Ghosts! I don’t really believe they exist, but I like the idea that there are these mostly silent, invisible creatures causing great psychic upheaval, haunting places and people, refusing to rest. There’s something very powerful about their intangibility and rage.Read More
BY THE EDITORS OF LUNA LUNA
We here at Luna Luna love our contributors. We know how busy they are—running their own magazines, writing books, resisting the darkness in the world, and making all sorts of magic. That they come back to Luna Luna again and again to write and share and create is an honor, and there are no words to express our thanks. They are family to us, so we thought we'd spotlight them so you could learn more about who they are and what they do. Please support them! Read their articles, buy their books, subscribe to their blogs, and send kisses.
Tell us a little bit about what inspires you as a writer.
I write because I feel compelled to do it. If I go too long without writing, I get anxious and I have a hard time sleeping. I was an extremely shy child, and I always felt more confident when I wrote things down. I always seem to articulate myself better that way. I always feel more powerful when I write as opposed to speaking.
I’ve been really inspired the writings of Wendy Ortiz, Myriam Gurba, Jennifer Givhan, and Laurie Ann Guerrero because they write about sex and death in joyful and grotesquely beautiful ways.
I’m mostly inspired to write by my friends, Jackie Huertaz, Steven Sanchez, and Jacob Hernandez, who got me through my painful/beautiful MFA experience and are still my point people. They’re the other three corners of my tiny coven and are all doing great things with their writing.
What projects/pieces are you working on (especially if it's not LL-related, so we can promote you).
I’m expanding my MFA thesis into a longer manuscript, tentatively titled, Chola Mona Lisa and Other Pieces. It’s a hybrid collection of interconnected Xicana gothic flash fiction, micro-fiction, short stories, and a novella.
Which one of your LL pieces do you recommend people read right now?
I’d recommend reading my first Luna Luna piece, “Trash Glamour: A Manifesto,” because it gets at what I’m trying to do with my beauty, fashion, and wellness writing for the magazine. These things aren’t petty things, they’re rituals, they’re a part of our everyday lives. Individuals should find what makes them feel powerful and helps them to manifest their existence to the fullest.
In this current political climate, I’m trying to find ways to politicize my spending. Time is energy, and money is energy. I’m not interested in telling individuals how to look good to appease other people or how to spend a ton of money to live up to a certain ideal that might not be conducive to their own experience. I love transformation and glamour, but it has to be done on my own terms. I adore Old Hollywood and a gothic aesthetic, but I’m not going to forfeit my feminism to try to fit into some kind of preconceived idea of what that means. As a woman of color, it is always going to mean something different for me. There are a lot of brown and black alt girls out there and I’m trying to make contact with them.
Vampires, witches, or ghosts—and why?
All three of these entities have been a resounding presence in my life and are connected in some way. Years ago, my father had a woman do a limpia blessing on his house when a ghost refused to leave, and I prayed many nights to be a vampire when I was a kid, because I wanted to live forever. I was really a witch. Ultimately, witching is my feminism. It makes me think of the women who came before me. It makes me think of my ancestors. It makes me think of a time before colonization. My great-grandmother helped women give birth on both sides of the Mexican border. One day, she left her husband, took back her maiden name, and went to live alone in a doll’s house with a pond and ducklings in the backyard. She was a curandera, and I am a witch, a bruja. They are different, but there are some commonalities. I still try to learn from her.
Monique Quintana is the fashion editor for Luna Luna, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the literary blogazine, Razorhouse. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno, and her work has been published or is forthcoming in Huizache, Bordersenses, and The Acentos Review, among others. She is a Squaw Valley Writers Fellow and was the Senior Associate Fiction Editor for The Normal School. She has an affinity for Ray Bans, red lipstick, and Ramón Novarro. She is a Pocha/Chicana identified mother, daughter, sister, lover, and English teacher from central California.
I am inspired by dreams, love, sex, tragedy, textures, feelings, and ideas. Art, books, and movies, people I know, famous people, cats, music, the clouds, winter, the night, the moon, Tarot cards, conspiracy theories, music videos. Sometimes the title for something will drop into my head, like the title and titular story of my short story collection Cartoons in the Suicide Forest. Then I had to figure out what story would match such a crazy title. I was inspired by the Vice documentary about Aokigahara aka the Suicide Forest in Japan. I was fascinated with the fence sitters: the people who are undecided. They bring a tent and camp out. Some leave and others end their lives there. That idea haunted me. So I wrote a story about a character who goes to the forest, hoping to decide whether to live or die while she is there. Turns out that if you do not decide, then there is always someone else who is happy to make that choice for you and you might not like the results.Read More
Right now, what inspires me as a writer is seeing and reading other writers that create with abandon. I don't mean that their writing is careless or reckless but that they seem, to me anyways, to write as if nobody is watching. I often get too caught up in my head and, at times, this really prohibits me from going to strange and necessary places in my writing. I like weird. I like reading weird things that don't always make sense, have a perfect ending, or follow the rules of reality. Although I'm a poet, I have been reading a lot of fiction and I am feeling the itch to get down on paper some short stories that have been floating around in my head. Lately, I have been most inspired by J.T. Leroy, Julia Elliot, Claire Vaye Watkins, Edna O'Brien, and Shirley Jackson.Read More