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Gail Tsukiyama: Mundane Activities are Calming

by Roseanne Pereira
Nov 16, 2006

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Gail Tsukiyama is the author of five novels. Her most recent novel is Dreaming Water. She teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University and is a freelance book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

How She Writes: "During the day, if I don't have any other commitments, I'm usually at my desk writing, revising, or researching anywhere from four to six hours. I tend to be a late-night person, so it's not unusual for me to also put in another hour or two from midnight to 1 or 2 a.m. When I'm in the midst of finishing a book, I can be working around the clock."

Writer's Block Remedies: "I try to step away from my writing, and hopefully, return refreshed. I usually pick up a book I'm reading, or go to see a movie, anything that may inspire my own work. I also find doing the mundane, everyday things in life has a calming, creative influence on me. Some of my best ideas come when I'm vacuuming or waiting in lines. Not to mention shopping therapy, it's a reminder that there's another world out there!"

A Favorite Sentence: "I don't know if it's a great sentence, but it's one that keeps reverberating in my head: 'And wasn't sorrow a kind of slow death anyway?'"

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