B. Glen Rotchin’s Halbman Steals Home was the first book I was assigned to review where I wasn’t 100% thrilled by, even though it was a quick read that kept me fairly engaged at the time. So I tried to explain why I felt vaguely unsatisfied, in the new issue of the Montreal Review of Books.
All posts in category writing
Posted by RK on July 29, 2012
This post by Magda made me think a lot about my writing process, and writing in general.
Good writing comes mostly from discipline and patience that allow for long hours of editing and pondering over words. This was never news to me, but it’s something that hits close to home these days, as I produce more botched sentences and unfinished drafts on my computer than I’d like to admit. I have never been good at being patient — which is why I’ve responded so well to instant outlets like this blog and other social media formats, rather than longer formats.
Unclear sentences have been a consistent presence in my writing, often in my final drafts too. In undergrad I had the fortune of having talented writer friends who were willing to edit my work, and it made me terribly lazy. Every once in awhile I would have a stroke of….something that sounded a bit poetic, and for that I was rewarded, far too generously. But I was incapable of fixing my sentences, because I was just too impatient to fix my errors. It culminated to a point where a professor wrote in the comments of my final essay once: “underneath this piece of writing there is a good essay…” I can’t tell you how incredibly humiliating it felt to read that. But he was right. I lacked the discipline to produce long papers I was truly proud of. I’d like to blame the internet, but the internet needs its enabler too.
Funny, it wasn’t until I quit trying to be any kind of “writer” (a.k.a. finished with my liberal arts education, stopped trying to be a “journalist”) that I learned how to fix my structure, and learn the value of clear writing. I suppose it had to do with teaching myself a lot of grammar (for my job) and being restricted in format and style (hi, law school), where I had to learn to edit my work and be a bit more aware of my writing process, rather than frantically coming up with a thesis and some nice-sounding quotes.
This fall, I have to delve into longer paper-writing again. While I know I’m capable of doing it (we are capable of many things, theoretically) part of me still bristles at the idea. I have to be responsible for sculpting an unwieldly block of writing into something worthwhile, something that will last more than a quick, distracted glance on someone’s social media feed. Wish me luck.
Posted by RK on July 3, 2012
It’s been a busy couple of weeks – so I thought I’d share a copule of things I’d written outside of this blog.
I’ve been doing an internship at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, as a part of McGill Law Faculty’s Human Rights Internship program. It’s been an eye-opening experience in many ways – I recapped my first couple of weeks for the McGill Human Rights Interns blog.
Posted by RK on June 16, 2012
Thought I’d share one of the last things I wrote before school began – a fiction review of Edem Awumey’s novel Dirty Feet. I’ve somehow carved myself a niche of reviewing tales of migration. I like it.
Posted by RK on October 20, 2011
While I’m (still) adjusting to my new schedule, here’s some writing I did before my life got really, really occupied with school again:
I had the pleasure of guest posting for Franca at Oranges and Apples while she’s off honeymooning – it’s about my first Euro-trip at the age of 16, and the little not-quite-a-fling I experienced in southern Italy and Greece.
Alex and I had a chat about the first-ever scholarship for LGBTQ-identified students at Elmhurst College in Illinois, and its implications, over at The Gaily.
Posted by RK on September 12, 2011
Meeting the parents of your significant other is always a slightly nerve-wrecking event, no? Of course, the tension, as well as potential for mortifying-but-funny-in-retrospect potential rises even higher in cases of interracial relationships; when my lily-white boyfriend met my parents, it was no different. Here’s my recollection of the meeting I wrote for Schema.
Posted by RK on August 17, 2011
Last week, L’Oreal became a centre of Photoshopping controversy as U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority banned the company from publishing two skin care product advertisements for excessive retouching. Alex and I discussed it for The Gaily here.
[Photo from The Gaily]
Posted by RK on August 13, 2011
Well, it was a long time coming but Alex and I finally watched Harry Potter 2 and talked about it from a queer/feminist angle, as well as the series’s rather cliché central message. Our whole conversation here. And yes, there are lots and lots of spoilers.
Posted by RK on August 8, 2011
[sorry this trailer for Bleak Night doesn't have subtitles...I couldn't find a clip with subtitles!]
As stated before, I had the pleasure of attending Fantasia Film Festival on Schema Magazine’s behalf, and seeing some kooky and thought-provoking films. Here are my reviews of the films I saw the past week: Bleak Night (Korea), Underwater Love (Japan) and Kill Me Please (Belgium). All were great in their own ways, and I am grateful that Fantasia exists that can house films like this under one festival’s roof.
Posted by RK on July 29, 2011
I was introduced to the idea of clothing swaps last summer, and have been participating in them regularly as a way to purge my closet of unused things in my closet and try on new things. So of course Alex and I went to the latest one hosted by the S.W.A.P. team in Montreal, which happened on July 9-10 at the Grand Foyer of Place-des-Arts. So we decided to have a little discussion on The Gaily about our swap experience, as well as the growing popularity of clothing swaps among middle-class shopppers.
Have you ever been to a clothing swap? How was your experience?
Posted by RK on July 22, 2011