Cinelle | Writer, Editor, Educator | I write and edit stories at the intersection of family, immigration, mental health, magic, and racial and environmental justice | Mom to a creative and caring nine-year-old girl, the fluffiest and most introverted Holland Lop bunny, and the most athletic and playful rescue kitten | Charleston, SC ,USA
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS? It's one of many hopeful things that happened during this trying year: I received a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation that will allow me to travel back to the Philippines with my daughter and husband, and research and write about the role of Filipina and indigenous women in climate justice. It will be my first time back home in two decades, so I'm equally terrified and excited.
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS? Just a little over a year ago, my husband and I found ourselves in a web of cybercrimes committed against us and a few other homeowners in our area. I wrote about how imaginative play and laughter kept us afloat through one of the most stressful times of our life in an essay for Catapult. 3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
There are so many things I wish for the world, let alone the United States and the Philippines. But if I had to choose, I'd say wholeness for each and every one of us. By wholeness I mean a piecing together and mending of all our broken parts: our bodies, our homes, our politics, our planet.
4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
That we, as a planet, will not have the quality and quantity of water that we need, when and where we need it. And that those in power and with resources will continue to exploit resources, including water.
5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE?
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, co-founder and editor of All We Can Save
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN?
I've said this in conversations and have written it into my work-in-progress: We are the ones we've been waiting for.
THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS: 7) HOW ARE YOU COPING?
By taking nature walks and kayaking, eating well, playing basketball or soccer with my daughter, watching my favorite movies, and supporting BIPOC artists and writers in whatevers ways I can--including reading their work, highlighting it, or publishing it. I've also been encouraging fellow women of color to dig deep into their joy and to succumb to rest. I've been mainly reading books by Filipina authors to replenish my inner reserves and feel connected.