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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
Becoming a Diaspora Dialogues mentee and working with Shani Mootoo is a dream come true. In my creative writing training so far, I have often found myself stranded in classes and spaces that privileged white and straight perspectives . . .
The feedback I’ve gotten from my previous instructors is that I need to “step into” my pieces more deeply. With my mentor I want to learn how to set up great scenes but also ones that carry a depth of meaning . . .
The goal is to walk away with a final draft by the end of the program as such, to have my work reviewed by professionals in the industry is critical. Feedback on its creative and structural elements further improves my ability as a writer and the quality of my existing draft, through subsequent edits . . .
Late last year, I took a leave of absence from my Ph.D in History and began living as a writer. As part of this transition, I began journaling regularly and revisiting past journal entries dating as far back as to when I was 14 or 15 years old . . .