Tales of Imagination Never Get Old 

My favorite author sat down every morning to write before the world would awaken and bring with it the duties that made her life vastly different than yours or mine.

She wrote through sicknesses brought by the harsh Canadians winters, sometimes having to sit on her frozen toes to warm them up.

She wrote diligently, in times of grief and desperation, the same as she did on happy and hopeful days.

She beat all odds working against her; she was a woman, from a small town on a secluded island.

She went to become one of the first if not the first Canadian woman to make a living with her words.

She succeeded, in her life time, in doing something many of us writers, fail to do. And she did it all without having the luxury of internet, computers, even without typewriters in her early years.

Whenever I get discouraged I think of her. I have no excuses really.

She was a freelancer about 100 years before the word actually existed. Before she wrote her famous work of fiction “Anne of Green Gables”, she sent out stories written by hand to magazines and managed to make a stable and comfortable income.

At the time of her death she had written 22 books.

I read today that Netflix will debut a “Anne of Green Gables” series this summer.

Lucy sat down in 1905 and wrote the first words to the book that this same series is based on.

2017.

More than 100 years have passed since the idea for her story was formed in her head.

I’m honestly speechless about the whole thing, that’s how remarkable it is to me.

I’ve been struggling lately with my artistic ambitions and I’ve found why.

Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it’s what they bring to the world that really counts.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

I really couldn’t have said it better myself.


Have you ever read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books?

Do you have an author that inspires you?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

*Photo Credit: lovinkat flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Blue Lights, Growing Old and Conversations with Kids

If you look closely enough, you can see blue lights flashing among the sea of white lights when the metro train whooshes in the underground tunnels.

The kids and I make a game of it. Whoever sees the most blue flashes wins.

The 4 year old always wins. For some reason she sees thousands even though she can’t count past 40.

The more time I spend with kids the more I appreciate their knack for seeing things we adults can’t see. I think I like it even more when they own it and do it on purpose.

When they tell you impossible things with a big smile on their faces you can’t help but play along.

It always makes for interesting conversations.

I never intended to become a nanny, I was supposed to go to grad school and become a great psychologist but I realized I’d be in the wrong line of work.

I was looking for conversations that made life seem like it was beautiful and simple, not scary and complicated.

That’s the sad part of growing up, the older we get, the more what we say gets weighed down by the ugly things we’ve learned about the world.

One time after our little game I asked if she planned to count all the blue lights to infinity.

Of course she said yes.

“Do you know what infinity means?”

She said yes.

I informed her that even if I counted from this very moment until the day I died I wouldn’t be done.

She looked at me for a moment, processing the information. She then asked me this:

“Can God count to infinity?”

*Photo Credit: saori usuki flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Letter to my Former Self

Dear old me,

I think of you often. If I’m being honest (I know you appreciate honesty) those thoughts are mostly about trying to understand you, not very much about a fondness for who you are (who I were). To be fair you wouldn’t like me that much either, I have failed you in ways you might have predicted and failed to do things your brain hasn’t even conceived yet.

You and I are similar in that we’re both perfectly imperfect and you probably already know that’s all we’ll ever be. I think you get the beauty of that, although I’m way ahead of you in appreciating it to its full extent.

I see you from afar trying to cling to things that don’t serve you because you like the idea of them and the comfort they bring to your life. Life is never perfect, you know it but you still believe there’s a perfect time for changing. That one is hard to shake off. I know. 

This is not a letter to try to change you, obviously that’s impossible. If you could somehow really receive this letter I know you would though. You have it in you to be the kind of person who cares about aligning their actions with their morals.

You’re nice to everyone around you, too nice sometimes and you make up for the times you aren’t. You care about people and the bad things happening to them so much that you’re unsure how to deal with it. I can’t tell you the answer to that, I still haven’t found it. See, the world didn’t get better in the years that separate us. In many ways, it’s worse. Much worse.

You don’t think of injustice everyday like I do but you think about it more and more. I remember.

I have clear memories of all the times injustice and cruelty didn’t cross your mind at all.

Sitting down at the Brazilian Churrascaria place, wondering about what the future holds with this boy in front of you -well man- but more boy than man, feeling privileged that he took you out for once.

You didn’t think about what was on your plate at all that night. Especially not what was on your plate used to be.

That’s the memory my brain brings me to often when I want to try to understand you.

I don’t know if I ever will. I can’t change anything you did now.

All I can say is this:

I forgive you for believing there’s such a thing as necessary evil.

Much love to you,

Your future vegan self.

 p.s I do envy you sometimes for the easier and happier life that this lie gives you but I wouldn’t ever go back.


This was part of my “writing a letter to myself” February challenge. 

What would you write to your former self? 

I’d love to know in the comments!

*Photo Credit: Max Braun flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Be Your Own Hero

 “Sometimes I look at my life and…”

Someone said that to me once with their voice trailing off to somewhere I couldn’t follow.

It was such a great opening, an intriguing start to a very human confession whose nature promised the delivery of some deep truths and authentic connection which I both sought.

I was left to fill in the blanks myself with my interlocutor’s sudden silence accompanied with a swift wave of the hand.

I still think about it from time to time, the writer in me can’t help it.

Statements like this resonate for a long time in my psyche.

It amazes me how sometimes the absence of words can speak louder than all the words in the world.

It’s a hard fact to accept as a writer.

I want to put words on everything, from the mundane to the extraordinary. On universal feelings and ones you wouldn’t know you had before reading about them.

I can’t.

I tried imagining what the speaker meant to say.

Everything I came up with felt flat.

I then thought of what I could say.

“Sometimes I look at my life and…”

I’m at a loss for words.

Plain and simple.

Not because there’s nothing to say, quite the contrary.

But because there’s so much.

Looking at my own life as if I was the hero of a story, I realized that if I want to ever be able to fill those blanks for other people I should start with my own.

Of course there is power in what is left unsaid but you can’t deny that most of us crave to hear or read stories that show the universality of human experiences.

I think if we can find those kinds of stories in our own life and tell them well enough to satisfy that craving, we can then really call ourselves a writer.

If you wish to capture deep truths and have an authentic connection with your readers, you have to start by connecting with your own truths first.

You don’t have to be a memoirist but if you can’t write about the little and big things in your life in a way that makes you feel empathy for who you were, who you are and who you will be, how could you do it for any character?

I say “Be your own hero”.

Writers out there, what do you think of auto fiction? Is it a necessary first step to writing good relate-able characters? 

If you’re not a writer, do you “sometimes look at your life and…”? 

Let me know your thoughts on the topic in the comments. 

*Photo Credit: blinking idiot flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Writing Letters to Ourselves

I still have the first letter I’ve ever received.

It was from my best friend when she was away at camp during the summer. I was 8 or 9 I think.

I never went away on vacation long enough to actually write and send letters myself growing up.

As a teenager I wrote letters frequently. We’d exchange them between classes or go home with one.

I’ve always liked the art form. It’s an easy way to share a part of ourselves. There’s no immediate response needed like in a conversation.

Throughout the years after high school I’ve had a few correspondences who sadly all fizzled out.

I could never find someone as long-winded and willing to share as I was.

It’s partly why I started to blog in the first place.

To send my thoughts out to anyone who would like to read them.

I think most of us have lost the habit of writing letters.

That’s something I’d like to get back into.

If, like me, you have no one to send them to, you might want to consider an obvious recipient.

Yourself.

For the month of February I will be writing letters to myself.

A letter addressed to my past self and my future self.

A letter to open on sad days, one to read on happy days.

All sorts of letters, from me to me.

Because it’s the month of love and it should be the month of self-love as well. (or so I say!)



You can join me if you want. Think of it as a writing prompt.

Do you ever write letters? To whom?

Do you miss old fashioned correspondence?

I’d love to know in the comments.

*Photo Credit: Bianca Moraes flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Being Present on Social Media

You only get to live once. 

A lot of people say that. I don’t know if that is true or not but I feel like we get to exist more than once in this very life.

What I’m going to say may sound far-fetched but there’s some truth to it. Otherwise I wouldn’t be talking about it.

Right now at this very moment it’s estimated that 78% of North Americans are present on some form of social media.

It’s also estimated that 2.5 billion people are going to be on social media by 2018.

The numbers and the fact you’re reading this brings me to my exact point; there’s an us that’s breathing, having breakfast, walking down the street and then there’s the other us.

The one that gets to exist outside of the confines set by time and space. While you’re reading this, you and I are likely in a different city, different country, in a different time zone. Your physical self and mine are separated. Case in point; I don’t know what 99% of my readers look like.

I’ve been pondering on this other existence of mine for quite a while.

I was going to write “this other me” instead of other existence but I refrained.

I think that’s very telling of my relationship with social media so far. I’m probably not the only one to consider who I am in the virtual space as being somehow different than the me writing this right now on a crowded bus next to a screaming baby.

The fact that we can decide what to say, what to show and mold ourselves into a better (or totally different) version of ourselves has some people saying that social media isn’t real.

For me the issue was never about “to be or not to be” some version of myself I’d carefully craft but rather “to share or not to share”.

I’m sure most of you can relate to that.

Unless you’re a teenager with an identity crisis, the question of being present on social media is usually just that; how present should you be and  how?

I’ve been existing on social media for more than a decade and I’m still trying to answer those questions.

Some days I’m satisfied with merely existing in the physical world. It seems easier in many ways. There is no audience to contend with, I can retreat into myself as much as I want.

Then on other days, I want to share everything. Every thought and every little piece of me that I feel deserve to exist somewhere other than in my own mind.

All of us living in this generation have been given this gift; the ability to give our most authentic self an existence beyond what could have ever been possible before.

We get to connect with each other on a level that is unheard of in the history of humanity.

For the first time we can be there for each other, outside of space and time.

What you say or do can impact people you’ve never met or are not even born yet.

This used to be a privilege granted to only a few; inventors, writers, historical figures.

I realize now more than ever (with everything that’s happening in the world) that this opportunity we have to speak our truth and meet each other in our humanness without barriers is one that we shouldn’t pass up.

After all we’ve all learned that sharing is caring.

Maybe it’s time we listened.

*Picture Credit: susan flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Don’t Let the Mood Swing By?

Just do it.

I’m not sure there ever was a catchphrase as popular in self-help circles.

It seems to be the solution that everyone likes to tote around when they want to encourage people to stop letting excuses in and go after what it is they really want.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the quote.

I just don’t do it.

I don’t believe in simply doing things.

It’s a brilliant quote, an advice that looks good on paper (and in Nike ads) but it never worked for me.

I’m definitely not the only one.

If everyone was “just doing it” surely the world would be a better place by now.

Book sales and traffic on self-help sites would certainly be down at least.

If you’re reading this it’s proof the interest in knowing how to go after goals and dreams and how to better yourself is not down.

No, a lot of people still want answers. A secret key that will unlock the vault where their motivation and drive has been trapped.

You might say “just do it” is a great advice. The only reason people fail is because they didn’t follow it.

That’s exactly my point.

What good is an advice if no one takes it?

I’ve been in search of a better advice for a while.

I thought I’d start with what keeps me and most people away from “just doing it” day in and day out.

Mood. As in “I’m not in the mood”.

Just because mood is a temporary feeling about something doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.

In fact, considering it’s the number 1 cause for all those “I’ll do it tomorrow”empty promises, we should give it the attention it deserves.

That’s where the Nike motto gets it all wrong.

Sure, we shouldn’t be controlled by our feelings but pushing them aside clearly doesn’t work and when it does, the struggle is real.

I believe there is value in exploring the feelings that makeup our “I’m not in the mood” mood.

Feelings are often seen as a nuisance. A human weakness that ultimately will be our demise.

Feelings indeed have a lot power. They can make us fail in achieving everything we want.

I say “they can make us succeed and get everything we ever dreamed of”.

If only we harnessed their power for our own good.

Whatever we feel facing a task at hand, even negative emotions, there is a way for them to be useful.

I learn about myself everyday facing all the emotions that come with not wanting to do things.

It turns out, I do want to do things.

Once I connect with myself, I can do better work than I ever would if I “just did it”.

What do you think?

Are you a fan of “Just do it” or do you think feelings have a place in motivational speak at all?

Tell me in the comments. I’d love to know!

*Picture Credit: Lydia flickr Creative Commons 2.0