My Summer Love – Poem to Support Bushfire Relief

My Summer Love‘ is a poem in response to the Australian Bushfires. If you have donated to support Bushfire relief, send me your evidence and details to receive this poem!

Australia is currently suffering the worst bushfire season in recorded history. 15 million hectares of land have been ruined, a conservative number of 1 billion animals have perished and 1000s of homes destroyed and dozens of lives lost to these flames.

These places need your support. If you can, please consider donating at these, or any other Australian Bushfire service, to help support people in need through this humanitarian crisis.

This is not an exhaustive list, but these websites show you different places you could donate to:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/bushfire-relief-how-you-can-help-those-in-need/news-story/a0476ac3538b8c373f281ea6be204421

https://help.givenow.com.au/hc/en-us/articles/360001315355-How-you-can-help-Donate-to-2020-Australian-bushfire-relief-efforts

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-bushfires-donate-2020-1

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/here-s-where-to-shop-to-help-bushfire-victims-20200107-p53pfo.html

https://www.homestolove.com.au/nsw-bushfires-donate-20869

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/12/how-to-donate-bush-fire/

If you have donated to the Australian Bushfire, one of these links or others, send me evidence such as receipts/proof of donation through the form below and I will send you copy a of a poem I have worked on, called ‘My Summer Love’ which is written in response to the current bushfires.

Please fill out all the boxes below. I will respond back to you with an email you can send the evidence (for the purposes of sending attachments). If email is not your preferred mode of communication, you can also provide your twitter in the text box.

Alternatively, you can contact me on Twitter or Facebook (below) and I will respond to a link with the poem when you have shown me receipts/evidence! This is probably the faster way of going about this process!

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!

Bubbles Update Blog (And Happy Holidays from Christoast!)

Tis the season… to get an update on a poetry collection!

Originally scheduled to release this weekend, ‘Stagnation’ the concluding poem of the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ Poetry Collection and my commitment to writing an article for Envie took some time cleaning up the publication! However, it is almost complete and will be released on the 27th of December for everyone who donated to the ‘Pen to Paper’ Challenge and for everyone who donated to Extra Life 24 Hour Fundraiser !

If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can find out more information about Bubbles here!

tl;dr, the collection will only be available during fundraiser events where I am raising money for an NGO-Orginisation or for purposes of social movements. If 2019 is any track record, this will be possibly twice a year! Keep up to date with my publications and events on my social medias here:

It has been an amazing year and I have loved keeping this blog up and running! Thank you to everyone and have a some happy holidays! I hope you enjoy celebrating this time with people that mean a lot to you!

Near future:

  • Two more blog posts by the end of the year. The first will be to talk about Bubbles when it is released and the second one will be a reflection on the year in terms of writing (inc. Autumn, That Bastard and other projects) for this blog/website.
  • In the early new year, expect an update post about future plans for the website and my own projects.

See you soon!

Stagnation

Website Version Here

By Christos Floratos

It is that time, again.

To wait for it to all end.

This waiting is a crux –

A crutch and a lux,

Spread thin over the fortnight’s influx.

 

This money system has left me bitter,

A tea that has long overstayed.

Corrupted green that has mixed with the soil,

Auburn turns black to brown, to a prodded boil,

Where the honey at the end would always spoil.

 

I am curious to their appraisals,

That my life is through a proverbial spring.

I may have all the bricks lined on the frontier,

But I confess, it is not yet veneer.

Stagnation has taken my masonry’s finest, oh dear.

 

It is all an arbitrary collection of bricks and stones,

For Autumn and Spring don’t exist.

It is the eternal summers and winters I chase.

For even though those bricks are lined, houses are placed

No residence could save me from ash encase.

 

No, I am most definitely in the fall.

Yet defiantly, death and dying is not what I feel.

I am warmed by the sun’s rays and adore the hearth.

Though daises are no longer pushing a girth,

This uncertainty is what lulls me to the earth.

 

I don’t dread Autumn, for it is going,

But because I know it will arrive again.

White horse with black hooves trampling the ground

And there is discovery in it yet against the sound.

For waiting has christened my crown.

 

Nothingness has become my favourite companion.

It is they, that lonesome path to permanence.

At the end nought could be done to amend

Except for you, reader, who has provided an ear on lend.

Perhaps the wait will be indefinite – these words need to be tend.

 

Autumn will be that bastard.

And we will never be through.

We will remain along this cursed line

These cheap words and rhymes, they will be just fine.

These horrible thoughts will be paid through the halt of a lifeline.

© Christos Floratos 2019

Stagnation – Sneak Peek

The concluding poem for the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ Poetry Collection comes out this Friday!

Stagnation, like the wait/hiatus from the penultimate poem, is meant to capture the feelings of indefinite waiting and down trodden celebrations.

The Apocalypse Cometh

By Christos Floratos

Some say the world

Will let out its last whimper

In a swirl of blaze and frost.

 

But I know better than some.

For I was young when I saw it come.

The lightning struck and struck,

And then some.

A week where it spiked

A month of humidity’s fight.

A year of reason’s most gallows.

                             A love child of melted ice and Australia’s burn

Against those olden-minds’ saying, most hollow:

“But it’s too chilli!”, would encourage a churn

 

Don’t you understand the cold?

The wrath of the blizzard is

just the warmth of hell

seeping through the oil-cracks in the earth

and condensing in the smog above.

 

The warning signs shocked you but

The tremors will rock you to

Your feet, your soles, your souls.

Waves of polyester swamp our beaches

And deep- beyond blue Mariana -are

remanets of Mickey, Cola and your groceries.

 

 

The old will give one more hazardous cough

and our world will be untold.

 

For

We’ve had our last summer

And Autumn’s killed its last tree.

Winter will be the mistress after the affair

And Spring will surely forget us.

 

After we are gone,

The worms will not remember their banquet on us

              For even they will die soon after their feast and celebration.

Ash shall not be gentle reminders on the mantle

              For we shall break down to our bare atoms.

 

For those preachers of old,

The Apocalypse Cometh

-not one of undead, technology or

some forsworn rapture –

But a carrion, inhibited by us.

A fever on the earth, calmed, cared and chilled by oil flames.


 ©  Christos Floratos 2019

Sneak Peek: The Apocalypse Cometh

The Penultimate Poem of the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ Poetry Collection. What do you imagine when you think of the end of the world? This poem is a rejection of some traditional concepts of the Apocalypse.

Full Poem is Out This Friday!

Grey House (Poem)

Website Version

Christos Floratos

 

Mommy asked me what I thought

of the Grey House.

So tall. Was all ours. Spring was a few seconds away.

Earth to sky. You could even see the clouds pass on by.

Mommy smiled when I jumped in glee.

 

Mommy asked me where the sky ended.

Why, at the top of our Grey House, of course!

And that’s where we went.

Right to the top, gazing where fans swirled, and birds lost all their feathers.

Mommy laughed when I said mine was what the light touched.

 

But the darkness was Mom’s own.

She had raged warfare before but nothing as

the campaign she waged on the phone.

There were many battles lost and Mom neither

 

won that war. The damned operators she wrestled.

The grey hut was starting to shamble

and the darkness of Mom’s words transfixed

themselves with the light bulbs,

and those showers thereafter returned the childhood achoos.

 

I was reprimanded for being late at school,

But mother was bedridden. What was I to do?

Set out – almost barefoot. Along my journey

on the cigarette path, I met Crystal, Molly,

was tracked by a Dragon and became BFs with Mary Jane.

 

I had to leave that woman when I came of age.

For she said we’d be home by autumn’s end.

But there I sat in

an apartment that made squalor shiver,

and a boyfriend here, and over there.

 

She cried when my departure loomed overhead.

She was neither the executioner nor the criminal

but the wife of the bread-thief.

I was the void between Venus and Mars,

Water and a pot-plant balcony garden constituted my celestial body.

 

That woman, her promise of a time yonder our

dilapidated apartment…

was a dream of hollow mines and sore minds.

Maybe I will return to her; she was my parent, after all.

This was an exodus much sooner than expected.

 

© Christos Floratos 2019

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!