Thoughts About Writing Outside of Your Element

There is no one true “master” at writing, for it is a practice where one is, or at least should be, constantly learning, growing, and improving. One way of doing so is by testing the boundaries and see if you’re able to overcome them, as a mental and creative exercise for yourself. In other words, writing outside of your element is a key methodology to becoming stronger and better as a writer.

What do I mean by writing outside of your element exactly? Well, in my mind, this can be interpreted in several ways. Continue reading

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Thoughts About Script Writing

If there’s one thing that I didn’t expect going into this year is that I would begin to broaden my scope as a storyteller and as a writer, as I’ve merged into the world of script writing. While it hasn’t been a whole lot, it’s at a scale already where what I write in that medium is already seeing results. I’ve done some occasional script writing growing up, and up until this year, the most recent credit to my name without ever having to lift a finger was an adaptation a family friend did of one of my chapters from A Moment’s Worth. This is a path that I’ve had every intent on taking down the line, and I’m so glad I’m already getting on that. Continue reading

Thoughts About Personal Essays

Personal essays; we’ve all read one at some point or another. They are the slates of non-fiction that are not long enough to be considered an autobiography nor a memoir, and yet to some extremity, strive to prove a point by way of sharing whichever selected aspect of the writer’s life. While it’s a genre of writing that has existed for the longest time, it seems that it’s only within contemporary times where there’s a surge in terms of the quantity of them out there. If you think about it, it’s not too surprising. We have the Internet, and as a result, publishing online and immediate satisfaction has never been easier than before. Continue reading

Getting Closer to My Truth By Way of Representation

We are now about halfway through May, which also means we are about halfway through Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. When looking at the way of things last year, it’s mind-boggling how much has changed, while some things remain the same. Nowadays, Hollywood, despite previous failures, continues to whitewash roles meant for Asians and Pacific Islanders (as proven from this latest abomination surrounding the upcoming biopic about Ben Kanahele), whereas the White House is not doing anything to properly acknowledge this month beyond the half-ass statement Trump released at the beginning of it.

Representation matters, regardless of what anyone may say against it (and those who do really need to have a look over of their own privilege) and in the past, when in discussion about this particular month, I’ve explored this subject matter through a personal lenses and at different angles; from seeing stories about people like me being portrayed on screen to how I fit in on the growing list of Asian American authors. However, I’ve yet to discuss an angle that hits even more close to home, regarding an issue I’ve becoming increasingly aware of in recent time. Continue reading

Thoughts About Music By Way of Poetry

We are at the end of April now, and so naturally, National Poetry Month is simultaneously wrapping up. Apart from occasional haikus and features about various poets, for whatever reason, there hasn’t been a lot regarding this month-long celebration that has popped up on my radar. Whether that be because of everything that’s been going on for me this month, the political climate, or something else entirely, I don’t know. However, I do want to take a minute to appreciate that value of this month’s focus, and link it to its unique relationship with another medium with a kindred spirit: music. Continue reading

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