After five winters spent living and skiing in Whistler, it finally happened.
Becky Mason’s disdain for the cold caught up with her. Well, the circulation challenges she inherited, more specifically.
“I remember the other winter just being horrendous with the queues—waiting in the [lift] queue for over an hour, I just can’t do it if it’s below, like, -9” degrees, she says. That’s usually the point where her hands turn white, before inevitably deepening to a concerning shade of blue.
So, last winter, Mason, originally from the northeast U.K., decided to give herself—and her hands—a break from the slopes. She imagined that would mean picking up a new hobby to add to the wood-burning masterpieces she designs as a side hustle, or maybe a different sport to occupy her free time. Writing a book wasn’t exactly on her radar. But, like so many good ideas, this one was born out of good chats with close friends.
“It just kind of happened,” she recalls. “I was talking to some girlfriends when we were gone for coffees or dinner, and we’d just start chatting about things we’d all been through—if someone’s telling a story, quite a few people would be like, ‘That happened to me!’ or ‘Oh my God, I’ve done that!’ When we’d laugh about those things, I started thinking, ‘Why has no one wrote a funny book or something about the things women have been through together?’ Just to let each other know, like, it’s normal, everyone goes through this.”
Mason’s thoughts kept drifting to one of her own favourite reads, Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
“I love that book, I think because he’s just so blunt, to the point,” she says. “I thought, ‘Why is there nothing like that for girls, talking about random stuff you talk to your friends or your sisters about?'”
When Mason’s Google searches for a book fitting that description didn’t turn up any particularly interesting results, she started asking search engines “how to write a book” instead. “I just kind of went down a wormhole,” she says.
Plus, “I like to dip my toe in lots of areas to see what I enjoy,” she admits. “I guess it was just the challenge of something.”
The result is F*ck Yeah, You Got This Girl!, a lighthearted read promising “A Humorous Insight on Navigating Social Media, Love, Money and Friendship,” written mostly during the cosy mornings or afternoons Mason spent with her laptop and a warm drink in Blenz Coffee Shop over several months last winter.
“I wanted to do something short and snappy for people like me who kind of enjoy reading but just have a short attention span and want to do other things with their day,” she says.
Mason drew on her own lived experiences, and borrowed a few anecdotes from friends, to compile the 154-page collection of relatable, short stories filled with valuable nuggets of advice about everything from dating to money management habits she’s learned over the years. That wisdom begins with the first chapter: titled “I will block your fake ass,” it tackles maturing in the internet age. “That was a big thing for me, because we all go through this love-hate relationship with social media,” the 30-year-old says. “It offers such a good platform, but we’re all mentally falling apart.”
Essentially, Mason’s book is an unfiltered self-help guide filled with advice she wishes she had in her early-20s, and stories she can reminisce on laughing—even if those experiences made her cringe at the time.
Mason even picked out a pen name: R.J. Pepper, for her initials and the horse she rode growing up. Initially, “I was very unsure if I wanted to share [the book] with people or just keep it anonymous,” she says.
Mostly because “I didn’t want to put pressure on myself because I didn’t know how it was actually going to turn out,” she adds, but a couple NSFW passages contributed to her hesitation.
“I haven’t told my dad yet,” she says with a laugh. “I told my mom, but very reluctantly—my mom was like, ‘I want to read it,’ And I was like, ‘please don’t.’”
One chapter “talks about not being able to keep your hands off your partner in the first year,” she offers as an example.
The friends she has told, however, have been nothing but supportive, offering help with everything from taking photos to spreading the word to even displaying her book on their shelves. "This community, it blows my mind every time," Mason says.
F*ck Yeah, You Got This Girl! is available to purchase in e-book form on Amazon and through the kindle store, but locals looking for a hard copy are in luck: Mason’s also heard from local businesses interested in carrying physical copies of her book, including Whistler Village boutique 3 singing birds.