Roxane Gay is Spelled With One "N": The Problem of My Body

Roxane Gay is Spelled With One “N”: The Problem of My Body

I think the fact women’s sports is now getting there, to start booing players, that for me means we’re doing something right.

Abby Wambach, in an article about the Canada/US women’s soccer rivalry.

I want to hate her (because rivalry, Olympics, SO MANY REASONS), but dammit, I agree. When sport makes space for women to be villains on the field, ice, court, instead of cooing over the ladies and their pastimes, that’s important and worth celebrating. Sport, especially team sport, is a narrative, playing out over a season, in changing settings with changing characters. We cheer for heroes who score goals, but there have to be villains, too, who welcome the boos.

So happy to start the week off with the cover of my third book, Home Team, coming September 25th from Dreamspinner Press. Doesn’t that guy look good? That’s Aaron, and you’re going to meet him soon.

After fifteen years playing pro hockey, Aaron Buckley screws up, and his mistake and his attitude get him sent down to the minor leagues. His new team is in his old city, where he started his career in hockey, and also where he left his boyfriend behind. His luck hasn’t improved since joining a team of rookies and kids, but he has discovered that Zach—the ex-boyfriend who could never compete with hockey for Aaron’s love—is still in town. Aaron has a second chance to answer the same question: Zach or hockey? But maybe it’s time for a new question.

When I started writing this one in January, not many outside of basketball knew Jason Collins. I knew the Big Four sports would see an openly gay player soon. I just didn’t know it would be in the time between me selling a story about a hockey player in the closet and me releasing a story about a hockey player in the closet.

Home Team comes out in a month, but you can pre-order it now, and of course you can show all your friends my awesome cover.

When Thicke was 11, Wayne Gretzky had been babysitting him while his father was on vacation when the Edmonton Oilers superstar learned he had officially been traded to the Los Angeles Kings and had to suddenly leave. Alan Thicke reportedly didn’t find out that his son was home alone until he called home the next morning and found out that Gretzky had to leave because he was traded. TSN hockey announcer Gord Miller later tweeted that it was Robin who answered the telephone call from Kings owner Bruce McNall confirming the trade: “(He) wasn’t sure he should admit that Gretzky was there, but McNall insisted that he bring him to the phone.”


Writing everywhere

I can write anywhere, and this has been proven over and over. I wrote final revisions on the new book on a couch in Los Angeles. I wrote the first draft of my novel in my apartment without furniture in Halifax. I wrote what became my first published book in the spare room of my best friend’s house. I’m writing this on her new (and incredibly uncomfortable) couch right now. I’m writing this on my MacBook Air, but I also write longhand with a pen and notebook. I can write anywhere with anything, which is good, because I have to.

I don’t have a desk. I have a laptop and a lap, and that’s how I do almost all of my writing. But I’m finding myself yearning for a desk and a desktop computer to go with it. I do everything on this computer, and I love it, and it works. But because I use it for everything, I often want to do everything when I should be writing. To have a place that is just for writing feels like luxury when it should be fundamental to a writer’s life.

I write in bed at night, in the living room amid conversation, in the morning before I’m really awake. That works for me, but it also means that I am always writing: morning, afternoon, and night. I don’t know how to stop anymore. I don’t know when to go to sleep because I’ve done good writing after midnight before. Maybe I will again.

I don’t need an office with a locked door, but a desk and a comfortable chair would be a helpful first step to putting writing in its place and letting me get on with my life. Until I have the space and the money to make that space, here’s what I’m trying to do:

I’m trying to do my internet browsing on my phone instead of my laptop. I’m trying to close my computer in the evenings and open it after I get up in the morning. I’m trying to draw a line between the work I do here, on my laptop, and the fun I do there, on my phone. I’m trying to find a place where all I have to do is write.


“Coco” from Getting Lucky by Nicole Steinberg, forthcoming from Spooky Girlfriend Press. Originally published in Wheelhouse.

Click here to learn more about Getting Lucky and to support SGP’s Indiegogo campaign to publish and market the book. We’re sooooo close to our stretch goal and every little bit of support counts!

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