Megan Martin has an interview with me in SmokeLong Quarterly. It was a thrill to be asked such great questions, and be able to think and write about the writing process. I just hope I didn’t come across too… weird.
Speaking of weird. Given my sad history of starting and stopping projects — or quitting writing altogether — I thought I’d work again on the nth draft of a creative nonfiction piece I started writing a few years ago. It’s been a struggle, since back then, when I was exclusively trying my hand at CNF, I couldn’t see how fiction writers could just create things out of “thin air,” or so I thought. Now I’m frustrated as I work on this piece because I can’t just make shit up.
Also, this essay — about me as a young reader — makes me come across as a little… weird, but that’s fine.
One of the hardest things I find about writing is stopping myself from giving it up.
But hey, here are two articles partly about not giving up:
- JS Bruekelaar, “Accepting Rejection?” (Vol. 1 Brooklyn)
- Charlie Jane Anders, “How To Handle Rejection of Your Writing, Without Becoming a Basket Case” (io9)
But no, I don’t think about giving up because of rejections. It’s just because I’m not one of those folks who write because they must. I could, for instance, give up writing so I can plunge into games, like these:
- From 2006, Paul LaFarge’s “Destroy All Monsters” (The Believer)
- Gabriel Winslow-Yost, “Video Games: The Secret Life” (The New York Review of Books)
And speaking of writing, it’s been quite a month for kerfuffle, hasn’t it? Flavorwire ran an article titled “When a White Guy Uses the Name ‘Yi-Fen Chou’ to Get His Poetry Anthologized, Who’s to Blame?” Why is this even phrased in the form of a question?
So two pertinent articles:
- “After Yi-Fen Chou: A Forum” (Asian American Writers’ Workshop)
- Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young, “The Program Era and the Mainly White Room” (The Los Angeles Review of Books)
Which reminds me that I’ll be attending the Filipino American International Book Festival at the San Francisco Public Library next weekend. I look forward to a mainly brown room.
Other favorite reads of the month or so:
- John McPhee on “Omission” (The New Yorker)
- Some great points here — the business of generating clicks is a real thing, after all — but if men were to write the same essays they would be praised for their “unflinching honesty,” no? Laura Bennett, “The First-Person Industrial Complex” (Slate)
- Both hilarious and horrifying: Drew Magary on Donald Trump, “What Kind of Person Would Vote For Donald Trump? These People.” (GQ)
- From 2000, an amazing story by David Schickler that I love maybe for the wrong reasons, “The Smoker” (The New Yorker)
- Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” (The Atlantic)
- On The Little Prince, but not quite what you expect. Sadie Stein, “Time Wasted” (The Paris Review)
- There’s also an interview with Robert Kloss at Electric Literature, whose novel The Alligators of Abraham (2012) was one of the best things I read this year.