Smokes, ideas, and booze…

I’m constantly fascinated with my own drifting thoughts. I’m 42 years old and am only just beginning to understand my own self. I spent a couple of decades inside a whirlwind of scattered ambition and flowing booze because they both happened together. For me, alcohol gave me tremendous energy and unrelenting drive — albeit in far too many directions than it ought to have. I quit drinking and smoking cigarettes almost a year ago (as of this post). I’ve been bombarded with strange ideas and soul-sucking existentialism ever since. I spent some time hovering around the black hole of nihilism but have managed to keep myself out of it (for now).

It’s curious what a sober mind thinks about when it’s unimpeded.

I quit drinking because it no longer did for me what I wanted it to do. It ceased allowing me to properly emote, or be social, or give me motivation to do anything I wanted. Instead it was turning me into a blubbering mess. Oh, and it was killing me (two bouts of pancreatitis and one hospital stay by the end). So I quit alcohol cold-turkey — which wasn’t really that hard at all, so I quit smoking, too.

I decided to simply not give tobacco any power over me, so I picked the worst time to do it (any time is the worst time) and just stopped smoking and switched to vaping (I make my own products). I still vape but my breathing is easily 60 times better. Even if I wanted to, I just don’t think I could ever go back to analogs.

This all coincided with a big move to another city. It’s a small town in Niagara where no one knows me. So I’ve completed a year in solitude without so much as talking to the neighbours more than four times. They seem to be frightened of my protected channelling of Ebenezer Scrooge. I haven’t set them straight yet.

This past year, I learned some incredible things about myself and others. The greatest thing I learned about myself was how little I actually know. The greatest thing I learned about others is that they also know less than they think. In realizing this, I decided that the best way for me to know what I’m talking about (aside from my habit of learning about everything) was to create entirely what I’m talking about. So set out to do something I always wanted to do but never finished: Write a novel.

Boy, I must say, writing a novel is a lot of work. But when I write, it’s just like watching heart-pounding adventures unfold right in front of me. I can explore these 4D worlds so vividly and in so much depth that I lose all track of time and also my geographical positioning.

This is a sort of meditation for me. Having the ability to create worlds and then go so deeply into them within one’s own mind is like carrying around a portal to another universe that can be used any time I desire it. I cannot tell you how comforting that is.

Sometimes I don’t get to the writing part because I get too busy with the imagination part.

Since I began working on The Standing Man, I came up with the outlines for five other novels, a novella, a movie script, and a recurring written fiction series to be featured here on my website. I have a lot of fabulous work ahead of me.

My creativity hat, it seems, has switched from music & videos to story-writing. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking… or I’m thinking of writing. The rest of my time is spent reading, watching movies, meditating, and lecturing my wife about all the above.

In the middle of all these things, I have random thoughts that sporadically pop in and I end up tweeting them out with the hashtag #RandomThoughts. Some of those tweets will make sense, others won’t — unless you’ve read my book. And I hope you will. Those tweets might give you a glimpse of the strange thoughts that pop in my convoluted mind.

So here I am on the exact one-year anniversary of my moving out here to remote Gravelly Bay.

I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about here as I go forward, but I do know that I’ll be fascinated with my own drifting thoughts enough to have endless fodder for it.


  1. helen cecckin

    Just finished reading your piece here and koods for giving up smokes and booze.Looking forward to reading your book.

  2. Patricia Chamberland

    I would be absolutely out of my mind in excitement to read The Standing Man!!! Have had the privilege to have read up to Chapter 7. Looking forward to many more chapters!

    • Thank you so much! You’re the only one in the world who’s read part of my novel. I really appreciate that you even care enough to spend the time reading my worlds.

      Thank you!

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