Reading and Writing


On Books and Bees

I went to the library and found all the best fairy books in the kids section. I came home with one called the Faerie Door and I’m almost done with it. My favorite thing about libraries is that you can just sit there and read and no one bothers you and then you can bring the book home and continue to read it because you can’t pull yourself away. I think the kids section is the best part of the library because all the most fantastical stories are there – the authors don’t have to prove themselves to the adult world and they can be as imaginative and wondrous as they please, and this is why I mostly read YA books.

The kids section is the best part of the library

A photo posted by Kiery King (@kiery28) on

My particular library branch is small, and the dvd and adult sections don’t have a lot in my particular interests, but the teen section is what really stole my heart. They had so many resources – I can tell that my library actually cares about the youth that frequent it and I was trying hard not to cry even though I’m years removed from teenagehood. It would have meant so much to me if my library had emergency numbers, LGBTQ resources, and books dedicated to assuring me that I am indeed okay.

There’s this fiction book, called stronger than you know, about an abused homeschooled girl with PTSD who is rescued from her family, lives with her aunt and uncle and is trying to brave the world. I couldn’t bring myself to read more than the first page without being overcome and also wanting to leave it there for the inevitable person who’d need it after I left.

So I came home with a book I’ve barely been able to put down. I’ll probably finish it tonight and then drop it off at the library before going to explore a waterfall tomorrow. Yesterday I watched some bees pollinate lavender while waiting for the bus and taking in the breeze. I’m not sure how much I like being disconnected from twitter and facebook – half of me wishes I were all the time, and the other half knows it’s not good to be in a bubble cut off from the world forever, either – and the fact is, twitter is a better place for news than the news. I can also easily get lost in my head, and need a way out – sometimes it’s pleasant, a lot of times…..it’s not. I get lost in remembering things my parents said and did and I get upset with little to distract me.

I think the moral of the story is, I need to consciously remember to watch the bees, take in the air, take breaks, but also consciously live outside my head, and pay attention to the world.

Happier? no, less angry, maybe. Calmer? yes. More productive? somewhat. I just need to listen to myself.


Book Review: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu 2 comments

IMG_0166I have to admit, I was really hesitant to start reading Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu – not because I doubted it’s good-ness (she worked with my friend Hännah on it, so I knew it would be good) but because I wasn’t sure I was ready to face the story I know so well, again. Devoted is about a Quiverfull daughter escaping, and Jennifer worked really hard to get the story, and the feeling, and capture everything it means to leave that environment right, without making it over the top. She did so beautifully.

It was painful and cathartic, as a former quiverfull daughter myself – I remember what it was like to leave and not say goodbye, I remember what it was like to have to clear my browser history, and feel like the eight of us who existed just weren’t enough. Devoted captures those experiences perfectly, and I think people who are curious about what it’s like to grow up in that environment, now have a way that they can understand.

If you’ve ever been curious about what my childhood felt like, this book is it. Read it. This is the book I wish I could give to everyone who wonders, or everyone who thinks maybe this lifestyle is totally awesome.

If you’re an escapee from this environment, Devoted is so good it hurts. Someone else understands, and I can’t put into words how good that feels. We’re not alone, we’re not freaks, and we are undeniably tough as nails.

Devoted comes out June 2nd. Go buy it. My copy is tear-stained, so.


Book Review: Homeschool Sex Machine 1 comment

rough cover-fixedThe author of Homeschool Sex Machine, Matthew Pierce, writes from his perspective growing up in a religious homeschool environment where purity culture reigned supreme and being pubescent meant you were trouble.

I read it earlier last week, and was just overcome with feels. It’s a short read – and captures that cringe-y kind of hilarity that you get when you read something funny but it’s also oh-so-relateable. That “been there” kind of thing that reminds you of when you were also a young pubescent kid trapped in that crazy world, and the mental lengths you went to so you could maintain purity but still also…be dealing with puberty.

Homeschool Sex Machine is also a great way to understand what it’s like to grow up male in the midst of purity culture. As much as I could relate, it was also eye opening to notice just where some of the emphasis changed. While Matthew maybe wasn’t told to cover up or get raped, the idea of attraction being evil (and by proxy dehumanizing women to be temptresses placed by satan, and men mere hormone balls) and all that entails was rampant. When your complete virginity and purity is the most important thing about you, things get fucked up pretty fast. Crushes? what are those even? pre-marriage feelings? sounds like a bad idea.

Anyway, I could go on, but for a cheeky look at purity culture and growing up in that world, just…go read the book. It’s funny, it’s cathartic, it’s a little uncomfortable in a good way, but mostly, it’s just good. Find it on amazon.


Good Reads

I’ve been going through some stuff this month – between my medications trying to get back to normal from being kicked off because vicodin, and the lovely little guilt-anxiety cycle and general overwhelmingness, I’ve felt a little lost. Some of the truths I discovered in Spring, this year and last, are more distant, which isn’t cool because they’re kindof…..really super important to my being and my confidence and my artistic journey.

But, over the last few weeks – as I’ve been taking the situation back into my own hands – I’ve run across several posts from the Rebelle Society that were just…perfect. Maybe it’s the universe, or maybe it’s coincidence, but, I thought I’d post them here:

Facing the Darkest Side of a Beautiful Person

Self-Criticism: The Way You Break Your Own Heart

So, yes, stress is good

I think I’ll come out on the other side of this stronger, for having, I don’t know, been in a sad-sauce hole for a while. I hope, anyway, because I sense something starting to come back to me, and I think that’s a good thing.