Let the Monsters Roar: Recommended Reading

It’s been a minute since I last suggested something for Recommended Analyzing. This came across my radar this week and I knew immediately to recommend it.

Last month, author Sarah Kuhn released her second YA novel, From Little Tokyo, with Love. It follows a mixed-race Japanese American teenage girl with a hot temper who is suddenly faced with the possibility that her mother, whom she long believed was dead, might actually be alive. Along the way of discovering the truth, she navigates her feelings for both a cute actor she befriends, and about herself and where she fits in the world.

Continue reading “Let the Monsters Roar: Recommended Reading”

What Did I Miss?: March 2021

Appearances

180 Seconds, 5 Artists – Co-produced by Tara Mercene (co-director of Breath of Writing), I am one of five artists featured in this short video from Rappler, in honor of National Arts Month.

Published Works

Kelly Marie Tran On Being the Voice of Raya in Disney’s First Animated Film Set in Southeast Asia – For the Center for Asian American Media, I spoke with the star of the latest Disney animated film about bringing the character to life during the pandemic, as well as the history the film is making and the timing of its release.

The Perseverance of Diana Lee Inosanto and Becoming Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth – For Hapa Mag, I speak with the accomplished actor and martial artist about her experience filming for The Mandalorian, as well as her work as a stunt actor and how she created opportunities for herself.

NOC Presents: A SEA Conversation about ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ – For The Nerds of Color, I bring together all the Southeast Asian writers of the outlet together for a conversation regarding our thoughts on Disney’s Southeast Asian-inspired film.

Review of All of This is for You by Ruby Jones – For Goodreads, I give a brief overview of this unexpectedly timely book from this contemporary New Zealand visual artist.

Review of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro – For Goodreads, I give an in-depth analysis on the latest novel from this renowned British author.

Patrick Clanton on the Evolution of Behind the Magic YouTube Channel – For The Nerds of Color, I do a follow-up interview with this innovative content creator on how his passion project has grown over the last few months.

Review of Home in a Hundred Places by Sarah Dayan Mueller – For Goodreads, I briefly share my thoughts on this long awaited second novel from this thoughtful indie author.

365 Days

Throughout this past week, many people – public figures and otherwise – have been marking one year since life upended as they know it. Today is my turn. One year ago today was when I was last onsite at my day job’s office. Other people I knew had already started working from home about a week before I did and just from the looks of my commutes, they were getting emptier and emptier. I was not surprised when, while commuting home that day, I received an email from work, saying that we would be working from home for the next two weeks. Little did I, or anyone else for that matter, expect for those supposed few weeks to turn into a year. And yet even as I arrived home that day, I looked back at the outside world, with a lurking feeling that it would be the last time for a very long while where I’d be able to roam about it as freely as I did that day. Continue reading “365 Days”

Thoughts About Speculation in Storytelling

Warning: The following contains a few light spoilers from “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Last night, I took part in a bi-coastal virtual watch party of the latest Disney animated film, “Raya and the Last Dragon.” The world of the Kumandra and the conflict that’s imminent across the land played out before all participants of that party, and with that came the all too timely lesson of finding the will and openness to trust others.

After the film, we all hopped on a Zoom call and shared our thoughts about it, and when talking about the characters themselves, the following question came up: Do you ship Raya with Namaari? Continue reading “Thoughts About Speculation in Storytelling”

Playwright’s Commentary: “Interview with an Aswang”

It’s been two and a half years since I last had a play I wrote be produced. Honestly, I thought it would be a good while before something of the sort ever happened again, as I shifted focus towards getting my screenplays out there, as well as work to complete something resembling a draft of the third novel-in-progress. But sometimes, opportunities come along that you just can’t pass up, and it’s because I went for one that eventually led to the creation of my latest one-act play and first play to be performed on a virtual platform, “Interview with an Aswang.” Continue reading “Playwright’s Commentary: “Interview with an Aswang””

Racism is a Virus Part II: REQUIRED Research

As disgusted as I am that we’re nearly a year into this pandemic, I’m even more so at the ongoing attacks against the Asian American community. While xenophobia towards Asian Americans is nothing new in this country, there’s been a spike in attacks over the past year in response to the surge of COVID-19 cases. From March 19th-December 31st of last year, Stop AAPI Hate had 2,808 reports of hate crimes collected (a thorough breakdown of this data can be found here). Continue reading “Racism is a Virus Part II: REQUIRED Research”

Representation Matters

This is a phrase that I’ve seen shared a lot on social media within recent years and it’s one that rings volumes of truth: Representation matters. Seeing or reading about someone who’s like you – whether they are the same race, gender, sexual orientation, a combination of them, etc. – as the hero of their own story means a lot, especially for those who haven’t really seen themselves portrayed before. It legitimizes one’s existence and that their stories are valid. Continue reading “Representation Matters”

Where Spoken Words Fail, Written Words Take Over

Several years ago, I opened up about how when I was little, I was speech and language delayed. It took years of working with educators and therapists to get me on track to where I need to be, communication-wise. By the time I hit junior high, unless you checked my records, no one would have ever suspected that I once struggled to speak. Continue reading “Where Spoken Words Fail, Written Words Take Over”

7 Years of Lola By the Bay and 2020 Year in Review

A part of me has always found it perplexing that I chose to start up my website at the end of a year. I sometimes wonder, “Why not have waited one more week until you were in the new year before finally starting it?” Well, seven years later, I look back on that decision and I think it worked out, actually. I get to both acknowledge the formation of this constantly growing website and look back on the past year in one go… and… well…. needless to say, this is quite a year to look back on. Continue reading “7 Years of Lola By the Bay and 2020 Year in Review”

Believe in the Sun: Recommended Reading

Putting on my “Star Wars” hat for a brief minute, Princess Leia Organa has an empowering quote: “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you see it, you’ll never make it through the night.” You don’t need me to tell you that it’s been a hard year on everyone, and for the longest time, we weren’t sure exactly how long the darkness would last. But now there’s hope in sight; both in the change of administrations a month from now and recently with the vaccines that are starting to be administered around the country. Continue reading “Believe in the Sun: Recommended Reading”