Tag Archive | Social media

I’m a Troper!!!

I began this writing journey many years ago beginning with a story that I penned with a girl in my fourth grade class. The story was short, simple, and contained the “f” word.

And it was terrible!

My oldest son is the same age I was when I wrote it and I’m still perplexed with my younger self. Yet, it was my first foray into a lifetime of writing and honing this beautiful craft. My stories and style have improved tremendously over the years (thank goodness), but that cringe-worthy story remains folded up in the corner of a drawer reminding me that while I wasn’t always prolific, I have always loved to write.

My writing journey has been a long one. I didn’t release my first book until nearly two years ago, and when I did I was filled with such fear and trepidation. It was like standing naked in front of a sold-out stadium, baring everything as I held my breath and waited for the laughter. I have always been a fairly private person, sharing only with people when I completely trust them. I’ve been this way all of my life, with only a few people who I allow into the realm of my secret craziness, completely.

In fact, I am just now becoming comfortable talking about my writing with others because it’s so personal. Writing about my writing always seems so much easier. Writing about everything has always been easier.

But I have loved everyday and every moment of this journey. Now, I get to take another step.
I’ve been accepted by the hybrid press, Booktrope. To say that I am ecstatic about having a publisher is an understatement. I LOVE self-publishing and the Indie community is absolutely amazing, but the Team concept of Booktrope has an allure that I can’t ignore. To engage with others and work toward a common goal, everyone sharing in the success, is a theme that I am all-to-familiar with in my grown-up job so this is a natural fit. Sharing my writing has helped me to become a creature who is more comfortable sharing out in the open, unlike the closed-off, impersonal person I once was.

I feel privileged to have been recognized and accepted by such a great group of people, and I am so ecstatic about having the opportunity to have help building an audience for my books.  This is where you can help.

I’ll be looking for a launch team who will help me when the time comes, to share, tweet, Facebook, blog, and inundate their news feed and everyone they know with news about my books or about new releases. If you are interested in being on that Team, you’ll receive certain perks which may involve getting advanced copies of my books before anyone else, being a part of a private Facebook group, having direct access to me AND the opportunity to receive some fun stuff in the mail, as well as have input on projects I’ll be working on (such as… what will we name this group?). In return, I’ll ask you to read my books, write HONEST reviews (even if you don’t like the book), and share, share, share!!

I hope you’ll consider joining me and being more involved in this amazing journey!! When the Team has been assembled, you’ll receive an email to let you know you are in. We may add Team-members later if the need arises, but only the first select will receive all of the perks! Join early because the early bird will get cooler stuff.

Sign up here… http://eepurl.com/bf9ugH

 

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Racism-Black and White And A Little Yellow

A local news reporter said an incredibly stupid thing today on the morning broadcast, and in reading the tweets and Facebook posts, you would think she was the biggest racist on the planet. There are comments calling for her immediate termination, referring to her as a racist (or worse), and maligning her character. Maybe she is a racist, but it’s highly doubtful because by all accounts, she and her family are very good people who are not racist in any way.  Although her comment was extremely ignorant, it doesn’t appear to be malicious or intentional, yet many tweet that it doesn’t matter.

I know I may draw some negative backlash for even saying that, but this called is called “Inside Jen’s Mind” so I’ll say what I think. And what I think is that racism is a funny thing, something we are always looking for in everything. It’s not funny-haha, but funny-strange, because it’s often assumed but not always true, though it is always divisive.

First let me tell you a bit about me. I was adopted from Korea when I was around the age of two. Abandoned by my own parents, I was adopted by a Caucasian couple who couldn’t have children of their own, neither of them having a racist bone in their body. My dad taught me that racism was stupid and that people of every race could be jerks, and he was right. I remember when I would come home after someone made fun of my race and instead of getting upset, Dad would say “They make fun of you because you can take it. If they’re picking on you, then they’re leaving someone else alone.” So I made that my mantra, knowing that I was strong enough to take it, even though I was a small little girl with slanted eyes and olive skin who didn’t look like anyone else I knew.

I went to school in an era when they were integrating the schools to ensure there was diversity. It didn’t matter much to me, because I had probably met two people in my entire lifetime that even slightly resembled me. So instead of going to school five minutes from my house to go to school with kids that didn’t look like me, I was bussed thirty minutes from my house to go to school with kids who didn’t look like me. Diversity didn’t mean much to me at that time. I was as diverse as it got, neither black, white, or hispanic and there were many times when I was out-of-place and felt very alone. I would love to tell you that all of my experiences were positive ones, but they just weren’t.

People were ugly, adults and children alike. A relative who I never really knew asked my mom if I was going to have surgery to ‘have my eyes fixed,’ and most of the time people just assumed I was “Chinese.” Often-times kids would make strange ignorant noises that were supposed to resemble Asian people speaking, and the questions like “What are you?” were asked often, even into adulthood. When I was little, I used to feel my eyes beginning to slant even more when faced with those situations, unable to hide the fact that I just didn’t look like everyone else. Today they call that “bullying” but back then it was just “kids being mean” and I knew I would have to face it all of my life because there was no surgery to made my eyes ‘less slanted.’

Looking back, I think Dad saw something in me that I had yet to see in myself, because I was strong enough to take it, and I did. Aside from elementary school, those events rarely drove me to tears, and most kids chose to pick on the girl with the lisp and the unibrow instead of the girl with the slanted eyes. As I grew older, kids weren’t as mean to me, and by that time I had made enough friends that I was usually left alone.

When I was growing up my family was white, my friends were a mixture of black, white, hispanic, Asian, and my best friend from seventh grade through high school was black. My race wasn’t important and it didn’t make me special, better, or worse, than anyone else. Nobody cared that I was Korean and I found myself finally fitting in and finding my place in the world.

But the world is very different now in countless ways. It’s more hypocritical and full of hatred which I think makes it difficult for us to look beyond our outward appearance, because our differences are constantly being highlighted in the media. The social climate is uptight and unforgiving, and nobody seems to be able to laugh at themselves and we are obligated to be offended by everything that happens in the world. We assume everything is meant to be offensive, so we oblige. I realized the world was changing when it became taboo to call an Asian person ‘Oriental’ or when the term “politically correct” became gospel, rather than policy.  Instead of coming together, we push apart, expecting and waiting to be pissed off about something… anything.

So says the Asian girl.

The scars of being teased and made fun of because I was different, certainly run deep. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have someone say horrible and ugly things to you just because of how you look, unless it’s actually happened to you. As a child and even as an adult, I’ve had people of all shapes, sizes, color, race, and nationality call me names, make ignorant comments, make gestures, assumptions, and even make their eyes slanted so they would look like me. But I call that ignorance and stupidity, and I refuse to let it change my heart or make me a prisoner. If you know me, you know that I’m not above telling someone to “screw off” if the situation calls for it, and I believe racism is one of those situations that certainly calls for it.

My youngest child came home from school after being “bullied” by another child, larger and older than him. My youngest, is my mini-me and not only looks identical to me when I was younger, but is just as stubborn and just as apt stand up for himself. What really broke my heart about the situation is that the other child jumped right to calling him a “little Chinese boy” as a way to put him down and told him to “Go back to China where he came from.” It brought back flashbacks from my childhood, but it also made me incredibly angry not just because my youngest is my baby, but because this other child obviously doesn’t know my son at all. My son is laugh-out-loud funny, irreverent, inappropriate, and incredibly charming. He’s the boy who will break the girls hearts because he won’t be tied down. He loves to play games, technology, and electronics of every kind, and did I mention that he’s funny as Hell? But this other boy just saw him as that “little Chinese boy” and I thought how sad it is that the world hasn’t really changed, after all.

Instead, we live in a world where not only are we still incredibly ignorant and say stupid, stupid things. Do I think that little boy is a racist? Absolutely not. I do think he’s ignorant, and while I hope his parents set him straight, I’m also realistic and understand that he may get that from home. Yet, I’m not offended by the situation and we’ve talked about it with my son because I’m sure it’s not the last time he’ll ever hear something like that again. I’m not teaching him to be tolerant of ignorant behavior, but hopefully he’ll learn to just see things and people for what they are. Hopefully it will motivate him to be his best, regardless of the stupidity that may surround him.

I’m not naive and I know racism exists and is alive and well and toxic in our world. But I don’t believe that we live in a world where everything and everyone is racially motivated. I do believe we live in a world full of moronic, stupid, ignorant, idiots who say the most ridiculous things and I think it is important to differentiate between the two.

We are living in a world that lacks levity because we are entirely too sensitive, and all that ends up doing is dividing us and breeding contempt, and more hatred. As a society, we are always looking for a scapegoat, an answer to our problems but the easy answer isn’t always the right one. We need to stop and learn to see things for what they are. Racism isn’t always so obvious, isn’t always so black and white, and  in simplified terms I think Webster’s still gets it right.

Racism-Webster’s dictionary

noun
1.
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
2.
a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3.
hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Rodney King~”Can we all just get along?”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sONfxPCTU0

The Beatles~All You Need is Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I

Marvin Gaye~What’s Going On https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I

Getting Ready CAE…

I said I would blog every day before the Cleveland Author Event, which was clearly a big fat lie.

I have probably blogged LESS than usual for the same reason I haven’t been able to write “the end” to my current work in progress, I Run to You. It’s just a little thing called LIFE.

Writing soothes and strengthens me, but it’s not all of me. It doesn’t completely define me, though it’s always been a driving force in my life even when I didn’t know it. Anytime someone is passionate about something in life, I believe it unknowingly propels them forward in life. And while I desire to write daily, it just gets too crazy to write the way I wish I could.

And I’m okay with that.

The Cleveland Author Event is in one week and one day, and I am a lot less freaked out about it than I was a month ago. I have a dress, shoes, books, swag, a banner, pretty pens, and chocolate (a must). As I begin this blog entry I am sitting under a hair dryer getting my hair done, then nails after. I’ll be all beautified by two of my favorite women, Drema and Brenda.

So I believe I’m ready.

And I’m so excited! I’ll get to meet people I’ve only ever talked to or communicated with in emails or via social media. To be able to put names with personalities and faces, will be an extreme pleasure. I can’t wait to spend quality time with such talented and successful authors, many of whom have answered questions and been so supportive, even though they probably thought I was some mad stalker in the beginning.

This past year had been such a wonderfully amazing year, full of so many new experiences. Between writing, releasing two books, blogging, interacting with so many incredible new people, and becoming more open to the world, it has truly been a whirlwind. But I’ll take it! I’m much happier than I’ve been with myself in a long time as I’ve struggled to reach my potential. While life is this constant journey, it often feels as though we’ll never get to where we are going. We are always searching for the destination instead of just enjoying the road.

I’ve blogged before about how writing a book was on my bucket list. And now that I’ve almost completed my third, I realize I’m definitely enjoying the road, for the first time. When I finished writing my first two books, I had this incessant urge to start the third, as well as a fourth. I see now that as long as I continue to have a passion for writing then I will write, the way I’ve been doing it. Around my marriage, my children, my career, and around life. I’ll write because I get to and because I understand how lucky I am to do so many things I love.

I just had a lovely lady on my Facebook page tell me I am “on her list” of authors to visit! I don’t think I’ve ever been on anyone’s list before, so I am super excited to meet her. It’s my first big signing and I am beyond ecstatic to get to be a part of it!

I’m sorry I lied and didn’t blog every day. I think I must have been crazy or drunk when I said I would because there is no way it was ever going to happen. But I’m happy I get to do it now. And if you’re at the Cleveland Author Event, please stop and say Hi :). Even if I’m not on your list, or you’ve never read any of my work, if you’re reading this post then I would love to meet you!

So… I’m ready.

But first, to finish planning a seven year olds birthday party that is in two days…

Blog Challenge Day 25-My 5 Favorite Blogs

The beautiful thing about writing is that you get to meet so many wonderfully talented people who share your love of words and telling stories. Blogging has been a wonderful experience for me and I have enjoyed it tremendously.

The best part has been reading so many amazing blogs and meeting people who have so much to share. My 5 favorite blogs have been:

http://khmazzola.wordpress.com/
Kristen is a very sweet, generous writer who shares her work and the work of others with the world. Her blog is both fun and inspiring and reflects her passion and love for all things writing.

http://novelgrounds.com/category/books/
Novel Grounds (Megan Gallt) was one of the first Blogs to give this new Author a Spotlight on her blog. Her enthusiasm and support were both encouraging and supportive. It’s a wonderful growing blog that updates almost daily with new books and authors.

http://www.roomwithbooks.com/
This is also a growing blog, which I have come to love and appreciate. Patricia’s (Green) words of encouragement and her positive approach is refreshing. She also wrote a review on Leaving Eva, which was both thorough and definitive which was much appreciated. She has some wonderful books and reviews on her blog which are interesting and enlightening.

http://candysraves.com/
This is a great blog, which much more than books. Candy’s (Beauchamp) chose Leaving Eva out of numerous books on her TBR pile and gave it a very honest, frank review. I appreciated that she gave me her true opinion, which was positive with some much needed constructive criticism, which I have since applied. I was drawn to her website because she’s a busy mom who passionately shares her opinion about whatever she chooses, and makes no bones about the fact that it’s her website, her opinion.

http://crystalsmanyreviews.blogspot.com/?zx=227046bb6ab95d38
Crystal Marie gave me one of my first reviews, and I loved her honesty as well. Her blog has grown tremendously, and I love following her on Facebook and reading her reviews. She reviews different genres and her reviews are funny and fresh. I’ve really enjoyed reading her work.

There are so many wonderful writers and reviewers. I also love:
http://authortlgray.wordpress.com/
This blog is imaginative and thought provoking. I’ve enjoyed every blog I have read here.

AND

http://projectlighttolife.wordpress.com/
SImply put, this blog is inspiring and beautiful! A great read when you are feeling low in life.