Chronicling the journey of writing

by Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

When I was in high school, back in the late 90’s, I had an English teacher that made us write in a journal at the beginning of every class. It’s only in retrospect that I could truly appreciate the benefits of such an activity.  I didn’t know it then, but that simple daily exercise helped whet my appetite for writing.

I recently came across my old English journals. I found an interesting entry on May 18, 1999 titled: “Why I Write.” This blast from the past was nothing less than amusing yet enlightening. That entry revealed that when I was 16, writing was a fun way to escape from “the daily pressures.” What struck me as funny is that the 30-year-old me sometimes feel that writing is a pressure. So it was great to be reminded that when I was younger, there was absolutely no pressure when it came to writing. Au contraire, it was what I did to escape it. (more…)

Passion + Action = Success

by Veronica Louis

This is what I wrote on my bathroom mirror recently: Passion + Action = Success.

You see, I recently attended an artist conference where one of the panelists measured his success by how passionate he was about doing something. And while I generally agreed with that idea, I felt there was a missing ingredient.

There have been times in my life where I have been passionate about doing something or an idea and nothing came to fruition. It would be unwise for me to say that, that in itself was success.

I believe the missing ingredient is action. Passion without action is futile. However, an idea that is backed up with the full force of passion combined with the necessary steps that are required to get the ball rolling will turn a simple seed into a bourgeoning flower. One that smells really good to boot… One that smells of sweet success!

2013 Yes Artists Conference

by Veronica Louis

I recently attended YES Artists’ Conference: Business Skills for Creative Souls in Montreal, where seasoned artists imparted nuggets of wisdoms to fellow and aspiring artists alike.

While the conference as a whole was quite edifying, there were a few specific moments that made me eagerly nod my head in agreement to the point where I had to keep my rapid head jerking in check. These are the moments I would like to share with you.

First, there was Barry Lazar, a documentary film producer and writer who stated that what’s truly important is to have a passion for what you do and to seize every opportunity to do it. Sterling Downey, co-founder of the Under Pressure festival, added to that effect, “once you lose your passion, you are no longer successful.” It is in fact your passion and drive that defines success. Downey also added that it’s important to inspire and motivate others in the process.

And when Lazar was asked about getting that one big break that changes everything, he explained that it’s usually not one big break, but rather a series of smaller breaks that collectively lets you do exactly what you want to do. He explained that it was important to find out what you’re good at and to be prepared so that when you get that one ”yes” out of a sea of rejection you are not only willing, but ready. (more…)

by Veronica Louis

Journal d’un ecrivain en pyjama

Book cover: Mance Lanctôt

For my B-Day, this past January, a very close friend of mind gave me Dany Laferrière’s book: The World is Moving Around Me. Beautifully translated by David Homel from the French original Tout bouge autour de moi, the book was about Haiti’s 2010 earthquake recounted by the Haitian author and poet, Dany Laferrière.

I delved quickly into the book, soaking it up as if I was a literature-deprived sponge. The World is Moving Around Me is divided into a number of written snapshots of the earthquake aftermath focused through the eyes of a poet who paints a drab photo with just the right tone and hue of words. Take this passage of the book for example…


A 7.3 magnitude earthquake is not so bad. You still have a chance. Concrete was the killer. The population had joined in an orgy of concrete over the last fifty years. Little fortresses. The wood and sheet-metal houses, more flexible, stood the test. In narrow hotel rooms, the TV set was the enemy. People sit facing it. It came right down on them. Many got hit in the head. (more…)

An article by Veronica Louis for

Photo: C. Beauregard

Photo: C. Beauregard

In 2010, we couldn’t turn on the radio or pick up the paper without hearing about Dany Laferrière’s L’Énigme du retour (The Return). The Prix Médicis-winning novel is the fascinating first-hand account of the author’s return to Haiti after 33 years in exile. This past January also saw the release of The World is Moving Around Me, the English translation of his heart-wrenching Tout bouge autour de moi. The book, a lyrical description of the moments, hours and days following Haiti’s terrible 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 2010, is nothing short of remarkable. (more…)