What is your new eBook “The New Age Camp” about?
“The New Age Camp” is about what it feels like to be out of your element. We all attach to these ideas of who we are – but who are we really, when our friends and homes and the internet and our material items are stripped away? It’s also about things just not working out. What really surprised me, at the camp and also in my essay, was that there was no turn around point – no peak. No spot where I started to see things differently and began to like camp. Sometimes things just are what they are.
Why did you write this story, and for whom?
I write to figure myself out, so I really wrote it for myself. I wrote it because I wanted to understand working at the New Age camp – something I thought would be easy for me, that I would be good at, was actually quite a struggle.
What’s the deal with the beautiful cover photo. What does the image mean to you?
When Thought Catalog sent me the photograph that ended up becoming my ebook’s cover, I knew that they really “got” my piece. I love the image because it’s up for interpretation. It can be funny or it can be sad. In my essay, I describe the night the girls at camp were to participate in a trance dance. When I think of that night, I just remember girls in a field looking freaked out, and this photo conveys that to me. It also could be me, on the cover, because at camp, I felt like the girl in Noah Kalina’s photograph: Invisible and alone. Wanting to disappear.
What are a few alternate titles you could see working for this piece?
Hmmm, possibly: Radical Acceptance.
Who should read “The New Age Camp”?
Anyone. I always hope that my essays will somehow be universal, and although everyone’s experiences are different, something will resonate. I’m sure most people have at some point in their lives been an outsider, which is how I felt at this camp. It was the first time in my life that I couldn’t make friends.