I began writing what has turned out to be my #book: #Dream of the #Water #Children: Memory and Morning in the #Black #Pacific, in 1983. Originally, I had named it: “Snowflakes in the Valley of Fire,” which was something my mother was referred to herself as. I decided against that title and could not think of a good title. And part of a big delay was that I need to have a title to all of my pieces in order to begin writing. Then after I write, the title could be changed. But the first title–is the first thing. But the title wouldn’t come because I felt unsettled about writing it in a traditional memoir form.
From there, it was a slow-burning project–uncertain, bumpy, full of questions. writing and re-writing, re-visiting memories–especially those I didn’t want to remember but wanted to remember because I felt they were important.
By the late 1980s, I basically left my book on the shelf of my mind and really didn’t take it seriously. Friends in Seattle in the 1990s, urged me to take my writing seriously and cajoled me to make public readings of my material, not yet formed but there.
I owe them a lot. I was to make bumpy starts and stops through the 2000s. I finished the first draft of my book while I was living in a homeless shelter in San Francisco. It seems I needed my whole self involved and could not afford going to a job. The writing drained me. It was emotional. But it had come together after I had graduated with a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation and with a few years of Ph.D research before stopping that program when I became homeless.
What I learned in the Anthropology program was a postcolonial, advocacy-oriented, feminist-queer, post-structural approach to action-oriented anthropology meant for social justice. It was exactly what I needed to move my body-mind to write the book in the form I was confident in, for the world.
Always and definitely imperfect, but reaching and reaching. Hoping. It is what it is.
It will be released on April 9th, 2019. I hope it opens and pushes questions and curiosities and investigations, and moves some people to research and change what they can in our world, and to be more conscious of The Black Pacific concept and its life.