By Olivia Hom
“Rainbow Shoelaces” is a poem about the complexity of friendship, presented in digital form. It discusses a girl who used to be my best friend, and how I felt—and still feel—jealous of her. However, beneath that, a feeling of longing and regret still exists because she was someone I was once close to. The specific details I used to describe her are fictitious, as I wanted her to seem familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
The first line of this poem came from a writing activity my mentor and I were doing. We randomly put together a list of adjectives and nouns and used those paired phrases in our writing. One of the phrases I had was “pretentious shoelaces,” which I later incorporated into this poem. Coincidentally, that day I was wearing shoes with rainbow shoelaces. I decided to make a stop-motion representation of this poem because I really enjoyed the stop-motion workshop we had, and I thought it would be a fun and interesting way to tell a story.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE OLIVIA HOM & MENTOR LINDA CORMAN
Olivia’s Anecdote: My mentor Linda and I are always surprisingly productive whenever we meet up. I can say for sure that I’ve written some of my best work when I’m with her. Although I remember one time we were both feeling stressed and not willing to write so we just walked around Columbus Circle, window shopping and scrutinizing the clothes that were on display. It was fun and relaxing. It’s important to take a break sometimes and just get lost in the wonders of New York City.
Linda’s Anecdote: During a pair session, Olivia was describing feeling neither Chinese nor American in a college application essay. She’d recently learned that Chinese people had been very active in the Civil Rights Movement and in avant-garde art. This helped her to embrace her identity, because she had previously given credence to the stereotype that Chinese people were conforming. She was thrilled to learn that this stereotype was just that—a stereotype. I then recalled my own discomfort with stereotypes of my own Jewish ethnicity. We were definitely taking our places in history, and getting to know each other.
Olivia Hom is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in New York, NY.
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