albionidaho: (Default)
I've been writing for the past years. Between jobs and school and parenting responsibilities, I've frequently only written 250 to 300 words a day, and have done little revising. There just wasn't time. But it was important to me to keep writing, consistently.

In the past months, since just before my dad died, I've had the time to write more. In that time, I've started writing, revising and submitting. I've started to stack up acceptances. It's an incredible feeling.

It feels like I'm starting over.

And it feels wonderful.

#


When I was at Clarion West, I asked my instructors what I should go home and work on. They all told me to go home and write. Just write and write. I was hoping to get some insight, like, "Your plotting needs work. Go home and work on plotting." Or maybe, "Your characterization needs work. Go focus on that."

I expected this partially because this was some of the directions my classmates were getting and I knew (and know) I have all kinds of things to work on. But that's not what I got, and yet it was the best advice for me. There's no better advice to any writer than to write and write and read and read and write some more.

#


I've been discussing my Clarion West experience a lot with classmate [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga. One thing we've discussed is our own inability to see our strengths and weaknesses until someone else, someone we trust, holds up a mirror and tells us.

And it's true. I have no idea what my strengths are until someone tells me. Chris tells me my strength is my ability to capture emotion. I never would have guessed this -- it's innate to me. One of his strengths is description -- of place, of action, of character. Again, this isn't something he sees in himself, but it is something he worked on when he was younger because he felt it was a weakness.

Which raises another point. Chris is a prime example of how we can take a weakness and turn it into a strength. This gives me so much hope.

#


So I write. And I write. And I write. And now I'm revising and preparing to submit at the rate I was before life fell apart a few years ago. And I take the faith my friends have expressed and hold it close.

#


John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over" just started to play on my music player. Synchronicity. I titled this entry before I typed the first word.
albionidaho: (Default)
Has been accepted for publication by The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction..

This is what happens when goblin_exchange, [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga and I are sitting around a couch, surrounded by the best literary talent available, on the eve of Strange Horizons closing to subs for two months, trying to figure out what we can sub to SH that will shred gender stereotypes, bust open the genre, and pay homage to Robert Silverberg...
albionidaho: (Default)
I have been working on getting a big girl job for a while; the most recent one has fallen through. I was a finalist, but no crown for me.

Thankfully, another opportunity has arisen.

I'm traveling to Southeast Asia for two months to work on some non-fiction projects. There will be tech writing and travel writing, but also fiction writing and adventure blogging.

Perhaps one of the coolest parts is that [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga is coming, too.

This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime adventures, and a fantastic opportunity.

We fly out of San Francisco tomorrow at midnight. We'll be in a plane for a while. I'm bringing a notebook.
albionidaho: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga interviewed me over at his awesome writerly journal.  Here's his questions and my answers:

What are your dreams as a writer?


I dream of learning  to write the best stories and books I can, to be able to internalize the lessons we learned at Clarion West and let those skills grow to fruition.  I would love to identify other elements and be able to incorporate those into my writing.  I dream of writing stories with great ideas, beautiful themes, and rich language.  Most of all, I dream of writing books in a variety of "genres" that represent the most gorgeous elements of humanity I believe in, and that these books will reach out to people, pull them in, tell them a wonderful story, and then affect even the smallest elements of their lives.  I dream of writing books and stories that do for others what my favorite books have done for me -- show me the best of humanity, and that I'm not alone in the world.  And, if I can make a living doing this, well... now that's so much the better, isn't it?


How do you plan to reconnect with anthropology?

I reconnect with anthropology all the time -- it informs much of how I view the world, describe it, explain it, and interact with people.  It has had a significant influence on my fiction.  I go back to anthropology regularly when world building, creating story, and creating characters.  But that's now.  In the near future I am going to utilize my understanding of anthropology to explore and understand my new surroundings here in the Bay Area.  I suspect I'll be writing about this ;).  Someday I I would love to do some social documentation work, and anthropology definitely is one aspect of this. Social documentation ties together some of my greatest passions: anthropology, story telling, and people.  Finally,  I want to see the world, poke, prod, and smell it, see and live in it and with the people who inhabit it.  Perhaps I'll do this in an anthropological capacity, whether it's for research or fieldwork. 

Of course, it's always possible I may end up finding a job that directly uses my anthropological training, and that would be cool, too.

Your children are very precious to you. What kind of world would you like to build for them?

The innocent, romantic, provincial Idahoan would say ideally I would like my children  to live in a world where the world was healthy in all ways, where the current environmental concerns are not an issue, where no one is hungry, where all people are free, where people can pursue their passions and make enough to sustain a comfortable life.  Where people love one another and have few worries; where all people are free to live and love in the ways they desire.  Utopia, I suppose.  However, I know that such an ideal, Millennial world doesn't necessarily produce strong, independent, driven, compassionate people who know what true joy can feel like, what freedom feels like.  There is, after all, a quality to joy and freedom that comes when one has known the alternative that can't be known or understood otherwise. 

Perhaps, if I may, I'd suggest that the question be tweaked to, "What kind of home would you like to build for them?" 

I want my children to have a home filled with books and music and love.  I want them to have animals to snuggle with, adults who support them, encourage them, believe in them, and dream with them.  I want a home where we cook together, dance together, laugh together, play together, work together.  I want them to have a home where anything can be discussed openly, honestly, intelligently, and sensitively, where they can express themselves without fear.  They deserve a home where diversity is loved and appreciated, in whatever form it comes in.  They need a home where they can learn to develop the skills and motivation necessary to define their goals and begin to realize their dreams, whatever these dreams may be.  I want them to know whatever they want is attainable, and that dreams are meant to be a reality.

What fictional universe would you like a portal to so you can live/explore or just occasionally have lunch in?

Albion.  ;)

How does it feel to fly free?

It feels like the beginning of an absolutely wonderful life.
 
 
***
So, let's share the interview love.  If you would like to be interviewed, post a comment, and I'll write five questions for the first three respondees.

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albionidaho

January 2012

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