1. Why do you write?
Writing fiction is a lot getting drunk off the draught of the keyboard (Home Row Happy Hour) and then squeezing your heart into an empty gin bottle and hurling it as far as you possibly can into an ocean of unknown variables. You don’t know what sort of current your script will get caught in; how large the tidal wave will be. You have no clue how many seasons your heart will spend bobbing up and down, succumbing to the sloshes of nature, the indifference of mankind, the boiled insouciance of an accelerated society whose paws have more and more freely adapted to the rectangular scepter of the remote control and less and less to the tattered lapels of a book jacket. You have no clue what foreign shore will be privy to your psychedelic scribbles or if your heart will even wash up in the hands of an appreciable audience at all.
All you have (intrinsically, I think) is the joy of composition. The moment when that blank slate of the computer screen is gradually dotted with syllables and motion—the inward paradoxical feeling of having somehow, magically, traveled simply by sitting on your ass for eight for hours straight and tapping out crunches into a stream of jittery alphabetical shapes. You have that feeling of feeling less alone in the world, the feeling of connecting with something inexplicably spiritual. The feeling of devising a story, of living out that story through composition and in giving that story (and not caring, in a way, if the story ever quote unquote “makes-it”—in the immortal gothic cadenza’s of Black Sabbath “Give it all and ask for no return/and very soon you’ll see and you’ll begin to learn/ that it’s alright—yeah it’s alright” ).
2. If you didn't write, what would you do?
3. Your favorite writing quote?
There’s a quote by Anne Sexton I read when I was in high school from a letter she wrote to a burgeoning writer I’m really fond of, a poetic Polonius urging an unfledged literary Laertes to, “Get to work man, and let the publishing come in its own time even if its 15 years from now. No matter. Fight for the poem. Put your energy into it. Force discipline into madness. Push for the stars or at least go back and push one poem all the way up there. I did it, why not you?” There’s another really well anthologized quote from Heart of Darkness which I used to have pierced over my writer’s desk where the narrator comments, “No I don’t like work…no man does, but I like what’s in the work. The chance to find yourself.” There’s a book on atomic positivism the size of a Sunday school bulletin by Ludwig Wittgenstein entitled, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that just destroys me with metaphysical maxims like “The single thing proves over and over to be unimportant but the possibility of every single thing show us something about the nature of the world.” and, “If eternity is understood not by endless temporal duration but by timelessness then he who lives in the moment lives eternally.” Of course David Foster Wallace’s 1993 contemporary fiction Dalkey achieve interview with Larry McCaffery where he talks about, “Fiction is what it’s like to be a complete and sentient fuckin’ human being vs. a rather sophisticated mammal.” just disintegrated every cell of my anatomy when first perused. Somewhere Michael Chabon has a great quote about if you want to learn to be a fiction writer you must learn, “to sit on your ass,” and although it’s not hip to reference there’s a quote from Loius L’amour’s autobiography EDUCATION OF A WANDERING MAN (the book Chris McCandless was reading at the time of his demise) goading the reader to “Start writing no matter about what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
--all questions interrogated by (push-cart prize princess) Diva Natashia Deon...whose fragrant poetic pulse inspires us all...