by Kelly Nickerson.
Allisun Dalzell works for the United Nations and writes a personal blog in her spare time, TheQuestForTheDesk.com. This busy mother of three lives in Beaconsfield, QC.
I recently joined a new book club. What I like is that it’s a mix of ladies from different pockets of the West Island, and they’re getting me to read books I wouldn’t necessarily have picked. So far “The Paris Wife”, by Paula McLain, was my favorite. I was totally drawn to Paris in the 1920’s and now I want to go back there to visit old Hemingway haunts. Right now we’re reading “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill but I’m afraid I’m so far behind I’m going to have to watch the movie. Okay, if you want to know the truth, I didn’t even start it yet.
Right now I’m a big fan of Ed Sheeran. I always have a favorite song that I listen to over and over for a time…and then life moves on…creating space for a new song. Hearing my favorite songs always takes me back to that “place”. The Bee Gees will always be my all-time favorite; once they sent me an autographed photo for me to give to my doctor. And just like that…we became friends.
EATING & COOKING
I love La Serenata Restaurant on Brunswick Boulevard, in DDO. It’s locally‐owned, with a warm atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine. Food is one of my passions in life; if I’m not eating, I’m cooking, baking or plotting my next recipe test. I’m a tough critic; I have to absolutely love a recipe for it to make my collection. I love to entertain but I want to make food that is delicious…and easy. One day I plan to flip the best‐ever recipes into a cookbook; for now, I’m sharing them on the blog.
My whole life people have been telling me that I HAVE to write a book, so until that happens, I’m coming to them live from the blog. TheQuestForTheDesk.com has become its own reality show. In fact, I call the blog “my show” at home and when I take photos I actually yell “places everyone!”. They make fun of it all the time and claim they’re collecting their own pictures and stories for a behind-the-scenes tell-all. Sometimes I’ll be taking photos of the perfect baked squares on a little plate and outside of the frame, the kitchen looks like a cyclone ripped through it.
Right now I’m trying to win a Maine inn. Janice Sage, the inn proprietor, is hosting a 200-word essay contest where the most impassioned applicant (after paying the $125 entry fee) has to explain why they deserve to “own and operate her Country Inn”. I have about 20,000 words written so far.
I was supposed to have a milestone birthday two years ago but I cancelled turning that old because I hadn’t yet achieved milestones. Though that year I took photography and graphic design courses thinking that might spark my drive to do something creative, I discovered what I REALLY wanted was to find my way as a writer. I became an editor in my day job and only write the blog when I can…but in my mind I have plans…and things started falling into place. I actually think I’m ready to throw that birthday party this year. Not the real birthday…the milestone one! Which I think means I gained two more?
I’ve been on a health kick for eight days.I negotiated a deal with my 11‐year‐old; I’ll pay her $2.50 every time she gets me to jog from our house to the train station and back. But bigger than exercising and eating healthy, I’m in a place where I crave a simpler life. I’m learning to step back and say “no” to things. My kids are growing up so fast I want to enjoy my time with them: playing card games, ultimate Frisbee or watching movies. I run around like a nut a lot…but downtime is healthy. Feeling at peace makes me happy.
Kelly Nickerson works full‐time as Senior Director of Marketing & Analytics for a Fortune 500 company, and writes in her spare time. She lives in Beaconsfield, QC.