Tara Calaby

writer, editor & phd candidate

Author: Tara Calaby (page 1 of 21)

Ashes to Ashes

I received the good news earlier this week that my literary fantasy short “Ashes to Ashes” will be published in Breath and Shadow sometime around December this year. It’s the first of my pieces to be strongly set in Gippsland, and I’m very pleased that it’s found a good home.

Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1900-1910 Yarra Bend

Rounding out my posts about the causes of lunacy listed in the female case books from Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne, the following were causes given between the years of 1900 and 1910:

 

 

A definite movement from can be seen during the period of 1880 to 1910, from a focus on moral or experiential causes towards a far greater emphasis on physiological ‘reasons’. This reflects the growing medicalisation of insanity that led, in the early 20th century, to Victoria’s asylums being re-titled as Hospitals for the Insane.

The full list of causes can be read under the cut. It is worth noting that some causes, such as ‘alcohol’ or ‘old age’, were cited many times.

 

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Love. Bite.

My short play Love. Bite. was produced as part of the recent Short Works season at La Trobe university and my director, Amelia Latham, and actors, Susu Najjarin & Erin Miller did a great job with the piece.

Melissa Viola took some great photographs of the play and was kind enough to let me post one here.

Love. Bite. at La Trobe Short Works
Erin Miller as Joanne (left) and Susu Najjarin as Amy
(click on image for the full size photo)

Knee-Deep in Grit

On Monday, I learned that Grimdark Magazine will be putting out a print collection of all the short stories from their first two years of existence, which means that my piece “Ashes” will be included.

The cover looks fantastic, and it’s going to be available in places that most of my publications aren’t (like the Book Depository!) so I’m really looking forward to see the final product.

Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1890s Yarra Bend

Following on from my post about the causes of lunacy given in the 1880s at Yarra Bend, here is a collection of causes from the 1890s.

1890s lunacy causes

The full list is under the cut.

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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.

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