Working on The Amnesia of Junebugs

I can't write anymore tonight. my forearms and eyes are fucking sore man. but, truth be told, my novel is coming along. i just finished the last Suzanne chapter, now i have one more Assis chapter, a few short flashback chapters and the ending and i'm done. at least with this draft. god, i'm gonna be so elated once i'm finished with this piece of élan vital. i'm already on page 348, but i've still got probably another 40 pages to go. really, when i think about that, that's nothing. 40 pages. but in some way, the last 20 matter the most. i will spend probably the next year revising just those last 20 pages. but for now, onward! just 40 more pages or so, and then i'm all done . . . i can't even explain the joy and delight that will take place inside my heart when i can say that, even about a well-written draft.

Chuck Wachtel Gives Me Some Props for The Amnesia of Junebugs

Yo, I'm so happy. i want these words framed and put above my bed. this is what chuck wachtel, the associate professor of fiction at NYU who judged this year's sparks prize entry wrote about my submission:

Selecting this submissions as the first prize winner was easy. i was quickly engaged in the fast-paced cinematic prose, the humor, the vigorous motion of the plot. the narrator tells the story in a scatter-shot through controlled voice that at times brought junot diaz's stories to mind, at times, the earlier novels of lois-ann yamanaka. there is a surprising emotional accuracy, thus a genuine pathos: the work of this young author is already possessed of a genuine fictional beauty.

Every time i'm sad, discouraged, uninspired, self-destructive, professionally lost, creatively mercurial or just feeling like shit, i'm gonna re-read that quote and remember that for one moment, someone saw my writing exactly as i was trying to write it: cinematically, beautifully, with bursts of controlled intensity reminiscent of junot diaz. for one single second, i felt like a shorty that just met a man who understood her perfectly. if it's possible to be in love with the critical remarks of a stranger, then surely i am. in a continous flash flood of rejections, jeers and insults, it's good to have these little islands to gather strength from.

Ladies and Gentleman, Hassan Is Dead

It makes me sad, real sad. i actually cried as i was finishing this chapter, i got so wrapped into the moment and i just felt Assis's anguish. i know how much he loves Hassan.

I realized as i washing the dishes today that none of my characters have a strong/positive/good relationship with their fathers. Brianna's father joined a cult, Jean-boy's father cheats on his mom, Winnie Yu and Ginger Lin both lost their dads, Suzanne loves her dad, but we don't see them interacting (except maybe at the end of the novel), and though Assis loves his father, they don't talk to each other at all and Hassan is clearly his surrogate father. in summary: 2 dead fathers, 1 cheating father, and 3 missing, aloof, detached or uninvolved fathers. man, do i have an issues with father figures or what?