found family

This weekend I only ended up doing one of my Continuum panels, Queering Space, because I was sick. An audience member asked us the question: what do we look for in sci fi stories that isn’t necessarily explicit queer representation, but rather what themes resonate with us as queer people.

I thought about it for a bit because I wanted to say something positive, because I’m finding lately that I am speaking about what is hard about being queer, rather than what is good about it (of course these discussions are important, but I’m trying to shift my focus onto the positives).

I said found family. A lot of us are estranged, or not out, or our blood families just don’t quite get it. But our found families are safe places, we are loved there without any exception to do with our queerness. They see us for everything we are, and we see them, and there is so much love.

(The audience member then said I had to read Becky Chambers’ books and I’m planning on it.)

I feel like the queer community is a kind of family, and I know it has its flaws and is still not a safe place for everyone. But when there is suffering within that community, we see it, we recognise it, because it’s our own suffering, too. And it does bring us together.

And while the stories that do have the kind of found family vibe to them, may not explicitly be queer, there is a recognition there. The group of characters who have found each other, who love and care for each other in the vast emptiness of space, their ship is full of light and air.

 

PS. if you know books about queers in space that fit this theme, please let me know!

emerging writers festival + continuum con

hey friends, I’m doing some things soon and it’d be real nice if people came. First up is Continuum 13, a fan-run convention for all things nerdy and SFF.

It goes for four days, 9-12 of June. I’ll be there on the 11&12th, on Sunday I’ll be doing a panel about how pronouns other than he and she are used in spec fic. It’s gonna be great. On Monday I’m doing two panels, one on ZINES and another on queers in space. I mean. My favourite things. I’m super thrilled??!??!

For Emerging Writers fest I am doing a couple of things. The first is part of the YA Masterclass on the 15th. Look!!! at!!! my!!! company!!!!! I’m doing a session in the morning about the ~hows and whys~ of YA fiction. (The why is because it’s fucken GREAT)

And on the 17th, it’s school formal time babey!!!! (Again, look @ my company????!) We’re all going to read out some letters to our teenage selves and it’s going to be really embarassing and fun. Pls come and dance with us!

reading matters

The Centre for Youth Literature run a conference called Reading Matters, which is all about children’s literature. It’s a biannual conference and it ran over the past four days. I was invited to speak there and it was The Best. (I could only attend on the Friday, which makes me eternally sad).

There were SO MANY cool people there and I had a blast, so here’s some word vomit.

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handy links for writing

OK so one of the things I’m very bad at is thinking of names for stuff. There is a cafe in my short story Wolfskin that is a central location in the story, the River and Wheel.

I got the name from this hipster business name generator. Basically it takes two random words and puts an “and” in the middle, gives you a nice font, it even generates a logo. And then you’ve got a business. This saves me a lot of time because I will spend AGES trying to name stuff, so if you see a “x and y” business in any of my stories, it’s probably from that website.

There’s also a floor plan generator that I have been meaning to use. I had previously been using the Sims, but then I’d get too distracted and would just play the game until 4am. Both are pretty useful in their own ways. Usually I try and sketch out rooms and places but then my sense of space can be pretty poor.

I don’t really have any stories (at the moment) planned that need a map, BUT if you needed some inspiration, there’s this fantasy world generator. You can choose your specs, like what percentage of water do you want, cities or no cities, how many rivers.

And if you need to find (and listen to) music from a certain time period, Radioooo is where you can go. You pick your country and pick your decade, as long as it’s between 1900 and now. You can also pick your mood: slow, fast, or weird. I feel like it works, cause I just picked Australia and 1990 and got AC/DC!!!

Sticky Institute’s one millionth photocopy party

next friday (the 27th of nov) Sticky Institute are having a SUPER MEGA FUN AWESOME zine launch of many many zines because they just passed their millionth photocopy since they opened in 2011.

There are so many excellent peeps launching stuff, some of whom are very dear friends o mine: Alison EvansΒ  (it me!) ~ Andy Wear ~ Astrid ~ Audrey El-Osta ~ Bloomurder ~ Carla Adams ~ Frank Candiloro ~ Gemma Flack ~ Heard ~ John Stevens ~ Kate Greenaway ~ Katherine Pigott ~ Li-Kim Chuah ~ Luke You ~ Richard Pilkington ~ Samantha Riegl ~ Shane Jesse Christmas ~ Sophie Benjamin ~ Steven J Finch ~ Tegan Webb ~ Thomas Blatchford ~ Tim Ungaro …and more.

… and it’ll be great. If you’re in Melbourne you should definitely come check it out! It’ll be at Sticky, which is in the Degraves subway. you check out the facebook event or their tumblr for more info!!!!

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concrete queers #2

I co-edit a zine called Concrete Queers and our second issue is being launched on Saturday the 8th! Issue #2 is the comedy issue so it’s got has got comedians talking about their craft, people talking about what comedy means to them, as well as queers just bein’ plain darn funny and producing fabulous artwork.

cq2For the first issue, we asked our friends to help us out with submissions and it was amazing. This issue, we opened up a general submissions call and we got some AMAZING stuff from people we haven’t met!!! and now we get to show it all off.

The launch is at the ever-perfect Sticky Institute in the Degraves Subway in Melbourne on the 8th of August from 3-5pm. The Facebook event is here.

Cover image by Mitucami Mituca, design by Tiffany Street.

wolfskin

Wolfskin is a short story I started writing while travelling, then finished at home. It’s about a girl who has no heart who finds a girl who is also a wolf in the middle of Fitzroy.

Below are the first 4 pages, if you like them you can get a PDF of the whole thing for whatever price you want (even free! neat!!!) over at gumroad, or get a physical copy in my etsy shop.

(Pls note there is a tiny bit of nsfw content!)

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