- What is your first memory of writing for fun?
When I was ten or so I wrote a “book” about a kid with a magic book of matches. About ten or so sheets of paper folded in half and stapled. My mother found it the other day and sent me a photo of the cover.
- How many drafts = done?
Until someone buys it. I usually do a pass of every piece after submitting it, then send it out again.
- What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?
I just finished An Unknindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon and really enjoyed it. I’ve been recommending Persona by Genevieve Valentine a lot lately.
- What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?
I assume we’re referring to writing, rather than my sense of control. I’m infinitely heartened by the recognition that authors like N. K. Jemisin and Alyssa Wong and Amal El-Mohtar have seen in awards recently. This is riveting, visceral work and it deserves to be elevated.
- What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?
Well, according to word prevalence in my stories immediately after finishing them, it’s the word “just,” which I imagine reveals a certain amount of inexactitude. But another word I have an unseemly interest in is “oubliette.” I recently used it twice in a story before realizing my error. Not that a story running amok with oubliettes can’t be interesting.
Bonus question: What’s the best / worst practical joke that you’ve played on someone or that was played on you and how can this shared experience shape the world?
My partner of nearly twelve years pulled the worst practical joke ever on me. It was less than a year after we’d started dating, and he was planning some sort of a mystery trip. I was living in Cambridge, MA at the time and thought that it would be a weekend trip to Philly. A white van comes to pick us up from my place, and after loading my luggage and getting inside, my partner gave me a news article about one of those pray-out-the-gay conversion camps. I nearly had a panic attack. But halfway through the article, inserted into the text, was a note to the effect of “Haha, isn’t this funny, we’re actually going to Ireland to see your college friends.” I forgave him some hours later during the flight to Dublin.
WOW, that is quite a practical joke!
Come our TONIGHT, December 13th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe for our last Writers & Words of 2017.