After being introduced in elementary school to the high that comes from writing, I continued to seek out opportunities to write creatively. For most of my early teens, I dabbled in poetry. As has become the case in my writing all throughout my life, my poems were always character-oriented. My first poem of note was based on my sister, Mary. It was entitled, "Super Canary" and chronicled the crime fighting exploits of my younger sister who, in times of need, could transform herself into Super Canary! I created a whole series of Super Canary adventures, using poetry as my vehicle. My friends loved my work and encouraged me to keep writing so that they could hear about the next adventure and the one after that. I realize that Dante had nothing to fear from Super Canary but, it was these poems that introduced me to writing for an audience, to gaining critical praise and to adopting a style that saw the main characters based upon real life friends and family members.
In High School, I extended this style of writing into the genre of narratives. My friends were still the main characters of every story but, I now was writing multi-chapter stories. I was using every spare "study" period to work on my writing. Again, my friends waited with bated breath to hear what happened to their character. I acquired a growing reputation as a wordsmith and was respected for what I was accomplishing on a daily and weekly basis. Again, no Pulitzer prize winners came out of my study hall sessions but, my growing confidence and public acclaim began fueling inside of me the notion that, perhaps, I could write for a living. Maybe the real world would recognize my skills, just as my classmates and teachers had. So, with the encouragement of those around me, I made the decision to apply to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto to pursue a degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting, with an eye toward writing for television; screenplays, documentaries and the like.
At age 18, with a teenage lifetime of literary creations as my ticket, I boarded a VIA train in Sydney, Nova Scotia bound for the biggest stage in Canada.
It wasn't until years later that I learned my mother, after waving her good-byes to me at the train station in Sydney, had gotten into her car, raced to the next station along the route; certain that I would have come to my senses and gotten off that train. But, instead, I passed through the next station, ignorant of any parking lot dramas that were unfolding. As the train travelled on down the line, I settled into my seat. I was a writer. Everything was going to be ok. It always had. I never had any doubts.