Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Face

I was absentmindedly flipping through my dad's Fortune magazine today when she hit me.

Baby!Tanya, that is. (Tanya is one of the main characters in my WIP). I have a fairly strong mental image of her as a teenager, so I was unprepared to see this feisty little girl staring at me from the pages of a business magazine. I was both amused and surprised, so I ripped the page out. Hopefully my dad won't mind.

Actually, I doubt he'll notice at all. However, he probably will ask me why there's a ripped out magazine page on his computer desk. I should probably go move it. But I know I won't, at least not until I have enough materials to make a little character collage. I think it would be fun to make one for her and the other MCs!

Of course, in the middle of all that fun I can't forget to actually, you know, write the story, but I do plan to get it all done somehow. The question is how/when I'm going to do everything, since I only have two days to pack everything for going back to college. And god, am I ever out of shape!

I plan to get myself together by the middle of this quarter. I'm totally going to do it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

I've always loved stories about international schools. There's just something so exciting about the whole experience of going to a new place, making new friends, and having adventures in unfamiliar cities. That in itself is something I can always appreciate, but now that I have had my own study abroad experience in London, my favorite part of this "genre" has become the personal metamorphosis of the protagonist. It's impossible to go somewhere new for an extended period of time and not change to some extent, and these novels do a great job of showing how these inner shifts can play a huge factor in the way relationships with people back home, as well as the new friends abroad, can change.

My old favorite book in this genre was Bloomability, by Sharon Creech, but I think I have a new favorite that blows it out of the water because of the explosive and wonderful relationship between the two main characters Anna and Etienne: Anna and the French Kiss!

Anna and the French Kiss is such a wonderful book. I just finished reading it yesterday, but I've been picking it up again and again and again to read my favorite passages. It made me laugh out loud several times. It made me feel like a giddy teenager again (although, considering I'm only twenty, that wasn't that long ago), but most of all, it made me wish I was back in London so I could try and find my own Etienne- who, despite his name (and nationality, as you'll see if you read the book), is quite the Brit. Anna, in the passionate way it describes Paris along with its characters, breathes life into the city so delightfully that I want to go back there with this book in tow.

Anna and the French Kiss has been getting excellent reviews, and I honestly have nothing new to say that doesn't repeat what so many other bloggers have already said about this wonderful book. But from one former study abroad student to another (even though she is fictional), thanks for your story! You've inspired me to try and put the experiences I had in London into prose. Hopefully, I can reach others the same way you and Etienne reached me. :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Why The Story Weaver, and why the Weaving Maid?

On a surface level, it seems fairly rudimentary; weaving is a great metaphor for the process of writing a story; weaving is a painstaking and slow process, and in a tapestry, there are many different threads of various colors working together to form a cohesive pattern. There no room for error if you want to weave something worth wearing and/or showing off, as even one thread out of place becomes glaringly obvious. And so it is with writing as well.

But that's not why I chose to give my new writing blog this name.

It actually has to do with an old Korean folktale known as Weaving Maid and the Celestial Herdboy that has stayed with me ever since I first read it as an elementary schooler in my favorite book from Scholastic's wonderful Royal Diaries series, Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars. The story itself was used as a metaphor for the relationship between Sondok and her best friend, who end up separated from each other due to a sequence of political events I'm going to purposely keep vague in case any of you want to read it. (You should, by the way, it's one of my favorite children's novels).

For whatever reason, not only the novel, but this story, stuck in my mind, and inspired me to think of myself as a story weaver. It's not easy, and often, it's very hard to stay focused because of the people in your life. But for a writer, the call of the pen is inevitable, and sometimes, sacrifices are a necessary consequence of that calling. And so, this blog is meant to chronicle my struggles to maintain a balance between the responsibilities of everyday life and the wonderfully distracting world of the written arts! Hopefully at some point the two will converge (i.e., I'll get published). But until then, it's just the blogging life for me!