Waking the witch

It’s been a time of great personal upheaval and change.

The last six weeks or so have been utterly exhausting: I have ended the longest relationship of my life, moved house once and am preparing to do so again at the end of the week and realised that it’s likely that I have Asperger’s. Writing fiction has been next to impossible in this time, but my work for Dead Unicorn Ventures has continued, along with a doing a couple of interviews. My new abode is – for the first time – my own flat, in central Penzance. I have no idea what living on my own will be like, or even whether I can actually afford to do so, but an opportunity arose that I couldn’t turn down. It will mean that I will be able to write at any time, day or night, that I feel the urge/need. It will also mean that I’ll be able to try to work out what having a diagnosis for Asperger’s – which won’t happen for a year or so – will mean for me. It certainly makes sense of my moods and behaviour over my entire life. Every therapist I’ve ever come into contact with has tried to find a way to ‘fix’ how I am, has told me I have to be able to face crowds of people and big social situations.

I don’t need fixing because I’m not broken. I’m just wired differently to most people.

Not one therapist or doctor has ever suggested I might be on the Autistic spectrum.

As a result of what’s happened recently, I brought forward a decision I’d planned to happen after my death; after talks with Simon Costain of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, in Boscastle, I will be donating Jhonn Balance’s wand to the museum at the beginning of April. The wand was given to me by Ian Johnstone, but I knew I was only its guardian for a short space of time. This way, people will be able to see it and it will be cared for for generations to come. Obviously, as with all Coil collectables, the wand would probably fetch a large amount of money if I sold it. Money would be extremely useful, of course, but I promised Ian I’d never sell it. I feel happier having made this decision and am very much looking forward to visiting the museum again, and meeting Simon – a big fan of Coil – in a couple of weeks’ time. Photos and a report will be posted here.

Meanwhile, test pages of Dykes Ink have been printed. There have been some technical issues with riso print and DUV is discussing how to resolve these, but we’re still on course to get the first issue out in the Spring. We have been lucky enough to obtain contributions from some excellent female artistes and have enough material to fill a fair part of issue 2. More here as it happens.

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Wounded galaxies

The Ginger Nuts Of Horror’s LGBTQ+ month (January) has gone very well, providing a much needed focus on a marginalised group. Most of the writers involved are new names to me, which is the whole point of the focus. My own interview appeared on 29 January and it’s possible that the article I wrote on the Coil album, Horse Rotorvator, will also appear in the next few weeks. Some straight writers were also involved in this project, which attracted criticism from some quarters, but I found it perfectly acceptable to have them there – I’ve never been against having allies. My thanks to Jim McLeod for instigating such a progressive initiative.

I’m delighted to announce that The Cruor Garland has been accepted by Queer horror podcast Monsters Out Of The Closet. Producers Shriya Venkatesh and Nicole Calande felt the story had an affinity with The Wickerman and Children Of The Corn – most illustrious comparisons. The story will be recorded this Summer and will appear either later this year or in 2020.

Dead Unicorn Ventures’ interview with The Tribunes on 19 January went extremely well and I’m in the process of transcribing a huge amount of material for the Dykes Ink ‘zine. There’s undoubtedly enough for at least two issues of the zine, which is what we were hoping for. We’re now almost at the point of collating all our material for issue 1, so we’re on schedule for the planned Spring publication. We’re also finalising the Press Release for Swallow Your Pride and have begun a fly-posting campaign around the streets of Penzance, not just to advertise DUV, but to provide some defiance in an increasingly Right-wing country.

Finally, I’m also in the process of being interviewed by a female student at Exeter University, Devon, UK, regarding female punks of the 1970s and 80s. My work with DUV made me keen to be involved in this!

 

All images and text © Julie Travis, apart from the title, which is lifted from the Cyclobe album, Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window