Turning Toward – PETRIe article live

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.

A World of Looking Twice

 

Embracing My Experience with PETRIe

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.

From Small Beginnings…A New Novel

I’m a writer – that naturally means I have a number of projects going on at once. Thanks to the Faber Academy, I now have another on my plate. Last Friday’s QuickFic prompt was an instant success.

qf20_799

Within a couple of hours, I’d written and edited a 250-word piece which introduced two of my favourite characters I’ve ever written. It’s still in the very early stages, but I’m very excited. If you want to keep up to date with how it’s going, though, you’ll have to sign up for my newsletter.

I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a project since¬†Stones in the Road, and that’s saying something. I’m looking forward to taking the journey with these new characters, and ultimately to bringing you along with me.