Did I already blog this?

6 08 2015

Or did I merely think it?

I’m going to try and finish a draft — if not, the final draft — of my entire memoir by the end of the month. And the crazy thing is that I think I can do it.





I’m just writing something so I can read and go to bed

4 08 2015

I wonder if I should start keeping a journal. I’d imagine it’d be useful since I’m a creative non-fiction writer, but I feel like my everyday life is so mundane, there wouldn’t be anything to write about. Ie. I went to work. It was busy/fine/normal. I came home, had some food, played Age of Empires, watched a movie, procrastinated working on my memoir, then went to bed. Man, what an exciting life I lead.





Rejection dream

25 07 2015

Had a dream the other night where I received a letter from a publishing house I had sent my book proposal to a couple months ago. The letter was terribly scrawled; it looked like some third-grader had written it. I tried my best to decipher what it said, and the gist of it was that they had passed, saying my proposal/book was “exaggerated.”

This past week I’ve been anxious about receiving anything from from the actual publishing company I sent my proposal to. I check the mailbox every day, dreading to see the self-addressed stamped envelope I included in my proposal, while also being paranoid that the longer it takes, the more the answer is no. I also wonder whether or not they even received my proposal and am further paranoid they never did. Basically a lot of anxiety and paranoia. Between games of Age of Empires.





Finished!

29 06 2015

A first draft. I feel like it’s complete shit but it’s shit I can still work with. Hooray for working with shit!





So productive

18 06 2015

Writing at on a computer at university. I wasn’t distracted to do anything else either. I just sat down, opened up my document, and immediately starting go through and editing it. Then I come home and I’m unproductive again. I think I’ve found my new writing spot! If only it weren’t so far away and out of the way…

Where do you write most productively?





How Art Talks to Art

21 05 2015

Originally blogged from my official site:

The choice to make my memoir a mixed-genre book was a surprisingly easy one to make. Back when I was sure it was going to be a straightforward memoir, a writer friend and colleague of mine suggested, half-kidding (I think? She jokes a lot so it’s hard to tell sometimes), “Is it gonna be mixed genre? Throw in some poems? Yeah? Yeah! You know it!” Sure, I had thrown around the idea of making my memoir a mixed-genre book but never seriously thought about it. When I went home that day, I looked at my poems — and also some of the few fiction pieces I had written¬† — and saw that some of them naturally fit with the pieces in my memoir, like how continents fit together.

I thought it was a pretty neat idea, writing a mixed-genre memoir. I certainly wasn’t the first to do it either. Amber Dawn’s memoir, How Poetry Saved My Life, includes both memoir and poetry. More recently, Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please, features essays, haikus, and other odd little pieces of writing. Bossypants by Tina Fey includes the Sarah Palin/Hilary Clinton SNL script that became famous.

My memoir contains, poetry, a short script, a short play, song lyrics, and, of course, memoir. I know it might seem strange to include fiction, and I’ve tried to explain it concisely as I’ve could in the queries and book proposals I’ve been sending out, in an effort to make publishers and editors see that I’m not just a weirdo novice writer who is scrapbooking my greatest hits. But it’s difficult because I feel like it requires a bit more explanation. So if you’re a publisher trying to figure out why you have a multi-genre memoir thing on your desk, here’s your answer.

I made a short film called Stay, which is about two Chinese-Canadian gay men and what happens when one of them refuses to stay the night. You don’t need to know anything about me to watch this film (in fact, it’s on YouTube). After watching it (or before, really), if I told you that my first boyfriend was Chinese-Canadian and in the closet, and that we never had a night together, how does that change your reading/interpretation of the Stay? (Does the film come across as a fantasy/hope if the real same had stayed the night?) How does Stay reveal autobiography as a work of fiction? What can you suggest about why I decided to write and make the film?

Maybe it’s just the English major in me, the one that constantly analyzes things for meanings, but these are the kind of questions I like to ask — and I’d like people to ask — when reading my work. Not everyone will want to think this deeply, for sure, but I think they’re good questions to ask.

Here’s another way to put it. I recently watched a documentary called National Gallery, made by Frederick Wiseman. At one point in the film, a worker at the National Gallery in London explains how paintings and works “talk to each other.” When looking at a painting on its own, he says, you may have one interpretation. When put next to another painting, it causes you to reinterpret both paintings; you notice things you didn’t notice before. They both mean different things.

That’s exactly what I’m trying to do with my mixed-genre book. I’m trying to show readers a different way — my perspective — of looking at not just my straightforward memoir pieces, but all the other kinds of writing and art that I do and make. I believe that this reveals a lot more about a person that a simple memoir, and as someone who feels constantly misunderstood (or not understood at all), I relish the opportunity to give people this special insight. And it’s not just me trying to boast to everyone that I can write a script and a play (although that is an added bonus).

Hope that makes sense. I feel like it will make more sense once my book is available and people can read it for themselves (hint hint, publishers). What are your thoughts? Do you think a mixed-genre memoir is a good idea?

-A





Week-long date with my book

14 04 2015

I’ve been away from it for a while, and I recently realized that I need to spend some time getting to know it and what it wants to be. I thought I had it figured out, but then I realized that there were some things I didn’t know, some other stories it wants to tell. Also, I gotta get out of my house because my cat and reachable food is too distracting. So I’m going to take my computer and sit with my book in a cafe somewhere and figure it out.

Should be a hot date.





It’s finally here!

26 03 2015

I should have a picture of it, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, so you’ll all just have to believe me. The latest copy of Ricepaper is out now, featuring a personal essay I wrote titled “Cold War”! Yay! Now the world will finally know how awful sexual racism is. Grr argh.

But in the meantime, yay!





And back to normal

23 02 2015

The day after I get an acceptance from a literary publication, I get another rejection which I expected. Back to normal indeed. Or back to jadedness?





Published!

21 02 2015

After so many rejections, when you get an acceptance, sometimes you just want to cry because you feel like someone finally gets you.