Links I Like


Stephen Elliott collaborates with Paul Madonna in All Over Coffee. Some days I feel like this character in All Over Coffee #616.

Yesterday, I had coffee with Patty Pierce, one of my yoga instructors. She gave me advice about life and fibromyalgia, and one of things she said was this. Well, I’m paraphrasing. Also, she encouraged me to stop being a Good Girl.

Why haven’t I been paying more attention to All Over Coffee when I love the series? This is one of my biggest fears. That I will neglect what I love.

Isaac Fitzgerald’s collaboration with Paul Madonna #563. Cheryl Strayed #555.

This evening, I will read my Donna essay at the PEN sponsored literary event Dirty Laundry Lit. Natashia Deón is organizing the event and blowing me away in the process. Kind of like she did with her Saturday essay Black Barbie.

If you’re in L.A., please attend the event and say hi to me. I’ll be the petite woman wearing a bright red Orphan Annie dress. I’ll also be in a kissing booth for five minutes. All money raised from kissing goes to charity. What I’m saying is: Kiss me and help the community.

Obviously I was happy that Stephen Elliott was all over The Rumpus this week. Read his interview with Michelle Orange, which he describes as a short story. I love the art that accompanies the interview.

In one of Stephen Elliott’s recent Daily Rumpus emails, he recalls Tobias Wolff saying, Never give credit. I replied to his email with one sentence, Always give credit!!! Let me give Stephen credit by telling you the obvious: The Daily Rumpus influences the way I write Links I Like.

I spent my Valentine’s evening at Literary Death Match, and Kyle Kinane was a hilarious judge. Time to watch a video of him doing stand-up.

At Literary Death Match, a writer asked me if I was nervous to read at Dirty Laundry Lit. She asked if I was practicing, and if I wish to emulate anyone. I told her I wanted to emulate Karen O performing Poor Song and Cat Power performing Rambling (Wo)man.

She asked, Isn’t that hard since you won’t have music?

No, I said. It’s about what you do with space. And silence.

I wasn’t being clear and she looked confused.

I said, It’s about time, too.

She continued to look confused.

I realize now the answer is: Yes.

How can I emulate musicians without music?

Sometimes I think I’m a musician who never learned how to play music. My grandmother never learned to read or write. My grandmother grew up poor in Colombia and my great grandparents arranged her marriage because my grandfather was wealthy. Sometimes I wonder if she’s a writer.

Flavorwire celebrates women writers by sharing 17 essays written by women that everyone should read. I’m ending with an excerpt from Eduardo Galeano’s The Book of Embraces:

Why does one write, if not to put one’s pieces together? From the moment we enter school or church, education chops us into pieces: it teaches us to divorce soul from body and mind from heart. The fisherman of the Colombian coast must be learned doctors of ethics and morality, for they invented the word sentipensante, feeling-thinking, to define language that speaks the truth.

Zoe Ruiz is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. Her work has appeared in The Weeklings, Salon, Two Serious Ladies, and Ohio Edit. She studied creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and now lives in Los Angeles. More from this author →