A Quick Interview


Amanda of Mandibelle16 invited me for a short interview recently and that interview came out today. Check it out!

Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – […]

via Interview of Writer, Blogger, and Photographer Yinglan Z #amwriting #interview #nonfiction — Mandibelle16

Inspiration for Storytellers


I would like to start by thanking Charles French from Charles French Words Reading and Writing for nominating me again for this challenge. I lost count the number of times I’ve participated in this challenge. Continue reading “Inspiration for Storytellers”

3 Quote 3 Day – Day 3


Here I am, the final day of the 3 Quote 3 Day challenge. Once more, I would like to thank Charles French from Charles French Words Reading and Writing for nominating me for this challenge. Continue reading “3 Quote 3 Day – Day 3”

3 Quote 3 Day – Day 2


Here I am, day 2 of the 3 Quote 3 Day challenge. Once again, I would like to thank Charles French from Charles French Words Reading and Writing for nominating me for this challenge. Continue reading “3 Quote 3 Day – Day 2”

3 Quote 3 Day – Day 1


I would like to start by thanking Charles French from Charles French Words Reading and Writing for nominating me for this challenge. I believe this will be my 4th participation. Continue reading “3 Quote 3 Day – Day 1”

Random Thoughts About Writing


114-07-july-26th-2015Writing’s an art, in my opinion but this wasn’t what I thought until about two years ago.  Before that, my relationship with writing was merely obligatory, just a requirement to fulfill a task assigned by teachers, tutors, etc. Continue reading “Random Thoughts About Writing”

Take Me Seriously!


Today’s prompt asks: Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you. Continue reading “Take Me Seriously!”

Blog Tour Award: My Creative Process


Last week, I was surprised and amazed when I received a ping-back from Izzy of Izzy-grabs-life. Izzy has nominated me for the Blog Tour Award! I didn’t even know such award existed, I’m so honored.

RULES:

  • Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given from your nomination — I was given March 30)
  • Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post by – for the next round, I will go with Monday April 6, 2015
  • Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers.
  • Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.

QUESTIONS:

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I’m currently working on my homework. Ha ha, just kidding, I’m taking a break from my cost accounting homework.

Um, at the moment, I’m actually about half-way done with what-I-think is a short-story but it’s turning into a novelette. I’m think probably another 3000 words on top of the current 4800 should do it. It’s a rewrite and it used to be called “The Forgotten” but I think the title’s a little lame. So I’m coming with a new title at the moment.

HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN YOUR GENRE?

Honestly, I do not know. We all get our inspiration somewhere, whether be TV shows or movies or books. I pull ideas for my stories from those places but at the time, I would try to add something different, my own touch but I suppose, in a way, my work can be comparable to others in my genre.

WHY DO YOU WRITE OR CREATE WHAT YOU DO?

My head is filled with pictures and ideas. Every time, I watch a TV show or a movie or read a book, I instantly get pictures, pictures that once I lose them, I am not getting them back. Since I am not an artist (I can’t even draw a car right), I choose words as my medium. So writing is really my way of painting those mental pictures. The paper is my canvas, as some would say, and I’m painting it with words.

HOW DOES YOUR WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

Well, like I said, I get pictures and I just writing it down as to artist painting the canvas. I don’t exactly have a process. I just get these flashes in my head and as soon as I get them, I would jog them down somewhere, anywhere, be it an existing story or a new story. Otherwise, it will feel like what Maya Angelou says.

However for the flash fiction challenges and prompts, it’s different.

  1. I look at the picture prompt or the word prompt.
  2. For the picture prompt, I would then run through a variety of scenarios in my head. I would ask, can this happen? or is this situation logical? I usually try to pull from my life before going fiction.
  3. For the word prompt (the prompts that are words-only, no picture), those are usually pretty tough for me to write any fiction stories. I usually just stick to non-fiction for those.
  4. Of course, I can’t post or publish anything without proofreading and editing it. This would be my last step. I usually go over it 2 or 3 times until I’m satisfy with every word.

MY NOMINEES

It is my pleasure to nominate the following individuals:

THE STORYTELLER’S ABODE

Its PH

IN A SMALL COMPASS…

The Mischief Memoirs

I am looking forward to hear about everyone’s creative process!

Finding her Way Back Home


Im thunking about using this photo for my visual aid/ attention getter. I would describe the photo and say"don't you feel good now!" and put up the photo and continue with my speech on how i love natureIs it me or is the sky getting darker? Rachel wondered as she trekked deeper and deeper into the woods trying to find her way back to the cabin her family had rented.  She realized now she shouldn’t had gotten angry and walked out without map, food, and water. That was a stupid move, she chided at herself as she walked.

She thought back to earlier that day when she and her brother Justin were stuck inside their family cabin playing I Spy for what seemed like the gazillion times. It was their favorite game when they were children and thought to play it to cure their boredom.

Rachel sighed and slapped a bug on her forearm.  A week ago, she thought she was free. She was going to spend every minute of every day hanging out with her friends. Then the night after the start of their summer vacation, their parents sat them down and called a family meeting.

“We have some great news,” their mother announced giddily, “we’re going on a family vacation.” She smiled big while her father did jazz hands in the back.

Rachel’s fingers had paused mid-text while Justin’s jaw literally dropped. “Wait, now?” She asked.

“Yes, now. Your mother and I have rented a deluxe cabin in the woods. We’re set to leave in three days.” Their father answered.

“F-for how long?” Justin stammered and their mother replied, “two weeks.”

When they got to the cabin in the afternoon of the third day, they realized the cabin was anything but deluxe. There was barely any furniture in the two bedroom one bath cabin. “What the hell is this?” Rachel had almost screamed and she did when she found out there was no cell signal.

For two days, the family survived mostly on the few can foods their parents had stored in the car in case of emergency and this morning, their mother decided. “We cannot survive on such unhealthy foods. So here’s what we’ve decided. Your father and I are going to the supermarket to get some real food. You two stay here. Don’t open the door for anyone and don’t leave the cabin. It’s very easy to get lost in these woods. Do you understand me?”

Justin had bobbed his head while Rachel just rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, whatever.”

“How about we play I spy?” Justin asked minutes after their parents’ departure to the supermarket.

“What are you, five?”

“Come on,” Justin pleaded, “I’m bored to death and besides, we haven’t played it since we were little.”

“That’s why I asked ‘what are you, five?'” They sat silently for a minute. The cabin was so quiet that even with the windows and doors shut, you can hear the crickets chirping outside. Rachel grew irritated and caved. “Oh, alright, just one game. I’ll go first.” Her eyes traveled around the room. “I spy…something red and ugly.”

“Uh, you mean the couch?” Justin raised his brow. “Dude, you’re sitting on it. That doesn’t count.”

“There’s nothing here. If you’re so smart, why don’t you try?”

“Alright, I spy something dark and beautiful.”

Rachel’s eyes traveled around the room, searching for the object her brother was referencing to. She glanced once, twice, and even three times before turned to her brother. “You’re supposed to reference something in this room and this room only.”

“I am.” He walked to the other side of the room and pointed at something on the wall. Rachel looked closer, perplexed. She had no clue what she was looking at. “Isn’t this beautiful?” Justin said. “It must’d been an ex-tenant.” It was an etching of a horse into the wall. It was dark and beautiful. “Okay, your turn.”

They went on and on with the game. Rachel growing more and more frustrated with her brother’s finger-pointing at her flaws. Meanwhile, her brother’s pointing out all the things around the room that without a careful eye, it would be impossible to spot. Suddenly, Rachel bolted up. “That’s it, I can’t take it anymore. I can’t play this game with your stupid rules.”

“Those aren’t rules, that’s just how you play.” In less than a moment, Rachel crossed the room and was at the door. She turned the door knob and stepped out into the open air. “Rachel, wait!” She heard Justin’s heavy footsteps behind her and kept on running, weaving between trees and soon, her brother’s footsteps became distant. She was on her own.

She got tired quickly and realized she was thirsty too with no water to drink. Now, after wandering for who knows how long in the woods trying to find her way back home, she was exhausted. She couldn’t walk anymore. She leaned against a tree and sagged to the ground.

Then she heard, “Rachel? Rachel? Rachel?” It was three different voices, all familiar. It was so faint that she wondered whether her thirst had made her delirious. Then the voice grew louder and soon, she saw a growing beam of light racing toward her.

“Rachel,” her mother’s voice and face appeared before her. Then she felt two strong arms lifted her from the ground and carried her up the hill. She was home. Some time later, after downing two bottles of water and explaining why she ran out, her mother grabbed her chest. “Don’t you ever do that again, you hear me? If you don’t want to be there, all you have to do is tell us.” She blew a breath of air as Rachel nodded slowly. “You scared me to death.”

This is a scheduled post. I might be out almost the entire day today (exam and volunteering). I will be posting something later but first I will re-post this short story (flash fiction) I wrote some time ago. The original version wasn’t this long but I just thought it was super incomplete. Happy Saturday. 🙂 

Five Photos – Five Stories Day 1


I’d like to thank Priceless Joy for nominating me for the Five Photos-Five stories challenge, where I post five photos, five stories, each day for five days. Continue reading “Five Photos – Five Stories Day 1”

Happy and Accomplished


I feel like I’ve finally accomplished something today. I have completed my assignment that’s due tomorrow after another round of Beat the System. Hopefully, my instructor will settle for a 3% similarities. It’s a different instructor than Business Law.

I’ve also completed the homework that’s due on Wednesday. Finally! Now if I can just finish yet this week’s Business Law homework, I’d be the happiest girl on Earth.

I won’t say much. I began scribbling down an idea that’s been stuck inside me for a few weeks now. I feel like it’s going to burst. I’ve finally finished the character list yet again for the novel I’ve been trying to write for about two years now. This will be my fourth possibly fifth rewrite as well as change of characters. Like most writers say, the first novel is always the hardest. I agree with them completely.

Before I go though, I like to share this photograph I’ve found on pinterest.

“En ese momento me di cuenta de que el anochecer es sólo una ilusión, porque el sol sigue estando presente, ya sea por encima o por debajo de la línea del horizonte. Y estos significa que el día y la noche están unidos como muy pocas cosas lo están; no pueden estar el uno sin el otro, pero tampoco pueden existir a la vez.” Nicholas Sparks.
Song of the Setting Sun Print by Phil Koch Credit: Pinterest

 

Mondays Finish the Story: Abandoned


2015-01-19-bw-beachamContinued from last week’s story…

They finally made their escape. Continue reading “Mondays Finish the Story: Abandoned”

Sharing Creative Workspaces: A Project from WeWork


Even after almost two years of blogging, I still haven’t really shared the space that inspired all my posts. Continue reading “Sharing Creative Workspaces: A Project from WeWork”

Drum roll please, 100th post!!! Need to brag on my accomplishments and bag on my frustrations


Before I say anything else, I would just like to say, this is my 100th post! I know right? It feels like a whirlwind. After two straight months of constant blogging, I’ve reached my second major goal! The first was of course 100 followers.

Well technically, I have been blogging for more than a year but don’t forget the 5-month hiatus not to mention I’ve only managed to publish less than 10 posts a month from September to April. So really, I’ve only been blogging for 2 months. Honestly, I thought it would take me a lot longer than that to post 100 articles.

On another note, I would also like to brag on myself a little bit. Last Saturday, during my club meeting, I was nominated and awarded the coveted “Outstanding Toastmaster Award”!!! Of course, I knew that because one of the Sergeant at Arms spilled the beans during the last meeting in May but still, it’s not always the Club President gives a specific member recognition. It almost feels like my 5th grade award assembly, except without the surprise. Aww, now I’m making myself blush.

Anyway, onto a more serious note. For the past week, I found myself feeling uninspired to write. 😦 Not only blogwise but in general. It’s like my imagination’s shutting down on me. I am even stuck on the 5th re-write of the novel I’ve working for the past year. I don’t know what’s happening.

Maybe it’s the test and my classes burying down on me? Maybe after next Tuesday, when I can finally take a breath, then my imagination and creativity would come back to me? Right now, the best is to hope.

An Eventful Thursday: A record setting week


Whew!!! Finally, a load off my chest.

After getting just three hours of sleep and a protein-rich breakfast (Hot Cocoa and scramble egg sandwich) , Continue reading “An Eventful Thursday: A record setting week”

Liebster Award: First Nomination!


liebsterblogaward-2

First of all, I just want to say thank you Artfullyadelie for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Aww, I have to blush a little. It is currently the second achievement I’ve gotten since I started blogging. At this point, I should probably put up an achievement page. Last year, I was nominated for the Sunshine Award. I am extremely honored. It’s not everyday you get nominated. Of course, I was going to write the post yesterday but excuses, excuses, excuses!

I had a large weight loss shake yesterday, then a large bowl of grapes, and finally, a large bowl of Ramen noodles for lunch. Of course, Ramen noodles are no good without the soup base which by the way is full of MSG. Not soon after I finished, I was exhausted. I stumbled through work, thank god I work at home 🙂 and I wasn’t completely awake again until a few hours ago, after I had dinner, a shower, and begin fiddling with some of my old short stories (I’ve posted them too! Click here to check it out!).

Now, it’s 11:30, planes had stopped rumbling outside (long story), my computer’s off and I can’t sleep. Great!!! Oh well, at least I have my tablet handy, might as well take the time to get this started and finish it in the morning. So, according to Adelie, I’m supposed to:

  • Write 11 facts about myself
  • Answer 11 questions
  • Ask 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 other fellow bloggers.

So first things first, 11 facts about me:

  1. I do NOT know how to write a happy ending! If you’ve read my flash fictions and short stories on my other blogs (Click here), you’d know that none of them has a happy ending. I don’t know, maybe a sad ending just tricks people into thinking there might be sequel?
  2. Two of the most annoying sounds in my ears is a baby’s cry and a child crying. It just make me want to scream and throw things. So if you don’t want me to go insane, control your child! OR keep your child away from me! 😦
  3. I am the most awkward person at parties and gatherings. 😮 I don’t know what to do there. Everybody’s talking to each other at the same time and everywhere’s crowded and full of plastic cups. Maybe I just need to be go to more parties and get used to the atmosphere.
  4. I can either be the loudest, most social person you’ve ever met OR I can be the quietest, most invisible person you’ve ever met. It all depends on the place, occasion, and the familiarity of people and topic.
  5. I have a very severe case of stage fright. Even now, after I’ve joined Toastmaster for almost 3 years, my heart would pound and I would forget everything the moment I hit that podium.
  6. I love to cook and travel but I don’t have the money or the time right now. Maybe someday.
  7. I used to play the  piano and a little guitar but without practice for 7 years, I forgot it all. 😛
  8. I used to want to be a singer, a director, and an actress. But I don’t have the look, the voice, and the emotion. So oh well, I
    A Maglite
    A Maglite

    still pretend the maglite is a microphone and sing to my stereo for fun though.

  9. I am extremely old-schooled. I didn’t start listening to music, using a computer, and watching Tv until 2002 when I was 11. I’m still using a flip phone when everyone’s got a smartphone and tapping away. I dislike texting too!
  10. I wanted to be a website/graphic designer but my mom’s friend wanted me to be a civil engineer. Naturally, she listened to her friend and pulled me along with it.
  11. I went to three different high schools in 4 years after moving from California to Texas to Utah. The moves were adventurous but meeting new people is hard.

Now, 11 questions from Adelie:

  1. What is one thing you have been meaning to do but haven’t seem to find the time? I’ve been meaning to finish the two 1000-piece Ancient Chinese painting jigsaw puzzles my mom’s family brought with them when they visited two summers ago. Wow, two summers? Has it really been that long? Anyway, my mom bought these for me when I was 6 and I do not like to leave things unfinished. I said I was going to do them two winters ago, then last Summer, then last Winter. Well, someday, I’ll get it done.
  2. Finish-Line-Full-HD-Image-8Are you motivated by fear or hope? Of course, I’m motivated by hope, if a person’s motivated by fear, how are they going to get things done? I believe that everything has a start and an end, you just need to get over that hurdle to the finish line.
  3. If you could invent an ice cream flavor, what would it be? I’m not very creative but if I could invent an ice cream flavor, if would probably have all the things I like and probably all the things my mom hates. Yes! We are completely opposite when it comes to ice cream. It might be plain vanilla with mint, fruit (probably strawberry maybe peach), plus marshmallow swirls. NO nuts though.
  4. What is the one word you love for people to describe you? It all depends on the situation. I had people describe me as lovable, tolerable, stubborn, and even lazy. Obviously, lazy is a horrible word to describe people. I do like it when people describe me as stubborn though because it shows I’m persistent. It shows that I’m not the kind of person that give up easily. However, I would love to be described as fun and cool because I’ve never been those things. So being described as fun and cool will definitely make my day.
  5. Who do you most look up to and why? Well, there hasn’t been a lot of people in my life because I don’t really stay long enough to get to know them. Like my dad and step-dad, my dad passed away before I could properly register his voice in my head and my step-dad, well we talk but most of the time, it was about him teaching me stuff or we’re just having fun. So the person I look up to would probably be my mom because she’s hard working and cunning. She wants me to be like her everyday and I try very hard at it too.
  6. If you could master one dance style, what would it be? Ha Ha 😀 If I can master one dance style, it would be ANY since I do NoT know how to dance! I’m the most awkward and clumsy dancer you’ll ever see. So don’t expect me to dance at parties.
  7. If you were a superhero, what would your name be? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that.
  8. What is the one thing you’ll never regret doing? Coming to the U.S.! That is the one thing I’ll never regret doing. If I am still in China, I would’ve never gotten my diagnosis and been a goner at 33! Besides, I would have never discovered the joy in blogging and be blogging in my bed at 4 AM in the morning! Can’t Sleep! Darn you, fluctuating temperatures! 🙂
  9. What’s one word you always second-guess yourself when spelling it out? Lately, that list seemed to be growing! I used to be a whiz at spelling. Maybe I’m getting old. 😀
  10. What’s the nicest thing anyone’s has ever said to you? Hmm, I don’t know. I love you, you’re adorable? We express our feelings very differently in Chinese.
  11. Fill in the blank: In a perfect world, love and peace would be everywhere.

Now, for my 11 questions:

  1. If you won a free airplane ticket to travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  2. What is the one word you dislike when people are using to describe you?
  3. If you can change the name of a food, what would it be?
  4. If a stranger hands you a hundred dollar (pound, euro, whatever your currency), what would you spend it on?
  5. If you’re a reincarnation of a famous person, who would you want it to be?
  6. If you can have any job in the world, what would it be?
  7. If you were a pop icon living a double life, what would your pop icon name be?
  8. If you can have an ice cream flavor named after you, what would be?
  9. What is the one word you like people to describe you?
  10. If you can time travel to any destination in time, what year would it be?
  11. If you can wake up to any sound, what would it be?

Now, for the hard part, nominating 11 fellow bloggers. It’s going to be very difficult, real difficult.  Also I cannot guarantee that any of these bloggers hasn’t been nominated.

So here it is:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. From Pickles to Paris
  3. bluchickenninja
  4. Wake Up Your Luck
  5. Osomann
  6. P.s Meganelizabeth
  7. VintageDahl
  8. Release the Mind
  9. Older Than Young
  10. Gwenism
  11. Fortiesgirl

Well, there you have it, my total of 11 facts, 11 answers, 11 questions, and 11 nominees! Looking forward to hearing for you! 🙂

Took my dear old car for a drive…


Yesterday, I took my dear old car out on a drive. Yes, dear and old. It’s a ’95 Ford Escort that I do NOT ever want to sell. Continue reading “Took my dear old car for a drive…”

How I almost went deaf yesterday?


I had almost gone deaf yesterday. 😮 Continue reading “How I almost went deaf yesterday?”

Title and Hook – Ways to Capture Readers’ Attention


Everyday, millions if not billions of internet articles, books, journal articles, etc. are waiting to be read. However we don’t have time to read so many while some is just not appealing to us.  Therefore, as a writer and an avid reader, the first ten seconds is the most important. Continue reading “Title and Hook – Ways to Capture Readers’ Attention”

Most Memorable Nights of a Lifetime


Close up of a graduation cap and a certificate with a ribbonGraduation is one of the most memorable days or nights in anybody’s life whether you are graduating from high school or college, the ceremony itself just somehow makes you feel like for just this one day, you are the most important person and nothing else matters.   Continue reading “Most Memorable Nights of a Lifetime”

A Life of Endless Learning


Yesterday was officially the last final of my academic career.  I could feel my brain sagged just a little the minute the TA collected the test papers from my hands.  I was like, “Yes! After 20 years, I’m finally done.” Continue reading “A Life of Endless Learning”

Losing Weight


My weight has always been a big issue for me but it wasn’t until the recent years when it became the problem of my life, the rock that’s keeping me from being happy.  Over the past several years, I’ve been trying to get back to the normal weight I’ve had when I first moved to where I am about 5 years ago but the weights just kept piling on.

When I first set foot in the United States 12 years ago, I was 4′ 3″ and weighed 85 pounds.  At the time, I was already considered “fat” by my family and my classmates but to people here, I was considered tiny.  That made me feel a little better because for once, I wasn’t called fat.  However, as the years passed and 6″ later, my weight went up dramatically and it didn’t do me any good.  You see, I was born with small veins  and because of my Albright’s Syndrome, I have to go get my blood checked every 3 months or so.

With the weight gain, so did the difficulty of drawing blood grew.  Last May when I had the surgery in my leg, I was 115 pounds and it took the anesthetist almost 30 minutes to do the IV on me and in the end he still failed.  They gave up and had to use gas to knock me out.  This was just the beginning.  Since then, I gained another 4 or 5 pounds and the last few times I had to do lab work, it took at least 3 technicians before one of them could nail me.

I told my mom about it and she blamed me for not consistently exercising and gain weight.  That made me feel even worse than before I told her.  To be honest, I’ve always wanted to exercise but due to the pain I suffer in my legs and the lack of motivation, I gave up after a week or so.  My mom didn’t motivate me at all.  I mean if she had exercised with me and we did some fun activities together, maybe I wouldn’t get so bored and quit.  No, we both did our own things and before I knew it, I was about 120 pounds and sitting at home all day doing nothing.

About a month, I finally had an epiphany.  I was on my way to my doctor’s appointment, it was 40 degrees out and I had to walk two blocks or so from the bus stop to the clinic.  When I finally arrived at the clinic and climbed the two flights of stairs to the doctor’s office, I not only was sweating and breathless but my heart was beating like a helicopter.  By the time the nurse called me into the little room, my heart was still pounding and she put that little clip on my finger to check my pulse.  It was still 100.

I leaned back in my chair and thought, damn what’s happened to me? I was never so out of breath climbing stairs before.  Then I knew that it was time for me to commit to exercising again, to slip back into the routine I had two years ago when my mom made me go exercising everyday.

But how?

I need motivation, a reason to keep going. Then I thought of one, my future.  I need to be in better shape in order to find a job, work, and even start a family, maybe.  I also thought of writing because writing was the first long-term commitment for me.  So I thought if I can keep writing for this long, why not commit to going to the gym for just as long?

Since the end of March, I’ve been committed to go to gym five days a week while taking a break on the weekends and let my muscles rest.  Since then, I’ve successfully gone back to the weight I was over a year ago and I’m still on my way to lose more.  Now, I’m not only feeling better than before but by exercising, I feel like I’m thinking more clearly and doing better in school.

Annual Christmas TV Programs: What’s not to Like?


Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s always hardly anything to watch on TV.   Continue reading “Annual Christmas TV Programs: What’s not to Like?”