My Guest Spot on SF Signal

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A while back, John DeNardo from SF Signal kindly invited me to do a guest post. I’d done a few of these things, and I like to ruminate on them a bit so that I’m actually saying something when I, you know, stop by someone else’s house and talk for a bit. Lately I’ve tended to talk about my process of writing, but for some reason—maybe it was the two cons and my travel schedule for work—I wasn’t coming up with anything. And then I remembered a conversation I had with a writing group a number of years ago (this was actually at the Writers of the Future workshop back in 2004) after reading a work with a POV that made me feel, well, uncomfortable.

The result is the post that’s now up on SF Signal. You can read in its entirety here, but here’s a brief excerpt:

Years ago I had a discussion with a group of writers about writing beyond the boundaries of politeness. It wasn’t couched in quite this way at the time, but I think that’s what it boiled down to, at least for me. The subject came up because someone in the group, a young white man, had written a story about an underprivileged black man from the D.C. Metro ghettos. I remember how uncomfortable I was when reading the story, not because the language wasn’t on the money—it captured the slang and cadence quite well—but because I knew it had been written by a white guy.

This was difficult to write emotionally. Not difficult in that this was terribly taboo ground, but by my nature I’m reserved about opening up in this way, so I went through a process of breaking out of my shell a little but. In the end, though, I’m glad I did it.