Sunday, 28 September 2014

Like A Rabbit in the Headlights

Do rabbits even freeze in headlights? Actually now I think about it, I'm pretty sure they bolt.

I am not frozen exactly but I have three weeks left of lectures and four essays are due but, alas, not yet written. The sheer amount that must be produced has me in a state of high anxiety. Several lecturers have empathised and told me that the work load on students now is far greater than when they studied. This is not reassuring. It just makes me want to bite. Or kick like a kangaroo with my strong bunny back legs.

Recreational writing, like recreational reading is a pleasurable pastime. Thesis driven essays about subjects you are not passionate about threaten my will to live. I would rather chew off my own arm than complete the three thousand words about International Conflict.

Creative writing is taking a back seat until the donkey work is done and dusted, which is tricky because...
I have three short stories forming in my head. They are taking up space,  they are vying for attention and getting quite loud. They do not like to be ignored and make their presence felt when I'm trying to string together another sentence about the conflict in Afghanistan. I am not convinced this is a good reason to ask for an extension or in the case of the IR/ Politics paper, perhaps one of those mental health passes. There is no place for the middle east in my  stories and no room for imagination in my assignment. The two are obviously mutually exclusive in the eyes of the academy. Perhaps this is what's wrong with politics or at the very least, the Labour Party.

As for the guest blogs on The Daily Blog, well lets face it. I am addicted. I'm a Blog-ict. That link should take you straight to my latest post or you can find it in the list to your right. It is titled "The Post Election Post-mortem is Giving me Post Party Depression."  It got lots of comments, which to me is like P. I want more. Almost before the comments have slowed I am planning my next. It is the instant validation of knowing that someone else has read my work. How spectacular. I don't even care if they hate it or disagree. They read it.
In other news my twitter followers have increased to 27. #winning
Follow me @kateinthebay 
(I need to know how to change my twitter name without loosing the 27, mainly business, that follow me)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Rabbiting On...

I have just added another story Tour of Duty and my latest guest blog for The Daily Blog,  Cultivating Tragedy: The Culture of WINZ to the list of pages on the right.
I have also received the spectacular news that I have had a short story accepted for the next edition of  Landfall. The story is called Baggage and it is from my second collection of short stories.
My first collection of short stories is called The Whore Next Door. The stories Georgie, Aimee, Lola and Eve are all from this collection. It consists of twenty-four stories about women working in the sex industry. While each story is independent they are all loosely threaded. This tenuous  connection replicates the  threads that bind the woman who work in different aspects of the sex industry. While they encounter the  same obstacles and discrimination they may never meet or their paths cross. Their stories are not woven together but instead are threaded like cultivated pearls from an estate sale. A beautiful but damaged choker that could disintegrate at any point.
Baggage is from my second collection. It is still in development. I will not post the story on this blog until it has appeared in the journal. I still treasure hard copy and pay homage to anyone willing to publish me in that form. I am trying to encourage people to engage in a medium you can rest a cup on, sniff and fall asleep with.  If we don't use it, we will loose it. Point and Shoot and The Tale Wagging the Dog are part of the same body of stories. The working title of this collection is The Fourth Wave. I chose the title and started working on the stories after I read an article on Facebook about the new 'fourth wave of feminism.'

 I am sceptical of the new wave the article referred to. The movement seems to be a social media movement. It certainly is not reflected in what  I  encounter in my daily life as a mature student on a university campus. What I encounter at Massey's Albany campus among the younger students is women who don't identify as feminists and a curriculum that no longer has women's studies.  Ironically the fourth wave post was  followed by another post form the Tumbler site Women Against Feminism. It showed a young woman holding a sign stating why she didn't need feminism.

It got me thinking about the state of feminism. Where is feminism now and how is it present in the social media / snap chat world? Where is feminism in my life, a widowed woman of forty five, and the daily lives of my friend's? Where is this 'fourth wave' and how can I catch it? If I look at my own claim to feminism in the mirror, what is really looking back?