Okay, there was a lot of whining and pity partying when last I wrote. Sorry about all that.
Today I come with good tidings. It is Friday, or actually 4:34AM Saturday, and I have met another deadline. That's right, another 10 pages written this week. That means I have twenty new pages of a brand new story toward my deadline of thirty new pages by August 30. Friends, I am actually on track here. And I think--I hope--I'm lacing in enough racially charged scenes/themes/"tropes" to show my advisor that I am trying to learn from his advice to do more with race in my stories.
Actually read a great story--Nam Le's story "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice" (from The Boat)--about that today, about the somewhat artificial endeavor of sitting down at your computer to write an "ethnic story."
But, hey, I don't know, maybe Rigoberto is right: maybe a writer of color--any color!--can't write without being political. Maybe the act of writing is a political act, no matter what, so if you're going to be wearing your politics on your sleeve, you better damn well know what you think and believe.
I don't know.
I'm just a fledgling young writer here.
If you figure it out first, will you let me know?
I've only finished reading the first two stories of The Boat, but already it is love. Le is absolutely the kind of writer I want to be. Someone versatile, someone not pigeonholed. I mean, I don't want to see writing as a motherfull, fatherless, Japanese-Scottish-English-German-American Indian woman raised in Hawai'i as a limitation . . . certainly there are enough layers to that identity to write about it for a whole lifetime! But, at the same time, if I want to write about something else, about races I am not, and places I've never been, and experiences I've never had, I want to give myself the freedom to do so.
In "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," Le writes of a friend who explains why he likes Le's writing, saying, "You could totally exploit the Vietnamese thing. But instead, you choose to write about lesbian vampires and Colombian assassins, and Hiroshima orphans--and New York painters with hemorrhoids" (p. 10).
That's it exactly. If a story idea pops in my head to be written from the POV of a lesbian vampire, I am so going to just go for it, you know, rather than worrying that it doesn't fit into some person's idea of what my ouevre should be.