[16-06-19 11:07:51 AM] sydney mcneill: Sure - that sounds good! Do you have a particular time of day, place, environment etc. that you find really conducive to writing?
[16-06-19 11:10:21 AM] msw msw: for me it used to be that I had to sit in my room to write in silence. recently w/ these flash-memoirs I'm actually out on the go taking notes when I'm out to really capture the moment. my recent writing is very moment based & exists as sort of a brief flashes & i wanna capture it at the time i feel it to capture it's authenticity. this has made anywhere I'm at a sort of writing environment for me, which I'm not used to but experimenting w/.
[16-06-19 11:16:49 AM] sydney mcneill: Cool! The reason I really wanted to do this interview was because I really liked the idea of the flash-memoirs. Part of the reason I wanted to start Sea Foam was to break down stern age-old genre barriers/formatting also to challenge academia in the art community, all of which can be fairly restricting. Not that there's anything wrong with academia - it's just developed this sort of… superiority complex in a lot of communities which I think could and should be challenged. The idea of this stream-of-thought lyrical documentation of everyday life is really neat and doesn't necessarily subscribe to a genre or conventional style of writing. What inspired you to start doing it?
[16-06-19 11:21:08 AM] msw msw: oddly enough I've been doing it for years. the idea first kinda spawned itself in november when i started working on this memoir of text messages. i always like texting people as practice for writing—but then i realized wait this IS your writing. it's the way i communicate, that's why there's that subtle slang, nicknames, etc. for my whole life I've been writer & for so long i tried to write conventional prose which is still cool & i like to do it's just not necessarily my style. I've never been one for convention. once i started considering this style i was working w/ & develop it it all naturally sorta fell in place. the rhythm came naturally & the whole 350 word max was just an arbitrary guideline that helps me keep it flash-like. people responded so positively that i abandoned all i'd previously been writing & work on this unnurtured voice.
i became obsessed w/ the idea of memoirs & recording your life & the realization that everything you really do in life is part of your memoir, your personal story, & i have crazy ADD a bunch & so much of this world w/ the internet revolves around getting information fast & moving on to the next shit that i thought the length & rhythm of these pieces was relevant.
[16-06-19 11:26:31 AM] sydney mcneill: It definitely is. I think a lot of people use writing as a tool for self-discovery and time preservation, which is so important to sanity sometimes. Have you submitted to many publications? Do you plan on or hope to publish a collection?
[16-06-19 11:26:50 AM] sydney mcneill: fg
[16-06-19 11:27:04 AM] sydney mcneill: The cat is typing...
[16-06-19 11:27:08 AM] sydney mcneill: She's a handful
[16-06-19 11:29:14 AM] msw msw: tell the cat i love her.
in the past I've submitted just short stories to publications. I've submitted these FMs to only a few: you, el balazo press, & I'm currently working on a lil ep of 4 FMs (like 500 words altogether) as a mini collection to spy kids review. so I'm just starting to get my feelers out here w/ these.
i am currently home for both my parents birthdays & I'm writing a collection. these early collections will be very short which I'm totally okay w/. like 3000 words altogether but again i just like how brief it is. firs the aesthetic.
a bigger collection could be down the road fa sho. i write these flash memoirs every day w/ the intent to lose them because that's how memory works in my eyes. so i'll probably have close to 200 by the end of the year. some are unpublishable & exist as just a reference of time/place/emotion & are like one phrase or a word of two. w/ the FMs I'm tryna capture the emotion of the moment most & what i was thinking instead of the actual event. i wanna be able to look back & see exactly where i was at in my head.
[16-06-19 11:32:32 AM] sydney mcneill: The cat says thank you and knocks over my coffee...
[16-06-19 11:34:35 AM] sydney mcneill: I love El Balazo and Spy Kids Review! We're in good company. That's great - a lot to be working on. How long are you home for? And where are you living currently?
[16-06-19 11:35:46 AM] msw msw: i am home in kansas city missouri for 10 days total, only halfway into my trip. i currently live in new york city
[16-06-19 11:36:57 AM] sydney mcneill: Wonderful. I write poems daily and have been for years, so can sort of relate. Sometimes they're really really awful, but it still feels good to put something down on paper that documents a moment in time that is significant to me in the now. Do you find that sometimes you look back and roll your eyes a bit at former selves?
[16-06-19 11:39:22 AM] msw msw: oh yes oooh yes. i'll look back at even something i wrote last night & think where the fuck are you at? haha. it's less of an eyeroll most of the time & is more like a deep appreciation of having grown as a person. we're all constantly changing & shit.
the significant to the me of now is an important feature w/ these so i can relate. just an honest portrait.
[16-06-19 11:42:48 AM] sydney mcneill: Absolutely. I'm almost out of questions but I have a couple more. What are you proudest of? How do you see yourself growing and improving as a writer over time?
Oh, and also, is there anything particular on your mind that you want to say? I like features to be basically whatever the person I'm interviewing wants them to be, so if there's anything writing related or otherwise that you want to share, feel free to say so.
[16-06-19 12:03:01 PM] msw msw: I am most proudest of the person I'm becoming actually. i have spent all my life working towards being the type of person who is the embodiment of empathy & helps people & is a solid friend & who people can trust & count on. the process of really getting to know myself has bettered my writing tenfold because of the confidence it brings. & that shows in my writing a lot. over time I'm not sure how i'll improve. I'm not a person who has hella long term plans (this is because i used to be very controlling of situations up until 6 or 7 years ago, related to heavy anxiety, & i let go & started to be spontaneous & therefore i like to keep the future unpredictable) but I'm excited because i'll continue to grow as a person & hopefully that'll translate. i want to just keep the skills sharp, take days as they come. something i did kinda wanna say: these flash memoirs are designed to not only be shorter & readable but overall accessible. so much of that collegiate/academic attitude as you said can be a lil constraining & obsessed w/ conventionality. i have a strained relationship w/ academia. i have no degree because i couldn't pay for school myself & get loans & all that shit & because of that, on paper at least to some, i feel like people think I'm uneducated & under-qualified & lowkey stupid. i wanna write because i have a unique voice like everyone & i shouldn't be judged for the shit i COULDN'T do as much as the shit I'm doing. i wanna let people know that there are more avenues to express yourself & if you find your own comfortable lane you should fw that. you like what you like & you is what you is. I want to just pour empathy over the world & shit essentially. I'm not sure if my writing work has gotten there yet, to that point where people are consuming sans judgement or preconceived notion, but I'm working on it. something to look forward to fa sho.