After my father died, I threw myself into a frenzy of writing. It was, in retrospect, an unlikely time to be productive. My writing did not happen in the relative calm of the weeks after the funeral. It happened in the midst of everything.
My essay on being a young reader in the Philippines, “A Life Inside,” is part of Entropy’s literacy narratives series. It’s also about books, sibling rivalry, libraries, parenthood, being an introvert, and (spoiler alert) literary sexual perversion.
Lots of good reads the last two weeks, though I ended up writing on the Myers-Briggs Test instead.
First up, M. Sereno’s poem, which left me speechless — all I could say, repeatedly, was “wow:”
Diversity: what a strange and bloodless word, rinsed clean of the gore
birthed in war and struggle and the breaking of bones, cracking teeth,
the slice to open veins: to speak, write, survive.
“Reasons I Checked out of Diversity Discussion Du Jour” (Awitin Mo)
My mother, a librarian and English lit major, loved books so much she couldn’t sell or give them away. So I grew up in a house surrounded by books, and learned early on about the joys of reading and — as you can imagine from having a librarian for a mother — how to properly take care of a book. Always use a bookmark; don’t bend the cover; always remember who you lend a book to, and don’t forget to ask for it back.
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.