Thursday, July 24, 2014

Horsemeat on a shelf

Master Chef Scott G.F. Bailey tagged me on a blogger hop-skippity, and because I have not posted this month, I will hop along!

What am I working on? The majority of my writing time lately is spent on a fantasy novel for teens call Sister Soul that is based on the lives of my 4th generation Japanese-American sister-in-law and her sister. Both of these women are big readers and constantly talk about how much they wish they had magic powers. So, I'm giving them powers in fictional form. I'm also including a couple of other characters who I've always wanted to include in a story. I'm about a third of the way through the third draft, and have about 50k words. I'm hoping to get a polished draft done by Christmas to give to them as gifts. They would like me so much if that worked out.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? I'll talk about my writing in general. I think I tend to be more spare than other American writers. I'm often inspired by (translated) Japanese literature and Tolstoy. Also, not being a fan of plot maps, my work probably feels more flat and meandering than your average story. In a way my novels are more like a series of episodes instead of one big story. I also try to be very sensitive to emotion.

Why do I create what I do?  I think it's mostly greed. For the same reasons I sing along to songs, I think I want to participate in the act of art that gets me excited, and I want to be able to own art and have it on my shelf. Ideally, the art I make will be the art that entertains me most.

How does my creative process work? I constantly get ideas for things that I think are interesting, such as a world where the characters are all named after race horses or a character who is able to draw out negative emotions from people she is near. Or a man who volunteers to be eaten. Those little ideas accumulate, usually with no concept of story, beginning, middle, or end. Eventually, I'll have a handful of them and will force them to play together in an attempt at a novel--again with no concept of story, beginning, middle, or end. I'll just start writing and see what takes shape. I'm not saying this is a good idea. It's just how I work.

Can I just tag Michelle again, since she's already been tagged?

What's Peanut eating? Duck jerky and cucumber.

His nose is a little wet from having just had some water


  1. There is a world of room between Tolstoy and Japanese literature. Are you attracted to the similarities or the differences between them? If you know what I mean.

    1. What attracts me most about Tolstoy is his ability to capture so much with so few words and to capture those things that remind me most of human nature. That talent transcends his bias and weaknesses in terms of certain views of the world he had. The huge scope of his works is impressive, and sometimes I want to do something like that. But I think what I love most about him is the similarity between him and, say, Kawabata.

      Kawabata also has this lovely dark, perverse quality that I like!