Round Up: Not Drowning, But Waving

 The world has turned and I am still finding a balance. 

The world has turned. I am finding a balance.
The world has turned, and I’m not sure what balance is.
It has been a long year since I last updated here, I am notoriously terrible for keeping this up. Things happen in avalanche, and I am too overwhelmed to find words for it, good and bad piled on top of my head until there is hardly space enough to breathe. Well, now I have the space to breathe, and lots of terrible and wonderful things to brush off of my chest. 
Here is everything I have not said: last year, I had a painful break up from someone I loved very deeply, and shortly after, my body stopped working. All of my chronic health issues flared up at once, some presenting with new and frightening symptoms. I spent nights crying in A&E, several months only leaving the house to go to the hospital, and much of my time in too much pain to go any further than the sofa. It was, by all accounts, one of the worst periods of my life. It lasted through Christmas and several months into this year, before I was properly diagnosed and treated. I have several shiny and new diagnoses, several more pills to take, and a brand new walking stick I haven’t been without for quite some time. (Her name is Tabitha, she lights up, I adore her.)
It was an incredibly bleak time to exist in my body. 
It was also, oddly, one of the most productive and successful times in my entire writing career. 
It’s a cliché, I think, to say things like ‘writing saved my life.’ But when the voice of Mary Oliver who lives in my head asks – “does this save my life, a little?” I cannot do anything but say yes. 
Yes, this saves my life a little. Perhaps even a lot. 
Some things that I have written or published in that time (full update here): a short story about disability and the joy of movement for Half Mystic; a lyrical, fairy tale inspired flashfic about queer intimacy and banshees for delicate friend; a story about a disabled trans girl trying to save the world one daisy at a time for Arachne Press’s solstice shorts collection – one of my dream pubs, which I’ve been staring at longingly for years now; a possibly blasphemous poem that named eve the first transwoman for warning lines; a poem about the mythic bitch herself, Heather Chandler for drunk monkeys (another dream pub), a spring breakers inspired piece for Pink Plastic Press’s Book of the Korinethians, several Buffy the Vampire Slayer poems for The Winnow, and finally a little article in Gay Times about London Pride and the queer affirmation of cutting all your hair off and being recognised by others for what you are. 
The fact that this is non-exhaustive is incredible to me. The fact that there are things I can’t discuss yet is truly wild. I have signed three contracts for books (two small, one huge) since we last spoke. I can’t believe this is my life. 
My body is closer to on the mend now than it has been in a while, and I hope that means I can start moving forward with my real life more. I want to get out and breathe the night air, I want to hold my friend’s bodies close and dance the way we used to, I want to eat good food and drink cheap drinks and be in a body without concern for consequence. But that takes time. That takes ease, and, as a vulnerable person in a time of continued sickness, that also takes the considerateness of others, which I cannot guarantee. 
But even when I am not living, I am writing, and that’s almost as good. 

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