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. As an adult, I travelled for post-secondary and spent months in Nicaragua and years in England. In each of those places I met individuals whose stories lingered such that I couldn’t get them out of my head. Eventually, when I returned to Toronto from England I had gathered enough of them to see thematic patterns common in them and put together a collection.

I’ve never had the opportunity to receive literary fiction mentorship before, so I’m looking forward to getting my manuscript a professional polish and insight into it’s salability and where I should try to take it for publication.

I enjoy writing in a group using writing prompts. I find that the presence of others, all of us desperately trying to tap into our muses at the same time, is almost always a creative spark for me. I write by hand and type up my work and print it out to edit it. I have to read the non-fiction I write out loud. Most of the time I’m able to write a short story in one feverish push.

In my ideal world, a writer’s life would be peaceful and supported. Days would extend to 3am (just to accommodate those days when you can’t quite make a midnight deadline). There would be mandatory quiet time, and excuses from work to make deadlines. No one would be allowed to snicker at being a writer. Published or no. People wouldn’t be allowed to ask: where have you published?

I would choose Suzan-Lori Parks to write a book about my life. I think only she should could find some meaning in the things that have happened to me: string the whole thing together, invent a language, and turn it into something beautiful.

Ten years from now I have place in CanLit. Fewer individuals are telling me “that won’t sell” or you should “de-emphasize that.” I have finished multiple books, plays, and written for television. Maybe an award nomination (if not a win) or two? My highest point would be Suzan-Lori Parks agreeing to meet me. My lowest: slogging through learning (and mastering) the craft of poetry.