Tuesday, August 22, 2006

There's more than one way to skin a fish...

Does anyone else remember that saying from Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace"? The hero couldn't figure out why anyone would want to skin a fish, missing the point of the comment completely, or so we thought until the very end when he saves her. I love that book. :)

Anyway, my fish skinning is all about the film industry here in Vancouver. No one does tours, not the biggest to the smallest lots. No one wants to talk to me to answer a few question...at least no one we've called. Which are official channels for the BC film industry and all the studios. Yeah, I'm stubborn. :) So, we're going "unnofficial routes". We'd already decided to do lot drive bys and take pictures through fences when one of the small production companies suggested doing just that. Even told us their lot was visible from the road. I can't remember their name right now, but they will for sure make it onto my "Current Projects" page when I get home. I love friendly people, even those under limitations due to liability insurance.

However, I will not be thwarted. I'm interviewing waiters, store clerks etc. asking what I want to know and coming up with some surprising alternatives. The dedication for this book is going to be interesting to say the least. :) My family are all used to being with me and barely blink an eye when I start interviewing perfect strangers, but my son thinks I should tip the waitstaff extra when they answer my questions. Which I happen to agree with, so all is good. LOL

I really do love Vancouver...the people, the diversity of culture, the fact that walking into a mall I hear no less than four languages in discussion around me. (Good thing I took so many years of so many different foreign languages in high school and university.) It's said that Vancouver is a mini-Hollywood, but no two towns could be more different. I haven't seen a single limo since I arrived (and anyone who has been to Hollywood knows that's so not the case down there). One cafe server said she thinks the city's film industry is just a whole lot more subtle and I'm buying that.

The different types of architecture are gorgeous...there are lots of trees downtown just like in my beloved Portland and the drivers actually use their signals. (We find this so rarely on our travels, I thought I had to mention it.) Love the earth friendly electric city buses and lightrail. Love the guy dressed in goth punk retro leather (who is at least 50) asking the conservative businessman for a light (I'm inside looking out through a window and safe from the smoke that kills me) and both of them smiling at each other and chatting just a short bit before the aging punker moves on.

Love that even in rush hour the traffic is nothing like Portland's twice a day madness and lightyears from LA's gridlock.

Wishing my Canadian friends were close enough to get together for coffee...but I will say my trip to Calgary last year left me hungry to return, so who knows? One day...

Right now, I've got to finish cleaning out my in-box before my laptop runs out of battery at the Internet cafe. :)

My question for you...when was the last time you had to come up with another way to skin the fish and did it work?

Hugs to all,

P.S. I have not forgotten the contest winners for last week, but I'll be drawing their names and the one for this week by Monday at the latest. :) (Prize 1 for last week is a CD with Denyse's books on it drawn from comments to her post. Prize 2 is a grab bag of books and chocolate from my prize shelves drawn from all the other comments from last week. The winner for this week will get another grab bag and some goody from Vancouver that my heroine Jillian would find particularly interesting. Remember she's ecclectic. :) The winner will be drawn from comments made on posts since Sunday.)


Brandy said...

Vancouver sounds fantastic! I will defintely have to visit sometime in the future. Couldn't you contact someone who has a production company not only in the states but one in Vancouver as well?

As for the skin a fish thing? Didn't like the public schools where we live, can't afford private schools, so......I now homeschool my Daughter under an umbrella private school. A lot cheaper, but still a great education! (does this count?)

catslady said...

Vancouver does sound wonderful.

The only thing I can think of at the moment is when my smaller phone co. and aol where arguing about renegotiating terms and in the process I lost my internet connection. After days on the phone with both I got a local newscaster involved who ferrets out these kinds of problems for the little guy and low and behold negotiations were settled after it hit the airwaves lol.

Hope that fits the question.


I visited Vancouver 2 summers ago with the family. It was great. If you get a chance visit Victoria which is a few hours away via ferry...nice little town.

Deborah Chan said...

Have you visited Vancouver's china town...yummy food.

Shuck Ying said...

There are many ways to skin a fish. I guess my version of skin the fish is similar to Brandy. There was a better school in my Mom's area, so we used her address for my daughter so she could attend since we live outside of the boundaries.

Jennifer Y. said...

I love "Saving Grace"...one of my all-time favorite books...hmm...might have to re-read it again.

Chantal said...

I used to live in Vancouver. It was so beautiful there. I'd love to go back and visit.

Come to Ontario Lucy!! I live just outside of Toronto, and lots of movies are shot there.

Estella said...

Having my children use their fathers address so they could attend a better school.

Stacy~ said...

We've got some innovative thinkers here - very cool. I can't think of anything that comes to mind, but there's probably something. Hopefully it's not something that resorts to whining to get my way LOL.

I guess if things were that easy Lucy, you might not enjoy your job so much. I'm loving your recap of Vancouver. It sounds fascinating.

lidia said...

I'm jealous. Vancouver sounds a wonderful -- a great place to visit.

I can't think of anything right now. If I do, I'll come back and post it.

Melissa said...

Vancouver sounds fascinating. You're making my travel feet itch! I've never been to Canada at all, but have always thought the west would be especially beautiful.

In my work as a Speech-Pathologist it seems I'm daily thinking of new ways to "skin a fish" whether it be eliciting cooperation from patient's, physician's or insurance companies. The most frustrating is the semantic games I play with medicare. Flexibility is the key I suppose.

Happy travels Lucy! Congratulations on finishing the book! I received my Blog Party Consolation prize Saturday and have already finished Wedding Vow of Revenge. I loved it! Thank you so much!

Cryna said...

So glad that you are enjoying Vancouver, it is a beautiful place, and as suggested if you get a chance to take in Victoria it will be well worth it.

There are a lot of different ways to skin a fish...at present I cannot think of something to fit in but that is probably because I have not had enough coffee to get me kickstarted yet this morning....

Minna said...

Few years back I wanted to spend few months in Canada as a exchange student and visit my relatives. However, it turned out it wouldn't be possible, so instead I went to U.S.A. and after my studies there were over I went to Canada for a couple of weeks and visited my relatives.

Sue A. said...

I loved hearing about our city from a visitor's view point. Make sure you come back to Vancouver in 2010 for the Winter Olympics. I'm very excited about Vancouver/Whistler hosting that.

And about the skinning the fish... sorry I can't think of anything right now.

Jenn said...

I would love to travel to Vancouver. Really I would love to go to the Pacific Northwest and on up. I went to Toronto way back in high school on a choir trip. Someday I may get to go again.

Right now I can't think of anything in answer to the question. I'll have to think about it some more and see what I come up with.

kim said...

have fun. have't been there in forever, so jealous. hope to go there soon

Louisa Edwards said...

Hi Lucy! Vancouver sounds lovely. You know, I bet it feels very different from Hollywood, because Vancouver is an actual city, rather than an amusement park.

Umm. I skinned the fish by writing a book of my own when I had to quit my wonderful publishing job!

robynl said...

I've been to Vancouver and Victoria and loved it. Beautiful scenery and love the ocean.
Hope you get to skin the fish.

Cherie said...

Vancouver sounds like fun. The furthest I have ever been into Canada is the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It was lovely. As for skinning fish,I remember in college having to do a group research project and some of the group members were pathetic and I suspected would not come through for the group so I took the liberty of doing the extra research needed. The professor was so impressed that he ended up giving me an individual A and penalized the others who did not do their part.

Cherie Japp

Maureen said...

I think that saying is appropriate for anyone raising children. Everyday there is something to work out. Like today my daughter and her friend are off to New York to meet up with my sister for shopping. I get a call. The train station parking lot is full. There is no other parking anywhere near the station. So onto the internet I go. Look up the next nearest station, find their schedule, pick a time they could make, call my sister's cell phone and tell her what train she is now meeting. Thank God for technology.

Lucy Monroe said...

Oh, Lisa & CanadianFriend...I LOVE Victoria. It's one of my favorite places, but this trip is strictly for getting a true feel for Vancouver since it's been a while since I have stayed here. :)

Deborah C...we'll definitely go to Chinatown. My favorite Asian cuisine is Vietnamese and we've found a *fantastic* restaurant near our hotel for it. And right next door are Japanese and Chinese restaurants, all of them with really clever names. Too fun...not to mention yummy!

I'm loving everyone's "skinning fish" stories. Isn't it cool how life is more exciting sometimes when we have to search for a new way to get things done?

Good for you, Catslady! Sometimes, we have to go the extra mile to make the big dogs sit up and take notice.

Brandy...I think I told you that I homeschooled my kids until 5th and 6th grades? Loved it. Shuck Ying and Estella...schooling choices for our kids *is* hard. We currently have all three teens in different high schools based on each individual kid's needs. I tell people all the time that my writing income goes to taking my family on travel and paying for my kids' schooling. LOL

Me too, JenniferY...even had the same thought as I was quoting it. LOL

Chantal...I'd love to come to Toronto...Harlequin's headquarters are there. Would be nice to meet some marketing people, not to mention readers. :)

Lidia...you would love Vancouver and with as much traveling as you do, I'd be surprised if you didn't make it here eventually.

Melissa...You're a speech pathologist? How cool is that? I loved the one my mom went to after her stroke several years ago. We all did. She made a *huge* difference in my mom's recovery. Your job is SO important to so many people! And I hear you working with the insurance people.

Minna...I love to travel. Always have. I wanted to do a student exchange, but it didn't work out. I hope my children will do it while they are at university.

Sue A...I didn't know I had any readers in Vancouver! I mean that I knew...I sound like such a dork...yes, my books sell as well in Vancouver as anywhere else. LOL Anyway, you know what I mean. If you've got time to chat and want to be interviewed, or want some books signed, email me off my website and we'll set up something if we can. I'm here until Sunday.

Jenn...if you DO come to PNW and are in the Portland area, you make sure and email me ahead to see if we can set up a visit. :)

Kim & RobynL...some places really connect with us, don't they? Vancouver is like that for me too.

Stacy...LOL on the whining. It *is* an alternative way of getting something done, no? ;-)

Louisa...LOL Yes...it is SO different. We saw our FIRST limo today. Unlike Portland, where there are lots and LA where there are MEGA LOTS, this city has a dearth of them. So...I want to hear how the book is doing...done, yes? Email me if you'd rather chat details offline. :)

Cherie...same thing happened to me once on a paper. Group projects have NEVER been my favorite thing. One of the reasons I could never write with a partner. LOL

Maureen...the technology thing is so true and you know, when that kind of thing ends up in a book, people say, "No one does stuff like that." LOL

Jen in WA said...

I've not been to Vancouver, but did visit Victoria a couple summers ago. We took the ferry up from Seattle... very fun weekend and would recommend visiting Victoria if you want to see an "old=world" feel in a modern town.

The skinning the fish question is pretty hard for me. I tend to just follow what's been done before me.

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Jen...I sort of thrive on this sort of thing. I guess you couldn't tell, huh?

Kathleen said...

Vancouver would be a great place to visit...some of the posts make me want to just pick up and visit their right now :)

Sue A. said...

Hi Lucy, I just found your reply to my post, I think a little too late since it is now Sunday. I hope you got everything you needed from this trip and I hope there was some time for fun. Did you get to check out the PNE?

Have a safe trip home! (And I'm crossing my fingers that all goes smoothly throught the airport-YVR for you.)