in medias res

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.

general stuff 2021 (updated Tue 8 Mar 2022)

  • wow, January was hectic! Made my first videogame, finally starting to get back the energy to do housework to the levels I prefer, and have lined up a new place to live, which means I’ll be a Morelander again
  • stressed and tired, which means IBS, insomnia, and bad dreams
  • finding out through Facebook after deactivating over holiday period for mental health reasons that an old friend passed away after persistent, and eventuallly fatal, health issues…this has been rough to process

January

  • finished my first videogame ever using Twine! It’s going to be part of a digital exhibition, and I was approached by a producer from the City of Darebin to submit a work, am so glad it’s finished, it’s the most challenging (and personal) work in terms of having to learn a lot of knowledge quickly, and on-the-fly, but also fantastic to work so consistently on a project.
  • and…also finished yet another digital commission regarding responses to disability for another exhibition called ‘A Museum of Us’ – again, I used Twine, but this was an easier work to complete and is a prose poem where you’re directed to read passages roughly in a particular order
  • tried jerk chicken for the first time ever at a soul food Sunday Caribbean feast, and it was absolutely divine – this is an example of a previous ‘take-home’ version prepared and delivered by my mate Dan, with my father’s beans and rice – it’s been really lovely connecting to (Indo-Guyanese) culture through something which I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with, and sometimes struggle with, but has become something I now look forward to experiencing? Disordered eating is complicated, but am in a very good position with it – have been for quite some time

February

  • edited a personal essay for a fellow collective member
  • found a place to live…goddamn I have some good eggs in my corner – future, and past, and continuing! Not looking forward to the breakup of our household at present…the people I live with have been so generous, caring, funny, nerdy, intelligent, adventurous, creative, dorky (look, dorkiness is a compliment of the highest order. If you are not capable of some dorkiness, it makes me suspicious!), and just made me feel like I had a right to want a safe place to live
  • currently waiting for my digital pieces to go live, which is pretty exciting!
  • gently reincorporating reading back into my life: I may have mentioned that PTSD has hit my attention span in a very odd way and reading was so natural to focus on for me, but it became so difficult. Am working on gradually telling PTSD to fuck itself, I have plans for life so yeah, get thee gone!
  • more to come! (my god, how much does life admin suck? also, christ, I worked a lot more during the pandemic than I thought I did!)
  • Invisible Illness, a digital artwork commissioned by the City of Darebin is now live!
  • our collective, The Disabled QBIPOC Collective, got a mention in The Australian Book Review!
  • It’s not till 2022 (I know right, so far away!) but been asked if I’d be interested in submitting a suite of poems for an online literary journal, which is pretty exciting!
  • on a sad note, saw the person largely responsible for someone special in my life taking their life at a beer dinner. Love openly while you can

March

  • I moved house AGAIN, yes, I know, this is ridiculous even by my standards, but perhaps not so unusual given I’m no longer averaging being hospitalised once a year?
  • slept, unpacked, arranged, made my personal space look like home – pretty much all I did with the month
  • ran a workshop with Midsumma’s Pathways programme with my collective members from the Disabled QBIPOC Collective

April

  • started writing again: a new poem came out of absolutely nowhere, and…now only have two poems I have to finish for what would be my first full-length poetry manuscript (one I have the blueprint for, the other I can’t recall what it was meant to be, so might not need it…)
  • assessed applications for an editorial mentorship for the first time ever, ooh-er!
  • got another one of those gigs that I can’t talk yet about but am obvs very excited about

December (tracking back to May…)

  • um, so I may have neglected to update this section because in July, I had to find new housemates (deciding to stay in a house by myself and fill it so to speak was terrifying)
  • took part in an EWF panel ‘Storming the Stage’
  • took part in Freeplay
  • me and Ian’s game got exhibited in Portland, Oregon, US & Germany? We definitely were featured as part of Serenade Games x Freeplay mini-exhibition
  • Cordite Poetry Journal had Ian MacLarty interview me about ‘If We Were Allowed To Visit’
  • ran a workshop for Theatre Network Australia’s programme ‘Power Play’
  • the same work used for The Museum of Us also got featured for Arts Access Victoria’s ‘Alter State’ digital event
  • did a poetry (yea!) reading with Nottingham-based poet Jo Weston, and Danny Silva Soberano for Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Booklovers Festival – when we first arrived in Australia, my literary life DEPENDED upon the yellow mobile book library, till primary and high school. Of course once I no longer lived in the suburb I grew up in, it got its own kickarse library (that was this month)
  • ran a workshop for Creatives of Colour with the Disabled QBIPOC Collective
  • edited and did sensitivity reading for Archer Magazine’s ‘Disability’ issue due out Dec 2021
  • got into a programme run by Writers Victoria called ‘Storming the City’ which is part of their Writeability programme for Deaf and disabled writers. It was fantastic as we got to meet online regularly with a group of the same folks for a bit and there was some life stability
  • a significant ex got in touch with me out of the blue and now we’re friends…I mention it because he’s probably the only person I’ve had a relationship with who treated me as non-binary sort of by default, rather than focussing on what body parts I have and how I’m supposed to be ashamed of them etc. Anyway, that was a really lovely connection to reestablish (he still kicks my arse at Magic the Gathering, haiyaa)
  • in the works for next year is a series of workshops which I’m not sure how much I can say about, so I best err on the side of (boring) caution
  • holy crap! Meanjin (Australia’s longest running literary journal) asked me about what I was reading for their blog which I’ve forgotten to put in my publication history…
  • how the hell did it get to December already? and how did it get here with so much crap times to deal with?

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?