Down in the basement there’s a box. The box is a bit of a contradiction, made of ordinary cardboard, but filled with the most extraordinary things: houses and castles, cars and trucks, monsters and machines both real and fantastic, all crafted from a wonder-filled geometry of multi-coloured bricks.

It’s the most innocent doorstep in Canada. A line of senior citizens—eager as children at Disneyland—peer across manicured lawns and hold up shaky iPads to photograph the sweet and sunny house from Anne of Green Gables.

After five years convincing myself that I was one of the chosen few who could make life as a freelance writer a success, I finally decided to give up on my pursuit of the career-equivalent of magic beans and get a “real” job instead.