Reality Blog: The Coquihalla Engine Destroyer

Young Woman Rock Climbing

I don’t want to write what I’m about to.

Sitting here (in my housecoat) blinking blearily at the curving laptop screen that forms the hub of my universe, I know what I have to say — because I promised that I would tell the truth as I share my journey toward writer’s life success.

What I really want to do is crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and pretend that the last couple of weeks haven’t happened and that I can reclaim several weeks for success.

What I Don’t Want to Say

Thanks to the amazingly uncomfortable powers of human memory, I knew that this week needed to include my regularly scheduled report on how my 21-day challenges are progressing. And I also knew that it was going to be embarrassing.

As usual I had two 21-day S.M.A.R.T. goals, one for my Money-Making Website and one for my copywriting business.

  • The MMW goal was to create client-management systems — so that I’d have a structure in place to handle the business I hope to soon be generating.
  • And my copywriting goal was to write 21 pieces of raw content for self-marketing purposes.

REPORT: It’s been a near-total failure in terms of achieving these clearly defined goals.

Following that unpleasant realization, the question I’m asking myself is Why did it happen?

As it turns out, a story from my mother’s younger years is relevant to understanding my delays.

A Mostly Good Idea

Before she left to marry an Arizona rancher, my mom was a proud native of Northern Alberta. And many of her best Canada stories are about road trips made on mountainous highways in violent blizzards… with a near-death experience or two thrown in for good measure.

Her favorites involve a torturous, no-guardrails-on-a-thousand-foot-drop, two-lane mountain road through the Rocky Mountains’ Fraser Canyon.

But sometime before my mom moved south, Canada completed the Trans-5 (their version of an interstate), with a stretch called the Coquihalla Highway. The Coquihalla, pronounced Coke-ah-haul-ah, had two purposes:

  1. To give traffic, especially 18-wheelers, a much safer alternative to the Fraser Canyon pass.
  2. To give Canadians an excuse to say the most fun word ever.

You won’t find this story on the Coquihalla Wikipedia page — but the insider truth is that for the first year the Coquihalla saw an insane amount of traffic as all of Canada openly embraced the safer traffic alternative. And then — in one of the weirdest traffic anomalies of all time — truckers deserted the Coquihalla and returned to Fraser Canyon.

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Suzanna Fitzgerald

Suzanna Fitzgerald


  • This was an amazing and insightful article. I often suffer from preparation paralysis in life, trying to make sure once I start nothing goes wrong. This makes me feel better as I start my AWAI and web based writing business!

    • Thank you so much! This was a hard one to write, so it’s good to know that it was worth it.

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