Does Age Make a Difference in Relationships?

"Rats know the way of rats." -Chinese proverb Gung hay fat choy! 2014 is the Year of the Horse. Twelve animals make up the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each exhibits a different personality based on your birth year. As a kid, I remember seeing the zodiac printed on paper placemats in Chinese restaurants (our family establishment had ones with red curlicue borders). Besides the character traits, there's usually a line … [Read more...]

Memories Found in Objects

"Water can drip through stone." -Chinese proverb This proverb reminds me that there are solutions in even seemingly impossible situations. For example, I recently witnessed a way to revive memories for those with dementia. I was visiting a senior home and saw different stations set up for the older adults. These were nooks with key items like a wedding dress, an old Singer sewing machine, and a typewriter to help them reminisce. I wonder what object will elicit stories from my generation in … [Read more...]

Your Favorite Garden

"When weeding, destroy the roots." -Chinese proverb Dandelions. I remember pulling them out in our yard as a child, trying to yank out the entire plant, so they wouldn't infiltrate our soft grass. We used the green expanse to throw around a football or pitch a baseball. Sometimes we were too lazy to deweed properly, so we just pulled out the bright colored petals. It doesn't matter so much for lawns, but weeding a vegetable garden is another issue entirely. I remember the impressive … [Read more...]

The Art of Sampling

"An old horse knows the way." - Chinese proverb ~In the spring and autumn period (770-476BC), Duke Huan of Qi went to attack Guzhu. When winter settled in, the army lost their way, but Huan's minister Guan Zhong had a great plan: They would release their old horses and follow them back home.~ Experience matters, and that is why I'm relying on the collective wisdom of my online writers' community, Wordsmith Studio, today. This post will be based on their current creative prompt about … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Non-fiction for Fiction Writers

"When you paint a dragon, dot its eyes." -Chinese proverb I've learned to be precise over the last few weeks because I've ventured into the territory of guest blogging. My most recent non-fiction posts are: Five Things You Should Know about Taiwan and  Five Reasons for Publishing with a Small Press. As a fiction writer, I've enjoyed switching to non-fiction for three reasons (I know, I'm breaking the number five trend that's been happening): Research: With non-fiction comes the … [Read more...]

How to Write a Press Release

As a pig fears getting fat, so a man fears renown.  Pigs eat anything that's put into their trough. (In fact, when I worked in my family restaurant, we used to donate the scraps to farmers.) Like our pot-bellied friends, authors crave media attention. One of the best ways to get coverage is through the traditional press release. Here are my top five tips for creating an enticing press release: 1. Focus on the smaller outlets first. Often, local media successes will lead to bigger … [Read more...]

Should I Create a Newsletter?

The cunning hare has three burrows. August 1st, the release date for my forthcoming novel, is fast approaching. As I plan for its arrival, I'm contemplating setting up a mailing list. I've read that newsletters are informative and fun ways to keep readers up to speed on your work. As a bonus, some mail management sites, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, offer free services if the number of subscribers is under a certain amount. A newsletter sounded like a great idea until I found the … [Read more...]

Choosing Cover Art

Flowers look different to different eyes.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. How do you catch someone's attention? Right now, I'm working on the cover art portion for my forthcoming novel. The nice thing about a small press is that they value your input, so I get to voice my opinions on what I'm looking for and collaborate with the designer. On the other hand, I have a steep learning curve to figure out how covers work.Two websites that are helpful for viewing stock photos and getting inspired … [Read more...]