All right. You said I should apply for this grant thing and I am. One of the things I have to do is write an artist’s biography of 1,000 characters or less. It’s supposed to be “…a brief snapshot providing relevant information that might not be found in a résumé or artist statement, such as where the applicant was born or grew up, details about their work process, how the applicant’s career developed, etc.” This is what I wrote. I suppose it’s not exactly what they’re looking for but I can’t help myself. I must turn everything into a story. So I guess if I don’t win, what the hell. I stayed true to myself and that is more important.
Writing pulled me back from the dead. It’s no joke. I wanted to kill myself, one foot in the grave, gazing in, longingly, but my therapist said, “No. Don’t do it. Write.” So I did, and that unlocked something, something that soon became a flood. My native Russian ceded to English and I felt like I’ve found my language, like it was safe to tell my stories in it. That was six years ago. Ten years before that I fled Moscow, Russia, fled the past and the pain and the dirt. Therapy is what writing is to me. Dark beginnings to happiness. I’ve been writing full-time for three years now and don’t intend to stop. It’s like a drug. Can you call it a career? I don’t know. I call it life. I’m on my fifth book, about a train killing its passengers…a sweet bedtime story. There are fifteen more books outlined and more ideas coming to me daily. So my creative process is writing them all out, quickly, before my head explodes.
Tomorrow I’ll be writing the 4,000 characters artist’s statement. Now that’ll be fun. I can’t wait.