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Saturday, December 31, 2011


Downtown Vancouver

Welcome to BRB, sweeties! How was your Christmas? Mine was in a word, excellent. I hope yours was too. All the images attached to this post are advertising for various New Years parties in the area I live. Others were added just for fun.

It seems this month is the show stopper for writing articles, due in part to Christmas and New Years, author parties etc, and of course like everyone else I wrote specific articles related to the holidays and a year in reflection–twelve in all. And after yakking so much about 2011, in retrospect, I’ve decided not to allow my New Years post to follow the same guideline. Instead, I wish to discuss the future, 2012. So no griping about what went wrong this past year and no voicing regrets, it’s time to move on, set new goals and work towards them. And I’d like to take a minute to share a little pride–local pride, that is.

For those that aren’t aware, I live in a suburb of Vancouver, in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver is approximately an hour’s drive away from my home and not my favourite city to maneuver around when the traffic’s heavy. We have major traffic issues. The city planners from a hundred years ago had no insight when it came to highway and infrastructure construction. So now we’re playing catch-up and there are road crews everywhere. Anyway, Vancouver has two sides, the best and the worst–like any thriving metropolis. We’ve got too many homeless, huge job losses, high taxes and the cost of living has gone through the roof. Just to give an example, in order to purchase an average home in Vancouver you’ll need approximately $800,000.00 dollars, so if you’re seriously thinking about immigration take the time to investigate and weigh your options. You’ll need a wage of $20.00 an hour just to get by and forget any type of mortgage unless you’ve got a dual income. It isn’t cheap and right now decent jobs are scarce.

Okay, that sounded all doom and gloom, but not to worry, there is a silver lining when it comes to living in Vancouver–actually anywhere in Canada. For all the problems we do have in this province, there are some really wonderful things I’m proud of, like our medical care, which is for everyone whether you’re a homeless person on East Hastings or the wealthiest celebrity. The Rocky Mountains provide Vancouver and the Lower Mainland with this amazing backdrop and spectacular view. We have various outdoor sporting events held all year round. Vancouver is part of a natural rainforest, which means we have clean drinking water. The city is well cared for, most people are friendly and we are home to some great sports teams like the Vancouver Canucks, B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps. We also have a large variety of ethnic groups. You can shop at the Asian night market in Richmond or dine in Little Italy, and we celebrate each holiday with flare!

Speaking of flare, another celebration that’s huge this time of year in Vancouver is the Chinese New Year. Vancouver has the largest Chinese population in North America second only to San Francisco. While pondering over today’s post, I happened to come across an interesting article about China town, which has great photos and information. If you'd like to read it here’s the link:

China Town 1885
Now I’d like to take a look at the year ahead and I’ve got to admit, it looks pretty promising. My husband and I will be downsizing our business come February and preparing our home for sale. We’re planning on moving, eventually. I know that might sound bad, but trust me, it isn’t. We plan to do other things in 2012–less stressful and more financially stable. For me, I might get back into book keeping and I hope to jumpstart a new online business. My husband wants to take some courses–upgrade his education. We’ll keep our present company, but plan to alter it. You know those reality type shows, where people give up their old life for a completely new one? Well, you guessed it, that’s us. And we’re excited about it. We’ve planned for so long, it’ll be nice to see our dreams come to fruition.
Robison Square Ice Ring by Casey Yee
As for my writing… It definitely won’t be the same in 2012, as I’ve set new and important goals. I’d like to expand–to publish more novels, but also in different genres. Plus, I’ve decided to discard what isn’t necessary and hinders my writing, simplify and clean things up. This includes websites, blogs and my Internet profiles. 2012 will be the year of big changes for me. So don’t be surprised if you see new layouts and other strange things going on.

Anyway, in closing, I’d like to thank all the authors and other guests that sent articles, book promos and interviews for posting at BRB in 2011. It was tremendous fun and I enjoyed playing the host. A special thanks goes to Edward and BL. Love you both! To the readers, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your witty, interesting and at times, very insightful comments. And to my family, friends and everyone, thank you for the unwavering support.


Blak Rayne

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