Carmen E. Brady wrote “Eating Alone at Chipotle” for Bottlecap Press and then wrote and drew “Big Girl Big Feelings” which she recently released on her own. She talks about writing, the Internet and the best places to eat alone. Follow her on Twitter.
Do you consider yourself a ‘writer’?
i don’t know. the few times i have been introduced as a writer i have felt vaguely embarrassed and uncomfortable. maybe that’s because i’m unsure if i’m any good or because i feel embarrassed about having to talk about writing, but also i have other equal priorities. i’m a grad student in linguistics and have been (& hope to be again) an esl teacher. so, writer, yeah. but also general liker/user of language.
What Twitter accounts do you ‘admire’?
i like a lot of twitter accounts for a lot of reasons, some of them bc of that person’s other internet doings. also it depends on how i am feeling and what that person is feeling/tweeting. i guess the accounts that i always tend to fave so much that i worry it’s creepy is @STOKEDabtbutts, @yunawinter , & @COMETHRUGIRL but also others i’m probably forgetting right now.
Someone just recommended I check out @yunawinter.
i love her tweets.
Is Twitter the social media outlet that you prefer the most, or is there another one that you enjoy more?
twitter or tumblr, it really depends on where i’m at/how busy i am.but those are the top two. I do tweet constantly though. but that feels almost like a compulsion. tumblr can seem more overwhelming sometimes.
I think I first came across your stuff in the ‘this literary community’ FB group, maybe, I don’t know. But what’s your ‘experience’ with indie lit & books & publishing? Like how’d you find it and what stuff do you like?
probably, the time that group started was around the time i really started trying, etc. i think I had some indie lit books recommended to me in my undergrad, but the first thing I really remember being like, f**k yeah, about was when a writing professor showed me chelsea martin’s handmade chapbook, ‘what I want and what i want.’ i was like, fuck yes, this is great. this is what i like. that was in 2012. I think. i used tumblr some then, mainly to follow people. I deleted that eventually. made a new one in 2013, started posting more of my own writing/occasionally drawings, started submitting writing, etc.
I like a lot of things, whatever feels good or powerful or interesting or smart, usually a combo of the three. there are so many good people doing new and interesting things. it’s nice to have the internet and social media for that.
What gave you the idea to do ‘Big Girl Big Feelings’? Did you write it and illustrate it?
yeah, I did both. honestly, I just started doodling with some old scented kiddie (marker) I found while cleaning up my room. i really liked the ‘look’ of the drawings and added little captions and it sort of escalated from there. it was good because i’d been feeling in a sort of creative slump and it felt really natural. the drawing part felt nice, especially.
The captions are really good and effective, I think, because you don’t really see that juxtaposition in the marker format. I mean most of the stuff like that now are photos/GIFs with typed captions, but not handwritten.
yeah that was fun, because I got to play with ‘font’ but it was really just a variation on my actual handwriting. it’s nice to hear it worked.
My favorites are the ones about diagnosing yourself with nostalgia and the one blowing questions and hearts. And the bleach one, too.
I haven’t read ‘Eating Alone at Chipotle’ but that title really resonates with me. What are the best/worst places to eat alone at, or is just chipotle? I guess best and worst could be the same thing. My place would probably be Krispy Kreme. Getting donuts seems like a really intense, indulgent thing and everyone is secretly embarrassed, yet they crave the new key lime doughnut and a chocalate creme-filled one.
i think chipotle/other sort of mid range chain restaurants that are fast but not ‘fast food’ are really great for that. like, it’s less shame than a full-fledged fast food place, but you’re still there, eating food that’s not great for you, in front of a bunch of people doing the same. they fall under both the best & worse category, and that’s the kind of place I like for that. the chipotle near campus & my apartment here is great because it has 2 seats facing the window sectioned off from the rest of the window facing seats, so no one will sit next to you. I think einstien’s bagels is really great for that too, though maybe it lacks that slight embarrassment. A donut shop would be good. in whatever town I live in i usually have one chain restaurant & one non chain cafe (when i want a slightly different feel) that i designate for eating alone in for that sort of purpose.