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Shadow Life Book Deal Announcement in Publishers Weekly

February 25, 2016 By: Hiromi Category: Blog

The news of the Shadow Life deal with FirstSecond Books hit Publishers Weekly. ~__~ Woohooo!

Upcoming Events at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus

February 12, 2016 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, Events, News & Reviews

Too distracted prepping for said presentations I haven’t inputted the details into my Events page! But I thought I need to place it Somewhere!

Several talks and a reading coming up at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, in Newfoundland. All events are open to the general public and are free of charge.

Yoroshiku!

Hiromi Goto’s & Celine Loup’s 1rst Graphic Novel, ‘Shadow Life’

February 10, 2016 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, News & Reviews

Oh MY GOD! I’ve been sitting on this news forever! And now we can finally talk about it!

Our first ever graphic novel will be published with First Second Books in 2018. Still a ways to go, Celine will be starting her brilliant but long labour (respect!) of making visual art out of words soon. I’ll blog a bit more about the process later, but for now a big colourful (if it’s online colour ink is free! free! FREE!) splashy announcement and interview in the LA Times 0____0 !!!

TWELVE MILLION KERMIT ARMS FLAILING IN THE AIR YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!

Thank you to my Agent, Sally Harding & the Cooke Agency for finding the perfect home for this project! Thank you to Calista Brill at First Second for seeing the spirit of what I imagined…. ~___~

Hiromi Goto Interview on Co-op Radio

February 05, 2016 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, Events, Interviews, News & Reviews

Is blogging still a thing? I’ve fallen off of regular postings. My partner reassures me that I’m micro-blogging on Twitter and I suppose it’s true. A dear writer friend of mine, who is very savvy, has pointed out writing a lot on a blog is basically writing for free, when it’s important that we try to find gigs that will pay us for our labour. Yes, I thought. That’s true. It takes time to write a post and when I had kept a more regular stream of entries I would find creative energy rather spent after a particularly long piece. But then a blog is also a nice way to share some thoughts with readers & the broader writing community so there’s that.

Hullo! Today’s topic is Radio Interviews! XD XD XD

It’s been a while since I’ve been on air. Thank you, Julia & Art, for having me come in for the Writing Life program! Happily it wasn’t live, but pre-recorded. Far less pressure for those (like me) who get all sweaty at the idea of not being able to take something back….

Alas.

Tips on how to prepare for  Interview both live & pre-corded:

  1. Listen to previous interviews that the program has conducted.
  2. Ask for a list of questions, even rough copy, of what they intend to ask to be sent to you several days prior to interview.
  3. If there’s a question that you think is inappropriate, etc. let the interviewer know you cannot respond to that question. (But also don’t think you can veto almost all of them, unless there’s some huge problem with the line of questioning– then it’s better to just politely let them know that this doesn’t seem like the right venue for your work, thank you for the invitation, however. Be professional.)
  4. Review the questions and jot down notes for yourself, so if you have brain freeze your notes will bring you back.
  5. Practice aloud at home, by yourself or with someone else asking you the questions.

Julia and Art were all graciousness and the questions very professional & engaging. We’d gone through most of the questions and I was feeling rather relieved that I’d held it together, we were almost done. They asked me if I ever experienced writer’s block and if I did, what I did to deal with it.

Yes, I experience it, I relayed. Going off the interview notes script I’d prepared for myself I decided I wanted to reference Octavia E. Butler (for the listeners, because not everyone knows about her amazing Speculative Fiction) and create an analogy between how I deal with writer’s block and the behaviour of the aliens in her Xenogenesis trilogy….

In the trilogy, I explained, there’s an alien race called the Oankali, who have three sexes. The third sex was able to manipulate genetic material, and shape things in this special organ inside them, called a…. My mind groped around in the dark for the word. “Ya….” As Julia and Art gazed at me and the interview silence began stretching my mouth completed the word before my mind was finished… “ni”. “Yani.”

A little thought bubble wafted around in my back brain, “Really? Was that the word?” but my forebrain was charging ahead to complete the interview. The alien, I explained, with the “yani”  would sometimes find itself in need of new genetic materials. They’d say, “My yani hungers.” And so they would go out to collect new things. When I have writer’s block, I explained, I think of it as feeding my “yani”. I read books, watch films, go to art galleries, etc. to feed what’s been depleted…. A petit uneasiness lingered in the deepest reaches of my thought bubble mind, but I forged on, the need to be present and respond efficiently and clearly so necessary on radio. Finally I was done. Phew!

I thanked my kind hosts and walked home, set back to working on a very difficult presentation on gender, feminism and identity constructs for an upcoming university visit.

Many days later I received an email from Art that the interview would air the next day. The day of, a few hours before the program was to begin the little thought bubble in the back of my brain slowly bobbed its way to the front and swelled into comprehension. “It’s not ‘yani’…the organ in the third sex in the Oankali is the ‘yashi’. It’s ‘yashi’! You said ‘yani’ because you conflated ‘yoni’ with ‘yashi’, you actually said on radio, “My yani hungers.” YOU MIGHT AS WELL SAID, MY PUSSY HUNGERS!!!!! OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!

 

Dear friends, sometimes, no matter how well you prepare, you will make a mistake.

Make it a glorious one.

 

Hiromi Goto’s EMMA Talk, “Protest”

December 10, 2015 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, Events, News & Reviews

The video of my talk, “Protest”, is up!

I had the honour of speaking at EMMA Talks: Engaging Monologues, Mutual Aid, this autumn, with artist and activist Julie Flett. Her talk should be up on the site soon! EMMA Talks states: “The core purpose of EMMA Talks is to bring important stories by women identified* writers, activists, thinkers, storytellers, makers and doers, from the periphery to the public.”

I felt so lucky to be in a room filled with so many different women, men, non-binary folks in a mood of openness and acceptance. Thank to the EMMA Talks crew, Simon Fraser University, and, in particular, Carla Bergman and Corin Brown for making this happen.

(It feels weird to talk about myself in the third person, but this seemed the most pragmatic way to make this title searchable (findable)!)

 
*including two spirited, trans* and gender non-conforming folks.

Interview with CWILA

October 17, 2015 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, Interviews, News & Reviews

Had a great experience with Canadian Women in the Literary Arts– Tina Northrup asked interesting questions and these are the best kinds of interviews– when the interviewer has us thinking longer and more deeply. It’s also freaking great to be interviewed in a feminist venue. Please go take a look!

 

Speaking Tour in Japan

June 15, 2015 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, Events, News & Reviews

I’ve decided to detail my upcoming trip to Japan here, rather than in the Upcoming Events section because, for the most part, I don’t have the exact information on the locations (such as building name, room number, etc.) and some of the events won’t be open to the public. The ones I’m certain that are open to the public I will make note of– if in doubt, if you’re in the area and would like to attend please contact the Literature Department for more details.

June 24: Symposium at Sugiyama Jogakuen University “History, Myth, Folklore”. Open to public. 4:30pm.

June 26: University of Yamanashi. Presentation for students.

June 27: University of Yamanashi. Canadian Lit. Conference. Delivering keynotes with Larissa Lai.

June 30: E.H. Norman Speaker Series: “Literary Dialogue     between Canadian & Japanese Women Writers” Larissa Lai & I will be delivering a short talk followed by a group discussion with Mari Kotani and Yukiko Chino. 7-8:30pm. Open to public, registration required. For further details.

July 3: University of Hiroshima. Presentation for students.

July 4: University of Hiroshima. SES Japan. I’ll be delivering the keynote.

July 8: Yonago College of Technology.

A whirlwind tour! Excited about the many conversations I’ll have with new friends, and especially hearing stories from the young people. I’m also thrilled to be in Japan during Tanabata Festival. Thank you, Hidemi Kishino sensei, for making all of this possible.

Humidity is Japan is going to be about 90%!!! I will just do a sidestroke through the air….

 

 

Writing, Not Writing, Seeing, Being

January 15, 2015 By: Hiromi Category: Nature, Thoughts on Writing

2014 was a low-production year in terms of publications. A new short story, “Covalent Bond”, was published in Room Magazine 37.4. Some of my previously published stories, alongside fellow GoH N. K. Jemisin’s writings, were part of Aqueduct Press’s WisCon 38’s Guest of Honour volume, Systems Fail,  It’s been a while, however, since the last new book and because I tend to focus on book-length projects output is few and far between. There’s this weird accelerated push for the next new book that is completely at odds for most writers’ (desired) process– of course I blame capitalism and consumerism! Having said that, I’m still part of the capitalist system and I write books that I hope will sell and sell well. <wry grin>

A bit of a conundrum. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I can’t “force” a book. If the idea isn’t gelling, if the strands do not weave into an interesting cloth, if I can’t sort out my plot, I don’t force my way through. I wait, I mull, I tinker, I start a few other smaller projects (but not too many, because how many incomplete projects do I want for pity’s sake???), sketch, read, research, watch films, no longer drink heady tumblers of tequila….

It will come. The story will come. I hit this wall with every book. And somehow I breach the wall. Or climb over it. Or dissolve it in my sleep.

But holy shit, being on this side of the wall can take a long time, and it can be a downer.

Sometimes the best thing for me to do is leave my messy desk or dusty couch and step outside. To remind myself of the wider organic world beyond my screen and internet connection. There’s more than the perpetual news stream of global suffering. There’s more than the sinking feeling inside my chest. There’s more than ego.

There is body. Air. Fog. The soft patter of persistent rain. A lattice of vibrant life in biospheres both visible and invisible around me. And to consciously recognize my connection to these things is a way to expand my own framework.

The other night one of our heavy west coast fogs cast a dream around the city.

my block fog

 Nights like this there is no need to write story. You can walk through it with your senses wide open.

under the ramp

The contrast of light and dark is a study of life– it is a fundamental way of imagining the world and we recreate it in so many different ways in story. To enter these spaces, to experience them, is an important part of being able to later imagine and word them in unique or memorable ways.

And the living creatures all around. They are near, yet sometimes the eye passes over, does not see them in the urban daily. But they are here. And when I see them it’s as if the city scales that covers my eyes fall away and I’m a creature among creatures once more.

P1010349

Burnaby Lake in the rain. The parking lot was empty only for the chik chik of juncos hopping from branch to branch. A fox sparrow was virtually indistinguishable among the fallen leaves– until it wasn’t.

wood duck dragons

Wood ducks roosting in a tree, as miraculous as dragons.

I return to my apartment a little changed. The chest is lighter. The air is sweeter.

Tonight I will dream.

Spring/Summer 2014 Recap

October 01, 2014 By: Hiromi Category: Events, On the Road, Thoughts on Writing

So much I haven’t updated– I’m an inconsistent blogger. But unrepentant!

Life is busy with living….

May was WisCon 38 and I was a guest of honour alongside N.K. Jemisin. Enroute to the convention my partner and I arranged to stay a few days in Chicago, and what a beautiful city! Not usually the type to remark on the beauty of modern buildings, but Chicago is an architectural treat!

ChicagoDT2014

D and I caught a live jazz performance, saw the Edward Gorey exhibit, and a Vivian Maier photo exhibit. We didn’t manage to have piece of deep dish pizza.

I love to take photographs. I’ve no training, but my eye is pulled to the contrast of dark and light, repetitive patterns, the shapes of things, both empty and solid. To develop an appreciation of this can serve writers well. For stories are just as much about what is absent from the page (or obscured) as what is revealed. What is being compared as like or unlike? And how do we frame a story? What is the focus? Where is the focus? What are the parameters of the story? What is included inside the frame? I.e. narrative POV.

LightShadowChicago

From Chicago to Madison, WI. It was my first time ever as a GoH at a Con. A different kind of scene compared to the many academic conferences I’ve been invited to as a guest speaker, it was the largest audience I’ve spoken to and delivering the GoH speech was a combination of frightening and exhilarating.

WisConGohSpeechaudience

 

N. K. Jemisin’s GoH speech was a call to arms in the fight against systemic racism and sexism entrenched within many organizations in SF culture. The applause and cheers resounded.

N.K. Jemisin & me.

GoHwithDessertTix38

The hotel lounge had an array of spec fic-infused drinks. Delightful!

KappaDrinklounge

A blur of panels, readings, parties, meals with friends old and new. We had a lovely time and returned home with much to mulch into our long-term knowledge.

Unbeknownst to me at the time while we moved through and around the convention there had been ongoing issues regarding the handling of safety issues for attendees, particularly around sexual harassment. It appears that WisCon is working on making the space safer and ensuring that the same mistakes won’t happen again.  I trust that this is so. Or I trust that even if mistakes are made in the future, for no organization is free from making them, that there will be a historical knowledge that will allow for swift and practical moves to address the lapses.

Summer saw a whirlwind of activity…

Tanabata Festival (July 7). I didn’t have any bamboo this year, but I read that some people write their wishes on paper boats. So my friends and I gathered at the beach to pen our messages and we sent them out across the great watery way.

Tanabata2014boats

Clarion West. I was totally enriched, bemused and inspired by my Clarion West experience. The students journeyed through an intensive endurance run of 6 weeks of learning, creating, integrating & output! I was only there for 1 week as one of the instructors and I was pretty exhausted by the end of it, but the attendees had 2 more weeks remaining. I can’t imagine how they did it! They not only learned together and created together (writing a new story every week) but they also lived together for the duration of the workshop in a sorority house (awesome trippy group photos on the walls, especially for this Canadian). Meals were cooked by a chef. Their days were filled with reading, critiquing, writing new stories, playing games (and, apparently, significant consumption of assorted beverages). For writers of speculative fiction who are ready for an extreme learning-by-doing experience I whole-heartedly recommend applying to Clarion West.

 ClarionWest2014

Afterward I was ready to settle into my home. The rest of the summer saw me reading a lot of children’s books, visiting the beach, feeding my yashi. ~___~



Hiromi Goto nineteenquestions interview

June 16, 2014 By: Hiromi Category: Blog, Craft, Thoughts on Writing

Interviews are odd things– they kind of start to blur together because there’s a tendency for interviewers to ask similar kinds of questions, such as, Where do you get your ideas, who are your favourite authors, etc.

This interview was a little different because I asked if it could be conducted in the same manner as the Voight-Kampff test in Bladerunner (with no one being “retired”, of course!).

What resulted was a little different from the usual fare and it was also fun!

Thank you, Haley! 😀