Yesterday, I was asked a question that, I fear, I was unprepared to answer. “So, what do you write about?”
I stood dumbfounded, as the words struck me like a brick to the face. The querent was an acquaintance aquired from a non-literary based friendship, thus her sudden curiosity alarmed me, yet there I stood, trying desperately to come up with an answer. “What don’t I write about?” I said with a laugh, but we both knew it wasn’t true.
I considered the difficulty of the question before returning with a proper response. “Yesterday, I wrote a poem about the rise and fall of artificial intelligence and its creators. The day before I worked on a fantasy WiP, complete with wizards. The day before that I worked on a fiction WiP that is more of a social commentary, though the tale revolves around a data clerk and a world war in the not-so-distant future. I think that I write everything from social issues to the inner demons that we all face. I like bringing those to the surface, no matter the genre of the medium. I also adore taking a convention such as beauty, or desire, and turning it inside out, revealing it for what it truly is. Then again, this morning, I wrote an article advertising for a business and last year I wrote a policy manual for a local restaurant. I suppose, I write what I’m paid for, and then I go back to tearing the masks from societal and personal demons.”
Frankly, I thought this was a well thought out and detailed answer. Now, however, it was she who stood dumbfounded. “So, wizards and robots?” She asked. I offered a weak smile and responded “Yes, wizards and robots”.
I think, if ever I am asked that question again, I may just start with ‘wizards and robots’.