Long ago, before dinosaurs roamed the planet, a young woman sat down at her desk to write. Situated in the darkest corner of the Ontario Legislature and hidden beneath the main staircase in the north wing, the woman, attached to the research unit of the third party, had every prospect before her. They were in third place; they could only go up. Years later, they did. But that’s for another blog. Lady writer-in-waiting had miles to go and a mountain of human experience to conquer before she could get anything near an arc or inciting incident.

Which brings me to Ray’s Cafe in PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA. Intimate, homey and tucked away,

As good as it looks.
As good as it looks.

it is a gem in the early stages of pre-discovery. Monochromed with tons of natural light, it sports a large centre fireplace, plenty of comfy seats and croissants to live on to the end of days. I am well acquainted with Ray’s.

How many miles must Ray’s go before an inciting incident of its own brings Toronto and region to its doors? I wondered over a frothy cup of late winter hot chocolate.

I for one rue the day. Ray’s Cafe is MY place; its plush banquettes upholstered in a way such that a writer with laptop can stay all day and not accumulate bottom feeder sores.

Ah, but I’m selfish.

Ray and Melissa welcome me and let me stay. Heck, I can set myself up and read out loud on a stool if I want to. Melissa even let me park my newly printed postcards with book deets and flattering photo of the author on the sideboard near the recyclers. And there are plenty of other business cards to keep mine company.

Thanks Melissa. Thanks Ray.

The secret’s out now. 🙂

Cussing Cursive and the Write of Passage

With B actor Dakota Johnson going for the brass ring in the much anticipated Fifty Shades of I Don’t Know What That Is, I shouldn’t be surprised by the seemingly unrelated announcement that Finland is scrapping cursive writing from school curriculum. Who needs to write when a keyboard can do all the dirty work for you? Getting strapped across the back by a wealthy sociopath is no different: simply simper out a polite “yes, please” and all the hard work that accompanies goal fulfillment is whisked away, immediate satisfaction guaranteed.

I appreciate the Finnish case. With infants manning keyboards while on the crawl, it only makes sense that they perfect their typing skills and leave the quill and ink to history. Go one better. Why not extend it to reading? Who needs phonics if a machine could do the talking? Simply download the latest releases and hit “speak” and the hard work is done.

Am I being flip? You better believe I am. In this, The Age of Ease, one need not bother with things that can be done by others, carbon based or not.  Give consent with a Dakota Johnson “yes, please” and a machine could do the strapping for you. (Christian Grey—take an elevator by yourself, please!) Or move to Ontario, Canada where the price of auto insurance outstrips the desire to get behind the wheel and let your mother do the driving for you! Or pretend you’re still 12 in the City of Toronto and you can ride the public transit for FREE. You need never walk again.

Sounds good?

I don’t think so.

I like to do things the hard way, even if it means writing it out in long hand.

Unapologetically adult and cognizant, I wish you Good Wednesday. Stay above it.


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