A Little Bit Sick, a Little Bit Rock and Roll

Personal update post! I know! They’re so exciting I can hear my followers running for the hills. Haha

First, I feel that for every personal update, I need a selfie. This is me putting myself out there to those interested (and not otherwise connected to me). Continue reading

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Funk: a Memoir on my Progress

I told myself August was the month where I finished the rough draft of this beautiful, haunting, busted-up novel of mine. And here I am, ten days in, with nary 1k words written on it since the first. With roughly 1/3 of the book remaining, I’m worried.

Internet stresses aside, and real life stresses aside (can you really put that aside? I say no. If this is a career, if this is a lifestyle, if this is my job. No.), I’m in a funk that I have brought on myself. Continue reading

#amwriting Oddity: Dream Character Development

This’ll be short. It’s now Monday (happy 4th of July everyone. Go Americaaaaa), and I wrote this on Friday, but since I had a post scheduled for Friday, I scheduled this for Monday. While the thoughts are fresh.

Yesterday I wrote 4k words on my book, starting around 9pm, after a day of lamenting the death of my motivation for this book. I was mostly joking about the “death of motivation,” because for some reason I randomly get a rush of adrenaline-esque motivation to write, and I just write. Not that I wait around for it; I spent a lot of time researching, writing on needed work (homework), etc., with intent to write.

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What Twitter Has Taught Me About Writing

A few years ago, I decided to start building an online environment where I’m surrounded by writers who are living the life I want: stories, blogs, conventions, live tweeting, book signing, all that magic. I also wanted book agents who could potentially benefit from my manuscripts (if I ever get to sending them out again). The best place for that, I decided, was Twitter. While I have very few followers (@CAHeisserer), I’ve mostly fulfilled my intent, adding new writers and agents when they pop up.

The depressive nature of politics and political tweets aside, it’s quite fulfilling to have a broadcast community where I feel supported by proxy. A great byproduct of having all these writerly types is I get free advice about query letter construction, story hooks, first chapters, pages, sentences, strong characterization, what to avoid, how to avoid it, and due to the fact I’m following a handful of awesome lady writers, I also get a healthy dose of the up-and-coming perspectives of traditionally marginalized voices, intersectionality, inclusivity, and shifted power dynamics in writing (and, unfortunately, a lot of mansplaining).

Here are a few things I’ve learned from my Twitter environment: Continue reading

I Tiptoe Around (Some) Empowered Women in Literature and TV

This semester, I’ve been studying American Indian Survivance Discourse. I’ve been studying code-switching and the importance of diversity in voice through minority writing. I’ve been studying transgender literature. Fairy tale literature. LGBQ literature. It’s beautiful.

Most recently, I’ve been studying the poet Adrienne Rich. While all the subjects I put in my head this semester has had an impact on me, to varying degrees, Rich never ceases to explode my thought. Boom. And the kicker is, I studied her seven years ago with similar effect. Her insights are mind-curling, deep and twisting and nearly self-aware. And she made sense, on Thursday, in a way that fit something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

She said that for her to be a truly independent woman writer, she had to stop using men’s sensibilities and styles while writing.

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My Nine Year Novel, and Why It Isn’t Published

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Warmest winter day ever.

Spring break is almost over! Yaaay (boo)! I still don’t have all my homework done. Exactly what I expected to happen this break, despite spending over 15 hours on courses already.

Between paper research that may or may not include multiple watchings of Idiocracy and This Film is Not Yet Rated, I’ve also been tackling professional representation/improvement on my writing work. My journey with this, the greatest failure and success of a novel, is a long and sordid one: one I wish to talk about for others in a similar field.

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Writing, Like Reading, is a Solo Endeavor.

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I mean, it is. I know lots of people with day jobs as picture framers and teachers and professors at universities who go home, write about their experiences, and only write in that bubble. Separate from the writing world at large. People do that. Lots of people do that.

The act of touching keyboard or pen is definitely a solo endeavor. And if that’s all you want out of it, that’s all you need.

But even Malcolm X, in prison, didn’t write alone. He wrote in a group. The idea of an incarcerated man, sitting in a cell with a pencil and legal pad and a few books, plugging away at some idea, lost in a vacuum of solitary, and not solidarity, probably sits in a lot of people’s heads. There’s a stigma attached to writing. Google “writer,” look at the images. It’ll show you this stigma. One person. Alone in a room. With birds or some sparkly pixie dust floating out of his hipster typewriter. Usually male. Usually white. Usually synonymous with the idea of reading; casual, inspired, brilliant, freeing.

All the way bs.

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