Friday, October 31, 2008



Fright Nights are here again. It seems ages since I got time to sit down and blog here. I didn't do a magical disappearing act or get kidnapped by pirates. It's just been a really busy time for me. Seems I'm running around town from morning til night what with classes and other events. My plate has been full to overflowing and frankly I've been somewhat stressed.

Last weekend I spend the entire 3 days at the wonderful Surrey International Writer's Conference. I always volunteer so I can go free and this year I introduced five presenters and attended lots of workshops. There was a mystery/spooky theme there this year with a masquerade to end the sessions on Saturday night. I had taken my pirate gear along but in the end decided to come back into town to my old neighbourhood where there is a big celebration for the Day of the Dead and a Parade of Lost Souls. Everyone dressed up in ghoulish costumes and the houses in the neighbourhood are decorated with spooky motifs. It's lots of fun.

It seemed an appropriate week to be honouring the dead as it was three years ago on Oct 28 that my friend Anibal died. So along with thoughts of all the other dear departed I lit a candle and remembered....

And then comes Hallowe'en. Our building is going to greet the kiddies at the door with treats so we were given a chance to carve a pumpkin to decorate the lobby. This is my Jack O'Lantern. He's waiting down in the hall now for me to come and light the candle. I'm going to put my pirate gear on and take my bags of goodies down for the little ghosts and goblins who come calling. Afterwards I'm heading for the Latin Quarter as Hugo says the band are going to play some of Anibal's favorite songs tonight. I'm sure his spirit will be there.

I hope in a couple of weeks to have more time to resume work on my novel. My classes end in three weeks and then all this endless running around with stop.
Meanwhile, have a safe but spooky Hallowe'en and remember to light a candle to chase away those bad spirits and welcome the souls of the dearly departed.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008



What's Wynn been doing? Wynn's been on a road trip. These are just a couple of the many photos I took. I'll post a few more soon on my other two blogs, especially the http://travelthroughhistory. Here's how this came about. I was offered a media trip, all expenses paid, to this mountain resort called Three Valley Gap. There's a ghost town there and a wonderful collection of antique cars and railway memorabilia. As I write travel stories mostly slanted to history, this was right up my alley. So of course I accepted.

Three Valley Gap is about a six hour drive from the Coast so I invited my friend Andrea along.
She drives a nice little jeep and I knew we'd have a super time together. They listed her as my official 'photographer' so the two of us were off on 'assignment'. It's a lovely drive to the mountains and the weather was absolutely perfect, glorious autumn weather, warm and sunny.
We enjoyed our leisurely drive there, arrived late afternoon.

The chateau was far more than we'd expected. It's a huge complex right at the convergence of three mountain valleys, at the end of a lake. The size of it was rather daunting, especially as it was the end of the season so hardly anyone was staying there. Quite something to have the place to ourselves -- well, more or less!

Problem was, the restaurant there closes at 7 pm and there is no bar. We didn't think to stock up on wine for the weekend. But we enjoyed ourselves wandering around the place, and especially touring the ghost town which has a lot of historic buildings from various places around the area all put together like a frontier town, with lots of artifacts and interesting things to look at including this incredible antique car collection, and a collection of old rail cars that brought back some childhood memories.

We drove into the nearest town, Revelstoke, the next day but it was closed up tight because it was Sunday. You could have shot a cannon down the street! It's basically a railway town built in a very pretty mountain setting.

Before we left the chateau on Monday we treated ourselves to a six minute helicopter tour. If I can figure out how to put movie clips up on my blogs I'll add a clip of the tour. It was so quick that it hardly seemed it had happened before we were landing again, but it was fun.

On our way home we stopped at another historic railway site -- where the last spike was driven connection the rail lines from East to West. And then, because the weather was so gorgeous, we took back roads, meandering through the mountains and valley by the lakes and farms. We stopped at Salmon Arm and had coffee with my daughter, stopped at a farm to buy fresh produce, home made sausage and at another place where they make fresh cheese. Then we pulled into Vernon and had a little visit with my friend Rosie.

It was midnight before we arrived home again after our little adventure. Then I've had this very busy week starting with an early breakfast meet Tuesday with Argentina Tourism and then my classes.

I'll have to write a new blog about my classes, especially my new Life Writing group which is so exciting and inspiring! Besides this I've been catching up on writing and just finished my story about walking the barrios of Santiago Chile. Now it's time to get back to the novel so I will be posting a new Progress Report soon.


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