Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Something Unexpected From My Former Employer, Author Chin-Ning Chu

I used to work as a personal assistant to Chin-Ning Chu, who was an international best-selling author. She was a guest on CNN and other channels many times, giving mostly business and political advice on Western relations with the East. Some of her books include: Thick Face, Black Heart; Do Less, Achieve More; and Working Woman's Art of War.

This lady was very focused and driven. She started out self published and was such a success on her own that she caught the attention of The Sacramento Bee, then The London Financial Times, then major traditional publishers. I ended up moving onto my own adventures after a year of working with her, because of the immense pressure I felt. I could have learned so much more if I was able to stick it out, but I was so intimidated and exhausted from the experience that I even had nightmares that she was coming after me in a canoe, followed by an army wearing traditional triangular hats.

So, while Googling my name today for the heck of it (haven't we all?), I found Chin-Ning had promoted me on her website. After I left my job position with her, I self published and spoke at a dozen different school assemblies as an author. She apparently found out about it from a local newspaper. I was really touched by finding this out. I'll explain further--I leasrned Chin-Ning passed away not too long ago from Cancer. I had always had this odd fantasy that one day, when she was old, I would feed her soup at her bedside. Although, I could not handle the pressure of working alongside her demanding schedule, I wanted to one day treat her like a cherished, long lost mother or grandmother.

Life is strange at times and can really surprise you. I was surprised and thankful that she had a place in her heart for my accomplishments, just as I had a place in my heart to care for her one day. She was an amazing, beautiful, independent woman and author.

Here's the link to her webpage. I'm #58 on her news list:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finished BeSwitched Witch and I am in Love.

I spent the last three months writing BeSwitched Witch and I am in love with it. I hope that does not come across weird like I am prideful. I think it is important that writers love their work. I believe that if I am head over heels for my own work, instead of having good reasons to doubt it, then there will be others who will fall head over heels.

I am in love with characters, scenes and humor. There are some lines in BeSwitched Witch that I have memorized, because they are seared into my mind. I admit that I have gotten misty-eyed over a character's quote in this book and I have laughed out loud at another character's quote. I can imagine Lake Sequoia, Idis's living room, the Morreaus' gothic decor...

I don't know what it is about the main romantic interest in my teen books, but like the main girl in my books, I tend to fall for the made-up guy. Maybe it is because the guy has that certain hair, smile, personality that I love. Jax Morreau is a hottie... just sayin' ;)

Fun obsession. I look forward to writing the next in the series, Royally BeSwitched.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Here I am today, 30 years old. At times, I feel like the character Jennifer Garner plays in the movie 13 Going on 30, because I feel like I still have a shy, awkward, teenage version of me lurking somewhere inside my body. Actually, I know she does, because she manifests herself, often unannounced and at the worst moments.

I spent my high school years feeling a little off, a little too tall, too skinny, too many things. Because of this, I forced myself into positions where I had no choice but to face my fears. I signed up for acting classes just to prove to myself that I could be confident. I think my teacher often asked herself, What is this girl doing in my class? Instead of appearing confident, what happened most of the time? It showcased my unease; it  negatively affected my acting. My teacher, in her confusion and frustration, barked at me once: "Make friends!" If you're a shy teenager, you know that worsens the situation. I just wasn't as outgoing as the others.

Here is a grand example of how my shyness affected my acting—I was given one line to speak in a play. There was only one other girl who had one line out of the whole class. What did I do when it was my turn to speak? I spoke her line! Not my own! It didn't matter how many times I practiced my ONE line. Wow, right? I know.

So, today, as a 30 year old, I still find these moments creep up, where I feel out of place and shy. It doesn't matter how many times I have faced my fears, this shy girl will come out sometimes and say, think, or do the darndest things that embarrass the heck out of me.

Looking back, I appreciate the fact that as a teenager I stepped out of my comfort zone and took acting classes. The more we put ourselves out there, the easier it gets. What happened after graduation? I got the lead role in a community play.

Through all of these experiences, I can come to one conclusion: That teenage girl will never leave and I should embrace her and all her dorky and awkward little quarks. I think those who know me best can appreciate these characteristics as well.