Wednesday, May 2, 2018

"Drawn to Sea" by Yvonne Maximchuk


The author/artist in action.
As you probably know, I’m drawn to books about Coastal BC and especially books about women who’ve chosen a rustic lifestyle. Yvonne Maximchuk wrote such a book, Drawn to Sea - Paintbrush to Chainsaw: Carving Out a Life on BC’s Rugged Raincoast (Caitlin Press, 2013).

After reading a book, I like to discover more about the author. Yvonne has a strong online.

Blog - Yvonne Maximchuk
Facebook - Yvonne Maximchuk
Caitlin Press - Yvonne Maximchuk
Email - searosestudio@hotmail.com

Review of Drawn to Sea

Yvonne left her lower mainland home to live in the upcoast wilderness. She always loved the outdoors, and is open to adventure. After her marriage ended, she and her two children, Theda and Logan, moved with her boyfriend Albert to Echo Bay on Gilford Island.

Her new life began in a rented float house. As you can imagine, this was a big part of the book’s appeal for me. Plus, Yvonne inspired me with her willingness to try new things outside of her comfort zone. Her tale about a bad storm that made her think that her “bold new life is about to end in tragedy after less than a month” reminded me of my own storm experience. It was just as unnerving, but way less dangerous.

Yvonne learns about wilderness living as she goes: fishing, canning, gardening (her float garden looks much like mine), using a chainsaw, building a house of her own (way beyond my skills), and two kids to raise and take to school by rowboat. I can imagine that each day brought new challenges and excitement.

Yvonne met Billy Proctor, a famous longtime resident of Echo Bay. Bill is a hardworking logger and fisherman who welcomes coastal travelers to enjoy his home. He helped Yvonne and Albert (who she later married). Yvonne and Bill became fast friends and fishing partners as well.

One of Yvonne's oil paintings.
Yvonne is an artist as well as an adventurer. She uses her speedboat “Sea Rose” to reach majestic locations to paint and draw. The cover of her book and the image to the left are examples of how she captures the essence of the land and sea she loves.

Yvonne has spent the last thirty years carving a life out of the rugged BC wilderness. I wish I’d had her courage earlier in life to take such a chance.

Yvonne up at the float cabin on Powell Lake.
Yvonne's books are available online, in BC book stores, and in BC Ferries gift shops.

I was fortunate to meet Yvonne in 2016 when she came to my float cabin. Since then, we've remained in Facebook and email contact.

I'm excited that I will be meeting up with her again this May for an adventure to Tofino on Vancouver Island, and to attend one of her art shows in Comox.

Have you ever been able to meet one of your favourite authors? How did it happen? -- Margy

28 comments :

  1. Wow - such a neat adventure - for you and for her. Now, of course, I have to get this book - you always have such great recommendations. Happy weekend my friend!

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    1. She has written two other books about Billy Proctor's life and a BC colouring book. She is currently writing a novel set in Echo Bay. - Margy

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  2. I too like these kind of stories. Also recall Tofino from our honeymoon trip to the island. Though when we returned many years later it was much more commercialized...

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    1. Isn't that the way. The quaint places go commercial, but tourism in BC is an important source of income for small towns. - Margy

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  3. It must be a special thing... to live like this and know that there are more people who choose it.

    Drwan to the sea. I am a little, living in rural area I do have to travel severel hours to be near a sea but if I do I Always enjoy it very much, especcialy in the fall

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
    http://melodymusic.nl/22-p

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    1. I used to live about a twenty minute drive from the sea when I was a young, but hardly ever went there. Now I live both on the water, and near the sea and don't have to travel at all. - Margy

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  4. How wonderful for you, Margy...but it's wonderful for Yvonne, too, because you are also a very special person!
    Her painting of the island (that's the one in 'your' lake, right?) is spectacular ...a wonderful use of colour.
    As always, I love to see photographs of your float cabin. I dream of having a cabin somewhere, but my husband grew up in Montreal and has no desire to live far from some sort of city. So I content myself with drawing floor plans for tiny houses I'll never build.
    Thanks for describing the adventures I'll never have!
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel
    (We won't be doing much adventurous travel any more because I am in anti-pollution mode now and probably always will be.)

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    1. Even living off the grid I love connecting with people. I so enjoyed meeting you in person. I love drawing floor plans and furniture designs. I can't make them happen, but John can take a concept and make it real. - Margy

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    1. All of her books are very interesting. They tell the stories of the coastal communities and people who are slowly vanishing due to age and the lack of jobs far from towns. - Margy

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  6. Great books from her - I have them on my "to read" shelf here, when there is time! Learned about Bill Procter from reading Heart of the Raincoast.

    May is such a good time to visit the Tofino area. We have family with a vacation home there by the government dock. Have not been there for a few years now and really want to go again and make a trip to Cougar Annie's Garden. I was fortunate to have found the book used and in great condition. (Side note - we picked up a 16 ft. C-Dory Angler on Saturday in Redding CA. - very excited!)

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    1. I've never met Billy, but feel like I know him from all the books and talking with Yvonne. I read the book about Cougar Annie's Garden. She was another amazing coastal woman. There have been many women, but so few have their stories written down. Getting a C-Dory is exciting. I love the style. I bet it's very stable in the water. - Margy

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  7. Looks like a great lifestyle and interesting book.

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    1. I've found lots of inspiration in her books. - Margy

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  8. This review makes me want to read it right away. I love these kind of books. My family always went to see Cougar Annie on their boat and they would always come home with something from there.

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    1. 2 Tramps also mentioned Cougar Annie. I was lucky to find the illustrated book about her life in a used bookstore. The stories of women living here on the coast are so interesting to me. - Margy

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  9. I am interested in reading her since you mentioned it. I will look for it at the local book store or the library. I have not met one of my favourite authors but I did maintain a telephone conversation with her over the years whenever one of her was published. Her name was Charlotte Vale Allen. I lost touch when I moved here to Comox. She always autographed her books and sent them to me directly. I hope we can meet at the Filberg Lodge when Yvonne has her art show.

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    1. Modern communication methods do allow us to stay in contact with people that live far away. That's how I stay in contact with Yvonne since she lives so far up the coast. This meeting in Comox will be the second time we've gotten together. The last time was a year and a half ago. Hope to see you at the art show. I'll be there early Saturday afternoon. - Margy

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  10. Wow! That takes some courage! I know I would never have survived her life and admire Yvonne was making it work. Have fun hanging out with the author! And thanks for reviewing!

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    1. Especially taking two young children with her. But it has worked out very well for her and her family. - Margy

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  11. What an adventure! I like how you include a map with the review. How much fun to know the author too!

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    1. I always appreciate authors who include a map, even for fiction novels. It helps me get a stronger mental picture of the setting. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. - Margy

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  12. So cool that you got to meet the author. Her artwork is gorgeous!

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    1. Living that far off the grid, she makes her living through art and writing. Got to admire her for that. Plus, her husband is also an artist with clay sculptures. - Margy

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  13. Wow, she went really far out of her comfort zone. Could I do that? Doubt it.

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    1. She sure did, and has made a good life up the coast. She's an inspiration for me. - Margy

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  14. Thanks so much for sharing this over at my link up. I hope to see you there every week. Found at #WoW Words on Wednesday Linkup

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    1. It was fun to participate. I usually do a book review once a month, so I'll be back in June. - Margy

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Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy