putting this in the prompt because of new guidelines. ty for all the questions! pls be warned, this is an absolute monster. i’m so sorry if there are grammatical errors, i proof-read a lot but might not have found everything.
Samina Embarrassing memory. hmm… probably that one time I was pouring milk into a glass at a hotel and my hand gave out under the weight. it jerked to the side and i ended up missing the glass and spilling on the ground. then the random auntie next to me proceeded to loudly admonish me in mandarin (keep in mind that mandarin is LOUD. like, probably one of the loudest languages. and asian aunties are even louder) while my mom avoided eye contact and pretended she didn’t know me. super fun! highly recommend the experience. i wanted to die right there.
What is your guilty pleasure? i try not to keep many “guilty” pleasures because i think if you’re interested in something, why hide it, y’know? but i often unironically listen to disney channel music from when i was little. stuff like TTYLXOX by bella thorne, or hannah montana’s music. truly iconic. legendary. game-changing. the music industry was never the same.
Any weird food combination that is good enough to try. peanut butter on a hamburger! apparently, this is a newer taiwanese food trend, because i told my friends and they were totally horrified. lots of gourmet burger places in taipei started to sell the combo last year and personally i think they’re really good? the nuttiness + the patty is really satisfying. taipei always has these weird food trends that come in one summer, full force, so if you’re an adventurous eater i highly recommend visiting sometime!
What has been your best moment this year (so far)? getting published in some magazines was pretty cool!
One thing you could change about the world. i think having people just… listen to each other? like really listen. that would be really impactful. because a ton of the injustices in the world right now have a root problem of people not valuing each other’s voices and experiences. like for example, the all lives matter hashtag came out of people refusing to acknowledge the disproportionate rate at which black people are targeted by systems that push white supremacy. if people would just listen we would be able to change things faster and more efficiently for the better. maybe that’s too sunshine and rainbows though.
What’s your biggest fear? not achieving my dreams. i have so much passion for music and creating and art and entertainment in all its forms. most of all i just want to perform. i need my future to consist of me fulfilling those passions. i think it’s something that weighs on me mentally as well, just the fact that i want it so badly. i won’t put that negative thought out into the universe though! mark my words, it’s going to happen. i believe really strongly in speaking your future into existence just based on the fact that it reinforces the idea in your mind until you accept that as the only option.
If you were the President for a day what would you do? that’s a tough one. i don’t think i’d want to pass an executive order or anything like that, since it could easily be overturned. i think based on the president right now, there’s been a growth in how the office and capitol hill as a whole values social media (a bit unfortunately, i’d add, given the ways it’s been used this term.) anyways, i’d probably use twitter to express support for issues that i care about, draw more attention to petitions, grassroots organizations, charities, fundraisers, etc. etc. the impact would be fast and i could probably get celebrities to jump on that as well, retweeting and stuff.
If you got one superpower what would it be? i’d love having siren song i think! there’s something darkly romantic about it.
Where do you hope to be five years from now? Ten? Fifteen? this is a complex one! i’d say… living my dreams? that’s quite broad i suppose. i’d like to be making me and my family happy and proud of who i am. also, i’d love to be making a difference in terms of asian representation in media because that’s something i am very passionate about.
sunny.v 1) what’s a writing style you particularly like? writing that is romantic and emotional and so simply pretty is just UGH. kim addonizio and yrsa daley-ward are two of my favourite poets that write that style. if you have instagram, i’d recommend @ideahlism and @freshnostalgiia to see that type of stuff! they curate posts with that writing style and it’s just beautiful. i have a folder called “pretty words” on my phone dedicated to some of my favourite excerpts, and i’ve come across many of them on those two accounts.
2) admired wtw writers? gosh, so many. the ever-supportive anha, agustdv (rip,) purplepanache, elisa, jun lei, chrysanthemums&ink. mia_:), efflorescence. BurningMidnightOil, whose works take my breath away. crow_e. Dmoral13 too, so talented. and of course, you yourself! please go check out sunny’s work if you haven’t already.
(i am so sorry if i forgot people. please know that doesn’t mean i love your writing any less! is that even a sentence? oh my god i’m losing my mind writing this.)
3) what’s your favorite topic/subject to read about on here? at the risk of sounding one-note, asian culture. work that is steeped in culture or language or history (or even works that slip in references!) make me so happy because of the lack of that stuff outside this community. does that make sense? i think seeing so many writers proud of their asian heritage gives me hope for our generation of writers. we’re going to shake things up. our voices will be heard, and our culture will be recognized.
4) going off of the previous questions, what’s your favorite to write about? to be honest, lately i’ve just been writing whatever comes to mind and i don’t prefer a specific subject? but i will say that the key parts of my writing are abstract imagery and heavy asian influence, so perhaps you could call that my favourite things. asian culture has maintained itself as a steady topic in both my three years on this site and my fourteen years of writing so if i had to pick one, i’d go with that.
5) if you could blend some people’s writing style (on wtw or just in general) to make your personally favored style, who’d you blend? oooh good question! let’s go with…
in general: jose olivarez + troye sivan (he counts, right? songwriting is writing) + lorde + peter laberge + warsan shire + olivia gatwood + kim addonizio. ooh, let’s throw in natasha kills too. (she goes by teddy sinclair now, but i always preferred her songwriting as natasha. maybe it’s the nostalgia for that 2010s vibe? idk)
anyways! i feel like they would create something so gorgeous and yet starkly reflective of society. it would definitely feel haunting, i think.
wtw: anha + elisa + sunny.v + chrysanthemums&ink. i think these writers have such strong imagery/aesthetics in their writing. some of them tend to skew more gritty and others prettier, so their styles combined would definitely result in something life-changing.
5) what cliche character trope are you? aka, if we were all book characters on a YA journey, who’d you be? uh… honestly? probably the antagonist. that one girl that has kinda iconic catchphrases and styling choices but whose personality is pure trash? me. but then again, i’m not that legendary. you sort of have to be popular to be the antagonist. so then i’d probably be manic pixie dream girl just based on my interests (i mean i literally write lowercase poetry-)
6) do you feel your irl personality translates well to here? honestly, i think it translates pretty well. writing is so personal that it would be hard to fake it, y’know? but at the same time, wtw is still a form of social media, so i do have flaws that aren’t reflected. i’m very stubborn and talk way too much. i really do. i never when to shut up, ever. (god i sound annoying as hell. i promise i’m not that bad.)
7) favorite wtw pieces? thesetwo gorgeous short stories, jetsam/flotsam, this drabble, this poem, ugh this, also this. i will also never shut up about this piece and GAH this. this piece made me cry (but then again, anything anha writes makes me cry.) this masterpiece as well. this piece is more recent, but god it’s so beautifully grotesque and i love it so much. also, anything written by the writers i mentioned earlier. their work never fails to blow my mind.
8) how tall are you? 5’2! i’m short. i don’t mind it as much as i used to, i think it’s become part of my personality now. i’ll always be salty that i can’t wear floor-length gowns without being swallowed though.
9) your happiest moment you’ve had at school? is it bad that i can’t really think of one? i guess maybe it was the 8th grade poetry slam i performed at. that was cool, to share something i liked to do and to have people enjoy it too.
10) how’re you so cool? me? cool? thank you!
11) where would you vacation to, ignoring all other costs, and why? oh dang, this a good one! i’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot so far in my life (mainly in europe in winter/spring and asian countries in the summer), and it’s always been really fun.
i think i’d love to go to greece. we were supposed to go this summer but obviously that got cancelled. thailand also- i’ve been there once because my uncle owns a resort there, but i hardly remember it since i was so young.
anoushkaa favourite trope? the found family trope! it always makes me so happy.
Least favorite trope? the poc best friend. i grew up with my representation always being the sidekick or best friend and it’s awful. you feel like you’re not interesting enough to ever be a main character.
Thing you love most about WtW? the community! i’ve made so many friends here and discovered so much talent.
Thing you love about yourself? oh gosh… my determination? i think i’m pretty good at not giving up when things get hard. i am kind of scared of failure though. but for the most part, once i start something i won’t abandon it.
One thing you would change about how people perceive you? i think i come across quite cold and bratty when people first meet me? one of my friends said that the first time she saw me she thought i’d be a mean girl. but then again, in the words of naomi campbell, “you being intimidated by me is your problem, not mine.” when i’m nervous i try to project as much confidence as possible and that might be why i come across that way.
any favorite comedians? if i’m being honest, the general comedy world does scare me a little since it has a history of giving straight white men a platform to make certain harmful jokes. on the other hand, i’m a huge fan of the art of drag, so a lot of my knowledge of comedy comes from there. i think bob the drag queen is probably my favourite comedian. she always calls herself a comedian that just happens to also be a drag queen so that’s quite fitting for the question i think. she’s hilarious.
a song that never gets old? probably any track off of Lemonade by Beyonce. she pulled from so many different mediums and really drenched the album in culture too, which always blows my mind. everything from the lyrics to samples to the outfits she wore was intentional.
your writing process? word vomit. it never seems like i’m actually present, if that makes sense?
celebrity crush? how much time do we have? no, i’m just kidding. i’ve had a crush on zendaya since i was really really little and saw her in shake it up, but back then it just manifested itself as me being jealous of her outfits. i was… six when it aired? wow, it really has been ten years since that pilot huh.
anyways, let it be known to everyone that just jumped on the bandwagon of crushing on her after euphoria: y’all aren’t special! i was here first!
an author you're inspired by? to be honest, i try not to be inspired by authors. i write, so i feel like if i was inspired by a writer, i’d end up ripping off their style. my inspiration mostly comes from other forms of art.
chrysanthemums&ink 1) which piece of yours are you most proudest of? is it bad to say i haven’t been truly ‘proud’ of a piece in a while? that probably is bad, huh. i just feel like i think my new pieces are so shiny and nice for like, two days, and then i’m like… oh. okay. that’s that. i don’t know why to be honest. i like a lot of my recent pieces, from May to now. if i had to pick one, i was pretty happy with the imagery i came up with for leftovers and felt like it captured the vibes of the song it was inspired by (Audrey Nuna’s Long Night) so i’d say that one, maybe?
if anyone has favourites please let me know in the comments though! i have a competition i’m submitting to and have no idea what to send in (it’s open prompt) so that would help lots.
2) how would you describe your writing style? the abstract word vomit of an asian girl.
3) where do you draw inspiration from? songs, guitar strumming, runway shows (iris van herpen's, to be specific), very vague feelings, soft sculptures, paintings, sketchbook pages. the sensation of satin on my skin. the smell of soap. the taste of cumin. the strap of a pair of high heels digging into my ankles. the night sky. the morning air. the sun on my skin. the idea of heaven, the idea of having a pretty person to fall in love with.
(also, sasha velour’s shows! whenever i feel stuck i go watch her performances and i get so inspired to want to create. i cry every time i watch nightgowns, and "so emotional" is an iconic performance.)
4) are there any piece ideas you have but haven't gotten to write yet? so many. not so much in terms of concepts, but more like… vibes and emotions that i don’t fully understand yet? sometimes i try to write a piece five or six times but it doesn't come out. my poems will come out when they’re ready.
5) are you apart of any niche communities? i’m really into drag, and i suppose that could be considered niche? i’m part of music fandoms as well, but i don’t know if i’d consider beyhive “niche.”
6) what is one thing you'd do if there were no consequences? run away to LA and make music. crash somebody’s set at coachella and build a popstar career off of that clout lmao.
7) what got you into writing? my second grade teacher! she had us write haiku’s one time, and i just never stopped.
8) what's your greatest regret? not trusting my knowledge of myself enough. i know what’s good for me, and what i want, but i’m always held back because i’m scared that i could be wrong.
Anha tell me your opinion, why do we write postcards? because they say: “here i am, in this moment and in this place. i am thinking of you. i don’t have much to say, but i am thinking of you and i want you to know this, and maybe that is enough.”
would you rather wake up in a world where you know nothing but can live happily, or be stranded in the wilderness with little chance of successfully returning to civilisation? the world i know nothing about. i’ll learn. and if my happiness is guaranteed, what’s not to like?
favourite strange or obscure word? include a meaning if it's crazy out there. tacenda. words that are better left unsaid/things that are passed over in silence.
describe the view from your bedroom window. a shed, currently bathed in mid-morning sunlight. four bikes are parked under it. a pair of old sneakers sit on an old wooden shelf. the laundry line currently has one bedsheet draped over it.
what do you want people to say about you most? i hope that when i day people can say that i helped people with my art, and that i provided asian kids with some sort of representation. (can you tell i want to work in entertainment yet? lmao)
there is a holy sword hanging on your wall that you found on the street last week. describe it. 27 inch wavy blade, absolutely covered in jewels because i like shiny things. purely ornamental, because i am short and much prefer a dagger. one day it will disappear and people will still hunt for it centuries later.
there is something following you on your way home from the bus stop. five steps from your front door, you turn around and face it. what does it look like? giant salted duck egg yolk with a smiley face drawn on in sharpie.
if you were able to remember everything in a book if you ate its pages, would you do it? if so, which book would you consume? i used to have a children’s version of ‘a midsummer’s night dream.’ it was simplified a lot, of course, with chinese and english, but there were illustrations on every page and i remember loving them so much. i can’t find the book anymore but if i could eat it and be able to remember those pictures in detail whenever i wanted, i would do it.
you are dreaming and there is a door in front of you. what do you want to find behind it? what do you expect to find? what do you fear is behind it? i want to find where i am supposed to be. i’m expecting to find some sort of stage, perhaps. i’m scared that there’s nothing behind it, that there’s nowhere i belong.
you are a world-renowned author. what is your pseudonym? Probably a pun of some kind. Dazz Ling sounds cute, so maybe that? i’m not sure, maybe it’s a bit cheesy though.
what does your dream home look like? (e.g. location, interior, who you are living with, etc.) a penthouse!! that sounds so pretentious ohmygosh. but i just would love the natural sunlight, and the spacious floor plan. i live with a few pets, and around four friends (i hate being alone.) there are lots of plants scattered around. the curtains are never drawn. there’s always music playing. we’d have a piano in the living room.
if one of your stories were to become a screenplay, which would you choose? who would you have direct your film? probably wet pavement. i think maybe that’s kind of an unexpected answer. but i feel like we could do some really heartbreaking, artsy imagery there. as for the director… fka twigs? i know she technically doesn't direct for a profession, but she’s hands on enough with her music videos (which are works of art on their own) to a point where i think she could do it. i’m envisioning an entire film-length concept along the lines of the cellophane music video, or the home with you music video. she could definitely pull it off.
every so often, you hear whispers only you can hear. do you listen to them? what do they say? would you be surprised if you found someone else who could hear the whispers and discovered where they came from? they are my ancestors, and they tell me everything will be okay. some days i believe them, and some days i don’t. my sister is the only other person that can hear them. these voices will die with us, since neither of us find the idea of having kids very appealing.
a quote is attributed to you for the ages. what is it? “ugh.”
every month, you go to the market and buy a witch's wares. what do you buy, and how much do they cost? why are you buying them, and does your family approve? i buy a little bit of everything from her. it doesn’t really matter what i get, anyway, since i am going because i am in love with her. my family wouldn’t approve of me loving a witch so i must meet her in this way.
by order of the king from a far away land, you are being put to death. why? he’s just scared of all this talent, goddamnit!
you are descended from a god. how does your lineage present itself? in the way i carry myself. there’s just something… ethereal about the way i move, but nobody really knows how to explain it.
under what circumstances would you become a villain? revenge? protecting those you love? anger at a failing system? oh, i’d become a villain purely for attention. 100%, i’m not even ashamed of it. i’d be a mixed villain though, doing some good but in shady ways, and doing some pure bad things. a very murky character.
in order to gain supernatural powers, you must first kill another person whose powers you want to inherit. do you want these powers? would you kill for them? i have long forgotten why i want the powers, but nevertheless, i keep going. i will do anything for them.
there is a rapping at the door, but when you look through the window, no one is there. do you open the door? no thanks, i’m not letting the cold air in.
and finally: how are you? i’m well, i think? thank you for asking.
jun lei an artist you love and why? juno birch. she’s so… strange? i love her. her sculptures are awkward but in this really cool way, and if you watch her youtube videos she’s such a character. i highly recommend watching her vogue feature, it really is a good portrayal of her as an artist. i can’t link it, but if you literally just google “juno birch vogue” you’ll find it!
broadsword or longsword? katana or wakizashi? longsword, it looks more elegant. wakizashi.
if humanity could speak only one language, what would you choose it to be? can… can i pick chinese or is that too selfish? i just love the way chinese sounds, and it’s something i’ve mentally associated with good memories, so.
tell me about your favorite goddess, either fictional, mythological, or existing only in your imagination. nu wa. i actually don’t know much about her, apart from this story my mom told me one time, about her creating men from clay, but i really treasure that memory so i suppose it’s only right for me to pick her.
favorite and least favorite names? i’ve always liked gender-neutral names. as for least favorite names, probably names like braighlie, kayleigh, mikaila, and lauryn.
Dmoral13 if you had a warning label, what would it say? caution: cries a lot. will steal your food. insanely competitive.
currently reading any books? is so, what is it? do you like it? actually, i’ve been saving up to buy a few books that are on my wishlist. “loveboat, taipei” is a book i really want to read in particular. i have a hunch that i’ll find it quite relatable. it also has a ton of taiwanese representation, so we love that!
describe the type of poetry you write in an unconventional way burnt self-portrait (dimensions unknown.)
name something you love that's underrated? drag!! it’s so cool? so artistic? and every person that does drag has a style/way of using drag to express themselves that's completely unique to them, since drag is so inherently personal. idk. i just think it’s really cool, and it mixes visual and auditory arts, as well as performance.
if you could travel to any time period, what time period would it be? maybe the 90s-early 2000s? i’d kill to be able to experience that era of fashion and pop culture in real time. i mean, i was there for some of the early 2000s but i was too young to really experience anything.
have you finished school yet & done what you planned to? (referencing message box: when i'm done with school i'll cut off all my hair and dye it green and wear only late-victorian stuff.) i haven’t finished school yet, but when i do i’ll wear high fashion looks and editorial makeup unironically. i’ll have a killer wardrobe and make even the FIT students jealous. oh! and i’ll become a popstar. be the ultimate it girl. period, ariana grande could never.
what terrified you in a way that gives you goosebumps and leaves you dreaming horrid things? when i was younger, i watched this animation show, and one of the episodes featured this goat monster that could morph into an old man. he was green and had red eyes, and he would trick travelers into piggy-backing him to the next mountain or road, and then he’d just never get off and force the traveler to carry him until he died. i remember being terrified of that. i had nightmares about that monster for a year. (i’m not sure if this really answers the question, but yeah.)
what do you think of the handmaid's tale? (a reference to message box again & assuming you've read it) ;) i haven’t read it, unfortunately. i’ve been putting it off because i’ve heard how much of a heavy read it is. i swear i’ll read it someday!
if you could make any historical figure your psychologist (they have to be dead) who would you pick? can i pick frida kahlo? her examinations of identity and race are so inspiring.
some pieces of yours that you're outrageously proud of? (links please!!) not sure if “outrageously proud” is something i’ll ever be with my writing, but i do like these pieces. leftovers, buying myself a bra that fits right, dark ethereal, and riots. i’m working on not hating everything i write, i promise!
also, if you have favorite pieces of mine, please let me know! like i said earlier, i’m trying to decide a piece to submit for an open-prompt competition so it’ll be a big help.
school year you hated most? school year you favor? i hated second grade so much. the second grade teachers were all in my business and i was so annoyed by it! like leave me alone, omg. (i did start to write poetry that year though, so that’s good.) eighth grade was a good year. i kind of figured out that middle school grades didn’t matter, so i took it a little bit easier and didn’t cry myself to sleep when i got a b.
would you be friends with yourself? to be honest, no. i’m kind of annoying.
if you could see a measuring scale above people's heads, what would you want this scale to measure? how much they believe in me? but maybe i’d get discouraged by that.
tell me, are there any quotes you've memorized that live in your mouth in the form of words you constantly crave to hand out? there’s a chain of song lyrics, from pools by NIKI-
“When I was young I used to check for you under my bed/ But now I'm older and instead I let you sleep on it”
i choke every time i hear it. her lyrics are so masterful, and she’s way too underrated. please support asian artists and go listen to her music! (her entire label, 88rising, is completely asian. they rock.)
also, as morbid as this is---if you could choose your last words, what would they be? oh gosh, i have no idea, funnily enough? i think my last words would have to be something that comes to me in the moment. the best thing i can come up with right now is a bit boring, i’m afraid. probably just a simple “thank you. i’m sorry.” or something like that.
that’s it! ty everyone who submitted a question + everyone who read until the very end. you all are amazing!
i swear to mother monster if this gets taken down despite me putting it in this prompt? i will throw a fit. i spent a solid week working on this, and another few days before that coming up with good answers. don't try me.