Today I’m linking up with Noony at From Laos with Love for a Writing Process Blog Tour. She has become a fast friend through blogging. Her blog immediately caught my attention because she writes about Lao culture in the diaspora and gives readers a glimpse into her family’s immigration story as refugees from Laos. Being that Daniel is Laotian, I hear similar stories from my mother-in-law. However, not many people are documenting these stories from an insider perspective the way that Noony is on her blog. I look forward to reading her posts and am thankful that she writes about her experiences as a Lao refugee. What I’ve come to find out is that not many people know that Laos is even a country, let alone that the Laotian people suffered so much during the Vietnam War. Props to Noony for telling her story with eloquence and candor.
And the bus rolls on….
1) What am I working on?
I don’t know that I would say I’m “working on” anything really. I began this blog because I love to read blogs and because, at one time, I liked to write. I still do like to write (sort of) and this blog is my space to document life as I live it. I tend to have a bad memory so I want to remember the mundane and the not-so-mundane happenings in my life. As an anthropology major I consider culture my first love. Marrying a Lao guy gives me a bicultural perspective from which to write and my next project for posts involves examining how we navigate these two cultures in our everyday life. So I guess that’s what I’m working on.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work is different from others of autobiographical writing because of the various lenses I view the world through. The lenses of anthropology/culture and faith shape the way I see the world and, consequently, what I write about. As a Catholic married to a Laotian, I have a unique perspective (as does everyone else–Ironic, huh?) on life and I infuse my writing with these themes.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Writing about the mundane is important to me. Perhaps it’s the cultural anthropologist in me that is more interested in everyday life than about the extraordinary parts of life. This is why I write about the everyday happenings and milestones in this life that I share with Daniel. I want to remember what it felt like during our first year of marriage to be able to take a road trip at the drop of a hat and not worry about the laundry or packing for a baby. I am nostalgic like that and it breaks a little piece of my heart when I throw away a birthday card from two years ago–even if the sender simply signed their name and didn’t offer any personal greetings. It is this yearning to remember simple things that drives my writing.
4) How does your writing process work?
Being the rebel that I am, I have never really embraced a writing process. The only time I willingly used a formalized writing process was as a second grader learning “rainbow writing” where you use green, yellow, and pink strips of paper for the introduction, body, and conclusion of an essay. Once I got to high school my “rough draft” was simply the first time I wrote my paper and the “final draft” was the second time I wrote it paying more attention to my penmanship or grammar. I write exactly what I think. As I think, so shall I write. Any other way doesn’t feel authentic. Some teachers/professors would say “Your writing has great voice” and others would say “This isn’t how you write a professional, collegiate paper” and I would say “frank you” (substitute another f word, substitute I don’t care, but mostly substitute- I do what I want.) Once I’ve written what I have to write, I read over it and if it sounds weird in my head, I change it. I know–fancy, and complex. Two words I’d not use to describe my writing or my self.