Thoughts About Writer’s Block

It’s a surprise that I haven’t tackled this subject sooner. After all, I can imagine this to be a common issue that many writers face at some point or another, to some level of severity. Writer’s block: a condition where a writer, for a time, experiences an inability to produce new work. Whether this be for a short period of time or several years, either way, it’s a frustrating occurrence whenever a writer experiences it.

For those who, for whatever reason, have never experienced this before, allow me to paint a picture for you. In my mind, I picture writer’s block as either a stone wall or a giant boulder in my way, with no way around it. It’s all in the matter of making it brittle enough to go through it, and that involves ramming yourself into the structure numerous times. It’s exhausting! However, when you do finally manage to break through the barrier, that feeling of success is oh so satisfying indeed. Continue reading

Thoughts About Escapism

At this time two years ago, I was already writing what would eventually become An Absolute Mind. It was easy to slip in that mindset of its setting in an optimistic future, given the conditions of my country back then. While I can’t say that everything was peaceful, as far as privileges and rights go, they were as intact and secure as ever, and even got better when the Supreme Court finally made the historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

If I were to write An Absolute Mind today, I honestly am not sure how I would be able to effectively slip into that mindset and make that future as positive as it is, given everything that’s been happening in the week since Trump took office. There’s so much to go off of. Women’s rights are in danger. The press is being censored. “Alternative facts” have apparently become a thing. The proposed wall to border Mexico is actually being pursued… somehow. As of recently, immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-dominant countries are banned from entering the country. It’s horrendous and difficult to read about. It’s history repeating itself, and then some. Continue reading

Thoughts About Headstrong Heroines

My family and I saw the latest Disney film, “Moana,” on the evening of its release date. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved the film; for the beautiful animation, the music, the story, and the characters; in particular Moana, who is most certainly Disney’s most daring heroine to date.

While we were waiting in line to get into the theater, somehow, one of my favorite novels (and films) The Whale Rider gets brought up – probably due to the similar setting and that one of the actresses from the film is also in “Moana.” With the fact that this was a little over a week after An Absolute Mind came out, that too came into conversation in the matters of my dad saying how I was inspired to write Sonya as a strong female character from The Whale Rider. I had to argue, saying how apart from making some of the characters in the book Maori, The Whale Rider had not once crossed my mind when developing and creating the novel. My dad thought otherwise, saying how sometimes, we are influenced by sources we are unaware of. In this case, I beg to differ. Continue reading

Thoughts About Banned and Challenged Books

This past week in the United States was known as Banned Books Week. For those who don’t know, it’s an annual awareness campaign that emphasizes our First Amendment rights to the freedom to having books that include viewpoints that may be a little different. There have been many books that have either been challenged and/or banned altogether, mainly by parents who don’t like what their kids are reading for school, and so this week is to not only celebrate those books, but also shed light on why they were challenged. Continue reading

Thoughts About Second Novels

As an author, “cherries are popped” when it comes to the first two novels in their career. With the first novel, the cherry that is popped is when you have a book published for the first time in your life. With the second novel, your title as “debut author” is the cherry that is popped, for you now officially have more than one work under your belt. The newness is gone, and any possible doubts you may have had a long time ago about whether or not you’d even be able to write a novel have been long since shattered. This can be both thrilling yet also terrifying. Continue reading

Thoughts About Writing Difficult Subject Matter

Writers truly have beautiful minds. No, I’m not saying that as a way to praise myself, but I mean this on a general scope, in particular regarding those who’ve been writing longer than I have. They are the ones who can create worlds, create characters, and create unique situations for them to get into on a whim. Writers are also responsible for creating the tones of stories and just how far down the road of difficulty they’ll push their characters towards. That requires a mindset of its own that writers need to constantly put themselves in, and that is something that I wanted to explore as today’s topic. Continue reading

Thoughts About Blogging on Multiple Platforms

If you’ve been following me, then you know that this blog of mine isn’t the only blog I write for. You’re probably aware that I co-run another one and that I’m an associate editor for another. That’s how it’s been for the longest time, while submitting work to other blogs and publications in between time.

I remember this conversation I had once with a fellow blogger, where they tried encouraging me to venture out and explore other possible blogs to write for. I was hesitant in doing so, and for my own and – what I see as – wise reasons. Continue reading

Thoughts About Location Scouting and Research Trips

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to deciding settings in a story. You could have a character from the exact same hometown as you, they would be living and working in a city in a part of the country you’re generally unfamiliar with, or in a part of the plot where it has the potential to re-define everything that they know, they may even need to travel abroad. But what do you do if your desired setting is a place that you’ve never been to before? How do you go about with researching that location in advance? That’s where I contemplate on the way of location scouting and research trips. Continue reading

From the Spectrum of Asian American Authors

May is here, and once more, it is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. While the movie industry in Hollywood continues to embarrass itself by whitewashing Asian roles, the peeps over at the White House expressed just how valued and important the community is as it honored ten Champions for Change in art and storytelling back on Wednesday.

As I’ve done in previous years when in discussion about this particular month, I often try to take it on from various yet relevant lenses, and this year it’s appropriately about the wide spectrum of Asian American authors that are out there, myself included. Already last year, I had come across two amazing pieces that named Asian American authors that are worthy of checking out, such as this fantastic listicle Buzzfeed published for the previous Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and this incredible essay and list written by author Celeste Ng on how there are a wide array of Asian American female authors out there other than Amy Tan. Continue reading

Thoughts About When the Personal Joins the Fictional

The thing that makes fiction worth while and dwelling into is that the story is a concept originally hailing from one’s imagination. From plot maneuvers to details and essentials unique to the world created, it’s a skill that never gets boring; the skill of summoning such a narrative, as if by magic. But as many readers and writers know, not everything that makes the story unique is all purely the result of constant brainstorms from the creator. There are outside influences like other authors, real life occurrences and what not that help carve the story into a more thought-provoking, surreal experience that can really touch a number of readers. As I will explore today, another influence that can really shape up a story is when an author adds a little bit from their personal life into the context.

Finally got around to hanging this on the wall today. #familyportraits #tita #intelligentsia

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