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.
April 27th was a very, very exciting day for our household. Peter and I love our new little home in the woods, and now with all this space we realized... We needed a dog. We desperately wanted a dog, to run around the yard or go on walks or play at the park with. So we began looking. At first, we were looking for older pups that might have had a little training behind them. I fell in love with a German Shepherd mix named Atlas but he was off to another forever home.
Recently, I drove an hour across the bridge in the gloomy rain to Easton. I was meeting up with my new dear friend Annie to take some pictures at a foggy farm. The challenge of the day was articulating trauma and anxiety. Annie asked me before I came to think about all the things I no longer need to mentally carry, and to burn them away when I got there. With anxiety, that's a lengthy list.
I've had anxiety for as long as I've known. My parents got divorced literally on my eigh
I don't know what we, as humans, ever did to deserve dogs. The saying "man's best friend" doesn't do their loyalty or love justice, in my opinion. Growing up, I've had four dogs and I have a place in my heart for all of them. But there was one dog who -- as dramatic as this sounds -- saved my life. His name was Jack.
Jack came into my life when I was in eighth grade. I remember that the day we brought him home, they put him in a little box-crate for transportation and he k
Somehow, day two of our weekend in the tree house was able to top the first night. Another day where the weather was beautiful and our temporary little home in the woods was exactly what we were hoping for, and more: it was bright and cheery, and the river was alive right outside the front door. We were living up in the trees, where the sun reflected rippled patterns from the water on the ceiling next to the skylight above our bed, and we could watch the moon from a warm outdoor bath filled
This past weekend was the best weekend of my life, to date. Peter and I had the opportunity to stay in a beautiful -- which isn't nearly a big enough word -- tree house next to a river in Bridgeport, Virginia. It's called the Joshua Tree House and this place had to have been built with magic. The tree house was so warm and cozy, with the most amazing woodwork (mahogany!), an outdoor tub (SO WARM!), a fireplace (EVEN WARMER!!), a skylight above the bed in the loft (STARS!!!!), and a deck that pr
For the past few years, my New Year's resolutions have become very broad. I find that I do a much better job upholding them if I don't narrow down my resolution to one very specific habit I'm trying to correct, but instead look at a bigger picture. Not only am I more likely to work at the resolution -- because fear of failure is less severe -- but I find that I'm much more likely to succeed, to look back at the year and think, "Yeah, okay, I feel like I accomplished that."
A little over a year ago, something happened under the November-cold silver stars to change everything in my life. I stood on the crooked sidewalk in front of a large house that glowed yellow from the windows. On the front porch was this boy who was on the phone with his mom. The first thing I heard was his laugh. It was freezing outside, I was nervous, and when he realized I was coming up to his front door, he said into the phone, "I'll call you back, I think the girl who's interviewing is
So here's the thing about living with anxiety: the condition is chronic. It's not going anywhere anytime soon; in fact, it's not going anywhere ever. There will be times that I would consider my anxiety is in remission, where the nervousness I live with has pulled back like low tide on a beach. But like the ocean, it will never disappear. It floods, it recedes, it comes in waves.
When I first started seeking help for my anxiety, I entered into treatment with this mindset of, "I
For our friend, Mason. x
Learning you left was a helpless kind of pain -- a fresh-out-of-the-shower in December,hair-dripping-down-my-back, I forgot my towel in the other room, soI guess I’ll just stand here in a puddleon the icy tiles as goosebumps itch acrossmy skin, painful. It immobilized.
But it was warm; it was September.The leaves were barely gold. You livedso much too quick, you left October crooked.What could we do with all the you we still carried?
Every year around Thanksgiving, I am always more mindful of the things I have to be grateful for. This year, the list is the longest it's ever been. And though I've said it many times before, it bears repeating: I never thought I even had the right to ask for a life this good, and I will make damn sure I cherish the time I have, with the people I have, now.
I'm grateful for my family, and that they are working on taking the time to care for themselves. I'm grateful to have a job tha
As a young girl growing up I learned a story of a boy drowned from heavy, melting wax wings. His father gathered feathers and tacked them togetherwith a warning (or a lesson) for his son: don't stray too high, don't fall too low. The ocean has as much power to sink you as the sun.
But the trouble with flying is that warningsmade on the ground shrink and are forgotten whensurrounded by clouds and wind and birdsand other impossibilities.
Icarus flew. He skimmed the
Where I am in my life right now is someplace really, really good. I am in a place -- financially, emotionally, physically -- that I never knew I would have the privilege or right to experience, and I am grateful every single day to have made it as far as I have. It took a lot of work, and it took a lot of convincing myself that what I've done to get here is a big accomplishment. It's difficult to see it that way at times when I have this tendency to compare myself to others around me. But that'
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