“Allow me to reintroduce myself…*
So I decided to give you all a bit of insight into my chapbook Letters About Losing You (LALY) and my creative process, as well as some fun facts about me. Since it felt weird to just ramble about things with no direction (hey that’s called blogging, right? lol) I pasted together a bunch of helpful, quirky and entertaining questions via Google. Enjoy!
What inspired me to write LALY
I discovered during undergrad that I really like writing about people and relationships, specifically. A lot of my work was inspired by my own experiences and things I’d read, overheard on a bus or lunchroom or made up in my crazy, complex head. What’s more interesting to me is the idea of loss and all the forms that it takes over the course of life. Most people see the title and assume it’s about death or lost love. But loss is happy and it’s sad depending on how we make sense of it. I tackled this exploration in three parts, from concrete to abstract. It just skims the ocean of possibility: a person dying, betrayal, freeing yourself from a bad situation, realizing you’ve changed. I think once you’ve read through it a few times you’ll reflect on all these phases we go through as humans and think about the state of yourself and your relationships. It’s contemplative in a spiritual sense.
My favorite poem in LALY
Which one best describes me
Probably Shakeable Earth
Most personal piece
I wrote them and spent a lot of time with them, so they all are in some way 🙂 But I’d have to say Black Banana. It’s socially conscious and thus very important I think.
The ones that didn’t make the book haha
How I write
Many ways, it’s a burst of inspiration, as one would expect. Most take a bit more time though. I often free write and pluck, as I call it; take the promising bits out and turn it into something. Other times I know what topic I’m tackling and brainstorm from an image or thought. Editing is most of it, I have no less than about 6 drafts of anything and much more on others, I’ve gotten to 20 before. Everything from stanza changes to a word swap or punctuation changes.
Li-Young Lee, David Ferry, Rudy Francisco, Andrea Gibson, Ross Gay, Nikki Giovanni. I’m sure Lhumpa Lahiri too if she wrote poetry. The list goes on, but they influence me most.
Last book I read
The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide by Heidi Priebe. Helped me understand myself so much.
Last book I didn’t finish
Lonesome Dove–it’s so long! One day I will though
Who’s on my playlist
Dan Bremmes, Daniel D, Trevor Wesley, Trip Lee, Adele, Parson James and Tori Kelly. I like a lot of different sounds as you can tell, but mainly authentic, soulful sounds that keep you thinking right.
How I break writer’s block
Read. Read everything I can get my hands on. Then I force myself to write something, even if it’s really bad.
If it’s continental US then I’d say San Diego. If we’re talking just domestically in general then the Virgin Islands. International? Greece. Sorry, I need options, I’m too adventurous for one-answer questions haha
People who stand really close to me in line!
Something I want to learn how to do
Swim! And play Stevie Wonder’s harmonica solo in “Doing It Wrong”
Don’t know about me
This is a weird question because every time you answer it, it has to change so I’m gonna pass.
Leave a comment below with your thoughts on any of these and don’t forget to hashtag “LALY” on social media and keep the conversation about change, love, life, and loss going.