Australian women writers challenge 2014 wrapup

IMG_20141227_210711so I only wrote one review this whole year for the AWW challenge, but I read a whole lot of neat books by Australian women. Here are some that are pretty neat:

Danklands by Holly Childs
Sprawl ed. Alisa Krasnostein
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer
Close Call by Eloise March
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
All of Us by Mary Lawson
Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman
The Loud Earth by Elisabeth Murray
No Limit by Holly Childs
Cracked by Clare Strahan
Ink by Isabelle Rowan

That’s so binary

A while ago I was at a queer writers’ event, which really was a lot of fun. I got talking to a woman who was bisexual and I was about to say Hey wow, I’m bi too! Yeah, isn’t being bi great! Because, y’know, the whole world seems to hate bisexual people sometimes and it’s a little wearying (note the lack of any piece of any media ever using the word bisexual to describe a bisexual character, the ‘Oh, but everyone’s bisexual really, when it comes down to it’ from friends who mean well but do not identify as bisexual, strangers asking ‘But who do you see yourself ending up with?’, people making fun of the “indecision” of bisexuals before – or after – you point out that you identify as bisexual, I could go on).

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Review: No Limit by Holly Childs

nolimit_webThe blurb of No Limit (2014) says it’s told in “sugar-rush prose” and this sums it up pretty well. This is a novella that kind of reads like you’re browsing the internet. You’ve got twitter open, tumblr, you’re IMing ten different people and writing a few emails at the same time.

Ash, our main character, is on a connecting flight from Auckland when a volcanic eruption begins and her flight is grounded indefinitely. Is it the apocalypse? Maybe. She’s not going to die at the airport, so she gets a taxi out of there.

There’s not a lot of action and we mostly watch as Ash travels with people she barely knows (including the dream girl she passed at the airport) around a city she doesn’t know. There are apocalypse parties, bathroom orgies, internet cafes. There’s twitter, tumblr, skype, facebook, texting. This is how you write about the internet.

The prose can be intense, super vivid, with sprawling sentences:

After walking super slowly for about twenty metres in absolute blackness, dark enough that Ash can’t tell if her eyes are open or closed, and Mack is having flashbacks to his shit dad preaching on the horrors of death’s kingdom, and Ash has to spit the Skittles out of her mouth because they taste to intense without colour, and Mack thinks that maybe this is the final solution–after all that, they turn a corner and see rainbow oscillating light illuminating a pile of bricks from behind a gap in the wall and the beat gets louder, louder. (p45)

The book is only eighty five pages long and Childs sustains the fierce style throughout, any longer and it may not have worked.

Another super great thing is all the queer representation — almost every character is either non-hetero or non-cis and it’s never really a big thing. No labels are really used and sometimes that can read terribly, but here in this clever, fast-paced, surreal maybe-apocalypse world, it works.

No Limit is published by Hologram and you can buy it here.

5/5 stars

Trimester as an arts student

First week is pretty exciting. It’s the week where you always vow to actually do the readings, read up on topics after class that sound interesting. Maybe then you could actually get over that crippling fear of public speaking and participate in class discussions. Maybe you could actually make more than one friend a year! Maybe even two friends.

It’s when you say you’ll actually buy text books this semester, even borrowing some extra books from the library on occasion, because learning is pretty fun sometimes. You like learning, right? Uni is for learning, even!

First week, you’ll attend all your classes, maybe even all the lectures. Try and remember people’s names, because they look interesting and you like interesting people.

And then second week comes around, and sleeping in that extra ten minutes is worth walking into class half an hour late, clutching terrible coffee and cursing the sun because it’s just too bright. You forgot to buy textbooks, but you’ll buy them next week as soon as your youth allowance is transferred. There was that lecture you missed too, but you can totally catch up online. Yeah.

Fifth week, and classes are starting to get in the way of your assignments. And sometimes the library is for sleeping, alright? That book is overdue, though, and you haven’t read any of it. Should probably return it on Friday when you have that class, but then you don’t go to that class. Next week.

Soon it’s week ten and you’ve got no idea what subjects you’re actually enrolled in … something to do with books, maybe. Everything is due all at once and you can’t see anymore because you’ve consumed so much caffeine you’re seeing sounds.

Then it’s week twelve, somehow even more things are due. Library books need to be returned but you have no idea where they are. The cafe staff know your name and your order. Classes, what are they? You’re pretty sure lectures aren’t actually real, anyway.

But for now, week one is ahead and the trimester looks pretty shiny from here. So good luck, young arts traveller. May your trimester be bright, for at least the first week.

(Originally published in Wordly: O-week edition, DUSA)

Queermance vol. one

Hey peeps, I have a new story out! How exciting. From the 21st to the 23rd of March, the very first Queermance writers conference was held and it was pretty fab.

There was also an anthology produced, which I was super lucky to be in!

My story, I Blame the Cat, was the first erotica I’d even attempted, and turns out I’m not too terrible at it which is nice! People even laughed at my jokes when I read it out at the launch on Friday!  (I have discovered that while doing readings is terrifying it’s also really lovely because I think writing is a very solitary practice and sharing your things to an immediate audience is just A+.)

In the anthology there’s also a story set in post-apocalyptic Brisbane, one featuring selkies, another featuring vampires, and there’s lots of humour and other cool things in there.

You can get the ebook from Clan Destine Press, Amazon or Smashwords if you like!

Australian women writers challenge 2014

awwbadge_2014This year I want to read more Australian fiction, and I love reading things written by ladies, so I’m participating in the Australian women writers challenge.

I’m attempting the Franklin level, meaning I’ll read ten books and review at least six. Reviews will be posted in the, wait for it, reviews category.

I want to focus on three areas:

  • Young adult
  • LGBTIQ
  • Graphic novels

… and if you think I’d like to read something, suggest away!

You can find AWW on twitter @auswomenwriters, or by using #aww2014.