Contradictions and Absurdities in Life and Art

I grew up in the United Arab Emirates during the 1980s and early 1990s and moved to North America when I was thirteen because of the first Gulf War. Growing up in the Middle East during that time meant growing up concurrently with innocence (so much was censored) and turmoil (so much was brewing), optimism (so much seemed possible) and repression (so much was not legally possible) . . .

The Art of Persistence

I’m so grateful that I was chosen for this mentorship program and paired with Carrianne Leung. Having the support of a talented and wise writer in the solitary process of completing a collection is an amazing development, which I believe will guide my collection to a deeper, braver place and push me further than I can go alone . . .

Process

Based on my past mentorships, I have seen that an opportunity to work with a published, successful writer brings insight and knowledge into both the process and craft but also into the larger aspect of seeing a project through to its final incarnation.
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The Nuances of YA

This novel was born out of my desire to write a story set in a young adult psychiatric ward that was filled with humour, with teachings, with love, forgiveness, acceptance, and mirrored the real experiences of people who are dear to me who spent time in them . . .

Processing Through Structure

I am looking forward to receiving the gifts of feedback and observation from my mentor as we begin this mentorship journey. I am hopeful that by working with an experienced author (May Q. Wong) who may nudge me to question and to challenge myself, I will ultimately dive deeper into my writing and re-emerge truer to myself as a writer . . .

The Haunting of Creativity

My manuscript is a story that’s been haunting me for years. In a horror movie I recently saw, learning the name of the ghost renders it powerless. I feel writing this story will help me do the same; it will enable me to move on to other projects, and I may sleep better at night once it’s done . . .

The Magic in the Everyday

I don’t remember when my stories started looking like a collection to me; perhaps when I realized similar themes kept repeating in them. I think that I tend to notice the speculative/ fantastical in everyday objects or events, and they keep jumping out at me as potential stories . . .

Writing as Re-Defining

The collection came from a period of dreams and nightmares, and re-evaluation of my personal and family history. I also spent a lot of time reading afro-futurist works by Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor and folktales (both Jamaican and African American such as “The People Could Fly”) that reimagine Black survival tools as magical powers . . .

The Feverish Push

Being an oil-baby, I lived a nomadic existence. I was born in Calgary, moved to Trinidad, then Toronto, spent time in Winnipeg during school vacations, and then moved to Houston all before the age of 10 . . .

Pen To Paper

My collection has been quite some time in the making. It’s a series of personal short stories which have been incubating for years, until I finally put pen to paper last year in a true effort to tell these stories . . .

Insight, Experience & Meaning

The work-in-progress explores the complexities of the Chinese-Vietnamese-Canadian diaspora and its entanglements with language and loss, family and ancestry. These themes are fairly new in my body of work as an artist, and were first explored in my performance-based collaborations with my mother and sister two years ago . . .

The Joy of Curiosity

I am used to tight deadlines and working under pressure. I am also a complete workaholic. I think the playwright program will allow me to allocate more time to myself and my writing, and give me the space to wrestle with big ideas on and off the page . . .