So, I’m a part of the Like A Virgin Contest– it’s for new writers working on manuscripts. Below are some questions and answers– looking forward to the rest of the contest. Xo.
- How do you remember your first kiss?
My first kiss was at my girlfriend’s birthday party in early elemental school. (The details are fuzzy. Second grade? First?) Anyway, she had a bunch of us over at her house and she pulled me up to her room under some flimsy pretext. Next thing you know, we were making out and stuff.
It was a fun party.
- What was your first favorite love song?
My first favorite love song was probably “Lovin’ You.” It was a ritual: my mother would play Minnie Riperton every Saturday when we cleaned the house, so it was programmed into my head very early. I still play it when I clean my apartment.
- What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day?
I usually lock myself into an enclosed space: my bedroom, my office at work, or some other study/work room. I generally like to lock myself into a room before I start writing anything.
- Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer?
Tough questions. If you mean novel-writing, that would be James Baldwin. Before that, I found most writing (other than blogging and poetry) frustrating—I was more of a Math/Science guy. It was James Baldwin that made me realize I wanted to write a novel. Blogging came organically—a friend of mine used to run an amazing blog on growing up Black and queer. I decided I had a lot to say on the topic (and on others) and started blogging in my early teen years.
- Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with?
It does. It’s much different from how I’d originally written it (pacing, voice, tone, exposition), but the scenes themselves are the same.
- For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot or setting?
Major characters, definitely. I usually start my process with an image—I see a character doing something. So, I get a character first. Then I get the setting from their surroundings in the image. Finally, I think about a plotline and create other characters and a storyline connecting them.
- What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing?
Check out the other blogs as well to check out the other participants.
So, first substantive blog post…let’s see!
I actually have a few things I’ve been meaning to write about, so it’s great that the #lv14 bloghop is happening tomorrow.
The first thing is that I’m a new cousin/uncle! My cousin just delivered a healthy, huge baby girl! I spoke with my cousin on the phone yesterday and I’m still amazed by the entire thing. Crazy to think the girl I played with now has a little girl of her own.
Second thing is that my mother went to the gym for the first time in 30 years. This makes me so proud of her– I actually didn’t think she’d ever go. It also makes me to think about my own nonexistent gym habits these days. Going to try to fix that tonight.
Lastly: writing. I am currently neck-deep in edits and I am reaching a strange place. I am revising my completed manuscript– I will probably blog (read: complain) about that a lot. Now that I’ve begun another MS (which I will also blog about), I fully appreciate how much worse editing is than writing.
I’m finding it difficult to stay motivated. But I’ve found a good group of writing partners whom I exchange with and that has been excellent.
So, stay along for the ride.
Here is some introductory info about me and what I will write about.
I’m a mid-20s Black gay lawyer.
I care about pop culture– novels(from fads to classics), TV (trashy and otherwise), and movies (to some extent).
I care about LGBTQ issues, especially those unrelated to marriage equality (ie. how American evangelists have contributed to offshore homophobia).
I care about being Black/part of the African-diaspora and all that that means.
And I care about law/policy.
I’m also a big nerd. I’m addicted to the internet– this is my fourth blog? I started blogging in high school and am finally coming back around. I have been into anime/manga for over ten years. I speak Japanese and Chinese (both to different degrees of proficiency), so there may be some of that here. (Yossha!)
I’m based in Boston. I find Boston to be a strange place, especially to be a Black gay man. I’ve seen a lot over the past six+ years I’ve been in Boston. Some of it has been unfortunate. There’s a lack of organization here and a strange…something about being here in comparison to other American cities. (NYC, DC, Chicago, etc) So, some of what I post may be Boston-specific.
I’m also writing larger projects and that is bringing a lot of joy (and pain) to my life. I have one manuscript and am 5K words into another. This will likely form a substantial part of what I blog about.
Those are the hot-button issues. Anything else is extra.