Hi friends, it’s been a while! I haven’t been meeting my goal of at least one blog every two weeks, and I’m sorry about that. It’s my third year of undergrad and school hasn’t really been kind to me, I’m currently trying to knock out all my requirements for a more relaxed senior year (but at what cost?!). And unfortunately, with everything that’s been going on regarding the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and xenophobia, I just really needed a break from social medias and the constant need to be wired to everything. These incidents hit home for sure, and forced me to reflect on my place in the world and the systemic failures that were not accidental but planted since generations ago. There’s a list of resources that you can browse through at the end of the blog, and I hope that you’ll strongly consider donating/helping however you can!
But for some good news, I’ve secured an internship for this summer that may lead to a full-time opportunity after college, so I’m extremely grateful for that! And around February-ish, I downloaded a game called Genshin Impact that now turned into an addiction so if you also play, please hit me up. Oh, I also learned to cook more dishes and just living by myself, #adulting, am I right?
It was snowing tons where I live too, so the winter period of 2021 felt a bit lonely since I was just trapped inside. But that was when the idea for my manuscript came to life. From January to March, I worked on a manuscript and forced myself to reach a certain word count goal everyday. Now, it is finally finished and titled Saigon Sweethearts. Saigon Sweethearts is a queer YA contemporary story about familial duties, love, and finding your own place in history. It’s also Vietnamese diaspora chaos and in a way, a love letter to my home–Saigon. I also participated in my first Pitch war ever, LGBTNPit and got agent likes!!! Not sure how it will all work out, but just knowing that people take interest in my work gives me such hope. Working on the manuscript was brutal with school and two spring internships, but I had friends who’d sprint with me every week! Shout out to Vic @CorneliaStreetReads and Jo @TheBookRising for being my writing buddies, and for staying up with me to read our works and just gush over characters together. I also sprinted with @peachnace @januisance @zoehanamikuta weekly and had so much fun just being productive together ❤
But enough of me being sappy, here’s what I’ve read so far in 2021!
- January 2021
- The Daevabad Trilogy by SA Chakraborty
- Almost American Girl by Robin Ha
- Lovely War by Julie Berry
- She Who Became the Sun ARC by Shelley Parker-Chan
- February 2021
- Counting Down with You ARC by Tashie Bhuiyan
- The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
- The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
- Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
- A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
- Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
- The Ones We’re Meant to Find ARC by Joan He
- March 2021
- XOXO ARC by Axie Oh
- We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- April 2021 (so far)
- The Chosen and the Beautiful ARC by Nghi Vo
- Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
I haven’t been keeping up with my Goodreads, but all reviews for ARCs will be up soon.
Not sure how I was able to read so much during February and it just kind of went downhill from there. I’m still on track to hit my 70 books read for 2021, so we’ll see! As I’m writing this, I just finished a short story submission for #BIPOCFairyTales about Vietnamese legends and gods and I’m quite nervous about turning it in but it’ll be okay! Even though reading and writing started out as completely random hobbies, I feel like I really did find a sense of belonging within this community and felt less lonely during quarantine. So moving forward, I hope to perhaps start on new manuscripts, short stories, and just digest more stories. 🙂
I’ll be back soon!
Anti-Asian Information & Resources
- Op-Ed I helped write regarding anti-Asian hate crimes
- APEN (Asian Pacific Environmental Network)
- APIENC Building Transgender, Non-Binary, and Queer API Power https://apienc.org/
- Asian Health Services Oakland Chinatown Ambassador Program https://www.classy.org/give/326018/#!/donation/checkout
- Chinese Progressive Association https://cpasf.org/
- Filipino Community Center https://www.filipinocc.org/take-action
- Compassion in Oakland (Oakland Chinatown community) https://compassioninoakland.org/