in classical Latin, it means ‘in the middle of things‘ – I use this section to not freak out about how many things I’ve got in the works, and also as a memory aid for insurance against future episodes of chronic illness.
You can read it too if you’re interested in the writerly/occasional musicking things I do/am going to do.Why do I make these so link-laden? I’m proud, grateful and chuffed to be associated with them, doing work I love, so if you’re curious, look ’em too. I don’t work in a vacuum, and these folks inspire me.
2022 (updated Thu 27th Oct, 2022)
January – March
- it’s March. How the hell did it get to be March?! looking for new housemates just before my birthday
- an old schoolfriend who took his life in July 2020…his widow passed away of a serious and sudden illness that wasn’t COVID and leaves behind an orphan. I guess I haven’t been coping so well with this. The illness came about a week before their son was to turn twelve. Life is really fucking unfair.
- for most of the year, have been working with Creatives of Colour and Arts Access Victoria on justice-centred design, which basically means AAV want disabled folks of colour to know that they’re there to help them. It’s been an amazing, supportive work environment, and Zoom-coordinated! Been so lucky to find myself working in more environments like this and knowing you can dip in and out without shame or being perceived as less productive has been excellent for my health generally
- in mid-February, I was a co-panellist for Midsumma Festival’s ‘Access All Areas‘ and it was the first time I’d done a work event in a public space (which was viewable online, and will be made available to view sometime in the future). You can also read more about it here
- a longtime supporter and mentor got in touch and I can soon talk about new shit!
- haven’t been reading much, but did start reading poetry again and it got me writing which is a relief as I’d thought my poetic limb/s might not gain circulation again…
- my brother and his poor fam got COVID…severity and number of symptoms varied greatly as young kids didn’t have the option of vaccination, but both parents were (my brother was bedridden but his partner was asymptomatic?! Bodies, huh…)
- I’M BEING GIVEN A PIANO. THIS IS GLEEFUL NEWS HENCE ALL CAPITALS.
- spent far too much time being head-unwell – most of the year, in fact, which I know is the drill but minds need holidays too. I feel really isolated from the writing community…well, not just isolated, maybe ‘undesirable’ is a better way to describe it. Thankfully, I’ve had mates who are carers of, have experience of, identify as disabled come round to help me get through life as a boxing match with infinite rounds
- my gorgeous rescue cat is now profoundly deaf; found out at her last checkup (it’d been suspected for a while)
- Melbourne/Naarm has been out of lockdown a long time now, but it’s no longer required for anyone to have masks on. I’m triple-vaxxed and still been wearing one the few times I’ve had to venture out. I believe you can even get a fourth booster shot now?
April – May
- April was pretty quiet except for making new creative friends, and trying to settle into the house I still live in
- still working with Arts Access Victoria on their Justice Centred Design project which we’re all kind of cocreating…it’s weird making up the outcome but also the process as you go along, but it’s also been very democratic and rewarding, knowing that it’s going to be of some use and serve possibly as a blueprint for other organisations like AAV
- got an amazing opportunity to be a reader for something which I don’t think I should mention, but it’s reminded me so much of why I loved working with Syntax & Salt, you are missed!
- Emerging Writers’ Festival! I’ve got to the stage where I get asked to take part rather than apply to do so, which is just, what is my hack life?! Not complaining, eternally grateful! Got to appear in three events: a panel called EWF x Writers Victoria Finding Community in the Eye of the Storm (I’ll forever be my facilitator and copanellists’ hype man!), and EWF x Schizy Inc. Gnarly Writers (a live event which went really well, I felt like I made new mad friends and my life is the better for it! Please read more about Heidi Everett here – she does some amazing work and is an absolute inspiration in the not-inspiration-porn way; she was committed to paying us and didn’t want to take payment for organising an event?!?!
- poet Andy Jackson started a project through RMIT University, and it’s culminated in some events and potential publication down the track – the most significant event is for The Big Anxiety, at the Wheeler Centre called Writing the Future of Health
- I’ll also be part of the Admissions anthology launch with poet David Stavanger (I’ll be reading my contribution to the audience), as well as reading another poem with Gnarly Writers, led by Schizy Inc.’s Heidi Everett – link is here
- am currently reading and doing cursory research for the big reading job I have for the rest of this month and some of Aug
- I kicked out an ableist, potentially racist housemate, and my friend (a British-born poet who also drinks their body weight in tea) moved in and it’s been fantastic!
- this is a general yearly thing, but been killing on the gamba, so much so that I’ve got muscles in spots I never thought I would, and I might actually sound better on the gamba than I do on my flute…a very bittersweet occurrence to reconcile. Here’s a link to the playlist of shiz I’ve been playing along with – mainly been learning consorts and can play most of them up to speed, and usually all tenor parts. For some, I can play all (treble, tenor, bass) parts on my tenor which is kind of mindblowing. I have been in the zone and fucking loving it.
- was a panellist for Next Wave’s ‘Making It in Moreland’ (Moreland is the council area I live and work in) where the theme was ‘Embedding Accessibility‘
- led my first ever Writers Victoria writing workshop – I can still remember when I scoured the programme and enrolled in as many as I could afford?! My one was on Experimental Food Writing, and it was so much fun and went far quicker than I thought it would!
- so…looks like I’ll be mentoring some writers in the latter half of the year, what even?! I still think of myself as needing mentorship?! However, if people are going to trust me, then I’ll give them the best I can out of what I’ve learnt thus far
- currently reading through an important workbook borne of work done earlier this year
- am a reader for a literary prize – my first time ever, though not as a slush pile reader. It doesn’t sound like a nice term, ‘slush pile’, but I tend to take those sorts of assignments seriously so even if a submission isn’t to my taste, I read it in its entirety, and try to figure out if it’s done a good job as a literary work. Ideally, that’s what I hope readers would do for my work, you know, give it a chance
- am reviewing a book for The Big Issue – been a while!
- got COVID while reading aforementioned slush pile
- where the hell did the year go? I’m looking at this sparser version of what is supposed to be a chronicle of the year, but it looks like I’ve done nothing, when it’s mainly been disability work where there’s nothing tangible as such to show, but it’s still work that’s pretty important to me (in the hopes that others will benefit)
- in mid Oct, The Big Anxiety came to Naarm/Melb for a bit (it’s usually based in Eora/Sydney) and there were a few events I was part of for that – reading for a book launch, in an anthology where one of my poems was published, reading work generally with other survivors of the psychiatric health system, and a panel at the Wheeler Centre about collaboration, disability, impostor syndrome (does the latter ever really stop?), and creativity
- I’m mentoring a writer (a poet) through Arts Access Australia, and mentoring a group of writers in a nearby local council district for Writers Victoria as part of their Writeability programme – for both mentorships, writers must identify as disabled which is not something that’s ‘assessed’. It’s a lot of work, I’m constantly anxious about it, but it’s also been really cool to do
- most of the year has really been pretty awful in terms of cPTSD, and it only really feels like in the last fortnight, I’m starting to get a grip of what symptoms are common, mild, acute, debilitating. Most of this year is in the ‘debilitating’ category, which has largely been due to insecurity of living conditions. Also learnt the hard way: just because your housemates have disabilities, doesn’t mean they’ll be good humans. I still struggle with this a lot. It doesn’t even matter if they share belonging to the same minority groups as you. Class, and race still matter, and some folks just aren’t down with acknowledging their privilege.
- thank the atheist deities for my cat, good friends, and music. I’ve got pretty hardcore back into gamba and it’s helped my mental health heaps and sometimes even with my sleep! Am also trying to make piano tinkering (not formal practise sessions) and baths a regular thing.