Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Sparking Creativity

In my earlier life, I was quite creative. As a teenager, I’d spend hours going for walks, listening to music and thinking up stories. And while I never wrote most of them down, or even kept most of the ideas, the creativity kept flowing through me. As I grew older, I channeled it a bit more successfully. During my university years, I wrote a few short one-act plays that we then staged and were well-received.

But once I left my university life behind, moved into the “real” world and got a job… it seems my creativity had waned. I think it’s less that it’s waned as it is I’ve let the fire die down. All that remains currently is a faint remnant of the blaze, a few embers, glowing dimly in the ashes. Every so often, a breeze flows through and the embers glow hot, an idea forms in my head and I try to capture it while it’s still there. But I haven’t been able to stoke the fire enough to get it re-lit.

It’s time to rebuild that fire inside of me. I’ve let things lie dormant for far too long. The time is now. I need to recapture that glimmer of creativity and genius that used to flow so easily through me in my youth.

Okay, so maybe genius is a strong word to use.

One way that I’ve been doing this is by reading more. I’ve begun reading more fiction again, trying to vary the style of book to broaden my horizons. I’ve recently started reading plays as well. This was something that always spoke to me in the past, so maybe this is where I need to reignite my fire. I just finished reading Paradise Lost by Erin Shields – a great re-imagining of Milton’s Paradise Lost, recasting Satan and a few other angels as a females. It really inspired me.

Another way I’ve approached this is by being more attentive to the things being said around me. I have a notebook on my desk at work where I jot down snippets of conversations that I overhear. Some of it is ripe for being included into a fiction story of some kind. I just need to find the right context to work it in.

The best piece that I’ve written to date was a one-act play called Toboggan. I co-wrote it with my friend Pierre during our time at U de M. It started off with a small bit of a story told by Billy Connolly in one of his comedy specials, and grew into more. I reread it now and I can’t even imagine how we ended up writing what we wrote. Looking back, I like to think that I was just letting the Muses flow through me and I was only the channel. One thing is certain though – we had a lot of fun writing it.

I don’t recall writing most of this play.

And maybe that’s the challenge now – I am trying to force the task and not allowing myself to have fun. I guess it’s time for a change of approach. While I do need to be more structured and disciplined with writing, I need to stop being so damned strict with myself. A few years ago, Isabelle and I came up with an idea for a story, for which I’ve written some of the opening portion…but I’ve stalled. I keep coming back to it, but when nothing comes, I get frustrated and talk myself out of writing. I need to put that one aside and just let something fresh come through.

It’s time to start watching some of the movies and TV shows that inspire me – comedies. I know that my strengths lie in comedy, so that’s where I’ll put my focus for now.

What are your tricks/habits/processes to spur on your creative side? Do you do certain activities? Do you work better with people? Alone? I’m curious to hear what others have to say. How do you find your muse?

My Second Life Day: Divine Synchronicity

Conclusion of my Second Life Day saga.  Catch up to the previous post here, or start from the beginning.


As I take a step back and look at the entire scenario, I can see the Divine Intervention that was happening all around me.  Everything that happened to me over a period of at least six months was done to ensure that my journey here on Earth continued.  The synchronicity that became so prevalent could simply not be ignored.  Continue reading “My Second Life Day: Divine Synchronicity”

My Second Life Day: The Shift

Continuation of my Second Life Day saga.  Catch up to the previous post here, or start from the beginning.


I awoke utterly disoriented.  My throat was on fire, raw as though I hadn’t had anything to drink in days.  The lights above my head were blinding me, forcing me to squint.  No matter where I looked, I couldn’t situate myself.  This wasn’t my bedroom.  It wasn’t my living room.  Where was I?  I remembered being at home and in bed, but this wasn’t my apartment.  I was beyond confused.  I was still extremely weak, and not able to move much, yet I tried to stir.

Continue reading “My Second Life Day: The Shift”

My Second Life Day: A Call for Help

Continuation of my Second Life Day saga.  Catch up to the previous post here, or start from the beginning.


After purging my body of all its contents, I rightly proceeded to call in sick to the office and promptly went back to bed.  As I was carpooling with my mother at the time, I let her know that I was ill and not going to work.  Having seen my state over the weekend, Mom offered to call the after-hours clinic to see if they could take me, which I gladly accepted.

Continue reading “My Second Life Day: A Call for Help”

My Second Life Day: An Awakening

Continuation of my Second Life Day saga.  Catch up to the previous post here, or start from the beginning.


Through it all, I was beginning to have an awakening, a shift.  I realized early on that I had no love for the contact centre.  I needed to get out, but I had no goals or dreams on which to set my sights.  It was through happenstance, and through my own excelling in my job, that a direction presented itself to me.  Having gone through 3-4 different training sessions and getting to know my trainer, Colin, I realized that this was something I would enjoy doing.  Plus, it would circle back on my plan to teach.  I may not have been accepted to the university program a few years earlier, but I could still wind up on the same path, taking a circuitous journey to get there.  This realization began to jolt me out of my routine.

Continue reading “My Second Life Day: An Awakening”

My Second Life Day: Degeneration

Continuation of my Second Life Day saga.  Catch up to part 1 here.


For a few weeks, I had been feeling a bit off.  I was coming home from work and falling asleep on the couch by 7PM.  I would doze for an hour or two, and then sleep the night away.  But the next morning, I would still be tired.  Having just finished a year and a half of ridiculous hours and draining shifts at Chapters, it was easy to chalk this up to exhaustion.  I just needed to let my body rest.

Continue reading “My Second Life Day: Degeneration”

My Second Life Day: The Prelude

This coming Saturday marks a milestone in my life.  I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of my Second Life Day.  While I’ve written about the events of this day in the past, this is the first time that I’ve ever attempted to document the entirety of the story. Over the next few days, I will be chronicling the saga that I went through.  What you will read was written over the course of a few days in the summer of 2017.  Some of you have heard the story, others lived through it with me.  But I don’t know that anyone has actually gotten the entire story – until now. 

I hope you will join me on this journey. 


On March 3rd, 2008, I was given a second chance at life.  Looking back now, 10 years later, I can see the miracle that occurred on that day.  But the journey to that realization took some time.  In order to truly understand the life-altering shift that occurred on my Second Life Day, you first need to understand the reality of my life.  Or at least reality as I perceived it. Continue reading “My Second Life Day: The Prelude”

2018: A Trinity of Celebrations

2018 marks a big year for me on multiple fronts.  The first and most obvious is that I will be celebrating my 40th birthday on August 22.  I share this birthday with Mr. James Corden (we are birthday twins – both born August 22, 1978).  I’m hoping for an epic birthday extravaganza, but I’ll save that for another blog post. Continue reading “2018: A Trinity of Celebrations”

The Memory of Smells

I like to think that everything in the universe is imbued with some form of consciousness.  Whether a living creature, a plant, an inanimate object, or even smells.  Smells are a marvelous thing.  They are the equivalent to a time machine.  They link us to specific places, specific times.  All it takes is a small whiff of that particular aroma to propel you back to that memory.

I find that the aromas that trigger me the most commonly are the ones related to Disney World. (Surprise, I know!)  Working in the downtown core, I often will find myself transported back to that magical land simply because of a passing bus.  Suddenly, I find myself standing outside of Pop Century, just waiting to get on the next shuttle to one of the parks.

Disney's Magical Express bus outside of Pop Century
Disney’s Magical Express bus outside of Pop Century

It does not work on command though.  No matter how intently I go somewhere trying to trigger these memories, it won’t happen.  This is why I think smells have some consciousness to them.  I seem to find myself getting transported at those moments when I need a little escape.  It’s like the universe is trying to say “Hey, you’re seeming to be a little stressed, overwhelmed.  How about I help you take a moment of happiness and bliss.”

Thank you universe.  You take care of me so incredibly well.

So, happy reader, what is your Delorean?

via Daily Prompt: Aromatic

Nose-Picking and Butt Stuff

If there is one thing that I can say about myself is that I am an observer.  I am always watching, listening, observing everything around me.  I tend to notice things that other people don’t.  Over the years, I have always delighted in picking up snippets of conversation of people that I pass by and wondering where the conversation was going or where it started.  Am I alone in doing this?

Occasionally, these little moments of conversation will spur on an idea or catch me in such  a way that I need to jot them down.  Who knows when you might find the perfect reason to use them?  I’ve started keeping a list of pieces of dialogue, ideas, characters, etc. with a hope that I can someday use some of them.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had three specific snippets of conversation that have stuck with me.  The first was by a 4-5 year old kid who said to another child “ça va faire mal à la butt-crack, Nicholas!”  It struck me as so funny at in the moment.  While I know what the context of the dialogue was, I’d rather leave it unspecified here and let you make up your own scenario.

The second was a day or two ago, walking through our building while at work.  “Just let me touch your butt.”  That was it. And they were gone.

The most recent happened today, again at work when I overheard someone utter the phrase “It never fails – every time someone gets up to ask you a question, you’re picking your nose.”

I don’t know that I’ll ever really need or have the opportunity to use these pieces of dialogue in anything I write, but I like to think that by sharing them with you all, you’ll at least imagine a scenario where these bits and bobs were being used.

Happy imagining!