Updated: Aug 29
Two nuns and a penguin approach you at a bar, and you tell them you’re a writer. When they ask you what you write about, how do you answer?
This is my worst nightmare. I change what I write about depending on who I’m talking to and what I think they can ingest. I meet them where they are. So female! When I’m talking to a parent’s friend or something, I say, travel essays. I really dislike talking about my work with strangers. It takes away the magic of the work. I suck at talking about my work. I’d rather have it speak for itself. So I’d probably get guarded and weird and tell them I wrote a novella. Then I’d text my friends saying OMFG there’s a penguin and a nun in this bar.
Points is a blog primarily for drug and alcohol historians. What do you think this audience would find most interesting about your work?
What led you to write about drugs and alcohol in the first place?
Because I was using drugs and alcohol and writing about my life. So….was inevitable.
How would you describe the way that drugs function in your work, whether in terms of thematic concerns or the choices you make about how to craft a narrative? Do you think there are things that you wouldn’t be able to explore as successfully if drugs weren’t in your writing arsenal?
The essay I wrote “Heroin and Acne” for Salon is a good example of this. I like exploring gray areas and middle grounds of themes. Our culture always wants people to be black or white: you’re either a drug addict or you’re not. You’re either a lesbian or your straight. I’ve struggled with identity issues throughout my twenties (like everyone) because often I fell in between, and there weren’t many narratives for me to read that were coming from that place, so I wanted to write them.
What do you personally find most interesting about how drugs work in your writing, and where do you see that interest leading you in future projects?
I’m not sure where it will lead me in future projects. I don’t do drugs anymore, but I still reflect on them a ton and am always fascinated with them as much as I am with recovery and health. It’s important to me to un-cliche the way addiction and recovery stories are told. The ways people stay physically and mentally healthy are just as if not more fascinating than addiction stories.
BONUS QUESTION: Let’s hope that your novella Women gets made into a major motion picture. If you have your choice, which is it, and what song do you fantasize about hearing as the credits roll?