Thursday, 29 November 2012


G.F. Handel is one of my favourite composers, so it was a lovely surprise when excerpts from his opera Ariodante opened the ESO's Vivaldi and Viola midweek concert last night.  I enjoy the symphony: as a writer, I find attending live music events to be inspiring:  the rich texture of classical pieces provides a wonderful backdrop on which to explore thoughts and revel in imagery evoked by the movements.  It's also a great opportunity to be a part of a group of people all experiencing the same musical brilliance at the same time.

I've also been inspired lately by the theatrical efforts of people I have recently met and people that I've worked with in the past.  To see how dedication and passion can create something that, regardless of how the final project is received, can say so much, has really convicted me of the importance of art in community.

Bad films can bring great inspiration.  My friends showed me a review of Southland Tales, and although it violated everything I hold amazing and cool (the Bible, socialists/ anarchists, time travel), I was strangely happy afterwards, because I thought, hmm, there's hope for me yet.

One of my roommates is also a writer, and we've started a collaborative novel for fun.  It's good to have deadlines and people hassling me to finish my chapter already! again.

Speaking of hassling, my amazing friend Michelle is making sure I'm working on my own novel and getting a decent number of chapters every week.  If not for her, I would've given up long ago.

Serious writing is difficult and rewarding and crazy! Thank goodness there's always plenty of inspiration around.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Edmonton Comic Expo

A couple friends and myself checked out all of the geekish fun here in Edmonton for the first ever comic expo at Northlands.  I wasn't able to stay long (long enough to buy a "Keep Calm, I'm The Doctor" shirt however), but we did meet some interesting people and see some interesting things! Here are the highlights:

1. Met Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins, authour and artist of the soon to be astoundingly popular comic, Peter Panzerfaust.  Here's Kuris' blog:

2. Connected with EDGE friends at their booth.  A couple opportunities for short story writers coming up:

3. Steampunk panel: learned a couple costume tricks!

4. Firefly had a booth!  Everyone was wearing Jayne hats!  The Alberta Browncoats society has a fundraising event in June:

5. All the amazing costumes!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

zombie song

A song I've performed twice now for audiences, this is my current favourite out of the ones I've written recently.  Hope you enjoy this bit of zombie fun!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Beat Books

When I was in Victoria a few weeks back, we stopped in on this street festival in Chinatown.  In this area of the University city, packed full of vendors, bars, and busking courtyards, is what is known as the narrowest alleyway in Canada, Fan Tan alley.  My Dad, sister, and I wandered down the dim side street, until a vintage bookshop caught our eye.  It was a long room, with white glass paneled cabinets, and secondhand clothes hanging on the racks comfortably set in the back section.  I don't remember what the guy behind the counter was wearing, but he was setting a record onto a turntable when we entered.  I was immediately drawn to the closest bookshelf, where a jumble of literature and novels were packed.  I smiled as I noticed Allen Ginsberg's Collection of Essays, Deliberate Prose, since I had my Portable Beat Reader collection stashed ecstatically in my purse.  The shelf across from the counter, where next I turned my attention, was equally resonant, as my hand passed over a copy of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Catch-22.  A thin, square, black book caught my attention.  I had barely pulled it half ways out from the row when the guy at the counter, let's call him Snyder, spoke. "It's an original," he said.  Howl was in my hand, a City Lights edition, not a first printing, but still decently coin.  "So you like the Beat poets?  I had tickets to go see Allen Ginsberg, you know." "No way!" I exclaimed.  The idea of someone actually meeting the poets I had recently discovered was like someone saying they had seen Dostoevsky walking down the street.  "It was cancelled, because he was ill, it was only a couple months before he died. In '96?"  I nodded, but didn't really know. He pointed me to Kerouac by Ann Charters and pulled Deliberate Prose.  I didn't have money to spend, but he was a good con, and a good hipster, and I bought all three, thinking, what the heck, if this is what I want to study for my graduate studies.  And he took off a couple dollars, bringing it to 28.00. Maybe I was taken in by his nervous way of talking, excited to meet someone in the wild drifts of life who knew what I was talking about.
Clockwise from left: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Lafcadio Orlovsky, and Gregory Corso in 1956.
Howl I had read before, though I enjoyed reading through "America" again -

"America, I've given you all and now I'm nothing"

Kerouac became my transit material, stuck in the back pocket of my purse, reading through the indefinable bus hours the sad life of a melancholic alcoholic disillusioned inspired lonely angry searching wild writer who defined his generation without ever really feeling part of it.  Charters' method was as Factual as Burroughs, and though it was a tragedy with brilliant moments of clarity and hope, I felt encouraged as a writer.  Kerouac pursued what he felt was his calling as an artist, for better or for worse, wherever he was whatever state he was in.  I was inspired by his use of spontaneous prose, something he preached to everyone, and his transformation of his life into legend.

Just reading Deliberate Prose now; even on drugs, Ginsberg writes millennias better than myself, such power and eloquence of language, expressed from his being as a passionate Soul on earth. So far, and excellent and mind-stretching read.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

not Sherlock

A session at WWC this past weekend was paneled by a man who knows almost all there is to know about Sherlock Holmes.  The main point considered throughout the 45 minutes of Sherlockian history, popular culture, and influence was: what is it about this brilliant and reclusive detective that has captured the popular imagination for the past 125 years?  His argument: we all want to be Sherlock Holmes.  He is a genius, can tell amazing things from a person's appearance, and explains the most puzzling mysteries using sheer deductive reasoning.  However, said this most knowledgeable man, though we all want to be Holmes, it is elementarily impossible.  Nobody can become Holmes; we're more like Watson, intrigued by this astounding, tortured, and brilliant man.

I was prepared to prove the Sherlock expert and his theory wrong.  I knew it wouldn't happen right away of course: I'd have to practice being observant, pay closer attention to what people said and what colour of mud was on their shoes.  I'd have to pick up the violin and maybe do cocaine - just kidding.  Wouldn't go that far into the character.  Just into his method, basing my theories on facts gathered from around me and the neatly organized filing system on top of my bookcase.

I practiced observing everything in my friend's kitchen as I prepared myself a sandwich: how much butter was left in the butter dish, what colour of placemat was on the table, and where all the knives were kept.  My sandwich needed some green, and I found in the crisper drawer an uncut cucumber.  Must be new, I observed, and perhaps grown organically from its inconsistent shape.  I cut off the end and nibbled it.  Hmm, strong outer skin, rubbery inside.  Maybe it was older than I thought.  Oh well.  I cut a couple of spongy discs, arranging them on top of the ham and mustard already on one of the multi-grain bread slices.  That's when I realized I would never be Sherlock Holmes.  Because the round pieces on my sandwich were not cucumber; I had cut up a zucchini.

Though I was crushed, it was a good sandwich.  And as I sat, consuming my delicious meal, I thought maybe being Watson wasn't so bad after all.

Read Chapter OneThis anthology has some great stories about Sherlock Holmes written by authours from our time:

Sunday, 12 August 2012

When Words Collide: Part the Second

Thought I'd blog while I wait for the Absinthe to wear off.

It's been a happening day here at When Words Collide, though sadly, Jack Whyte was no longer in attendance.  But there were amazing panelists, active discussions, and some pretty fun partying afterwards.  The day began with another Live Action Slush, which my friend Michelle and I both attended, and both had a page of our writing read out anonymously.  Something unexpected and amazing happened which editor from Penguin Canada gave me her card.  Wow.  She asked me to send her a pitch when I had a finished novel.  Wow again.  Pretty much, I was freaking out inside my head.  However, the excitement settled down when I realized what this meant: a lot of time, and a lot of work.  Because, like Kevin Anderson said during his keynote address and buildungsroman session, writing isn't something you can shortcut - it's a serious undertaking that requires dedication.  So,what this means is... no more free time for me.  Sorry friends. Can't hang out today: I have to write a novel.

But I like being around people too much to become a complete hermit!  It's been wonderful being a part of this conference, the energy and the quirky atmosphere set off by all the writers, editors, publishers is intrusive, it gets under your skin and makes you wonder why you've stopped working on projects that are integral to your creative identity.

What else happened today...Michelle and I attended sessions on 100 years of planetary romance, wilderness survival, criminals and Canadian murder mysteries, grammar usage and abusage in our society today, the Aurora Awards (congrats to EDGE Publishing and Robert J. Sawyer's novel Wonder for picking up awards in the best short fiction and best novel category)...

The "party rooms" were on the fifth floor, running from 9pm to late.  We first hung out in the EDGE room, the walls covered in sticky notes next to thought-provoking questions ("What's something on your bucket list?" "What would be your Erotica pen name? - determine by adding your favourite colour to the last thing you ate").   The Steampunk party room, hosted by Calgary's Steampunk collective, held many interesting people dressed in waistcoats and top hats, goggles, corsets, Victorian dresses with leather chokers.  And if you know anything about Steampunk society, you would know that it was one of these people who poured me a shot of Absinthe and slowly poured ice cold water over a spoon holding a sugar cube until the mixture was cloudy.  Tasted a bit reminiscent of licorice.

Only one more day left...

Friday, 10 August 2012

Prose and Cons

It's the second annual When Words Collide sci-fi/ fantasy/ genre whatever fiction convention here in Calgary, and so far people, it's been super engaging, educational, and fun.  I learned today that the word "robotic" was coined in 1920 by a playwright (before that, you'd use "mechanical" or "automaton") and that 80-90 % of science fiction is written in limited third person style narrative.  Sherlock Holmes was a spin off of Poe's famous French detective, who not many people nowadays could name.  We attended a slush panel reading, voiced by Canadian historical novelist, Jack Whyte.  The critiques of the anonymous pages from that session were really insightful as to what publishers are looking for when they read a first submission: first of all, don't start with a weather report.  Involve the reader in some action, strong and vivid language, something original that maybe they haven't seen before.  Hook them in with a character doing something, not just observing.  Some first readers are more patient than others, and if your characters and writing are strong, may stick around and give your piece a chance - at least, for another few paragraphs.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Haven't posted in a while...been working on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel: only 40 000 words to go! Other than that, working at Jubilations and our Dostoevsky discussion group have been keeping me busy.  Here's an entry from my novel so far:

I was out one evening in the delicious syrupy sunlight, seeing for the first time the trees and the colour of everyone’s door.  It was with a pensive mind that I walked, having just watched a re-enactment of Dostoevsky’s critical moment, when the grave clothes are pulled off over his head and he clings to the grey sheet as if unable to believe his sentence has been requited.  His eyes go vacant, he looks up, I wonder if an epileptic attack is about to take him, but he stands there in front of the shooting post quivering with new life and amazement.  As I walked, time became elongated and every moment was sharp and every observation lovely.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

nature of war

Lately in conversation, the nature of war has come up for discussion.  A friend of mine who is interested in world politics and military developments is of the opinion that war is a natural tendency in human society.  He then posed the question: is our "modern" tendency towards diplomacy a more evolved cultural method of dealing with conflict, or is it a result of society's suppression of humanity's natural tendency towards violence?

I myself am not an expert in the field, nor do I delight in the concept of human beings killing each other for any reason - that's the beatnik in me coming out I guess.  But this passionately expressed viewpoint of my friend set me to thinking, and this is what I came up with: war is similar in many ways to a forest fire.

Forest fires are completely natural and in fact necessary for diverse and healthy growth.  They clear out dead materials, enrich the soil - some seeds don't even become viable unless they are put through the heat of a full-fledged forest fire.  As far as I can see from historical examples, war is similar to this in that it clears the bracken of apathetic and compliant thinking and forces society to consider active responses to threat, injustice, and inconstancy in their own framework of thinking.  It also enriches a nation's sense of community: Canada was said to have become a nation during the First World War, as an example.  Admist the panic and destruction of war, seeds of future minds that will rebuild the world are planted.  Even though forest fires are often beyond human control, people who start them, either through criminal intent or negligence, are the guilty ones.  Firefighters are the peacemakers who lead to the end of destruction and allow a time of peace for the ecosystem to rebuild itself and flourish. 

Just because war is "natural", however, doesn't make it good, and this is where it deviates from the forest fire metaphor.  Human nature is flawed, otherwise, we would be able to peacefully deal with challenges that result from the complex framework of world politics.  War is a result of greed for power, resources, and the flawed belief that in some way one nation is more important or worthy than another.  And an even scarier thought, war can be a result of boredom.  North America, we have more than any other land mass in the world, yet we feel more depressed, disillusioned, and isolated on average than any other - and our "first world problems" leave us with little sense of greater purpose or goal.  Our culture is on the decline.  It's easy to see why some may want to stir people into a nationalistic crusade.

There have always been warmongers and peacemakers.  The question perhaps isn't so much what's more "natural", but what is more reflective of what the world should be.  Myself, never having lived through war, civil unrest, or bloody revolution, perhaps shouldn't be delving into such territory, but unless we think about these things in times of freedom, how will we be able to in times of oppression? 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Because it is 2am, listening to Zach and Erika singing Sound of Music and David apologizing to Frodo for locking him out of the basement, what better time to blog?

Life has changed considerably since last post: I have read A Clockwork Orange, graduated university, and started working at a Dinner Theatre.

Monkeys.  That is all.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

as a hermit

An experiment: could I, for a day, be a writer focused on one task, that of telling a story? Could I spend the entire day locked up in my room, free of distractions, and finish something for once in my life?

The night before, I cleaned my room.  I cleared my desk.  Bought some apples and set out a mug.  I informed one of my roomates that I was taking an art day.  Did some brainstorming and went to bed.

The next morning, I was up at the crack of 10:30. Meant to be up at 7:00, but apparently I was more run down than I had thought. No matter.  To the desk! Wait...should have some kind of breakfast, you know, fuel the mind and all that.  Maybe shower an hour later, I sit down to my desk, fully intending to write something completely new.  I'd been feeling lately there was this story inside me dying to get out...but although I did come up with a time traveler and a gazebo and theatre critics, I just wasn't finding what I wanted.

I had some lunch.  Checked the email.  Returned a mystery phone call (turned out to be a survey), and then, back to the board!  I recalled that I had started writing a short story a couple years ago about a girl who gets shot out of a cannon. Developing that into a script became the matter of the day.  But I could not stay in my room!  After about three pages, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood.  Then I sat on the porch with some tea and my notebook on my lap.

Another two pages...a mad scientist leaped onto the scene!  And then I couldn't work anymore.  At about 4pm I gave up and watched Ponyo.

It was wonderful, however, this whole experience.  I learned that I cannot cut myself off from everything for more than a few hours at a time: I am fully dependent on my surroundings.  And I can actually focus on a project for more than a few hours at a time: not letting myself be distracted by chores or other projects was huge in keeping the creative juices flowing throughout the writing process.  And I felt so connected afterwards. I'll definitely be doing this again.

Monday, 16 April 2012

TAC Presents: One Acts!

Oh man, craziest weekend of my life: Concordia One Acts were a blast!
A wonderful line up:

The Collection by Harold Pinter
Directed by Nicole Cardinal
Bill: Rachel Whipple, Harry: Brittni Carey, James: Elysia Marchand, Stella: Stephanie Roller

Scott Brayall, Bethany Froese, Ciera Vadnais, Phaedra Palo

Nobody Sleeps by Guernsey Le Pelay
Directed by Jason Knorr
Spike: Scott Brayall, Daisy: Bethany Froese, Ada: Gina Bazzarelli, Glory: Adara Broyles, Mrs. Busby: Ciera Vadnais

Alto’s Lament (Thursday Only)
Tamara Yakoweshen, Erika Holba

Voices by Richard Lortz
Directed by Tamara Yakoweshen
Sound Designer: Bethany Froese
Claire: Elise Sargent, Robert: Jeff Baker, Mother: Carla Mysko, Jessica: Allison Mysko, John: Andrew Mysko


Miss Julie by August Strindberg
Directed by Kendra Lamothe
Stage Manager: Elysia Marchand, Doug Potter
Miss Julie: Sephra Lamothe, Jean: Clint Yanchula, Kristin: Janelle Wells

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Tom Stoppard
Directed and Adapted by Brittni Carey
Alexander: Clint Yanchula, Ivanov: Erika Holba, Sacha: Elysia Marchand, Doctor: Michael Dodge, Teacher: Adara Broyles, Colonel: Naomi Gaertner

Alto’s Lament (Saturday Only)
Tamara Yakoweshen, Erika Holba

How To Speak Male by Betty Jane Wylie
Directed by Jenna Haison
Alice: Naomi Gaertner, Chuck: Brody Hladun, Joan: Adara Broyles, Lee: Erika Holba, Chang: Matthew Richardson

Stuck by Claire Reeve
Directed by Brody Hladun
Sarah: Lauren Tamke, Sal: Wesley Dover

Daydreams to Nightmares by Michael Dodge
Directed by Michael Dodge
Sora: Clint Yanchula, Soldier 1: David Lyons, Soldier 2: Corey Zaal, Soldier 3: Christopher Legerme, Girlfriend: Gina Bazzarelli, Curator: Brittni Carey, Prop Master: Graeme Head

Sure Thing by David Ives
Directed by Lauren Tamke
Paul: Scott Brayall, Sarah: Alex Charette

MCs: Adara Broyles and Brittni Carey

A memorable time with lovely people, and a great last run on the Concordia stage <3

Thursday, 15 March 2012


figured it out.

one of those things in myself i could never see clearly
couldn't enunciate - couldn't even spell
without looking it up first

i looked up and saw
beauty spontaneous creativity
the existence of not only form
but colour unneeded essential.

not the water electric problem
making use the only aim
stifles drowns electroshock therepizes

and that's why the words have been dressed in neat suits and ties
and that's why they have read like Joe in city clothes
and that's why i think now, i can let them wear whatever they want

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Simple Life

This article will be appearing in the Concordia newspaper, but what the heck, I'll post it here also:

The Simple Life
by Brittni Carey

                We are rich.  On a student budget, though it doesn’t seem like much, we live better than most of the people in the world.  We have ready access to clean water, the grocery store, and Tim Hortons.  We drive cars that are built to last five years maximum and wear clothes we throw out at the smallest sign of wear.  We own laptops, iPhones, digital cameras, huge flatscreens, more movies than we would ever watch, and more stuff than we could ever need.  I’m not pointing this out to make anyone feel guilty; in fact, I want to point out how blessed we are to live in such affluence!  Our needs are met, freeing us up to think about the deep questions in life.

                I don’t know about you, but with the time I have, instead of thinking philosophically, I tend to think materially.  About what I own, what I want to wear the next day, or what’s going on on Facebook. Things are distracting. They can also be destructive.  Our earth is burdened with the shells of our spent pleasures, and the more stuff we buy, the more we throw away. I not only find this fact frustrating, but also frightening: and even more so, how so much of us buy into our consumable culture – literally.

                To reconcile the desire for sincere contemplation of life and the things in life that matter, I think our society needs to put focus on living more simply.  This doesn’t mean dressing in sackcloth and living in a cardboard box.  Rather, I think it means being more intentionally about the way we live.  I love this verse:
Two things I ask of you, LORD; 
 do not refuse me before I die: 
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; 
  give me neither poverty nor riches, 
  but give me only my daily bread. 
9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you 
 and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ 
Or I may become poor and steal, 
and so dishonor the name of my God (Psalm 30:7-9).
Where we have much, we should share with those who have little, where we have little we should depend that God’s plan for us may involve something more than that new shiny thing we’ve been chasing after.  Like some of you, I have this terrible fear of losing everything, of not having enough money to take care of myself.  Jesus assures us that our Heavenly Father, who takes care of the birds and the grass of the field, will take care of us also.

                In light of these thoughts, what does living simply mean? I was recently inspired by a project I heard about through a friend.  To raise money for providing water to people in third world situations, Jenny Doh has pledged to wear the same brown dress everyday (when it isn’t being washed, of course) from Valentine’s Day of this year until 2013. She has used her gifts of art and the blessings in her life to reach out to the world around her, putting the needs of others before her own.  Living simply, to me anyways, means being intentional about what we buy and how we use it: using recycled products, sharing resources with the people around us, creating a community which is not based on supply and demand, but rather on respect for the earth and love for each other.  This is a general statement to be sure, but I think that everyone has a different approach to living the simple life.  Some who have much share what they have; others decide to boycott corporations which oppress and mistreat their workers.

What does the simple life mean to you?

Check out Jenny Doh’s Crescendoh Project at

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Midnight in Paris

I've been exposed to many great films lately, but I think the one that has inspired me the most as a writer is Woody Allen's latest film "Midnight in Paris".  It wasn't just because the main character was a writer, or that he was in a beautiful city with a rich history of art and literature - or that I wanted to punch the pretentious academic character in the face every time he shouldered his way onscreen.  What really got to me was Ernest Hemingway.

I hate his books.  A strong, and albeit suicidal in some circles, comment to make.  I hate the emotional disconnect between his characters and the disconnect I feel when I finished A Farewell to Arms.  And I hate them because they are good.

He was my favourite character in the film.  How intense he was, and the level of dedication to his work.  He knew what he thought, knew that death was inevitable, and valued above all else the power of courage in an individual's life. I laughed from the heart at his sincerity because it was just so ridiculous and noble.

Something else that I loved about the film was how Allen emphasized the importance of the present.  Famous authours were once obscure men and women who lived lives in their ordinary present; we clothe them in gold and give their streets an auspicious glow, but in reality, that's what it felt like to be them: real, with the struggles that visit all on their backs.

In any case, a good film, a word feast, and Owen Wilson does well as Woody Allen's character.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


if you read extensively of one authour or artist's works, you'll tend to find similar themes, characters, and ideas.  this makes sense: the mind of a poet is, as T.S. Eliot points out, the catalyst which brings poetry out of everyday experiences - and everyone has certain chemicals they're putting into that reaction, if you see what I mean.  some have an alcoholic father figure who somehow continually sneaks into their writing, pulling along a trail of bottles and bar scenes behind them. some have a friend who, after returning from Africa after two years, sees the world differently from everyone else.  for Charles Dickens, one of those insistent characters was his dear friend, Mary Hogarth. an innocent and upstanding young girl, she died at the age of 17, leaving Dickens behind with a hole in his life which never fully healed over.  he wrote about her again and again, often casting her as the age at which he last saw her.

yesterday I took up a pen and a blank notebook and wrote out reoccurring characters that have appeared in what I've written so far.  it was difficult at first to commit and say "this was the person behind this character", but getting over the feeling that someone was looking over my shoulder, eventually wrote down what I found to be an interesting assortment.  ideas and general characters, such as "Child" and "Christ", came up also.

so now, do i continue to write and explore these "types", or should I try to break out of them?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Dickens Day

Happy 200th birthday February 7th to one of the greatest English novelists of all time, Charles Dickens!

Concordia is holding a Read-a-thon as well as other events throughout the day.  Check it out on Twitter (#dickensday) or at their website

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

an observation

Wearing a brown blue-collared jacket and heavy workboots, the eagle man told the blue-eyed baseball capped boy how he had won a knife fight in Churchill Square.  He motioned with his hand, a wide swipe across with a keen smile at the finish...

That's what I imagined, anyway, watching the odd pair on the train, exchanging dialogue as if it were free between such disparate members of society.  I made up my mind they couldn't be related; yet, how did they come to know each other - a friend from his father's old days, a church event, neighbours.  The ride on the same train every day.  The man follows his basketball team.  An uncle. A kid without guidance.  A man without means.  They're in it together.  They've never been apart. They are the antithesis of Oligarchy.  They are proof that Jesus wasn't wrong.

That's what I imagined, anyway.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Punks! And Directing! And Charles Dickens!

In a mood of a free night, I wrote this evening into the conclusion of the one act I've been working on, called (for now) "The Styx".  It's now an awkward calf finding its feet, and still requires more strength and consistency in the dialogue.  One of the characters, Monk, has also become more of a Christ figure than I originally intended.  However, I'm just excited to have it all down.  Editing will be fun.

My process is so weird: I just write whatever, and whatever comes is what I work with.  Which makes the concept aspect of the story difficult to suss out sometimes for myself as the writer as well as the reader.  But having studied so many works by authours, it is completely usual, and logical, for writers to have themes and character types and even subject matter which is common to all their writings.  Because if creative works are a response by an individual or group to the internal and external environment in which they live, it makes complete sense for there to be unity between all the work composed by said individual.  And maybe that's why I struggle so much, because I feel unoriginal for drawing off my own response, and at times fearing what that response looks like and how it is received.  So, I'm going to try to just write as myself, and accept my own poetic feelings as a valid way to tell a story.