what was 2019

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 (updated Fri 20 Dec 2019)

  • hoping to read, write and edit lots before work-proper resumes – this didn’t work but this was due to other awesome projects I can’t yet talk about
  • editing my non-fiction poetry manuscript based on experiences in hospital (started beginning of 2018) which is looking like it’ll be full-lengthish though started off as chapbook-length – this is probably on hold due to health issues ūüôĀ the irony, huh?
  • Liminal mag interview is coming, promise. Oh my gosh THE PHOTOS.
  • a monthly beer-and-book match-up for the blog (which I’ll try to get funded via my Patreon 
  • will continue to review zines and drinks on a fortnightly basis (due to a semi-regular job) – turns out trying to do that weekly last year was very ambitious!
  • finishing the homoerotic videogame ekphrastic trio of poems I started in 2018 (it totally is as much fun as it sounds!)
  • flipping through contrib copies of APJ 8.2 ‘Spoken’, Archer’s #11 ‘Gaze’ & Rabbit’s ‘Belonging’ issue now that I’ve had time to sit down and squee properly



  • back in the Co-burg, heck yeah! co-hosting WMN‘s first feminist bookclub pick – please come! We’re doing Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil. She’s amazing!
  • the plan is to be a book reviewing demon of the highest and best order this month
  • Melbourne Spoken Word is doing a ‘Creative Accounting’ gig and asked a few of us to nominate our poetic heroes, so please come along and support the poets who are kindly donating their time to us for your aural, word-nerd pleasure – FB event details here
  • doing a poetry reading gig at the Victorian College of the Arts in Southbank as part of O-Week!


  • surviving my (40th) birthday. I’m not even joking about this. It was hard to make it this far. If diazepam could talk, it’d have some amazing flash creative non-fiction to tell you
  • starting treatment for a bunch of comorbid health issues and generally being pretty unwell but starting to sleep kind of like a regular person…? (mild anaemia but atheist deities help me, if you suggest that my thyroid function needs to be checked – IT’S NORMAL! don’t tell me I should do yoga, and won’t die during a panic attack (I KNOW THIS) or you will no longer be the beneficiary of any future kindness or patience from me. And oh btw, seasonal liver functions test tell me it’s also fine!)
  • started playing piano and viola da gamba regularly again (viol, in English; if you don’t want to get it confused with the viola which is a common very-much-in-orchestral-usage instrument, just call the ‘viol’ a ‘gamba’ instead. I know, you’re saying ‘leg’ in Italian but it’s better than ‘naan bread’ or ‘chai/matcha tea’. Non-multilinguists seem genuinely (cutely!) confused by the pronunciation of ‘viol’!
  • got to edit the e-mag/zine for my work! Choosing ONLY 3 works was agonising – there were so many good contributions from such talented, creative kiddos?! whoop whoop! – https://creativewrite-it.atavist.com/march-2019-belonging
  • 1. there is finally a difference between what goes live on zine/drink blog posts, and what goes up on Patreon. I put my scrawly, non-cicerone*-trained impressions and tasting notes up on my Patreon-backed posts; blog posts go without (*cicerone = beer sommelier)
  • i. because these annoying WordPress ‘blocks won’t let me do font formatting or URL embedding, here’s the blog post URL: https://eatdrinkstagger.com/distinctly-not-sunshine-lollipops-atm
  • ii. here’s the Patreon URL of same post with tasting notes/bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/posts/25141459h


  • F*EMS zine accepted a poem of mine called ‘Boomer generation’ which started off life at last year’s Queensland Poetry Festival, and got read at the ‘KIN’ event (can’t wait to send a screenshot to my KIN co-readers) – the issue is loosely based on the theme of ‘care’ and is about my cat! You can get a copy here.
  • Rabbit Poetry Journal upcoming ‘Tense’ issue accepted a poem of mine called ‘muscle memory’, guest edited by Pascalle Burton & David Stavanger, and I’m STOKED. Rabbit is a journal I’ve submitted to for years and had two poems appear in, so please, poets, keep submitting, edit hard and often, and don’t take rejections personally! Keep trying.
  • I’ll also be blogging for my day job, starting from primary & secondary school Term 2 (Victoria)
  • got some decent anti-nausea medication, thank god for health professionals that listen
  • transported my tinnie collection from my parents’ place so it looks like I have a problem if you peer into the fridge but it means more zine-drink reviews, whoop whoop!
  • I resigned from the Women’s Melbourne Network committee due to health and work commitments


  • the viol thing has become a habit, but I have this awful habit of picking off my callouses. It’s like I enjoy pain or something…
  • PMDD medication is still a work-in-progress, a bit annoying, but not much I can really do, eh?
  • doing THREE things for Freeplay Festival!
    • have been invited to run the zinemaking workshop that I ran last year – book a ticket and come?
    • then TWO talks for the first day of the conference!
      • 4pm, ‘Not Faking It While You Make It’ with Ian MacLarty – we’ll be talking about the game we’re collaborating on, our creative processes, and a bit about how our disciplines are quite different…or are they? and how the game is still in progress!
      • 4.30pm, ‘Twine Hang’ with Imogen Baker & Tegan Webb – we’ll be discussing the ways we’ve used Twine as non-mega-tech creatives due to its nonlinear storytelling capabilities
  • getting a new housemate due to one moving to Mon-ray-al, and Fancy loves her so pretty excited…though Fance is incredibly friendly, she’s stealthy about when she doesn’t like someone (which isn’t such a bad thing…she loves me so much she wants to either sleep on my face, or on my hair at night!).
  • the Liminal Mag interview is live and oh my gosh, Leah and Cher made me look and sound so profesh and cool and stuff!
  • first work blog post is live!


  • I found out when getting Ms. Fancycat registered and checked up at the vet that she’s turning TEN this month! We were all pretty shocked at the vet, because she’s ridic healthy and does not look her age AT ALL. Much like her human? (I’m still getting carded, and beat my once-a-season average already in April!)
  • I’m appearing at the Emerging Writers’ Festival in two events: ‘A Raven, A Writing Desk‘ & the ‘Future Truths‘ launch. For the latter, select writers were chosen to write ekphrastic responses to artworks (viewable here). I chose to write a poem which appears in Inhabit Journal’s digital issue, about Michael Sun’s piece.
  • I’ll be MCing a poetry portion of a 3 Ravens event called Dark Mass to celebrate the winter solstice. I can’t believe I get to write poetry about one of my favourite things that isn’t word-nerdy!
  • I’m on the Ladies We Need To Talk podcast, talking about why I’m consciously childless and remaining so (and to be honest, there’s not much of a choice given my health situation) – you can listen here. Content warning: discussion of mental health issues.
  • EWF 2019 antics! Here’s a photo of me with my wonderful, talented colleagues from ‘A Raven, A Writing Desklast night (20-6-19). Wish my melodica was in the photo!



  • this year’s Freeplay conference talks have been put online for your perusal! Here’s a link to the one me and Ian MacLarty did about our videogame collaboration-in-progress, and the one me, Tegan Webb & Imogen Baker did about using Twine
  • I was asked to be poetry editor for a zine I LOVE – Concrete Queers! Freaking stoked doesn’t begin to cover it!
  • wondering about my part-time day job? Here’s more info on what we’ve done in the lead-up to Semester 2, written by yours truly
  • I have a middle ear infection, like honestly, what are the blooming odds.
  • also passed a very important personal life milestone…which I’m too shy to mention, but let’s just say that having a particular person in my life for the last three months has been really wonderful. I’ve often been told by society (and started to believe it) that no one would want a long-term relationship with someone who has the amount of psychological illnesses I have…and somehow, it happened. Even more amazing, they seem to be pretty chuffed about spending time with me, and with Fance (who adores them!)
  • a last-minute invitation to speak at a report launch from Diversity Arts Australia called ‘Shifting the Balance‘ which will be available very shortly to the wider public. Here’s a quote from me ragging on white person mediocrity, hehe wink. I also got interviewed by phone for The Wire which you can hear on Wed 14/8/2019 or listen here


  • well actually, turns out I was completely wrong about the whole relationship situation and pretty embarrassed about the whole bloody thing. It also turns out that the last fortnight of August genuinely broke me and while I’m safe (promise), my situation is serious enough for health services prioritising care for me. It’s been lonely, humiliating, and I don’t know how I got there, but in the end, a few beautiful platonic humans stuck out their necks for me, and my cat will always be my reason to keep trying to exist. The relationship breakdown (for the last month, there has been no relationship!) had no part in my acute distress: a lot of other things had broken me prior to that and I was pretending they hadn’t and thought things would improve. Freelance work-related stress, and PMDD treatments not working led to some body dysmorphic issues. Having no human (sorry Fance) to confide in is…well, let’s just say, I feel like a massive loser. Not sure the romance stuff was the other person’s fault…so let’s deflect to humour and have Chris Fleming explain why *wink, sigh*
  • expecting to have a poem appear in Hecate Journal, an academic publication associated with Deakin University (in Melb, Aus). It’s called ‘how to impersonate Christian Bale’s voice as Batman: suggestions’
  • having my first book review appear in The Big Issue! Check it out, it goes live on the 20th! I reviewed Growing Up Queer in Australia
  • new anxiety medication and increase in expensive night antidepressant have a lot of hope pinned on them at the moment; the new med is fantastic but I can’t always use it when I need to due to work hours but I begged not to be hospitalised and not to have ECT again…it’s not a great mind I have but it’s the only one I’ve got :s


  • I can’t really lie, it’s been an incredibly brutal month. I nearly lost a good friend (seriously, for the first time in my life, when I found out, I just started bawling uncontrollably) who had helped me not lose myself a while back…and so I’m back on an old friend/mood stabiliser who’ve I’ve not seen for a while (and ironically was responsible for deleting a lot of my disordered eating habits). Here’s hoping this rough patch is starting to subside. It feels like each week of this month I’ve just been winging it, feeling constantly unprepared…
  • work holiday workshops are always fun! You never stop learning stuff about kids, like not everyone gets toilet trained as quickly as you do, and that they can sneeze into your eyeball
  • health appointment hell: finally got to my Royal Womens’ Hospital appointment and specialist, and they’re just as stumped (and in their words, traumatised) about why this body bleeds so much even though for the most part, the PMDD symptoms have been okay
  • got to be part of the first ever Future Echoes festival put on by Express Media & Emerging Writers’ Festival, which my wonderful disabled QBIPOC collective Cubbie, Hannah & Pauline
  • got a poem coming up in next month’s ‘Victorian Writer’ Writers’ Victoria membership mag…it’s a pretty personal one and it’s about how a lot of my grief or extreme sadness around loss is often very delayed. It’ll be part of my poetry manuscript in progress. The poem is called ‘driving / being driven’
  • my first Hallowe’en at work, where I’ll be dressed up and handing sweets to children!
  • I STARTED READING AGAIN! Not sure why or how but reading mojo returned and am slaying books, and to be honest, just not minding existing again
  • going to be interviewed by fellow disabled QBIPOC chum Pauline Vetuna on 3CR about dating when disabled…soupir…am I going to have anything positive to add to that discussion…? Maybe offer tips on minimising brokenheartedness? (that’s actually today, Wed 30/10)


  • oh gosh, what am I doing? Recording some narration for 3CR for a fellow disabled QBIPOC mate Pauline Vetuna (as International Disability Day is coming up soon, Tue 3/12/19)
  • reading the poem that will finally appear in the Writers’ Victoria membership for the opening of ‘Visibility’ at Wyndham Art Gallery, curated by my badarse disabled QBIPOC mates Pauline Vetuna and Hannah Morphy-Walsh ***NB. the other member of our collective CB Mako will be a panellist at this event which I highly recommend going to if you’re in the Melb CBD
  • my meds stopped working for a bit because people you supposedly can call friends think it’s okay to be an arsehole to you, but they finally started working again, but damn, one of them makes me suuuuuuuper woooooooozy (this still has been the worst year of my life without ECT, thank the atheist deities for actual nice friends and housemates and Fance)
  • recorded some narration and sound bites for International Day of Disability at 3CR which is being put together by my amazing mate Pauline; ironically, I spent the day in bed not being able to function, but that’s disability life eh?


  • been well enough and not-poor enough to actually hang out with mates I hadn’t seen in a while; played some killer games of Magic the Gathering, and had the most divine Sunday roast at Tallboy and Moose (Preston brewpub of much awesomeness)
  • housemate interviews! outgoing housemate Alex helped us find out new housie Aiden and I can tell you it’s a load off the backs of me and Richa! Fancy continues to just nap and say hi to folks *grins*
  • had a Royal Women’s Hospital review to see how my PMDD is progressing – the mood stuff is excellent, but it looks like I’ll always have bleeding even when not taking the sugar pills (I can cope with that because I don’t have to sleep on three layers of things anymore overnight)
  • my poem ‘driving / being driven’ appears in The Victorian Writer, the membership magazine for Writers’ Victoria (it’s the one I chose to read at VISIBILITY)
  • it’s generally just been good to have more energy to support friends’ performances and the like this month and I’m looking forward to not apologising for reading lots of comic trades this holiday break as well as properly choose a TBR pile instead of mindlessly buying books and shelving them (am over halfway through Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness at present and loving it!)
  • no, I still don’t get how we got to December so quickly but I’m going to try and embrace the whole not having plans thing (this is usually my worst time of the year). I hope everyone’s doing the best they can to stay safe and healthy, especially as the heat can affect abled folks in a pretty hardcore way: please take care
  • more piano and gamba playing will happen or is happening regularly. It’s been great to feel my arms get stronger, having my mind remind me to release muscles or breathe when I tense up (during piano), and my hand stretch has improved! I guess it’s been nearly a year though of piano access…

En somme: I thought 2016 was the worst year of my life? HA! aside from my cat and a handful of humans I am very lucky to have in my life (who I don’t feel I deserve, quite honestly), I don’t know how I made it without hospital or ECT. I did learn the hard way that the public health system takes my concerns seriously when I am distressed…pyrrhic victories all way in 2019! ugh.