After a quiet few months in the writing department, I am delighted to share a few recent successes. On Friday 11th October, I entered the Faber Academy’s relaunched Faber Quickfic competition. In short, participants have from 9:50am BST/GMT until 2:30pm to write 250 words inspired by a picture prompt posted on Faber Academy’s social media.
My work with The Writers’ Block has been key to this latest stage of my creative development. Facilitating workshops for young writers alongside other practitioners is a joy and a privilege.
Now, we are in the running for a potential grant from The People’s Projects, which will help us make our work more mobile.
You can find out more about what we do, and cast your vote here (with a UK postcode or mobile number) until midday on the 15th of April.
After an extended absence, I am pleased to announce that Verbal Remedy have published a third article of mine.
‘The concepts of accessibility and permission are inextricably linked. When a person living with any form of impairment or difference first has to make contact to ensure that they will be able to access an event or attraction, they are seeking permission to exist in that space…’
You can read the full piece here.
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.