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Books . . . Books . . . Books

It’s interesting when I think about the way books have become such a lifeforce in my life. Books are at the centre of my life.  I love everything about books: losing myself in a charming book store, shuffling along the isles, searching for the authors I love … my fingers dancing along the colourful spines … carving a place to rest them on my recently built library.

As a writer I’ve come to appreciate the creative art of writing. The way an idea enters as a seed in my mind, waiting for it to take root. The feeling of bringing that idea to life in my heart. For me it always begins in the heart. Sitting in a cozy café next to a warm fire with my writing satchel filled with a few pads of lined paper and a few black gel pens. I love immersing myself in the journey … exploring my higher self … allowing my soul to take me where I need to go. 

Writing has become more about listening, asking and having a conversation with my soul.

“What do you want me to express?”

I always begin a writing project with one reader in mind. Perhaps a dear friend, a family member or someone special I haven’t connected with in a while. I reflect on what I want them to feel - the one emotion that touches their soul. In my recent novel trilogy, ‘The Life I Didn’t Notice’ the two driving emotions were love and forgiveness. They guided the narrative from start to finish - weaving the characters, scenes, places and circumstances like a thread of life.

Growing up I was fascinated with Fantasy Fiction. I loved the power that books like ‘1,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ and Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ possessed in transporting me to other worlds.  I recall the feeling of my mother taking me on weekly visits to our local library - a charming one-storey shelter that served as the heart of our little community.  I can still recall the feeling with great clarity. The scent of the ink. The velvety softness of the paper. The sounds of my fingers as they slowly turned the pages. I loved books that were filled with sketches and artistic renderings.  Books like Tolkien's ‘Lord of the Rings’ beautifully illustrated by Alan Lee … his ability to bring this wondrous work of fiction to life. It’s why I choose to illustrate my novels. I want to invoke that same feeling of aliveness in a reader that I experienced as a little boy. 

I believe that the world of fiction can be more real than our current reality. The passion of the soul comes to life first in a writer’s heart and hand and then into a reader’s mind. It’s a profound example of the ‘art of co-creation’ realized: 

- Conceiving the Idea: You first have to be open to listening to the whispers of the universe. Ideas are continually flowing from the spiritual realm like the river of life.

- Believing in yourself as a writer: It begins with your relentless belief . . . an inner knowing that your idea matters.  

- Taking Powerful Action: committing towards nurturing your craft: thinking, imagining, dreaming, researching, and ultimately writing.

- Receiving the gift of the universe: Everything is connected. As a writer, you must celebrate your creation. Present and share your heart with others. 

I believe that books are gifts from God - colourful gems that help us stop time, be present and better understand the human condition. Books have a magical way of finding you. They sit on a shelf for years, patiently waiting to spring to life in a reader’s hand.  

As a little boy I struggled witnessing my mother’s physical abuse.  I felt powerless.  Books like The Arabian Nights helped me transport myself to another world. They were my magic carpet. I loved stories of ancient times, sandy dunes and magical lamps … tales that whisked me to the stars. I loved Science Fiction, stories of far-away galaxies. When Star Wars first emerged I was completely swept away. George Lucas presented us with ‘A New Hope’ … stunning scenes, glorious landscapes and heroic characters that embodies the traits of ‘The Hero’s Journey’. I dreamed of being a JEDI Knight learning to harness the force for good and battling evil SITH lords.  

Reading to my two daughters was a joy - a thrill of a lifetime. I loved the cozy feeling of snuggling with them in their beds, cracking open big colourful picture books like Dr. Seuss, The Hungry Caterpillar, Jillian Jiggs and I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. These were just a few of my daughter's favourites.  

Reading books connect us. They encourage us to dream and imagine new possibilities. They remind us of what it means to be human - to feel alive. Books transport us. They capture the spirit of the present moment. They are the bridge to a deeper understanding of who we are and most importantly, why we are here. 

I will never stop reading, writing and expanding my mind. I can't wait to share this wondrous experience with my first grandchild . . . Emma's miraculous creation. I picture us all sitting by a cozy fire in our new cabin in the woods . . . snowflakes feathering from the sky, reading 'The Polar Express'. I can imagine my grandchild sitting on my knee, staring up at me, eyes wide, brimming with joy. It's our way of stopping time . . .  being one with the present moment. All I hear is the sound of one another's heartbeat and the innocent whisper of my grandchild's voice.

  "Read it again, Papa."


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