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Sending flames of love for a great Catamaran Getway for Dyane


If wishes were horses, I’ll gallop all the way to my Lady Dyane’s Catamaran Retreat just to stay by her side for 3 days.

Now that I can’t be there, I have lit 3 candles for her and I hope the scent from the Strawberry Flavoured one, or even the Vanilla stud, warm her mind throughout those days.

My fair Lady Dyane, you know how much  loads of us root for you, all plus Lucy right? You can and you’ll do just fantastic. Loads of Love all the way from Cameroon 🙂


Marie Angele Abanga (simplified to Marie Abanga) aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist, a minister of the Word of God and...! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled over 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

2 thoughts on “Sending flames of love for a great Catamaran Getway for Dyane

  1. I am beyond moved!!!! This post brought happy tears to my eyes.
    Thank you, beautiful Marie.

    Your kindness & lighting that candle/intention truly helped me get through today well – I could feel a powerful force coming all the way from Cameroon!!!

    Please read tonight’s post for a slice of life at Catamaran, Day #1…

    Once again, thank you for being there for me. I’ll reblog this lovely post of yours tomorrow or Friday!!!!! (Only because I just published a post,otherwise I’d reblog it now!)

  2. Reblogged this on Birth of a New Brain and commented:

    When I noticed that my stunningly talented, radiant friend Marie sent me “flames of love” via not one, not two, but *three* fragrant candles, I was so blown away. Her act of love set the stage for this conference to be one of the most exciting, challenging and fulfilling experiences of my life. That’s how it has been for me so far, and I sense with every drop of my Pisces intuition that it’s going to continue to be an incredible experience.

    I’m at my desk at the end of the second day at the Catamaran Writers Conference, utterly exhausted but proud of myself because I faced one of my biggest fears today. I read my writing aloud to a group of talented writers and listened to our acclaimed memoirist instructor Frances Lefkowitz’s feedback. I was obviously nervous and my voice shook like a quaking aspen’s leaves, but at least I didn’t pass out. I’m not thrilled about my nervous delivery, especially because I know I have the potential to do much better, but what matters is that I did it.

    I was astounded by the quality of my classmates’ writing – and I reminded myself that I was there to learn from each of them and not feel like I had to measure up to them.

    The rest of the day was one big, ‘ol writing-themed party. Lunch was delicious – it is a treat to choose from the delicious entrees and sides to eat at every meal. I had a turkey burger, housemade salsa, fresh raspberries and fresh pineapple and guava juice. (I forgot to mention that breakfast was amazeballs: Peets coffee – woo hoo!, scrambled eggs, and blueberry muffins. I had a ton of other options, but if I indulged in more of them I would’ve rolled out the door. One example is the giant vat of Nutella (that beckoned to me, but I walked away from it knowing that it would still be there for us over the next few days.)

    After lunch, between 2:00-4:30 there were lots of things going on: four lectures or a field trip to Cannery Row and John Steinbeck’s residence in Pacific Grove with a reading by Wallace J. Nichols at the historically preserved Ricketts Lab on Cannery Row where Ed Ricketts and Steinbeck met to create “The Log of the Sea of Cortez”. The lab isn’t open to the public; while that excursion sounded cool, I was drawn to two campus lectures: Sarah Michas-Martin’s The Lyric Lab: How to Mean More Than You Say, and journalist Peggy Townsend’s The Art of the Interview. Both speakers were fascinating. I was familiar with Townsend as she was a writer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, my local newspaper, for thirty-five years, plus it turns out she interviewed Craig about his book at our (messy) home when I was out of the house! Small world. I absolutely loved her talk and took notes that might be of interest to some of you, so I’ll share those later when I’m not so wiped out.

    There were two other lectures I could’ve attended (Environmental Writing and Speculative Fiction) but I wanted to work out, so I opted for a brisk walk around the campus in perfect warm weather as a light breeze blew in from the Pacific. My walk bordered the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Course. After changing clothes and feasting on a finger-licking dinner (carnitas – I know they aren’t healthy and I’m trying to eat less meat, but they were SO GOOD plus there was homemade guacamole!) it was time for a reception and then a special guest speaker Karen Joy Fowler, the keynote speaker of the evening.

    A New York Times bestselling author, she has won a ton of ginormous book awards (one of her six books is the Jane Austen Book Club which was made into a movie) so I wasn’t sure if we were going to hear someone with a big ego or not.

    Luckily, she was hilarious, witty and had some great advice. She reminded me a bit of Anne Lammot, another famous author whose talk I attended many years ago.

    At the end of Fowler’s talk it was time for a few questions. I thought of one to ask her and I forced myself to do it so I could practice speaking in front o a group of writers. I was thrilled to get a laugh from the crowd and elicit a wonderful answer from Fowler. My question was a two-parter and I warned her that from the start. I knew she lived in Santa Cruz and belonged to a local writer’s group because I briefly checked out her blog. I told her (and I’m paraphrasing) “I live in the Santa Cruz area and I noticed on your blog you mentioned you’re in a writer’s group. Does there happen to be a space in it for a very nice writer? And I’m curious what you get out of a writer’s group since you’re established and (said in a slightly sarcastic tone) a writer of some note?” I said it without a shaky voice and I also had to project well because I sat at the opposite end of the lengthy chapel. I was able to belt out my question so it worked out just fine.

    Well, Fowler went OFF about how awesome writers groups are, and how she was in a group that met in Davis for 35 years, but she also mentioned they can be terrible. She said her group is full but there might be a space coming up, so she suggsted leave my contact info. with her. (I wasn’t sure if she was joking, but it turns out she was serious.)

    I bought one of her books for my Mom (surprise, Mom!) and had her sign it. As my Vistaprint business card order didn’t arrive in time for the conference, I gave her a hastily mocked-up business card whicha photo of me and Miss Lucy on it! 😉

    I was about to hit the hay after that, but there was one more activity: the Nightly Spoken Word Workshop and Poetry Slam Discussion that meets each night of this conference. Not my usual cup of tea AT ALL, but my writing classmate and I wound up going after hearing a testimonial by someone who participated last night. It was fascinating. I’d love to provide more info. and links, and I will. when I’m not a zombie because I think some of you would really get a kick out of these three-minute-long performances we watched in the classroom. For our discussion we sat around an open fire under the stars – it was stellar. (Can you tell I’m pooped and loopy?) One of my fellow classmates was the gifted poet/conference instructor/professor Jericho Brown. (Mom, he said he’d be happy to sign a book to you and I told him about you. He’ll be in L.A. next year at the AWP Conference, so maybe you could go meet him!)

    So here I am and it’s late, but I might actually sleep well tonight. Thanks so much for reading this – words don’t do any of this experience justice and I wish you could each be here with me for a blogger’s conference! How cool would that be? If any of you know any rich people who would want to sponsor a mental health blogger/advocacy conference, tell him/her to call me, okay? I’d love to organize that!

    take care, my friends!
    love, Dy

    p.s. Marie, extra hugs and blissful dreams-come-true to you, my friend

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