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1.
I have never read a book on the “craft” of fiction.

2.
That’s a lie: I taught one last year. His discussion of dialogue was so inane I stopped reading. Based on one chapter.

3.
This makes me a lazy reader.

4.
Craft is stolen.

5.
I am a thief.

6.
I am rarely a lazy reader.

7.
I did not know how to write dialogue until I began teaching at my current place of employment.

8.
I taught creative writing workshops for years before getting this job.

9.
How did I not know how to write dialogue?

10.
It’s 78 degrees and I am wearing a sweater.

11.
Teaching forces me to learn all these elements of craft that I’d only intuited before.

12.
Often: wrongly.

13.
I published four books and one anthology before I began working at my current place of employment.

14.
I am a better teacher for it.

15.
I am a more conservative writer now.

16.
Lying is essential to being a writer.

17.
Have you ever met an honest writer?

18.
Honesty is fiction. Good fiction at least.

19.
Lying is inherent to fiction.

20.
I am contradicting myself.

21.
I went from writing magic (before teaching) to domestic realism (currently teaching).

22.
Is this a bad thing?

23.
Obviously.

24.
No one wants to publish my well-crafted domestic realism.

25.
Is it over? Never!

26.
One journal said that when I start writing magic again, please re-submit.

27.
And then another journal said the same thing.

28.
Talking to Kate Bernheimer, we thought maybe this was a gender thing.

29.
Men can write whatever. Women are constrained.

30.
Not in a hip OuLiPian way.

31.
Fuck that.

32.
Thirty-two suddenly feels old and aesthetically conservative, but really, my syntax is wild, maybe because I suddenly understand the rules. And so I play. I play at thirty-two. I live in a fairy tale, a fantasy, a fiction.

Lily Hoang is the author of The Evolutionary Revolution, Changing, a recipient of the PEN Beyond Margins Award, and Parabola, winner of the 2006 Chiasmus Press Un-Doing the Novel Contest. She serves as Prose Editor for Puerto del Sol and Associate Editor for Starcherone Books. She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University.