First Year MFA
Pen & paper? Keyboard & laptop? Blood & parchment? Subconscious & consciousness?
Computer. Partly by necessity - I basically can't read my own hand-writing (at least if writing at a speed that gets my thoughts out in anything approaching real-time).
Any particular space you retreat to, when writing?
No particular physical space. Mentally, I think it's the opposite of retreat - more like trying to gin up the gumption to charge over the top of a trench. Writing, for me, is often a difficult process to stare down, confront directly, etc. But being in an MFA program has helped with that.
Any books you find yourself returning to again and again?
The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald.
How would you describe your readerly/writerly interests?
As a reader, I make a concerted effort to read a wide range of prose styles. I will read and fall in love with a certain sort of book - the Rachel Cusk Outline trilogy, for instance, which I've read twice now -- but then I will try to find something else that is going to be quite different. So, after that I picked up If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, by Italo Calvino (who I had never read before, but far better to be late than never arrive). I think moving around like this is particularly important to me because reading terrific writing by others is generative and inspiring for me, and I don't want to constrict myself to a particular voice or style, etc. Especially when I'm still figuring out my own.
As for my interests as a writer, they tend toward the intersections of the personal and historical. The micro and macro, might be another way to say it, in that I'm trying to find ways of writing, and subjects to write about, that allow me to focus the camera lens in, so to speak, and scope out to a more birds-eye view, as well. Which, I know, is a bit vague as a response, but will have to do for now.
If asked to conjure a metaphor for your writing process, what would it be?
Good question. Going to do this on the fly . . . for me, the writing process usually begins with a hook: a phrase, or an image, a work of art, something I read that I need to know more about . . . So, I reel that in, inspect it, throw it back, or not. The metaphor can get more grisly from there so I'll just say that I hope my mind, if only subconsciously, is consistently casting that hook out. So, fly-fishing? In any case, I think the image of me standing in a river in chest-high rubber waders is a fun one.