When is your birthday / can I send you a gift?
My birthday is on September 25th & it makes me so happy that you care enough to ask. I’m not comfortable with putting my address online & alas, I am a broke high school student & therefore cannot afford a P.O. box, so I’m afraid all gifts must remain virtual unless we know each other personally. But I hope you know it means the universe & more.
Who’s that fluffy person that keeps showing up in your photos?
My dog is called Hachii & he loves you.
Do you have any writing advice?
Read everything. Write everything. Keep a journal. Collect plane & film tickets. Be curious. Understand the experiences of those less privileged & those more privileged than you are. Watch snails. Make up stories about people on the subway. Copy your heroes & do not be afraid when you surpass them. Be someone else’s hero & do not be afraid when they surpass you. Watch for patterns. Keep things. Throw things away. Treat the universe as your classroom. Find beauty in ugliness. Glue things together. Pull things apart. Critique others’ work. Get others to critique your work. Be giving. Be patient. Be humble. Be kind. Read things that make you feel uncomfortable & examine your discomfort. Read things that make you feel unfathomably whole & examine your wholeness. Try foods you do not enjoy. Eviscerate poems. Take long baths. Don’t be an asshole. Put words together that you do not understand, then try to understand them. Read everything. Write everything. Read everything. Write everything. Read everything. Write everything. Listen for more.
Do you have any more specific writing advice?
I probably do. Perhaps you could email me, or leave a comment on the blog. I cannot promise to answer all questions, simply because I do not know everything there is to know about writing – how boring that would be! – but I can do my best. (Please note that, for more in-depth questions, I offer ongoing mentoring services to young writers. Feel free to get in touch if you’re interested in receiving more information.)
Do you do interviews / media appearances?
I do indeed! More information can be found here.
Can you look over my manuscript / make a personal introduction or recommend me to your publisher(s)?
Unfortunately, I do not read manuscripts or recommend authors to my publishers upon request. However, I have had truly beautiful experiences with both of my publishers (Platypus Press & Math Paper Press) & they accept submissions year-round, so I highly encourage you to submit!
I have a mental disorder too. May I talk to you about it?
Yes. Yes. Yes. I have very few Internet-based triggers, so please email me if you ever need to talk. I don’t ever want you to be alone in this. (Please note, however, that I am not a licensed professional & cannot provide any medical advice – only love & support. If you are in a crisis, please call a free, anonymous helpline or make an appointment with your local therapist. I promise it will be worth it.)
Why haven’t you answered my email? Do you hate me?
I try to answer every email, but I receive quite a few & find it difficult to keep up, so please don’t be hurt if it has been a couple of days & I have not responded yet. I promise it isn’t because I hate you – more because I am sometimes bad at life. (Unless the email is unnecessarily rude &/or spam. In that case, I have probably deleted it &, by extension, you.)
Where do you get your ideas?
(I know that is the worst answer I could ever give. It is also the only answer I could ever give.)
May I get a tattoo of your writing?
I am unspeakably honoured if you’d like to do that. I ask that you please email me first before doing so in order to request permission, but I will nearly always say yes.
Who is your favourite author / musician / poet?
It changes daily, but I have endless recommendations for those who ask. (If you are interested in seeing the sort of art I consume in general, I have been documenting my 2017 year in media on my Tumblr, & my favourite art of 2016 is right here.)
I hate you & want to yell at you through the Internet. You’re the worst writer I’ve ever read. I wish you would stop writing & disappear.
Oh dear, I’m sorry you feel that way. May I offer you some tea, & perhaps refer you to my therapist? I hear she is excellent with anger management cases.
May I see a picture of you and your girlfriend?
Sometimes I will share photographs of my girlfriend on various social media platforms. It is lovely of you to support us, but I ask that you please not send me personal questions about our relationship, or send her messages that are meant for me. That is awkward. Also, shockingly enough, we do have lives outside of each other. Your support is very kind, but please respect our privacy.
If I see you in real life, may I talk to you?
Most certainly. You are always welcome to come say hello – but please remember that I do have multiple anxiety disorders & sometimes it is rather nervewracking when strangers speak to me. I would so appreciate it if you could be gentle & not shout. I am incredibly excited to see you as well, but perhaps we could be excited quietly.
Also, please don’t take photographs of me without my permission. That is rude, violating, & anxiety-inducing. I promise I am a friendly human, & usually open for a selfie if you ask.
(More questions? Feel free to take a look at the interviews I’ve done, or contact me long-form at firstname.lastname@example.org.)