IWSG – February 2020 – Looking forward…

IWSG was created by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh — because Alex understands we need a safe place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.

On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.

If this sounds like a good place to be, sign up here.

IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

February 5 question – Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

The awesome co-hosts for the February 5 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson!

I thought long and hard about this month’s question and, while it reminded me of music I’ve listened to for inspiration, Dire Straits, Etta James, Jann Arden, to name a few, my ideas generally come from a question or a dream or simply a conversation that never finished.

I’m looking forward to hearing your answers though.

This is my second post in 18 months, and so all day Monday and Tuesday I found myself staring at a blank screen fighting for something to write. Not because I’m empty. On the contrary, so much has happened that I don’t know where to begin.

2019 was the happiest and most fulfilled I’d felt since… I can’t remember.

By next IWSG Wednesday, I’ll gather my thoughts and share with you about driving from Vancouver to Charlottetown, the 5 months I spent camping by myself in the Maritimes, my solo trip from New Brunswick to Manitoba, and finally my trip to the Philippines and Indonesia (by myself). I wasn’t kidding, 2019 changed me in ways I’ve yet to discern.

My hope is that by sharing how the above events changed me forever, something might spark a new idea for you, or prompt you to leave your comfort zone, or who knows what. If it doesn’t that’s okay. Not everything written has to spur a magical event or create a transformation. I’m learning that.

Please, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to visit your blog.


5258 Km

5258 km

In 2018, on our first cross-country trip, my husband and I drove Highway 16 straight from BC to NB. Then, in the spring of 2019, I left BC, picked up my cousins in Manitoba, drove south through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and back up into Ontario, then onward to NB. What a fabulous trip! On the way back I drove from NB to Manitoba alone because, although a few friends offered to come with me, I couldn’t fit another thing in my car. From Manitoba, I flew to the little blue dot just above the 5258 km caption, Bucerias, Nayarit, where I am now with dear hubby until I fly back to get my car in late April, then onward to BC in May. Then back here to Bucerias in November, 2020.












Thank goodness for vacuum storage bags!

Comments 37

  1. Traveling alone must be scary, boring, and stimulating all at the same time. I wonder what you think about? Plot twists? Characters? Hubby?
    Glad your final (temporary) stop in close to where I Iive in Mexico so I can go to your super writing workshops!
    I apologize for the late comment. Pre and post Carotid surgery was a bigger deal than I imagined. Cheers & sea ya soon!

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful year!

    Solo travel is on my bucket list, not really by choice, but because I can’t seem to pinpoint anybody who wants to travel with me to certain destinations.
    However, I don’t mind going alone if I really have to. We’ll see…

  3. How much fun! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures on the next post. I love traveling. You must have seen some pretty country when you drove through Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  4. Wow! Joylene, that is one packed car. Bravo to you for getting everything in there–and it appears well-organized, too.

    I can’t listen to music while I’m thinking of something else or trying to write. I can only do one thing at a time, although the five children have made it so I never get silence anymore. So I can write with noise going on but not with something that I would like to concentrate and listen to, like music playing.

    All best to you, my dear. Good luck with your new home.

  5. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your adventurous trip! I don’t think I would’ve lasted more than a few hours on the road by myself. I really admire your determination and sense of wonder.

  6. Wow – what fabulous adventures! We’re thinking of heading out to visit the Maritime provinces for the 1st time in the summer. We’ll only have a week, so I’ll have to do some research for the best spots to visit. Any suggestions?

  7. Honoured that you fitted in a visit to me in your travels!
    I get over the blank screen bit by making draft posts even just with the idea in a single line, to work on later. (That’s why I rarely answer the question of the month properly!)

  8. Wow, it sounds like you had an interesting and adventurous 2019. I can’t wait to hear all about it.
    I’m like you in that music inspires me more than images, generally. I love Dire Straits too!

  9. Sorry I’m late in getting back to you, Joylene, usual hospital visits, and thanks as ever for your support. Thin Time didn’t do as well as I’d hoped because I didn’t use a subtitle on the cover that would have helped people understand the meaning… (sigh)

  10. Ooh, I hope you’re planning on posting photos from your trips! And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who gets ideas from dreams. They’re one of my best sources for material.

  11. Hi Joylene, welcome back! I missed you and wondered where you had gone, but I would never have dreamed you had gone so far! Wow. Fabulous. All these journeys will eventually filter into your work, just give it time. :-)

  12. I admire your courage for traveling around like that all by your onesie! I look forward to pictures and reports! ;P

    One piece of art I clearly remember (and lots of artistic creations have inspired much of my work that I don’t remember) are the flying cupids from Night at the Museum 2–cheesy as that is, it did! A threadbare summary of the entire book was born within minutes and BAM! I have a full YA Romance novel. lol

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller, Author¨*•.♥

  13. Wow, it sounds like you had a great year! I would love to do some more travelling. Good on you for going overseas on your own, too!

    I get some inspiration from music as well, sometimes even from the music videos.

  14. Wow, Joylene! I’m so glad that 2019 was a happy year of traveling for you! I had to laugh when I saw your packed vehicle, though. I’m afraid that if my car was packed like that, the moment I took one thing out, I’d never be able to get it back in. I once traveled across Canada from Calgary, Alberta to Westport (near Baie Verte), Newfoundland with my first husband (paralyzed & in a wheelchair), my mother and father, my stepson, my Scottie, all our suitcases and gear, and my father’s hatboxes crammed in our Scout. I nearly lost my mind ~ LOL I’m looking forward to hearing more about your adventures! All the best to you, my special friend!

  15. I totally understand how traveling across our continent can change your life. I have driven across the US on five different occasions and the experience changed me forever. I will be coming back to check on you and see how 2020 unfolds for you. Congratulations on you adventure and best of luck for the journey ahead.

  16. I love that 2019 was fulfilling for you! I’m sure the ideas will start coming and the words will, too, once you start recounting those trips! Vacuum bags are definitely a life-saver for travelers!

  17. Wow! I knew you had done some travelling, but I had no idea you’d covered so many miles or spent so much time on your own. I imagine it felt empowering, and yet it’s not something that I could or would want to do. Kudos to you. What an adventure!

  18. Wow, that sounds wonderful. I miss traveling something I can no longer do because of finances and mobility, although finances are the thing really seal that deal. I am so glad you found yourself. Happy IWSG!

  19. A question, a conversation or a dream all sounds excellent sources of story inspiration. I’ve yet to discover if an image will provide inspiration for more than a short story, but hope to find out this year.

    As for the rest of your year – wow!

  20. Wow, Joy, you’re adventuresome! I dunno – in this day and age, I’d hesitate about flying around all by my lonesome – but then I’m so famous I’d never be alone, heh heh.

    But good for you since you had a great time – and remembered how to get back!

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