Thursday, April 30, 2015

The 40th Anniversary . . .

Today April 30th, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. I stayed behind for a decade before I could escape Communist tyranny. In 30 years after I rebuilt a life in America, I have achieved what I couldn't have done back in my native country the Republic of South Vietnam, now vanished from the globe.

In 30 years, I earned an MFA in English and Playwriting; I received recognition for my plays, my Japanese Short Form Poetry, for which I was awarded a grant by 4Culture for my book Lotus in the Flood: One Woman's Big Dream, and lately for my screenplay.

In memory of this monumental historical event, I created a page on Facebook. The above link.

For this tragedy, Rory Kennedy made a documentary "Last Days in Vietnam." I highly recommend that you watch it if you haven't seen it.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Writing What You Don't Know

Usually, but not always, we write what we know. From my own experience, it is educational to write what we don't know. Why so? Because we need to do research on the subject we are going to write about. The result of our intensive research is rewarding: we learn something "new." It may be something old to those who already know it; for us, though, it is a learning experience.

In my opinion, a writer should be a life-long learner. Someone might say, "There is nothing new under the sun." Well, a saying remains a saying; there is some truth in it. But look at the categories of books in a bookstore, how many subjects do we really know? Just look at the titles for Dummies. It would take me a long time to read them all if I chose to do so.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Be a Better Writer Every Day

It's my goal to be a better writer every day. Happily I am moving into that direction. How do I know? You may ask. Simple. Reread your old stuff. If you can see what doesn't work or what needs a rewrite or a change, you know that you are getting better than a while before.

Sometimes, I see it just after I turn off the computer.

To improve our own writing, we can learn it from three different sources: 1) a good editor, 2) an experienced reader, 3) other writers' work or advice.

I will have a presentation on February 21st: Here is the link

Lotus in the Flood