1. What’s your favorite song to dance to?
Selecting a favorite is always so tricky! If I had to pick one that comes to mind on 7:13 am MST, May 5th, 2019, it is Donna Summer’s Last Dance. My body seems to be longing for some good old disco this morning.
2. What’s something that always makes you laugh?
Puns. Puns that heighten the absurd precariousness in words make me laugh.
3. What’s a gif that you can relate to?
Gif of a golden retriever puppy stumbling down a staircase.
4. You’re hit by lightning. What happens?
I get a lightning shaped pattern on my back, which allows me to conduct electricity. With further practice channeling this newly acquired power, my bare hands hold the potential to substitute a defibrillator.
5. It’s snowing outside, how do you feel?
My feelings would be circumstantial — dependent on the cumulative amount of snow predicted for the day and whether I need to leave the house or not. I am not a big fan of the slushy type, but I enjoy snow that contains the right amount of humidity on a less windy day. If snowing creates an inviting picturesque ambiance and evokes a certain amount of nostalgic coziness, I would feel warmth, similar to that of what I would feel from looking at a Thomas Kinkade or Bob Ross painting.
6. What’s a cat picture you can get behind?
I endorse images that have a Sphynx on it. Here are a couple of examples I collaged years ago:
7. Where did you write most of your book? Why?
I wrote many parts of the book in Boulder, Colorado sitting by a buffalo-shaped pool, taking breaks and starting at contained blobs of water lapping against the tiles. Additionally, a lot of the content was drafted on my phone while people-watching. This may be such a millennial way of reading and writing but I find walking and tapping words on the screen to be a generative activity, an essential part of my creative thought process.
8. What are your struggles and strengths as a writer?
Being bilingual in Korean-English and bicultural as a Korean-American has been always been a point of struggle and strength for me. I write like I talk and I talk like I write. It took me a long time to become more comfortable with how I position myself, embrace the hybridity in the way I express myself, and develop a voice and language that best suits my needs. These days, I have been describing writing as matching a puzzle without knowing the final image or having all the pieces. It is exhilarating but also challenging to pull words together, complete a sentence that feels “just right,” and materialize what is on my mind. My thoughts run wild and casting a net to capture all of them is often impossible. Building upon incoherences that rise from this chaotic stream of consciousness, I find myself thriving while constantly juggling frustration as a self-identified writer.
9. Tell us a little about your writing process. What works, what doesn’t, what doesn’t but you still try anyway?
I enjoy writing in the early morning as it is when I have the most energy to channel a balanced sense of clarity and doubt. My curiosities in “why things are the way they are” make me question my own perceptions and propel me to diligently take notes, photos, and videos of what I see, hear, learn, and find noticeable in the everyday. Time, space, people, things and objects greatly influence my process of thinking-through-making and I accept the high probability that I will eventually change my mind on whatever I write. Thus, what works and what doesn’t is relative to what the meaning of work-ing is for me at that specific moment when write-ing and revising what I have written. This requires a certain amount of engagement with the now and being in conversation with myself. I talk to myself out loud a lot when I am alone in a room but not necessarily when I write. Furthering this thought, inscribing and deleting what I have written is a self-reflective dialogue with my past self, negotiating with my own sense of self and deciding whether it “works” or not in the present context. I break sense to piece it together and strive to make sense out of this process of reconfiguration. Although the functionality of this is all questionable, finding a fresh lens for self-discovery is humbling and this is what motivates me to keep writing. As my experiences shape me as a living and breathing human over time, the way I language morphs, the way I quilt words shifts in orientation, and the resulting literary residue becomes a documented series of happenings. This writing process of trialing speculations and playing catch up with myself is highly enjoyable and will hopefully continue to inspire me to try again once more.
LAURA HYUNJHEE KIM is a multimedia artist who contemplates and reimagines moments of incomprehension: when language loses its coherence, necessitates absurd leaps in logic, and reroutes into intuitive and improvisational sense-making forms of expression. Hailing from the internet, her projects have traveled to exhibitions and screenings around the world and appeared in numerous publications. Kim received a B.S. in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and M.F.A. from the New Genres Department at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Intermedia Art, Writing, and Performance (IAWP) at the University of Colorado Boulder.