70+ Disabled, Neurodivergent, and Chronically Ill Authors and Their Books

Hey pals,

I hope everyone has had a good disability pride month! It’s been hard for me for many reasons, but I wanted to bring you a small collab of 70+ disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill writers to go and support! Many people on the list are smaller indie writers and some do not yet have a book out but have one coming. One thing I have learned since realising I am also disabled is that people do not listen to disabled people, let alone multiply marginalised disabled people. Many of the writers on this list are also multiply marginalised, some multiply disabled, some may not even identify with the word disabled which is why I have tried to make the greater post specific to disabled, neurodivergent and chronically ill as I do not want to prescribe a label to someone who may not use it. But everyone listed has openly discussed or mentioned having one of these three things. This collaboration is with Anniek’s Library and Zoe of Books and Coffee. Please check out their posts for the rest of the writers we gathered for this project!

I have included affiliate links to my bookshop page where you can buy some of the books listed here. This is a link to the full list of books from the authors included in this book collaboration.

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty First Century ed. Alice Wong: “One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people. From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.” GoodReads. Alice Wong’s other books. Buy Here and support me.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho: “Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt. But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process. Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway. With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.” GoodReads. Kat Cho’s Other books. Buy here and support me.

Sosann: A Corazon Abierto by Susana Ramírez: This is a book by a Spanish photographer with Takayasu’s. It is only available in Spanish but I wanted to include this as I also have Takayasu’s and I want to continue promoting a broad range of media by chronically ill people all over the world. “Two years ago Susana was diagnosed with a rare disease: Takayasu’s Arteritis. A failure in the immune system that causes the body itself to attack the main arteries that lead to the heart. It inflames them, making it difficult for blood to flow through your body. During this time Susana has read a lot about her illness, until she found the emotional meaning of her illness. They say that the Takayasu’s appears in people who are not capable of channeling love and their feelings well. This process leads Susana to rewrite love stories, her greatest escape since adolescence. In this book you will find a compilation of love poems combined with the diary of the reality that Susana has been living these last years. Includes unpublished photographs of the author and illustrations.” Buy Here Amazon. Buy Here Casa De Libro.

Harley Quinn Comics (2021) by Tee Franklin: “Harley and Ivy on the road trip of the century! Following the wedding disaster of the decade, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy end up on the run from Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD! But as fun as all that sounds, Ivy still worries over leaving Kite Man at the altar… Luckily, Harley’s got the perfect scheme to shake her out of her wedding-day blues!” More Info Here. Tee Franklin’s Other Writing.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert: Also, the Brown Sisters trilogy and numerous other Romance novels but this is the one I have read so far! “Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.” GoodReads. Talia Hibbert’s other books. Buy here and support me.

Ophelia After All (2022) by Racquel Marie: “Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to. So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love–and sexuality–never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.” GoodReads. Racquel Marie’s other books.

Crohn’s Disease: Wrestling The Octopus by Nigel Horwood: “After a couple of false starts (or in this case “false ends”) my book “Wrestling The Octopus – The Diary of an IBD Patient” is finally finished. Several times I had thought it was complete only to find that some new, unexpected experience warranted adding an extra chapter or two. What’s the book about? It charts the 40+ years from my diagnosis with Crohn’s Disease up to the start of this new decade. It is not intended to lay out a plan for living with the disease but I hope you find that some of the situations I describe and the ways I have coped (or not coped) may help you with your own methods to manage your disease. The book has been adapted and expanded from the original online journal that I started writing almost ten years ago. Why did I start? Wind the clock back to Summer 2010. I was going to be away from work for an extended period whilst undergoing surgery. A colleague made an off-the-cuff remark that she would like to know how I was getting on whilst away so why not try blogging? She thought it might also prove interesting to other IBD sufferers who were about to follow a similar path. As the list of individual posts grew it seemed sensible to amalgamate them into a narrative and take the opportunity to cull some of the more long-winded or repetitive sections. To fill in the years up to 2010 I obtained my medical records all the way back to diagnosis. They have allowed me to reconstruct the whole story and answer some of the questions that I have had for a long time. The research and writing have proved very therapeutic. I believe it has helped me cope with various new conditions that have arisen and I would recommend it to anyone suffering from a chronic illness.Nigel Horwood’s Website. Download the book free here.

Kin (2022) by Karl Knights: “I only realised what Kin is about as I was editing it. In a lot of ways, the poems are actually more conventional than they’re given credit for, as they are very much coming of age poems. The only difference is it’s a disabled coming of age! In a very direct way, Kin explores communication, intimacy and community, and the ways we do (or don’t) feel community in our lives.” Publish date June 2022 with the Poetry Business. Follow Karl Knight here.

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan: I discovered Naoise in a book of essays recently, her essay in We Can Do Better Than This (ed. Amelia Abraham, buy here) was very relatable to me. It lead me to looking her up, and luckily I had some spaces left to fill in this collaboration so I wanted to include this queer, autistic, Irish writer. “Ava moved to Hong Kong to find happiness, but so far, it isn’t working out. Since she left Dublin, she’s been spending her days teaching English to rich children—she’s been assigned the grammar classes because she lacks warmth—and her nights avoiding petulant roommates in her cramped apartment. When Ava befriends Julian, a witty British banker, he offers a shortcut into a lavish life her meager salary could never allow. Ignoring her feminist leanings and her better instincts, Ava finds herself moving into Julian’s apartment, letting him buy her clothes, and, eventually, striking up a sexual relationship with him. When Julian’s job takes him back to London, she stays put, unsure where their relationship stands. Enter Edith. A Hong Kong–born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her—and wants her. Ava has been carefully pretending that Julian is nothing more than an absentee roommate, so when Julian announces that he’s returning to Hong Kong, she faces a fork in the road. Should she return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith? Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life—and announces herself as a singular new voice.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: “A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick. Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic… ” GoodReads. Helen Hoang’s other books. Buy here and support me!

Need a break? Come read with me here for pure reading vibes.

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons To Fall In Love With Me by Keah Brown: “From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America. Keah Brown loves herself, but that hadn’t always been the case. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desire used to be normalcy and refuge from the steady stream of self-hate society strengthened inside her. But after years of introspection and reaching out to others in her community, she has reclaimed herself and changed her perspective. In The Pretty One, Brown gives a contemporary and relatable voice to the disabled—so often portrayed as mute, weak, or isolated. With clear, fresh, and light-hearted prose, these essays explore everything from her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin (called “the pretty one” by friends) to navigating romance; her deep affinity for all things pop culture—and her disappointment with the media’s distorted view of disability; and her declaration of self-love with the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. By “smashing stigmas, empowering her community, and celebrating herself” (Teen Vogue), Brown and The Pretty One aims to expand the conversation about disability and inspire self-love for people of all backgrounds.” GoodReads. Keah Brown’s other books.

Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation of Disabled People by Frances Ryan: “By the end of 2018 over £28bn of benefit will be cut as a result of the government’s policies on social security, housing, employment, and healthcare, specifically aimed at the disabled community. In the age of austerity, it’s disabled people who are hardest hit, affecting over 3.7 million people. This is in addition to a situation in which half of those in poverty are either disabled or living with a disabled person. In Crippled, leading commentator Frances Ryan tells the story of those most affected by this devastating regime, people who have been too often been silenced. This includes the tetraplegic living in a first floor flat forced to crawl down flights of stairs because the council doesn’t provide accessible housing; the young girl forced to sleep in her wheelchair and admitted to hospital with malnutrition because cuts mean she no longer had a carer to help her get to bed or cook; or the Londoner with schizophrenia found ‘fit for work’, and with nothing to live on was found dead at home three months later. Through these personal stories the book shows the scale of the crisis, while also showing how the disabled community is fighting back. It is a passionate demand for the recognition of disability rights and a call for an end to austerity policies that disproportionately affect those most in need.” GoodReads. Frances Ryan’s other books. Buy here and support me!

Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau: “An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible, inclusive place. Disabled people are the world’s largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us–disabled and non-disabled alike–don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be an ally to the disability community. Demystifying Disability is a friendly handbook on important disability issues you need to know about, including:. How to appreciate disability history and identity. How to recognize and avoid ableism (discrimination toward disabled people). How to be mindful of good disability etiquette. How to appropriately think, talk, and ask about disability. How to ensure accessibility becomes your standard practice, from everyday communication to planning special events. How to identify and speak up about disability stereotypes in media. Authored by celebrated disability rights advocate, speaker, and writer Emily Ladau, this practical, intersectional guide offers all readers a welcoming place to understand disability as part of the human experience.” GoodReads. Emily Ladau’s other books. Buy here and support me!

Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism: Voices from Across the Spectrum by Eva A. Mendes and Meredith R. Maroney: “Bringing together a collection of narratives from those who are on the autism spectrum whilst also identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual (LGBTQIA), this book explores the intersection of the two spectrums as well as the diverse experiences that come with it. By providing knowledge and advice based on in-depth research and personal accounts, the narratives will be immensely valuable to teenagers, adults, partners and families. The authors round these stories with a discussion of themes across narratives, and implications for the issues discussed. In the final chapter, the authors reflect on commonly asked questions from a clinical perspective, bringing in relevant research, as well as sharing best-practice tips and considerations that may be helpful for LGBTQIA and ASD teenagers and adults. These may also be used by family members and clinicians when counselling teenagers and adults on the dual spectrum. With each chapter structured around LGBTQIA and autism spectrum identities, Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism highlights the fluidity of gender identity, sexual orientation and neurodiversity and provides a space for people to share their individual experiences.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!

Growing Up Disabled in Australia ed. Carly Findlay: “One in five Australians have a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media and in literature. Growing Up Disabled in Australia is the fifth book in the highly acclaimed, bestselling Growing Up series. It includes interviews with prominent Australians such as Senator Jordon Steele-John and Paralympian Isis Holt, poetry and graphic art, as well as more than 40 original pieces by writers with a disability or chronic illness. Contributors include Dion Beasley, Astrid Edwards, Jessica Walton, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Gayle Kennedy and El Gibbs.” GoodReads. Carly Findlay’s other books. Buy here and support me!

Want to see more of my Disability Content? Check out this playlist for all my up to date videos.

Drama Queen: One Autistic Woman and a Life of Unhelpful Labels by Sara Gibbs: “During the first thirty years of her life, comedy script writer Sara Gibbs had been labelled a lot of things – a cry baby, a scaredy cat, a spoiled brat, a weirdo, a show off – but more than anything else, she’d been called a Drama Queen. No one understood her behaviour, her meltdowns or her intense emotions. She felt like everyone else knew a social secret that she hadn’t been let in on; as if life was a party she hadn’t been invited to. Why was everything so damn hard? Little did Sara know that, at the age of thirty, she would be given one more label that would change her life’s trajectory forever. That one day, sitting next to her husband in a clinical psychologist’s office, she would learn that she had never been a drama queen, or a weirdo, or a cry baby, but she had always been autistic. Drama Queen is both a tour inside one autistic brain and a declaration that a diagnosis on the spectrum, with the right support, accommodations and understanding, doesn’t have to be a barrier to life full of love, laughter and success. It is the story of one woman trying to fit into a world that has often tried to reject her and, most importantly, it’s about a life of labels, and the joy of ripping them off one by one” GoodReads. Sara Gibbs’ other books. Buy here and support me!

Check out my recent video about some disability aids I’m testing!

Being Seen by Elsa Sjunneson: “A Deafblind writer and professor explores how the misrepresentation of disability in books, movies, and TV harms both the disabled community and everyone else. As a Deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids, Elsa Sjunneson lives at the crossroads of blindness and sight, hearing and deafness—much to the confusion of the world around her. While she cannot see well enough to operate without a guide dog or cane, she can see enough to know when someone is reacting to the visible signs of her blindness and can hear when they’re whispering behind her back. And she certainly knows how wrong our one-size-fits-all definitions of disability can be. As a media studies professor, she’s also seen the full range of blind and deaf portrayals on film, and here she deconstructs their impact, following common tropes through horror, romance, and everything in between. Part memoir, part cultural criticism, part history of the Deafblind experience, Being Seen explores how our cultural concept of disability is more myth than fact, and the damage it does to us all.” GoodReads. Elsa Sjunneson’s other books.

Twisted Roots by A G Parker: “White lies and good intentions have paved the way for Laela’s untamed magic to bleed into the land, resurrecting a terrible power intent on vengeance. Haunted by dreams of a skeletal tree, Laela lives on the outskirts of a village shrouded in secrets. Her mother died hoping to free Laela from a life of duty. Instead, she denied her the chance to know the magic of her bloodline – and the reality of the horrors they were tasked to guard. When her dark and violent history begins to unravel, Laela must reclaim her magic – and uncover the truth of her origin – before the mist and wickedness destroy everything she loves. But Laela’s path is steeped in betrayal, and overcoming evil may not be as easy as killing it… If you enjoyed Aiden Thomas’s Cemetery Boys, Victoria Lee’s The Fever King, and Vylar Kaftan’s Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, you’ll love Twisted Roots – a dark contemporary fantasy, which weaves together the stories of Laela and her vengeful counterpart, the Witch, in a story of redemption and compassion.” Author Website here.

The Uncertainty of Light by Alana Saltz: “Released by Blanket Sea Press in January 2020. My debut poetry chapbook explores how it feels to inhabit a body that is misunderstood. Through lenses of the natural world, astronomy, science fiction, and pop culture, this evocative collection captures snapshots of a life with chronic illness while tapping into universal experiences of searching for meaning, seeking acceptance, and falling in love.” Purchase this book and the other books by Alana Saltz here.

Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig: “Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling. Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.” Buy here and support me! Rebekah Taussig’s website.

Beyond The Red by Gabe Cole Novoa: “A series of young adult dystopian science fiction novels by Gabe Cole Novoa, writing under the pen name Ava Jae. Set on a planet where humans and a humanoid native species are in violent conflict, the books include action, forbidden romance, political intrigue, and queer themes. Beyond the Red is Novoa’s debut novel and was written while he was in college. The story, which follows a half-human who finds himself caught in the middle of two cultures, was informed by Novoa’s experiences as a white-passing latinx person. The book was released in 2016 and received critical praise for its worldbuilding. It was followed by the sequels Into the Black (2017) and The Rising Gold (2018)” GoodReads. Check out their other books here.

The Centaur’s Wife by Amanda Leduc: “Heather is sleeping peacefully after the birth of her twin daughters when the sound of the world ending jolts her awake. Stumbling outside with her babies and her new husband, Brendan, she finds that their city has been destroyed by falling meteors and that her little family are among only a few who survived. But the mountain that looms over the city is still green–somehow it has been spared the destruction that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Heather is one of the few who know the mountain, a place city-dwellers have always been forbidden to go. Her dad took her up the mountain when she was a child on a misguided quest to heal her legs, damaged at birth. The tragedy that resulted has shaped her life, bringing her both great sorrow and an undying connection to the deep magic of the mountain, made real by the beings she and her dad encountered that day: Estajfan, a centaur born of sorrow and of an ancient, impossible love, and his two siblings, marooned between the magical and the human world. Even as those in the city around her–led by Tasha, a charismatic doctor who fled to the city from the coast with her wife and other refugees–struggle to keep everyone alive, Heather constantly looks to the mountain, drawn by love, by fear, by the desire for rescue. She is torn in two by her awareness of what unleashed the meteor shower and what is coming for the few survivors, once the green and living earth makes a final reckoning of the usefulness of human life and finds it wanting. At times devastating, but ultimately redemptive, Amanda Leduc’s fable for our uncertain times reminds us that the most important things in life aren’t things at all, but rather the people we want by our side at the end of the world.” GoodReads. Amanda Leduc’s other books. Buy Disfigured and support me!

A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby and Mary Louisa Plummer: “A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby’s extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism. As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and by her teen years she was alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in her adopted city, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me! Check out this book if you are interested in reading more about Native American People and their Culture.

Stim by Kevin Berry: “Robert is different. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He experiences the world differently to 99% of the population. Follow his entertaining and highly empathetic story as he struggles to realise and accept who he really is, try to understand other people—which he cannot—and find a girlfriend. Especially find a girlfriend—he’s decided it’s his special project for the year. Accompanied on this transformative journey by his quirky flatmates, Chloe (who also has Asperger’s, amongst other things), Stef (who hasn’t, but doesn’t mind) and their oddly-named kitten, Robert endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl…and not even a major earthquake will stop him. This absorbing and humorous story is starkly told from Robert’s point of view, through the kaleidoscope of autistic experience.” GoodReads. Kevin Berry’s other books.

Brace Yourself by S.E. Smart: “Brace Yourself is a light-hearted look at the atypical life of ‘nice’ Lizzy, who doesn’t understand why her body and her men always let her down. Looking to regain control of her life in this rom-com with a twist, will Lizzy’s bright-side attitude finally attract the perfect partner? This isn’t a self-help book, but if you’ve lived with chronic illness you’ll identify with Lizzy’s struggles to stay upright in a world that knocks her down. We join Lizzy on her humorous journey through a series of painful disasters. But with bad choices, bad men and bad Doctors behind her, Lizzy finally braces herself for a comfortable life.” GoodReads.

Stairs and Whispers by Sarah Alland and Khairaini Barrokka and Daniel Sluman: “Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani Barokka and Daniel Sluman, is a ground-breaking anthology examining UK disabled and D/deaf poetics. Packed with fierce poetry, essays, photos and links to accessible online videos and audio recordings, it showcases a diversity of opinions and survival strategies for an ableist world. With contributions that span Vispo to Surrealism, and range from hard-hitting political commentary to intimate lyrical pieces, these poets refuse to perform or inspire according to tired old narratives.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!

Sanatorium by Abi Palmer: “A young woman spends a month taking the waters at a thermal water-based rehabilitation facility in Budapest. On her return to London, she attempts to continue her recovery using an 80 pound inflatable blue bathtub. The tub becomes a metaphor for the intrusion of disability; a trip hazard in the middle of an unsuitable room, slowly deflating and in constant danger of falling apart. Sanatorium moves through contrasting spaces – bathtub to thermal pool, land to water, day to night – interlacing memoir, poetry and meditations on the body to create a mesmerising, mercurial debu.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!

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All The Right Reasons (2022) by Bethany Mangle: “Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families. The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor. As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.” GoodReads.

Spear (2022) by Nicola Griffith: “The girl knows she has a destiny before she even knows her name. She grows up in the wild, in a cave with her mother, but visions of a faraway lake come to her on the spring breeze, and when she hears a traveler speak of Artos, king of Caer Leon, she knows that her future lies at his court. And so, brimming with magic and eager to test her strength, she breaks her covenant with her mother and, with a broken hunting spear and mended armour, rides on a bony gelding to Caer Leon. On her adventures she will meet great knights and steal the hearts of beautiful women. She will fight warriors and sorcerers. And she will find her love, and the lake, and her fate. Nebula and Lambda Award-winning author Nicola Griffith returns with Spear, a glorious queer retelling of Arthurian legend, full of dazzling magic and intoxicating adventure.” GoodReads.

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I hope you have all enjoyed my post of recommendations! I wanted to give some promotion to Disabled, Neurodivergent and Chronically Ill writers as I wasn’t personally aware of many until I went looking and most I knew of were people I followed on Twitter, who are Activists, Comedians, and Screen-writers, and were writing memoirs. Whilst I love a good Non-Fiction, I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I wanted to show there are plenty of writers out there who probably write something you will enjoy. We see lots of posts about ‘supporting Trans and Nonbinary authors‘ or ‘Supporting Black authors’ etc. But I haven’t often seen people promoting Disabled/Neurodivergent/Chronically Ill writers to support, and as a creative who comes under all three of those subcategories, it’s something I am passionate about. Don’t forget to check out the other two’s posts linked at the top!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, my blog and Twitch, subscribe to my youtube channel and like my Facebook page. Check out my TikTok (@ArtieCarden ) and follow my Kofi. I have two shops of my art, one on Kofi and one on RedBubble.

Disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. Life costs you £583 more on average a month if you’re disabled. The proportion of working age disabled people living in poverty (27%) is higher than the proportion of working age non-disabled people (19%). These are some statistics from the UK charity Scope. With that in mind, please consider buying these books by disabled writers, and supporting myself and my fellow collaborators with a donation or a tip. You can tip me at my Kofi. I love making posts like this, and my more in-depth educational posts like my We Need To Talk About White Privilege post, as well as all the things I make across other socials. I openly talk about my inability to find accessible work and the pennies I receive from benefits. I’m also open about a lot of the things I deal with as a multiply-marginalised, multi-disabled person. I would like to create change and an impact on society but cannot financially support myself. I put out a lot of free content, so if you like what I do, have learned or gained something from me, or think you’d just like to help me out, please do.

~ Artie

(they/them)

11 Titles by Trans and Nonbinary Authors

Hey pals,

It has been a while, but what better post to pop back on than a collaborative post of trans books by trans authors? My post will be recommending 11 books about trans and nonbinary characters written by trans and nonbinary writers, luckily I have read most of these listed and can direct you to more in-depth reviews I have already written or recorded for more info! I hope you enjoy the post of recommended books and stick around until the end where there is important information about Trans Lives in the UK.

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart. FIVE friends go to a cabin. FOUR of them are hiding secrets. THREE years of history bind them. TWO are doomed from the start. ONE person wants to end this. NO ONE IS SAFE. Are you ready to play?”

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle…. But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.”

The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver: When Liam Cooper’s older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationship with his two best friends. Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through, for the better, and the worse. This book is about grief. But it’s also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas: Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Trans Britain: Out Journey From The Shadows by Christine Burns (editor):Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye: Time declared 2014 a ‘trans tipping point’, while American Vogue named 2015 ‘the year of trans visibility’. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender people have suddenly become part of the zeitgeist. This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who struggled for equality before them, but were met with indifference – and often outright hostility – from mainstream society. Trans Britain chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others. Here is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask.”

Don’t forget to check out my BookShop affiliate links where you can buy the books listed, support indie bookshops, and support me with your purchase!

Boys Run the Riot by Keito Gaku:A transgender teen named Ryuu finds an escape from the expectations and anxieties of his daily life in the world of street fashion. This personal, heartfelt, fictional story from a Japanese transgender manga creator made waves in Japan and will inspire readers all over the world! High schooler Ryuu knows he’s transgender. But he doesn’t have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can’t tell his best friend, who he’s secretly got a crush on, and he can’t tell his mom, who’s constantly asking why Ryuu is always dressing like a boy. He certainly can’t tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully. The only time Ryuu feels at ease is when he’s wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryuu sees an unexpected sight: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class is shopping for the same clothes that Ryuu loves. And Jin offers Ryuu a proposal: to start their own brand and create apparel to help everyone feel comfortable in their skin. At last, Ryuu has someone he can open up to–and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to everyone else.”

Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom:Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom is the highly sensational, ultra-exciting, sort-of true coming-of-age story of a young Asian trans girl, pathological liar, and kung-fu expert who runs away from her parents’ abusive home in a rainy city called Gloom. Striking off on her own, she finds her true family in a group of larger-than-life trans femmes who live in a mysterious pleasure district known only as the Street of Miracles. Under the wings of this fierce and fabulous flock, Dearly blossoms into the woman she has always dreamed of being, with a little help from the unscrupulous Doctor Crocodile. When one of their number is brutally murdered, the protagonist joins her sisters in forming a vigilante gang to fight back against the transphobes, violent johns, and cops that stalk the Street of Miracles. But when things go terribly wrong, she must find the truth within herself in order to stop the violence and discover what it really means to grow up and find your family.”

Homie by Danez Smith: Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.”

Act Cool by Tolby McSmith: A trans teen walks the fine line between doing whatever it takes for his acting dream and staying true to himself in this moving, thought-provoking YA novel from the acclaimed author of Stay Gold. Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There’s only one problem: His conservative parents won’t accept that he’s transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won’t transition. August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting cool and confident in the company of his talented new friends. But who is August when the lights go down? And where will he turn when the roles start hitting a little too close to home?”

Obie Is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar: A coming-of-age story about transgender tween Obie, who didn’t think being himself would cause such a splash. For fans of Alex Gino’s George and Lisa Bunker’s Felix Yz. Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it’s time for Obie to find where he truly belongs. As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can’t get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water–to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.”

Top To Bottom: A Memoir and Personal Guide Through Phalloplasty by Finlay Games: Finlay Games is a transgender gay man, with a passion for creating honest content and inspiring others to be their authentic selves. In 2011 Finlay began sharing his gender transition story via his YouTube channel and accompanying blog under the name, ‘FinnTheInFinncible’.. Finlay has since written for various publications, and spoken at several events, about his transgender experiences and his recovery from addiction and mental ill-health. He also works as a coach and mentor, supporting transgender people through their personal transition journeys. ‘Top to Bottom – A Memoir and Personal Guide Through Phalloplasty’ published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, is his first book. You can grab yourself a signed copy of his book through Ko-fi! And virtual signings/meet and greets will be back on again soon.

~

I hope you enjoyed this post of 11 Trans books by Trans authors. Go and check out the other blogs involved in this collaboration here: Anniek’s Library, Luminosity Library, Read’s Rainbow, Oceans Of Novels, Mols By Moonlight, Mouse Reads, The Rush Of A Book, & Vee Bookish.

The UK is in a pretty rough spot with its Trans Rights and I would like to take this space to urge you to consider making some moves either as an ally or an able trans person. If you are UK based, please contact your MP and local councils, attend local protests, and sign petitions on the official GOV website. Check out this thread about the current threat to public bathroom usage, which also affects cis disabled people, and this thread about the GOV dropping their LGBT Action plan. I recommend following What The Trans on Twitter as they are great at breaking down what is currently happening and other things we can do to fight against it. I would also appreciate you taking the time to check out my Kofi and consider donating as I am a multiply disabled nonbinary person unable to work and the support really helps me continue to make fun content like this but also more informative pieces like my We Need To Talk About White Privilege and Takayasu’s Arteritis 101. It is also an important step of being an ally to help directly financially support trans people at this time until we achieve true working equality. Thank you for reading.

~ Artie (they/them)

Check out some of my LGBTQ+ related videos! Recent 5 Star Reads, Queer lit Readathon recs, My Nonbinary dysphoria, Unread books, Trans person reads HP, Pride book recs.

Follow My Instagram for more regular reading updates and mini reviews.

I’m changing how I do things for a while

Hi pals

I’ve been talking about feeling uninspired for a while and even when I have ideas for posts, I find the motivation to actually create them isn’t there. I’ve been writing more for my WIP and the inspiration and motivation to do that is slim and far between, I don’t want to be trying to force myself to write for my blog and burn out on it and sabotage the progress I’m making on my WIP. So generally the plan is every two weeks will be a post on the blog rather than weekly for a while. I may not even do that depending on how I’m feeling. But the monotonous repetitive cycle that is my existence at the moment makes it hard to write for my blog when all I want to do is complain!

I’ve also been working on other side projects which has taken up time and energy. I’ve had two self tapes/auditions for small films I wanted to try and go for as the pandemic did get in my way. I started dipping my toes in the acting world again in late 2019. If you’d like to see some videos on my experience doing self tapes and auditions as a disabled and neurodiverse person, let me know! Sub to the channel and leave a comment on this video.

I’ve also had to focus more on my health again. I was meant to taper down 1mg of steroids every month but when we tried to go from 9 to 8 first time, I became very unwell within three days and had to go back up to 9 and it took me a while to feel better again. So we changed it to every two months we would try to taper 1mg and it’s that time again. Trying to make this easier on myself, I’ve been doing 8mg one day 9mg the next and onwards to try and make the transition a bit easier and less shocking to my body. I ended up changing it to 8.5mg for a few days (I’ve had to use my pill cutter for this) and I’m doing OKAY ISH and will go down another half in a few days to test the waters. I’ve also been more relaxed on my diet/how I’m eating to make sure I am not stressing my body further with food expectations or eating less than maintenance (my nutrition coach always reminded me that being in a calorie deficit will add stress onto your body, so I’m making sure I’m not in a deficit to not add extra stress on my body whilst trying to taper as that is stressful enough trust me) so I’m just trying to enjoy food, eat more nutrient dense foods like fruit (and veg when I can, I just like fruit a lot more lol) and eating foods I enjoy. Food has always been connected to emotions for me so eating the way I like for a week or so will also help reduce emotional stress. I’m planning on doing an updated What I Eat In A Day: 1 Year Pescatarian video so leave a comment on this video if you’d like to see that and hear about how I’ve been finding the change in my lifestyle.

I’m trying to remember to take my supplements more regularly as well!! Urgh, I’m so bad at remembering to take anything after my morning meds, I’ve been forgetting my evening pills as well and taking them later. I’ve also been taking more pain reduction precautions, using certain creams that are supposed to help (like biofreeze and CBD products) and taking an extra painkiller at night. I’m trying to keep up some weighted exercise as it helps reduce pain for me as well. I did film a few clips over my weekend which I’ll upload soon that will talk about a lot of this stuff and show you what kinds of weighted arm exercises I do etc.

My sleep has been out of whack since the time change (sound silly I know but I’ve read Neurodivergent people do struggle more with this so it makes sense) plus the steroid tapering, I’m pretty tired. I struggle to get to sleep before midnight coz it would have been 11pm before the hour change. Waking up at my usual 8:30 (sometimes 7:30 coz of the hour change) but struggling to stay awake, so some days I sleep an extra hour. I’ve had a few afternoon naps this week as well which is very unlike me. But as I’ve said, I’m doing what I can to just listen to what my body needs, it needs more rest/sleep at the moment and that’s fine.

Some of my upcoming videos planned are 1 year on Adalimumab (Amgevita) injections (check out the linked video for 6 month update), Gossip Girl reading vlog part 2 (the other half of the series, check out part one here), I’m going to continue watching Dawson’s Creek and vlogging each season, I’ve heard there’s a possible reboot coming so more reason to carry on! I’m working on a Manga Reading Marathon video still, the scans that diagnosed my TAK is also one some people were interested in as I mentioned a few in my pre-diagnosis video last year and a range of scans they do use in my TAK 101 post, I also want to do some book themed videos as I’ve been reading a lot of books by Black authors I wanted to make a video to recommend them and a video about the poetry books I have read as I’ve also been reading a lot of poetry through NetGalley. Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to see me make these videos! I also have a lot of books by Asian authors I want to get to reading, I’d love to make a recommendation video on those books too.

I did get my previous benefits back recently so I have got some financial support back again (still, if you know PIP, it’s pennies) so I would really appreciate people checking out my Kofi, leave a tip or buy some of my art. I have 15 art pieces up for sale, plus a selection of handmade cards. Please check out my links throughout this post and to my social media accounts, leave some likes and share some posts, it helps a lot! I post on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. I am starting to stream on Twitch again but whenever I link it here it error codes out so search artiecarden. Don’t forget to check out my affiliate link with the BookShop for any books you are interested in buying, it helps me out a lot! If there’s something you’re specifically looking for that isn’t on my lists yet, let me know in a comment what you are looking for and I’ll see if the Bookshop have it and link you.

I post pretty regularly everywhere, I just feel like I need to change how I do things for a while.

~ Artie

They/them

5 Main Tips for Being a Better Trans Ally
We Need To Talk About White Privilege
Takayasu’s Arteritis: Rare diseases Day 2021

Finding Love in Art Again…

Hey pals,

The first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was an artist. I let the dream go a long time ago. maybe it’s more that I felt like the kind of art I liked to create wouldn’t sell. No one would want my work. Clearly I’ve been proven wrong! I’ve sold 6 pieces this year, which is very crazy to me. The thought of my art being on display in people’s houses is… I don’t know it’s hard to explain how I feel. I never thought this would be a thing! Thank you everyone who has shared my work!!

I never thought it would be possible to make stuff that would help support me financially. I know I haven’t sold many pieces, but this and when I was making dog toys briefly, has shown that maybe I can and do create things people would like to buy, use and display.

A lot of what I have been creating is made of supplies I already own. I’ve had a million and one hobbies over the years and enjoyed doing different forms of art. I have a bag full of old material which I would like to continue to make dog toys with later on. My film photo poetry is made up of old magazines and old film photos from my great grandparents. The art that goes up for sale are old pieces I updated or finished. I just hope to bring new life to these old objects, I hope they find a new home with someone who loves it rather than all these things going to landfill.

I’m looking into mobility aids I may find beneficial, I’m testing out a ring splint but they are pretty expensive each and might need several adjustments (which costs money to post back and forth etc.) I’ve ordered some ear bud versions of ear defenders to try out and I should be receiving funding for an over the bed desk so I can work better and longer at my actual computer rather than my old laptop (that does struggle with editing videos quite a bit, especially longer ones) and I’m still trying to cover therapy and the chiropractor, along with personal bills like my phone cost and car.

I’m waiting up to 10 more weeks for a response for my benefits (which could be leaving me without support for 4 months total…) so I appreciate everyone’s help and support! My Art shop is open, I have a lot of pieces up and available on my Kofi shop at the moment, also on Depop if you prefer that. You can also leave a tip on my Kofi. I make a lot of educational pieces like these videos in my Disability and Chronic Illness YouTube Playlist or my Takayasu’s Arteritis post.

I have started the process of getting an ADHD diagnosis, I dropped in a letter with support etc. into my GP on Sunday so hopefully I’ll be referred to Psychiatry UK for a free diagnosis assessment on the NHS. They don’t yet have a process for Autism but are working on it, so I think I’ll be applying the same way down the line. Private diagnosis was far too expensive at nearly £1,000 for both ASD and ADHD.

I made some writing progress for the first time since January, I feel like that and my life not really changing a lot are why writing blogs has been difficult. I wrote 1500 words the other day of my WIP and am very close to breaking 15,000 words total. That’s roughly 1/4 of a novel if I aim for 60,000 words. I tend to over-write so I’ll probably end up with a ridiculous amount of words really that I’ll have to cut down. I prefer to do that though over being way under word goal.

I’m always trying to keep an eye out for paid writing gigs, acting auditions, paid art submissions, etc. I strongly believe in supporting each other online rather than seeing each other as competition. We won’t all match the same skill set requirements so if I see anything that would suit a friend of mine more than me, I send it on. So if anyone sees anything that may be suitable for me when it comes to the above, please feel free to let me know via any social media channel or my contact form on this site. I do highly appreciate it and want to put myself out there as much as possible. I also appreciate interactions on my content here and on YouTube and sharing my content with new people.

I think that this year, for a lot of people including myself, has been rediscovering things we liked before we thought of it as a job or a waste of money. I’ve always enjoyed being artistic in any way imaginable. I loved going to art classes and being taught new things, but the things I loved most were things I taught myself. I’ve always enjoyed being innovative, I’ve always looked at things slightly differently though we may come to find that’s because I’m Neuro Divergent. This year has been a lot of re-learning for myself and who I am and what I love to do. Art has helped me mentally a lot, it’s been very cathartic. I can’t believe I’ve been inside my house for a year… in some ways I don’t want the world to return to normal, because I feel like all the accessible ways of functioning will disappear… That’s a talk for another day. I like to hope that Art can change the world.

~ Artie

They/them