Amber Dawn (How Poetry Saved My Life, Sub Rosa), whom I had the great fortune to meet over a decade ago in Kate Braid's poetry workshop at the University of British Columbia, has asked me to join in the blog hopping fun. Thanks, AD!
1) What am I working on?
I am conducing research for a novel called Colourfast that's about the textiles industry and its impact on the world as we know it. One of the things I've come across while doing this is Anonymous Horse Dress, which is part of the collection at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore: “Hand-crocheted by a woman who was a multi-decade patient of The Sheppard & Enoch Pratt Hospital (SEPH), little was recorded about the actual person who created the horse dress other than a diagnosis of schizophrenia and that she actually wore this dress in defiance of the generic patient uniform.” I love that this woman used crochet, a decorative and domestic skill mostly practiced by women of a certain class, to protest her confinement.
I'm also collaborating with filmmaker Nick Citton (Decoration, That Burning Feeling) to develop my short story "God Damn, How Real Is This?" into a film.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think of writing as a conversation with other writers about what I think fiction should be. I guess my work differs from other short stories in that it's a reflection of my personal preoccupations in the realm of craft and culture; I haven't invented anything new except for my own approach to language.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I love reading short stories and I want to be able to exact the same precision I apply to poetry to prose. Most of all, what I wish to do is build upon Canada's rich short story tradition and add my voice to the mix.
4) How does my writing process work?
Reading plays a big part in my process. I find that if I don't read or engage with the world I have nothing to write about. As for how I go about writing, I write in 30 minute blocks and I usually put on an album that acts as a soundtrack to what I'm working on. For the story "Robot by the River" I listened to a lot of Smog.
Now it's my turn to tag two friends! I tag andrea bennett (Canoodlers) and Judy McFarlane (Writing with Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome.) Look for bennett and McFarlane's Hop Answers on October 1.