WAKAKO YAMAUCHI, author of Songs My Mother Taught Me (1994, Feminist Press) and Rosebud and Other Stories (2010, University of Hawaii Press) writes, “I think people are born with this need to communicate. Almost everyone wants to tell a story or write a poem or paint a picture. It’s in our nature. It’s our need to leave proof of our journey here. But writing is a solitary mission. There are a hundred more important things to do (such as earning a living, tending the children) and a hundred more fun things to do. Not many prevail under the pressure of rejection and criticism. It’s hard to confront the empty page and expose all our experience, knowledge, ignorance, our foibles, and our passion for everyone to see or not to see or simple to throw out with yesterday’s trash.

It’s not a job for cowards. Those willing to take the risk will find there is no exhilaration like work going well. Forget the depression that follows a project finished. It’s all part of the occupation. Sometimes the only reward is the knowledge that we are operating at our fullest capacity; we have done the best we can with what we have and that’s all that God and country expects of us.”

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