Allergic to Peanuts

(In conjunction with the Toronto Writers Collective I recently attended a writing workshop facilitation seminar. Included in the instruction of the Amherst Writers and Artists Method was the opportunity for each of the potential facilitators to facilitate two faux workshops each. This meant a lot of writing took place over the weekend as the faux workshops were conducted as though they were real with each of us participating by writing for the prompt provided by the facilitator and reading it back to the group. One particular prompt really stuck out to me. It involved some mint tea leaves in a brown paper bag. We were not told what it was in the bag, we were instructed to smell the contents and write what the scent inspires. I think that this was an ingenious prompt as so much of the subconscious is rooted in the sense of smell. A scent can make us recall powerful memories with just a whiff. Now I will be honest, no profound memories stirred within me but I would like to share what I wrote in that five minute span.)


Allergic to Peanuts


Peppermint Patty had an upset stomach from eating too many peanuts. Lucy had warned beforehand, but charged a nickel for the advice. Charlie told her to drink some tea, not the brown tea, something herbal and it would help soothe her stomach. So Patty picked a few sprigs of mint that had overtaken the garden and infested the lawn like dandelions. She returned home and brewed the leaves she had gathered and she let it steep while she listened to Schroeder playing Bach on his baby baby grand. She had forgotten all about her tea and her stomach ache as she reminisced about the time she and Snoopy danced at Woodstock while Jimi Hendrix jammed the Star Spangled Banner. Patty snapped out of her reverie remembering her tea, not the brown tea, the mint tea she had made to soothe her stomach. As she sipped her tea she swore to Schultz she would never have anything to do with peanuts ever again.


T J Therien


Campaign to become the next Poet Laureate of Toronto

I would like to ask all my friends to support me in my goal to become the next Poet Laureate of Toronto, please stop by the page I have set up on Facebook for this campaign T J Therien for Poet Laureate of Toronto and like the page. If I can’t garner the support of my friends I will find it difficult to win the support of strangers. While you’re at it feel free to share this post with your friends and pick up a digital copy of one of my books for free at


It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. I ventured out into this extreme cold to attend my writing group today (associated with the Toronto Writer’s Collective.) The following is one of my efforts, unedited of course. The prompt was to write a paragraph describing the way something sounds.

“It echoes. It resonates. It’s deafening at times and golden in other respects. It’s fragile and can be broken by a single word. It is whispered on the wind, yet seldom listened to, but instead is heard with cauliflower ears beaten senseless by the cacophony and din of daily life. It is dark and secluded and light and limitless simultaneously. It can be peaceful, or tumultuous. It can be used to drive home a point, to create suspense, or to make someone feel awkward and uncomfortable. It is the roar of mute lambs; Silence…”

T J Therien

A Small Taste from NaNoWriMo14’s “Scrolls of Sion: Broken Bloodlines”

“Walk with me while we go over your lessons for the day,” Cadfeal said to the Royal Daughter.

Ffiona fell into step alongside of the Master of Assassins. She had to walk briskly to match the long strides of her instructor. Cadfeal refused to slow his pace to accommodate her. The Royal Daughter would be shown no special treatment and receive no privilege from the Master of Assassins. He would treat her as he would any other low level common Drow. This, in his mind, was part of her training.

Ffiona felt at times the Master of Assassins was unduly hard on her. He was unlike any of her other teachers. The others tended to fear the wrath of her mother too much to be heavy handed with her. Cadfeal seemed not to have that fear.

Her mother had explained to her that it was imperative the Master of Assassins treat her thusly if she was to understand those she would one day rule. Rianon refused to discipline Cadfeal, much to Ffiona’s chagrin. Instead Rianon insisted the Master of Assassins be even harder on the child to toughen her up.

If you are to succeed me one day, you must be strong. You are too soft, my daughter. The only way to develop the required callouses of the psyche needed to rule is if your teachers treat you as they would any other Drow, Ffiona could hear her mother’s words echo in her head as she struggled to keep up with Cadfeal.

When I am Queen, I will teach you a lesson, or two, just you wait Cadfeal, just you wait, Ffiona delighted in the thought.

T J Therien

A little teaser from my NaNoWriMo14 project “Scrolls of Sion: Broken Bloodlines”

“There is no poison more potent or powerful than jealousy. Blood becomes bile. What was sweet becomes bitter. What was tender becomes hard and callous. Jealousy, once introduced into the bloodstream, infects the brain and sickens the spirit with the shades and spectres of suspicion. But one drop will kill all trust…”
The Dark Texts

T J Therien