No. 28 - At home with Alison Rodriguez - A look back at Issue No. 1 - Summer 2017.

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Photograph by Emily Fishman


August 22nd, 2019

Alison: I think that everyone has their own individual habits and tendencies. There are a lot of people who say “You have to write in the morning.” But if I write in the morning, I’m not writing anything. I have to write at night, and quietly, when the world is asleep. I think it’s just different for everyone.

For me, I just like to start writing. I like to just sit down and write, because I feel like how I write is really my voice. And I just sort of let it flow.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about writing the novel that I’m working on was that it was like, “Oh, I’m going to hang out with my friends, the characters, again.” Which kind of freaked me out, because they’re in my head. But there are characters that you create. And I thought that there was something really fun. And I realized that I have their entire future at my fingertips - as in what happens to them. Do they get killed? Do they fall in love? Do they, I don’t know, get run over by a train? What happens to them? And that I found to be a very cool process.

So I imagine that as I have more time and Sebastian is a little bit older, that I’ll really enjoy going back into that world. But I do feel like it’s a world that I need to very purposeful go into. Because if I don’t, I just won’t ever go.

You know how some people are just like, “Oh, the muses.” Or, “I was just inspired.” And I think that’s one part of writing that I think is universal, which is that you can’t wait for inspiration. In that you can be inspired, and you can write cool things, but that if you wait for that inspiration, you’ll never write. And so you just always have to be doing it.


I love the sentiment within this quote from Alison Rodriguez, how the characters we write and bring to life become our friends, people we can visit with and drop in on whenever we're bold enough to carve out the time to write.

I always enjoy reading through the interview with Alison and Paul and Emily from that mid-April afternoon in 2017 in Park Slope. Back then our August 2017 launch was four months away, and Curlew Quarterly was an idea, a possibility, something we might try our collective hands at.

Since then, Alison and Paul have moved to Maplewood, New Jersey, I've moved to their old neighborhood; and every few days or so, I walk by their old place on Carroll Street, wondering where the last twenty-eight months have gone, and imagining all that the next twenty-eight will bring.

- Isaac Myers III

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