I was going to start this newsletter with a guide to apocalypse witching, whatever that is, but if I could write the things I am supposed to write when I am supposed to write them, I’d have a completely different career and probably more than eighty bucks in my bank account.
Instead, here’s just me talking about myself. If you would prefer I spent less time talking about myself, you should just unsubscribe now. You are in the wrong place. Why did you even subscribe at all? Go away, please.
So here’s some stuff about writing and places and posture:
I change preferred writing venues constantly. You might see it as inconsistent; I see it as adaptable.
When I first started writing properly I was living two hours away from work, so my writing desk was a vinyl seat on a swaying train. Laptop perched on my knees, tilted just so that my seat-mate couldn't see what I was typing. Here I wrote what would later become Psynode, ‘Clara’s’, ‘The Walking Thing’, ‘The Structure’, and a bunch of other stories that never saw light beyond the spill of sun into an early-morning or late-afternoon intercity train carriage.
Then, cafes. See, this was when I had money - I had a cushy office job and 55k per annum so I’d go to cafes and buy latte after latte and expensive sweet potato fries and gluten-free burgers and I’d sit in the corner and type on and off all day. Even when I quit the lower-middle-class job, moved to Melbourne, and became a low-to-middle-earning Dominatrix (I fucking love the job, but I’m fat and bonkers and not exactly everyone’s cup of tea) I’d still go to the cafe to write, even though I couldn’t really afford it. While waitstaff bustled and steam handles screamed, I wrote Welcome To Orphancorp and the updated Psynode, and ‘Atavistacular’, ‘The Beasts and the Birthday’, and ‘Who’s A Good Boy.’
But one day I went to a cafe and I couldn’t fucking pay attention, so for the first time ever I started to write at home. I pushed an office chair up to the corner of the dining table closest to the back door so I could watch my cats romp and eat grass in the tiny backyard when my eyes inevitably slid to the left as I thought about the right word to use. Here I wrote Money For Something, and ‘The Husband in Your Head’, ‘Invisible, Until’, and a novella called The Forgetting Navigations that I hope you get to see one day.
There are outliers. I wrote half of ‘Apocalypse Babe’ in a car parked in Newcastle as I waited to go on stage to read it at the NYWF. I wrote ‘The Rainmaker Goddess, Hallowed Shaz’ stretched out on a couch in a gloomy New Orleans shotgun house as the rain pitter-pattered on the windows and my guts squeaked and groaned (the USA gives me gas, alright?) I wrote a bunch of Prisoncorp in a dorm-room in Kansas, air-con cranked because in high June in Lawrence it never dips below 30 degrees celsius and I’d rubbed holes in my thighs with friction and sweat. I wrote a third of a book called Millennia (that I’ve since started over) while alone for kilometres for two weeks on a farm/vineyard. I was typing a make-out scene in a river when it began to snow, and I rushed outside ‘cause I’d never seen snow falling before, and when I was done playing it was an hour before the exhilaration wore off and I could sit down to write again.
Now, on lockdown with a bad neck and a bitching case of sciatica, I’m on my big, black leather couch, on my back: head propped up by pillows, laptop under a cushion, wrapped in a blanket and occasionally perched on by a timid black-and-white cat named Carl. Why did I spend money on a desk? Episodes of Forensic Files play in the background, barely audible, so I feel less alone. The electric hum of the TV fills the room like a friend. Company. Standing hurts, sitting hurts, laying hurts less. I do what I can to ease the pain and make the words come, keeping the two in balance. Writing can wreck your body if you let it, and I have.
Wherever I might find the time, and a place to perch, I’m going to write. I’m going to find the way that my body fits best, the way that my mind can make it work. Adapt, then adapt again. Maybe in a year I’ll be even more prone, somehow. Under the house, in the dirt, typing one-handed in the dark.