Award-winning, best-selling author Wayson Choy is a friend of a friend.
For a few years now, I’ve missed opportunities to meet him. Last night, that opportunity presented itself right here in our backyard and we took advantage of it. (Thank you Betty for facilitating this meeting!)
Years of living have taught me it’s best to not have expectations – about anything, really. They will be what they will be regardless of the pressure I put on them so why set myself up for possible disappointment? So we left last night not knowing if we would even be able to do more than shake Wayson’s hand. But we got a lot more than that.
For about half an hour we monopolized his time (he said he’d rather talk to us about writing than schmooze, anyway!) and received the most useful advice about writing we’ve ever heard. After asking me a few questions, Wayson zeroed in on exactly the challenges I’m facing with a memoir I’ve been working on (on and off) and how to make it something that’s worth reading. I described that moment to Derek this way: It was as if there were two pieces of Lego in my head and as I listened to Wayson, they got closer and closer to each other until they finally clicked together! It was that important to my understanding of what I need to do next and what’s been missing from what I’ve been doing until now. I would call it a turning point, recognized for its value in the moment.
The only question that remains is whether I’m actually capable of creating the kind of art that we discussed with Wayson last night. I have the story. I have the tools. And now, I have the plan of attack. The rest is up to me.