Sometimes, just for fun, I have my fictional loved ones interview each other. It’s a nice character building exercise, and it helps me see them as if they were real people. I also really like those long questionnaires people send me on Facebook, designed to elicit pointless information.
What are you doing? Drinking ginger ale, typing, petting the cat, worrying, wearing a sweater and some pants.
What do you want to write? I want to finish writing the stories I’ve been telling myself for five or six years now. Every time I think I know what’s going on there, something changes, something will strike me as so beautiful and urgent and essential, that it has to be written in, even if it alters the fabric. Agnes DeMille said, “The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” The fiction I write is never about me, but I do lift aspects of the world around me for it, that’s how writing works. You have to know what to steal. I like creating these lush, complicated, comfortable worlds and people, but I hate plot. I just want to make characters forever.
I’d like to keep writing creative non fiction, essays. I’m glad that I’ve had the time to concentrate on it. The other day I had a thought that I should just tell as many stories as possible. There’s a lot in my life that I don’t talk about, but that I’m always thinking of. I might be getting closer to writing it down.
Who are your influences? I am loathe to say my mother, but I’ve been writing about her so much lately. I hate when people say that, though, even if it’s true. I love Jami Attenberg and Jonathan Ames, I’ve read everything by them. Walking in certain places- New York, Ann Arbor. Anything or anyone that’s shiny, quirky or original.
What do you love? Coffee shops and their beverages, cardigans, paper, crime drama, New York City, vegetables, NPR, social media, fiction, traveling, imagination, riding the bus, kettlecorn, ethnographies, walking long distances, museums, making lists, feminism, song lyrics, my black and white sneakers, corduroy pants, cold weather, photography, libraries, documentaries, rice pudding, scary movies, curly hair, bookstores, the evolution of nicknames, happenstance, drawing pictures of trees, collarbones, dresses with sashes, ziploc bags, drinking out of mason jars, my journals.
What’s in your bag right now? My cell phone (off), a coffee mug, my computer cord, the book I’m reading (Special Topics in Calamity Physics), my journal, my calendar, an empty journal where I was going to write down places I want to come back to, my green pencil case that has some pens and 3 memory sticks, my wallet, my camera, some stray pens, an ipod/computer connector thing, my Voices on the Verge cd, Oh, and the bag smells like coffee.
What do you wish you could do? Play acoustic guitar. I don’t want to learn, I just want to be able to do it. I want to drive cross country. I also wish I could not panic, that I could dance and would do it in front of people, and that I were a morning person. Oh, and I wish I had a bike and were not terrified of riding it in the city.
What are you proud of? Getting over my fear of flying, my college gpa, my imagination, living my politics, my leadership experiences, my writing, my blog, my independence, even when it gets me in trouble. Being who I am, in spite of what people think. Climbing various mountains. Also, my reading speed and my ability to remember strange things, although I can’t take credit for those.
Where are you going? Someday: Oregon, Seattle, California, Argentina, Europe. Brooklyn. The coffee shop, for many hours, tomorrow. Graduate school, hopefully. To sleep, eventually, to the kitchen for more ginger ale, to the safe corners of my brain.
What do you miss? Oberlin, Amherst and Northampton, Ann Arbor, college, Israel, driving. Running in the middle of the night. Playing Risk with D and S. Boston, sometimes. New York when I’m not there, and even sometimes when I am. Certain roads. Laughing with particular people. Half Price Books.
What do we not know about you? I hate ice, especially in drinks. I think baths are gross. I like being obsessed with things. I’m good with names. I like always being a little bit cold. I love singing, but I don’t do it anymore, and I never did it in public. I almost never travel with less than five books, even if I’m just going somewhere for the weekend. I hate talking on the phone. I sleep with the tv on. If you hurt me, I will probably never tell you. When I was eleven, I wrote a crappy, melodramatic novel. When I was a teenager, I wrote a tv show. I might be kind of psychic. I am never not worrying about something. I think coffee is food (it’s made from bean!). I’m terrified that someday someone will find and read my journal, so I’ve inadvertently cultivated a weird, totally illegible handwriting.
What things today were lovely? My hair is clean. It’s autumn. This cat is fluffy and awesome. I saw two people I really like. I had some coffee. My brain got quiet and I had some good ideas. J and I had a talk. I wore a scarf and a necklace, I ate dinner, I read some interesting things, I used an excellent pen, I went on a walk.