Life Update

Life Update: July 2017

So this is my first month-long, fully post-grad life update, so let’s get started!

The biggest excitement last month was going to my first writing conference! It was the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators in LA, and it was a really great experience. The whole weekend was so informative and so positive and it really should have a whole blog post to recap properly, but some highlights:

  • Lots of great, great workshops, but my standouts were a very inspiring session called “Finding Your Own Unique Voice: Taking Risks and Being True to Yourself” by Nova Ren Suma; and a fantastic session on business tips for writers with Kwame Alexander. (There was also an interview with him and it was so great.)
  • A Diversity Social with the good folks from We Need Diverse Books where I got to meet Sona Charaipotra, of Tiny Pretty Things and founder of Cake Literary!
  • Alas, I only caught the very end of the conversation with Judy Blume, because the hotel messed up catering and I had to go elsewhere for lunch, but I did get to see her, technically, and I got a very tasty reimbursed cocktail at least.
  • We got a very cool special preview of the upcoming movie Ashes in the Snow, the film adaptation of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys!
  • And last but certainly not least, I got books signed from Laurie Halse Anderson (who also delivered the final keynote, and I was so delighted to see she’s as dryly funny in person as she is in her books!) and Nova Ren Suma!

So that was definitely the obvious highlight of my month. I went right after I finished a revision round and right in between, I had a Skype chat with Adam Cadre, whom I previously met through the Lyttle Lytton Contest, and his thoughts about my book were so, so helpful and thoughtful and those two things back-to-back have really boosted my morale and excitement in regards to my writing a lot.

So about my writing: I have a week left to finish revisions before Pitch Wars. So that’s nerve-wracking. I am happy to report that I’ve turned in my final draft for my Wayward Sisters story. I got some really lovely feedback from both the editors and my illustrator, which was especially encouraging since it’s my first comic script ever!

So that’s how I’ve been. Till next time.

BOOKS/MOVIES/MUSIC/TV

Still making my way through my miscalculated library book haul from the beginning of the summer. Read MISS BURMA by Charmaine Craig, which was cool cuz it’s the first book I’ve ever read about Myanmar (where my parents are from), but it’s also a really good historical novel about imperialism and nationalism from the point of view of the persecuted Karen minority group. Also LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE by Paul Krueger, a fun urban fantasy about alcohol magic, and NONE OF THE ABOVE by I.W. Gregorio, a YA contemporary about a girl who discovers she’s intersex (the author is a surgeon!)

Watched a slew of fantastic new releases: OKJA, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, A GHOST STORY, THE BIG SICK, and DUNKIRK, as well as the wonderful SING STREET!

The main musical attraction this month was my favorite postmodern flower child Lana Del Rey’s much-anticipated LUST FOR LIFE, though I also listened to some great early 2000s British rock–The Libertines, The Kooks, etc.

I also watched two very good Agatha Christie mini-series from BBC, And Then There Were None and Witness for the Prosecution. And I finally finished 13 Reasons Why–there was a lot of things that I thought it did really well (the soundtrack, the directing, Katherine Langford’s performance in particular, critique of rape culture) but I also thought it was oddly thematically muddled in regards to the handling of suicide itself.

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