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!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

THIS TOO SHALL PASS - Persian Proverb

Sometimes we hear things like proverbs or other quotes and think, “yeah, that is totally true,” without fully understanding the impact of its true meaning.  Then sometimes, you hear something that you’ve heard a million times but this time you get it; like you really get it and your life is changed forever.  I’ve had this happen a couple times in the past few years (I guess with age comes understanding).  This week it happened and that’s what I’m stealing for this post.

When you are working on a play, tech week is always long and hard (even when everything is going great!).  It is just really long hours with a lot to do, so it is often difficult to find time to pee, let alone take 15 minutes to eat.  This past week, we went into tech for La Ronde at Soulpepper which means everything else in life is on hold until we open.  Due to my lack of foresight (or my belief that I am a robot that doesn’t need sleep), this was also the same week that Empty Boxes started rehearsals.  My rationale was that Empty Boxes wouldn’t affect me because I don’t need to be at rehearsals; little did I know the emotional strain you suffer as a writer knowing that somewhere people are analyzing your words, saying them repeatedly and trying to figure out why you ever put them on the page.   As well, having actors and a director actually rehearsing your work means that your work will be in front of an audience shortly, then those people will pass judgment on whether this work of art that you’ve so painstakingly created is of any value.  Standby freak-out! Freak-out GO! (As you can see, I’ve got tech brain.)

It was while stressing that I came across the proverb: This too shall pass.  A lightbulb went on.  I got it.  I mean I really got it.  I finally understood the essential beauty and power of the phrase and it quickly entered my phone as a daily reminder. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Well, this has been a crazy week and this week’s plunder is dedicated to those people who helped me get through it!

In a previous post, I discussed how I was never really cut out to be an actor because there is so much more that goes into it than just acting (auditioning, classes, character analysis, schmoozing, etc.), well, this can be said for any profession.  There is so much more to stage management than calling a show and there is so much more to writing than just sitting down and writing.  As time goes on, I’m learning all the additional things that go into actually establishing yourself as a writer.  It takes a lot of work and the ability to juggle many aspects of your life all at once.  Well, I’m one of those people who believe that they can do anything and will take on a lot all at once.  This week has been a real “eye opener” (this will be punny in a moment; keep reading) and I have learned that I need to rely on others more.

Therefore, this week’s post is about the song that has been running in my head this entire week:  With a Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles.  Now, I am not actually using or stealing this song for any writing purpose, but it has been my motivation for seeking help from friends and colleagues.  Every time that I feel stressed and overwhelmed, the song pops in my head and I remember that I’m not in this alone; there are people who want to help.

Sunday, 10 March 2013


Well, this week I’m heading back to basics with my plunder.  I just finished reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss for the second (or possibly third or fourth time).  I can still remember the first time I read it and how it changed the way I looked at punctuation forever.  In fact, it was this book that took away my fear of the written word in the first place.

As I reflect back on my elementary education, I don’t recall ever having a lesson on grammar and proper punctuation usage, so by the time I reached university and was required to write regularly, I had no idea how to use the language to the best of my ability.  I could barely spell (okay, not totally, but I do recall that I often didn’t use specific words because I didn’t know how to spell them – the internet wasn’t what it is today and we still used dictionaries and I was too lazy to look up the words).  So, my essay would be rife with errors and run on sentences that could have benefited from a thorough punctuation attack.  It wasn’t until I read Truss’ book that I even understood how to use a coma properly (sad, I know!). 

Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a hilariously funny look at punctuation, but also extremely informative.  It has served me a reference guide for close to a decade now and each time through I gain more confidence with another type of mark.  After the first read, my mind was blown and there was so much clear and useful information that I couldn’t possibly absorb it all at once.  I focused on the coma, which over the years has become a close and personal friend. (Note:  As I’m writing this post, I’m extremely paranoid about the punctuation that I’m using because even though I have spent much time attempting to master it; there is still so much to learn.)  Thinking about the book now, I realize this must have been at least my third time through because my second time, my focus was on the apostrophe; particularly the difference between its and it’s.  (True story:  I’ve recently been editing Empty Boxes for production and I am working from a 2006 draft; I was appalled while editing at the number of times I wrote its when I meant it’s.  It’s embarrassing!)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

PLAYWRITING & COMEDY - Jason Sherman & Demetri Martin

La Ronde - Soulpepper
So the last couple weeks have been extremely busy but hugely productive.  I’m back at work, with Soulpepper on their upcoming productions of La Ronde and True West, and things are really getting underway with Empty Boxes.

This week’s plunder is coming from 2 sources: Jason Sherman, the playwright who has adapted La Ronde for Soulpepper from Arthur Schnitzler’s original and Demetri Martin, author of This is a Book by Demetri Martin.  Sherman’s work has particular stylistic elements that resonate in my own writing and Martin’s book has inspired me to look at comedy and storytelling from new perspectives.  (I know I could have probably written a separate post for each, but I feel like I’ve been cycling through ideas and inspirations from both so much this week that they have somewhat merged into one in my mind.)