Shut Up and Write

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photo: Tom Cho, 2015

Tom Cho and Jackie Wykes have brought Shut Up and Write back to Vancouver! (I didn’t even know it pre-existed here…) They are the writers-in-residency at Kogawa House, and most Sundays until the end of the year, they’ll be hosting an afternoon writing session. All are welcome to join–they’re putting up a FB page for it.

One thing I learned today? Unlike a lot of young people now, I write by myself and haven’t done much co-writing however defined. Today I understood that I usually write out loud, going over dialogue for my characters, hearing fumbles, arguing with myself about construction, reading text aloud. Staying silent was about as weird as writing without internet. And I also understood that I’m usually kinetic while I write, scratching my head, tapping my fingers etc. Best thing? Socializing and getting so much work done so quickly. 5000 words edited. Worst thing? My body acting up due to being hit by a fire truck recently.

Another (though coincidental because I just brought the current project) weirdness was that ‘The Lost Boy,’ the novel I’m working on, takes place in an internment camp during WWII. Naturally Kogawa House would be the perfect place to work on it, as Tom Cho noted. And I’d completely forgotten Joy Kogawa donated an “artwork” I made for her during our time in Sex, Death and Madness, our then-writing group, to the house, or that I’d donated Joy K’s dad’s 1904 Encyclopedia Brittanica set, minus one volume–those books spent many years in my dining room up on the top of bookshelves gathering dust. I always hoped the kids would want to use them for school projects, but they pronounced them anachronistic.

Best things? Meeting everyone and getting so much work done.