Advice for Writers · andshelaughs writing · Art of LIving · Buddhist Writers · Canada · Canadian Culture · Canadian Poets · Canadian Writers · Creative Life · Creative Writing · Fearless Living · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Joyful Living · Life · Life at Starbucks · Life Lessons · Life With Cats · Living · Meaning of Life · Mindful Living · Novels · Professional Writers · Simple Living · Spiritual Living · Starbucks Canada · The Art of Living · Toronto Life · Travel Writers · Travel Writing · Uncategorized · Whole Living · Writers · Writing · Writing Inspiration · writing prompts

NaNoWriMo – My First Time

writersclockI’ve been writing, and chiding myself for not writing enough for what seems like a life time.

Often my blogs are a ritual of sorts before I get down to the real business of writing my novel.

My poor novel.

It’s been neglected for a couple of years now, and it’s time I either gave it wings, or set it free to find someone else to write the story. I am a believer in the vision of creativity that Elizabeth Gilbert explains in Big Magic ; Either use it or lose it, and I’m on the very precipice of losing it.

Already there is a movie in the theatres called, Mother. That’s the main character of my novel, and just a couple weeks ago I met a dog named Clover…another character in my novel.

The universe is sending me signs that it’s time to write or drop my pen. So, I’ve decided I must make a serious commitment to my writing.

This is the year I commit to NaNoWriMo. This is the year the rest of the things that tug on my shirt tails for attention get a swat.  This is the year that I re-establish myself as a regular at a local coffee shop and get lost in my own little world of characters and creativity.

…and all that I can think is…YAY!!!

Advice · Andshelaughs · Canadian Writers · Columns · Girls Stuff · Guy Stuff · Life · Living · Meaning of Life · Nostalgia · Novels · Opinion · Poetry · Poets · Psychology · Writers · Writing

Seeing & Knowing; Why We Write

breaking your heartThere have been very few moments in my life when someone has looked me in the eye, and I know that they know exactly how I’m feeling in a moment of despair. Seeing and knowing in the spiritual sense is powerful for the object of that seeing and knowing.

I had one of those moments recently. It was powerful, brought me to my knees, and made me realize that no matter how much I have overcome, that I’m still human, vulnerable and need, just as much as anyone else,  to feel like someone, somewhere has my back.

Memories come quickly sometimes from places in my past that I thought had long ago been dozed, graded re-forested and landscaped in a fabulously bohemian way.

Lately it’s been a grand parade across a never-ending stage instead of a dreamy oceanside stroll. Images, words, and scents evoke my white-blonde-pig-tailed, tear-streaked-cheek childhood as I stir dinner at the stove, rinse my face at the bathroom sink, and even pour a beer after a long day.

My story is being played out again even though I didn’t clap for the encore, and I’m rewriting it all in my head as I’m held hostage to it all.

For the folks out there who have not had the pleasure of experiencing crisis, trauma or what it’s like getting by one day to the next without knowing when it will ever end, trust me, it’s a wild ride darlings.

Wild as in it is a teacher of the most grand kind who takes you through a crash course on self-awareness while you’re still not quite awake to the world and barely dressed. It can make you tough, and it can make you so damn tired that all you have the energy to hope for is to feel numb. It can harden you so you lack empathy or compassion, or it can rip open your heart so you bleed life and love and kindness all over your world.

As a writers we can write out our suffering in the lives of our characters. We can re-write those sights, scents and sounds that evoke so many memories and what-if’s.  The brilliant part is that we are able to create something which expresses the bittersweetness of life out of something dark and painful. Laughter usually follows deep and cool on the heels of human folly.

But it takes guts to go there. It takes time, space, and friends who tolerate the depth of crazy that it takes to keep diving into and crawling out of our character’s heads. Because they’re our  pretty little heads, our jumbled thoughts, our answer’s to all of the what-if’s that have ever kept anyone awake at night.

Going back to where I started with this post, when my friend looked me in the eye and I knew that they knew what I was going through, it was the closest I came to feeling like it was ok to sink into my characters and writing like slipping into a deep, warm bath.

I knew that I had to do something or I would drown in this endless ocean of memory. Please toss me a pool noodle and whip me up a gin and tonic. This is going to take some time, and I’ve worked up quite a thirst.

Andshelaughs · Opinion · Perspective · Poetry · Relationships · Sexuality · Singles · Writing

What’s on Wattpad?

wattpad doorAndshelaughs is there with her first juicy, chiklit novel.  Come on in and settle in for a Christmas Romance! Just knock at the door of ANDSHELAUGHS; ‘When You Least Expect It’. I’ll be waiting for you darling.

Andshelaughs · Creative Writing · Creativity · Entertainment · Feminism · Life · Living · Meaning of Life · Professional Women · Relationships · Sexuality · Singles · Uncategorized · Women's Issues · Working Women · Writing

Andshelaughs on Wattpad

Whenyouleast expect itYou just have to meet her.

She’s ballsy with a whole lot of living to tell you about..

You’ll need to sign up at

Happy reading…

Creative Writing · Education · Health · Life · Music · Poetry · Relationships · Singles · Spirituality · Writing

Everything is Going Right – You Just Don’t Know it Yet

creative rehabIt’s true. Everything is going exactly how it should be. It’s going exactly how you think it should.

But that’s deceiving isn’t it?

It really is all about the way you perceive things to be. Really it is, I promise.

At least that’s what I tell myself.

Pull up a chair, and get yourself a nice warm cup of tea. Bourbon if you’re a bit of a philosopher, or perhaps a nice little snort of Irish whiskey to warm your insides up against the February outside.

When life collides with the inner machinations of my mind, it gives me cause to pause and let it all trickle in to wherever it’s supposed to settle.

Lately, my full-time gig has not been going as hoped. Don’t get me wrong, I continue to do something I absolutely feel called to do, and I work with the best in my profession.

I also, as it seems, am called to do this writing thing. That wild, unpredictable energy has formed part of my bones and blood since I was a little girl with pigtails and collecting buckets full of crickets.

My living expenses and need to help other people call me to work, my soul calls me to writing. Damn this dissonance of being human!

With my first bookie wookie in the hands of an editor, and my second, being more carefully plotted, I feel the pull to my writing desk much stronger than ever before.

My window opens to evergreens and dogwood. Not bad for a cityscape. A church-window-esque trellis, and the French obelisk  in my urban guerilla garden stand as testaments to milder temperatures, longer hours of sunshine, dishes with fresh basil, and cold drinks adorned by fresh mint.

On the desk to my right, is  a solar-powered windchime which helps bring me back when my creative brain wanders. A  porcelain snail commemorative of a healing sweat lodge keeps the chime company.   The left hand side – a full third of the desk – has been sequestered by my cat, Willie Nelson, who routinely stretches and switches off my wireless capability. With a desk like this, who wouldn’t be tempted to eek out a living by lounging here, lost in the intimacy of language and imagination?

Lately, more often than not, I’ve felt just plain lost. I Facebook, I YouTube, I stare at the squirrels jumping from limb to limb.  My little carnelian stones spin to strike the chimes, and I am reminded to be in the moment.

Impatience gets the better of me sometimes. For this, I recommend my method of  using the f-word and indulging in pleasure of the flesh. Maybe just a nip or two of something strong enough to remind me I’m not dead yet, even if it feels like it on the inside. In extreme cases I recommend bed wrestling with a naked partner.

I have lived long enough to know that despair is a menacing thing. It closes the door on the divine human spirit. So, although in my loneliness I get close to embracing despair, I know that there will always be a light on my path just when darkness is about to fully envelop my thoughts.

Today that light came in the form of an email message from my pal in Brazil. A mother-figure, healer, and spiritual mentor of mine for over 13 years, she sent off an email which started exactly the same way that my email to her was going to begin, “I don’t know why, but you have been on my mind the past few days”.

So often this happens with me, that I intuit my own need to connect with someone else’s. In this case, I had been so busy working that I hadn’t stopped to take time to email. You see, that’s the way it was meant to be. My reaching out yesterday would not have given me the gift of her email which needed to receive.

As I’ve been trudging through the themes and characters of my next book, it has become hysterically  clear that the protagonist’s character has been put upon with my own scheming philosophy of being. Poor darling. I think I shall give her at least one bad habit to take the edge off.

The email from my Canadian ex-pat friend in Brazil comes on the heels of last night’s writing, and weaves together perfectly with my own personal struggle to indulge my passion while paying the bills, as well as the main theme of my book.

The information in her email also happens to be the latch to the hook of my friend’s thesis.

The long and the short of it, my dear ones, is that life works its way out as you are willing to allow it.

Whether a day is good or full of potential and learning is totally up to you.

For now I’ll stick to my writing desk and my day job. I will resist the urge to pack  my bathing suit with the worn out ass  and my toothbrush into my ever-ready carry-on bag, and head to the airport for a one-way ticket to Anywhere Else.

It’s all coming together. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and surrounding myself with people who are the same vintage of crazy as I am.

Go ahead, pour yourself another tumbler-full. After all, philosophizing is best done in the company of writers, alcohol and a wailing guitar.