I didn’t write a single word yesterday. I meant to, of course, but I kept pushing what I intended to write an hour off, then another, and another, then the sun went down, then I was eating dinner, then I was yawning and easing myself into bed. No written words to show for it.
I read yesterday. I walked to Phoenix Books, the little bookstore right around the corner from my apartment, and bought used copies of Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara and A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid. By the time I eased myself into bed, I had read all of Kincaid’s book and about half of Bambara’s book. “Reading is good for writing,” I said to my bedside lamp as I turned it off.
When I woke up this morning, I checked my email. That’s how I found out “Boy, A History,” my short story, was available to read in the new issue of Guernica. I read my short story, then I read it again. I do this when my work is published; I do it to convince myself that it is real.
I knew what I had to write today. I’ve been avoiding revising a scene in which a one-night stand shouted out the N-word in the middle of sex. I’ve re-written this scene at least four times.
Writing about your memories means that you’ve agreed to lock yourself in a room with them. Even when you’re not writing, part of you is still in that room reliving your best mistakes in first person, no second person, past tense, no past perfect tense, again and again.
Anyway, back to work.
You want to know what that guy said don’t you?
He said “nigger dick.”
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- darrianwesley said: Just read, “Boy, A History” #love
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