Coming Out of the Cave

Hello again from home!

 

So as I was telling you last week…or…erm…six months ago…

 

Let me start over again.

 

Wow, where has the time gone? Today I crawled out of my writing cave, blinked my eyes against the glaring sun, (actually it is cloudy but I’m taking poetic license), and realized it has been an embarrassingly long time since my last Coconut Chronicle. Good news for me, as this means I have been hard at work pumping gumballs out of the cranium, bad news for those who wait breathlessly every week for my latest scribbles of brilliance.

 

Breathlessly, yeeeeees, that’s how I like to imagine everyone waiting. Though if that were the case I would be responsible for several deaths by now.

 

As good as writing cave life has been, however, the sheer volume of sunflower seed shells and chocolate wrappers has forced me out into the real world. Unfortunately it seems just as messy out here as it is in there. BP? WTF? OMG!

 

The novel I am working on has not-so-gradually transitioned from “work” to “obsession”. Poor Prez has become a writing widow and the few moments he gets to see me are usually spent discussing the novel. And “discussing” may be a misnomer, more like “me prattling on endlessly about the novel”. Fear not, loyal Nutters, (all three of you, including Mom), there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! I will soon be finished the second draft, whereupon I shall pass off my baby for some professional editing and critiquing, and when it’s out of my hands I shall…start on Book Two in the series.

 

Did I mention it’s a series?

 

OK, OK, I have not been a complete and utter hermit. I have gotten out to do things not involving verbs and gerunds.

 

After 1673 planning emails, our as-of-yet-to-be-named group of Kootenay ladies ventured into the wilderness (or a posh, rented chalet) for a weekend of bonding and bike riding, (and booze and chocolate and hot tubbing and…). Highlights of the weekend are mostly R-rated and cannot be discussed without my lawyer present, however, for those of you familiar with my alter-ego, Sheba: Dancing Queen of the Desert, lets just say she made an appearance and was in fine, fine form…much to the chagrin of poor Christine who we now know can close living room blinds in 4.7 seconds when she has to.

Roughing it…

 

Our ride, planned by off-road afficiando Beckster, took us through the pristine wilderness of Rossland and then, inexplicably, onto the 7th hole of the Rossland Golf & Country Club. We were commenting on the lovely, groomed bike trail when a slightly distressed looking gentleman came running over to direct us to a bike trail that offered a smaller possibility of one of us getting hit in the head by a ball.

The nice man tells the crazy ladies where to go…

 

Pfft. Where’s the adventure in that?

 

Friend Carrie won the prize for most spectacular wipeout, while I’m pretty sure Helen took the honours for Best rendition of  Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” – with help from Sheba, of course.

Broads with bikes…

 

Another good weekend was had at Lost Ledge, location of our first camping trip of the year. Prez, ever optimistic, predicted sun and fish-a-plenty. Well, technically he was correct because, after the massive downpour, the sun did in fact come out AND, after driving for two hours into the backcountry, we did get to see the infamous Gerard Rainbow Trout spawning by the hundreds.

First camp of the year…

Uh oh, Helen’s in the hooch again…

 

For those of you who don’t know, (which will be everyone who does not live here), the Kootenays boast the largest rainbow trout in all of North America. And these suckers are massive. Imagine the largest rainbow trout you have seen. Got it? Good. Now imagine sticking the air hose from your local gas station in the trout’s mouth and inflating it until it’s the size of a small tuna. That is how big these fish are.

 

Prez and me enjoyed a mini-vacation as we house/dog/rabbit sat for friends Amy & Derek, as they jetted off to Baja for a sailing excursion. Teeka, the aforementioned dog, was one of the strangest we have ever cared for. She is the sweetest, quietest, most low-maintenance canine we have ever had the pleasure to spend two weeks with; she is also a “runner”. The 30-year-olds in “Logan’s Run” have got nothing on this girl. It’s hard to blame her, with a forest full of small, scurrying critters in all directions but that doesn’t make it any easier when you are wandering up and down the hill for the fifth time screaming “TEEKA! COME TEEKA!” at the top of your lungs.

 

The rabbit, aside from its Shreddie addiction, was very well behaved.

On our most recent camping trip, to Wragg Beach, we were joined at the last minute by an extra set of Perron’s, specifically Kip and Sharon. It was wonderful to have them along, though after the Ripster’s energetic and impromptu accordian serenades, (don’t quit your day job, Tim), it is doubtful if they will ever return. We did manage to find some fish though and had a close encounter with a moose on the drive home.

Dinner!

Is that a moose in your stream or are you just glad to see me?

What do you mean you’re leaving? Kip? Sharon? Come on, we have jam twisters!

 

I was also privileged to attend my first ever book launch here, as one of the members of my new writer’s group presented her published novel to the world. Well, the world of Nelson, but we are a world unto ourselves. Never Going Back, by Antonia Banyard, is the story of high school friends who reunite, after ten years and a terrible secret (or two…or three) have kept them apart. It’s an excellent read but especially poignant, in my opinion, for anyone who’s ever experienced the odd and unsettling experience of breaking away from friends who were once as close as family.

 

What I enjoyed about the book was the way Antonia shows us Nelson, mostly the Nelson of her teenhood. This is a unique corner of the world and I love how well she captures the spirit of this place I now call home. Here’s one of my favourite passages…

 

“Since the late 1800’s, anyone who wanted to live in their own way ended up in this part of the country. So often when Siobhan meets people they exclaim, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to live in Nelson!’ Or they lived there once and remember the time fondly. But most people leave eventually. Laid off, no prospects, the commune collapsed. Nelson is the small town people move to for the lifestyle. It is to BC what BC is to Canada. It’s not a backwater town so much as an eddy in the stream, where a person can float in their own slow circle while the world rushes by. Most Nelsonites don’t care if they miss out on the goings-on in the big city. Such things mean nothing to them anyway.”

 

I should add, Nelson is also a really great place to get some writing done.

 

Speaking of which, the maid just informed me the shells and wrappers have been swept away and she’s given the writing cave a spritz of Inspiration, so I’d better get back to the obsession.

 

To those of you I have been ignoring for the past six or seven months, which is just about everyone, please accept my apologies and I promise that as soon as the ink is dry on Book Five, in about three or four years, I’ll be back in the real world!

 

Hopefully the oil spill will be cleaned up by that time. (But I won’t hold my breath.)

 

Until next time, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!

The Princess

 

p.s. Congrats are in order for the following…

 

To Miss Eng and her stunning “Ride to Cure Cancer”. She collected over $10,000 in donations. Way to go!

 

To Martha and Patty-Cakes Roney who celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. 35 YEARS??!! Unbelievable!

 

To niece Steph, who will be Mrs.Tony in about a year’s time. Enjoy the engagement lovebirds!

 

To the Ripsters for another successful season on Everest, including the first Finnish woman to summit and the first Omani to summit. YAY team Rippel!!!

And it just wouldn’t be the Kootenays if I didn’t leave you with a bear photo. We were lucky enough to find these bears hugging. Aren’t they cute?

 

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