Victoria Mays is a graduate student in the Creative Writing program at the University of Central Arkansas. She is the Scriptwriting Editor for Arkana, a literary magazine, and an intern at Et Alia.
WHERE DO YOU WRITE?
Usually, I go with the flow. It just depends on what I'm feeling at that particular moment. If I'm writing in the mornings (5 a.m. or earlier), I prefer my apartment. Everyone else is usually asleep and I can open my windows and feel the crisp air flowing in. My desk is right beside it, so that's where I write. If it's after 5 p.m., I am more than likely heading to a coffee shop or bar to hide in a corner. In the evenings, I work better when I'm surrounded by other people.
VICTORIA, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE SPACE?
My space becomes whatever I need for the moment or day. It is in an open space filled with warm colors, natural lighting, and incense. I have a deep red desk that encourages energy and a wall filled with many images of people, art, and words that inspire me (will be posted back up soon). On my desk you will find a candle, timer, jar full of jokes on little slips of paper (from one of the students I taught), Brother GX-6750 Electronic Typewriter, sticky notes, laptop (if in use), and whatever journal I am writing in at the time. Before writing, I always light a candle, burn incense, and sage because it helps to set the mood and clear negative energy. I also have a record player on one of my bookshelves that I will use to play music from Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, and Bob Marley. Whenever I get tired of working at my desk, I can transition to my couch and work there. Sometimes I will just read or draw in order to release tension. It helps to pull my mind in another direction. I am always changing my creative space in order to keep things fresh.
ARE THERE ANY BOOKS ON YOUR SHELVES THAT ARE PARTICULAR INSPIRATIONS FOR YOUR OWN WORK?
Ha! Where do I start? I have so many! The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Y. Davis, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and any book by Toni Morrison or James Baldwin.