Saturday, June 21, 2014


Paris, France. A place for creativity.

Yesterday morning while I was prepping to get out of the house and take care of some important business -- which seems to intensify with every year that passes -- I quickly checked my email. It was a trap. A good friend of mine saw my Google Mail presence and asked me if I was free to talk. "Of course I am, old friend."

He called me from Paris, France -- a little more 'romantic' than calling me from Paris, Ontario -- and we chattted for close to an hour. We talked about the expected 'this and that'. I asked the usual questions, like: How is the weather?; what's French television like these days?; have you ventured from Paris?...

It would be important to tell the reader that my friend based himself in Paris for a couple of months as part of  a self-imposed 'incarceration' allowing him to work on a long-gestating creative writing project. He told me that a regular routine would be to stroll around the city's streets to do the heavy thinking then pick a place to sit down, usually a coffee shop -- a Paris coffee shop! -- and start writing with pen and paper. (That's my kind of process, although Toronto has to suit my needs for the moment: "I strolled down Brunswick Avenue. Was that Margaret Atwood?...")

That telephone conversation invigorated the creative me.


Post Script: My writer friend has worked from the Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Company, which was featured at the beginning of the Richard Linklater film Before Sunset. It is a wonderful space. Sure beats Starbucks....

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