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Showing posts from August, 2018

The Tenement Museum New York City

97 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side is a tenement building. It's a five-floor walk up with two ground level commercial spaces. It was built in 1863 and before its apartments were shuttered and sealed in 1941, 97 Orchard Street was home to 15,000 people over the decades, immigrants coming from Eastern Europe, Italy, Ireland, and other countries, who settled on the Lower East Side.

I'd been taken to the Tenement Museum once as a child, but hadn't been back since, but I went with some friends on one of the Tenement Museum's tours recently. If you're ever in New York City, I highly recommend going on one of their tours of 97 Orchard Street. The tours run about an hour.

It's one thing to learn about the waves of immigrants that have come through Ellis Island--perhaps, like me, you have ancestors who came through Ellis Island--and to know that yeah, New York City is a city of immigrants. And maybe you learned about how the Lower East Side was an extremely densel…

Crazy Rich Asians: Representation Matters

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I went to see Crazy Rich Asians on Sunday. No matter what, I was going to actually put the effort in to get off my butt, put on pants, leave my house, ride the stuffy subway on a humid August day, buy a damn movie ticket, and go see this movie, even if I was a bit "meh" on the novel on which it is based.

I missed Allegiance when it was on Broadway and Miss Saigon (which, I mean, yay Asians on Broadway but anything based on Madame Butterfly ain't happening with me, yo). But let's be real, a studio-made popcorn summer film has a FAR bigger reach and implications than a Broadway show. So I fucking made the effort.



Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood studio film starring an all-Asian cast in twenty-five years. TWENTY FIVE YEARS. I was seven years old when The Joy Luck Club came out. Or course, a lot's been made about Crazy Rich Asians being a big deal in terms of representation for Asian-Americans--and Asian-Americans and other Asians living outside of Asia speci…

The Mapparium and the Christian Science Center

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I meant to write about my quick Boston trip, but I wasn't totally sure what to do write about--I'm hardly a stranger to Boston, so I felt weird doing travel posts for a city I've spent a lot of time in.

But the Mapparium really stuck out, since I'd never even heard of it until this trip. Thanks to my friend Nali, who found out about it somewhere, because the Mapparium was really interesting.

The Mapparium is a three-story tall convex world map made of colorful panels. It's housed in the Mary Eddy Baker Library at the Christian Science Center in Boston. The giant globe was created in 1935, reflecting the political boundaries and names of countries in 1935. It's never been updated, so it serves as a really interesting look into what the world was like back then.

You are ushered into the room where the map is and everyone stands on a gallery which is at about equator level, I guess. Look down and Anarctica is all the way down. Look all the way up and there's C…

Goodreads Tag!

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Oh, hi.

What? Another post, the second in a week? Indeed! Because my writing friend Krystal Jane Ruin did a fun Goodreads Tag video on her BookTube this week:


My Goodreads page is here.

1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’? 

The last book I marked as read is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

2. What are you currently reading? 

Right now, I have two books going: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. They're very different books, different genres, different tones, so I'm kind of switching between them at will.
3. What was the last book you marked as TBR? 

The last book I marked as to-be-read was And Aleksey Lived: An Alternate History by Ursula Hartlein. I got into the tragic story of the Romanovs as a pre-teen and I did wonder what would've happened if someone in the family survived, so it'll be interesting to read the author's take on that.
4. What book do you plan to read next? 
Rejected Princes…

Writing Muscles

A few weeks ago, I was listening to Smart Bitches, Trashy Podcast and Sarah Wendell mentioned something about "writing muscles"--how her nonfiction writing muscles are strong because she runs and writes on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which is a romance novel review blog.

And I find that it is sort of true, in a way--that certain types of writing come more easily to me than others or that some types of writing feel like more like a struggle if I haven't done it in awhile.

And that got me thinking about my writing muscles and where they're at these days. My fiction writing muscles are slow but still strong--I'm outlining one thing and writing something else fictional. But then I was like, "Yeah, well, maybe my nonfiction muscles are stronger."

I mean, I have the blog and the other project I'm tinkering around with is mostly nonfiction. And my favorite writing class in college was Creative Nonfiction. I can trace a direct line between the eternal mono…

IWSG August 2018

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It's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group post for August 2018. The IWSG is a wonderful network of writers who blog their writerly insecurities out into the world the first Wednesday of every month. Check out the group here.
The August question is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
So, I'm not a new writer, but I am new to publication--so far I've had four short things published, two of them on my own, two of them by others. I've not really gone down the trad publishing route--that is, I've queried a manuscript for a limited time, but everything else I've managed to finish after that is short in length. And I like publishing on my own, actually. 

So first, I'd say, see how you want to be published. There are many platforms out there for writers these days to get their work out there. See what works for you. Do your research on any editors, publications, or companies that offer to publish you. Don't pay…