Student Q&A: Aimee Lowenstern

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Photo Courtesy of Aimee Lowenstern

Sam Michael, Reporter

What year are you at Sierra Nevada?

I’m a junior.

And what’s your major?

Creative writing.

What are you planning on doing after finishing at Sierra Nevada? Once we’re juniors, we tend to start thinking about that, so with creative writing, what are you planning on doing, past this point?

I’d like to get into book editing. I’m doing research, looking into things.

So, what is your motivation for wanting to go into book editing, specifically?

After doing these workshops and such, I’ve discovered that I really love editing other people’s work. It’s a lot easier than starting with a blank page and I kind of have a knack for it, when I try. And it’s so fun to just dig out the diamonds of something and polish them off. And it’s fun!

While we’re on the topic of that, what is the motivation behind writing for you?

I feel like it’s very human to be creative and have some outlet to express yourself, and writing has always been mine. I started writing when I was three and I never really stopped, so it’s just what I know how to do. The words all snowball in my head, so it gets to a point where I have to write stuff down. It’s really become my identity, so I’m not really sure how I could ever stop doing it.

From a personal viewpoint, I’ve found that writing can often be considered autobiographical, even if it’s a fiction story with characters who aren’t relatable to us at all. So, in what ways do you think your writing is autobiographical? How does your writing reflect who you are?

Well, I feel like, when you’re writing prose, even if you’re writing fiction, a lot of people are really against having a moral in the story, which I totally understand that, because it can get really annoying if it’s too in your face. But I like to have a truth in mine, where it’s like I feel this, I believe this story is a vessel with which to carry this story from me to the outside world.

What is it you tend to write, then?

I usually write either magic realism or high fantasy. I also am obsessed with fairies, I know all the fairy lore, so I write with them a lot. And, then, with poetry, it’s something I think is a way to ask questions or express feelings. I’ve been trying so hard to remove myself from poems, to write a poem about something or someone, fictional or non-fictional, and just remove myself from it, but it’s so hard. It feels like all my poems end up being like me.

So, I kind of want to switch it up a bit. Besides writing and editing, what hobbies do you have, outside of these things?

Well, I have been baking a lot.

What do you like to bake?

I have been doing tea parties for about a year. Yeah, you can ask the writing club about that. There’s stuff for that; scones, pies, macarons, cupcakes, stuff like that. It’s really discouraging, when you get it wrong, but once you get it right it’s like “wahoo, I can just bake stuff and that’s awesome!”

What else do you like to do for fun?

I like to hang out with friends, I’m trying to get a D&D group together, what else do I do? I don’t know what else.

I want to ask about your fashion sense. You have a very unique sense of fashion, one that I really like, but I’m wondering why you started to develop this fashion sense. Is it a new development, a lifelong thing, or what?

So, when I was little, I always liked dressing up a lot, like I would wear little princess dresses all the time, and I just dressed wildly most of my life. No real rhyme or reason to it, just that I like this, I put it on my body. And then I hit middle school, and all of a sudden, people cared about what you were wearing. And I was already being bullied before, but then I started to specifically be bullied for what I was wearing, and so from middle school to the first year of high school, I only wore t-shirts and sweatpants. And you know what really bugs me is that I had these neon green leg warmers, that I was wearing for awhile, and the other girls were like “oh my gosh, that’s so awful, I hate that.” And then I stopped wearing them, and then two months later, neon became a huge thing, and everyone started wearing them. And I was like “You’re all hypocrites!” But then, in high school, I ended up getting a really supportive group of friends, which was wonderful, and it started with my dad telling me, “You’re a girl, you need to start wearing make-up,” and he was thinking normal make-up. I was thinking, if I’m wearing make-up, then I might as well make it look like I’m wearing make-up. So, I ended up getting this bright purple mascara, and so I started wearing it to school, and not many people noticed it unless you were up close to my face, and then my friends said, “We love that, could you do your whole eyebrows?” and I was like, “Yes, I can do my whole eyebrows!” and then they started getting me, for my birthday, little hats. After that, I just thought there was an opportunity with clothes. You can throw clothes on yourself and make an art project. It’s a good way to have fun, and it makes my day better. Whatever happens during the day, at least I can think, “Oh, at least I’m wearing a bowtie!” And it’s also where, if I know people are looking at me, they’re judging my clothes, and not my body. I don’t know, sometimes little kids will come up to me on the street and call me a princess, and that’s fun!

Another thing that I have noticed is that a lot of your elements are handmade, and I was wondering if you make them yourself or anything?

Well, you’re probably thinking about my hats, which are the ones my friends starting getting me. Most of them I got on Etsy, so they are handmade, just not by me.

Have you ever thought about going in to making those things yourself?

I would love to try! It’s a little intimidating, because you have to get the supplies, and then if you mess up, you realized you wasted all those supplies, but I should just go for it sometime, just try something. Sometimes, usually for concerts and such, I can just get barrettes and glue something to them and put them on. Also, a lot of stuff if multi-purpose. Like a skirt can be a top, and I’m wearing a bowtie made out of a regular tie, I could also use it as a belt.

What’s the one outfit that you’ve always wanted to wear that you haven’t been able to?

There’s this one designer whose name I forget, but they make these dresses that have words stitched in cursive in them, and I love that. I’ve always wanted to try to make a real fairy outfit, because I love fairies. I know if I have an unlimited budget, I’d try to get real flower petals and make something out of that. Definitely some cool wings. I also love just those huge dresses that have 50 million layers, like a pincushion!

I want to ask you one last question, that’s sort of unrelated to what we’ve been talking about so far. If you could have lunch with anyone, alive or dead, who would you want to have lunch with?

Mary Shelly is on my mind right now. Neil Gaiman, also very good. There are so many amazing people.

So, going off of the two names you picked out, why them?

Well, Mary Shelley, interesting person. I feel like… Kafka! Why would I not think of Kafka?!

Who?

Franz Kafka! The author of “The Metamorphosis.”

Oh, awesome! Why would you want to have lunch with him?

I feel like him and myself would have a lot to talk about. I’m just fascinated by how he views the world, I’ve read his series and I feel like we have some very similar views. There’s a lot of stuff where I was reading his diaries and I felt it perfectly encapsulated a feeling I wasn’t able to put into words, and I feel like we’d have a pretty great discussion.

So you can relate to him?

I can relate to him, and I’d like to talk to him in person and see what he has to say.

Thank you for allowing me to interview you, I had a lot of fun!

Yes, so did I! I’ll invite you to one of my tea parties.