Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life
The Writing Life
Me, FD and The Baby-sitters Club
Disabled People of Colour are Erased from the Narrative
The year is 2018:
<Jumble of words; sounds of mumbling>
Me, replying from across the large oak table, ‘Yes, at Digital Writers Festival.’
<laughter erupting> ‘We just said that!’ they answered back and gave me a what’s-wrong-with-you look.
‘Sorry, I can’t hear well,’ I replied in a sheepish tone, and pointed to one of my ears.
My eyes panned the cavernous lobby with high ceiling.
High ceiling, lots of echoing, I could barely hear.
It's God's Will
Whenever a catastrophe happens, we all try to find ways to explain its occurrence to ease our mind and help us accept drastic consequences. My sudden loss of vision during my trip to Vietnam shocked people and inevitably I became a target for many quirky comments and advice.
My sister and brother showed their concern by bombarding me with their wisdom. “You always do too much. You never rest, so your body just collapsed.”
“I went to the gym three times a week. I was very fit before this happened.”
Erasing the Scar
“Why do you have a scar?”
She leaned forward, prodding my stomach.
It wasn’t the first time my daughter had asked about my shape or the myriad ridges etched upon the skin by the surgeon’s scalpel. She would repeatedly insist on answers, needing to know her mother. There was a presumptuousness to her questioning and touch that I loved.
Like before, I told her the story of my birth, the deformities across my digestive system and the ongoing impact.
Staying Positive While Staying at Home
My name is Anat Bigos. I had a traumatic car accident while driving in 2004, resulting in an Acquired Brain Injury. Prior to this, I finished my double degree studies at Monash Uni in Arts/Business (marketing) and I was looking forward to my future plans. I’d spent a year as an exchange student in Chile and I really enjoyed travelling around the world.
I still speak a few languages and luckily, this part of my brain was not overly affected.
“I feel sad… like the trees,” my 2-year-old says to me, looking mournfully out the window into another gusty cold winter’s day, clouds looming overhead, threatening rain.
“Why do the trees feel sad, honey?” I ask. “Don't know. They just sad” she replies.
“Maybe they need us to go out there and give them a hug, hey? People don't hug trees enough. Let’s put our jumpers on and go give one a quick cuddle before the rain. Come on, quick, quick, they are waiting!”
The 2020 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing has been awarded to 27 year-old Anith Mukherjee for his story ‘I Am Full Of Love’.
To celebrate International Day of People with Disability 2020, we've partnered with the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) in delivering an online program showcasing the diverse talents and abilities of people with disability in the community. Creative Control is an accessible online program of events featuring visual art, writing, theatre and film experiences over one week from 3-10 December.
Alexandra O’Sullivan writes fiction, creative non-fiction, articles and reviews. Her work has appeared in publications such as ‘Kill Your Darlings’, ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ and ‘Meanjin’. She has been shortlisted for several awards including the Newcastle Short Story Award and the Profane Non-fiction Prize. She has received Highly Commended mentions in the Horne Prize for Creative Non-fiction and the Feminartsy Fiction Prize.