Letter from a Desperate Father

Happy New Year! Hoping for an auspicious year in writing, yesterday–January 1, 2016–I published a short story called Letter from a Desperate Father. It’s currently free on Smashwords (available in all ebook formats). It’s 99 cents on Amazon, and I’m the process of persuading Amazon to make it permanently free. I’m pretty proud of the story. It’s only 20 pages long, so please consider reading it (click here to read for free) and leaving a review. In other news, I finished writing two books in 2015. Two! So 2015 was successful in that way, but not as successful as I… Read more

Mount St. Helens

I climbed Mount St. Helens!   My husband and I first visited Portland, OR (and the surrounding area) in 2007 and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. We returned in 2009 and 2010, and during those first three trips it was always overcast so we couldn’t see any of the Cascade Range volcanoes. On our next trip in May 2013, we had a stretch of gorgeous sunny days, allowing us to finally see–and be blown away by–Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. (Mount Rainier joined the list later, once we got high enough and close enough to… Read more

A fan of the slow burn (oh, and New Zealand!)

It’s been over a month since I returned from my two-week trip to New Zealand and I’ve finally organized and uploaded the photos. You can see them here. There are quite a few pages of photos. If you only have time for one, go to this page for truly stunning photos of our flight over the Southern Alps. That flight is currently one of my all-time top life experiences, and it left me with an awe-hangover for the rest of the day. (If you have time for only four more pages, these have the next most gorgeous photos: Two, Three,… Read more

“Laika in Lisan”: One year out

Laika in Lisan was published on Amazon Kindle on April 27, 2014. (The paperback version became available the following month.) So, one year later… What are my thoughts? The good: What I love about self-publishing is the control and immediacy. I wrote the book I wanted to write, and it was made available to readers in an extremely short period of time. It was challenging to get reviews (in case you’re wondering, I never let family or friends review the book), but with persistent promotion I did get it into readers’ hands. And that was AWESOME, because the feedback I got from… Read more

New book update and South Korea trip

Long time no talk! It’s been over four months since I last updated, but I promise it’s for a good reason. I’ve spent nearly every spare moment working on my new book, and it’s almost done! I finished the first draft on February 15, and since then it’s gone through three revisions after feedback from three successive beta readers. Right now I’m doing a second post-revision reading to catch errors and inconsistencies, and to make sure the revisions I made work. As soon as I finish this current round, I plan to begin querying agents. Please cross your fingers for… Read more

Best books of 2014 + writing update + vote for Laika!

I’m very happy to say that I rang in the New Year with my second best writing day of my life to date! On December 31st I wrote over 6,000 words for my in-progress novel. In fact, I was writing when midnight struck (I’m obviously not a socialite). My best writing day so far was a year ago (January 2014) when I wrote over 7,000 words for Laika in Lisan in one day. Usually I’m satisfied if I can manage 1,000 words in a single day, so 6,000 on New Year’s Eve is a huge deal for me. I’m loving… Read more

Travel photos and 2014 reading challenge

Finally, after many months of both procrastination and laborious work, all of my nice travel photos are in one spot: Here! I hope you enjoy them. (I think my photography skills have improved slightly with time. I also got a great new camera this time last year.) Obviously, I love the pacific northwest. The next set of photos I’ll be adding will be from Seoul, South Korea, which I’m visiting for work in March. After that… NEW ZEALAND! (That one is pure vacation fun. We’re going late May/early June 2015 for two weeks.) I began 2014 with a modest goal to… Read more

“I’m back!” + WIP update + recommendations

These past four months were extremely busy for me at work (in my one update since that time, I mentioned I’d taken on the workload of a colleague on medical leave). For the first two months I managed to make consistent, albeit slow, progress on my fiction writing. However, in late October/early November, my workload destroyed me as I took on one more time-consuming responsibility that lasted for three weeks. It was an ugly time and I felt on the verge of a breakdown. I went from practicing Korean studiously every night–I was up to 200 words learned–to not touching… Read more

My existential crisis about goals and free time

For many years I devoted myself to pursuing singular goals. For six years my goal was to finish graduate school with a strong CV, and achieving that goal left little time for anything else. I loved my first job after graduate school, but it meant my husband and I lived in different parts of the country. For three years, we were driven by a single goal: Get desirable jobs close to each other. This meant working tirelessly to have strong CVs so we would be competitive applicants for the extremely few jobs within easy driving distance of my stepdaughter. Achieving… Read more

The perils of a good book

Good books destroy my ability to lead a healthy, productive life. Arghh! I just returned from an awesome two-week vacation in Oregon and Washington. (I’ll share pictures later.) Right before I left, I began the second book in Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy. I was thrilled to be traveling because the long flight meant I’d have six uninterrupted hours of reading. However, it was a 6am flight and I ended up sleeping (which is unusual for me when flying), so I didn’t get to finish the book until the return flight. As soon as I finished it, I immediately began… Read more