Heidi Everett was one of five writers with disability who received an inaugural Writeability Fellowship in 2013.
The Fellowships, a joint initiative of Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria, enabled Heidi to work with mentor Lyndel Caffrey.
“My Friend Fox is my story learning to live with schizophrenia and depression and the effects they have on my existence,” Heidi said. “The story unfolds with my struggle to make sense of an extra-ordinary world. Without pattern or the wisdom of experience, I want to illustrate the learning curve of identity through survival. The easygoing narrative is peppered with an unpredictable set of scenarios, told with gentle humour and solid imagery to counter the more confronting aspects of psyche disorder.
“I’ve so far met twice with author and mentor Lyndel Caffrey. I’m so grateful to have been selected to work with Lyndel – a sophisticated, gentle and generous storyteller with much knowledge of literature. Lyndel takes my work seriously. I have faith in her advice as she takes time to read and understand my writing before, during and after each session. Lyndel inspires me because of her compliments and the honest non-critical constructive ideas. She reads and comments on each sentence and paragraph, and the way it all sits together in the bigger picture. I’m reminded that the story needs to unfold logically and smoothly, so the reader is easily carried along and wants to continue.”
Following is an extract from Heidi’s story.
My Friend Fox
‘This night passes in jumps and starts, much like my sense of direction. I meander through nearby housing estates and end up in a playground on a hill. The cold air makes my skin burn and there’s speckles of rain fritzing about, so I find a concrete pipe and crawl in to get some rest. But the wind blows through the open-ended tunnel and makes for an inhospitable sleeping place. I crawl out again. My feet aren’t as tired as my body and my mind is stuck on a mantra reminding me to ‘keep moving, or They’ll find you’, so I keep walking.’
© Heidi Everett 2014
Writers Victoria acknowledges the generous support of the Grace Marion Wilson Trust for this program. The Write-ability program is a partnership between Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria made possible by the generous support of the City of Melbourne and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Write-ability is grateful for the previous support of the Copyright Agency Ltd, the Ian Potter Foundation and the Victorian Government.