I’m taking a break from Twitter and Facebook. It’s not my first break but this is the first time I’m feeling antsy about not being able to shoot links out into the ether.
So, check it:
Elizabeth Newton has this excellent essay in the latest issue of The New Inquiry on the erasure of women’s work, specifically within Jazz and other music communities. “Can She Dig It” is a fairly quick read with some nice prose, thoughtful articulation, and disturbing facts. For instance, “Sun Ra had excluded Carla Bley, a pianist and composer in his circle, from his Jazz Composer’s Guild—a society Bley helped found. Citing sailor lore, Sun Ra claimed it was bad luck to bring a woman aboard the ship.”
These days I’m always raging about the small (and large) ways I see women’s work being dismissed and completely erased. My mother keeps warning me that it’s not good for my heart so I’m always looking for nods that let me know I’m not alone in my rage. Enter my favorite part of Newton’s essay:
Just last month I fleetingly considered smashing my computer, mining my hard drive for its mineral contents, scraping the tantalum and coltan into vials with which to poison every man who has ever made me compromise.
But to get back to the center (if there is such a thing)
This conversation between Darian Harvin and Danyel Smith is so good. There’s some good stuff in there about dating and about career. Danyel Smith is in that Black female hip hop writer canon (with the likes of dream hampton, Joan Morgan, …). I’m not super familiar with her writing (though this on Bobbi Kristina is excellent) but this conversation makes me want to have a mentor like her (and to be a mentor like her). I’ve also TBR’d her forthcoming book on black women in pop music.
Sometimes I daydream about “making it” as a writer and whenever an interviewer asks me what made me want to be a writer, I say “ZZ Packer’s author photo.” Yeah, that one. The side ponytail. The eyebrows. This is seriously my favorite author photo. Also Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is one of my favorites. I tend to say I don’t have favorite books but DCE is one I revisit for enjoyment and as guidance with my own writing. In any case I’m always looking for news about Packer. Somehow I missed this from earlier this year. The profile is a bit generic (Packer’s path to writing, her current project, just enough personal information to make her success seem attainable, and some advice to writers) but it’s still nice to read.
Speaking of writing advice, this is a good reminder from NK Jemisin:
And if it helps, remember: this is what makes you a writer. Yes, this. The sick feeling in your stomach, the weariness you feel, the utter conviction that you are the Worst and your novel is the Worst and everything is awful. This is how writers feel sometimes.
Alright, that’s it for now.