In this guest blog post for Pass It Down, Ruth writes about the evolution of Sweet Bloods, her own writing practice, and explores the differences and similarities between scholarly writing and storytelling:
All the data I had crammed into those twenty pages was something the intended audience of indigenous people already knew since their stories made up the book in the first place. And the analysis of that data, with its citations and hyper-specialized vocabulary – well, it might have intrigued a few academics. But it would have sent a signal to readers that this book was to be interpreted in a particular way and that it 3 was ultimately for an academic audience. It would have alienated the readers for whom the book was originally written (especially since English is a second language for many of them). And in so doing, it would have disrespected the very people to whom the stories belong. […] I’m happy to report that I eventually came to my senses. Blocking in and deleting those 20 pages with 6O+ citations was perhaps the most satisfying writing moment of my life.