Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ned Vizzini and The Artists’ Health Centre

1387573583_ned-vizzini-lgNed Vizzini might still be alive if he had visited The Artists’ Health Centre, but then again who can say?

I found out today via Google search that the author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story et al, died by his own hand in late December of 2013 (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ned-vizzini-kind-a-funny-667260). It hit me hard. I never met Ned Vizzini nor have I read any of his work though I have seen the film adaptation of It’s Kind of a Funny Story. In fact, I found out about his passing when I was making a list of books to buy for further reading and the first thing that popped up was news of his suicide. It hit me hard because I am a writer and I have had negative, sometimes very dark, thoughts. Ned had the success of which I have been dreaming. He had published books, had film adaptations made of his work, he was married and had a child. Ned had the very life that I am working hard and toward everyday. This is one of those stories that makes you think about your life, but also makes you realize that no matter what we have or want, it might not be what we actually need, or at least the combination of what we need. And by that I don’t mean he didn’t love his career or family, but that maybe Ned needed to talk to someone or do something to help him with his negative thoughts.  This is also one of those stories that hit me enough to at least spur action in the form of a blog post but also in my life. And that brings me to:

The Artists’ Health Centre located at Toronto Western Hospital on the 3rd Floor, West Wing @ 399 Bathurst Street (at Dundas) in Toronto. I have not yet taken a trip to the Centre myself, though I’m sure it is only a matter of time. I came to know about the clinic during a hockey of all things. Very Canadian, yes, I know. I was introduced to a writer who was a supporter of the cause and he handed me a flyer and the Centre was the first thing I thought of when I read of Vizzini’s passing, especially by suicide. The Centre is open Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm with the hope of extended hours in the future. They can be reached at 416.603.5263 as well.

The Centre offers services such as: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Group for Artists with Anxiety Disorders, Conditioning for Musicians, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction groups, Primary Health Care, Psychotherapy services, and Support Groups. Please see the full list at their website: http://artistshealth.com/ahc/clinic/.

Mental Health is important for everyone, including those who do not suffer from a specifically diagnosed mental health disorder or disease. It is not just clinically depressed people who commit suicide or self-harm.

Artists, yes we should funnel our emotions (both positive and negative) into our art, but we should also not be afraid to seek help if we find those emotions are having a negative impact on our work and , of course, life.

Never be afraid to speak up and out. And if you can’t find someone to talk to send me message on this blog, I’m here. And if I can’t help, I can hopefully direct you to someone(s) who can. 🙂

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“Mourning Has Broken”

MV5BMTM5MjQzODY2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTA0MTI2OA@@._V1_SY317_CR15,0,214,317_It’s a gem.

Mourning Has Broken is a feature film written and produced by Brett and Jason Butler, venerably known as The Butler Brothers.

This logline, taken from The Butler’s website Substance Production, sums things up beautifully but leaves room for the viewer to delve deeper and become a part of the main character’s journey, which is inevitable: “Mourning Has Broken is a dark comedy about a husband who awakes to find his ill wife has passed in the night. Unable to cope with something so emotionally devastating, he chooses to complete the weekend ‘to-do’ list that she has left for him instead.  A simple list takes the husband on a journey from frustrations and aggravation to hilarity and violence, and in the end, catharsis. This is the story of a man with nothing left to lose: assholes beware.”

The ace, the trump card, the “whoa, really?” moment – and I’m hesitant to reveal it as it is a good one, but the info is readily available all over the internet and there’s no way I could ever play spoiler – is that they made the feature for $1000.

Check it out this week at The Royal Cinema! You will not be disappointed. And if you are then you should have your heart checked because you are clearly dead inside.

And on that note, check out The Butler Brothers online presence:

Web – Substance Production

Twitter – @SubProd; https://twitter.com/SubProd

They are gentlemen.


“Tomorrow…” by Paulo Coelho

Well. It goes to show you how pathetically little I have written in/on/around this blog in the last year. I’m embarrassed. It’s been pretty shit for someone who thinks himself a writer.

The reason I bring this up is because I thought I had given this a re-post from last year. I didn’t and, so, well…

Now the published date says December 31st 2013, so it might not be the same post, however, I’m away from my desk – yup I’ve taken this blog mobile – so I’ll have to check when I’m back home.

Anyway, if you’ve skipped to this sentence then all you basically have to know is that I’ve been a pathetic blogger of late and I’ve committed to blogging at least 3 times a week in 2014. It’s a start. That and it’s taken me 4 paragraphs to get to the point of this bloody post.

So. 5th paragraph. Hit up this link NOW! It’s Paulo, once again, at his championship best. Some people, including people I love and respect, aren’t fans of Mr. Coelho, but I am, so read his blog post for the new year and be inspired.

CLICK IT——-> “Tomorrow” by Paulo Coelho.


“I Take My Anna Everywhere” by Irving Layton

So one day, let’s say 5 years ago – 5 because I can’t remember the actual year and if it was less than 5 years then I would remember – I was riding the subway in Toronto and I noticed this poem splashed up amongst the ads. It was part of the “subway poetry” series that the TTC has been running for a few years.

Anyway, the last two lines hit me hard and I wrote them down in one of my writing/scribble/idea books. I happened upon the quote as I was going through a stack of notes and decided it should be shared.

The link where I grabbed this from can be found here: http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Love-Poetry/1547326

The poem is titled, I Take My Anna Everywhere and it was written by Irving Layton. Enjoy!:

“I take my Anna everywhere.
She is so beautiful she can break
a man’s heart with a look,
the proud thrust of her shoulder.

She tells me she will die young.
I tell her all beautiful women have the same
premonition. Brevity is the stamp
of beauty, sealing it in the mouths of men.

I take my Anna everywhere.
She has the unpitying gaze of a goddess.
All the men who see her
want to live their wrecked lives forever.”

The bold sends bumps to the goose part of my skin.


“Epic Story” Characters

d9_13fb2c00fcc48870cfcdbb665-postGrabbed this one from piccsy.com. It’s a great repository for pictures. Some are inane, but I find most are inspiring. It, of course, depends on what you find inane or inspiring. Check it out and enjoy!

Why not try and write a story incorporating every one of these characters. I kind of want to. And by “kind of” I mean, I REALLY WANT TO DO IT A LOT BECAUSE I THINK IT WOULD BE A CHALLENGE, BUT ALSO I THINK I CAN DO IT BECAUSE I’M KIND OF CRAZY AND BECAUSE I PUT THE CAPS LOCK ON INTENTIONALLY BECAUSE I THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE A SHORTER SENTENCE AND NOW I’M JUST WRITING BECAUSE I THINK IT’S FUNNY BUT I KNOW IT’S NOT SO I’M GOING TO STOP BEFORE I…


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