Poetry is one of those genres that’s been hard for me to get into. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because I’ve tried to live the past few years with narrative clarity. Poetry, much like lyrics to certain songs, leave so much to interpretation that it requires a certain type of patience to look between the lines and find meaning. Continue Reading “The Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness & Open Your Heart – PATRICIA DONEGAN”
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is one of the important non-fiction books. And I didn’t know it was. No one told me! Not school, not the internet, not my friends. I only stumbled upon it by chance when one afternoon I strolled past NYU in Manhattan and browsed a long table of used books set up by a street merchant. The cover caught my eye, because the subject of racism had been heavily on my mind lately. Continue Reading “The Autobiography of Malcom X As Told to Alex Haley”
I have long been drawn to all things vintage. I love typewriters for example. They are there for you to write stories and nothing more. Record players only play music for you to enjoy. And watches are there to exclusively tell time and only time.
I have fond memories of my father collecting watches back in the 80s and 90s. He seemed fascinated with both the mechanics and the internal miniature architecture. Every week, I would watch him push his eyeglass above his forehead, so he could inspect his wrist treasures up close and personal. It’s my favorite image of my father.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m in awe of my smart phone. It’s so smart, it can show me movies, play music, let me read books and tell time and weather conditions all across the globe at the press of the button. As I’ve grown older in the age of digital multi-purpose technology, however, I have begun to fully embrace these trinkets of the past. They are mindful. They slow our fast paced life down. I often find myself writing journal entries on my typewriter. I have a record player to play jazz music on as I sip on my morning coffee. And yes, I have begun a tiny collection of watches just like my dad, which some of you may have spotted on my instagram account.
Talk about breaking Asian American stereotypes in cinema! Justin Chon, writer, director and main actor of “Gook” brings to you the movie that many of us Asian Americans have been waiting for. He does what I’ve always wanted to do as an artist; he screams “Hey, your life is shitty, but so is mine. Quit pretending that I don’t exist.”
Last week, I was undulating between two emotions: pride and disappointment. For one, my film I CAN I WILL I DID screened at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York to a sold out crowd. It was invited back for an encore screening the following week and picked up its third festival award (this time the Audience Choice Award). In addition to that, we received invitations to two mainstream film festivals. I am beyond thrilled! I want to thank my Facebook friends, film collaborators and blogging community for the kind congratulatory words that were sent my way. Filmmakers bare their souls for everyone to see and make themselves vulnerable to scrutiny and pain. An audience that is moved by what you have to say, is everything.
We are living in an era that has enabled an openly misogynist man to become president. Backed in part by alt-right religious fanatics, Trump’s administration actively works on dismantling protections for minority groups, including women. Reading Margaret Atwood’s 1986 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” against this backdrop strikes a particularly sensitive chord with me. Her story is set in a world that represents my worst fears, a world where I’m no longer allowed to follow my passions such as reading, writing and filmmaking, and where I have been forced to relinquish autonomy over my own body. Continue Reading “The Handmaid’s Tale – MARGARET ATWOOD”
This is Tiffany McDaniel’s debut novel, and let me tell you… that is one hell of a novel! Set in the Midwestern town of Breathed in the mid-80’s, The Summer That Melted Everything is a story about the strange happenings surrounding the arrival of a young black boy. True to time and setting, we are thrust into a saga that tackles everything from racism, prejudice, small-town mob mentality, homophobia, and HIV/AIDS. It’s easy to want to turn my back on a narrative that normalizes these cringe worthy characters, but McDaniel manages to infuse so much compassion and empathy in these people that I find myself strangely drawn to the anti-heroes of her tale. Continue Reading “The Summer that Melted Everything – TIFFANY MCDANIEL”
I’m with Brian, my husband of nearly two years. We enter a fancy New York lounge and he immediately strolls toward the bar. i’m right behind him, waiting for him to order my go-to drink. The bartender does his thing and then comes back with the two beverages.
“Here you go,” he cheerfully says. “One Jameson neat and one Stella.”
He pushes the whiskey glass toward my husband and hands me the beer.
What a fantastic, entertaining novel. Do not expect literary nuggets, but if you’re in for an emotional planetary ride, this is your book. I was always at the edge of my seat and found myself laughing out loud more than once. The geek in me is pleased and my interest in sci-fi is deepened.
It’s not enough to be a gripping and jumpy novel. Often, the most successful stories are the ones that remind us of our darkest selves or make us revisit moments in our lives that we thought we had safely left in the past. Good novels make us regurgitate our experiences. We project the nadirs of our existence onto works of art, from a distance at first. If the writing is good and doesn’t distract, we will feel the narrative with every fiber of our bodies.