After three years of intense focus on therapy and personal growth, I'm finally hitting the keys again and will be jumping into NaNoWriMo on November 1st, 2016. Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday 25 December 2012

IGNORANCE - Old Trout Puppet Workshop

This week is a hard week to choose a topic because there have actually been so many.  I feel like I may be compelled to do multiple entries and get myself through the holiday season.

Tonight, it will be the production of Ignorance by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop.  It was a beautiful production that really did give perspective into my own writing.  It was in your face, simple and complicated at the same time.  Most of all, it fit within the mandate of the theatre company I’ve been trying to develop, which in a way is the best way something can be inspirational for me right now.

It was a show that played to its audience.  It didn’t simplify concepts or ideas or play to the least of the masses, but was easily accessible; brilliantly designed, written and performed; and presented in an interesting and entertaining fashion.  Never did I feel like I was being preached to; but the message came through loud and clear: each of us is in charge of our own happiness and we need to make the best of whatever shit we are given in this lifetime

Tuesday 18 December 2012


After already having another post written for this week (and with many other topics to choose from), I’ve decided to change directions and flag this as what I’m stealing this week.  It is a wonderful article from a mother with a son dealing with mental illness. 

In the wake of the shooting in Newtown this week, this mother responds with her own harrowing tale of what it is like to be a parent of a potentially violent child and the lack of support available:

This shooting and the response from the world about raising awareness of mental illness comes at a particularly poignant time for me, as I am currently working on a play about a family living with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  This play is inspired from my own experience growing up in home with a mother suffering from BPD.

Monday 17 December 2012

My Mother's Daughters

Sometimes scars cannot be seen.  Sometimes disease doesn't show.  Sometimes smiles hide tears.
My Mother's Daughters is a look at Evelynne and her family.  Evelynne suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  Evelynne suffers: so does the rest of her family.  Mental illness is difficult to detect and even harder to live with.  The effects ripple through the lives of everyone it touches, but no one ever talks about it.  This is a story that gives a voice to all those who suffer from mental illness and those that suffer indirectly.  Mostly, it is for those children who don't have a voice; who spend their days living in fear.


You walk in a room.  There is a box in the middle of the room.  The box is marked "HELP".  There is a man in the corner of the room.  He looks familiar.  Otherwise, the room is empty.  What do you do?  What is in the box?  Is it offering help or does something inside need it?  Who is this man?  Where do you know him from?  What has brought you to this room and why don't you leave?  And WHAT IS IN THIS BOX?
Box looks at the struggle we all face when confronted with our inner demons.  Those little frailties within each of us that haunt us and keep us from achieving our full potential.  Those voices inside ourselves that make us doubt our abilities, talents and self-worth.  Often, we try to ignore these voices, but that doesn't mean we stop hearing them.  In Box, we follow Mi through his struggle to break free of these voices.  But, how does one do that?

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Little Girl Jean and the Extraordinary Mr. Cartwright

Jean Albion is a journalist; at least she hopes to be.  Currently, she works as a copywriter for the local newspaper and lives with he Aunt Marbie in her old row house in the wealthy part of town.  Jean was orphaned at 12 years old and spent most of her life in boarding school without any connection to friends or relatives.  One night, at a fundraising gala, Jean bumps into Mr. Renald Cartwright; a playboy, billionaire, CEO, and man of mystery.  No one knows much about Cartwright, except that everyone wants to be associated with him.  After a brief encounter where Cartwright shuns her, Jean is invited to meet him at his office.  Her journalistic senses intrigued; she attends, only to begin a journey into the depths of a world that few people are privileged to know...

The Procrastinator's Song!

The Abyss

Everyday, I stand on the edge of the abyss, staring in
I wonder if I should jump, make the leap into the quiet solace.
It is peaceful and calm and makes no apologies, depression.
I could descend, descend into madness, no explanation for my activities, chaos.
Everyday, I fight to remain in the land of the living, conscience.
I attempt to survive the best I can, but each day they call, the voices.
The voices from the abyss, they tempt me, they want me, they lure me towards the edge.
Routine, routine is the only way to keep sane, to remain present.
I try, I try to avoid the edge, but each day I creep closer and stare over longer,
I count,count the time as it passes, nothing, nothing changes.
Everyday I look for new things, something else to keep me present, keep me alive,
but nothing changes, everyday the same, and the edge, oh, the edge,
it draws me near, I see it, I close my eyes... jump?
No, not today.


Not An Addict

My Heart Lies Over the Ocean

Catnap Dreams

Dear Cat,
Do you daydream?
Do you daydream as I do?
Lying there with your eyes closed
Imagining worlds beyond your realm
Seeing things that will never be true?
Do you dream as I do?
Do I dream like you?

Drink Up, Little One


He was my words.
He was my voice.
He was my air.
And now my air is gone.

Porn! The Musical

Porn: The Musical! – A fun-filled romp about an actor, Jack Hammer, that has a dream to become the world’s greatest porn star!  Jack teams up with down-trodden director, Richard “Dick” Hardman, to make the greatest porn ever made.  They hire an eclectic team of performers to create the film; including the world’s oldest porn star, a dominatrix, her gimp, and many more.  During filming, Jack falls in love with the naive lead actress, Sarah Swallows, who has accepted the job without realizing the true nature of the project.  The local church group, led by Bill Goodword and his wife, Mary, find out about the production and decide it must be shut down.  Mayhem ensues.   Porn: The Musical! echoes the classic music theatre style of such shows as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Oklahoma!.

Created by AJ Laflamme, Mike Ellis, Cory Doran; Written by AJ Laflamme; Music by Cory Doran


This piece was developed in 2008/09 with the Middle Division girls at Branksome Hall.  The play was a collaboration of ideas from workshops with the class and the writing was primarily completed by AJ Laflamme.

Stalled deals with bullying in all its forms.  It shows the troubles that students face at home and at school and in the new world of online media.  Much of the plot was inspired by real life stories of the girls at Branksome Hall.  This play is an all female cast and shows what is under the sugar and spice layer of all little girls.  Quite often, it is the girls that can be crafty and cunning with their bullying.  Using intellect to prey on their victims instead of force; which is often more penetrating and much harder to detect.  This play is meant to teach and inspire; not preach.  The affects of bullying can haunt someone their entire life.  It must be stopped.

AJ has been working on adapting Stalled for TYA companies.  It is still under revision.

LAURA-JEANNE - Inspiration for "Empty Boxes"

As I sat down at my computer this evening ; I was thinking about what I wanted to work on to fulfill my 15 minute daily writing quota, and I was scrolling through Facebook (avoiding doing the edits to my play that has a reading next week), when I saw one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen and it brought tears to my eyes and I realized what this week’s plunder will be...

LAURA-JEANNE aka “Wicksted” (sorry, Luc!) or Yoga, Barefoot Queen of the Garden / Someone I’m honoured to call one of my closest friends

Tuesday 4 December 2012

SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL - Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire

This book has given me inspiration in quite a number of ways, but mainly, after destroying my faith in humanity, Lt. Gen. Dallaire has rebuilt it.

I feel that this is a piece of work that everyone should read.  It tells about the horrible way that humanity, mainly in the Western world (in which I live), abandoned the people of a nation to be slaughtered by their warring overlords and how the group of people sent in to help had to stand helplessly by and watch the genocide because when they sent their pleas for aid to the rest of the world, everyone turned a blind eye.  The book is an incredibly accurate and personal account from Dallaire's own records and memories.  You get as real a sense as possible from a book as to what life was like on the ground.  I won't insult Dallaire or any of the people who were in Rwanda at the time of the genocide by claiming to actually have a genuine sense of the horrors that they experienced; from what I read, I feel like evening my greatest imaginings couldn't compare.  Dallaire does do a wonderful job in his descriptions of what it was like from all the senses.  The constant reminders of the smell within the book are particularly resonant.  Shake Hands with the Devil is not a book for the faint of heart, but it does remind us of our responsibilities to each other person on the planet and what happens when we fail to fulfill those responsibilities and therefore, I consider it  essential reading.

Monday 3 December 2012

Photography - RANDOM

Photography - THINGS BY PEOPLE

Photography - ANIMALS

Photography - PEOPLE

Photography - NATURE

Photography - LANDSCAPES

Empty Boxes

Empty Boxes will be in production in May 2013 in Toronto, ON.  For more information, click here.

When moving: what are the things that you take with you and what do you leave behind?  Empty Boxes looks at Kevin and Sarah; a couple that has decided to part ways after a long relationship because Sarah's career is taking her to New York and Kevin's remains in Toronto.  We find the couple in the midst of packing up the apartment and dividing the pieces of their past life together.  Throughout the play, Kevin and Sarah's memories take the audience through their first meeting, moving in and the struggles two young professionals face while trying to balance their relationship and careers.  Empty Boxes is a look at two people just trying to figure things out with some sarcasm and laughs along the way.

Tuesday 27 November 2012


Appropriately, I think my first post should be about the book that has changed my way of thinking and approaching writing, which has caused me to actually start doing it on a daily basis; a goal I have been trying to achieve for the majority of my life.

Kleon's book, Steal Like an Artist, threw open the windows and let me peer into the world of successful writing with his 10 things he wish he'd known; like sharing your ideas and work.

This is what this blog is about.  I have had a diverse employment background, but all roads have led me back to theatre, where I work primarily as a stage manager.  This pays my bills and keeps me current with the artistic pulse of my community.  My passion for writing has existed since I was a small child, but I have always had trouble getting past the title (as a kid, I wrote a book of titles).  The thought of actually having to come up with and write an entire story has been daunting, if not debilitating, to say the least.

The thing I most attribute to Kleon, is his ability to break down the writing process so simply that it smashed through the wall that my fears had built and empowered me to be comfortable with obscurity and my small daily writing successes (the sum of which I hope will be a finished novel and a future career as an authour... I'll keep you posted!)

The reason I find Kleon's book so accessible, is because it is short, direct and simple to follow.  Most of all, it makes you feel like you are not alone, something very important in what can be a very lonely profession.  The fact that everyone feels insecure about their work and fears that one day the ideas will just stop coming is so reassuring.  It is exactly what the unknown authour needs to hear.  It also tells you to enjoy your obscurity while you have it because no one is judging you right now.  This is the time to take risks, be wild and creative because you have not yet been pigeon-holed or fit into a genre or style.  It's a great place for a writer to be.

My inaugural theft has been from Kleon.  Theft is more like thefts, which are most of the ideas that he talks about in this book, including this blog.  Also, my work progress calendar, the way I rearranged my house to create an appropriate analog workspace and the freedom to steal good ideas to make my own better.  For these and many more things, I am very thankful!

So, Mr. Kleon, this blog is for you!

If you would like a copy of Kleon's book, you can get it most places books are sold.  Check out Chapters, Indigo or  I found my copy at Urban Outfitters for $10.95.  Go figure!  You never know where you will find something that will change your life...