Reason #55 to Keep Living: Making Space in a Crowded Mind

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Although I’m a detailed person when it comes to my schedule, my teaching, and, most importantly, my writing, I have never liked the act of organizing. Making phone calls, memorizing dates, and attending to trivialities puts my mind in a state of foggy uproar.

Unfortunately, if you are familiar with the Canadian health care system (I live in Ontario, and this is the system I am talking about—it could differ from province to province), you will know how agonizingly slow and complicated getting appointments can be. There is the receptionist for the family doc, the receptionist for the surgeon; there are referrals and booking times and addresses and phone numbers. Oh, so many phone numbers. Don’t talk to me anymore about phone numbers… Continue reading

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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

Couplets Episode 10: Catriona Wright and… Me!

Do you like poetry? Do you like experimentation? Do you like Thursday evenings of art and writing and literary surprises? Come see me and Catriona Wright give a collaborative hour-long performance on June 29 from 6-7 pm at The ARTS Project in London. For more details, follow the links below!

Also, did I mention it’s free admission?

https://coupletsreadingseries.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/episode-10-catriona-wright-erica-mckeen/

https://www.facebook.com/events/427829680923669/

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…