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I love words. I'm learning to use them.

Month: March, 2012

Confessions of a noise addict.

My name is Todd, and I’m a noise addict.

Like so many people today, I’m constantly plugged in. My Internet browser gives me access to everything from world news updates to celebrity gossip to Pinterest, plus all the happenings in my Facebook and Twitter spheres. I feel a constant “need” to be in-the-know. If I step away from my desk for a moment, I can take my smartphone with me to make sure I don’t miss anything. Read the rest of this entry »

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The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle? “Me too.”

Words of empathy carry so much power. They help to normalize struggles and are the most valuable response to an act of vulnerability.

I could say so much more, but I’d just be reiterating what Brene Brown says in this TED talk on shame, guilt and vulnerability [below]. Read the rest of this entry »

Pain can be so beautiful.

Confession: I’m one of those ignorant viewers who had never heard of The Civil Wars before the Grammys.

I sat in front of the TV mesmerized as they sang the first few bars of “Barton Hollow.” It’s been a while since I heard such phenomenal harmonies. I was especially blown away to discover this was the same Joy Williams I saw perform some six years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Urban excursions and literary voice.

There’s something strikingly beautiful in a change of scenery.

My wife found a killer coupon for an upscale salon in downtown Vancouver [we’re suckers for deals, remember?], so I joined her for an outing and sat myself down in an industrial-meets-nature park in the Yaletown neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »

The final word[s].

Just a warning: This blog may contain some spoilers. And I’m okay with that. 🙂

Today marked a slightly significant milestone in my book process as I finally transfered all of the content into the formatted document – clocking in at 207 pages! The next step will be uploading the document to CreateSpace along with the cover, ordering a proof and doing a final uber-intense copy edit. #boom.

However, I’m not here to talk about my book. Read the rest of this entry »

Book preview…sort of.

As exhausting and time-consuming as this whole self-publishing journey has been so far, I’m getting more and more excited about releasing the final project. So here’s a [sort of] preview…more so a preview of the context.

While getting to know the characters, learning how the story should unfold and then struggling to write it all down, I did so with a particular album playing in the back of my head – an album that I like to imagine as the novel’s soundtrack. You’ve probably heard of it: “Sign No More” by Mumford & Sons. Not to compare this first-time indie book with a widely acclaimed album at all. However, I believe the album was praised so highly because of the way it speaks to listeners. Read the rest of this entry »

Always pack a swim suit.

Switching things up today by featuring my first guest blogger: My lovely wife, Nurse Kristen. We are currently sitting on our motel bed in a small Washington port city, and we have some pretty funny stories to tell about our day today.

Here’s the context: We absolutely LOVE Groupon. Last month there was a “romance package” deal for a night in a motel, including a complimentary humus platter and two glasses of wine – all for the price of $30. We made our way down from B.C. to the motel -which is actually quite charming. It’s owned by a Dutch family who gave the place a Dutch-esque renovation. The place prides itself in having a wood-burning fireplace in each room. Ours is currently lit, and it’s swell. 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes, we just need to be nurtured.

Ironically, I contributed zero creativity to this post. That’s okay. Sometimes, we need to take time to be nurtured.

That said, I want to turn your attention to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. In this TED clip, she shares about nurturing creativity. Read the rest of this entry »

A lesson on listening.

“The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master.” -Charlotte Brontë

I’ll admit that I’ve been putting off writing a new post until I had time to do so. Until I was ready to articulate some meaningful reflection.

Lately I’ve been so consumed with writing that the last thing I wanted to do was blog. I just finished off a big assignment at work on Monday and have been spending much of my time on my book project, leading up to a *tentative* launch by the end of April. The more I research self-publishing, the more I realize how much work is still ahead of me. Read the rest of this entry »

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

The Little Prince

I grew up on an island with less than 2000 people. The public school had around 300 students, K-12. Graduation was a huge deal. The entire community came to the event, and each graduating student brought a customized box where guests could leave a gift.

One of the most meaningful gifts was a paperback copy of The Little Prince by Antione de Saint Exupery. The gift was from an influential teacher who taught me 8th grade humanities, senior year civics and four years of French – as well as led school trips to Washington, D.C., France and Quebec. Inside the book’s cover was a handwritten note:

“Dear Todd,
Because of all of the trips and classes, I give you chapter 21.”

Read the rest of this entry »