Do you want to be a more creative writer? I want to help light that creativity on fire.
"Pete possesses the greatest breadth and the most intellectual speed of any creative soul I know, and I know many. He has pushed and inspired and kicked my ass into songwriting, album production, novel writing and even the definition and exhibition of lovingkindness."
—Vince R Ditrich, author of ‘The Liquor Vicar’
"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it."
"You wanna fly? You gotta give up the shit that weighs you down."
I've been fortunate to have a great creative writing life. Still, I wish I'd done some things differently. I wish I'd collaborated more, inspired more artistic creativity in other writers, shared more about the writing and film business and my own writing process and what I've learned and haven't learned.
Then I decided, "Hey, stop wishing." So, I created this website and a YouTube channel and wrote books on writing and songwriting to share things I've learned and am still learning with other creative folks. It doesn't matter who you are or what level you're at, beginner or pro. I don't even care what level I'm at. Artistic creativity is a birthright built into the human species and vital to our future. Is it time to get your writing and creativity going? In every way, yes. Let me know what fires up your writing and what holds you back; it could be comparison to other writers and filmmakers, you need more structure, more time, more confidence, more input.
There are a load of writing and songwriting tips and prompts and ideas below—and below that examples of what I've done. Whoever you are, something here will ignite your artistic creativity and take you further. You deserve it.
My Last Friends on Earth
Secrets of GLYKO
My Last Friends on Earth
Return to Trikkandor
My Last Friends on Earth
Book 1 of the YA trilogy My Last Friends on Earth is complete. I've begun book 2: two kids under the age of fourteen trying to fly a spaceship to another galaxy. Their mission? Save their kidnapped friend. Oh yeah, and stop an alien force from finishing off the human species. How much fun is that?
A fictionalized year of my life when I was ten. The most flow I've had writing. Here's to childhood and family and friends and resilience.
This book was so stimulating and inspiring and fun to write. And who doesn't love pop trivia? I hope it's the same for you to read. A few details here. More to come.
First novel. The first query letter was rejected. A week later, having accidentally sent the same query letter twice, the same publisher who declined said, "Sure, send us three chapters." Done.
Hey, Songwriter was written in the same joyous flow as Hey, Writer. Rewarding, surprising and fun to write. A few chapters here. More to come.
Ali is the GOAT for so many reasons. The ten boxers Ali fought in Facing Ali? Legends. The film was short-listed for an Oscar.
Uganda Rising was a privilege to make, with huge responsibility. A note of caution, the film is heavy and there are some brutal images. Click poster for an excerpt.
I Am Bruce Lee
I am not Bruce Lee. He was an original who made being a mystic and a fighter beyond cool.
Sports On Fire - HBO Series
John Mann was a pure artist. His brave journey with Alzheimer's taught me so much about dignity and love.
See Grace Fly
The first full-length film I ever directed and only fictional feature so far. Great experience in independent filmmaking. Grace rocked.
The concept for Sports on Fire was simple: when sports and history collide the whole world watches. The stories, interviews and revelations from all six episodes enthralled, fascinated and educated me. What a treat. Currently streaming on CBC Gem.
I made these two short films for the wonderful Echo Storytelling Agency. Anybody you love? Tell them now—you know, that you you love them. #TellThemNow got over a million views in the first two weeks after launch and was featured in media around the world.
My first album. 24-Track, 2-inch tape. Fab players. Big dreams. This is not the original cover title. It was called Breathe. But that's my daughter and she has my heart. Plus she can totally shred.
These New Work songs are productions in process. It's one thing to write songs. It's another to record and produce a song to a standard that feels good. New work, same dreams. And occasional, precious rushes of elation.
Shine is my dream of letting go of love with style and hoping it sounds like something from Motown.
Innocent Man was inspired from research I did for a potential series called No Justice. Special nod to the Innocent Project, who fight for the release, exoneration and dignity of wrongfully accused prisoners.
Album 2. Recorded in a studio, a living room and a shed on something called DAT. Got a great story from Abbey Road out of it. Got to tour Canada. This is the original cover and title. Seconds later the train came and I was killed.
Inner-Galactical hears the cries of an astronaut exploring the outer reaches of the solar system but still feeling ruptured by deeper inner-loneliness. He's choosing to not call Houston. Fortunately, he has a little recording studio in his capsule—basically Chris Hadfield, if Chris Hadfield had an existential crisis in space.
Potentially creative boy sitting on a large, red apple
I'm not getting any younger. Let's create something.
Writer, filmmaker, musician. Recently completed my third novel, number one in a YA trilogy called Last Friends on Earth. The story takes place a century in the future. My other novels, Understanding Ken and Shelby, were written in the previous century. I've penned several produced feature screenplays in between.
I recently wrote Hey, Writer about the writing life, the creative process and how to get on top of your game and stay there. I've added the same for songwriters: Hey, Songwriter, to help you write your next or first great song.
My documentary Facing Ali was Oscar short-listed in 2009. Spirit Unforgettable won Audience Choice awards at Toronto's Hot Docs and VIFF in 2016.
For you sci-fi fans? I’m in conversation to direct a biopic about the creator of Star Trek, the inimitable Gene Roddenberry. How '60s cool could that be?
I created, wrote and directed a 6-part HBO Canada documentary series called Sports on Fire. Other award-winning films I've written and directed include Uganda Rising, I Am Bruce Lee—at the time Spike TV’s highest watched documentary ever—and a scripted feature called See Grace Fly.
I’ve done ad work for Echo Storytelling Agency that has garnered millions of views on multiple platforms.
My music has been used in film, T.V. and Digital Media but I still dream of writing that perfect pop song.