Happy February! Here are a few updates to my publication journey. Thank you for following along!
I finished the first round of edits for WHITE MULBERRY this past weekend and whew! It was a month-long marathon, but an exciting one. I deepened characters, dramatized scenes, raised stakes and clarified plot to make WHITE MULBERRY even stronger. I posted these photos on social media showing what revising a novel looks like. Lots of typing at my desk, spreading out on the floor, stickies, index cards, pencils, pens, and water!
I just received the second pass edits from my editors (yes already), so I’ll tackle them once I let the feedback sink in for a day or two. Polishing a novel takes time and diligence, but I’m learning so much about making my writing better and my story even richer! I’m very grateful to have my talented editing team helping me. My deadline is the end of this month to complete revisions to this next round of edits. I’m taking a deep breath and diving in again!
My next writing event is coming up February 8th in Kansas City, MO! The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is holding its annual conference where thousands of writers, students, literary magazines, publishers, and others in the publishing industry will gather to share, learn, and connect. I will be participating in a panel called “Stop Being So Dramatic” to talk about how I turned my family memoir into fiction to deal with some of the more painful and traumatic aspects of my story. Stop by if you’re at AWP!
My events in January were so fun! For the publishing panel at the Palos Verdes Library, we each read an excerpt of our writing and answered questions from a standing room only audience. At Pages A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, I engaged in conversation with author and friend Jimin Han about her novel The Apology to a packed crowd too, despite the rain. The lunch right before with Jimin as a guest at my book club was also well attended and enjoyable. We are celebrating reading our 16th book written by Asian American writers, the next one being The Fetishist by Katherine Min. I returned to the Palos Verdes Library for the Anthology Reading where I read my essay about traveling to Korea with my daughter. It was a busy month!
What I’m Reading
This part of my newsletter is dedicated to books that have inspired me to become a writer.
The Namesake is about a family from Calcutta transforming into Americans from the point of view of a boy named Gogol, who is given an odd name that he wants to change. As the jacket copy says, this is a book about the “immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations.” I felt this book was speaking to me when I first read it in 2003, as a new mother and daughter of immigrants, and it is still one of my favorite books. It’s not surprising that WHITE MULBERRY is a portrait of a young woman torn between identities, worlds and within herself as well.
I’m also including here Intuitive Editing: A Creative & Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing written by my editor extraordinaire Tiffany Yates Martin. I have listened to and read Tiffany’s informative book while revising my novel and it’s terrific. In her most recent blog, she also talked about The Namesake being on her To Be Read list! Subscribe to Tiffany’s blog. You won’t be disappointed!
Picture of the Day
My writing partner Joey!
I appreciate you following me on this journey and cheering me on. I always love hearing from you. Please comment below if you have time!
Happy Valentines Day!