issue two, round four: can't stop, won't stop

happy Monday! (or we can fake it till we make it, if you like.) 

we're back with five more of our awesome contributors, who told us all about how they don't even go here, they just have a lot of feelings.

featuring Ashley Shell, Lenae Day, Charlotte Red, Rosa Quezada, and Daisy Noemi.

are you an early bird or a night owl? what is your favorite time of day?

AS: I’m more of an early bird, but I’m not opposed to sleeping in when I get the chance. I like a good 10:00 am on a weekday after the chaos of commuter traffic calms down, and I get to walk to wherever I need to be. It’s like I have the whole town to myself.

LD: somewhere in-between. I get my best work done if I start early, but I have a really hard time getting up in the morning so I usually work late into the night resisting exhaustion. my favorite time of day is dusk - I usually take a break on my porch.

CR: I often get a random burst of inspiration to write right when I’ve forced myself to close the laptop and get ready for bed. then I stay up really late reading my genius prose aloud, pretending I’m speaking at a book festival. one of my favourite things that I haven’t done in a while is to stay out on weekends into the wee hours of morning, come home, make myself tea and toast, and read until the birds start chirping. then I go to sleep. and then I wake up early and spend the entire day on a weird buzz! [ed. note: can we tag along next time?]

RQ: my favorite time of day is the morning hours between 5 and 8. those three hours seem to set the mood of my day so I'd like to be awake for more of them. 

DN: I really enjoy twilight. mostly cause it makes life a bit dreamier with all the pretty dewy light falling upon the cityscapes, mountainscapes, beachscapes - every landscape imaginable pretty much.

where are you/what are you doing when your creative ideas usually strike?

AS: creativity is like a kid who’s always bugging me to play hide-and-seek or chase. sometimes I’m open and prepared for creative work, sifting through thoughts in a quiet space all to myself. other times, I’m interrupted by a piece of an idea while in the shower. or I’ll wake up in the middle of the night because of something weird that happened in a dream. then I have to write until I chase down the complete idea.

LD: either on a road trip, on a run or out having a drink or two with friends. I have to be doing something so my mind is free to generate ideas, otherwise I tend to get OCD about things I have already come up with but haven't finished.

CR: either on public transport or on the toilet. I usually have a notebook with me if I’m on the bus or train. I find that what I write when I’m on the train tends to be a sustained chunk of something--on the bus it’s poems--and when I’m on the toilet I’ll get just one really good line.

RQ: embarrassingly, on my commutes between home and work. something about sitting so close and so far from hundreds of other strangers triggers the need to wonder - "why?" and then I want to hide out and make something. 

DN: on my bed. driving. in the middle of a conversation. sometimes in my dreams. when I'm feeling feelings. 

are you a creature of habit/routine or are you comfortable kept on your toes?

AS: I’m happy with some of my daily rituals, like drinking coffee in the morning. but I’m always trying out new coffee beans and visiting different coffee shops. this is a bold statement, but if coffee disappeared from planet Earth, I know that I would be ok. I can be resistant to structure, but I know that I need it to feel prepared, confident, and freed up to focus on doing my best work.

LD: I work best with a strict schedule, but due to the nature of my work and my brain I have learned to be very comfortable on my toes. I am pretty chill with things working out as they happen instead of stressing super hard about them. 

CR: I reckon I’m a bit of both, but I try to write most nights before I go to bed. my job is pretty all over the place so writing is the routine and it usually brings me back to equilibrium.

RQ: I believe in organization because I'm a Virgo. though, I am learning to dance through the discord and that keeps me on my toes. 

DN: I try to be a habit of creature but I can be a poor keeper of habits. I find myself being a bit of both? yes, a bit of both.

what is your most helpful flaw?

AS: I’m sensitive. It’s pretty much impossible for me to hide the way I really feel. my face is like a mood ring that turns red for every single emotion. you would think it would be on my side, but my skin is out to expose me. my senses can overwhelm me by picking up on a ton of information about my environment. this level of sensitivity would be way more useful if I were solving murder mysteries.

LD: my stubbornness - it ensures that I don't compromise and get the work done to my exacting standards. on the other hand, it can make me difficult to work with, even difficult for me with myself. over the years I have learned to prioritize better, because you can't control everything. but it's still easy to get sucked into overly focusing on one aspect of the work that ends up not being as important. at the same time, that OCD focus on one inane aspect may seem to have no useful purpose, but then I remember that when I was making my 1930s film clip, I spent a month beading a legit flapper skirt based on a costume Joan Crawford wore in 1928 while watching the entire Columbo oevre. on the face of it, this act seems totally wasteful - I could have purchased a chintzy costume or sewn one in a fraction of the time that wasn't as ornate - but it was during all the beading that I made some really critical decisions about the plot and relationships of my main characters in the magazine I had yet to write. all this is to say that sometimes your weaknesses surprise you and waste can be totally useful.

CR: I’m picking two because I’m frequently finding them to be helpful: the first is my over-the-top worrier mind, because I over-analyse everything and that can mean I end up noticing and being able to describe really silly details; and the second is my total inability to write dialog. I’m so freaked out about sounding phony I only ever write conversations that have properly happened somewhere in my life.

RQ: I'm too empathetic. I feel for you, but I don't know when to stop. 

DN: I'm a dreamer who can't stop, won't stop dreaming.