Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ticking Clocks

The older I get, the faster time seems to move. Birthdays come and go; new years rise and fall; seasons flourish and pass.

Yet I seem to be unchanged, no matter what happens in between.

This is an ever-present lie I tell myself because I'd like to believe I'm an adversary to change, rather than a low-key believer. But as I look around my dirty, but distant apartment-- farther from anything comfortable or familiar than I've ever been in life-- I am feeling time rushing not away from but toward me. February hit me like a hurricane. And I already feel March creeping (no, sprinting) on up.

Today is Feb. 6, I return to work on the 11th. I'm taking a Korean language class starting on the 27th. Most likely, I'll be meeting up with a friend sometime in between.

And though I'm excited and looking forward to each day, I feel time lurching forward. It's hard not to wonder, "How do I enjoy today--- this moment?" I keep rushing ahead and at this rate it will be August. It feels like I have to decide now, aqui, ahora, what I'll be doing with my whole life. It's like college apps all over again, only there isn't a two year buffer zone where I can up and change majors, change my mind.

Time is moving.

So am I.

I think I'm just nervous because in about three days, I'll be meeting Angel Friend's parents. And Angel Friend's parents do not English. So I have to use Korean.

And I WANT to take the conversation level class, but am I ready? I need time, much more time. I need to study. So why am I doing this instead?

I'm freaking out because time is running up to me. It's running and it's waving like, "Heeeeeeeeeyyyyyy!!!!" And part of me wants to say hi back, but it's kinda awkward because the other part wants to run the other way. I know time is bound to eventually catch up with me. Can I be brave now and fake confidence? Or is it too late to break out the running shoes and run away?

Life, stop being difficult,

Friday, January 29, 2016

A New, New Year

Now that I'm in a new place, there are new traditions and customs that I have to learn. As an American, I can really appreciate a good holiday. But being in Korea, I get to celebrate the new year twice. There's nothing better than having time to reflect. And plan. And be grateful. And say thanks. And be with people who care about you. And to tell people how much you care about them.

I've been lucky this year. My sisters came all the way across the world to celebrate Christmas with me and make plans for life after January 1st. But 설날 (Lunar New Year) is just around the bend and I get to bring in the new year all over again. I've been thinking about what I should do, who I should share it with.

It's not every day you get to enjoy fresh starts and firsts.

It's not every day you get to enjoy life at all.

So when my friend Eunji invited me to visit her hometown for the holiday, I jumped at the opportunity. Next weekend is 설날. I wasn't excited before, but now, I can't wait!

I want to take about a millisecond to be grateful for the chances, the people, and the moments God continues granting me.

I'm thankful for my friends and family.

I'm thankful Netflix has come to Korea.

I'm thankful for the jobs I have and the jobs that are now possible because of them.

I'm thankful for the encounters and experiences I've had in Korea so far.

I'm thankful for words and the always present problem of never having enough to express just how blessed I am and have been.

On 설날, I'll take the time to reflect again. But I'm happy to say I'm already moving forward.

Always have been.

Nearly there, nearly there,

Commenting on Comments: 

Laila: You are another person I'm truly grateful for. Thanks for all of your love. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Little High, Little Low

Since I last wrote, some exciting things have happened for me in terms of my writing related goals. I joined a team of wonderful and talented writers that are working on a Korean fashion webzine, and the first article that I helped out with (edits, yays!) just went live this morning. And even my fiction writing is coming along. WELCOME TO OCTOBER has been featured on Storybird's "New and Noted" page after only a month of me working on it.

But I've been feeling less than satisfied these days. Content in some areas, but completely unmotivated in others.

I don't know why I'm like this: it feels like I have a million things I want to do but can only do one thing wholeheartedly. And then after that's done, I just don't know what to do. As if that first to-do list never existed--- as if those desires are less for some reason. Either because of timing or the fear of not finishing--- whatever.

I read Lisi Harrison's blah-g post today about intent and... I didn't say this there, but I really think "intent" is my problem. I WANT to do all of these things and I INTEND to get them all done and have plans for world (and to-do list) domination. But there is something wrong with me somewhere inside. I rarely continue on to DO anything I intended to do.

So I find myself here, you know. Typing blog posts instead of stories. Typing stories instead of articles. Writing articles instead of learning Korean. Learning Korean instead of writing anything. And somewhere in the cycle feeling lost, confused, exhausted, frustrated, sorry, and sometimes all of the above at once.

Sometimes I really think I'm doing something. Like I'm really getting closer to completing one of my goals or like I'm really gaining skills in whatever.

But sometimes I wake up and sit down at my computer or with my textbooks and just feel like I'm wasting time. Like I really need to reevaluate what I'm doing--- ask myself, "Desi, what are you doing???"

Maybe I just feel this way as I restlessly wait to depart for Korea. Once I get there, I KNOW I'm going to have a different focus. I'll have to teach-- learn how to teach-- and maybe that's why as I sit here, I'm just like, "I SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING!!!" Or something else.

But not knowing WHY I get these crazies... not knowing HOW to deal with them... it drives me nuts. Like Lisi, I am not one to wallow. I am not one to feel sorry for myself. I like to figure out what's wrong so I can fix it. But I can't FIX this part of me, apparently. I mean, I've tried.

On days like this, instead of looking forward, I do take a moment to look back. I look back to see what I HAVE accomplished. I wrote 500 words with this blog post. I promoted my Mutzine lovelies on social media. The article's getting a little attention. My story has been featured on a site I just found out about two seconds ago. I fed myself today and am fortunate enough to be able to say I'm about to hop in the shower.

All good.

There is nothing wrong with what I'm doing in hindsight, but in the moment, it feels like I'm doing life all wrong. So I thought I'd take myself out of the moment for a while with this bit of randomness. It helps just to talk a bit. It's nice to reflect. And maybe now that I have, I can start feeling excitement for one of the things on my to-do list.

Apples and chocolates,

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Some Things Never Change

I realized something today. I have pretty much been the same person from the day I was born to the millisecond in time I spend finding the words to mean "right now."

I will still look at you funny if I don't know you.

I will still make a fuss if I'm hungry, but be totally silent if upset.

I still love stories and the people who tell them.

I still want to travel, learn languages, hit the lottery (and my backup plan is still to become an even more professional bum).

I'm still writing. I write stuff. But there's a pattern, you know, to what happens when I decide to be brave and share.

When I start sharing my words, I write more and more. I write chapter after chapter, notes upon notes, and I even want to blog.

I've been writing and sharing some stories. If you're interested in those stories, join me over at Storybird where I'm sharing something old that I keep going back to and something new, but bittersweet. Although I can't exactly say I'm "back from the dead," I am writing again. So you might hear from me more often than you have in the past year. That's for sure. Exciting things are happening for me. I'm moving to another country for a year, learning languages, and old enough to play the lotto. Plan A might be working out for me after all.

Plan B don't sound too bad, though, to be honest.


Just keep swimming,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thoughts from the Grave

I've been staring at a blank Word document for ten minutes. The words for this story aren't even in my head, nevermind on the page. I know this story better than anything else--- know what I want it to do for me. And yet (and yet) the writing is hard.

I haven't written actual words in forever. I've written things in Korean (안녕하세요!) and in text messages, but not for rizzle WORDS. 

You know what I mean, I think. The kind that knit worlds. That start revolutions and raise the dead. That build castles and save the day. 

3,000 words. Over the past seven days, I've attempted to spin 3,000 of these words. And it's a start--- I have started--- but it's hard. It's. Hard. 

It's hard to jump back into writing when you've been neglecting the craft. It's hard to jumpstart something that's sat and festered and idled forever and a day. 

It's hard. But nothing is impossible. So I'm writing, or at least trying to. Although I'm not sure when MV will be a THING, I know I'm going to get it there. You guys helped me through PW. Here we go again. 


Saturday, March 16, 2013


Hello, Everyone,

I started blogging again. I know. It's, like, a miracle. I just finished reading Victoria Schwab's THE ARCHIVED and was suddenly inspired to start talking about books again. So that's exactly what I'm going to do.

A friend of mine knows me and how much I love talking. She said to me recently, "Do you blog about all this STUFF you talk to me about?" By STUFF she meant literary jargon. I answered honestly with a, "not anymore." She asked me why. "Why don't you? You're good at it." I told her I didn't know, but that was a lie. Every time I say that, I'm lying through my freaking teeth.

I do know why I don't talk about this STUFF anymore. Why I don't talk about much of anything anymore. Why I've gone silent. Since I've come to college it's become ever so clear that when I speak, when I try to talk about things, other people aren't understanding what it is I'm saying. Not literally and not with the passion or the intrigue with which I understand them.

I've met a lot of smart people here--- brilliant people--- who want to talk politics. Talk social justice issues. Talk math, science, computers, art. Talk about recycling and how jank it is that California hasn't legalized gay marriage or marijuana. And I don't hear them either. It's not that I don't care about these people--- these brilliant people--- or the things they care about, or anything other than books, books, BOOKS! But I don't have the same passion for those issues. I used to be afraid to admit that. A big part of me still is. I'm afraid that I'm not intelligent enough to speak my mind. That it doesn't count, doesn't matter, that I read a book and really, really, really think you should read it, too. 

I have ALL OF THE FEELS for Victoria Schwab's THE ARCHIVED right now because I love Victoria Schwab. My official review will go up tomorrow on Elsewhere but here is the unofficial reason--- the truth--- of why I can't stop recommending this book enough.

This book taught me it's okay to feel. To need. To want. To have something to say AND SAY IT. Taught me that the past is past and present's present. That it's so easy to forget, that we're only made up of what we remember. That I should start making memories. Archiving myself. Making my own History. It made me tingle with anticipation for the future. Made me want to talk my freaking head off.

I am intelligent. I have a mind and things on it. And a big reason I love this novel is because I love the author. She always knows what to say AND how to say it.

My Lit Professor would kill me for admitting this because this is EXACTLY the sort of thing Wimsatt and Beardsley would have raged about--- this is EXACTLY what they knew I'd say and it's WHY we should read novels as if the author weren't a factor--- as if he didn't exist.

But here it is:

I loved THE ARCHIVED EVEN MORE because I love Victoria Schwab. Love what she's about. Love her mind. Love her thoughts. Love how she processes the world. Love that it reflects my own thoughts, my own process, but translates into beautiful, creative people and places, translates into The Narrows and The Archived and into Owen, Lindsey, Mackenzie. I've read reviews that say Schwab's writing is slow, but I've learned it's deliberate. I've learned to be patient, to wait, to get over my need for kissing and answers and to-the-point convos and noise and I've learned to appreciate her silence.

Because what Schwab doesn't say is just as important as what she does. And what she does say makes me FEEL when she finally says it. And the way she goes about saying it makes me feel ALL OF THE FEELS because I have to be patient. And I feel everything because I love, love, love this author for being a wonderful--- a beautiful--- person.

Let me just say one last thing: I cried when I read the Acknowledgements. I managed to hold on through all the pain, tension, darkness, action, STUFF that was this novel. But when I read those acknowledgements, y'all, I CRIED. Because I didn't care one bit what Wimsatt and Beardsley or freaking Derrida or my professor would have to say about the "ethics" of how I read this novel. I read those acknowledgements and saw the beauty of the author and realized that the two could never be separated--- not really. And if I loved one, there would be room for the other. So I squeezed. And now I can't recommend this novel enough.

Happy reading,
P.S. See you tomorrow on Elsewhere.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Being Writer: On Writing as an Art Part II--- There's no App for That

If you read Part I of this little shebang, you'll remember me saying that I have a bad habit of trying to save the world, even though I've known that I can't actually do that. It's impossible.

After talking with Molly (it was a great convo. You should totes check it out. I cut out all the irrelevant bits. Now go read it!), I realize that saving the world isn't really my job. My job is to live. To learn. To teach others what I've learned. To do. To do some more. To live some more. And then, just like Finals, I'm DONE.

Guess what I learned this week? I learned that it's okay if you wake up and discover that you don't like the writing process. It's okay to not be a writer. It's okay. As Molly said, you've got to love the process to be a part of the field. But if you don't, that's okay. You can find a process you do love, and you can work your butt off until you're where you're destined to be.

Because writing is an art. It's a science, too, if we're working off of Molly's "art: creation:: science: discovery" analogy. Writing is about the creation of worlds. The discovery of truth. The combination of both, used to make connections with real live people and to express an appreciation for the genius that is mankind. God is SO good sometimes. Because I get all kinds  of excited when I think about how awesome He made us to be. We all have something genuinely special about us. Something we can excel at. Something we can work hard for. But it all comes back to creation and discovery. Man has a NEED to create and/or to discover. Think really hard about what you want to do in life. Tell me this isn't true.

And guys. Writing has BOTH of these! My toes are tapping as I type this because it makes me so happy that I've discovered why I love this field so much. I'm an artist. I'm an ARTIST. Because I love to create, but there's no WAY my mind could be at peace if I weren't learning and telling everyone about everything I learned as the knowledge came to me.

An artist isn't hindered by too many boundaries except for those set forth for them by the size of their canvas. As a writer, I have so many platforms. My canvas could be as small as a Hallmark card or as big as a blank Word document and all I have to do is fill it.

Mentally, I think artists suffer from copious amounts of self-doubt. What if I'm not good enough?... What if my work isn't good enough?... Artists share SO much of their minds--- of their souls--- with the world that it's hard for these doubts to keep at bay. In fact, I hear they never really go away. But the difference between a writer and an author isn't publication. It's perseverance  Writers are just as much of an artist as an author is--- we're just undiscovered yet.

And like all undiscovered artists, we should be working fervidly to hone our craft. To get better at the skills in which we know we could improve. We need to KEEP. GOING. Life doesn't end with rejection and neither does passion. Or skill. Or time.

The longer it takes you to realize you're an artist, the longer it's going to take for you to take your art seriously. You don't have to be the best writer to have a story to tell. But you will have to invest in your craft--- some artists use pens or paintbrushes; you might have to invest in freelance editors, find critique partners, take some classes, or conduct a bit of research. But don't think you don't need these tools (here's a post or two on the "tool" matter for further reading). You're an artist. Remember? Start acting like it. Do what all good artists do and practice. Embrace the journey. And remember that it's okay if you find out you don't love the process. Writing's a ride you got on all on your own; you really can unbuckle your seat belt and get off at any time.

Happy Writing,
P.S. Arianna is no longer doing WanWc with us. :( BUT we need to welcome Laila! She's our new team member and I'm beyond glad to have you on board, Girly. :)
P.P.S. You can still become an Ninja!

Commenting on Comments
Prerna- Woot! I hope you found the most awesomest CPs to look after that manuscript of yours. I'm so rooting for you, Lovely!

Laila- Thanks for sending again, Love. And also, thank you! I take my song choices vair seriously. Lol! I think, originally, the email just went to my junk mail. Sorry, again, but I'm glad you're with us now. :)