Francesca Lia Block, my partner in Rough Magick, interviewed me for her blog! I talk about my influences, obsessions and writing and editing processes.
“What tips do you have for writers about how to create a powerful short story?
When I write a story, it’s usually because I have something on my mind that won’t go away. A feeling, or a particular image, a snippet of a dream. I’m a worrier, a ruminator, and I will replay that little bit of information in my head over and over again. Writing gives me the space to explore these feelings and ideas. I’d tell writers to begin there, with that passion. The power of that feeling will carry throughout your story, even if it’s not immediately clear in the first draft. Also, with short stories, there is a particular urgency that needs to be addressed. You have very little time to grab the reader and get them acclimated to the world you are creating, so it’s important to do that right away.”
Head on over to FLB’s blog and learn more about me!
So, I’ve finally picked up my reading pace, and I’m currently engrossed in So Sad Today, a collection of essays by Melissa Broder that is at once beautiful, heartbreaking and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. (Maybe I find them funny because I, too, am an anxious mess and love a good dose of self-deprecating dark humor, but I guess that’s a story for another day.)
If you haven’t checked out So Sad Today on Twitter, you should. Seriously, do it right now. When you’re anxious and depressed, it’s hard to express it or explain it to others. We’re told to hide it, to put on a happy face and fake it ’til we make it. It’s so fucking refreshing to see someone just say what they want to say. Broder is a writer who started the account anonymously as a way to get all of these feelings out in the open. What a marvelous idea! You would think that maybe reading this shit when you suffer from anxiety and depression would be triggering, but for me, it’s the exact opposite.
It’s inspiring. It’s calming. I read Broder’s tweets–and now, her essay collection–and sigh in relief. The So Sad Today project as a whole is a lesson in radical bravery.
And these one-liners. I am in awe when someone can deliver truth with such an economy of words as this:
In some ways, I can’t wait to keep reading, but in other ways, I want to savor every word, every revelation.
In any case, I’m loving this brilliant book so far.