I’m delighted to say that I will be performing at the next She Howls online open mic on Wednesday.
The event is at 9pm BST, which you can convert to your timezone here
Information on joining can be found at Dal Kular’s website.
I mentioned in my previous post being knee-deep in some projects that I could not yet share. I am pleased to announce that one has come to fruition, and you can now read ‘Capturing Essence: From Haiku to Healing’ in the Summer Edition of the Lapidus International journal.
You can find out more about Lapidus International and their mission on their website.
The Summer Edition of the journal is available from Amazon.
It has been too long since I last wrote here, but I am delighted to announce the publication of my latest article, ‘The Lost Art of Listening’ by Verbal Remedy.
We find ourselves now in a world whose citizens have forgotten how to listen. Minutes, hours and days slip by as we convince ourselves that we’re taking it all on board. It’s easier than ever to glaze over, in a world where smart phones and other technologies offer the possibility of escape from the vital experience of connecting with one another.
You can read the whole piece, and share your thoughts on the Verbal Remedy article itself.
Three years ago today, I celebrated the launch of Stones in the Road: Poems of Grief and Growth with family and friends at The Melting Pot Café, Redruth. Since then, events transpired which left me at a loss for words. From within that storm, I found these. I’m still finding my way out, but I will be back. My thanks to Jon Duncan for his encouragement, and eagerness to help me share this piece with the wider world.
I seem to be on a weekly blogging streak, more by accident than design. I’m going to try and keep it that way. This morning, I received my prompt for the 29th iteration of the SPARK collaborative creativity challenge, brainchild of Amy Souza.
Until very recently, I have been submerged in a kind of creative quicksand. Pieces were emerging, but nothing that I wanted to share with the world. I’m hopeful that with the impetus of SPARK, I will be able to use the inspiration to produce something I can then share here.
I’m discovering new music, too. Granted, per usual, I’m late to the party. Really getting into Wilco, and enjoying a break from country heartbreak for a while!
I’m finding it difficult to traverse the line between writing for myself, and writing for an audience. If you write, how do you overcome that? Does it become clearer after a while, what’s for you, and what’s for them?
PETRIe Inventory published ‘A World of Looking Twice’ yesterday. This is a significant moment, as it marks the first time I have discussed my experience of life with a disability in prose.
To date, the article has had over 200 views. It’s a small fish in a big pond, like anything on Twitter…but I’m pleased. I feel as though there is more to be said, and perhaps I’ll write a follow-up piece in the future.
I’d like to pause and publicly thank all those who paved the way for this piece, Benjamin Thapa and the team at PETRIe, who initially believed in me. The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, whose Pen2Paper contest allowed me to explore the feeling of writing my truth, in such a vulnerable way.
The two charities Active8 and Shine, without whom I would not be the person I am today. Both these causes are important in helping people with disabilities stand in their truth and grow as human beings, beyond the barriers that their condition might place upon them.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I now invite you to go and check out the article on the PETRIe Inventory site. If you like it, share it. Let me know what you think.
It’s not my style to talk about it, but I live with cerebral palsy. I’ve spent my life running from it, metaphorically speaking. Chances are, if you saw me on the street, you wouldn’t know.
I’ve written about it sparingly, first off for the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities’ Pen2Paper contest in 2013. The poem I submitted, ‘Dis-ability’, ended up on the shortlist.
I was thrilled, but after a while, I returned to my usual place of not really wanting to write about something I know so intimately. I live a life of looking twice, making sure that there isn’t something which could trip me up lurking unseen on the pavement.
I’ve received continued support for my work from the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, much to my amazement and delight, including Director of Communications, Laura Perna, reading one of the poems from Stones in the Road: Poems of Grief and Growth at their open mic event in Texas. (Watch that here)
Even so, I still wasn’t comfortable exploring my experiences any further. Then, I came across PETRIe. I was excited to contribute, thinking I might send a couple of poems which were casualties of the small press struggle. I was hardly surprised when their Creative Director informed me that he wasn’t entirely sure where the market was for such work, so the ethos of PETRIe is more geared towards collaboration between writers and other artists.
I was excited about that, and even more so when he added that they were interested in writing on the fringes of society, the kinds of things that people don’t usually discuss. I then elaborated on my experience of writing about loss, and he seemed interested, although it took a while to get my point across.
When I went on to mention the fact that I live with cerebral palsy, he warmed to the idea immediately, and thus I am working on an article on disability and transparency for the April issue of PETRIe‘s online magazine.
I am very pleased to announce my most recent publication. ‘Sacred Words Between Online Friends‘ features in the January edition of WritingRaw.
The publication of this essay brings one of the most challenging experiences of my life full circle.
If you’ve ever known anybody solely online, and loved them without ever getting the chance to meet in person, this article is for you.
I offer it with love to everyone for whom it might be of benefit.
The last day of 2015 ended auspiciously for me, as WritingRaw accepted an essay I wrote in 2012. The essay was conceived in January 2012, as a response to a call by The Ilanot Review on the theme of Sacred Words.
Reading the brief, I knew exactly what I had to write…even if it was hard. Especially if it was hard – I’ve written extensively about my friendship with Chris, my Argentinian friend with whom I bonded over the music of George Harrison. Up to that point, there was one aspect I hadn’t really explored in any detail.
Given that the other aspect of my friendship with Chris revolved around deepening my knowledge of the Hindu faith, I had never written about the spiritual element of our relationship. Amongst many other things we discussed, our conversations sometimes took on the tone of Satsang – ‘fellowship with truth’. She explained a lot about the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy book, and I came to understand how important it was to her.
In weaving the article that became ‘Sacred Words between Online Friends’, I forced myself to face some of the emotions that I hadn’t yet fully explored. Drafting and redrafting the article allowed me to work through my grief in ways that I hadn’t previously considered. Each time I read the piece aloud and my voice shook, I realised that I was moving closer to a time when I’d read it aloud and my voice wouldn’t shake.
Writing in this vulnerable way encouraged me to believe that there is nothing wrong with facing things through writing. I have continually preached the gospel of writing to deal, without being entirely comfortable with the process myself. #
If you’re interested in receiving my latest posts, make sure you subscribe via email – I’ll make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Have you ever been moved or changed by a friend? I know I have. I’ve written before of the blessing it was (and remains) to know Chris Thomas. Our nightly chats about George Harrison and the other Beatles, and many more unconventional aspects of life brought great joy to my days.
My life is no memorial to her, but I live the way I do in part thanks to her example of how to face difficult circumstances. Tomorrow would be her 48th birthday, and although I will mark it in my own way, I thought it might be nice to spearhead something that others could take part in.
Without further ado, I present the ‘Birthday Love Blast for Chris‘. One simple random act of kindness is all it takes to be part of this event. It doesn’t have to be grand, and truly random acts of kindness often aren’t.
Feel free to spread the word among your connections on Facebook and Twitter (preferably using the hashtag #LoveBlast4Chris) and let’s get as many people as possible involved to spread the joy of friendship and love.