...as of right now are on hold. Flare-up season has become flare-up year. Living, writing and working in this particular body, with this disability, means that sometimes extended periods of hibernation are a necessity not a luxury. There are walls that cannot be scaled. I'm taking a necessary break from events right now, so in the meantime, here's part of a past essay for context as I grapple with disability aesthetics in fiction - on short stories and ME/CFS. Follow this link for the whole piece:
A short story can be held in one hand. It can be read in one sitting and it is whole in its own incompleteness – that is to say incomplete only when held against the long form. The ‘incompleteness’ is an illusion because the short story is moment to moment, it is present, and not one word can be extraneous.
There is no room for long, indulgent description, for diversion, no room for anything that is not absolutely necessary. Every word, every letter counts, as with my life with CFS; I have shed so many luxuries and digressions, have had to whittle my days down to the core of what is first necessary and second important.
Find me online at:
Historian Frank Salt and I talk about women's suffrage, working class activist history, disability rights movement history and his work with the writer Sandra Alland - at the wonderful Working Class Movement Library. We both worked on the acclaimed Comma Press book 'Protest', an anthology of short fiction and essays on British protest movements over the last 650 years.
I loved this event. Listen to it here, and if you've got the coin, buy the book in hardback or paperback here.
I'm a British-Canadian writer and artist. I've performed at many festivals and live events across the UK and beyond, solo and in collaboration with other writers, musicians and visual/digital artists. I have most recently written for the new Comma Press anthology Protest! Stories of Resistance, looking at working class suffragettes and forced feeding. My stories have featured on BBC Radio 4, in Short Fiction Journal, and on the literary mapping app LitNav, with poetry appearing in numerous anthologies, including the recent Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and disabled poets write back, the UK’s first anthology of poetry, essays, films and photography of its kind, from Nine Arches Press. My short story collection, Jebel Marra (Comma Press, 2015), was nominated for a number of national and international awards, and I am now working on my second collection, an audio and digital short story map of Hayling Island. See below for more on that.