Posts made in March, 2014

Reflections on “The Grove”

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Reflections on “The Grove”

The Walking Dead isn’t just an escapist drama about zombies and the apocalypse: it’s a human representation of a world gone awry, and an introspective look at the self through situational horror. “The Grove”, which is episode 14 of season 4, aired on March 16th, 2014. This particular episode touched on numerous difficult topics it has only briefly looked at in the past, fully developing a character whose illness has been hinted at since the beginning of season 4. A brief forewarning that this post is full of spoilers. If you’re a Walking Dead fan who hasn’t seen this episode yet, I recommend waiting to read this post. Lizzie’s condition Lizzie and Mika, after the fall of Woodbury, moved to the prison with the rest of the series’ protagonists. Shortly after, they lost their father, and were taken in by Carol. During this time, a few things occurred. Lizzie’s fascination with walkers and naming them started to surface, and, in secret, she started feeding them mice and dissecting dead rabbits. Lizzie was clearly deeply embedded in a world of psychosis that her family was aware of. In one of Carol’s early interactions with Lizzie, she calls her weak, to which Mika replies that “she’s not weak”, she’s “messed up”. Mika’s reaction to Lizzie’s panic attack at the beginning of “The Grove” was to tell her to look at the flowers, which was clearly a system that they had figured out a long time ago. Some have argued that the episode came out of nowhere and dealt with issues that should have been dealt with. I think it’s important to keep a few things in mind: Everyone’s emotions were tampered with after the fall of the prison; everyone was affected differently by this event. Lizzie already was showing some distressing issues before the fall. It wouldn’t have made sense for her situation to have come to a head before, as it was only beginning to develop. Lizzie had to grow up very quickly in a short period of time. With her father recently dead, she was the new head of the family, forced to care for her gentle and sweet younger sister, Mika. Lizzie shot two human beings, one in the head. While she clearly had issues long before that, that could easily have made matters worse. Lizzie called the walkers by names and was feeding them live mice. At this point, a fascination was beginning to take hold. When she was in Woodbury, she likely had access to anti-psychotics that would have withheld her condition. At the fall of Woodbury, and the death of her father, there was likely no longer a means by which she could access this medication. She dissected rabbits and captured the mice as her medication began to wear off, and that was when she started to “hear” the walkers. Picture taken from folieviolet on Tumblr. Could this have been avoided? Perhaps, but most likely not. The one part of the episode that seems to be the tipping point, though, could have been. At the beginning of this episode, we see a fire in the distance. Not long after, walkers, charred and smoking, appear. Lizzie joins the others to shoot the walkers and realises, then states, “I know what I have to do now”. A few scenes later, Lizzie murders Mika. This wouldn’t have escalated to such a degree if Lizzie wasn’t forced to shoot the walkers. Without those walkers, the turning point of the episode wouldn’t have occurred. Think back to a few episodes ago. Beth and Daryl decide to burn down the cabin they’re resting in. This cabin is in the middle of the woods. I believe that the fire in “The Grove” was caused by Beth and Daryl burning the cabin a few episodes prior.  If that fire hadn’t brought the walkers over to the pecan grove, something would still have escalated with Lizzie, but it would have happened differently. Lizzie has a disconnect between life, death, and undeath, and seems to think that undeath is an evolution, of sorts, stating that...

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Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

I mentioned in an earlier post that this was going to be a year of opportunities for me. This past weekend, I had an opportunity to represent Universit√© de Moncton, along with three of my fellow English department students, in the Atlantic Annual Undergraduate English Conference that was held at Dalhousie University in Halifax. On Friday night, we listened to Lynn Coady deliver a keynote address, approaching the topic of being unafraid to write despite having people against you. The next day opened the floor to the students from the Atlantic region, and I had the privilege to hear interesting papers about everything from mental illness through aerial dance, to comparisons of Monty Python’s Life of Brian to the Second Shepherd’s Play. Creative panels displayed the talents of students, who wrote about family war-time stories and read aloud their diverse and thought-provoking poetry. On Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to read my own poetry in front of the crowd. Interestingly, that same day was my father’s birthday. Allan Cooper is a poet, and because of him, I’ve been exposed to poetry my whole life. I have never read a selection of poems in front of others; I’ve always been reading just one or two. It seemed fitting that, on his birthday, I take the opportunity to read fully for the first time. This weekend, it hit me just how much I miss being an English student. I’m still an English major, but I finished my required courses ages ago and am just ticking off all my necessary, required courses, now. I especially miss writing critical papers–analyzing works of literature, or articles, and trying to find the mysteries in each. I think I might do a few on here–for fun–over the next little while. Why not? I have a few ideas in mind already. Attending and reading at this conference was a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it to any Atlantic Canadian English student. Submit you paper or creative works next year, and take pride in your...

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Alive, kicking, and writing

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

This is just to let anyone curious know that I’m still alive and still writing, but busy with school at the moment. In between school and working part-time, I have been working on a few exciting projects: I’ve been in on a really fun project with a couple of dudes named Robert and Mike. They did an album called Timethief, which I lent some voice work to. You can listen here, and you can hear my voice on the track Lonely City. I recorded my own song back on September and have been working on my own stuff ever since. I have a small concept EP in the works and I’ll probably release it on Bandcamp when it’s done. The EP will be 9 tracks, with an intro, intermission and finale, plus 6 full songs throughout.  I had the opportunity to attend a writers’ workshop by local author Jennifer McGrath Kent last weekend. It was inspiring and informative, and it was in a beautiful location. By the end of the day, I had figured out the ending of the novel I’ve been working on.  I’ve been working on a novel for the last year, by the way! I started last year and have been keeping up with it, slowly but surely. I hit a wall when I couldn’t think of where the story was going, but thankfully the workshop jarred something loose for me. As soon as my time frees up, I’ll be working on the novel more often. My friend Phil–also known as PhilInTheBlanks–makes Let’s Play videos on Youtube, and I’ve been lending my voice to his new project, Let’s Play Chrono Trigger. Here is episode one! Keep an eye on his Youtube channel for any further releases. I’ve been working, sporadically, on a few Twine projects. I’ll be re-purposing Population: 1 to be the Twine game it should have been from the beginning. I’m working on another new Twine game, as well. Updates will be posted here. As always, I’ve been working on poems when inspiration strikes. As a part of my education, I have also been selected, along with 3 other students, to represent Universit√© de Moncton’s English Department at the Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference coming up in a little over a week, presenting my poetry. I am more than a little nervous. I have about 6 posts sitting as partially-completed drafts right now. They’re not ready for the public yet. Among them are posts about seeing movies in theatres and a deconstruction of Frozen‘s “Let it Go” (yes, really). I’m trying to work on them here and there between written projects and heaps of reading for school.  A little add-on that this is going to be my “year of opportunities”. Now that I’m not working as much, I’m taking every opportunity, creative or otherwise, that I have room for. After my school schedule moves aside, I’ll be focusing primarily on my creative projects and working on the side. Wish me luck! It’s hard to believe it, but I’m already well past the halfway mark for school. Just another month or so worth of pushing, and this semester will be over. I can’t wait to dedicate myself to my creative projects a bit...

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