Year Reflections – Poetry

This year has provided an exciting opportunity to be able to share my writing at a official and published capacity. This is the first of my year reflections post, specifically focusing on me thinking about my poetry this year!

Autumn, That Bastard

‘Autumn, That Bastard’ is my first poetry collection that I have publicly shared. This has been a great opportunity to show and have my poetry be read by anyone at anytime. Not all my poetry will be posted like this, but I wanted something that could be read without having to pay because, like my last poem ‘Stagnation’ hints, ‘fuck capitalism.’

Some  notes about the poems:

  • Authenticity – this poem felt like a great introduction to how I feel about stepping into the world of pseudo-published writing. The structure is also different enough from typical poems to generate initial curiosity into the collection.
  • Leviticus – I keep going back to this poem as one of my favourite poems out of this collection. The last line “No questions? No Question.” is something so powerful that I am so happy I produced. 
  • When Winter is expected – Lily’s death is something that I oddly still think about, even though she was a dog. That sentiment of ‘she is more than just a dog’ resonates throughout the poem, as she was an unforgettable part of my life and the least I could do was immortalise her in this poem.
  • Grey House – This poem originally started as a simple song I tried to write in my early learnings of the Saxophone when I was very young. The points of high I capture in the poem (moving to a new apartment) and the points of low (realising it was for the worst) came from me testing the combination of high and low notes.
  • The Apocalypse Cometh – This poem was written way before I even knew who Greta Thunberg was but now that I am aware of so much more regarding climate politics, to the point I think about the state of our world ecologically every day, this poem only strengthens the warnings that our planet is vulnerable.

Check out all the poems here!

Bubbles

Bubbles was a great collection to help support an organisation I very much appreciated. It was interesting centralising six poems over theme that I did not set. This collection, unlike ‘Autumn, That Bastard’, is exclusively available for those who contributed to my fundraising efforts this year as an incentive and thank you in supporting my efforts.

I felt creating a publication for it was very rewarding but also was a big time commitment I did not expect. Dabbling my foot into this design area has given be a better understanding of what I should be doing in future self-publishing endeavours if I choose that route. If I do not end up doing this, it will at least provide a lot of appreciation of how much it must take for an indie author!

Other Poetry Dabbles:

While not posted, I did work on some other poetry not a part of these two collections. These usually were inspired by some worldly event. It let me reflect on how and when I actually start to write poetry – what my drive is and where I am most likely to come up with poetic prose. Not much of this was at home, in fact, a lot of poetry sprung to me when I was on the go or doing something. I found my poetry routine, of sorts, and doing poetry outside these collections reinforced that this art is something I can work on but also isn’t something to be forced.

However, this is a different with my fiction writing where I take a more structured approach, which was very evident in how I prepared for the Write It Fellowship. More about this on my next blog post, reflecting on my other writing endeavours!

Toast’s Update – Shortlisted, Fundraiser and Articles!

Hi Friends, a few cool new things happening in the next month or so!

  • I’ve just been shortlisted for Penguin Random House Write It fellowship!!! I am submitting the full manuscript on the 20th of May! A big few weeks of writing and editing ahead. I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity!
  • From 23rd to the 26th of May, I will be doing a fundraiser called ‘Pen2Paper’ for Story factory where I will be raising $300 to help students gain access to the agency’s creative writing workshops! Support me here!
    I also have been interviewed by Arnold B. Spencer. It was great time and he asked some really interesting question. I talk about my poetry, Dungeons and Dragons and why I drink water while I write!
  • Autumn, That Bastard is almost complete! However, due to the intense editing I am doing both for the manuscript and university, I will be delaying the next few poems until end of May/beginning of April. Grey House will be released next week with an updated release schedule.
  • I have contributed and created an article about Writing Queer characters in the Writing Community Newsletter! Check it out here and subscribe to it!
  • I have just finished and sent off my article for D.I.R.G.Ezine. The zine will be ready for publication in the coming months so stay tuned!

Thank you to all of those who have kept up and been engaged with me throughout this time! May will be a slower month for content in terms of blog posts, but many big things are happening!

Stay awesome!

Deity – What the Heck am I Rambling About? #8

Today we breakdown ‘Deity’, the 8th poem of the Autumn, That Bastard poetry collection. ‘Deity’ ponders not ‘who made the universe’ but rather, ‘who made me’. This is poem is in the Autumn that is the construction of my beliefs, values and my spiritual identity.

You can find Deity here before moving on!

Before I delve further into what I am rambling about, I have recently signed up for a fundraiser where I will will be writing 6 poems over a writing filled weekend to help get young people who are disadvantaged get into creative writing workshops! Donations of $15 will get you a PDF version of the 6 poems as a thank you!

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/christoast

But Onto Deity!

In my Author’s Comments section, I talk about how these religions have moulded and constructed my values. However, in here, to continue with the theme of different interpretations of the same poem (as mentioned in ‘There, We’re Whispers’), I am actually using the deities named as representations of events and figures in my life.

“Home was only around when he showed his radiant face.”

The allusion I reference, to the compliment of the face and the reference to Cronulla is my boyfriend. Where all the trains meet is allusion to Central/City stations where me and my boyfriend have tended to meet up at. I liken it to God (shout out to Ariana Grande who does something similar with ‘God is a woman’) as God has been a consistent influence in my life.

“I found Buddha once in the closet of my mind.”

This is a reference to developing calmness to override instinct in my daily interaction. I have become more inclined and reflective in daily interactions since, and many of the typical values expected of Buddhism I have grown to appreciate.

“My teeth were hot and I was sick of faded rainbows.”

The comment about Vishnu and Hinduism, is a comment on polytheism which is an allusion to me emerging on the gay scene and experiencing the community. The faded rainbows imagery metaphorically represents the transition of acceptance from straight to queer.

“In a field scorn of ignorance; that White powdered most.”

In honesty, I have never considered adopting any other spiritual belief apart from my current view point, which is kind of agnostic. I have critiqued how western society (‘White’) has been so exclusionary towards Islam. The broken encore is a reference to how I will try to remain an ally for religious freedom, but how western society has probably heard my arguments before and engaged in this debate numerous times.

Are there any lines that piqued your interest? Let me know on my social media or in the comments below!

Other poems of the collection:

The Penelope Complex
There, We’re Whispers
Leviticus

D.I.R.G.Ezine – Fanzine and Kickstarter I am now a part of!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reigndragon/dirgezine

Exciting news! I am now a part of a kickstarter for a fanzine about Diversity in Role-Playing Game Experiences (D.I.R.G.Ezine)!

The premise is that Role-playing games (such as DnD) have a fair portion of the community that is rather underrepresented in the hobby. The fanzine is aimed at showing off the talents of the different artists, writers and members of the diverse RPG community.

I am excited to be a part of such an opportunity to allow a hobby that I love to grow in a more inclusive way! I will be writing an article about the representation of gender and sexuality in the hobby, as both a game master and as a player.

The release is scheduled for July/August 2019.

If you would like to back the kickstarter or find out more about it, you can find a link to it here!