Lauren Westerfield (@lwwesterfield) and I survived a six-day writing workshop with Stephen Elliott. Her prose on fear and the body kept me reading. The Scotch kept us talking. Now there is this.
She hangs out here: www.laurenwesterfield.com
And then there is me.
What are you working on?
I usually tell people I write humorous essays about uncomfortable things. Most of these involve my parents, slavery or the subway. Currently, I am revising a dad damage memoir. I am also working on a book of travel essays, tentatively titled, The Worldwide Break-Up Tour.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I like concise, fearless, funny sentences; collage with a punch and white space. Is that different? Maybe not.
Why do you write what you do?
I write nonfiction because my world is too weird to make up. Just meet my parents or ask about my need to own a pocket shark. I want a five-inch Great White, alive, not sponsored by Disney, that fits in my purse.
How does your writing process work?
It usually starts with an exchange of dialogue, a snippet of snark, something that has clipped my ears or crushed me in some way. For example, in Charleston, South Carolina, everyone suggested I take the Slave Tour. I am black. My family has already taken that trip.
I then describe the place, the people, the event, the tension until I am exhausted. When it seems stuffed, I take an axe to it. When I can read it to my plants without dry heaving, I call it quits.
Now, I think you should stalk these people:
Tabitha Blankenbille. tabithablanken.wordpress.com @tabithablanken She will make you worship a piece of cheese, burn down your cubicle and run off with the beer distributor. Enough said.
Deirdre Sugiuchi. deirdresugiuchi.com/blog @DJSugi Reform school refugee, Athens rock star. Bring it.
Jessica Walker James. mybriefcrackoflight.wordpress.com We cackled like drunk donkeys on the mountain. For days. That is all.