In gratitude and in memory. Farewell, Maya.
Red pencil on paper. In memory.
@SerenaWLin — Thanks for your interest in my writing process! I enjoyed your generous, candid post at http://drunkenwhispers.wordpress.com as I’m sure my readers will! Looking forward to my fellow Blog Tour pilgrims’ responses — follow @TananariveDue and @tayari
Respectably submitted on 5/19/14
1. What are you working on?
For the first time in my adult life, I recently purchased a product known as “sugar cubes.” To my surprise, they were called “dots,” which seems absurd. Dots are typically round, no? As you can see from the picture, these are clearly square. Somehow, I felt convinced that placing these in my tea would have a positive effect on my creativity. Sure enough, I began planning an art installation for a deconstructed-“dot” pyramid, made out of sugar cubes, each 1’x1’ wide. I was going to submit my proposal to the MoMa, yet I am not convinced they will be able to accommodate my request for a gallery climate of 117 degrees F. One lump or two?
2. How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
Yesterday I was sitting on a bench when I came across this ladybug. She was showing a bit of wing, and was a bit skittish. She wore a tattered red coat with numerous dots, and so I understood her to be quite old. Clearly, we both were working within the same genre—that of sitting on a bench near the Hudson River—yet our work differed vastly. Perhaps that is why she refused to crawl onto my hand despite numerous attempts. In the end, I let her be, and tried not to take it too personally.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Paper is my life. I enjoy a wealth of documents. The possibilities for manila folders is endless, and I once constructed about twelve teenagers out of such materials. All that’s needed is a bit of glue, safety scissors, and you can make just about anything. Heck, nations have been erected with less. Am I right? Anyway, it gives me something to do with myself, which is helpful. I like immaculately color-coded files made of rice paper that double as flypaper. I arrange my taxidermies by genus, starting with origami spiders. Even an avid paper-enthusiast like myself will occasionally wonder whether there is some other purpose. During those times, I read my mother’s old Sears patterns, and search the puddles in Tribeca for the odd lemon.
4. How does your writing process work?
I waited for the 7 train this morning, and a pink glow began to manifest itself by a pigeon beyond the chain-link fence. I don’t usually spy, yet I had just missed my train. Boy, what a sight. He was all Japanese fan and totally unlike his brethren doing humiliating chicken imitations. Twice a year, the front of my brain tingles. I try to show appreciation. The rest of the time, I am sitting on the couch, not watching the tv. The glow is seldom green–it depends on whether or not I remember what the word “seldom” means. Such a slippery word. Anyhow, the important thing at such times is to grab a pen, and resist the temptation to search for just the right pen. Unless of course it’s a ghost. In which case, the thing needs to be typed on the computer, since ghosts regard computers with a kind of bemusement. Why not humor them?
Kind Reader, I have passed the Writing Process Blog Tour challenge onto my friend, fellow poet and active literary citizen, Cynthia Manick. Cynthia is a Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of The New School’s MFA program in poetry. Her poems are widely published. Cynthia recently launched a new poetry reading series called The Soul Sister Revue. She is also the East Coast editor of Jamii Publishing. Join me in reading Cynthia Manick’s Writing Process Blog Tour post on May 26th, 2014, this coming Memorial Day, at http://www.cynthiamanick.com/.
Thanks again, Serena, for the invitation to blog about writing. After the initial panic phase, it was fun. –SJ