LifeBeat Follow-up: Kimberly Dark
It’s time to get rolling with our follow-ups from episode #7 (watch the episode), and first up, is the always on point Kimberly Dark. This episode took place on April 15, 2021. Now Kimberly updates us on her writing routine, what it was like to release a book during the pandemic, and how it feels to be traveling again. This Q&A was conducted over email, and Kimberly provided these answers on April 20, 2022.
Lizzie: I began the episode asking what your favorite go-to karaoke song is (making the assumption you had one!). What is your favorite song or artist to belt out when you’re by yourself (in the car, shower, etc.)?
Kimberly: Yes, I don’t really do karaoke, but I have loads of favorite songs. Probably my favorite favorite, that is always a positive mood changer is “September” by Earth Wind and Fire. Taylor Swift covered that song a few years ago and I don’t think I have forgiven her.
Since you identified yourself as a morning person, I’m wondering if that’s when you write? If not, do you have a specific time of day when you feel more receptive to creative energy or is that something you always carry with you?
Yes, I tend to write in the morning, unless I am under the spell of a particular project and then I write all the time. Sometimes also, after stopping work for the day, especially if I am outside for a little while, I get another burst of inspiration and go back to the computer. Mostly though, I am a morning writer.
For the last question about your cellphone wallpaper, you described an image of dancers. Do you have a favorite photograph, either one you took or that someone else took? What is the photograph?
Any photo of my grandson and my son and his beloveds – those are my favorite photos these days. All the more precious since the pandemic.
In our one-on-one chat, we started off with you talking about your latest book, Damaged, Like Me, that was about to be released. I’m currently reading it, and it’s very good. How has the reception for the book been? Did you do virtual (or in-person) readings? Are you still actively promoting it?
I am so glad you are enjoying Damaged Like Me. In some ways, it is the same approach as the essay collection before it (Fat, Pretty, and Soon to Be Old), but in other ways I think it is a harder book to read. The various ways that trauma operates in our lives is obviously a heavier topic. But I hope that the essays are still inspiring and that the way they intersect is illuminating.
To be honest, having a book come out during the pandemic was really hard. I felt like it was a secret! I did a number of online book release events, and two of them were really well attended, but even those don’t feel the same as being in a room with people talking about the work. I have an in-person event coming up later this summer at Stuttgart University regarding the book. I hope that feels like a real release! The reception has been good. But it would still be great if more folks would review it. I have also done a few online visits to book groups that are reading the book and that’s an exciting thing to do. There are book group resources on my website for three of my books, FYI.
Next we discussed your free monthly online discussions called the Hope Desk. How have those been going? What have been some of your recent topics? What’s on the horizon for the Hope Desk?
I am still doing the Hope Desk! Every first Tuesday of the month. It’s still free and there’s a link at the bottom of my homepage. As you know, I started doing the Hope Desk as a one hour live talk and discussion about current events because the summer of 2020 created so many questions for people about social inequality and race. I am still taking topics from anyone who wants to contact me via social media or the website. Many of the previous episodes are also on my YouTube channel. Sometimes the Internet is not strong enough for the recording to be good, and that would be why we don’t post them. Last time, I talked about whether animal cruelty should be discussed alongside diet culture. Spoiler: I think it should, along with labor issues and every other intersectional issue. I also talked about wellness culture and its various problematic ways! The topics can be simple or quite complex.
When we chatted in April 2021, I thought you had already been back to traveling, but I was mistaken. Now I know you’ve been back out on the road doing events at University of Alaska. You also have some big things on the horizon, hosting a professional development intensive in Hawaii and (hopefully) Summer Arts in Berlin. How are you feeling now about traveling in general and for work? Can you tell us more about these coming events I mentioned?
Yes! I just got back to traveling a little bit. I’m still doing a lot of workshops and talks online though. Being in a room with others was both weird and beautiful this last month. I’m on my way to South Africa to give a conference Keynote next month and also have a look around. It’s exciting to go somewhere I have never been. Then in July, I will be in Berlin for the Cal State Summer Arts program. Even if you miss it this time, it’s worth learning about at www.csusummerarts.org. It’s a wonderful program and happens every summer. I feel ambivalent about travel still, though obviously I’m doing it! I will definitely still be wearing a mask whether it is required or not. I think we need to take care with one another and care for the vulnerable as best we can. I still see this pandemic as an opportunity to revise business as usual. I don’t plan to go back to traveling as often as I used to for work, that’s for sure.
Please share absolutely anything else you’d like to talk about or promote!
If you’re curious about where I’m going and what I’m doing, my website calendar is usually well updated. I’m also lucky enough to be attending a month-long writing residency this fall in California to work on a new book. Djerassi is a beautiful place and worth a look online or in person. They have an amazing outdoor art walk full of sculpture and tours once a month I believe.
Thank you, Kimberly, for the work you do and your generous responses. I’ve been a fan for a while now and you continue to inspire and impress. Good luck with all your upcoming readings, talks, and everything else you undertake. Be sure to follow her on all the social media platforms including TikTok.
Comments are closed