Posted in Writing Updates

New Story: Aurora’s End

Today is a happy day because my short story, “Aurora’s End,” has been published in the Spring 2017 issue of The Puritan. Confetti cannons! Balloons! Trumpets! etc.

First and foremost, I owe a great deal of thanks to my fiction professor and wonderful advisor, Jim Grimsley, as well as my peers who helped me workshop this story last year.

Thank you, as well, to The Puritan‘s fiction editors André Babyn and Noor Naga for all their help in editing and revising this story.

And lastly (but not least-ly), I am forever grateful to Giang and Lina for patiently listening to me read my drafts and supporting me unconditionally.


Okay, now back to business.

This is a Canadian magazine, so please excuse the “colours” instead of “color” and other discrepancies. Basically, if there’s anything at all that you don’t like in this story, blame it on the Canadians and not me.

I can’t say too much about this story because I’m saving that for another blog post in The Puritan‘s author blog, The Town Crier. I’m a bit behind on writing that (gets on the floor and bows in apology to the wonderful Puritan editors), but I’ll let you know when it goes up.

However, I’ll say this much:

This is a story about trying to love someone who you no longer recognize because of their depression.

My thoughts on this topic have changed a lot since I wrote this story in 2016, but one theme has remained constant in all of my shifting interpretations: there are no right answers.

People who haven’t been in Jing’s (the protagonist’s) situation love to tell you what you’re “supposed to do” when someone you care about becomes depressed. But real people have a funny way of failing to align with everything you read online. Somehow, they render useless all the books you’ve read about depression in your search for nonexistent solutions because reality is never that clean. None of those books tell you how far to go or how long to hold out in loving someone who breaks you a little bit every day.

I hope this story challenges you to think critically about how depression impacts everyone, not just the person suffering from depression. I hope it encourages you to love others endlessly while still recognizing and validating your own suffering, your own need for love.

Without further ado, I present to you “Aurora’s End”…

“In December, I became The Girl Who Saw Her Brother Drown, even though that’s only half true. I saw the ice open up and the lake breathe him in, then it was only Augusta maple trees and snowflakes on my eyelashes and so much silence, like he’d never even existed.

It takes three minutes without oxygen for your brain to start destroying itself. I waited for twenty-three minutes sitting cross-legged below an aspen tree, drinking tea from Tai’s thermos. It was too hot and he’d said to wait or I’d burn my tongue, but I burned it anyway and kept drinking until everything tasted like ash. Then the northern lights started casting purple banners across the sky, fifty-four minutes too late. I saw every colour and I saw colours that only existed for that moment and I saw every single star combust, but I did not see my brother drown. He was somewhere beneath the ice, while I was looking up at the sky….”

(Finish reading in The Puritan)


Posted in Writing Updates

A Book Review and a Republication

A quick writing update from underneath a mountain of poetry books:

I read a book and Cleaver published my thoughts about it, mostly because I intern there and they told me to have thoughts about it, but also because it was a good book.

My review of A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar

(But in all honesty it is a very good book, especially if you’re into very dark themes)

On an unrelated note:

A few months ago, the editor of Cleaver (where I published “Voltage“) told me that she’d forwarded my piece to a national undergraduate literary anthology called Plain China. A few weeks ago, an editor from Plain China told me that they’d accepted it. I’m starting to feel like a one-hit wonder. I’ll send around the link when they actually publish it so you can read it ON TWO DIFFERENT WEBSITES if you want.

Thanks to everyone who still reads this defunct travel blog.



Posted in Writing Updates


High Voltage "The poet's version"

My flash fiction piece, “Voltage,” is live in the 11th issue of Cleaver Magazine and can be viewed/read/printed/burned HERE, along with many other wonderful works of fiction and poetry that are also worth reading.

This was the last assignment for my fiction class last spring taught by the illustrious David Samuel Levinson, a man I admire for his unapologetic honesty. I was lucky enough to have him for the last semester of his fellowship before he decided to explore options outside of academia. Well, his exact words were: “The academic world can go shove itself up my ass,” and “I’d rather dig ditches than have to deal with a bunch of spoiled rich white kids.”

The prompt was: a broken lamp, a white glove, and an empty bottle of gin (or something to that effect. I lost the actual assignment)

Thank you to everyone who’s supported me up to this point. You know who you are and you know that this small victory wouldn’t have happened without you.