Kali Fajardo-Anstine Recommends...

“I’m writing a novel, and have been for over a decade. I’ve had periods of great productivity, days when one thousand-word quotas turn into four thousand words, vivid dreams of a nineteenth-century Southwestern desert crisp with blue mountain air, mornings when I awake smelling the campfires of the past. I love the world of my novel-in-progress—the extravagance, the lush dance halls, a sharpshooting, tea leaf reading, snake charming, feminine, and indigenous Wild West. But working on a singular project for years isn’t easy. Some days the writing rushes like the Rio Grande, and sometimes, weeks, months, or even years pass, and my pages don’t budge. Instead, they buck against my will. When those days arrive, I refuel my well, the headwaters supplying my creative stream. I visit historic archives and museums, galleries and art shows, movies and talks. Often this refueling is related to my novel, like the time I visited a Colorado museum, where I held the same model of rifle used by Annie Oakley and tested its weight. Other times, this refueling serves to remind me of the powers within art making—when I’m inspired, so is my writing.”
—Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Sabrina & Corina (One World, 2019)