Born in December
I was born in December. Two weeks late. Originally due to be a Scorpio but fate had destined me for a Sagittarius. I come from a long line of Sagittarius. My Father and I share the same birthday of December 3rd, his father before him on December 2nd, and my Mother is December 13th. Not only is my mother a Sagittarius but her rising sign is also a Sagittarius. Turn up the heat! That’s a whole lotta fire signs in one house baby.
I Sat in Silence for 10 Days
January, 2020. I flew from Toronto, ON to Calgary, AB. From there, I drove 4 hours East, straight to the middle-of-nowhere prairies. It was icy, bare and windy. The horizon stretched for miles ahead. The sky and land blended in tones of gray, brown, pink and powder blue. Patches of ice and snow filled in the depressions in the fields, whispers of dried-up lake-beds and glaciers of the past. Every once in a while, a gnarled and barren tree would dot the rolling fields that sprawled ahead, behind and to the sides. Not much shelter from the wind that roared across the open space. My heart beat faster and faster the further I drove into that expanse. Until I arrived. At the Alberta, Vipassana centre in the village of Youngstown. Population of 154.
The Little House in the Rocky Mountains
I still remember how it felt, when I was 5 years old and we’d make the 10-hr drive through the winding highways of the Rocky Mountains. For some reason when I think back to that drive, I always remember it during winter, and at night. I guess because those times we did make the drive during the winter months were the most memorable. The sky-scraping mountains covered in pearlescent white snow; the thick sea of evergreens capped with fresh powder; the “S” shaped road constantly twisting and turning, our suburban hugging the side of the mountain, a sheer drop toward the valley on the other side. Sometimes I would nod off so the drive would pass by faster, other times it would snow and I would be wide awake. I may have been young but I was keenly aware of the times I’d heard my parents talk about the fatal crashes that happened on the icy Trans-Canada Highway. The breathtaking scenery, the adrenaline rush of traveling at 100+km/hr halfway up the side of a mountain. It was all part of the journey. Of my favourite journey, the one that went home.
Do You Wait for Inspiration to Strike?
As I write this I sit in my office, jittery and on edge from two cups of coffee. Two parts excited, one part anxious and one part determined. I feel that desire to write. To create something. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what. I didn’t feel like I was in the right mood to write. I don’t feel grounded. I don’t feel passionate. I don’t feel particularly insightful. I guess I don’t feel much of what I would usually try to cultivate when I go to create. The question is, is that a good reason not to get to the paper (laptop, easel, drawing board) and get to work?
Game Day Hot Sauces Using “Superhot” Peppers
If there is one thing that goes with all of your favorite game day snacks, its hot sauce. You’ve already got Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and The Weeknd, why not make things even spicier? Let’s heat up Super Bowl LV with these 3 classic hot sauce recipes.
Two Roads Diverged in a Pandemic Parody Poem
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood And sorry I could not travel both, For I could not leave my neighbourhood Unless I sorely misunderstood
True Blood, It's Fang Lickin' Good
Does it have vampires? I’m in. I don’t know what it is about vampires but I have been obsessed from a young age. I’m not talking pre-teen young when Twilight came out (which as far as vampire stories go, does not rank high for me), I’m talking 6 years old when I still had baby teeth but was dreaming about having fangs. No, I’m serious. I literally dreamed about meeting vampires and begging them to turn me into a vampire too. Which they never agreed too… Even in my dreams I can’t be the dream version of myself!
Two Challenge Wins and $1,255 later: Here's What I Learned as a Vocal Newbie
5 Months and 5 days ago I began my journey as a writer on Vocal. I’ve now officially made my first $5 from views (+$1,250 from challenges)! Seems like I’ve found my lucky number. Submitting an article on Vocal, was also my first time releasing my written work anywhere in public. Which now that I think about it, is kind of funny considering that my first posted piece, Follow Your Intuition is not something which represents the type of work I would normally put out there. It was a piece I had written for the Mindful Strides challenge - by the way challenges are my favourite feature of this wonderful platform! I had originally joined Vocal as a Vocal+ member when I saw a call on Instagram for submissions to the challenge 24/7 Diner. I never actually ended up entering that challenge but I am so glad I found Vocal. I’ll share with you a bit about what I’ve learned in my first few months and what it has meant to a “new writer” to have a platform to share my voice and have a community to support me. Emotional, mental and (BONUS!) financial support!