BLOG | Hey There, Stranger
Updated: Jul 23, 2022
So it's been a while. And if you’re one of the kind and patient few who’s been periodically checking in to see if anything new has been posted over the last year and a bit, then there's no more important place to kick off this post than to say thank you. Necessary as the sabbatical was, and excellent as it’s been to work on my other projects (oy, I have so much to TELL YOU), it always felt encouraging to get a notification every now and then to say the site had had a visitor.
So much has happened. I think about the person on the other side of the screen right now and I wonder how you are. Are you okay? How has your life changed? What have you grieved? What have you gained? Has any part of all this madness been kind to you? I hope wherever you are in this moment, the answer is yes. If not a wild, bright, loud yes, then at least a little but hopeful one. I hope that somehow, somewhere in the last few years you felt like you got to do more than cope your way through it all. That you got opportunities to really bloom rather than just grow your way up in a perpetual state of bruising between a rock and a hard place.
That said, if the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that bruising has its place. Healing as an act of evolution is a messy, uncomfortable business; but in some ways it has to be, if parts of your life have to break apart so what’s meant for you has a way through. Everybody had their lockdown lessons, I guess. In hindsight, that was mine, and in the next little while I’m keen to share some of what that realisation inspired. I’m really excited to share that others will be joining me as guest authors for at least one new series of posts. Hopefully more. There’s nothing better than doing something you really love beside the people you treasure most, and I cannot wait to introduce you to some of those extraordinary humans through their writing.
With all that in mind, here’s a few teasers of what’s coming soon to a Mythconception near you.
Series - The Letters
So often, we save our rawest, most grateful words for what we treasure, only for when it's over. When we’ve lost it and it's lost us. We pull the proverbial funerary black outfit out of the closet to go stand somewhere and lament the things we didn’t say. The kindness we never repaid. The truths we should have spoken but never did, so often out of fear.
But what if we stopped that? Even for one letter?
What if - with all the light, hope and colour we can muster - we actually told the people and things closest to us, how much they're treasured and why? What if it didn’t matter whether it was your best friend or your pet axolotl; your favourite teacher, the cake recipe you make when you miss your grandmother, or the song you listen to when you’re having a shitty day? It could be the main character in your favourite book. Your ancestors. The tree you feel out of when you were nine, or the person who first broke your heart and taught you just how much better you deserve. Your favourite pair of boots, the show you keep returning to despite having watched it a dozen times already, or the movie you put on when you most need comfort food for your spirit and a safe space for your brain to make sense of hard ideas. Maybe the subject of the letter reads it, and maybe they never will. Maybe they can’t. What’s beautiful is how that’s not really the point.
The Letter Series is a space about unconditional gratitude, honesty, grace and the power of not wasting your voice while you have it to speak truth. About speaking that truth, your joy and your thanks into the ether, trusting that somehow, somewhere, the energy of what you’re offering finds its way to who or what inspired you. And it's about doing it even when the space you might have to go to in order to find those things, is hard. Even if it would make your voice shake. I’m so excited to share this project alongside some of the people who’ve inspired, challenged and changed me most, in so many ways.
Series - Travel Journals
This one was actually inspired a lot by my mum, who is just about the best and most extraordinary memory keeper I know. She’s also one of the most prolific letter writers I’ve ever encountered. My favourite thing about her practices in this area of our family life, is that she honours - in handwritten detail - the beauty found in the small things as well as the big ones. She treats them all like they matter, because they do. Sometimes it’s to preserve her own memory, and sometimes it’s to love others by preserving memories in detail, so they can connect to our family and our history through first hand memory, in a way we might not have been able to otherwise.
I thought about this mindset a lot while I was starting to piece together plans for getting back out into the world after lockdown. I’ve missed travel with every fibre of my being, and going back through my photos - trying to work out not just new destinations, but places I thought I’d love to go back to and explore in more depth if I had the chance - I was inspired to start putting some of my old travel journals to post. They’re from all over, across different years and told in the voice of whoever I was in that moment, through the lens of whatever was most on her mind at the time. In truth they’re mostly just much loved collections of details that matter to me about places in the world that I miss, but I hope in some way they encourage you to look back on your own memories, and maybe even start to capture them somehow for yourself.
Because you’d be amazed at the long lost details that tumble out of your brain sometimes. Forgotten things like loose pearls escaping the dusty velvet innards of an attic jewellery box. Things you rediscover, and stuff that strangely rediscovers you.
If you’ve been following this site or me for any length of time, you’ll know that reviews have sort of been my bread and butter for most of my writing career. But lately I’ve been branching out with what I review. So many phenomenal storytellers and artists kept me afloat during COVID, through stories and mediums beyond what I’ve written about before. They were creators that challenged, taught and spoke to me in the best, and often in some really unexpected ways: not just through fiction, but also non-fiction, music, poetry, podcasts and a whole bunch of stuff in between.
In this space I’ll also be sharing links to some awesome podcast projects I’ve been and am about to be a part of. These include discussions with my awesome friends over at The Afictionados, where we’ve taken apart a couple of my absolute favourite episodes of LOST, and (in a few months) with another couple of brilliant pop culture sisters dear to my heart, for Screaming Banshees, where we’ll be discussing an episode of my all-time most precious Korean drama (the story genre that saved my storyteller heart in 2022) Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. I'll also be part of their writing team on occasion, and I am so thrilled to be on board with them.
That’s a bit of a teaser of what’s in the works. But above all, again, just a note from me to you to say thank you for stopping by: whether it’s your first visit to the blog, or a return. I’m so grateful and delighted you’re here. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a message to say hi, or ask any questions you might have.
It's so good to be back.
About The Photo: It is worth noting that the meringue in the photo above was the size of a literal human brain. I ate it all, like a right proper sugar monster, at a coffee shop in St Kilda in May of this year, and I regret literally nothing. Could I hear the colour '9' for about the next five hours afterwards? Yes. Was it worth it? Totally. Life is short, kids. EAT THE DESSERT.