Busy, busy, busy.
It’s coming up on a year since the knock to my health – the one that laid me out for a huge chunk of time, right into the early months of 2013. That’s a strange thought. I am very glad to be out of the woods, back on the horse, and all the other proverbial things. It’s hard not to feel like I’m still desperately playing catch-up. But even if that is what I’m doing, I think it’s gone pretty well so far. I’m living primarily in London again, which feels like a smart move – partway between Oxford and Brighton, my old home and my ‘adopted’ home, so I’m doing less of the suitcase-nomad thing.
I’m getting back onto the poetry performance circuit – a couple of open mic performances, some poems as part of Lashings sets, and (most excitingly) not only the fundraiser for Brighton’s first Trans Pride, but on the stage at Trans Pride itself. I’m heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe later this month, and I’m hoping to do some poetry sets as well as being in the Lashings show (follow it on @lashingsofgb and #FannyWhittington!). Oh, and then there’s the very exciting event depicted in the poster to the right – Bifröst! I’m super stoked to be performing at the cabaret night put on by the Queer Fandom track at Nine Worlds. And just look at that beautiful poster – all credit to Tori Truslow, track organiser.
Staying on the topic of Nine Worlds, I’ll be speaking at the convention proper as well as performing in the queer cabaret – I’m delivering a paper about Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World as part of the SF&F Academia track (Saturday, 10:00-10:30, Royal C&D), and participating in the ‘Better History = Better Fantasy: Writing Outside the Binary’ panel on the Queer Fandom track (Sunday, 10:00-11:15, Britannia).
I haven’t yet decided on all the panels and events I’ll be attending: it’s absolutely packed with amazing stuff, and I’m sure no matter what I choose I’ll be missing out on some brilliant discussions. The Nine Worlds programme pretty much defines ’embarrassment of riches’.
And after a little bit of worrying about whether I’ll still look like a Serious Academic or not, I’ve decided, to hell with it, I’m also going to cosplay. As a villain. From the My Little Pony reboot. Mostly because I love green-and-black outfits, and villainy – but also because damn it, artefacts of popular media and media aimed at children are interesting and just as worthy of critical engagement as more traditional/literary texts, and there’s nothing wrong with dressing up. (I’m taking inspiration from the brilliant Marta Wasik, who at Roles 2013 delivered her paper “Fairy-Tale Feminists? Interrogating the contemporary representation of girlhood though the figure of the Disney Princess” while wearing a glittery tiara.) So I’ll be spending Saturday looking like a humanoid approximation of this creature on the left. I need to get hold of some fangs.
What else has been going on? Well, speaking at the last Transpose (about two crypto-queer historical figures) went very well – in fact, it was on the strength of that talk that I was booked at Nine Worlds. I’m eagerly awaiting the next Transpose, where – if you’re very lucky – you may get to hear a new fairytale or two. The rest is pretty quotidian stuff – settling in to my new place, catching up with old friends, doing various things for my health, and so on. And as always there’s the thinking and writing – I’ve got quite a few half-written blog posts waiting to surface, and bits and pieces of poetry that are slowly taking shape. I’m looking forward to getting more things finished.