“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh nothing!” Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts — not to hurt others.”

— George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch

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Reason #65 to Keep Living: Books

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Can you believe that after sixty-four reasons to keep living, “books” hasn’t been one of them? Well, it certainly has, I just haven’t written about it yet.

Of course, there was Reason #37 to Keep Living: Old Books That Stay Young, in which I wrote about classic literature that continues to push, poke, and pinch the heart and brain; there was Reason #17 to Keep Living: Libraries, in which I wrote about those magical places that offer books for free. There was Reason #2: Comics and Reason #14: Story Time.

But there hasn’t been a post for books in general or books in their entirety. This post is for old books and new books and children’s books and comic books and all the books that have ever been written by anyone. It’s for the books that comforted and joked and taught and horrified. This post is especially for those books that challenged, that kept me up at night, made me think, and, best of all, made me change.  Continue reading

A Slant Cut

Issue 6 of Western University’s interdisciplinary journal, The Word Hoard, was published online last night! It features my story on doctors, definition, compartmentalization, human connection, sickness, and love. I wrote “A Slant Cut” under the theme of “Hangover” and in response to Devon Balwit’s three poems. Please enjoy!

Here is The Word Hoard‘s home page, with Issue 6 featured below.

Here is my story (you can download the PDF).

And here is my page of published works, in case you want to read more of my fiction, poetry, or experimental writing.

Reason #53 to Keep Living: Progress

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Photo taken by WordsFest London staff

This is, and always will be, one of my biggest reasons to keep living.

On Sunday morning, I had the privilege of reading and speaking with four other writers at WordsFest in London, Ontario. This is the kind of event I couldn’t have been part of three or four years ago — partly because of health reasons, and partly because my writing was no where near good enough to be read in front of a room full of people. My writing still needs A LOT of work, but opportunities like this remind me that I am progressing, and that my constant work and practice is getting me somewhere.

As a writer, signs of progress are sometimes few and far between. I will take what I can get, and this one was more than enough. Continue reading

A Fine Farewell

UWO’s student journal, Occasus, has published one story, two poems, and one experimental piece of mine in the 2017 issue (launched today). This journal has been very, very good to me throughout my time at university. Now that I have completed my degree, this is the last publication I will have in the journal.

To bid me an especially fine farewell, Occasus granted my story, “Alyson and the Haunting of the Home Decorating Store,” first prize in its contest. This is a story inspired both by my time working at Pier 1 Imports and by an old coworker of mine. It is also a story I thought would forever go misunderstood. It deals with very subtle Marxist themes, but more significantly with the dangerous undercurrents lurking within retail. In addition, it’s slightly comedic — and, considering comedy is something I always struggle with, this story provides a nice alternative to my usual writing.

Farewell, Occasus! It’s been swell.

http://www.occasusliteraryjournal.com/issue-7.html

New Writing, New Reading…

Finally! My creative writing has once again entered the public sphere!

The lovely literary journal, Persephone’s Daughtersfor which I am a reader, published one of my short stories today. It is called “Married Life,” and it delves into the psychological and emotional confusions of rape culture, submission, and a society entrenched in manners. The writing style differs from a lot of my other works: it is abrupt and purposefully artificial, verging on metafiction.

Have a read, tell me what you think, and feel free to check out the other amazing pieces in this issue. The journal focuses on all areas and ideas surrounding the abuse of women — it is stories of survival through art.

I think it goes without saying that communication and understanding regarding these issues are unutterably important to me.

Read my story and others like it here.

Just As Father Likes

My publication in The Quilliad has become a pattern (to which I am not at all opposed). Last night they published my short story, “Just As Father Likes,” in their 2016 Halloween edition. The story is a modern retelling of “Hansel and Grethel,” originally written by the Brothers Grimm, and is basically everything you can expect from me at this point — strange children, old women, absent men who influence the entire action of the plot… Oh, and did I mention some horror and gore?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

To take a look at the 8 Issues of The Quilliad, and (perhaps!) make a purchase, click here

Now on to the story… Continue reading

Some poetry, some stories, some experiments…

The sixth issue of Occasus, an online literary journal from Western University, is out today! This year they were generous enough to publish two poems, a fiction story, a creative nonfiction story, and an experimental piece of mine. I love this journal, and I encourage you to explore it and read work other than my own. I will provide the link below.

http://occasusliteraryjournal.weebly.com/issue-6.html

To find the specific links to my writing in Occasus, check out my Published Work page. I will be posting all of them there.

And, as always, I must belt out to KEEP WRITING, EVERYONE. Keep creating. Keep being curious and fearless. To create is to be alive. To create is to lose yourself in something bigger than yourself.

Now, to hurry down to my desk in the wall and work on some more stories…