Year Reflections – Writing

In this reflection, I talk about my reflection’s fiction short listing, Envie Magazine, and my honours! Its been a great year of writing for me!

Dead Among Us

Dead Among Us is one of my most least-talked about projects but arguably, it is the one that has seen the most growth and development this year. It was shortlisted along with 10 other exicting new writers this year for the Penguin Random House Write It Fellowship. I received some formative feedback that can help shape the series (fantasy-permitting). Even though I did not enter the Final Round, I cleaned up and have some serious ideas moving forward for this novel. It also gave me a ton of motivation and validation regarding my fiction writing.

Thank you to alpha readers for helping giving feedback and supporting me!

Envie Magazine

Previously titled ‘Writing Community Newsletter’, ‘Envie: A Magazine for the Literary Curios’ has been an exciting new opportunity to be able to contribute to that has helped focus my love of writing and also help grow my lovely network of writers. With 6 Articles contributed this year, it has also been a good way to help me reflect on my own craft. My articles focus more on representation, my inner social worker is showing. I am loving being a part of a writing community effort that is designed to help and support fellow writers on twitter!

Thank you to the rest of the staff for being wonderful and providing very many fantastic reads.

Honours – Social Work Student’s Views Towards Same-sex parenting

After completing the initial proposal to my university’s ethics committee, I am now awaiting on my amendments to be accepted before diving into releasing my survey to Australian social work students. Its been an interesting time and my supervisors have been great sources of supports in revising and creating a clear direction for this research. The first semester of 2020 I will be writing the literature review component while also undertaking research and coding of the data that will be collected.

Having such a strong start is making me excited for the future of this research project, and looking forward to publishing into a social work/LGBTQIA+ related journal.

Summary of project at this point: We are investigating the opinions, attitudes, beliefs and views of social work students (in Australia) towards same-sex parenting through a anonymous qualitative survey. Social work students will be the new work force in the coming years and will essentially be encountering same-sex families on the front line. It is crucial to understand what their views are to see if we as a profession are able to meet social work’s social justice paradigm when working with these families.


Thank you for reading this post! Happy New Year! I will be posting my goals post in the coming week! You’ll notice these three only include on fiction piece, which is something I would like to work on moving forward with Christosfloratos.com and Christoast’s Thoughts.

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!

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