Why I Pray for Paris – No I am not jumping on the bandwagon

Paris is one of the only international cities I have ever visited. I was only able to go because I won two tickets to anywhere Air Canada flies ~ 23 years ago.

My wife and I could only afford two weeks of travel and we decided that we wanted to spend it all in Paris. It was the right choice. It would be the first place that I would go back to in Europe, if I travel again.


It is one of the only truly cosmopolitan cities in the world. I can’t prove this to you, I can’t present wonderfully crafted arguments, Paris and Parisians are what they are. The only experience that I can compare it to is my first kiss. (Yes I am going there). The fear before hand, the hesitation – what if she doesn’t kiss me back – the timeless moment being held and holding while our young lovers lips touch. This is Paris for me. It will always be Paris for me.

At a time when everyone in North America was trying to wear the same shoes and same clothes, Parisians where individuals of choice. People being who they wanted to be, in fashion and attitude.

There is a fierceness that pervades the people of Paris. At that time Paris was one one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. The Lebanon section had some of the finest Jazz music in the world. We went to the old Paris Opera house and watch a stunning modern ballet that someone fused the ancient brocade architecture of the building with the art of today. We went to New Paris Opera house and watched an achingly beautiful presentation of Carmen. We ate food on the right bank and left bank of the Seine, we walked and we walked and we walked. The metro system was a joy to use and beautiful to behold. We watched the Bastille Day parade with millions of Parisians and stood silent with them in respect as the President at the time Jacques Chirac passed by in an open jeep. The silence of a million people is deafening.

And then there is the Art. It breaks my heart to think about the beauty that I saw. I tried to fix it in my mind forever. But I can only remember trying to remember.

My hope for peace, close to me after this past remembrance day is sadly dying.

I pray for Paris, the secret love of my heart. I pray for the families and loved ones who were killed yesterday.

I pray for the return of hope for this world.

AGH! Everything is Everywhere!

and I can’t find anything

One of the first realizations about writing I had was that I had notes, ideas, maps, research (although I didn’t know it was research at the time), bits and pieces of half written starts, napkins, notebooks, backs of old faxes, wrapping paper, inside cereal boxes, cardboard and the back of bills…

Well, everywhere

I hoped and believed that there would be some sort of tool to organize and gather all of the various pieces of “junk” into one place. I suspect that many of you thought I was going to say that I found a “magic bullet” to be writer.


I learned as a younger man, that there is no magic bullet; that fate or the universe doesn’t reach down and save you from yourself. All you can do is ask forgiveness  and hope they forgive you.


What I have done so far to help myself write is the following:

1) A Place to write that I am surrounding with inspiration, objects, knick-knacks, coffee cups. This a large table with room for my laptop, notebooks, paper, pens, etc. It has a large window and overlooks the street.  It makes me quite happy.

2) Bought Scrivener software program for writers of all shapes and sizes, “from First Draft to Finished Novel”by Karen S. Wiesner, a subscription to “Writer’s Digest”,  “Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction” by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake and the Editors of Writer’s Digest and good quality moleskin notebooks [2].

3) A Laptop

4) Looked for a local group of writers – hopefully attending my first meeting soon…can you smell the fear…

5) Looked for opportunities to write, as opposed to wasting time… example waiting for planes, kids, and NOT watching TV.

6) Wrote about 4000 words and gave it to a friend who is a University english teacher to go over. Scared the crap out of me. Turned out to be a great process to go through, thank you Paula!

7) Started this Blog

8) Realized that I like outlining, backstory, character sketches. While I have moments of “Seat of the Pants” writing, I seem to like outlining.

9) Admitted that I am scared to write

That’s enough honesty for today, Happy New Year All!

Be Well – dcd –

Write, Pray, Read

One of the common themes and tips I have read about writing, is to just write. Write every day, just write something.

So of course the first thing I did was to start watching TED videos. Sadly though, the random video I selected to avoid writing was from an author, Elizabeth Gilbert. I never read, Eat, Pray, Love. Never saw the movie.

Unfortunately the video was very captivating and she describes some aspects of creativity that made great sense to me.

There are many parts that I liked in this video, but for today this is the one for me:

I just lifted my face up from the manuscript and I directed my comments to an empty corner of the room. And I said aloud, “Listen you, thing, you and I both know that if this book isn’t brilliant that is not entirely my fault, right? Because you can see that I am putting everything I have into this, I don’t have any more than this. So if you want it to be better, then you’ve got to show up and do your part of the deal. O.K. But if you don’t do that, you know what, the hell with it. I’m going to keep writing anyway because that’s my job. And I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.”

P.S. I sincerely doubt that I will ever read Eat, Pray, Love – but I will greedly await her next TED Talk…

P.P.S. – Excuse me I have to go write…

Be Well – dcd