Wednesday, September 18, 2013


"If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." — Lord Byron

Hello and welcome to my blog. Its been up and running since 2009. I’ve written over 1000 entries, of which slightly over 400 are currently available for reading. Writing, just like any other art or craft, needs to be practiced everyday, one way or another. If I can’t write one day, I read, if I can’t read, I watch a movie or a well-written television program, listen to good music (something that makes me feel and hopefully deepens my empathy), tell stories, observe my surroundings, engage in conversation, listen, dream, take notes, always trying to create and recreate in one form or another.
Three years ago, while going through a rather nasty divorce, I decided to try and do some of that on a blog (not the best timing, I gotta tell ya; but there you have it).
If while reading the blog, there appears to be contradiction in things I say, that’s because there most likely is; to paraphrase Thomas Merton, I’m always circling around the same centre, but that means I’m constantly seeing it from different angles.

“My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane.” ― Tom Waits

My writing can be influenced by anything. What I’m reading, listening to, ease-dropping on (I’m not above it), living; it might be funny (strange or haha), sarcastic, dark, personal, whatever mood I feel best fits the piece, or whatever shape it ends up taking. Sometimes, well, I think it was musician/songwriter Tom Waits who said, I just need a place to put all the bad stuff. I know he said, “If I exorcise my devils, well, my angels may leave too." Writing is a way of letting your demons run around the yard until they tire out, and then you can get on with things because you’ve left your angels well rested. And, by sharing our demons, forcing them out into the light, I find that they become a little less scary for both the reader and the writer, and the reader and the writer are left feeling a little less alone in a vast and mostly empty universe.

"Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all."
— Ray Bradbury

When I write I try to have as little conscious influence on it as I can. I want to get out of the way to let the character speak or find something deeper within myself, so what I’m writing can become what it was meant to be, or as close to it as I can bring it. Like Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. Not that I’m comparing my writing to a work by Michelangelo, mind you, but when Michelangelo gives you a bit of advice on the creative process, I reckon it is best to shut up and listen, and if it works, pass it on, even if it doesn’t work, pass it on, the creative process can be a fickle thing, and Michelangelo is Michelangelo. Writing I feel, for first drafts anyway, isn’t so much creating, as it is to not getting in the way of creation. And by just quoting Michelangelo you can make some people think you know smart stuff.

“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.” Benjamin Disraeli

I always try to be as emotionally honest as I can when I write. Emotional honesty is, to me, the most important kind, since most everything else seems to be made up of conjecture or lies.

“We read to know we’re not alone.” — taken from 'Shadowlands', a beautiful film (written by William Nicholson) about the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman.

I went through the entries and tried to separate everything into categories, so that things would be easier to find and the blog would look a little less like the insane ramblings of a mad man, and a little more like a writer experimenting, and a human being trying to grow, learn and dream—while making notes along the way. Though, who knows, the first could be closer to the truth. However, I am of the firm belief that all sane people question their sanity and that only the insane are certain of being of sound mental health.

So, I hope you find something on the blog you enjoy, perhaps even something to make you feel a little less alone. Please feel free to leave comments and questions. I’m also on facebook if you want to be my friend. That sounds needy, doesn’t it? Will you be my friend? Terribly desperate. It sounds like Ralphie on the Simpson’s, "It says 'I Choo-choo-choose You,' and there's a picture of a train!" Sad really, but there you have it.

All the best,



Grade 7 Up—Chill is a talented artist. He also has a disability, a crippled leg. It has been a significant issue in his life, but it has made him a better artist by channelling his frustration. When a campaign ensues to have a mural painted at the front of the school, he is awarded the job. In the meantime, he has an immediate adverse reaction to his new English teacher. Chill's friend Sean, who narrates the story, wants to be a novelist and finds Mr. Sfinkter's attitude below par, yet wants to like him. Sfinkter promises to have one of his "publishers" look at the boy's work, which endears him to Sean but causes a rift between the teens. As the year progresses, the man repeatedly insults students, claiming that he is getting them ready for the real world. Chill's distaste for the man increases. When the mural is finally unveiled, he has painted a mad clown (Sfinkter) squishing the dreams of the kids in the school. The novel offers an interesting portrayal of how a teacher can affect a student's life. It is also a commentary on responsibility and the right and wrong way to approach issues that may come your way. Though it is written for teens in terms of plot and character, the content itself is based on a 3.5 reading level, making it perfect for struggling and reluctant readers. — (School Library Journal )


"Frizzell mixes the right ingredients to please middle school boys." ( )

"Frizzell reaches deep into the psyche of high school students...respectfully emulates the voice of a teen." (CM Magazine)

"a good read for all teens, especially for the less popular and the artistically of the better Orca Soundings" (Kliatt )


"Jenevieve, 13, is dealing with issues that are causing her life to spin out of control. Her mom has just passed away, her little brother is needy, and a woman, Fanny, is moving in on her dad before her mother is even buried. Just when the teen's life is hitting an all-time low, an aunt she never knew she had appears at the funeral. Regardless, her father allows J to spend the summer with Aunt Guin, a philosophizing free spirit who fixes up old houses with her friend Art and then sells them at a profit. J spends the summer camping in the backyard of a fixer-upper, learning life lessons through her aunt's random quotes. The teen's engaging voice is full of sarcasm, dry wit, and angst while her aunt's voice is ethereal and soothing." — (School Library Journal)


"Frizzellis prose is engaging and well-crafted...a reader can't help but connect with J." (Globe & Mail)

"The novel has some great dialogue and descriptions...middle school girls will enjoy the short chapters, continuous wordplay and happy endings." (Voya)

"J is a force to be reckoned with...girls will enjoy [her] spunky personality and her unwillingness to give in to the emotions that rip through her." (Kliatt )

"Unique in voice and setting, and there is an unabashed emotional truth to J that resonates throughout and keeps one turning the pages. Recommended." (CM Magazine )


  1. Very nice changes to the blog - well done. Fun post - fun quotes as usual. Interesting and somewhat related to your post here - the Diversions section of The Globe Weekend edition - Question 10 - what would NOT help you to reach a creative breakthrough? a)Going for walks and daydreaming; b)being critical of brainstorming results; c) socializing with like-minded people; d)taking some time off.

    What do you think?

  2. Walks and daydreaming can be used to avoid, but, on the other hand, when I'm stuck, a good walk has, on occasion, helped be puzzle things through; and nature has given me insight more than once. Being critical during brainstorming can be death, but being critical of the results to find the best one can be good. Socializing with like minded people, too much, has been one that recently I've been thinking can often be detrimental to creativity, you need a little friction to create a spark. And taking time off can sometimes be the best way to go if your stuck; take a step back to see the forest rather that banging you head against the hardest tree. So, if your asking me to choose one that would NOT help, I'm thinking c.

  3. And is there no way to correct the mistakes you make in comments after you post them?

  4. Yes, you are right "C" is the correct answer. I think this affirms 'trust yourself'...