• There is a charge for the eyeing of my scars workshop marginalised voices writing about pain

    New Workshop: There Is a Charge For the Eyeing Of My Scars: Marginalised Voices Writing About Pain

    In this workshop, we’ll reflect on and process the gaslighting, manipulation and abuse of marginalised stories being mined/stolen and shared.  We’ll explore questions including:  – What’s the appetite for our pain? Who is the audience? What’s trained their tastes until now?  – What’s the cost to us of writing about our pain and trauma? – How does our story fit into the wider conversations? Where is our value recognised (or not) in the world?  – How can we centre our joy when we’re only asked about our pain? – How can we write both pain and joy in a trauma-informed way? – Equipping for editing: how to handle cuts to…

  • Literature Wales and Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales Commission

    Literature Wales, in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, are pleased to announce the names of the writers commissioned following the second call-out for engaging literary content and projects for audiences. The second round of funding for Writer Commissions in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales was launched on 4 May. The focus for this round was health and wellbeing. Literature is frequently used therapeutically, as preventative, palliative, and curative medicine for some illnesses and disabilities. Cumulatively, potential outcomes of literature and creative writing contribute to improved well-being for individuals, our society, economy, and culture and are crucial to the vibrancy of our national cultural narrative.…

  • A desk with a lamp, laptop and tablet running Zoom meetings, a smart phone nearby.

    Occupied Country: Marginalised Bodies in Virtual and Physical Wales

    I’ve been pulled into lots of unwanted conversations lately; someone, usually a middle-class white person, speaks passionately about how difficult the lockdown is for them.  I’m afraid I’m out of patience with these comments already. I wonder if people like this have never had their movements or liberty constrained before. I don’t know what that’s like. Do they have any friends/family who aren’t white and/or wealthy and/or non-disabled?  Or if they do, perhaps they aren’t the kind of friend you can tell things. I’m not appeasing anyone who managed to ignore the feelings of marginalised folx around themselves up to this point. “I didn’t know” also means “I wasn’t listening”.  These conversations…

  • Neon rainbow against a dark wall papered with printed pages with the word love on them in handwriting.

    Self-Help for Queer Lockdown: Coping Without Community

    You were never only a mirror. But I caught glimpses of myself in you; warm slices of colour you handed to me each time we met. I was an unfolding thing then, furled, bent winged; now unbound. We mirrors are tended, precious breaths.  Did you notice them across the room and were caught off guard by the attraction that unfurled through your body?  Maybe your feelings for a friend grew until ‘the best friend I love’ became ‘the one I love best’ and a life together.  Perhaps the wonderings and images that threaded the margins of your dreams wove into a sense of self until you saw and named it…

  • Wire fence against a cloudy sky with sunset behind

    Edges: Coronavirus & Marginalisation

    Welcome to the margins. I’d hoped never to see you here – and I see many more arriving behind you. With vulnerable people still told to stay indoors for their protection, many are feeling worried about exactly which category they fall into. I’ve witnessed many people performing extravagant mental gymnastics to reassure themselves that guidelines don’t apply to ‘people like them’. Before lockdown began on March 23, many people saw themselves as capable adults like any others, not as ‘vulnerable’. But then the rules changed. That is something those of us on the margins know a lot about. I realise that back in March many people may not have known…

  • Grace sitting on a sofa with a typewriter. Text: Struggling at home? Lessons from my 6 years housebound

    Stuck At Home & Struggling? Tips & Tricks From My 6 Years of Being House Bound

    I never thought that the 6 years I spent house bound and the 1 year I spent bed bound were training me for home-working during a global pandemic, but here we are. I’ve lived a good life from home for many years. I built two international multi-award winning businesses from home. (However, I’m not recommending you try to do that right now. These are stressful, difficult times.) I’m sharing resources and experience here to support you in transitioning to a life lived within four walls. I believe in us and our possibilities, I believe we can make it through this. Onwards, together. Living well from home: 49 Things to Do…

  • Dear Grace Q & A: How Do I Handle New Year Pressure?

    This post was originally written in 2019 and is updated and shared here. Welcome 2020! New year, new you, right? Living your best life! #YOLO #blessed Except, maybe not. And if not, what then? I hear you on this question, let’s look deeper… A few months ago, I went to the stationers in a small market town where I see clients to buy a new journal (I chose turquoise and rose marbled paper cover, lined paper, gold gilded pages, if you were wondering)  It was then I first felt The 2020 Pressure™.  I saw a rack of gorgeously glittery, pretty, pink-teal-rose-gold notebooks and my excitement grew. Here, I would find a journal…

  • How do I cope with difficult people in my life during festive events? Dear Grace Q & A

    Dear Grace Q & A: How do I cope with difficult people in my life, during festive events?

    Dear Grace Q & A: How do I cope with difficult people in my life, during festive times?  Like relations at family events who ask invasive questions about my health/weight/relationships.  Or colleagues at the office party where there are social expectations to socialise in a certain, ablest, neurotypical way. Or when people start getting drunk and someone says something ablest and all the non-disabled people just look away from me (the only disabled person in the room).  I’m dreading it, help!  Dear Dreading-It,  Thank you for being brave enough to share your question in this column, I am sure you are not alone in dreading the holiday season when it…

  • 24 ways enjoy festive season if you are sick or struggling

    24 Ways to Enjoy the Festive Season if You are Sick or Struggling

    Well, the weather outside is frightful…so let’s make our own fun; accessible, gentle and compassionate. What are you hoping to give yourself this winter?  1. Make your own advent calendar; get little envelopes, print these ideas or write them out, stick one in each envelope and stick them to your wall with washi tape. Each day, enjoy a small winter warming enjoyment.  2. Make it easy for yourself and send your cards online via paperlesspost.com  3. Use your holiday wish list to ask for things you need for healing. Check out the medical gift registery for inspiration.  4. Do virtual volunteering. Can you send letters to children in hospice so…

  • Why I Gave Up Searching For ‘The One’

    Today I got on the yoga mat for the first time in just under a week. It felt so good. Why did I miss yoga? What it because I was travelling (London, Bath, Cardiff etc).  No, I took my yoga mat with me, stuffed in the back of my wheelchair and practiced each day.  I was off the mat because I am human; I have a highly busy day, miss one practice and then before I know it, it’s been 3 days or more.  I soon learn to live with achy shoulders, a tigh back, a tense head. Putting up with pain is something I am habituated towards, living as…

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