Exploring Heritage Through Stories

It’s May now, which means it is now Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; a month devoted to acknowledge and honor the people, culture, and history of such backgrounds. Programs and celebrations are scheduled to take place and stories shall be exchanged. There’s a certain empowering tone that comes with a month that acknowledges the heritage of people who are just starting to be heard and represented a little better by the mainstream media; whether that be in the form of books, movies or television. In my case scenario, this month serves as a time for me to take a look at my role in it all; not only as amongst the growing number of Asian American female authors out there, but also in terms of looking through the lenses of being Hapa (an individual of part Asian descent).

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Special Thursday Post: A Big Hand for Wong Fu

Today is the first day of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and for their opening night feature, they shall be screening the world premiere of the first feature-length film from Wong Fu Productions; “Everything Before Us.”

In a world where all relationship activity is documented by a DMV-style agency called the Department of Emotional Integrity, two couples must deal with their conflicts and differences under their surveillance; a young high school couple who are about to attend separate colleges, and an older, former couple who must come together to settle a score from their previous relationship.

Here’s the trailer for “Everything Before Us”:

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Special Thursday Post: 10 Years Since the Return of the Doctor

Originally I wasn’t planning to write anything about this TV show, despite the anniversary it’s celebrating today.  But after thinking it over, I realized just how wrong it would be to not write at least something about it.  I continue my series of analyses of storytelling in mediums beyond the forum of books, and while it’s been a mere five days since I did my previous entry in honor of the ending of “Glee,” today I wanted to touch briefly upon the phenomenal sci-fi series from BBC that’s celebrating a decade since its return to the airwaves.  The show that I’m talking about, of course, is “Doctor Who.”

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My Personal Reminiscence of the Game-Changing Storytelling of “Glee”

As of last month, I decided to open my blog up more to the exploration behind storytelling of different mediums other than books. From television to movies, there are just so many of them out there that are changing the game in a lot of ways regarding how certain stories are told, and to not talk about some of them here on this blog, I find to be a little odd, especially given my circumstances as someone who studied media in college. Previously I discussed my thoughts about “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” in honor of its 10th anniversary. Now, the morning following its series finale, I want to dwell in on a television show that I’ve not only had a love-hate relationship with, but that has also drastically changed the television landscape in more ways than one in its six years on the air. This is my two cents on the newly concluded FOX series, “Glee.”

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10 Years of Honor and Bending: My Memories of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”

As of recently, I’ve become more open to blogging about storytelling on other mediums besides books. I feel that the more I talk about other stories that are being told in ways beyond the written word, I think it will make for a better attempt at engaging dialogue about such narratives and also to aid myself in becoming more well-rounded in that. My first venture out into doing so- on the television landscape- was when I provided my feedback on “Fresh Off the Boat” the weekend following its premiere. Now, in celebration of the decade since its premiere, I shall devote this post to my thoughts about one of my all-time favorite television series: “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

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Thoughts About Love and Sex in Storytelling

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Yes, it’s that time of the year where it serves as the ultimate field day(s) for Hallmark, flower shops and jewelry stores all over the place. I was at my local Safeway just yesterday where I saw heart-shaped balloons beyond the size of my head, looming overhead. A few days ago, my high school-aged brother recounted on how a couple of his friends are freaking out over what to give the girls they have their eyes on for Valentine’s Day, acting as if they’re planning to propose to them instead. One could call it commercialism at its finest, whereas a communication scholar could call it somewhere along the lines of “hegemonic romance” (and yes, I just made up that term).

Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, right? It’s about showing your loved one- in particular, those who are in a romantic relationship of a sort- how much you love and care for them. Not that it can’t be done any other day, but this day in particular is just all about that.

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Special Sunday Post: My Take On the Storytelling, Power, and Personal Reminiscence of “Fresh off the Boat”

In the months leading up to its premiere, there have been thought pieces written, regarding what this show could mean for the future of the media landscape (in particular, in diversifying it) and now that the first two episodes have aired, even more thought pieces- and of course, reviews- are pouring in. Many news sources and media outlets have had something to say about it; from NPR and the New York Times, to Angry Asian Man and Hyphen Magazine. My Facebook and Twitter feeds flooded in with numerous posts Wednesday night regarding viewing parties taking place in New York and Los Angeles, as well as from people I know who watched it from the comfort of their own homes. There’s been much to say about it- some good, some bad- and before the next two episodes air this Tuesday, I wanted to go ahead and present my two cents on ABC’s newest series, “Fresh off the Boat.”

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8 Questions for Gretchen Carvajal

It’s a new day of a new year and to start things off for 2015, I figured I have a voice featured today of someone other than my own.  It’s been a while since I last released an interview on here, so I thought it would be nice to do that again.  As to the person who’s featured this time around, that honor goes to an incredible spoken word artist whom I’ve known since high school: Gretchen Carvajal.

Gretchen is more than just a fellow writer; she is someone whom I’ve always known for never hiding her voice, however that may be.  She expresses her art and her stories through the means of being a writer, artist, emcee, and performer.  She was born in the Philippines before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was very young.  She is currently a student in the First Wave program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She has partaken in many spoken word competitions over the years- including the national youth competition, Brave New Voices, when she was 17- and was recently a participant in The Ill List; the signature poetry slam invitational in Modesto, California.  She already has a chapbook under her belt called Daughter of the Sun and plans to write more books in the future to come.  To learn more about her, be sure to check her out on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube
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How Storytelling Will Lead to Change

While I was re-reading “Mockingjay” last month, I came across a quote that I hadn’t noticed the first time.  It really struck out to me.  It said: “Outbursts are short.  It’s stories that take time.”  I found that quote to be incredibly powerful and had a noticeable amount of truth behind it.

The quote resonates well with not only “Mockingjay,” but also with what’s been happening in the news as of lately.  As we all know, our justice system is proving itself to be completely screwed (let’s just say it as it is).  On November 24th, it was announced that former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for shooting and killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.  Then, earlier this week, we find out that New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner back in July with a choke hold (a move banned by the NYPD) will also not be indicted for his very illegal actions.  In both cases, it was a white cop that had killed an unarmed black man. Continue reading “How Storytelling Will Lead to Change”