“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself” — Simone De Beauvoir

I was born on the 28th May 1997, which makes me almost twenty-four years old.

I am from Greater Manchester, England.

Ok, now we have got the questions your doctor might ask you out the way; let’s dig into what I think you really ought to know about me.

My dream of becoming a writer began when I was just four years old. I have always relished reading a book and writing a story. It all began with fantasy fiction and short stories. There was a period of four years where I didn’t write a word, nor did I read…


A Haibun

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I
The buttons on your
shirt make me weak at the knees
humbled by your love.

II
My hair smells like pine
that came from the floor
where we fucked tonight.

III
She is bleeding out
we should give her the space
she needs to recover.

IV
Boots up at the bar
shirley temples freak me out
I see the wolf now.

V
By now, you should have realised how things have changed. We messed up that night at the bar where he caught us. You covered my mouth, and I could not stop laughing, you sternly told me off…


Dispelling the myth that we cannot and should not strive for change

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Let's imagine that you have found something in life that is frustrating to you. This perceived issue causes you to want to make a change that will benefit everyone in the future. You are firm in your quest for change, but when you tell someone about it, they turn around and say:

“You want to be difficult. That’s just the way things are.”

Imagine if all the great inventors of the world had this belief, we wouldn’t have electricity, cameras, rockets and various other inventions that we rely on today. According to this article by Insider, when people heard that…


On the decision to give up on love, I choose to burn instead

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I have loved various people who have destroyed me by not sharing the same feelings throughout my life. Last year, Stewart came into my life. Our relationship began online, and we had plans to be together in person once the pandemic ended, but he died before I could hold his hand.

I vow to live my life without love because love is synonymous with Stewart, and he isn’t here anymore. Emotionally, I have been distraught by the rejections, and the death of another cements the idea in my mind. I have a complicated relationship with love because I am someone…


Shortform

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When we have a bath, what are we doing? I like to think that along with getting clean; we are also momentarily returning to our possible origins as fish. Perhaps you add some patchouli-scented bath oil or add a glittery bath bomb.

I have fond memories of sitting in the bath hoping that I’d transform into a mermaid, similar to the show H20:Just Add Water. I’ve always loved swimming, and I used to be good when I was younger. I attended swimming lessons every Thursday evening after school.

Many of us hate the feeling of our shrivelled skin when we…


A lack of recognition.

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The tumbleweed comes rolling towards me, and I see its spikes. How would you feel if 1,000 other writers earned $500 for what you’ve been doing for years and you weren’t one of them? You’d be enraged! If all you do is write, and you see no prizes, no windfalls, and no recognition, it becomes exhausting.

I will stand on my soapbox, and I will ask:

Why is it never me? When will my work be recognised for its passion and creative quality?

We are the ghosts who are silenced. We guffaw at the faux positivity from people who have received that recognition you need to survive, and you say:

How can you possibly know how it feels?

Death will be the only thing that sees me recognized, and the terrible thing is that I obviously won’t be around to witness it.


Where did the crossword puzzle begin? Have a try at solving one

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(9) X marks the spot, emit this from your mouth.

Alongside reading, I enjoy sitting down with a cup of tea and doing a crossword puzzle. Arthur Wynne created the first known crossword puzzle to be published. The early diamond form of crossword puzzle appeared in the New York World one Sunday morning in 1913. Arthur, originally from Liverpool, England, emigrated to America when he was nineteen.

The crossword has been a particular source of joy for me as I have a friendship with an elderly gentleman who I came to know by visiting Starbucks regularly. Before the pandemic, we…

Courtenay S. Gray

I like to philosophise and eat cake. I write about just about everything. I also founded @TheEspressoMartini. You’ll often find me reading under the moonlight.

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