art and the creative process

Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi is perhaps Japan’s most celebrated swordsman. He is a historical figure whose exploits have reached mythic proportions. He defeated his first opponent at the age of thirteen and won all subsequent duels; it is said that he even defeated one master with a bokken (wooden sword) he fashioned from the oar of the boat which carried him to a remote island for this very match. Musashi was also a teacher, a vassal, a ronin, artist and calligrapher. In the latter part of his journey he became a hermit, living in a cave until his death. In this cave, he completed a manuscript which has been translated the world over –– The Book of Five Rings.

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Let Go

My early years were spent living in Manhattan. New York, for anyone who has never visited, is a city to be seen on foot. You can walk everywhere; there is always something or someone to see. When I was young, there were a lot of colourful street vendors selling everything from roasted chestnuts and hot dogs to watches and balloons. I loved getting a balloon.

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The Charisma of Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee’s career was short. Six films. He died suddenly at age 32, on the cusp of international stardom. And yet, Bruce Lee lives on, as engaging today and he was in the 60s and 70s. Why? His charisma.

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The Neighbourhood Experience

When I was young, I lived in one of Toronto’s many distinctive and characterful neighbourhoods.

It was a multicultural neighbourhood, and full of family-owned businesses. One family owned the local shoe store; the flower shop was owned by another, and so on – the hardware store, the fish-and-chip shop, the pharmacy, the butcher, the dry cleaner, the chocolatier, the barber, green grocer, Italian restaurant, movie theater…

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From Crowd-Funding Campaign to Print: The Case of Maggie MacCormack and the Witches’ Wheel

I strongly encourage those who are inclined to crowd-fund to do so. I offer my story to prospective crowd-funders in the hope that it will shine a light on some personal aspects of the experience. Of course, the particulars of every campaign will differ, but the more experience and knowledge that is shared, the smoother goes the campaigning process.

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RIP Stan Lee

My son came home from school yesterday and, with a bit of shock in his voice, asked me: “Dad, did you hear Stan Lee has died.”

I had.

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Stay the Course

During my crowdfunding campaign there have been peaks and valleys, days of fruitful contributions and days when I wondered where all the YA fans had gone. What looks initially like rejection or indifference, we discover is simply a sign that busy people are attending to the events of their day-to-day lives.

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Keeping an Eye on the Time

Last night I was at the Todd Rundgren’s Utopia concert. I’ve seen Utopia many times since the early 80s. Their drummer, Willie Wilcox is my friend.

At some point during the show I looked around at the audience. It was filled with people who loved this band and were delighted to be at the show.

What struck me about 99% of the people I saw at the concert was that most of them had either grey hair or no hair.

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