The week that started 22nd June 2020

Drawing

I started a tree drawing (and painting) class. And for anyone who knows me pretty well, that’s like a made for me course. So, I’ve been sketching a lot. Yay!

dandelion seed sketch by LiLi
cherry tree and roses sketches by LiLi
siler birches

Writing

Attended an incredible panel: Rethinking ‘Diversity’: the future of the publishing pipeline and meeting the needs of writers of colour. I learned a lot, for example, about the Jhalak Prize, which celebrates books by British/British resident BAME writers, and Knights Of, inclusive children’s publisher.

There’s a lot in the media at the moment about black writers and writers of colour in general and publishing. Likely sparked by the research that underpinned that panel: Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente. You can read the executive summary and the full paper for free. Spread the Word has a rallying cry in its call to action.

https://twitter.com/gobrightly/status/1276258031974612997

The irony hypocrisy of Goldsmiths university supporting this research is not lost on me.

  • No black permanent members of staff in their art department
  • Not renewing contracts for 472 precarious academic staff when 75% of staff on fixed term contracts are BAME is not lost on me.
  • Sign the petition to make them accountable for their systemic racism

I spent 26 hours writing, so far, this month (1-28 June). WOW! #proud

Participated in Anthony Anaxagorou‘s workshop: Writing the Event. Anthony has excellent teaching skills and great workshops. Highly recommend.

Reading

So, I finished reading the Binti trilogy on Monday and started the Rosewater trilogy. Really enjoying it.

I think reading so much Windrush generation stuff was getting me down, maybe not the whole genre – I don’t know enough – but the books selected by the course I was doing were just a lot. Especially during lockdown and the increased focus on anti-blackness right now. It feels right and good to be reading afrofutures instead.

Black British film

Watched Babymother (1998) and Nice (1984) on BFI Player.

New words (to/for me)

  • shuck verb 1. remove the shucks from maize or shellfish, 2. INFORMAL cause (someone) to believe something that is not true; fool or tease
    • I learned this from my terrible handwriting, lol. No idea what I actually wrote, but what I appeared to write is apparently a word, so hurray for teaching myself things by accident.

Liberating Structures

Did a bunch of Liberating Structures things at work, including leading a sort of train the trainers session with other agile coaches. That was fun. One of my workmates described me as an expert to a colleague, and I had a lot of feelings. Gotta say, getting the recognition you deserve after years without it is a helluva thing.

The week that started 15th June 2020

Retreat Went on an online retreat this week, that replaced the Dharma, Body and Connection to Earth retreat at Gaia House that was cancelled due to the lockdown. Our theme was Decolonizing the mind and cultivating the causes of happiness, led by Anushka Fernandopulle and Bonnie Duran, with guest contribution from Elvina Charley. I’m so […]

The week that started 4th May 2020

tl;dr: Savouring for happiness, poetry (especially Mary Oliver’s), black speculative fiction and sci-fi, flowers upon flowers, drawing & learning the names of trees in German, being inspired and encouraged to draw by my workmates, tree geekery, short stories (esp. Tove Jansson’s), psychology of happiness (specifically The Science of Wellbeing, it’s amazing, do the free course) […]

The week that started 27th April 2020

Cheap stationery So, The Science of Wellbeing reminding me that stuff is inherently disappointing, despite what our biased intuitions tell us, helped me kick my expensive stationery cravings. So, I switched from Ryman’s and Paperchase to The Works. As a result, I learned about this innovation – paper you can write on underwater, and it […]