Collaborating with my friend Bobo

What a great idea, with writing 101.  Cheri coached us to:

Reach out to someone for an interview or collaboration. This person can be someone else whose work you admire.

I selected INTERVIEW MY FRIEND BOBO, a fellow blogger, who I definitely admire.

Then Cheri advised, when you think of someone, reach out via their contact page.

Presto! I also checked that box the Mo way. I visited BoBo at http://www.bouzaneconsulting.com/what-does-it-take/

Cheri’s idea was that I would start right away. I was so excited!

I felt it was pure serendipity. BoBo contacted me before she was aware I was looking for her! She spoke with Hubby and asked him to tell me to call her, she had an idea!

As was sung in Fiddler on the Roof: Wonder of wonder! Miracles of miracles! I called BoBo. She was out! No problem, I resorted to email!

“Serendipity!

 You have an idea to share that between the whirl wind of my life and your destination changes, I may have missed.

 But, I need to collaborate with a fellow blogger I admire by Day 19, which is next Thursday!!!!  Are you interested still?  I am thinking your idea is a collaboration?  We could start with Day 19.

 Let me know your thoughts.  Can I call you on your cell phone?

 I can do an interview even.”

The next day BoBo and I met at a coffee shop of our choosing.  I will leave out the long string of emails as we batted back and forth different times and different places.  I have at least five favorite coffee shops and BoBo is not without a good few herself, the best being her house. Best yet, they are all South West! (if you don’t get that reference, read my blog Vanessa, I don’t want a map.)

BoBo is nothing if she isn’t fun! She hid in the most obscure part of the café. But having spent much of my life dedicated to dogs, I sniffed her out.

With a latte in hand and a chocolate dipped oatmeal cookie, I began my interview with my collaborator.

Mo: BoBo, what do you think of my work so far?

BoBo:  You have really come around over the past two and a half weeks.  You seemed to struggle a bit at first but you settled in after a while.  My impression is that you come alive when you write about your past.

Mo: I need a lot of help on the technology piece.  I just don’t get it.  It may be I am too old, but I don’t think so.  I accidently click the back arrow in the top left hand screen and I lose my post- I don’t save drafts in time. So, my struggles are most likely caused by little old me.  If you could have watched me the night I tried to place a gravatar on my account, you would have cried, and not because you were laughing. Then there was the night I lost my new post three times while trying to add a theme and widgets. I resorted to buying a theme, but the charge didn’t go through! And it will be no surprise to you that I didn’t get the theme either. By day light I had a mauve background and white page for free, which may be the only theme template I will ever have!  It matched the bags under my eyes, I just had to have it!

BoBo: If you aren’t one in a million Mo! All you needed to do was phone me.  I can teach you all that stuff in half a day.  What I want to know is where you want to take this?

Mo: Ahhh.  My interview was just ripped out from underneath my feet! Sneaky little devil you are BoBo!

I am not really sure what I want to do with this.  I really enjoy writing, rewriting and maybe I even like editing. I love opening the email assignments lately. I just sit in my room and look around it, searching for clues, inspirations.  The night I wrote the open letter to BooBoo, I looked up on Mom’s bookcase and there was the picture of BooBoo my niece Pascal painted for her. It was still wrapped in plastic because Mom didn’t want to take a chance of spoiling it. I also used a picture of the painting for the blog.

When I connect with something, my fingers just dance across the keyboard. I enjoy writing and that must explain why I am so sleep deprived today!

BoBo: I get the impression some days that you are heading toward a book?

Mo:  Once again BoBo, great interview skills!  To answer your open ended question, “maybe.”  Part of me is just content to write each night. I like the prompts and now know if I am stuck I can go to the Daily Prompt. It may take me a while to find it, but trust me, I will eventually.

You are right though.  I have always toyed around with the idea of a book. When I read Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  I was enticed. I find the early 1900s fascinating and I loved the style of that book.  Letters from friends are so exciting. They relish the topics that inspired the letters and they are often filled with amazing descriptions and tales drizzled with emotion. Of course, Bridget Jones Diary was refreshing. It is more contemporary, but so alive.  I feel like I am reliving the tweets in the second Diary, but I would have to resort to fibs when it comes to numbers of followers or likes. Even so, I could be inspired to be Bridget.

The rest of the chat strayed to other topics and we agreed to get back together soon. We hugged each other and went our separate ways.

The next morning I received this email from my blogger friend:

“Mo,  I’m not sure whether I want to hug you or give you a good swift kick!

My day starts early and usually with 1/2 an hour of catch up on emails and scanning the priorities for the next 24 hours.  The first thing I do is take a quick look at my phone to see if there are any overnight messages to deal with and, of course, your blog pops up right away.  I can’t wait to read what you’ve written so I read directly from my phone with one eye open and one closed. This is while I’m still snuggled under the covers, before my bath or coffee.

So today I started my day in tears. You painted your picture so vividly that I was there with you. I felt your grief and saw you climb in beside your Mom seeking the comfort you needed. I saw your Dad through Heidi’s eyes.

Mo, you are gifted. Do not stop writing. You are growing with every paragraph you put to print.

It was wonderful to sit and chat with you yesterday.

Take care, may God bless and keep smiling.

B”

I can only pray that I don’t disappoint BoBo. BoBo is a story teller and poet.  She also tells spectacular tales. I am blessed to have her as my friend and I feel sure as the wind blows she will always be there! She will inspire me with her stories and motivate me to keep going.

I feel so lucky having taken on a blog.  I have a wonderful niece, Rebecca who dared me to write my experiences in a blog as I wore each and every item in my closet. She was my start, my inspiration. I regularly reblog Rebecca’s fashion posts. They are as beautiful as she is. I don’t want to disappoint her either.  Rebecca is BooBoo’s cat whisperer.

With the connections I have made through blogging 101 and writing 101 I feel supported.  If I do little more than disappear daily into My Reader, I will have gained from this experience enormously.  Once again, tonight I want to thank Cheri and everyone involved in these courses. You have helped me improve beyond my expectations.  Wordpress is now making my world go round!

Let’s meet for a latte?

My little Sister, Trisha found her way West.  She settled in Kelowna, British Columbia, where life is beautiful.  I don’t get to visit all that often due to the hefty distance to fly across Canada, it’s from the Atlantic to pretty much the Pacific. Trisha and I have a lot in common, from our up bringing, to the love of wine country. Trisha loves cats (a lot of cats) but she has flirted with a dog.  I love dogs and have cared for Mom’s cats. One thing we love to do, is find a time to chat over a latte!

Trisha: Hi, What’s up?  I can drive up Westside Road to the Resort to pick you up around 11.  Will you and Hubby be ready?

Mo:  Sure! But I can drive you know. Why not meet down by the Lake?

Trisha: Nadda. You don’t know how awful that road is, and you are likely to get run off the bank.

Hubby: Tell your sister she doesn’t have to do all the driving. We don’t mind.

Trisha:  Tell Hubby to keep his shorts on.  I am grown up at 51, I will pick you both up at 11.

Click.

Hubby: Why not go somewhere normal like Vernon? We can go to Kelowna tomorrow. That way we can avoid that drive down Westside!

A couple of hours later, we were all moseying down the road in Vernon.  It was July and it was hot. We found a reasonable café and we all said, “want a coffee?”  Zip- we were in the Café. When you come from the East Coast of Canada, you don’t know the majesty of trees like you do in BC. Our trees are shorter than BC’s totem poles.  BC takes every opportunity to show off the prominence of their forests.  Even with their café tables!

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Trisha: So Mo, what do you think of today’s latte?

Mo:  Slurp. Ummmm. Sweet! Its just nice to rest my feet, so the swelling goes down. How about you? Does it meet your fancy?

Trisha:  It is a nice cup, but I should of had a double shot. My back is nothing but trouble, I didn’t sleep last night.

Hubby: You have to pace yourself, Tiss. We can beat the trails and meet up later?

Trisha:  I am pretty sure that I can keep up with my big seester. (Fun snarl) She just thinks she can out walk me!

Mo: (Eye brows raised.) Slurp.

Trisha:  It’s true! I am doing fairly well post the cortisone shot.  But, I will take it easy.  How were the Kootenays?

Mo: Sis, I get how peaceful this place is.  It is like heaven on earth. But really, these forest fires. I would rather the rain, drizzle and fog.  I mean, the other morning in the Kootenays, I turned over at 7 a.m. in the morning and I started to realize it was like I was in M.A.S.H. or something. That woke me up!  I just knew a fire musta broken out close by. I timed it. I was lying in bed, catatonic! Every four minutes, a chopper flew over the house.  Every four minutes! At the time I thought it was one chopper.  That would be 1.5 minutes to fly down the hillside, one minute to dip the bucket and 1.5 minutes to fly back to the fire. Scary!

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Trisha: Okay Mo, deep breathing, remember.

Mo: (Breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Focusing on the stomach not the chest. Crap I can’t figure out how to breath through my stomach! Grrrr, my lungs are behind my ribs.) Slurp. Good Latte?

Hubby: My tea’s not half bad. (rolling his eyes and shifting on his seat.)

Mo: (Fighting tears and struggling to talk) Alright, I know I am nervous.  But the Chalet was 1.5 kms from the highway, scenically nestled in the woods! IN THE WOODS DURING A FOREST FIRE! The dilemma wasn’t lost on me, you know. (Breathe, for crying out loud! You didn’t burn in the loft or anything. People think you are an idiot. BBBreeeathe.)

Hubby: Yah. Mo picked the place. She was on vrbo.com for two weeks. She was down to two spots.  She said one looked so quaint, but she decided on the one overlooking Slocan Lake. She came to the conclusion the other one was haunted.  She said it reminded her of a book she read where a person was murdered.  What was the book?

Mo: The Shack.  Thanks for reminding me.  That really helps, I’ve gotta say!

Trisha: Haha. Nice café, don’t you think?

Mo: (Glaring at Hubby. Hubby shrugs his shoulders.)

Hubby: Did you say there was Croc farm close by?

Mo: Oh God, he wants to kill me.  I am never gonna sleep as it is? (Whine.)

Trisha: Yep, Hubby.  It isn’t too far from here. I think you’d like the guy.  Your type really.  Reminds me of your next door neighbour back home.

Hubby: (LOL chokes on his tea.  Couple at the next table stares.)

Mo: Can I finish my story? (pause, looking for silent acquiescence and getting it, nods and all) Well, the Chalet has curtains everywhere upstairs except over the loft signature window.  So, as the chopper, corrections…the choppers… (looking pensively at Hubby) the choppers flew over the house, I could detect that one was red and one was blue. That was good obviously, so it was at least twice as far away as I thought.  I crept out of bed and downstairs and watched.  I kept timing the choppers. I realized there were two red ones and one blue. Much better. Hubby got up.  I suggested we pack our bags as a precaution and put them in the trunk of the car. You know he said no! (Look of righteous indignation)

Hubby: She is only mad because I was right.

Mo: I suppose you want me to be wrong?

Trisha: (Look of complete confusion)

Mo: Anyway Hubby thought we needed to walk the 20 minutes down the steep hillside to the dock for our swimming day.

Trisha: (Looking ridiculously hopeful and quite condescending) Now you would love that Mo.  I bet it reminded you of the Lake in Litchfield, Maine.

Mo: Oh yah, right! The only thing I had to worry about in Maine was the sunfish who spawned at the end of the dock and kept nipping me if I stepped off the rock in her direction!

Trisha and Hubby: (Glaring by this point and trying to force me into a happy mood)

Trisha: Time to lighten up, Big Seester! (Smile, or was it a smirk?)

Mo: Alright,  after breakfast I was better.  If the pilots knew we were there, and if the fire got bad, I figured they would send someone or maybe warn us. Sigh, we went to the dock.  It was nice, actually.

Hubby: The helicopter pilots even waved. We were fine.

Mo: Hubby’s logic was that if the fire got to the Lake, (rolling my eyes this time), we just have to jump in! Like we could just wait and do that ….

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Trisha: Mo, that couldn’t have been much of a fire, by BC standards.  Did you see anything?

Hubby: No.  We went to a great café in Silverton.  I asked the guy who runs it what he thought.  He said the fire was just across the highway and it  is well contained.  No worries. Smile Mo! (It was a demand, not sympathy)  He made you the best latte ever. The one with the bear. It went well with the bear bells you wore all the time.

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Post script: In spite of the record forest fires around Kelowna, BC, and Washington State, we are headed back next year.  I am picking the month of May! I will definitely wear my bear bells! Gotta love bears and lattes, don’t ya think?