SJ Sindu Recommends...

“I believe that writers should have a childlike sense of wonder about the world. But wonder is hard to come by when life is there with its demands on your attention, always with its problems—the long commute, the friend who snubbed you, the coworker or student who needs your help. For me, renewing that sense of wonder is a cornerstone of my writing practice. And whenever I feel like I’ve lost it, I head to the aquarium. I often go alone. I go without my phone, without a camera, without anything except my wallet and notebook so that I can be completely in the moment, not worrying or wondering about the past or future. There’s something about watching the longnose gar, the blue-billed ruddy ducks, the turtle on the glass floor, hiding under a tree root, not realizing that from below, large groups of humans can see its vulnerable white tummy. There’s something to be said about watching otters swim laps and the quivering air bubbles that cling to their chestnut fur, about being able to count the scales in a resting alligator’s skin, the slight green tinge in the stripes of its claws. The aquarium takes me wholly out of my own life and puts me in a space that is foreign and wondrous, a space full of life but entirely inaccessible to me otherwise. It resets the programmed ways I often look at the world. It teaches me how to approach my commute and my friends and my students anew. And after every visit, I come back to my writing with that same sense of newness and wonder.”
—SJ Sindu, author of Marriage of a Thousand Lies (Soho Press, 2017)