42 hours and 45 minutes of writing so far in July. Way to go LiLi! Plant nerdery achieved to new heights this week. And I reconnected with my love of sketching plants whilst hanging out with fellow enthusiasts, exploring botanical colonialism and queer ecology. What a week, basically. And now Black Botanists’ Week 2021 is starting!
Also, I had this reflection: Romantic/sexual relationships are just one dish in the buffet of life. I don’t expect them to make me happy. I don’t expect them full stop. Maybe they’ll be present, maybe not. And I can be happy without them. There are plenty of other dishes available.
Went to How to Find Love by The School of Life, and it was brilliant. A takeaway, to accept and embrace my imperfections. Explicitly befriend my inner loser, with the assurance that we all have one and that’s what makes us human. I found this so affirming.
Also, fully vaxxed now, and feel so thankful for that. Not actually changing my behaviour – still staying home for the most part, except for walking alone/with household and occasionally meeting folks outside & distanced.
Coming up: Wed, 11 August, 7pm – 8.30pm UK time
Join me for a free online nature writing workshop I’m co-leading. It’s part of my This Is Our Place residency, created by the London Wildlife Trust and Spread the Word, both incredibly supportive and important organisations. Maybe I’ll see you at workshops by the other writers-in-residence too?
How I’m getting on with my writing
So, I have an application for a writing development award and a submission to a journal that I’m working on, and I’ve been writing away furiously. Wait, not furiously, joyously, energetically, enthusiastically!
Some numbers I calculated from the daily & weekly tracking I’ve done this month:
- 1-4 July (4 days): 8 hours 15 minutes
- 5-11 July: 7 hours 15 minutes
- 12-18 July: 12 hours
- 19-25 July: 15 hours 15m
These figures don’t include utility writing, such as social media posts and newsletter drafts, but they do sometimes include journalling and weeknotes. Feeling pretty proud of myself.
I did most of my writing over the week on a single day – 8 hours 30 minutes on Sunday vs 6 hours over the rest of the week combined!
Also, I did a last minute submission to a journal because I learned about it on the day submissions were closing, and I had stuff ready that fit the theme perfectly. So, that’s exciting.
Okay, time to continue with the
Celebrate wildlife in words together at nature writing workshops, free & online
UK time, i.e. British Summer Timezone = UTC+1
- Sunday 1 August 9am – 10.30am with Jackee Holder
- Friday 6 August 2pm – 3.30pm with Elspeth Wilson
- Wednesday 11 August 7pm – 8.30pm with Laura Barker and LiLi K. Bright (BSL interpreted)
- Tuesday 24 August 7pm – 8.30pm with Anita Sethi
Trees & amateur botany
Botanical drawing with the Queer Botany Society
I love drawing and I so rarely do it. I only started drawing plants last year, when I took a few classes. I want to sign up for another class, I think. This session with the Queer Botany Society was everything, full of plant facts and drawing guidance. It was so good to hang out with folks and see everyone’s creations. And there’ll be monthly session, which I’m so excited about. Meeting some folks in person for safely drawing outside next. Can’t wait!
Botany 2021 conference
I was thoroughly outnerded throughout the week, as I expected. So enjoyed talks by Dr Beronda Montgomery and Dr David Asai. Both engaging and powerful speakers, I learned a lot. I love when folks know a lot *and* know how to teach. SO GOOD!
We already know that Dr Montgomery is one of my favourite scientists, and she exceeded my high expectations sharing the biochemistry behind her lessons from plants. I love how she weaves hard science and social justice together; it’s utterly seamless, I love it. And I got to ask her loads of questions afterwards in a discussion with her, which was incredible.
I hadn’t come across Dr Asai yet, he spoke on belonging in botany, full of stories and stats.
Highlights from botanical twitter
What’s next: Black Botanists’ Week starting 26 July
Enjoyed watching online
So gratifying and reassuring that writing has been an obsession for as long as I can remember. I love that I can explore all my enthusiasms, whether firm or fleeting, in words.