Friday, December 19, 2014

Deja Vu Blogfest: Time Capsule Reflections

A big thanks to DL Hammons for hosting the Deja Vu Blogfest. From DL's blog: On December 19th, anyone who decides to participate will re-post their favorite blog offering from earlier in the year, or one that you believe failed to receive the exposure it deserved.

So here's an excerpt of something I posted back in July earlier this year....

Time Capsule Reflections

In my neighborhood, there is a library that will be having its grand opening later this summer. People have been invited to submit to a time capsule that will be stored away in the library's tower. Among the items requested are family histories and photos. The time capsule will be opened in 50 years.

I contributed to the time capsule on behalf of my family. The family history I wrote was fairly short, less than one page. But this is more than just a family history. It is a love letter from myself to my children, and possible grandchildren, to be unveiled half a century into the future. Although my husband and I tell our children we love them enough, maybe they'd need to hear it again in 50 years.

If I read the "love letter" to my toddler children now, they wouldn't get it. But perhaps 50 years down the road, if my children are around to see the time capsule open, I can only hope my words might offer them some comfort and validation, wherever they might be in their lives at that time. 

What would you put in a time capsule to be opened 50 years from now?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On Tolerance and Harry Potter Books

Regular readers of my blog know I LOVE HARRY POTTER books and I’m a huge fan of J.K. Rowling and I know many many many Harry Potter fans who are super neat people. So when a party I follow on Twitter recently posted a link to an article about how some recent studies are showing that readers of Harry Potter books are less prejudiced and more accepting of others, I had to stop and look. I felt giddy to see that the researchers, who might love Harry Potter as much as I do, took the time to conduct this Harry Potter-themed study, and I’m glad that their results showed the positive effects of reading the books.

However, while I read the article, I remembered something I saw in the news around 2005, when the Internet buzzed about which lucky girl would be cast as Cho Chang, Harry Potter’s first crush, in the GOBLET OF FIRE movie. The plum role went to the lovely Katie Leung, a Scottish actress with Asian ancestry. Unfortunately, some Harry Potter fans who were unhappy with the casting choice attacked Katie online with rude and racist comments and hate sites. So while I’m pleased that the aforementioned study has shown some people can learn tolerance from reading Harry Potter books, there is pre-existing evidence showing that not all readers and fans of the Harry Potter stories are free of prejudice.

My “other side of the coin” sentiments aren’t meant to be criticism of the researchers or the study itself. Because really, it sounded like a fun project. It’s just that…as much as many others and I love books and have experienced the comfort and enrichment from reading a good book, I'm also aware that not everyone will be affected or enlightened by what they read, even if the book is an amazing work.

So I tweeted back to the party and condensed these thoughts into two posts of 140 characters each. And then I thought about it and….I deleted my tweets. I didn’t do this because I was playing backsies with my tweets but because I realized that in order to fully articulate how I was really feeling about this topic, I should blog about it here instead.

Tell me about a book that affected or enlightened you. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG: What I'm Working On

Today is IWSG day. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for organizing this monthly event where writers share about their writerly insecurities and other things. 

Oh my, it’s December. Where did the year go? I can tell you where my year went- working, preparing to move, interviewing vendors, moving, unpacking, organizing, and getting settled in, planning a big Frozen-themed birthday party, transitioning one kid into preschool and another one into kindergarten, and driving everyone everywhere. I have tried to use whatever spare minutes I had to write. 

One thing I’ve been reluctant to do is to discuss in a public forum what exactly I’m writing about. An author who inspired me to share more openly about current projects is Julie Dao. One of many things I admire about Julie’s blogging ethic is that she shares freely on her blog about what she’s working on, from the subject matter to the title of her book. So Julie, if you’re reading this, I just want you to know you inspired me to write this! 

So here are two manuscripts I’m working on: KISS MY BUTTER is a young adult fiction novel about a Chinese American girl who enters a culinary competition. THE ORANGE SOLDIERS is a non-fiction picture book about the community activism that steered the building and opening of a new library in my city. 

And that's what I'm working on.

How comfortable are you about sharing what you’re working on? Which bloggers/writers have inspired you to stretch yourself?