November 15, 2015 § Leave a comment
So my week two NaNoWriMo hasn’t been going exactly as I had hoped it would. While I was flying on my wordcount during the first week, getting almost 2k with no problems every day, and often much more than that, my week two has been going much, much slower. I’ve had days where I’ve just found it completely impossible to write – not even because of time constraints, but rather because of a complete disconnect from my work and a total lack of motivation. Anyway, it’s not all bad news. I took a day’s worth of break from writing and delved into some reading instead (finished Slaughterhouse 5 and started on Kafka on the Shore) and that – thankfully – got the job done. Though I’m still not going quite as fast as I was during the first week of NaNo, I’m still a little ahead on word count and making steady progress. How has week two been going for you guys? Hopefully no similar writing slumps!
November 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hey everyone! Hope you’re all doing well, especially all of you who have tasked yourself with NaNoWriMo this year. My week one got off to an interesting start, with me completely pansting the challenge this year. Honestly, every year since I started tackling NaNo, I’ve had at least a vague plan/outline in my head. This year, I didn’t even know what genre I wanted to do. I had too many ideas, and none of them developed enough to really make it onto the page. In the end, once midnight rolled around on the first day of November, I decided to do something I’d never really done for NaNo, and that is to not write a novel at all. Instead, I’m working on a collection of short stories that fall into… generally the same-ish genre. The first week has been going pretty successfully for me. I’ve been ahead of the word count almost every day. I did obtain a little finger injury though two days ago, which has made typing a tad difficult and so my wordcount has suffered. But I’m hoping I’ll be back to high word counts again in a few day’s time.
How is NaNo going for all of you?
October 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
You were leftover coffee brewing on my lips,
everything afterwards was so damned bittersweet.
I remember a time I was pastel dresses and pink lipsticks
’til you came along with your dark eyes, sharp tongue.
I was tumbling words and stumbling heart,
Bright eyes and wandering gaze.
Now I’m just simmer summer heat.
September 17, 2015 § Leave a comment
When we emerged to the surface finally, there was a stillness in the night. I shivered from the cold and Mira held me close to her body. In that moment, I could so easily imagine this – our lives drawn together forever – blissfully living in the ocean. I didn’t fear it anymore – not when it was home to the person I loved the most in the world. Not when she trusted it with such intensity. I couldn’t fear it anymore. I still wasn’t comfortable with it but there was certainly no fear instilled in me anymore. But I suppose bliss ends as quickly as it begins – perhaps to balance out the universe, although I don’t believe in things like that anymore. Maybe I did back then, when I was young and in love and naïve. I am still in love, but simply have an entirely different perspective of the world – a perspective that is always changing and never settling.
That night, Mira and I were happy – we were peaceful. I felt at peace. I felt more loved and more comfortable than I had in my entire life. But it was taken away as soon as it had come. We turned back to the shore for me to go home and for Mira to see me off. But as soon as I gingerly stepped onto the sand – before I could even turn back to Mira, before either of us could utter a goodbye – they came out of nowhere. Everything was a blur. Nothing made sense. There were voices and blackness and I tried to fight off whatever – whoever – it was that was touching my hands, dragging me away. I could feel the sand against my legs, against my feet. It hurt to be screaming against it and I screamed but there was a hand over my mouth. I couldn’t scream. There was a scream trapped inside my body and there was darkness everywhere.
August 31, 2015 § 3 Comments
In the dead of night
you are a gentle whisper,
and my saving grace.
August 20, 2015 § 2 Comments
We were driving at night
rain thumping against the window,
you were a mirage on my windshield,
grey eyes like rain clouds –
this road leads to nowhere,
this road leads to nothing –
you were a mere whisper,
a façade, a breath –
and I was a car crash.
August 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
When Haitians tell a story, they say “Krik?” and the eager listeners answer “Krak!” In Krik? Krak! In her second novel, Edwidge Danticat establishes herself as the latest heir to that narrative tradition with nine stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. They tell of women who continue loving behind prison walls and in the face of unfathomable loss; of a people who resist the brutality of their rulers through the powers of imagination. The result is a collection that outrages, saddens, and transports the reader with its sheer beauty.
I should probably start off this review by divulging the truth – Edwidge Danticat is one of my favourite authors, so some bias in this review should definitely be expected. I was first introduced to Danticat through a short story from this very book, called Nineteen Thirty-Seven and the more I’ve read of Danticat, the more I’ve appreciated and loved her work.
Krik? Krak! I think does a fantastic job of talking about issues that pervade Haiti without making it overtly political. Through Krik? Krak! you read about separated lovers due to political problems in Haiti, or the 1937 massacre at the river that borders the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Considering the political issues in the DR right now, this book is kind of fantastic in giving readers some sort of a context.
Danticat’s writing itself is poetic and beautiful. I feel any attempts at describing it would be to do a disservice to Danticat. Here is a short quote from Nineteen Thirty-Seven:
Until we moved to the city, we went to the river every year on the first of November. The women would all dress in white. My mother would hold my hand tightly as we walked toward the water. We were all daughters of that river, which had taken our mothers from us. Our mothers were the ahses and we were the light. Our mothers were the embers and we were the sparks. Our mothers were the flames and we were the blaze. We came from the bottom of that river where the blood never stops flowing, where my mother’s dive towards life – her swim among all those bodies slaughtered in flight – gave her those wings of flames. The river was the place where it had all begun.
Ultimately, Krik! Krak? is about community, with its short stories being subtly tied together. It’s about the telling of stories, it’s about the claim to freedom that many Haitians have been denied. It’s a book that I would highly recommend. If you’re interested in learning more about Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Danticat’s book The Farming of Bones tells a pretty wonderful and poignant story of the Nineteen Thirty-Seven massacre.