My mental health has ben pretty much shot to hell lately, although I think — I hope, anyway — I’m on the up again now. But enough of that nonsense; today I wrote some words! Nearly 1,500 of them, in fact. And I would dearly like your opinion, Shuffle: what do you think of this hook, and is the layout of the building described clear to you? It’s based on somewhere I know very well, so it’s crystal in my head, but I’d love to know if I’ve described it well enough for you.
Esteemed Literary Arts community, may I introduce you to the great Dr James Barry. Dr. James Barry and the specter of trans and queer history. – This Journey Without A Map is an excellent reader on the life and times, and is one of the best I’ve found which gives a good overview of Dr Barry’s life. Why is this in Literary Arts, you ask? Well, an author named E.J. Levy has recently had a book accepted in pre-empt by publisher Little, Brown. From what I understand, it’s a historical novel focused around Dr Barry. The problem? E.J. Levy refers to Dr Barry as “she”.
Now, I’m not a historian and I’m not really that much of an author, so I’m trying more to pass on information than write some great piece that’s way out of my lane. From what we know in the historical record, it seems fairly darn clear Dr Barry was — publicly and privately — a man. Given the context of the time, there’s been some contention as to whether he was in fact a cross-dressing woman who had the skill and determination to become a doctor… but then he also wrote in his will that he wanted to be buried in the clothes he died in without any post-mortem examination, which is a strong indicator that he didn’t want anybody poking around his body and misconstruing the facts of a life he’d maintained for the entirety of it. In short, it seems the most sensitive, respectful and accurate option is to assume that James Barry was a trans man. Or, well… just a man.
Do you? I’m trying to keep a note of how much I actually write in 2019, and I’m curious if anyone does the same or how you might go about it. I have an Excel spreadsheet, because I ❤️ Data, but I’d love to hear others’ ways and means of going about it!
I do not write a lot of poetry. you may soon work out why. I found this while I was sorting out some old, old files on my hard drive; I vaguely recall writing it in uni when I sat in on a creative writing class as part of my own linguistics degree. If anybody can tell me what the heck sort of poem this is, I’d apprecite it, as I know it has a name and had to follow a certain format!
Against the depth and length of night
and all the stars that glitter past,
There still are those who live to fight.