I finished a book!

I have a personal triumph to share today, one that’s been in the making for many months! For some time now, I’ve been compiling all of my poetry into a book – well – a word document for now, with the eventual aim of being a book. My goal, for no particular reason, was to reach 100 pages, and on Thursday this past week I reached 107.

This is exciting for me for several reasons. One, I’ve never actually finished one of my own books before, and while I still need to go through and edit it, the book is there. Two, its poetry, which I never really saw myself publishing before, and three: I’m absolutely stoked to move on to the next phases of editing, searching for a literary agent, and submitting queries. It’s kind of unbelievable.

Plus, I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of poetry lately – Dawn Lanuza, Rupi Kaur, Ocean Vuong, Andrea Gibson, and many others. My Thursday night poetry sessions with LSA’s QSummit have definitely helped with that and inspired much of the recent poetry I’ve written (a big thank you to my peers and our amazing facilitators for that.)

All in all, it’s a surreal experience. One that I’m feeling very grateful for.

So, in celebration, here’s a little poem I wrote called “Special” (for you) – enjoy!

By Jules Sherwood

And not in that condescending
“Oh honey,” way
Like a surprise
Like a gift
Like a once-in-a-lifetime chance
You’re special like that


Jules ❤

Theatre, I missed you

So, I had my first in-person audition today since the start of the pandemic and let me just say, it was AMAZING. I loved every minute of it.

From stepping inside the auditorium to stepping onto the stage, the whole experience was as surreal as it was wonderful. I don’t think I realized how much I’ve missed live theatre and performing until I was up there reading my lines. I enjoyed it so much, I forgot to be nervous.

I have another audition coming up soon, and I’m looking forward to it immensely. Nothing can compare (in my opinion) to the energy of live theatre.

Lately, I’ve been questioning what it is I want to do with my life. I have so many passions and interests, it always seemed impossible to choose. But recently, I came to the conclusion that I haven’t been enjoying any of my several jobs. I don’t know if it’s capitalism to blame, or the pandemic, or simply the passage of time, but I’ve been feeling incredibly burned out and dispassionate about all my pursuits, except writing.

That said, today was a much-needed reminder of how much I truly enjoy performing. I still don’t know what it is I want to do while I set myself up to be a writer, but I know that theatre will be a part of it somehow.

I Want

There’s something about saying the words “I want” that I dread every time. It feels selfish and demanding – bratty, even, and I absolutely hate being any of those things. Perhaps it’s the manifestation of ingrained misogyny, or maybe I’m just independent to a fault. Logically, I know it’s healthy to ask for what you want (in a respectful, kind way) but I have always struggled with it.

So, really, I suppose I want to get better at saying “I want.”

I’d like to be able to ask for what I want, what I need sometimes, without feeling guilty or ashamed or immature. I know those emotions have a place, but I don’t believe it to be here. Truly, I need to remember that it is healthy, and that more often than not, others want to know what you want, whether out of necessity or curtesy or because it helps them to connect with you better.

Human connection is such a funny, beautiful, wonderful, complex thing. Especially during these times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to connect with my friends and family during this pandemic. I used to be so good at striking up a conversation, falling into hours and hours of deep discussion. Now I struggle to chat for five minutes. I find my responses have become wrote – repeated and mundane, surface-level sentences. “You’re valid,” “Relatable,” “That’s so fair,” “I understand,” “Fair enough,” “How are you doing?” “Yeah, that makes sense,” “I’m so sorry.” There’s nothing deep about any of these phrases, nothing meaningful, nothing to encourage further connection. I’m sick of it.

I’m frustrated and angry with myself for losing that ability to connect and talk. Really talk. And yet I know it won’t solve anything to get angry. So instead, I’m going to challenge myself to avoid using any of these phrases. I want to go searching for better words, more meaningful responses.

I want to connect with other people again.


Jules ❤

P.S. If this is something you can relate to, please let me know! Beyond plain curiosity, it can be nice to know you’re not alone.

Troilus and Cressida

“Hard to seem won: but I was won, my lord,” (William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Scene II, Cressida)

Another weekend, another Shakespeare workshop. Or rather, the continuation of last weekend’s workshop. So far, Class BASH’d has been a blast, and I’m super excited to be working on this second, contrasting monologue for today’s class!

I think, acting can be very cathartic at times. Though I often find it easier to get out of my head when I’m acting alone, rather than in front of others (which, I don’t know, seems to be missing the point somewhat.) So, my goal for today is to picture my scene partner very clearly, and act as though I was all alone, letting the emotions come through as they do then. Hopefully, I’m successful, but if not, it’s something to continue working towards. And of course, I still want to have fun.

I wasn’t familiar with Troilus and Cressida initially, but upon researching it I discovered that it involves one of my favourite pieces of Greek mythos, and one that I am intimately familiar with. The Trojan War. Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to act in The Oresteia during college, which follows yet another storyline connected to the Trojan War (that of Orestes), and one of my favourite books, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, also involves the legendary conflict. 

So, needless to say, I was instantly engaged. Shakespeare’s version of the legend does differ from the Iliad, but it’s still a thrilling tale. And the story of Troilus and Cressida is as intriguing as it is tragic.

“Why have I blabb’d? who shall be true to us, When we are so unsecret to ourselves?” (William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Scene II, Cressida)

Anyways, I won’t spoil it. 


Jules ❤

The Winter’s Tale

“What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?”

(William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene II, Paulina)

So, it’s been a while since I acted, what with the pandemic and all (though I won’t pretend that was the only reason.) But I’ve missed it, and today I’m very excited to be taking part in Class BASH’d, a two-week audition and technique course for Shakespeare, taught by James Wallis and Julia Nish-Lapidus, both prominent Shakespeare aficionados. 

“What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling?

In leads or oils? what old or newer torture

Must I receive, whose every word deserves

To taste of thy most worst?”

(William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene II, Paulina)

Acting and I have an interesting relationship. I love it. I resent it. I have so much fun. I put so much pressure on myself. It’s technical, but it’s also wildly abstract and messy. 

To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever been the ‘best’ actor in a room, and I’m not sure whether that’s something to aspire to, especially given how subjective the work is. I’d rather be the actor who’s having the most fun, although I’m not sure whether I’ve succeeded in that before either. I can pinpoint a few experiences where I truly ‘let go’ and had a blast – and they were the most successful moments of acting in my life so far. I had other wonderful moments of levity throughout my education and theatre experience but acting and I haven’t always gotten along.

Now, living in Ottawa, there seem to be far fewer opportunities than I became accustomed to in Toronto. Now, if I want to act, I have to really want it. I have to go digging for opportunities to audition and perform. It’s a far cry from having opportunities overwhelming your feed and having to choose what not to submit for.

If I’m being honest, I miss the wealth of prospects that Toronto had to offer, and the easy access to theatre in all shapes and sizes. That being said, I’m sure the scene has changed dramatically over the past couple of years, and things may not be as rose-coloured as I recall them (things rarely are, after all.) 

But I digress. The point is, things are beginning to move again, and this is the first chance I’ve had in a long while to act and perform for my peers and some very impressive instructors. I’m excited. And nervous.

My goal, truly, is to have fun. I want to enjoy this experience as much as possible and make the most out of a wonderful opportunity. I already love Shakespeare, so I have a good steppingstone.

So here’s to having fun!


Jules ❤

Coming Out and Figuring it Out, My LGBTQ+ Experience

So I originally came out to my family when I was in high school, and then again about a year after I finished collage. Lucky for me, my family is awesome, so my coming out experience was both positive and unremarkable. 

There were some questions surrounding the new terms I was introducing to them. What does “panromantic” mean? What does “nonbinary” mean? What does “demisexual” mean? For those who aren’t already familiar, here’s a brief overview:

Panromantic: someone who experiences romantic attraction towards other people regardless of gender identity or expression, and/or in my case, experiences attraction towards all genders.

Nonbinary: someone who’s gender identity lies outside of the “binary” (man/woman) identities we are often most familiar with. Nonbinary is an umbrella term encompassing many, many identities. I’m still figuring out where I fall under this umbrella.

Demisexual: an identity on the asexual spectrum, someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction until they’ve formed an emotional connection to the other person (and sometimes not even then.) 

*A quick note: none of these overviews express the true nuance of the aforementioned identities, and each experience is extremely personal. I am only speaking from the perspective of my own experiences and identity.

So all-in-all, coming out was a breeze. Sidenote: personally, I’m of the mind that coming out shouldn’t even be an expectation, especially since it isn’t expected of straight, cisgender individuals, and that we need to do away with the societal impression that straight and cis are the “defaults,” but I digress.

Actually, the most interesting (or entertaining) part of my story, I think, is how long it took me to figure things out. I thought I was straight through almost all of high school, I thought I was allosexual until a few months after collage, and I thought I was cis until about a year after collage. 

I attribute this mostly to lack of awareness, on my part, of these various identities. Eventually, through my own research, and exposure to other people in the LGBTQ+ community, I came to realize that I identified with these terms and the experiences that go along with them. I had always felt out of place among my peers, I never really cared about sex or gender, and I didn’t experience attraction the same way a lot of my friends appeared to. Among other things. To be honest, I’m still figuring it out, but I’m a far cry from where I started.

In addition to learning about my own identity, I took some time to learn about the LGBTQ+ community. I had always been intimidated and overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that exists, and that seemed so inaccessible at the time. Be it pop culture, history, or current events, I had no clue where to start. It took me years to build up the nerve to do my own research and delve into the internet wormholes where the history of minorities is waiting to be excavated. 

*Another sidenote: I believe passionately that this kind of information should be widely accessible and taught in schools. Especially for LGBTQ+ youth.

Well as it turns out, I enjoy researching. In fact, now I would advise anyone who’s interested to do their own research on the LGBTQ+ community, and to ask for help from members of the community. There’s a ton of information out there, you just need to know where to look. And if you’re feeling intimidated (like I was) just remember that nearly everyone was where you are now. No one starts with a full head of knowledge, and we’re all learning all the time.

 Lastly, if you’re interested in some LGBTQ+ resources, feel free to reach out and I’ll be happy to help!


Jules ❤

TL;DR: Some of my story as an LGBTQ+ individual including my experience with coming out, figuring things out, and learning more about the LGBTQ+ community!


Hello again beautiful people!

It’s been a while, but I suddenly had the urge to write, and I’m super excited because today I’ll be talking about one of my absolute favourite topics – books! As some of you may know, I’m an avid reader, and I particularly love YA/NA and Adult fiction. 

On that note, and in the spirit of Pride Month, here are five queer book recommendations from books I’ve read recently!

  1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – I’m not even exaggerating when I say that this is my FAVOURITE book of all time. It’s queer, it’s heart wrenching, it’s beautiful, and it somehow feels like a hug (while someone is twisting a knife in your gut.) The sequel is coming out this October and I am beyond excited! Link here: https://amzn.to/3cZMOaQ
  2. Red White & Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston) – this book is the timeline that everyone deserves to experience. Politics, enemies to lovers and a female president! Link here:  https://amzn.to/2UeIBt9
  3. The Backstagers (James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, Walter Baiamonte) – such a cute, heartwarming graphic novel with lots of queer representation and an exciting fantasy world backstage! Link to volume one here: https://amzn.to/3qekpDl
  4. The Raven Cycle (Maggie Stiefvater) – a super unique and descriptive writing style, with a troupe of wonderful characters and a twisty adventure through Henrietta, Virginia and a magical forest. Link to the first book here: https://amzn.to/3xDICFx
  5. Infinity Son (Adam Silvera) – romance, superpowers, death, destruction and two main characters (one aggravating, one sweet) thrown into a conflict bigger than themselves. Link here: https://amzn.to/3xGECE6

I hope you enjoyed this post! More book recommendations to come, I’m sure! Let me know what you think, if you’ve read any of them or if they’re on your TBR!



Nothing to talk about

I’m not certain whether this is an issue that applies to the many or the few, but amid the pandemic I have been struggling with deep conversations. Struggling, in that the situations where I would normally have connected, personal, philosophical, and existential discussions have run dry. Even though I know I have plenty to discuss, more feelings than I could possibly put into words, I can’t seem to bring them to the surface when I’m “face-to-face” with someone. I have a feeling that this experience stems partially from the general lack of events and therefore conversation starters, and partially from the fatigue of dealing with the world at large.

Not to say I haven’t had some wonderful, meaningful conversations, both virtually and socially distanced, but I am finding that many of my personal connections have lessened, which I suppose is to be expected to a degree. Who would have thought that with all this time to interact we would have nothing to talk about?

There is so much, beyond the pandemic, beyond politics, beyond society. Discussing the state of things has become such a tiring habit that I kick myself every time I bring it up. I’d rather talk about books, movies, writing, dreams – hell, even the weather. I’d rather tell you about my new plant (who I named Gus) or the book(s) I’m writing, or how lengthy my TBR is, or how I think that artists should be able to make a steady income and the ideas I have for how to make that happen. I’d like to talk about how I have so many thoughts on humanity in my head that I don’t think I’ll ever write them all down. How I think people are beautiful and wonderful and funny and interesting. How I don’t want to be bitter. How I miss feeling optimistic and light and looking forward to things.

I miss getting excited. I have no desire to be a pessimist, or to feel so heavy all the time. I want to be bubbly and cheerful and energetic and to bring that with me wherever I go. I want to feel motivated again. I want to laugh more.

Perhaps it’s difficult to have these conversations because there’s so much uncertainty. Because right now, it feels like there’s no solution, no action I can take, towards ending this problem. But that is why I wrote this post. In a way, to inspire myself to find more meaningful, refreshing topics to discuss, to remember that life is interesting and exciting and mostly good. To remember that even when things feel like they’re in shambles, I still have a lot to be happy about. And finally, to initiate more conversations that are both fun and connected. This is an open invitation.

Sending love and hugs and good vibes.


TL;DR: Struggling to have deep conversations amidst the pandemic so I’m trying to inspire myself to find more meaningful, refreshing topics to discuss, and to reconnect with a more optimistic side of myself.

Change Something

There are days when I wake up and already have words, queued up inside my head, ready to write. Of course, there are many (many) days when this is not the case, but I’ll take what I can get.

Today I woke up with two complete sentences already formed, the beginnings of two separate thoughts. The only trouble with these disparate, detached words is that they don’t come with any context. A sentence, or an image, maybe a snippet of dialogue, but no plot, no premise. 

So, what do I do with them? What is the point? Perhaps they arrive to remind me about writer’s block, and how thoroughly it has stunned me. How new words are easy, but old words move through sap, stuck where the amount of effort to reach them exceeds the amount of energy I have to spare.

Perhaps they appear to remind me of my dreams. That despite my track record and current struggle, I still want to publish a book. This year.

Maybe these uncontextualized thoughts are simply meant to be fed to the fire, to fuel what little motivation I can muster.

I think I’d like the point of all this musing to resolve itself into a commitment. A resolution to slough through the mess until I reach those fossilized words and drag them back with me. 

The trouble with that thought is that I’m already overwhelmed. A promise sounds like yet another task to add to the pile of twenty-two other things I already manage on a weekly basis, and I’m not anxious (well, I am) to add another thing to my plate. Except. I want to be a writer.

I want to have the motivation and follow-through to complete projects and make this my full-time work. I have the inspiration. I have the longing, the need inside me.

Picturing it is easy. A desk, a plant, my laptop and a well-lit room. A cozy blanket on my lap and a notebook nearby. Smiling, stretching, dreaming. Phone calls and laughter and sitting upside-down on my couch trying to get the ideas flowing.

Possibly you’ve guessed by now that I’m trying to wind myself up enough to make the aforementioned commitment. However, the issue with making promises to yourself is that they’re much easier to break.

Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on it. The weight of a whole dream doesn’t need to fall on this one idea. It is one of many, and I’m determined there will be many more.

What is the answer? I think the bottom line is that something needs to change. I haven’t determined what yet, but I am reaching the end of my tolerance for not writing. I suppose asking for support is one option I haven’t really considered, possibly because it galls me. But something needs to change.

That is a commitment that I think I can make. Change something. And hopefully it will catapult me back into my life.

TL;DR: Writer’s block is difficult to overcome but I will start by changing something.