Tara Calaby

writer, editor & phd candidate

Love. Bite.

I have a short play, Love. Bite being produced as part of the La Trobe University Short Works season this year. Performances are nightly at 7.30pm from the 1st to the 5th of August and more information can be found at the La Trobe student union website or the Facebook event for the season.

Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1880s Yarra Bend

Patient case notes for Victorian lunatic asylums generally contain an initial summary of information about the patient. In many, a ‘supposed cause’ is listed, some of which seem quite peculiar by modern psychiatric standards. The following are all causes to which a patient’s mental illness was attributed at the Melbourne asylum Yarra Bend during the 1880s.

  • Attending Salvation Army
  • Bad Temper
  • Brooding over Pecuniary Losses
  • Cold
  • Conduct of Husband
  • Desertion of a Man She Was Living With
  • Disappointment in Love
  • Excitement
  • Family Trouble
  • Fright from Fire
  • Fright of Mother While Pregnant
  • Habitual Drunkenness & Other Abuses
  • Having Two Illegitimate Children
  • Hysteria
  • Ill-Treatment by Husband Who Is at Present in Gaol for Bigamy
  • Jealousy
  • Love
  • Lunacy in Her Family
  • Marrying a Man Who Had a Living Wife
  • Mother’s Mind Affected When Pregnant with Patient
  • Neglect
  • Over Study
  • Overwork as School Teacher
  • Overwork in Her Husband’s Parish
  • People Using the Expression “You Are Mad”
  • Perhaps Drink
  • Religion
  • Residing in Too Heated a District
  • Scandalous Report About Her Character
  • Self-Abuse
  • Sexual Excitement
  • Softening of Brain
  • Spiritualism
  • Syphilis
  • Trouble
  • Uterine Troubles
  • Want of Company

The rest of the causes can be found under the cut.

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End of Year Update

I think everyone can agree that 2016 has been a year. Amidst all the bad, however, I’ve somehow managed to have my best year by far when it comes to publications, so that is pleasing.

On that note, a couple of fiction announcements:
(1) My gothic sci-fi piece “Scrap Metal” has just gone live with Issue 28 of Luna Station Quarterly.
(2) My horror novelette “The Starlight Circus” has been accepted for publication in the next issue of Red Sun Magazine, which is due out around Christmas.

In a few weeks’ time, I’m off for a belated honeymoon in the UK, with a brief stop in Denmark to meet a dear friend’s baby. I always find the UK very inspiring, so hopefully it’ll kick start a much more productive writing year in 2017.

To all those feeling a little lost in the world right now, I wish you creativity and hope in the new year. This too will pass.

Mid-Year Round-Up

Apologies for the long delay between posts. I’ve been up to my neck in study, so the focus has been more on essays than fiction. However, I’ve now completed the graduate certificate and hope to post more regularly in the future.

While I was away, I’ve had a few things published, so I’ll make this a quick dot point list to fill things in.

In more personal news, I got married last month! Australia is still dragging its heels on equal marriage but, as I’m a British citizen, my wife and I were able to be legally married at the home of the British Consul-General in Melbourne.

Update Time

Firstly, and most importantly, my piece “The Cow Tower” has been accepted into Mosaics: An Anthology of Independent Women, Volume 2. It’s a great concept, collecting feminist writing from women writers and supporting The Pixel Project, and I’m really pleased to be a part of it. More once we’re closer to publication date.

Secondly, in a couple of weeks I shall be starting a Graduate Certificate of Arts (Gender Studies) at the University of Melbourne. I still have PhD hopes for the future, and I have a glaring gap in my studies right where I’d like to slot that PhD, so I shall finally have the chance to study gender and sexuality formally–and to do my first university English lit subject as well. Everything’s been about my writing up until this point.

Speaking of, I’m not exactly doing any of that right now. Hopefully my head will be in the place for it sometime soon.

An October Update

indreamsMy piece “In Dreams” was published on the 25th of September and can be read online for free at Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. It’s an older piece of mine and somewhat different to my current style, but I’ve always been rather fond of it, so I’m very glad that it’s found a good home.

In future publication news, I have a science fiction piece, “Women’s Work”, expected to be in the December edition of the Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. More details when it eventuates.

Writing-wise, I’ve just completed the first draft of a sword & sorcery short story, which is currently nameless. I hope to have it named, edited and out on submission before I head to Canada next month.

(Yes, I am going to Canada for the first time! I shall be staying with my best friend and her family and–very importantly–her cats.)

1001 Books

Peter Boxall has published three versions of a list of 1001 books for everyone to read before they die. I have my own list of 100 books, which is my main priority, but I thought it might be fun to keep track on the superdooper massive list as well. To be honest, there are a lot of more modern books on here that I’m unlikely to ever read, but I’d love to go through all the 18th and 19th century ones eventually.

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An Update: In More Ways Than One

Welcome to the new site. My old Blogspot site was beginning to look decidedly dated, so I’ve moved to a self-hosted WordPress site that hopefully looks a little better! Everything from the old site and my even older review site should now be available here, and I’ll be adding in some further (backdated) stuff over time.

I guess the biggest news is that I have officially graduated from my degree, so I’m now Tara Calaby M.Litt M.A. I was very pleased with my marks and am now investigating PhD programs, because I just really love study. In case it wasn’t blindingly obvious.

I’ve also had a story accepted into Solarwyrm Press’s upcoming anthology, Marked By Scorn, edited by Dominica Malcolm. Malcolm’s last anthology, the Aurealis Award finalist Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction was excellent, so I’m pleased to be a part of her next project.

I haven’t been writing, but I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. That counts, right? No?

The Best of Luna Station Quarterly: The First Five Years

Usually when I talk about Luna Station Quarterly, it’s while wearing my assistant editor hat. Today, however, I’m wearing my writer hat to announce the launch of The Best of Luna Station Quarterly: The First Five Years, a collection of fifty stories from the (you guessed it) first five years of the quarterly.

In amongst those fifty stories is a little (and I do mean little) piece of my own–a science fiction piece called ‘Air’.

In total, the book runs to a massive 550 pages, so there’s plenty of other reading in there as well. You can buy it at Amazon, but if you buy directly through Luna, you’ll receive 10% off if you use the coupon provided. It’s paperback only, because this kind of celebration deserves to be held in your hand.

 

Grimdark, Issue #4 Now Out

Last month, I posted exciting news about “Ashes” having been accepted by Grimdark Magazine. Today, I’m here to let you know that my issue of the magazine is now out, and also to show you the gorgeous cover art from Jason Deem.

You can buy issue #4 through Grimdark Magazine‘s website, or as part of a first year bundle that includes writing from such notables as Mark Lawrence and R. Scott Bakker. It’s also available on Amazon.

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