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!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

15 Minute Update #4

So, my goal of 1000 words a day fell off the rails at the end of last week.  Car trouble and out-of-town visits put a hiccup in my schedule and I'm not quite at the point in my career that my routine accounts for writing while on the road.  Anyhoo, excuses...

Today, I was engrossed in the art for the first children's book that I'm illustrating myself.  Exciting!!!

The book is called: Professor Cormac's Guide to Growing: The Alphabet.  It is an instructional series of books about all the things you need to know while growing up.  The second book will deal with numbers.  This is my first attempt at drawing in probably about 20 years.  I'm pretty pumped about the way it is turning out.

Recently, I purchased a new laptop (named "Narnia") with a touchscreen.  Being a luddite, I never thought I would get much use out of the touchscreen (I have trouble using my touch phone still), but once I conceived this book, it offered the key to completing the illustrations myself.

I have finished penciling the drawings and have begun digitizing (word?) the images.  They are all scanned and ready to go.

Here is one of my favourite sketches:
Created by AJ Laflamme (Text: "Most magpies make money making movies; Neither nifty nightingales nor notorious newts notice.")

This is the first full page that is ready for press and the sketch it was based off:
Created by AJ Laflamme
Created by AJ Laflamme

I also bought an awesome stylus, so I can draw directly on the screen.

So, though I did not "write" 1000 words today, I'm counting the work I've done on this book as 1000 words worth of effort.  Also, this book needs to get done (Cormac is now 1 yr old).  I'm hoping that once I'm back at work, I will be able to get back into a writing routine.  We shall see, but for now, this is a lot of fun!

So, that's what I've been working on!

Until next time...

Monday, 11 November 2013

ON WRITING - Stephen King (Redux)

Recently, I’ve been reading On Writing by Stephen King, which is WONDERFUL!!!  I am about the biggest chicken you will ever meet, so I have read a total on one (1) Stephen King book (this will be my second), so I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Stephen King fan, except, I am (especially after this book).  His writing is so honest and accessible.  Under the Dome is the only other book I’ve read by him and I devoured it.  Many more of his works are now on my unending reading list after On Writing, but that’s not relevant to this post.

Every writer of fiction should read this book.  It is refreshing and hopeful.  Many of my greatest fears have been soothed by reading about the humble beginnings of one of the century’s most well-known authours.  Not only this, he shares his process – invaluable.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

15 Minute Update #3

Hey!  So, it's November and I'm between contracts right now, which means it's writer time!!!  (Kind of like "Miller Time" but with writing.)

November is writing month.  I have a new draft of Empty Boxes and it will be performed this coming Friday & Saturday (November 8 & 9) at Theatre Starts in Aurora, ON.  For more information on that, please check out their website at:

Also, I've set a new goal for myself.  I have to write 1000 words each day.  So far it has been going fairly well.  I have been hitting between 1500-2000 words each day (except yesterday).  I find it quite the stretch to get to 500-600 words, but then suddenly, I find myself sitting at 1200 with so much more to go.  It has been really motivating.  I have also imposed rules that I'm not allowed to watch TV (or any video) or smoke until I have completed my writing.  Now, I'm just a casual smoker, but by the end of the day, I really want one, so I either get to writing or go to bed and hope for better results the next day.  Either way, it's a win-win for me - writing gets done or I don't smoke (which is a filthy habit).

I've started into my first real attempt at a novel.  I've tried other novels before, but I get about 3-4 pages in and then never touch them again.  This one I feel has better groundwork to start, so we'll see.  Also, this writing quota is really helping.  When I don't feel like updating this blog or, I pick up the novel and plug away at it.  It's great!

Also, I've been focusing on furthering my professional development.  Every morning I'm reading 2 chapters of The Elements of Style by Strunk & White - which is touted as the holy grail of writing style manuals (so I thought I better take a peek at it).  As well, my leisure reading has been On Writing by Stephen King, which has been more than extremely inspirational.  I'm filled with confidence and motivation.

So, that's what's been up in my world!  I'll post some bits from A Man and His Dog (my novel) soon.

Sunday, 3 November 2013


I know this blog is dedicated to writing and inspiration for writing, but the place I find the most inspiration for my creative pursuits is through my “day job” as a stage manager.  Stage managing is a delicate and tricky business, yet many people have no clue what a stage manager actually does.  From family to close friends to people I’ve just met, I most commonly get introduced or asked about my life as a “stage director” - a very different thing.  To clarify, I usually describe the job as the person who wears the headset backstage and makes all the sound and lights go – a gross oversimplification of the job, but at least it puts me in the correct context of the production. 

Recently, I came across a letter written by Al Franklin, the Production Manager for Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.  The letter was entitled In Defense of Stage Managers and went on to explain why stage managers are essential collaborators and artists in the theatrical process.  For those who are only learning what a stage manager is now, at times you come across a person who holds the perception that a stage manager is little more than the secretary of a production and has nothing to contribute creatively to the process.  This post is not about saying why that is a misconception, but how my life as a stage manager feeds and fosters me creatively.  It is something I’ve been intending on writing for a while and this happens to be my catalyst.  Franklin’s letter eloquently describes many of my own feelings toward the art of stage managing.

The letter can be viewed on the “Stage Managers Say Go” blog listed here: