Erica Crouch is a writer, a reader, and a (more or less) stable human being. She has co-founded two publishing collectives, Patchwork Press and Weapenry, and has published nine novels and written two screenplays. Originally from Ellicott City, Erica has since moved into the heart of Annapolis, Maryland where she continues the valiant fight against the blank page.
You are my favorite form of punctuation. An open bracket for me to fill, a promising set of ellipses… You are the semicolon I’ve been waiting for; you are the choice to continue a sentence we could have ended half as quick. The comma that begs more, the question mark that wants to know how and why? And--it’s you, on the other side of every breath and pause. You are the excitement, the passion and energy, the joy and surprise of each exclamation
One year ago today I had the flu and got fake-married on a cold, beautiful farm in Harwood, Maryland. The project was the brainchild of Kelsey Mattson, who I worked with at the time. Her idea was to take the broodiness of Dutch Still Life and mix it with a Kinfolk whimsy, and Harwood Hills Farm was the perfect place to set the scene. I still look back on that day, even with how cold and sick and miserable I felt, with such fondness. It was exciting to see so much talent and work come together t
He carried the world on his shoulders as if it had been a gift, never the burden it was meant to be,and the universe exhaled reliefthat it had chosenwell.
She traced his face withcareful fingersin the restful blue of night,memorizing every inch of privilege the stars asked her to protect insideher two uncertainhands.
And betweenhis shoulders,and between her hands,they sheltered--together--two beating hearts.
It was not a burden.Inste
The first thing I learned in gymnastics was how to fall. I was very small, wearing my favorite purple leotard with my hair in the messiest five-year-old ponytail and I stared up at our coach as she explained that if you land wrong, you could break your arm. Or your leg. Or pop something out of its socket, or make something bend the wrong way. And not only would that be painful, but you also wouldn't get to go on the trampoline or uneven bars anymore. (This was more upsetting to me than the thou
Sunday morning in San Diego was filled with museums, if you cannot tell. In addition to touring the Maritime Museum, we got to go explore the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier was so incredibly interesting to tour -- and attempt not to get lost in. This thing was HUGE! We spent a few hours longer than we expected there (so long, in fact, we returned to a parking ticket).
The best part of the USS Midway was the wonderfully knowledgeable staff, most of whom had pre
More photos from San Diego! These were taken at the first museums we went to on San Diego Bay Sunday morning: the Maritime Museum. The Maritime Museum had a lot of history about sailors and sailing -- everything from an American submarine, to sailing ships, and a Russian submarine from the Cold War. The subs were my favorite to explore. The American submarine was primarily used for research but had participated in some recent and still-not-declassified operations. The periscope was operational,
September 15th, Peter and I flew out of BWI at 7AM to go and have a surprise (for him) weekend in San Diego. I've never been to California before -- actually, I've never been off the East Coast before -- so I was incredibly excited. We were able to fit so many fun things into just four days out there. We went to La Jolla Cove, surfing in Mission Beach, a Brewery Tour, a couple museums, jet skiing in San Diego Bay, exploring Coronado, and I even got to shoot a SCAR at a gun range. I never though
This past week, the world lost someone important. Though I did not know Mason Shaffir as well as many of those around me, I am beyond grateful to have been introduced to him and thankful that I was able to spend what time I could with him. Friends of Mason know that he was a talented, bright young man whose smile could catch a room on fire as it spread. You could hear his laugh from across a party and look over to see him surrounded by other happy faces, enjoying whatever story he was telling (
Last Sunday, I was jet skiing in San Diego Bay. Now THERE'S a sentence that brings me so much joy to type out because 1) I never thought I'd get to see the west coast and 2) I've always wanted to go jet skiing, and it was just as fun as I thought it would be, but that's not the point of this post though I feel it is worth mentioning and really, if you have the opportunity to do it, dooo iiiiiit. Anyway, back to the point, we had the jet ski for about an hour, and could ride all the way from und
*Warning: This post contains mushy romance-y feelings. Proceed in rain boots for the gushiness.
I do not fall in love fast. Before you, there were others who were perfectly fine to fall for, but though I may have loved them, I was never in love with them. You were different. With you, I think I knew right away. I loved you immediately, and I fell in love with you quickly. You made so much sense.
It was a Saturday afternoon when I told you. I had realized I loved yo
These past few weeks have been really difficult for me, but it feels like things are changing. There's an upturn of luck, and as far as I can see (for now, that is) I don't have anything before me that I'm particularly stressed about. Besides the usual, of course -- balancing working full time and classes beginning again is exhausting, but that's a type of stress I'm used to dealing with.
Now that I am free from that feeling of impeding doom I'd been experiencing recently, I can tak
Today is always a hard day but it is important to take the time to sit with those memories that might upset us, remember, and be grateful for where we are now and what we have in our lives. It is a day to hold tight to your family and think of those who lost theirs, either during the attacks or in the war the followed.
I was in fourth grade during the attacks of 9/11, and sixteen years later the day is no less vivid than when I was nine. I've spent years watching strangers and frien
You contain galaxies on your shoulders, in freckles and scars, and all that is alive and good has been born between your ribs.
I can still taste the echo of last night's stars in your morning exhales and sighs. We are a universe, expanding.
Before the sun even considers rising, before the night concedes to day, lean in closer and forget your name.For just a moment, stay.
The older I get, the more free I feel to open up about my past. My childhood was not the nicest of childhoods. There were happy times, as there always are even in the midst of trauma, but I had to live through things no child should be expected to deal with.
During those times, I would do my best to focus to on the good because if I didn't, I would drown. For the most part, focusing on the good meant one thing: my sister. Growing up, though we would argue, we were best friends. We g
Growing up, I called my grandmother on my mother's side "Grandma Gina." I saw her as tall, blonde, and always worried about what I was up to. And, to be fair, I did give her things to worry about -- I was a child who liked to climb, swing, run, jump and would always come home to her with scrapes, bruises, and scabs. She wore Keds sneakers and striped shirts. She had my favorite juice (Hugs) in a basement cooler every time we came to visit, and she loved strawberry ice cream in waffle c
A few years ago, I was churning out books so fast it made my head spin. When I started working full time, that changed. It took me a while to get used to the difference of pace and realize that just because I ceased sprinting, did not mean I chose to stand still. I am still writing, though less consistently and much slower. This is necessary both because of the time and energy I am devoting to my new job, and also because of the sacredness of my current piece.
I am a girl consumed by wanderlust. Not necessarily with regard to travel -- though believe me, there are cities and mountains and beaches I will make it a point to see before I run out of time. Mostly, my form of wanderlust is intricately tied to an on-again/off-again feeling of aimlessness with life. Aimlessness might not be the perfect word for it, but it's the closest way I can articulate it. There are some days where, even while I'm headed in a clear direction, when I'm happy with those I'
Stop. In all the chaos swirling over last week's events in Charlottesville, I find myself coming back to one question. And it's not the angered question about why we still have such prevalent acceptance of white supremacy in 2017, how that's even possible. It's not the question about why our president refuses to take a stance on the subject, and how anyone finds it less than laughable that speaking against Neo-Nazis is where he draws a line. It's something I thought would be more obvious, but a
I have a really, really good life right now. It’s a life I never would have imagined possible when I was younger—a life I wouldn’t have known to even wish for because it was so far from my reality I would never have gotten my hopes up this high. Every day, I take stock of the things in my life I am lucky to have: a job I am excited about, a house that keeps me safe and comfortable, family and friends who want the best for me, a boyfriend who is the most compassionate and caring person I know. I
There are no circumstances under which I could have ever guess that I would be where I am today. When I look back on the past year and review everything that conspired to put me in the place I am now, it’s hard not to believe that I’m getting help from some hidden hand, pushing me along. I’m not particularly religious (I would love to believe in a God, but jury’s still out as I sort through a number of things), and I don’t like to believe that my life is predetermined and that nothing I do makes
When I think of my mother, I remember her arm across my neck, pinning me to the wall in the hallway outside my bedroom. Behind her was a large window that overlooked the court we lived at the bottom of, and I saw a car come and go as she said nasty things to me that have since faded into a vague sense of abuse that only sharpens into something clearer and cutting on bad days. The car loped slow through the street and I wondered if they noticed the window I was looking out of, calculating how qu
On the back deck of my childhood home, sheltered and shadowed by the heavy green limbs of the woods behind our house, was a potted fern. I sat there on my heels, hands folded close to my stomach as I watched my dad plant it, patting the dirt until his hands were wet and sooty with soil. I was still wearing my watercolor blue-and-pink dress from church, so I waited patiently for him to finish before I could run inside and change into something I could wear to run around outside and play.
I have three tattoos, and depending on the weather, at least two are predominantly visible.
My first was a set of delicate quotation marks on my wrists, right over my pulse points. I was twenty. I lived in a world of fiction. Books -- writing them, reading -- got me through a lot of tough years. I wanted to keep that peace with me and be able to look at it every day and find it again.
Last May I got my latest tattoo. I was twenty-three, my sister was twenty-one. On the
When I moved into my new place last week, I was coming down with a head cold. In fact, as I sit here writing this, I'm still fighting it off, surrounded by blankets, electrolytes, and tissues that claim to be "angel soft" yet leave my nose the brightest blazing red. It's fair to say these last few days have been difficult for me to navigate (adjusting to the newness of everything, trying to feel comfortable being sick in a place that doesn't quite feel like home yet, the anxiety of eve