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Any excuse to buy stationery
Hello friends,

How quickly the past few months have slipped by! I thought I wrote a newsletter a month ago and was astonished to find it has been three months. Wild. It likely has something to do with the fact that I'm in late-stage PhD land and time doesn't feel quite real. If you've tried to have a conversation with me recently you'll know that my brain is 90% thesis right now, and the rest is filled with worry that I'm not getting enough vitamins or thoughts about cute stationery I could buy to induce a feeling of productivity.

Luckily for me I got a sunshine-y morning in the city this week with my sister to boost my vitamin D (which was, in fact, low) and to visit my poem which had been painted on the streets of Adelaide by the amazing Raining Poetry team. I also had a blast reading some of my work at their launch last month in the company of some incredible poets and creatives. Thank you so much to those of you who came along! If you'd like to read the full poem it is in the caption to this post. You can also read the other poems from this year's Raining Poetry in Adelaide and see where to find them 'in real life' (although be quick - they're starting to fade away!). We also had a stroll in the botanic gardens which was healing for the soul - shards of spring light making themselves known by small heats on our necks - and I snapped the header image of this newsletter in one of the lovely greenhouses.
Double-luckily for me this week I also got to swing past Officeworks and satiate my new stationery cravings as I prepare for the final drafting of my memoir which I have written as part of the PhD. I'll be heading off on a week-long writing 'retreat' (let's be honest, I'm going to be a desk gremlin and barely fit for human company) which I'll share about when I'm home. Trust that I have a plan for the myriad bright post-it-notes -  you'll have to hear the incredibly exciting (ha) details afterwards.
While my brain might seem to be stuck on a thesis-related loop to the exclusion of most other things right now, I have had a lovely few months for many reasons. I'll detail some of them below. I'd also love to hear how you're going - what creative projects are you undertaking? Or, like me, is a particular project dominating your thoughts?

I can't wait to hear all about it.


Stepping into vulnerability

In mid-July the wonderful Archer Magazine published an essay I wrote titled 'Compulsory heterosexuality and the healing power of queer historical fiction'. You might remember how much I loved Hannah Kent's novel Devotion when I read it last year. In the essay I describe how reading it sparked memories of my own teenage devotions and helped me process feelings I thought I'd long buried. Although it was a powerful piece to write it felt very vulnerable to share. I was blown away by comments from friends and loved ones, though, and it made it all the easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope to write more work like this soon.
Secret reading

Okay, so my reading isn't actually secret at all, but I have been totally lax when it comes to posting reviews or updates on Instagram as I usually do. It's a shame because I've read some amazing books in the past few months. Here are a few I've finally got around to reading, enjoyed, and am now finally getting around to sharing!
-  Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down (devastating, amazing)
- Salt and Skin by Eliza Henry-Jones (atmospheric, witchy)
- Tides by Sara Freeman (evocative, mysterious)
- Pure Colour by Sheila Heti (strange, moreish)
An aside: I read Pure Colour for a new book club I'm now running with my fabulous colleague and pal, Georgia. If you're in the market for aa cosy and chatty book club check out the Red Door Book Club.
Now we're cooking
I finally made a time to spend a full day with my niece (and big sister!) to just hang out. We cooked fried rice together, made choc-chip cookies, and then did some collage/scrapbooking. It was very wholesome and reminded me to create just for creativity's sake. On the totally opposite note, it also reinvigorated my energies for a graphic memoir project I had previously set aside. It felt good to flex multi-modal muscles again. Keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future! And go make time to tear some paper and add some sparkles. It's healing as heck.
Home corner
Since I've become something of a homebody in the past few months and have become obsessed with keeping a our rental both funky and cosy, I thought I'd occasionally share some of the things I've been sprucing up the place with. Mostly I just wanted to have a bit of a brag about this art I snagged for $16 at the opshop. It immediately brightened up our office and it just makes me happy when I look at it. I also got crafty with some dining chairs we found on the side of the road, but I'll share some snaps of those next time.
Small acts of kindness
In a time when I've been a frazzled version of myself, small acts of kindness from friends, loved ones, and even strangers have been worth their weight in gold. A few weeks ago I found a cosy velvet armchair for sale secondhand and said 'yes' to purchasing it before thinking through the 'getting it home' part. My sister immediately came to my rescue and we ended up having the best time lugging it about (okay, the lugging wasn't so fun, but having lunch at IKEA to celebrate a cool marketplace find was). Then a week or so ago I complimented a customer's handmade wallet (made from a repurposed Bonsoy box, how cool?) and he returned the next day to drop one off for me. I was blown away by how thoughtful that was! The act of kindness which recently struck me the most, though, was on the 6th anniversary of my mum's death. Lovely Molly gifted me a bloom from her garden and it sat, bright and lucid, in my home for days afterwards. It reminded me of love past, present, and future and of new growth. It also got me thinking about how the smallest acts can make the biggest impact. I'd love to hear about a kindness someone did for you recently which had a big impact - so shoot me a reply to this email and let me know! Or, if you were the one bestowing kindness, I'd love to hear that too.
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