Tweetables by Sonja:
“If I had tried to line together four or five of these [short chapters], it might feel cumulatively too dense or heavy.”
“That’s such a nice thing about writing, isn’t it? It’s exciting for me because I don’t know where the piece is going to go and beyond that I don’t know who it’s going to connect with if it will at all. Sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does, it’s sort of amazing.”
“I don’t really have a plan. I follow the leads of memory and curiosity and go with it.”
“They haven’t tried to kill me, but they haven’t thrown me a party either.”
“The thing that makes an essay work and seem like a miracle is the thing that makes it seem so painful as well.”
Sonja Livingston stopped by The Creative Nonfiction Podcast to talk about her award-winning memoir “Ghostbread.” She was also gracious enough to read from three short chapters. It’s about family and growing up in poverty.
“[My family] hasn’t tried to kill me, but they haven’t thrown me a party either,” Sonja says.
This episode is layered and a bit experimental. I hope it adds a little extra somethin’-somethin’ to the usual interview. If you dig it, let me know on Twitter @BrendanOMeara and I’ll invite others to try something similar.
Sonja talks a lot about her routine and how getting outside helps her write. Also she adds that writing personal essay can feel like a miracle, but can also be very painful. Maybe it’s that in order to write great art, there must be a little bit of blood on the page.
I’d love for you to leave a review of the podcast and to share with folks you think will enjoy it. That’s all I can ask for. Thanks for listening!