Transformation Tuesdays With Guest Author Lisa de Nikolits

Welcome to Transformation Tuesdays!

Author Lisa de Nikolits stopped by on her WOW! Blog Tour to talk about transforming life’s rough patches into good moments.

Surviving A Cross Country Road Trip

Benny (of West of Wawa) travels nearly twelve thousand miles on a bus, making her way across Canada, and she does it all in seventy-two days. That’s a lot of distance!

And while Benny survives by self-medicating with prescription meds, alcohol and hash, those aren’t exactly well-advised items for your average long-distance travel! Benny also makes pit stops and falls into the hands of nasty bad boys and in the end (plot spoiler alert!) she survives by taking stock of her life and learning valuable lessons from all the hurts that she endures; she may fall down but she gets back up again and she realises that she can choose to either travel though life and become increasingly bitter or she can take responsibility for her joy, and make the best of things.

Because often times, (in fact, it seems to me that it’s more often than not), life can be one crazy cross-country trip that never ends and there are times when one wants to scream ‘let me off this darn bus, I can’t taken this road trip any more!’

But we can’t get off (well of course we can but that’s way too dark a scenario and we don’t want even want to go there) – so we want to stick it out because we want to keep on keeping on and gosh darn it, we’d like to succeed, have some fun along the way, be loved and love, and not just have the trip be one endless stretch of lonely highway after another.

So, firstly, how does one survive a cross-country road trip of the real-life bus kind? By making sure that the way is lined with a series of small treats (and I don’t mean valium or hash or Southern Comfort!) but the solace of a good book, or a playlist of your favourite music, or a fresh pair of socks that are so soft and sweet-smelling that pulling them on feels as good as a hug.

And what about surviving life, that toughest long-distance journey of them all? My particular bag of tricks to surviving includes a lot of ceremonies and a lot of gratitude and I love to combine the two: I light candles in gratitude for a roof over my head, for a good man I was so blessed to meet, for creativity that means the world to me; creativity that I’ve been blessed to be able to share, for good friends, for neat things like knitting and watching a full moon in all her beauty, for enjoying a latte or soaking in a glorious bath, mindful that I have access to all the hot water I want when so much of the world goes without.

I’ve also come across a couple of handy tools for the emotional long-distance journey: journals are great;  write it all down, the good, the bad and the downright vicious. Workshops are fantastic – we spend so much of this life believing (erroneously) that we’re the only ones to suffer this kind of human pain and therefore, connecting with others is great in helping you see that you’re not alone – life is tough for so many. Just having that kinship can be incredibly reassuring and healing.

There’s no doubt in my mind that every journey we take, be it a project close to our heart or a drive from one place to another, comes with its own unique challenges. And who knows, maybe not everything that happens to us is for the best. But we certainly can make the best of everything that happens and for me, that’s the biggest secret to surviving this long, joyful, hard, bumpy, tiring, funny cross-country road trip called life. 

About West of Wawa  
West of Wawa West of Wawa   by Lisa de Nikolits Emotionally battered and bruised, 29-year-old Australian immigrant Benny is looking for escape, not redemption. Escape from herself and the dismal failures of her life: her first solo art exhibition is panned by critics and her husband left her for an Andy Warhol look-alike. Isolated from her family, her career as an abstract artist in ruins, she comes to Canada and finds solace working eighteen hours a day as a graphic designer in a disreputable agency. Numbing her pain with hard work, she self-medicates with prescription meds, and becomes involved in a series of increasingly dubious relationships with ill-suited unreliable men who lead her into danger. Cutting off all ties with normalized daily routines, Benny leaves her job and sets off on a road trip adventure across Canada, hoping she will discover who she wants to be and where she wants to be it.

During the bus trip she discovers junk food, cigarettes, hash and drinks a lot of alcohol. She confuses sexual attraction with love in a series of relationships with loser bad boys and continues to put herself in destructive, potentially dangerous situations. Hardcore, she travels for the most part by Greyhound bus, sinking deeper into the underbelly of a world that offers her the anonymity she seeks. Funny, aggressive, fearless and vulnerable, Benny is a road-warrior with a backpack of opiates, a map and a guileless sense of naiveté. In seventy-two days, she travels nearly ten thousand miles overland and more by flight and train; she’s a determined modern-day pioneer.

This coming-of-age novel is narrated with wry humour and filled with a cast of engaging characters. A tale of sexual adventure and feminist learning, Benny looks for escape but emerges a heroine instead; with mistakes, epiphanies and friendships helping forge her a home and a sense of identity in the true North.  

Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Inanna Publications
 978-1926708249 Twitter Hashtag:#WestOfWawa

West of Wawa is available at AmazonIndigo, as well as at local bookstores. 

Lisa’s next blog tour stops:

March 16 at Me and Reading Guest Post and Review
March 20 at Empty Nest Guest Post and Review

What’s your biggest travel challenge? How do you transform life’s difficult moments into good ones? Do you have any gratitude rituals?


, , , , , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by Patricia Caviglia on March 19, 2012 - 11:53 PM

    Sounds like you also take time to slow down. I guess that’s the only way to truly appreciate.

  2. #2 by Gloria Richard Author on March 14, 2012 - 7:21 AM

    Early morning. Waiting for my laptop to power up. (obviously already completed that one today) I take time to appreciate all I get to do today.

    I began a habit about a year ago of taking random mental snapshots in-the-moment. The view of the moon and distant planes landing will never look exactly as it looks right now. The early morning breeze is unique– I feel it in-the-moment.

    And I wonder. I wonder, “where is the breezy air that passed when I began this sentence?”

    I wonder what God has in store for me when he turns the lights on this morning. Sometimes it’s a breath-taking sunrise with striated clouds.

    But I ramble. Oh, wait! That’s fun to do, too. Enjoy your day, Patricia and Lisa.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: