trailer in Bullhead City, so I'm going to order your book while I'm home in Aurora and have it shipped to Bullhead. I can't wait to read it. All the best to you in 2017!

  5. Oh what words, a delight to read, and I can be right there. Love the way you found a good internet spot, and the trailer, it must be quite large? 2017, I haven't set a goal, but have so many things on the go in quilting land that they will be priorities!!! The 150 Canadian Women blocks are going slowly, and if you ever want to read about pioneer ladies in Canada, there is a lady for each block, and such fascinating details of their achievements. Enjoy the start to the year, wherever you are. And Terry. Many Congrats!!!

    1. Hi, Jean! The 150 Canadian Women quilt sounds awesome! If we return to Bullhead City for several months next winter, I think I'll join the quilting club. I have to get a sewing machine and learn how to sew on it first. I learned to sew on an 1888 or '98 treadle machine that had no bobin and chain-stitched! So I'm a little behind the times, haha!

      Our new trailer is twice the size of the first one which was about 12 meters by 3.5 meters (40 feet by 12 feet). We had such an ordeal getting internet in the first one, that we were shocked to get it running easily in our current trailer. And my computer is behaving well today, so I'm hoping I'll have an easy fix at the Apple store.

      We flew back from Calgary on the 29th. Spent the night in Vegas and drove to Bullhead City on the 30th. I started packing, and we went to a country and western dance at the clubhouse for New Year's Eve. Then I was up and packing and cleaning at 6:00 am on New Year's Day. By 10:30 am we were moving into our new trailer. Once all our belongings were in, we went across the Colorado River to Laughlin for a late lunch. I was unpacked and had everything stowed away by 1:00 am. Yesterday I fought with my computer and got my blog written. And today we drove to Vegas, where I am now waiting for my flight to Denver. It has been a whirlwind start to the year, for sure! But I'm having a blast!

      I hope that you continue to feel better and see that specialist soon! I'm sure that I am not the only one worried about you and sending you best wishes! I hope you and Hugh have had a great start to 2017! All the best to you both! Happy quilting! Sending hugs and love!

  6. I enjoyed this whole post, but especially those last 2 photos of you tobogganing in Calgary! Happy to see there was some padded cushioning on that toboggan because those things can be awfully hard on the ass when you're racing down a bumpy hill!

    1. LOL! Especially when your ass is as old as mine! I was very appreciative of the padding on that toboggan, let me tell you! We had the best Christmas Eve, followed by an even better Christmas!
      The snow on the hill was well-packed, but at the bottom it was loose, and everything disappeared in a whiteout when we hit the bottom. All i could do was ride blind and shriek with delight! Can't wait to do it again!

      I hope your New Year is starting off well, my friend! Sending hugs! Take care!

  7. The universe has it's way of messing with you. Always. So creative turning that sink into a writing desk. Think smart and positive. A happy hubby makes a happy wife so enjoy you two. Sorry about that burro but at least you tried again. I wouldn't. Kick me did you? We better not meet again! Anyway, all the best with your 2017 goals including that memoir.

    2017 IWSG January Co-Host

    1. Hi Sheena-kay! Definitely a happy hubby makes a happy wife and vice versa! I blamed the burro's kick on me, because I carelessly got pushed behind him when he was trying to get burro food from another tourist.. He was kicking the other burros out of the way too. Lesson learned ~ but they are so cute. I'm longing to go back and see them again! All the best to you in 2017! And thanks for co-hosting. I'm answering comments in a bar at the airport in Vegas, and I will get around to as many posts as I can before my flight! Take care, my friend!

  8. Oh man! No kidding about traveling being exhausting! What a fun experience, but man! Writing on the bathroom sink? Yikes. My hubby and I talk about doing the traveling thing when we retire, but we're thinking we hit a place and stay there for 3 months to a year so we can really get the lay of the land. Pipe dreams now. Who knows how it will turn out, eh? We can plan, but reality isn't ever quite what we dream up.

    1. Hi, Crystal! Thanks for co-hosting today! IWSG Day often finds me flying (cheap fares!), and I'm at the airport waiting for another flight! I'm getting good at writing just about anywhere! LOL I hope that you get to realize your traveling dreams! When it finally happens, it's so much fun. If you can get in a little traveling before you travel, that's good too. But I know that you are one busy lady!!! I had a dentist for many years. He told me that he didn't need to travel because he could see everything on tv. He thought it was too dangerous. But he loved to race fast cars in the Nevada Desert. I thought that was crazy! To each his own. All the best to you in 2017!!! Sending you big hugs!

  9. Talk about determination! I just LOVE the sink desk. I would have never thought of that, lol. It's so true to be careful what you wish for. Best to just enjoy the moment no matter what it has to give :)
    Nice to meet you!


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jess! Nice to meet you too! I'm getting better at letting go and enjoying the moment. It's so much easier! Happy writing in January!

  10. What a fun post! I love traveling but it does have it's challenges. I haven't been able to do as much international but we travel with our camper and have been up and down the east coast a number of times. I love it because I can cook our own meals and save on eating out.

    1. Hi, Tess Julia! It must be so much fun to travel up and down the east coast in a camper ~ in anything. I haven't camped in ages because I seem to have morphed into a comfort creature. But I have many fond memories of camping earlier in my life. As a mother and nature lover, I'm sure that you are creating many wonderful memories for your family.

      I've always said, "I'll travel anywhere, even Kansas!" That's an inside joke of sorts, because I got to spend time in Wichita, and even better, weeks and weeks in western Kansas when I worked as a petroleum geologist. Kansas is beautiful in a soft, gentle way, and its people are lovely. I think any opportunity to see a new place is invigorating and has the potential to change your thinking.

      My husband and I are budget travelers. We come up with all sorts of strategies to save money. I cook lots of meals too, even though it's just two of us.

      Happy memoir writing and travels in 2017!

  11. I love the picture of your writing "desk" in the bathroom. A very creative use of space :-) Sounds like you are living the life with your travels and your writing. Have a wonderful 2017!

    1. Thanks, Ellen! I hope that you have a wonderful 2017 too! This is definitely a season in my life that I'm am enjoying and am grateful for. Have a good one!

  12. I love the way you weave words, verse and visual. Very powerful imagery. Happy travels and happy writing.

    1. Thanks, Shari! I'm very visual! And I can feel really productive when I count each photo as one thousand words! LOL ~ The games we writers play! Have a great weekend!

  13. Happy New Year, Louise! You've had a fun year and I've enjoyed getting a glimpse of it. Your writing is very entertaining and captivating. And I'm not just saying that! I'm drinking tea and catching up on blog posts. I saved all of yours for when I actually have time as it's been so busy around here with the packing of our home and stuff.

    "Just Go for It!" I like it!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.