Yang Huang Recommends...

“During the week I am busy with my day job as a computer engineer, my children and family. I strive to live a low-drama life with a healthy routine. I don’t drink and rarely go out at night. I don’t even speak much. I live an ascetic life in order to bottle up my emotions for my writing. When it’s time for my creative endeavor, mostly on the weekends, I go to the cave. It is just my desk behind a closed door, but it’s the place where I permit myself to be a writer. I have a nice meal with my family first and ask if anyone needs me. I take care of urgent matters, and then everything else has to wait. On my writing days, I limit my physical activities. I sit for long hours in a hard chair with a large pillow at the back. If my children enter my room, I ask them to leave. By making my body still and my mind quiet, I enter a mental space where imaginary characters can come out and play, as if I have no worldly responsibilities but all the time and leisure for make-believe. I’m not a sensual person except when it comes to writing. I feel a pleasurable pang when the hard work uncovers a blind spot that is normally protected by politeness and hypocrisy. I often have to stop when the writing is going well because the weekend is over. I come out and tend to my duties as a mother, wife, and an engineer—and I wait for my next visit to the cave.”
—Yang Huang, author of My Old Faithful (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018)