Oliver gave me some homework. He told me to write about what kind of content I like to consume.
I immediately thought of Julia Cameron’s The Vein of Gold. She talks to creators about how to figure out what you like, what turns you on, in order to find that sweet spot where your work will be the most true to you, most relevant to others.
Then I had that weird blank moment. What do I like?
I like stories of awakening, but rarely stories about revealing royal or magical origins.
I like the Wall, reading about characters, normal people shoved right up to it. I like worlds where the wall is different than ours, but the characters are not so different from ours, like Gattaca, Equilibrium. I love to see people at the end of their rope, making crazy decisions and taking risks.
I like old stories and new stories, so long as where they’re coming from makes sense. I love a good documentary, learning something new about people, or just reinforcing what’s universal about us all.
If I could choose my own creation, I’d be the misbegotten love child of China Mieville and Clive Barker, and raised from infancy by Elmore Leonard. I’d spend summers on my uncle Philip K. Dick’s farm, work weekends in Theodore Sturgeon’s candy shop. I’d date David Sedaris in high school, but we’d grow apart somehow. I’d eventually marry Margaret Atwood. We’d divorce, but stay friends. I’d meet Dave Eggers and have a wild affair and then I would write and write and write, and it would be glorious.
I don’t have that kind of magical, impossible history. I’m just the girl who hid Pet Sematary behind her math book in third grade, reading like crazy when she was supposed to learn long division. I’m the girl who wrote long lists of what she would be when she grew up, and it always started with “writer”. I’m just someone slogging their way through a story of love and addiction and magic and hatred, who can’t wait to show it to you.
So tell me, what’s golden for you? What lights you up, sets you ablaze with that inner fire? Comment below.