First of all, because the origins of quotes are weirdly important to me, check out this rundown from Quote Investigator of why ‘May you live in interesting times’ is not a quote from any ancient culture.
That said, living in interesting times does feel like a bit of a cursed outcome in some cases. It is really a weird time because, amid the fires, hail, and pandemic, I’ve had some personally good news. I haven’t done too much in the way of writing about it because it feels selfish, but still . . .good news is good, right?
So I will share, and then I’m going to look at what is next. Because it is exciting for me. And because I need to be held accountable for getting it done, as it actually has a deadline.
But first – updates on the good stuff! Things that have happened since my last proper blog post:
The Safe Place – Published in Idiom 23, the CQU literary journal. It isn’t a huge print or distribution, but this is a very important story to me, and I’m just excited to see it out in the world!
Trench – A reverse-Lovecraftian styled story (thanks Alis for fantastic framing) accepted for publication in Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild’s Unnatural Order. This is almost more relief than excitement. The anthology has an incredibly on-brand theme, but I really struggled to come up with something on time. The possibility I might not be able to take this opportunity to submit something literally kept me up at night. But I managed to get something in, got some feedback from the ever-supportive TJ Edwards, and was lucky enough the catch the attention of the editors. There is a lot of editing to go, but I’ve had some excellent feedback that gives the story much more direction and focus. I’m excited to see how it turns out and to see it launched (hopefully) at CoNZealand.
On the topic of CoNZealand. . .
Identity, conflict, and fiction: How science fiction and fantasy give insight to the core of conflict and a pathway to resolution – You may have guessed this isn’t fiction, but rather an academic piece that had preliminary acceptance for presentation at CoNZealand.
This is really exciting for me, as I have worked on the paper Dr Evie Kendal of Deakin University. We have never met, and were put in contact by a mutual academic friend who I now owe much thanks to. Dr Kendal has been hugely supportive and helpful, even though I was a complete stranger at the start of this.
But more onto the paper. It looks at a number of components of identity, including manipulated and contested identity and how controlling a population’s views (as in, enforcing an identity on a demographic to isolate and cast out, or to ensure acceptance and protection) can impact on conflict. It goes across a few fields but essentially tried to focus on identifying inflammatory techniques in order to encourage writers to explore how those techniques can be countered.
But suddenly, out of nowhere came – The Weekly Blog!
Okay, so this is a bit of a new thing, yet not new at the same time.
Instead of random timings and rants with potentially some semi-decent advice, I’m going to try and give some insight into what I’m doing at uni. This year is a big one – the final two subjects make up my dissertation, which consists of a creative artefact (The Story), and an exegesis (The Essay) on the story itself. It isn’t huge like a PhD dissertation, but my aim is to complete this and move in that direction, so I need to do it right and do it well.
Please note – science fiction and fantasy are not always taken so seriously by academics. But that is my space, so I need to do it EXTRA well.
Part of the exegesis is keeping a weekly journal on what I am doing regarding my project. So, instead of trying to rack my brain for a new listicle or rant, I’m going to be using this blog as my journal. If you learn something from it, or get some kind of entertainment, or just love to marvel at the weird ways in which a writer’s mind works. . .or at least how mine does.
Also the weekly deadline for Uni is pretty motivating.
First journal will be here(labelled Week 2, just to confuse everyone)