Reason #47 to Keep Living: Achieving My Goals

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Tomorrow I will write the final exam of my undergraduate degree.

Wait, what?

Ehem, yes. Tomorrow I will write the final exam of my undergraduate degree!

If you’ve been following my blog for a little over a year, you might remember my post, Time and Too Many Monsters: Why I am Leaving Formal Education, in which I professed my reasons for dropping nearly all of my classes in the early spring of 2016. For a short synopsis, my decision had both to do with persistent mental health issues and a stagnant, frustratingly dreary existence that went along with university life. Continue reading

Reason #46 to Keep Living: Passing Time

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The photo I wanted for this blog post was one of me completing the final essay for my undergrad degree, but it just so happens that not many people like to hang around taking pictures of me sitting with my laptop, especially when I usually tell them to bugger off because they are distracting me. Instead I have this photo of the sunrise on my cottage lake. The water is quiet and mist-covered at six o’clock in the morning, and this photo will serve well enough to represent the passing of time.

I am usually the opposite of grateful for the passing of time. I don’t like to see years go by, let alone months or even weeks. Recently, however, the passing of time has seemed the greatest blessing. The passing of time means the end of summer school, monotony, and exhaustion. The passing of time, in fact, means more time. Continue reading

“She would not say of anyone in the world now that they were this or were that. She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxicabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.”

— Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

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/

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.

While Meditating on the Concept of a Story…

“Some moral tales belong to kindergarten, the age of being afraid of the dark, the age of venturing from the house alone for a short distance, admonitory fables in primary crayons. But other tales are always with us. We tell them to ourselves in midlife and in old age, different each time, accreting as stalactites press toward earth, heavier with each drop and its burden of secret dissolved rock and minerals, the many salts of the planet.”

— Marge Piercy, He, She, and It

Reason #32 to Keep Living: Being an Artist, Being a Woman

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I have recently embarked on the journey of being a prose reader for a literary magazine that focuses on the stories and sufferings of abused women. I at first thought (to my genuine embarrassment) that this was a paid position. On learning that it was not, and that in fact no one working for this magazine is paid, I was at first upset, and then angry, and then grateful. Continue reading