Selected Writing

The Best Way to Travel is by Train

Just before my 3rd year at University, I had made the first of several identical decisions over the years: I was going to put other things away and Become a Writer. I was waiting to hear from the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing department about my undergraduate application that summer, and I was determined that even if I didn’t get in, I would dedicate my free time to, among other things like maybe writing a story, reading the dictionary from cover to cover. So I could be the best writer ever. Ha! A nagging voice—the voice of proportion and practicality—whispered to me (in my head this voice is a tiny one) that it would take me over a decade to read the ancient Random House dictionary I had sequestered in the Weaving Room.

The Weaving Room was an unconditioned room at the end of our house that, formerly that summer, had been used mainly for storage and hide-and-seek. My family and I renovated it into a quaint little writing area for me. It retained its original name, appropriately I think, but it remained unconditioned for the time being. So, in a fit of entitlement, I literally sweated this story out over the course of a month and a half or so, drinking only dictionary words and Virginia Woolf to sustain me. It’s probably the longest story I’ve written to date, and the freest, too. It is pretty convoluted, but excitingly so.

I’ve included it in the portfolio because it’s still the most creative of any of my stories. Half of the experience of The Best Way to Travel is in its language, and language is my love.