young adult

Been a Few Days


Don’t forget to Scroll down past the picture at the bottom of this post for today’s poem!

Hello Dear Readers and Friends!

I haven’t been posting much, I have been so freaking busy these past few days I haven’t even done any writing to speak of.  Today I did write a poem and I have decided that I will continue to write and post my poetry here and at my Facebook page, Valhalla Books where you can find a lot of my archived poetry.  I don’t even know where to begin with all the stuff that has been going on.  I have a friend who has been generous enough to let me use his vehicles and whenever I have a vehicle I run myself off my feet.  Yesterday I decided to take a break and I grabbed my snorkeling gear and swimsuit and headed for the swimming pool.  I am blessed in two ways with regards to the pool, one is that there is a really good one just two or three blocks away, and the other is that I have a free pass to go there as much as I want.  Life really is good for me in Alberta (Edmonton), I live in a subsidized group home, I get a disability pension, I get a free swim pass and a subsidized bus pass.  I really wonder a lot what people who have Psychiatric disabilities in third world countries or even states without plans for disabled people do.  I would like to invite any of you to share your story with me by emailing  I am really interested to hear how people do because now that I have completed my two memoirs that talk about my life with Bipolar Disorder (Through The Withering Storm and Inching Back To Sane), I am very interested in writing more non-fiction books about mental illness.  At one point I was working on a documentary for radio on this subject but I got frustrated with the radio station I was working at and quit.  It was kind of a good job to have but I was spreading myself too thin.  It was a volunteer job mind you, but very rewarding and it gave me a place to go each day and I was learning so much about computers and technology.

Anyhow, I can’t really think of a topic for today.  I think one thing I can talk about now that Spring is in Edmonton is the healing power of walking.  I can’t walk an awful lot because I developed plantar’s faciitis, but I still try to get in as much as I can.  As I probably mentioned, when I first got out of the hospital 14 years ago my Dad would come and pick me up and drive me to the park and we would walk and bitch and complain about politics and so on and it was very healing.  Today I went to visit my ex-girlfriend’s mom in a senior’s home and I took her to a very nice park we have in the city here and she felt a lot better after sitting near some water among green trees and grass and watching the gulls and the geese and the ducks.  I am so amazed by birds myself, when I watch them-and I don’t want to offend anyone-I often think of how to me it seems impossible that such perfection as birds could have come about by evolution.  To me it makes a lot more sense to think of a creative designer in the Universe, but that’s off topic.  If there are people out there with mental health issues, I suggest that you take a bus or drive to a nice park, unless you live near one and just drink in the beauty of God’s creation for a half hour each day, treat it like a sort of meditation exercise and maybe even bring a notebook and write for a little while about how the sun and the grass make you feel.  I am a firm believer in the healing power of keeping a journal, my mom did it for years and swore by it.  I didn’t start doing it until I moved out on my own, but it formed the basis for a lot of my writing.

I am looking forward to the rest of the week, on Friday I am going to my job with the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta to give a talk at a junior high school to two separate classes.  I really enjoy giving these talks and doing my bit to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.  Then next Friday I have booked a book signing event at a downtown bookstore.  What makes me excited about that is that I have a new book out now, called “Those Who Dare To Dream”, a historical fiction novel for young adults that I feel has some appeal to older audiences as well.  It is kind of funny the reactions you get from people when you tell them you are a writer.  Some people are so impressed that a person could fill up so many pages with words, other people think you are automatically rich or famous.  The truth could lie anywhere in all that, but I certainly don’t consider myself rich.  I am very lucky that my bills are covered and that I have enough money to print up books when I need to, but I am just happy to write and read all I can.  Well, I think I will leave off at that.  Don’t forget to scroll down past today’s photo for today’s poem.  All the best dear readers!



Once a Poet Once a Lover


Once there was a girl who was kind and sweet

Seeing her smile was always such a treat

She loved me though I didn’t love myself

She had beauty and brains and even wealth


For years I waited, wanting her soft touch

But when it came to me it seemed too much

Sometimes the things that we desire the most

Leave us lonely, empty just like a ghost


She could have saved me so much awful pain

Turning her away was simply insane

I felt I had to make my own way through

And so I write these lines for all of you


I’ve tried to give my all with just my pen

I’ve tried to give back what I took times ten

Always hoping to touch another heart

To soften someone for cupid’s love dart


Because when someone’s heart is hard and cold

No matter their age they are sad and old

No one really feels worthy of romance

You stop living if you won’t take a chance


It is a lonely thing to sit and write

While everyone is deep in dreams all night

But if I can express my deepest soul

I will live on past death, which is my goal


It matters not that I have loved and lost

It matters not that I have paid the cost

Because as long as words still come to me

My heart, my mind, my soul will all be free


And though us poets write of love and war

As we all journey to that distant shore

We shall one day be clothed all in white light

Live on and love on for ten trillion nights


And in that place my perfect love will be

Her long curly blonde hair flowing and free

Her smile, her lovely model’s shape and face

Will be beside me in that resting place

Prozac Dreaming


Good day dear readers!  I am extremely grateful that when I announced I would be focusing on less poetry that no one stopped following and I still got some nice posts.  I wanted to breach a topic today that deals with something I feel is extremely important in my life: my medications.  As many of you know, I have Bipolar Disorder, which means I experience extreme highs and extreme lows at times.  For a good number of years I was taking a drug called Paxil, which seemed to work well.  Before that, I was taking Prozac and I didn’t seem to have any problems with it.  The main problem I did have with it was that it worked very well and for a time I thought my depression had gone away (a situation that often happens to those with mental health issues and a very dire situation that I feel needs to be addressed).  So, thinking things were fine, I stopped taking my Prozac and all I can really remember about that time was phoning up a young woman I used to see in high school and learning that she in fact considered me a psychopath.  This led me down a dark and scary path of depression and at the tail end of it I took nearly 100 acetaminophen and nearly destroyed my liver and came very close to death.  The strange thing about it all is that Prozac is kind of a fun drug if one can use such terms.  I was told when first prescribed it to take it first thing in the morning and I soon found that I could take it then, and it would make me a bit sleepy and when I took the drug and went back to sleep I would have the most wonderful dreams anyone could imagine.  The best way I could describe it would be to say it is all ‘sunshine lollipops and rainbows’.  It literally makes a person feel a glow of happiness as though all is right with the world.  Anyhow, being in that ‘glow’ as I write this, I thought some might be interested in hearing about it.

I thought I should write a bit about the writing process today as well.  I don’t know how many of my followers may have read my novella “Green Mountain Road” but despite that a very well known author greatly enjoyed it and I heard a lot of positive feedback about it, a critic tore it to pieces and I had no luck in finding anyone to publish or represent it.  It is an odd thing that opinions could be so varied, but what I chalked it up to was that simply I am a beginning writer and I’m not in a good position to moralize in my writing or try to find some great philosophy.  As when I write my short stories, I should keep things light, entertaining and PG rated, or so I think.  Hopefully learning from my misadventures with “Green Mountain Road”, I have now written two Young Adult novels, one of which is being considered right now for publication, and one that I finished literally just a few hours before writing this blog.  The second one is of course just a very rough first draft, but I honestly think that I have something in trying to appeal to young adults.  I don’t want to get into any great detail of the new work before it is more complete, but basically what I did was toss around a few dozen ideas in my head and then simply sit myself in my chair and start to hammer things out.  I have a strong suspicion that one of the reasons I was able to write a work of some 17,000 words in just two sittings had to do with the fact that I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately.  Sounds disconnected I am sure, but listening to audiobooks can be extremely enjoyable.  Not only that, it teaches a person not only to use their imagination, but also to use their concentration and focus better, or at least I am assuming.  First I was listening to an audiobook about Buddhist meditation which is something wonderful in itself, then I logged onto my local library with my iPad and ‘borrowed’ a book called “The Litigators” by someone who is on fast track to being my favorite author, John Grisham.  I have enjoyed many of Grisham’s novels, I learned recently that he basically invented the legal thriller genre.  I read ‘The Pelican Brief” (in Reader’s Digest condensed form), the King of Torts, The Testament, and a few others, including a short story collection he wrote called “Lincoln County” which I highly recommend to anyone looking for examples of great short stories.  Anyhow, that is my advice for today.  Listen to audiobooks.  Write in your journal, write every day, keep writing, never give up.  I think I go through the whole ‘I think I want to give up writing’ phase at least once every two weeks.  Thankfully I have a lot of support from friends, family, and of course, the incredible Richard Van Camp (author of ‘The Lesser Blessed”).  So, thanks for visiting, please comment if you would like to see me introduce contests on this blog to win copies of my works.