Category Archives: WritersLOG

Searching a Way Out | WritersLOG

I wanted to share it with you as i think it’s the closest, reader’s digest version of my own fears and why I am where I am right now. This is my brief History, how I hold myself back / my own “INVISIBLE SCRIPT”.

Of course there is more, much more, but this is the core of it all.  I just wanted to share it with you. I did post it on my CFG FB as will, mostly because it deals with life story and healing (and depression). These are elements I am encouraging people to share in order to heal. I am still learning how to share and heal too…

Here goes….

The Script:

“no one will pay me to be a filmmaker or actor”.

The Story, realization & manifestation:

From when I was young, I wanted to be an actor, but I was too pudgy and too shy. I had a big break my last year in school, a community play, where I got the lead role, got lost in the part and got the audience’s love, but didn’t know where to go from that point, I was in a bit of ‘dream-shock’ you might say.

Right after the high school play at christmas, and starting to fill out applications for university, I was literally sick – my body shut down for the whole last half of the year – I went from being considered for the graduating class valedictorian to barely getting out of bed in the morning. I didn’t really know why – I was too young to understand what depression was, especially under the guise of mono-like symptoms.

7 years later, I did end up committing to fulltime acting training, focusing on feature film and TV, while holding down a fulltime job in Engineering. Again, I shocked myself and others after 2 years of hard, dedicated work to my acting craft, but didn’t know how to take it from class to gig. I lived in a city where film work was limited and when I moved to a city that did, Vancouver, there was a US/Canada writer’s strike, no filming was done during the strike, casting directors loved me, but there was nothing to cast during that time.

I went home after a few months, broke and back to the old fulltime Engineering job and no acting gigs. So I decided to make my own acting gigs, wrote a script, bought the camera and edit system, cast myself out of the feature film lead role in order to direct and ‘protect the story’ – funding it all by working in Engineering. All the while, “PAYING TO PLAY” as a filmmaker, writer, actor – not “being paid to play”. I guess I was told at that young age, that ARTISTS STARVE, so I should focus on a career that would make money instead. I guess, I believed what I was told.

It’s been 7 years since buying the camera and shifting from pursuing acting into independent filmmaking, and if you’ve been following me here and/or on Facebook, you know a ton of things have happened in that 7 years both in my film world and my personal world. And YES, my INVISIBLE SCRIPTS have been haunting me the whole way.

Now, I am just entering into post production (editing) on my first feature film and I am unable to personally fund this last stage at this point. My options are going back to the Engineering job to make money to pay to finish my film or put a proposal in for crowdsource financing via Kickstarter. On the acting front, I’m now 38, a little old, but ready to dust off the chops, get the headshots redone. I’ve booked my first read through for a friend’s first feature film. It’s non-paying and just a sit down read through for the writer to see how it sounds/looks off the page, but it’s a start. I guess I need to believe I can bring value to a story, a creative vision and an audience’s experience – enough so that someone somewhere will drop a dollar or two in my hat.

I have battled with these scripts ever since high school, and not really believing in myself or my talents, “artists don’t make money”, “why you over the other talented people”, “you’re too ambitious”.

I have been depressed / searching for a ‘way out’ of this script and a ‘way into’ the one I dream of ever since.

I think I am starting to live the dream…

-SherpaGuru, Shawna

This entry was inspired by, Ramit Sethi

…and his “How to overcome Fear by the 5 minute straight jacket technique” via his “Find a Dream Job” private list, via

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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Wild Beach | WritersLog

Somewhere on the horizon the water touches the sky – or so it seems

I prayed to the grandfathers as they approached from the west
Sand in my fingers and hope in my heart
Answers for guidance and direction yet found
I openly prayed for peace for myself and peace surrounding

I secretly prayed to be done
To be nodded off to that wild beach that calls from inside my heart

Thunder looked me in the eye and studied my face
It knew I wasn’t strong enough to go alone
He took my spirit in his and walked me into my sacred place
He followed me with his words until he heard the silence i was hiding inside
His eyes dropped my breath and I exhaled a gentle wind the elders descended

They took my hand in theirs and prayed to release
thunder spoke my secret I shuttered
Not in fear in freedom
I shuddered with guilt responsibility assumed.

Sadness heavy a dream apart from known.

Thunder lifted my wings
West lifted my darkness
Path cleared before me
Destination once now forever unknown.

Prayers answered faith in journey.

Joy not knowing tests past.

This peace spoke of rests in wild
Where the sun touches the waters
Where the waters greet the sands
Where the sands warm spirit
Where spirit rise above – or so it seems.

-Shawna Cox, Oct 31 2011

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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Window of Time | WritersLOG

I believe time doesn’t exist and that love and all
relations transcend all time and space for all eternity… Until a
voice said “right now”… …I stopped thinking about
timelessness…I all of the sudden understood something quite
different. I repeated those words ‘right now’ again and again, but
the last time… I heard it as “write now”. And this is what I
wrote… I understood that time needs to exist. That we need a
window to relate to each other in this time and space. That yes,
past present and future are indeed one, but we are in THiS reality
and we need this one window of TIME to fully live this lifetime.
Seeing this one window of ‘right now’, of living only what we see
in this window of time of NOW, frees us from the past and
future…from ‘once known’ and ‘future expectation’ IF… we choose
to let ourselves look through it, giving our full attention to what
it wishes to show us ‘right now’. If we choose to let the past pass
and choose to trust that we are clear on our intention for the
future, this window of time in space, becomes our key to truly
seeing our journey in real time, just like the window of a plane.
From sunrise to sunset and around the world…know that you are
booked on the best seat and are truly on the journey of a life time
and that it’s beauty is truly passing by right before your eyes…
Let go of where you came from – you will remember when you need to.
Let go of what you expect to encounter – you will know when you
feel it. Just keep looking out that window with your full
attention, because you may just miss how beautiful your journey
truly is…”right now.”

And between you and me… I always book the window seat on a plane. I only now, ‘right now’, understand why. 🙂


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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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WritersLOG – Where | am


I didn’t know I
miss this space
this place

I’ve forgotten
until now found
again remembering


feel breath

something in


knows thrill
for it love
of it lost

breathes with me

owns me


And I ask
From this space remembered
This place found again.

Am I

-Shawna Cox
Oct 6 2010

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Posted by on October 7, 2010 in ShawnaLOG, WritersLOG


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SLOG – Light Relativity | the way home

I see a lantern ahead, held by someone I don’t know – can’t see, but trust deeply.

Ragged from time, experiences beyond this place – safe, on this path.

In the first time beyond my knowing, I feel a haven – ahead what must only be home.

I lift within thoughts, who await my return – float on beauty, anticipate wisdom to seal fate.

Destiny has walked with me.

Love whispered to me, bound me, bewitched me.

Before me, light walks darkness – I traveled blind.

There are no words, only of light – darkness of destiny.

There is feeling, a return.

I am coming home – I once, and never have known.

~Shawna Cox, 2009

little dream

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Posted by on August 31, 2009 in ShawnaLOG, WritersLOG


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SLOG – Fate, LOST TV and a little Tale to tell | SOLO

I was asked to be a guest blogger on SoloTraveler and was supposed to type a gaunty 250 post, but I got a little lost along the way.  Here’s the version that WON’T make the cut, but I RECOMMEND the read until the final choppy-chop.


Entry 001 CFilmGirl: Fate, LOST TV and a little Tale to tell.


I feel like a covert operative most days, in reality I am just a film girl who just can’t stop getting on the plane.  There is no one else who is willing or able to keep up with my adventures other than at my side via Twitter and FaceBook. I am a solo filmmaker / traveler (which means I am the producer, director, writer, camera operator, sherpa, self-guide, bad-translator, travel-advisor with a break-the-budget love of late night wine, local yums and cool-unique sleeps).


The line has long been blurred between a story I was chasing and the story I am now shaping so I can keep on ‘chasing’. Cradling my MacBook Pro, in Air Canada Exec class (Aeroplan points) on a direct flight from Calgary, Canada to San Diego, USA, checking out my latest tweet on my iPhone (ok – I have a few/many sanity/insanity tools/tricks to travel).

CFilmGirl: Missed Banff TV Fest but hit Exec Prod / Director of #Lost “did you write it with the end in mind?” haha

I jump over to FaceBook to see if Twitter auto updated my status, upload and tag myself on the same photo I tweeted.  


I always feel like I don’t have enough time to ‘tweet’ let alone eat, I don’t even know if I ‘hashed’ properly (not talking weed or pot here) but sharing these updates and nuggets of travel and film makes me feel a bit less guilty about this pseudo lifestyle and leaving my loved ones behind… most of the time. There is still the guilty pleasure of disappearing – going ‘off grid’ and THAT is the freedom of going solo.  The choice to share VS to have a secret moment.  In the end, I am the only one in the conversation “what happens on a solo trip – stays on a solo trip…”


Going solo, like going to a party solo (one note here…  I am shy & single) gives you the time to experience everything around you in a completely different way.  Much like a writer or a director, you become immersed in a world and have a heightened, focused experience that we yearn for in many aspects of our lives but rarely are able to achieve.  For some they find it via adrenalin, drugs or even rock and roll – for me, it’s travel and I am a bit different person when I step out of my life and into a solo experience without any of regular daily life’s gauges, labels or distractions.  But I am preaching to the converted and hope to convert a few of my shy and curious peeping toms that I know have been watching with a longing curiosity.


Back to me and Jack Bender, mastermind behind ‘Lost’, arm in arm in the Calgary Airport. A happen-chance meeting while in line at the USA customs began with a simple comment about a photo mural hanging overhead to kill time directed to no one in particular…  “Mount Rushmore – I don’t care to go”.  I bit the bait, answering “I think I was there when I was young. I think I was sick – I think maybe it dreamt I was there”. A Kiwi solo traveler piped up “who’s the guy with the mustache?” We all shared a short trivia moment, killing time.  


Jack was there for the Banff Festival, which I couldn’t afford to attend.  Funny cause he was the only person I would have wanted to meet at the festival if I could have gone.  Funny, cause I don’t even watch Lost.  Funny cause he was standing right there, solo and we naturally lead into conversation.  This is what we call in the media industry a ‘slow pitch’ environment.  Outside the industry, I call this a ‘slow experience’.  Others call it FATE and fate doesn’t happen if you are not open and AVAILABLE (like dating) to new experiences.


Maybe you’ve heard of ‘slow foods’ dining where instead of the typical fast-food choke-it-chow-it down-get-the-’F’-out-of-here race, a meal could last 4 hours or longer into the night and is typically shared with a larger group, turning a meal into a shared experience. 


Well, I collect ‘slow experiences’. I don’t expect something to happen at first point of contact, I don’t hit the typical tourist sight or follow an itinerary.  I shoot the same way – I don’t have a shot list, I don’t have a set cast of characters – I wake up, start moving and I let a story guide me. When I am solo, a voice seems to call out softly, demurely and it playfully beckons me to follow it.  It’s not long until I am under it’s spell, like a new  romantic interest. It grows into an intimate and at times even sensuous experience but it never fails to develop into a deeply honest and revealing journey – both for myself as a filmaker and as a human being.   


There is something uniquely beautiful to be surrounded by so many undiscovered locations, cultures, characters, behaviors and story-lines.  Traveling and shooting solo, void of negotiations, justification only instinct and whims.  Yes, there are times of danger, extreme risk and emotion but even though I am solo, I have learned to reach out wherever I am and ask for help and guidance to those who ‘happen’ to be at my side at that moment.  Places do not seem so foreign when you can be one on one, face to face with strangers and has never failed for a friend to show up just when I needed one most – I just didn’t know they were a friend until they said ‘hello’.  


It’s a shift from “who is at my side and needing someone there right from the beginning” to “I am beginning and I wonder who will grace my journey along the way”.  With that shift and a little faith and patience on my part, the world around me opened my eyes and allowed me to keep my wits about me when surrounded by the strangest of languages and in the deepest recesses of the desert.  I now truly don’t feel that traveling solo translates to traveling alone.


Through my journey, I also recently came to understand that the world bears a strong and mischievous sense of humor.  I now take each victory and each fall in stride with a crooked grin of my own as if I secretly immersed in a game of practical jokes, witty tests and a never-ending treasure hunt with a storyteller much larger than myself.  Someone, something out there is scripting a grand adventure of which I am unable to uncast myself from.  I faithfully listen to the whispered words on the wind and just keep on trekking towards the next bump or fork in the road. Taking it all in stride as I travel to gather a better understanding of my place in the world and fill an unquenchable curiosity of the world and it’s mysteries, romances, dramas, adventures, comedies and hopefully not to many more horror or war stories… 


What better way to discover the next amazing story than to step out of the known and explore solo, your own amazing unknown, yet to be discovered life.  You never know where you may end up and who you may friend along the way.


Happy Tales to you – until we meet…  


A quick note on attraction cause I am always asked what qualities I look for in a partner (dating, working or traveling).  I always pick ‘personality’ which I define as personal behaviour shaped by personal experience.  I always hit the ball into their court afterwards with: “Take the time to question, explore, discover and shape your own world – inside and out.  You will stand out in my books – I will be curious and want to know more and remember, you don’t always have to go a far as you think to find some interesting answers…”



Safe Travels


aka ‘Canadian Film Girl’


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WritersLOG – The Littlest Girl who wanted to be a Dragonfly

I miss writing, it’s been a while and there are many stories inside me aching to be put to pen. Writing may be a process that is a private and intimate journey, but the end result whisks others into this special and secret world.

shawna at kootney lake

I will share this story – it’s my first Children’s Book and would love to find an illustrator or animator who could make this little girl truly fly! Enjoy and don’t forget to dream! -Shawna

The Littlest Girl who wanted to be a Dragonfly

The little girl stretched herself out on the sand.

It was a sunny and warm day and she was watching the clouds as they crawled from the ocean and into the sky far above the waters.One cloud grew from a turtle into a racing car, another, a kitten that seemed to be eaten by a fiery dragon as it yawned in the warmth of the day.

The sun kissed the little girl’s cheeks and the wind tickled her toes and on her nose, a dragonfly landed.

Her eyes crossed to greet it and it spread it’s wings wide.The sun glistened and sparkled it’s wings and the wind lifted it high into the sky.The little girl jumped after the dragonfly – she had never seen anything like it before – it was magical!It danced and darted it’s way across the sky and the little girl giggled and danced and darted across the sand.

“What are you?” she shouted out at the dragonfly so high in the sky.

“He’s a dragonfly,” the water, the sun and the wind whispered together.

“Where did he come from?Where is he going?” she asked the sun.

“He comes from here and is going to there.” the sun shone.

“What’s here, and where is there?I want to know, I want to go!”the little girl squealed with glee!“I want to be a dragonfly!” she jumped and skipped for the sky, willing herself to be.“I am and I can be!”

Shejumped and spun and spread her arms out wide, but the winds did not lift her and the sun couldn’t make her arms sparkle.They all tried and tried, but the little girl was still just a little girl and the dragonfly was drifting away, farther and farther.

“You can’t, you aren’t and you never will be” the sun and the wind and the waters whispered.“Those are things that little girls will never see, are never meant to be.Little girls are little girls, not dreaming dragonflies.”

She stood in the sands as they held her feet.She watched the dragonfly play with the wind and touch the sun.She watched the dragonfly disappear into the sky.She searched for it, sung out to it and reached up for it, but it had gone.It had left.Left the little girl below and behind.

“I want to see what it sees, go where it goes!So tiny, so free!”The little girl cried out and there was no reply.

She sunk down into the sands.She pulled her knees in close.She thought of the dragonfly and where it had been and where it must go, the things it must have seen, thosethings she is never meant to see.

The sun tucked it self into the ocean and the moon peeked out from behind the beach.The winds whispered good night and the waters pulled back their sheets.

“Why can’t I be a dragonfly?”The little girl asked as the night spread it’s self from sea to sea.The awakening stars glistened over her head “You are a little girl and little girls must sleep.Sleep and dream of dragonflies.Fly up high and over there and then back here.Sleep and dream and fly with that dragonfly.”

The little girl curled up in the sands and the moon wrapped her in his arms and she fell asleep and she began to dream…

…she spun up and jumped and landed into the sky!Her arms glistened and spread and lifted her up high.She glided and giggled with the dragonfly over vast valleys and lost lagoons.Places she had never been, places she had never seen – secret places, the special places, only for secret dragonflies!She stretched and wiggled and reached out to the dragonfly.He smiled and winked.It was magic,she was just like him the dragonfly, a little girl dragonfly!They raced along the skies and past the stars, to the moon and around the sun.The winds whistled, the waters laughed, the sands blew and the world knew…

…the sun peeked out of the ocean, the waters tickled at her feet, the winds kissed her cheeks and the little girl awoke from her sleep.

Her fingers dug into the sands, she danced to her feet and shouted, her arms waving at the sun “I was a Dragonfly!I flew and glistened and saw dragonfly things!Things little girls never see!”

The waters waved and the sands danced and the winds lifted her hair.The sun smiled warmly and shone at the little girl, “You are, were and always will be.You do and did and always will see those secret things that only dragonflies see.You are a little girl, a magical little girl, just like the dragonfly.You can, do and will always dream magical dragonfly dreams.”

The little girl tickled the sky and the sands lifted her high.They all knew she was a little girl.They all knew she was a dragonfly.They all knew she was magical.They all knew she could fly.

Shawna Cox

(have a great sleep!)

Copyright 2007


Posted by on February 17, 2008 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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LoveLiveWork – I fall in Love

My girlfriend teases me – I fall in love with EVERYONE.

It’s true, but at the heart of it, I fall in love with the human journey through life – people’s stories, their journeys. This is where you can find them.

These are the stories I have fallen in love with – where people have fallen in love with their lives. It may have been a moment or it may be the rest of their life, but there is that point where one realises “this is THE ONE…” – it can still be a struggle, the beginning, but it is no longer RUNNING TO SOMETHING – it is now RUNNING WITH. No longer yearning to be someone – somewhere else… they have found SOMETHING and they are LOVING LIVING it!

These are the life stories I have fallen in love with. If you think I might fall in love with your ‘life moment’ or ‘life’s journey’, drop me a line and if I fall in love, I will post it here. 😉 You MUST include a photo of you Loving Living your Life. Keep it tame! This isn’t THAT kind of blog…


I hope these guide you towards the ‘Love of your Life’, they definatly keep me going!


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Posted by on August 1, 2007 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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