It's been a strange few months but the first half of 2022 has had its merits
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It's been a wild while
... and now it's the middle of the year? Gosh!

Hi friends,

I haven't written a newsletter since I was on holiday in February. Oh how many things have occurred since then. A big change in our household and hearts is that we adopted a cat! Her name is Atlas and she is a loud-mouthed, dorky, sweetheart. If you're following me on any kind of social media you will have already seen a continuous stream of photos of her. She's truly angelic.
Funnily enough, 'Atlas' was top of my list for potential pet names... and she came with the name! How sweet is that? She's been living up to it, too, because for the past few weeks it really does feel that she's been holding up our world. When I had covid a few weeks ago the only thing that got me through was cat cuddles and ramen. In all honesty it was a pretty terrible time, and I was quite sick. Please keep taking care of yourselves and others.

In happier news, now that the brain fog is lifting a little I've been back in the swing of writing and creating. Some projects are already out in the world (see below) and others are on their way. It feels good to be making and connecting. What have you been working on lately? I'd love to hear.

While we're talking about the arts, Happy Election Day everyone. I'll be crossing my fingers and holding my breath today, thinking of Australia's future, the future of our natural world, the future of vulnerable people, of diversity, inclusion, creativity. 

Here's hoping it won't be another three months until I hop in your inbox again, but no promises. This year is going to throw any number of strange things our way, it seems!



P.S. My instant ramen packs of choice are Nissin Hokkaido Miso and Nissin Kyushu Black. Highly recommended for this chilly weather we're having, brrr.

A classic stitch up

In true Marina fashion, I whipped up a dress the evening before I had to wear it to an event. I got the material on discount because it had a small fault running through it, and I used up some bits and pieces from my sewing stash to bring it together (including some things my mum left me from her own craft box). It feels really good to be making things by hand when I have the time; it's a skill I almost let lapse a few years ago.

Getting to wear these items out and about is a bonus! I also made instant friends with someone else wearing a handmade outfit which is, in my opinion, one of the most fun ways to make friends.
A very fun first
I was thrilled to be in conversation with author Ellis Gunn (representing Matilda Bookshop) this week. It was my first time interviewing an author, and what a time it was! We discussed Ellis's recent memoir Rattled. Rattled is about the experience of surviving a stalker, but also about misogyny, systematic injustice, and the consequences of men’s behaviour throughout Ellis's life and the lives of women worldwide. The memoir has been described as nail-biting, as gripping as a thriller, candid, gorgeous, and lyrical. I personally read it in one sitting - my heart almost thumping out of my chest! I recommend this book wholeheartedly, and give all my thanks to Ellis and the audience for a fantastic evening. Keep your eyes peeled for more author events from Matilda's here.
Homesickness: a review
This week I published a piece in The Conversation discussing Janine Mikosza's new memoir Homesickness. Mikosza writes about home and displacement, identity fractures, and more while experiencing trauma. You'll have to read my review to get all the details, but as a bit of a spoiler, this book plays with the genre of trauma memoir, and memory, in such interesting ways. I can see it having an impact on future works and research. Lucky me getting to write about it!

Mikosza's use of floor plans and 'mapping' trauma in the book also inspired me to dip into my own memory of old homes, as you can see in this Instagram post. Let me know if you do the same, and let The Sharehouse Project know too.
Book heavy... and heavy books
Okay, so this newsletter is pretty book heavy so far. It's even more specifically trauma memoir heavy considering the content of both Rattled and Homesickness. I'm going to double down on that, and say that Hannah Gadsby's memoir Ten Steps to Nanette was also a brilliant read. Thanks Helen for the copy! Read my mini review here.

Speaking of mini reviews, I've been chatting about books a lot over on Instagram. Especially when I've really loved a book. Since this newsletter has been so memoir focused, here are some fantastic fiction books I've lugged about in my bag recently:
- My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- Loveland by Robert Lukins
- The Islands by Emily Brugman
Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens by Shankari Chandran
Friendship everywhere all at once
It's been a big few months for my best mate Edith and I - we went from getting matching tattoos from the geniuses at Sure Thing Tattoo (tatts pictured here!), to being co-authors on our first academic publication together, to writing a blog post and filming a reel together for Flinders Uni.

Please check out all of those links and make our hustle worth while, haha! So much work goes into our research but our friendship is the easiest thing in the world. Love ya, E!
Speaking of mates...
I have the best ones possible! Throughout being unwell, and facing Mother's Day (a day which is a lovely time to reflect but can also be difficult), I was surrounded by the most fantastic people. From deliveries of flowers and my favourite Portuguese tarts (tarts pictured here and flowers in the header image to this email) to homemade soup to hulking care packages of chocolate and tea, I'm one spoiled person. The phone calls, messages, and memes were also life savers. Thank you so much Lell, Edith, Belinda, Meg, Immi, Rosie, Molly, Emilie, Dawn, and many more. I am so lucky to know and love you.
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