Monthly Archives: July 2021

BWS 14.07.21: Kiran Bhat

Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. He has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He is primarily known as the author of we of the forsaken world… (Iguana Books, 2020), but he has authored books in four foreign languages, and has had his writing published in The Kenyon Review, The Brooklyn Rail, 3:AM Magazine, and several other places. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He is currently traveling around Mexico, but you can find him virtually on @Weltgeist Kiran.

Around the World in 365 Places: Kiran Bhat


It was all because of a vision. Then student Kiran Bhat had been visiting a cathedral that is also part synagogue and mosque in Segovia, Spain, when he suddenly realized he wanted to write the narrative of the world. A life of journey and travel led Kiran Bhat to create his fascinating new literary project, Girar. Set in 365 places, Girar, which means ‘to turn’ in Spanish, is essentially the story of Earth and the thousands of cultures on it. Each digital instalment will unfold in a different corner of the planet until the end of 2029. The story itself is a compilation of many stories at once. This is ultimately the story of Mother and Father. They live a settled and suburban life, but their son is gay, and has migrated continents away from them. They yearn for him to be home.

Exploring the Earth as setting comes naturally to this young author who has visited over 132 countries, lived in 18 places around the world, speaks 12 languages and writes in several of them. “Girar is the concept of the world-in-a-book taken to its extreme,” he says in this Q&A.

What better way to travel the world and get a unique glimpse into diverse cultures and communities?

What was the initial spark or thought or impulse that created Girar?

Read this interview to find out more. 

Veena Rao: Girar is a novel concept that unfolds in real-time. Tell us more about it.

Kiran Bhat: Girar is a digital web project, in which people who subscribe to the webpage get stories about an archetypal mother, father, and son being reimagined into a new cultural context and nationality in each installment, between now until the end of 2029. The general gist of the stories is that Son is gay, but his parents have never taken the time to accept it. After a homecoming thanks to COVID turns dramatic, Son once more leaves his parents. The central drama is how the three of them learn to eventually make space for each other after a decade of fighting. At the same time Mother, Father, and Son have very rich exterior lives, and so the novel also explores the many different ways their outward relationships are not only affected by the passing of time, but how the reimagining of the story in a new cultural context in each installment creates a new way to perceive these relationships as a whole.

VR: What made you want to write something like this?

KB: The impulse behind Girar came to me due to a trip I took to Segovia, while I was a junior studying abroad in Madrid. We were visiting a cathedral that was part synagogue and mosque,

learning about the histories of the Visigoths, Jews, and the Moors. In the same way this building collapsed the histories of so many peoples inside of one building, I suddenly started imagining what it would be like to collapse the narrative space of our planet into a novel. It was something akin to a darshana, or a vision. I didn’t know how I would ultimately write this novel, but after spending twelve years of my life travelling, I felt like I started to get this idea of a book that would in fact take place in as many parts of the world as I could imagine. we of the forsaken world… was also an attempt at this, but Girar is the concept of the world-in-a-book taken to its extreme.

VR: What were the challenges of unfolding a narrative as ambitious as this?

KB: For me the biggest challenge of the project has been the web development. I can control my research into other cultures and countries, I can control my narrative arcs and understanding of my characters, and I can control how well I write. What I cannot control is how well the firms that I am paying to transfer this vision onto a webpage are going to do. The world of web development and IT is very different than the world of artistry. Most web developers don’t have much of an aesthetic eye and are only there to code. They don’t necessarily care about your aesthetic demands; they just want to get paid and stop their coding when the hour has ended. So, getting up and running has been a lot of work, and sadly it’s work that I can’t control.

Unfortunately, when you try to do something really out of the norm, it’s hard to get it right. There’s just not a lot of infrastructure for global-serialized-novels-told-over-the-Internet, the way that there would be for a traditional print novel. There’s a lot that is hard to anticipate because there’s so few models for what works. And because there’s a lot to get wrong, there’s also a lot of places to stumble, and that ultimately detracts from the reader experience.

I haven’t fully lost hope. I’ve hired a new web team to revamp the project, with hopes of relaunching in August. I do very much believe in the storytelling and world building of the project, and I hope that once the story platform has been improved, my readers can get lost in all of the exciting ways Girar innovates.

VR: Authors traditionally set their novels in one or two places. Girar takes place around the world. Can you talk a little bit about the world as a setting in Girar?

 KB: Well, in reality, because Girar is almost a compilation of many stories ultimately being framed together to tell a greater one, each of the installations, whether set in rural Costa Rica or Hokkaido in Japan, becomes an exercise in scene building. I don’t know if I get each story right, but I try to make sure that with each installment I find a sensitivity reader from that city or culture, and make sure they approve of what I’ve written. There are times I really screw up, but most of the time, they help me find better words to show how people in that country speak, or correct me on slip-ups on body language or place description. I usually try to write out of places that I have at least visited, so I can also draw on my own memories or experiences being in that place. I also mostly make it about my characters, and the experiences they are going through. I think the rich interiority of the worlds that I have created for my characters serves to propel a lot of the pathos, and can make up for even when I don’t necessarily write about a culture well.

As per the world as a setting, that is interesting. I often tell people that I’d like to imagine literature if the source of a story did not come from a community or a nation, but from planet Earth itself. However, the Earth, just like a community or a nation, does not have one singular voice. In reality each person on this planet is their own narrative, with thousands of thousands of experiences which form their sense of being. So, if I were to capture the Earth as a literary concept, I would not be able to base it out of one place. In the same way that our current digital communication networks are fusing milliseconds of thought and being at all of the different nodes of the planet at once, a style that capture the planet would have to be a little bit everywhere. It would have to be like the many heads of the hydra flinging around at once, or the cacophony of a million sounds somehow bleating together into harmony when heard at once.

That is how I view global narrative, and the perspective from which I believe a global aesthetic could be produced.

VR: An author’s perspective of globalization, I am sure, is a bit different from an economist’s perspective. You’ve lived in several countries, speak many languages, and even write in several of them. Girar is the outcome of your travels. Can you talk a little about what globalization means to you?

 KB: It depends. There are many different ways to talk about globalization, some good and some bad. A lot of the globalization of the 90s – McDonalds, global capitalism, etc – were objectively bad for the planet. When I think of my experience with globalization, I think of the Internet, and how it’s created a generation that, no matter born in Kenya or Turkey, Kazakhstan or Argentina, seems to be reacting to a similar way of thinking and feeling. And now the Internet makes us see everything at once when it’s happening. We have information about everywhere in the world whenever we feel like it, we attend digital events partly being hosted in Hong Kong, India, and Canada. People are slowly starting to feel like they belong to one space, which is a global one, and I think that’s the one I want to carve a literature for.

VR: The publishing world is not known to readily embrace change. Do you think the reading world is ready for out-of-the-box reading concepts?

 KB: It’s hard to say. I think readers are used to traditional novels, and this act of reading something serially, and having to pay a nominal amount for it, isn’t something people are used to for novels. For journalism, sure, or for literary journals, sometimes. Ironically, I think that this piecemeal approach of reading a novel works a lot for our hustle-and-bustle lives. I also think it’s exciting to read something set all over the world. While I’d say my work isn’t necessarily for people who want a deep look at a culture, it might spark curiosity in a place that people haven’t thought much about. And then there’s just the narrative of it, the ambition, the rush of finding something new.

So I think it’s hard to generalize. I think some people are, and some people aren’t. It’s mostly about finding the right reader, which I assume is true for any project.

VR: Your first traditionally published novel, we of the forsaken world…, was hailed for its genre-defying originality. How is Girar different in concept, themes, and narrative style?

 KB: Veena, that’s so nice of you to say. 🙂 I think we of the forsaken world… is the inverse of Girar. In we of the forsaken world… I wanted to really exhaust the concept of the multitude. I wanted it to feel like sixteen people speaking out from four varied corners of the world as an attempt to be heard against the static of globalization. The stories of the four regions are quite topical, ranging from sexual trafficking to eve-teasing, from the after-effects of an industrial spill to the destruction of indigenous land from logging. The stories are also told in first person, and are stitched together by poetic interludes interrupting the flow of one narrative and transitioning into another.

For now, Girar is much more seamless and traditional in narration. The installment approach gives every piece a clear beginning, middle, and end. Both are story sequences (ie short stories being framed together to cohere into a novel), but Girar has a much more obvious direction it is going in. I also think Girar is much better storytelling, and gets across what we of the forsaken world… was trying to do in a much clearer form.

But we of the forsaken world… was an attempt to have multiple voices cohere into one aesthetic sound, whereas Girar is certain fixed voices hopping all across the globe, or finding a new form for themselves. So, I definitely think they have a lot in common, but are also quite different.

VR: Do you hope to ultimately take the traditional route for Girar?

KB: Yes! The ultimate goal was to have Girar pieced into a series of multiple books and published in that format. I’m shopping the first book to publishers already. Some are quite eager to see it, so I’m hoping for the best. 🙂

VR: What else are you working on?

KB: I’m taking my first foray into translation currently. I’m currently living in San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas. Chiapas is the territorial stronghold of the Mayan peoples (I say peoples because there was no contingent Mayan civilization, but multiple civilizations and heritages which were called by outsides as the Maya). It’s a place with 12 indigenous languages strongly spoken by its citizens, where Spanish is a second language for most. So, I met a collective of poets here I like. One of my goals is to try to translate their writings in Maya Tsotsil into English using Spanish as a medium. I’ve never translated before so I don’t know how it will go. I am also trying to do a lot of events and cross-collaborations here. One of the beauties of the globalized world is the ability to connect with anyone regardless of physical distance, and so I’m trying to connect indigenous communities here with the indigenous communities of other countries and cultures, with which they are normally not connected. I’d love to see some chapbooks come out of these inter-lingual connections, but we’ll simply have to see how it goes!

VR: Thanks so much for your time. I hope the best for your work.

KB: Same!

* Veena Rao was born and raised in India but now calls Atlanta home. A journalist by profession, she is the founding editor and publisher of NRI Pulse, a popular South Asian newspaper. She is recognized by the Limca Book of Records as the first Indian woman to edit and publish a newspaper outside of India. Purple Lotus, her debut novel, is a Georgia Author of the Year 2021 Finalist and an Award-Winning Finalist in the International Book Awards. Her manuscript for Purple Lotus won the She Writes Press and SparkPress Toward Equality in Publishing (STEP) scholarship in 2019.

Kiran Bhavisits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Kamila RinaPrakash Krishnanand Carrianne Leung . Our guest speaker Sonia Vaillant will talk to us about, “Audio books 101”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.


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BWS 14.07.21: Carrianne Leung

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by CBC, shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards 2019, long listed for Canada Reads 2019 and awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2019. She is currently working on a new novel, titled The After.

In 2019, I had the great pleasure of being the Writer in Residence at University of Toronto Scarborough. At the end of my term there, I was asked to speak about the “Creative Life”. I came up with this list and hope that it continues to be helpful, supportive, and funny for those of us who are committed to a writing practice. This was first published by Open Book in 2019.

The Creative Life

I was asked to give a keynote address at the launch of the student literary journal, Scarborough Fair at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The theme was “The Creative Life”. As their Writer in Residence, I wanted to give the students something practical. I didn’t want to wax poetic about a life that was frankly on most days, also kicking my ass.

So, instead of a talk, I shared a list of 70 things that I have learned so far as a writer.  Do not worry! The 70 are not so daunting, and nothing about this is prescriptive. I suppose this is the thing about having a creative life – there is no simple formula for you to follow. In the process of writing this list, I also crowd-sourced some of my writer friends, so I included their advice too. They are just tips for emerging writers that hopefully, will accompany them well along their journey.

  1. Carry a notebook with you at all time. You can get very nice ones at Dollarama for $1.25. If you feel very precious about it, you can get a Moleskin for $30. But I assure you – your choice will not determine whether you produce $1.25 writing or $30 dollar. Go for Dollarama.
  2. Canisia Lubrin told me she once wrote on a banana leaf. She wants me to tell you, moleskin or no skin, just write.
  3. Forget the paper or banana leaf, the writing instrument is probably more important. I like those fine-liners that glide across the paper with hardly any drag, making that perfect little scratchy sound. That noise makes me feel serious. But in a crunch, anything will do. I have also used eyeliner, lipstick, kids’ crayon and soya sauce. The soya sauce was at a wedding banquet, and I dipped a chopstick in it like an inkwell. It worked ok, but the napkin that I used was a bit too eager for the stain, so it came out quite blurred.
  4. Now that you have spent enough hours procrastinating and looking for the perfect tools, you need to carry these items with you at all time. While you may prefer writing on a laptop, inspiration will hit you anytime and anywhere – standing in that long line at Tim Horton’s, riding the bus to campus, sitting on the toilet, even sleeping. You want to be ready to net all the words, images, ideas to develop more fully later. Also, the weight of those writing instruments in your bag will remind you of your purpose – to write.
  5. Consider the notes and fragments you write as evidence of a mind/heart/spirit wide-awake.
  6. I get asked a lot of questions, but people never ask the most basic one: Why do you write? You know it ain’t for the money. My friends hear me whine enough about how hard it is. So why? Here is the reason: I write because I am in love with the world and compelled to express this through language. Consider your own reasons and hang on to them as touchstones.
  7. I know for some of you, writing is survival. You write to see yourself emerge because nothing else shows you that you really exist and matter. I see you.
  8. Tell the truth even when you write fiction.
  9. Get rid of the romantic notions of writers who sit in Parisien garrets or New York lofts penning scripts that flow effortlessly out of feather quills or Macbook Airs. Writing looks more like this for me – bed head, sweat pants, coffee stains and the occasional howl of anguish.
  10. Most of the time writing is a slog. Expect slog. Writing is not for the faint of heart, but remember, you have a lion of one.
  11. Read. Reading will teach you how to write. Reading is also its own form of work and creativity. Excel at it.
  12. Reading for resonance is great. When you connect with something, you feel seen. But also read for dissonance. Dissonance will teach you about what you can’t yet see.
  13. If there are books you love, hold them close to you. Reach for them when you need inspiration. When I am writing, I stop reading books except for a select few that I reach for as reminder of how utterly magnificent the written word can be. Never stop marveling at art.
  14. Study writers you love. Deconstruct their texts to learn their particular mastery.
  15. But also, don’t try to be like them. Be you. There is only one you, and we need your stories and poetry and narratives. No one else can give that to us.
  16. Show up. When people learn that I am a writer, so many of them tell me that they have a book or two in them. I am sure they do. BUT. It’s not a book if it hasn’t been written. Writing is labour and attention and time. The difference between wanting to write and having written is in the showing up.
  17. Don’t fret over that thing called, “talent” too much. Just do the work. Remember, the most accomplished writers are probably also facing the slog this very minute, dressed in ripped PJs and sporting their own bed head. You can be sure that they are doing the work.
  18.  There is no wasted writing even if the majority of what you write will never make it to the final pages. It may take you 50 pages before you reach the one that gives you the beginning of the story. Still, the 50 were necessary.
  19. You don’t have to completely kill your darlings. Stuff the pages that don’t make it to the final draft in a folder on your laptop. Name it. I call mine the Parking Lot. Those storylines and that minor character or that beautiful imagery may get to live another day. If those darlings spark joy, it’s ok with Marie Kondo and it’s ok with me.
  20. Move if you can. Go outside and walk. Walking does something interesting and rhythmic with your brain. Or point your toes in your favourite direction or rotating your wrists.  Remind yourself that you are a body.
  21. Coming to voice is in the process. You have to keep writing to keep learning how.Cherie bookcase
  22. I heard Cherie Dimaline once say that writing is a kind of magic. There will be moments when you will be elevated. You will feel a kind of electricity that is only reserved for those who dare to be creative. Hold on to those moments and have faith that magic will touch you again when you doubt.
  23. In fact, maybe the craft of magic and the craft of writing are not so dissimilar. Both are going to require hours of mistakes and failures to make perfect. Everybody loves a magic show and want to be a magician, but you know that what happens behind the scene is what makes what happens on the stage possible.
  24. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube will not write your essay, story or poem for you. As far as I know, there is no app for that. Shut it down when you write.  Solitude is part of a writing life.
  25. There is a host of fears that comes with living on the page. The fear may come at the beginning, it can appear in the middle, or it can come with having written. If you are afraid, you are probably doing it right. Writing can be terrifying.
  26. Along with fear, other feelings will arise. Let the feelings come. There are no negative feelings or positive feelings. They are just feelings. Consider them all your teachers and write with them and through them.
  27. Be humble.
  28. You are not a machine. Productivity means different things when considering creative work. Reject the neoliberal definition of it and re-define what being productive means for you.
  29. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it’s an overgeneralized term that may mask what is really happening. Are you feeling tired? Hungry? Stressed out because you don’t know if you’ll make rent? Are you scared of the blank page? Are you consumed by self-doubt and worried your work will be “no good”? Are you constantly thinking about who will read it and how they will react? Are you writing to win the Giller, the Griffin or even the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature? All these things would trip someone up, but I wouldn’t call them writer’s block. Know with more exactness what is happening for you, and then start addressing it.
  30. Catherine Hernandez says, stop trying to prove you are a writer and just tell us the story.
  31. Sharon Bala says if you write, you’re a writer. Stop using the verb to describe yourself, take ownership of the noun!
  32. Even when you are not pen to page, you are still writing. Notice things in your surrounding; be curious about people, even those who annoy you. Learn the names of flowers and cloud formations. Read a newspaper, talk to cats, share a meal with a pigeon. Lean on a tree and ask it what it’s like being a tree. Invite things in. You will produce richer writing. And you will have a richer life.
  33. Being curious is one of our most useful traits. I hope I never lose my laptop because my search history would scare the hell of out of someone.
  34. Janie Chang says FINISH something. If you don’t finish something, all you have is potential, and an agent can’t sell potential.
  35. Open yourself to the human experience because whatever you write is a meditation on what it means to be human. Yes, even if you are writing about werewolves and aliens and teenage vampires.
  36. While craft is muscle building, there are moments of mystery in the creative process. Some people call it a muse, inspiration, even god. When I told Lee Maracle that sometimes I feel haunted, she said, of course. Writing is when her ancestors come to tell stories. So now, I accept that something sacred and divine is also at play.
  37. There will be ghosts too. Don’t be afraid. They just want to talk.
  38. Protect your writing time. It is as important as going to the dentist, showing up for a shift at work, going to class. Do not forsake it.
  39. Feedback will come in all forms. Some people may love your work while others will not. If everybody loved you, that would just be weird. You are not writing for everybody, and that is OK.
  40. I say this even as one bad reader’s review will feel like a knife in my heart making me forget all the good reviews and burrito myself in my duvet …. We do not have to be made of armor.
  41. Invest in a really good duvet.Leung, Hernandez, Chariandy
  42. Allow yourself to write shit. Seriously, write the shittiest shit you can. Writer, Anne Lamott says you must especially strive to write shitty first drafts. Shit makes things grow. Look at manure.
  43. You will feel vulnerable while receiving feedback. Take everything in and decide what you need and what you don’t. Some feedback will hit you hard. Some may feel unfair. All of it will strengthen your work because it will clarify your intentions.
  44. You may have created the work, but you are NOT your work. Learn to have a critical distance or else you will take everything personally as a comment on you and not be able to move on with using feedback as a writer.
  45. Not everybody will “get” it. Is it your writing that stands in the way of them understanding it? Or is it something else? Is it something about the position of where you are as a differently embodied person? Is it your gender, your race, your sexuality, your disability, your poverty? Your truth? That is another can of worms. If you are writing from a marginalized place, you may face walls. Learn to discern what feedback will help you and what is attempting to silence you. Always, always, hold on to the integrity of your own truth, and let that guide your process.
  46. I once had a mentor who refused to email and instead sent me his feedback on lavender pages of paper that smelled strangely of cinnamon. On these purple pages, he ripped my work to shreds, and I stopped writing for a while. I cried, I thought it was time to shelf my dreams and I tried to let it go. But I couldn’t. Much later, I read those pages again and did not find anything helpful or constructive in them. That was when I realized that some people are just assholes.
  47. There are conventions. You are allowed to break them, but do it well and no one will get on your case about it.  
  48. My first draft is for myself. You must allow yourself to be the gravitational force. Let the sun revolve around you. In the moment of fresh writing, you are the creator. Make your own weather.
  49. In the next draft, I write for the people I love. After that, I move onto strangers who I may possibly love if I knew them.
  50. The question of audience is not as cut and dry as you think. You will have people who you think should love your work who won’t and people you would never expect to connect with it, do.
  51. Also, don’t underestimate readers. They do not need everything spelled out for them. What you leave out is as important as what you put in. Leave the text porous because you do not know how a reader will enter it.
  52. Do not hover like a helicopter parent.  The writing will have to stand-alone sometime.
  53. When you publish your work, let it go. Let it have other lives as it is meant to with other people. They may not read it as you intend, but they will be read it as to how they need to. I accept that my books have lives after me and don’t truly belong to me anymore.
  54. If you embark on creative work, you will experience failure. Fail well. Fail spectacularly. David Chariandy writes like this. He relies on failing in order to get it right in the meticulous revisions.
  55. Do not forget about joy. I see a lot of emerging writers who seem to be in much pain while writing. Writing is painful sometimes, but it’s also an incredible joy. Please do not forget that.
  56. Sometimes, the story is stronger than you. Get out of its way and let it happen. Let the story have the space to find itself before you pre-judge it or give up. It may not take the shape you assumed it would or your characters will behave in ways you didn’t intend. But let it happen anyway. Marlon James talks about this as a duty to story. We serve the story. The story does not serve us.Marlon James
  57. The page is one of the few places where I can be free. That kind of self-sovereignty is rare. We should all be chasing our freedoms. Don’t let anyone take that away from you, including yourself.
  58. It’s not a race. You clock your own time. What the person beside you is doing is inconsequential to your own journey. Stay in your lane. You will get jealous and punch pillows because “other writers” are getting things done faster or more successfully than you. Give yourself a minute to feel the feels.  Go to the duvet, if you have to. When the rage has passed, congratulate them on their publication, their award or their new dog. There is a time and space for all of us. Eat a bowl of noodles followed by a bag of chips. That works for me.
  59. While it’s not a race, persistence is key. It’s not speed. It’s the audacity and patience and craft that matter. 
  60. Don’t worry about the imposter syndrome. We all have it.
  61. There will be good days and bad days in writing. Protect your mind and heart on the bad days. They will pass.
  62. To say, I am a writer is not to inhabit an identity. It’s a practice just like other practices. Don’t be too precious about it. It doesn’t make us any better or worse than anyone else. But know you have a special responsibility with words, to be artful and concise with language, to reflect back to people what you see. Honour that purpose.
  63. Most of us are not full-time writers. Lindsay Wong wants me to tell you it’s hard. If this will be your profession, know that you will always have to have a side hustle, a day job, be a member of the gig economy. It’s not a stable life, but its rewards can be measured by other metrics.
  64. You may find sometime in your life that you will work in a job that feels like it’s slowly killing your soul. You may feel too stressed or distracted to be a creator. You may think to yourself – “Why am I doing this? I should be a writer!” Have faith. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Keep carrying your notebook even if you can’t write in it every day. You do what you need to do to survive, and know that your words are waiting if you choose to pick up the pen again. Your readers will be here when you are ready.
  65. I have done a lot of things for pay besides from writing, and I still do. ALL of these things have contributed to my life as a writer. Even those jobs, experiences, relationships that sucked all poetry and beauty out of me made me a writer too.
  66. Go to literary events. Meet people. This does not mean you have to schmooze or “network”. People who attend literary things are some of the nicest folks you will meet. There are a bazillion things happening every week in the city. Soak up the writerly vibe. I guarantee that you will feel jazzed to write.
  67. If there is an open mic, jump on it. It’s a cheaper adrenalin rush than riding the rollercoaster at Wonderland and a lower risk than confessing love to your crush.
  68. Be generous. We do much of this work alone, but this does not mean that it doesn’t take a village. Be a good friend to other writers, be an ally, a contemporary, a mentor, a student and a reader. Build a sustainable community and uplift each other.
  69. Getting published is hard. If you don’t get published, it’s not always a comment on the quality of your work. There is a constellation of reasons why your work was not chosen. Maybe a particular editor didn’t connect with your work or it wasn’t a good fit with that lit magazine. Whatever the reason, know that this is just part of a writer’s life and rejections are a badge of honour. It means you did the work, you showed up, and you put it out there. There will be a next time and a time after that and even one after that. Just keep writing.
  70. Publishing will not solve all your problems, but I hope it makes you proud.
  71. Remember yourself as the reader. Think of what other writers’ work have meant to you – they made you laugh, they soothed, they expanded your mind to possibilities when you thought there was nothing left to discover. Don’t underestimate that your words will land where they need to. It is a worthy thing that we do when we endeavor to do the same for others.
  72. We create because we love something. Let love drive you. You may be thinking, OMG, Carrianne, how cheesy! You mentioned love so many times already! But listen, I’m not talking about some cheap Taylor Swift kind of love. I’m talking about love that swoops and thrums and heals. I’m talking about revolutionary love. Radical love. Deep and wide and expansive love. I believe in literature and its possibilities. I also believe in love.

The world is on fire. Whatever you write, whatever you do, I ask please, push love forward. Shift, conjure, manifest and make a good place, a better place with your words. And then, love the world some more.

Carrianne Leung, visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Kamila Rina, Prakash Krishnanand Kiran Bhat. Our guest speaker Sonia Vaillant will talk to us about, “Audio books 101”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

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