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Notes from Ash Huang

Could this be the case?

I have come to love form rejections. I bounce between craving bloody manuscripts drenched in red ink, and hating that I’m so willing to entertain another person’s opinions about my writing or vision, and ergo, their opinions about me.

Trying my best these days to give proper weight to the positive comments on personal rejections and accepts. Instead of focusing solely on what to cut in my manuscripts, I’m trying to highlight what I must not delete, what I must not change. Advice isn’t monolithic, and the whole kIlL yOuR dArLiNgs thing (which is honestly such a gross way of putting it) is probably great for some folks—but it lights up something unhealthy in me. Plus it’s often made my work get worse over time, the more people touch it. That’s equally on me, but it’s also just a demonstration that you have to know what works for you.

What I was trying to say here before I launched into an overarching metaphysical treatise on the personal nature of advice was that I’m living off of the positive snippets I recieved this year. One or two lines, literally like 35 words at a time, but I’m treating the positive like I’ve treated the negative. Sitting with it and being like, could this be the case? Getting excited when someone understands what I’m trying to do without me having to explain it.

For example, I’ve always been insecure about worldbuilding, because I’m frankly easily confused and I don’t personally enjoy the Tolkein-esque pursuit of inventing another whole language and maintaining a 300 page wiki. I love research and falling down knowledge holes, but there’s nothing formal about my process, nothing replicable book to book. Do I still worldbuild? Of course! Constantly! Even the most realist literary fiction worldbuilds. But my methods are rather ruthless and vibes/theme centric. So it was a huge huge honor to get the Diverse Worlds Grant, an enormous validation for doing things the way I feel called to do them.

Things I’m thinking about

A few months ago we were watching Ponyo and my oldest said, unprompted, “this is what it was like before I was born.” A screencap of the movie Ponyo, with jellyfish and sea boogers dancing across the sea

I’m never not thinking about Murakami’s answer to the classic dinner party question. My apologies, but I’m not big on dinner parties

I’m probably going to rebuild my blog into a more self-hosted thing with some visuals, and I’m thinking of integrating comments ?? when I do so. Is the Internet still crawling and spamming blogs? I guess I can always turn them off.