March 17, 2014


how can we talk and write about being immigrant child and/or being the children of immigrants and the emotional complexities of it without painting our relationships with our parent/s as one-dimensional and as us always being the ones with their dreams and them being dreamless,…

Been thinking about this lately…

(via ethiopienne)

March 13, 2014
"I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me."

— Tracee Ellis Ross, in an interview for UPTOWN  (via filthiestlaugh)

(Source: larmoyante, via arabellesicardi)

March 8, 2014
I had a thought (on writing dialogue about race, etc.)



Sometimes I read reviews of books* in which people criticize a book for having moments that feel explainy or educational around tough topics such as race, sexuality, politics. I agree that reading dialogue about these issues can sometimes feel didactic or after-school-special-like, but at the same time, these conversations happen in real life.

For example, in the past people have said things to me like, “Are you a lesbian?” And I’ve said, “Yes, yes I am.” (They probably didn’t get that  Melissa Etheridge reference.) Or they’ll say, “How do you feel about the word ‘queer’?” (This seems to happen a lot lately.) And I’ll launch into a description of the history of the word ‘queer’ and explain how I don’t feel bothered by it but some people do, and I’ll probably have to explain the whole LGBTQ acronym, etc.

Also common: “Where are you from?” And I’ll say, “I grew up in Colorado but I was born in China,” because I’m trying to forestall the “But I mean originally?” part of the dialogue. And then we’ll go into a discussion about whether I spoke English at home and potentially other 101-ish things about immigration and race and American identity.

This stuff happens in real life. It’s hard to put it in a book without sounding fake or like “I have a lesson to teach you,” but … it’s reality.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m trying to figure out how to write this kind of dialogue in a realistic but non-didactic sounding way. The problem is, I can’t predict which kind of reader is going to read it. The kind who has had these conversations before in their own lives and thus knows they happen, or the kind who thinks they only happen in after-school specials. It’s difficult to reach both readers.

* I’m not talking about reviews of my own books, honest, because I don’t read those.

I wrote the above yesterday, and then I thought of an additional clarification. A couple of people commented that it’s important to stay in the voice of the character, and … well, yes. Dialogue should certainly be written in the voices of the characters speaking the dialogue. That’s actually not what I’m getting at.

I’m getting at the fact that even when these kinds of interactions are written in character, some readers will check out of the narrative and think, “This is not realistic.” Some readers always balk at straightforward grappling with race and sexuality and would always prefer that these issues are elided or only mentioned obliquely. To be honest, I fear that this is a result of privilege. People who have never had to have these kinds of uncomfortable conversations in real life are probably less likely to believe they happen. They may also misinterpret awkward behavior for being out of character.

As author Ellen Oh wrote in her response:

Yes, this happens all the time. And everytime it happens to me I feel like I have to explain myself and my culture. It feels stilted and awkward when I have to do it. So it makes sense that it might feel explainy in a book or article or show, etc. But this is what happens every day across America. It’s part of our life.

As someone who’s had these conversations in real life, I myself don’t feel entirely “in character” when I’m having them. That’s because the person who’s asking me these questions — someone who is unfamiliar with certain aspects of my identity — is seeing me as those labels (“Asian American” or “lesbian”), not as who I am (Malinda). I’m not forced to explain these things when I’m in comfortable situations with friends who know me well, where I can be fully “myself.” I only have to explain these things when I’m being asked to represent some superficial traits about myself to strangers. Yeah, it’s awkward.

“Character,” of course, isn’t one static thing. A character has many facets, and they show different sides of themselves in different situations. In an uncomfortable situation, they may be awkward, formal, or distant, and that can translate to the reader as being out of character. So when writing these kinds of situations, the question is how to convey this apparent out-of-characterness in a way that is clearly deliberate to the reader (whoever that reader is, whatever their experience with this stuff in real life) and not didactic. It’s a challenge for sure.

Depending on who I’m talking to, sometimes I feel in character and sometimes not. If it’s a person that’s just data collecting, I can hear myself parroting variations of, “I am from San Diego, but my parents are from the Philippines.” It doesn’t feel awkward so much as… well, obligatory. 

(via diversityinya)

March 2, 2014


Once you’re no longer part of the 15-24 demographic (youth culture) you really should only be using the internet to map quest directions to the nearest Ikea or funeral home as you prepare for death


(Source: NPR, via maidennymphcrone)

12:23am  |   URL:
Filed under: yep 
November 8, 2013
"Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey. A path that’s right for someone else won’t necessarily be a path that’s right for you. And that’s okay. Your journey isn’t right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s just different. Your life isn’t meant to look like anyone else’s because you aren’t like anyone else. You’re a person all your own with a unique set of goals, obstacles, dreams, and needs. So stop comparing, and start living. You may not have ended up where you intended to go. But trust, for once, that you have ended up where you needed to be. Trust that you are in the right place at the right time. Trust that your life is enough. Trust that you are enough."

— Daniell Koepke  (via ungirthed)

(Source: internal-acceptance-movement, via andibgoode)

11:43pm  |   URL:
Filed under: yep 
September 1, 2013

We’ve heard similar compliments from others who, for whatever reason, seem enthralled by our children’s “ambiguously ethnic” looks: just a shade “exotic,” thanks to me, but lightened – and whitened – by their father’s genes. I think it is overly simplistic to chalk up all of these comments to prejudice (or, in the case of fellow Asians, internalized racism), though for some that could be one of many factors affecting their ideas about what is attractive. I imagine most people are genuinely trying to pay our children a compliment and do not realize quite how it sounds to home in on certain features amid their multiracial background.

Still, it never fails to throw me when anyone demands to know my daughters’ precise ethnic makeup, praises them by singling out their light hair or large eyes, or asks whether such white-looking children really do belong to me. Such comments often bring back memories of my own white-by-default upbringing with my adoptive parents and the many unwanted conversations we were drawn into as a multiracial family in a very white town.

As a child, I used to desperately wish for paler skin, lighter hair and rounder eyes; I would have gladly undergone any kind of reinvention available to be able to pass for white and stop hearing the ethnic slurs on the playground. It is so painful to imagine my daughters ever wishing away their Korean heritage as I once did. I don’t want them to believe it is their white half that makes them attractive or that they owe anyone an answer to the question “What are you, exactly?” And I hate that they will always have to grapple with such comments from people who don’t know any better.


‘Mixed Kids Are Always So Beautiful’ (via pag-asaharibon)

(via maidennymphcrone)

9:10pm  |   URL:
Filed under: race yep mixed kids nytimes 
August 29, 2013


also wondering what percentage of minimum wage workers are women of color.

According to this article, 62.7% of all minimum wage workers are women. Of those, 15.9% are Black, 18.8% are Latina, and 3% are Asian (with 1.2% as “other”).



also wondering what percentage of minimum wage workers are women of color.

According to this article, 62.7% of all minimum wage workers are women. Of those, 15.9% are Black, 18.8% are Latina, and 3% are Asian (with 1.2% as “other”).

(Source:, via maidennymphcrone)

8:36pm  |   URL:
Filed under: minimum wage yep 
September 1, 2012






I love him. Does anyone know this guy’s name? I’ve only seen him around on tumblr without any sources, and it would be awesome to see more of his stuff. 

Seconding the desire to know!



The glorious David So! He also does music besides his comedy, you can find both on Youtube :)

I thought this might feel relevant to many of my followers…


(Source: umbreonly, via andibgoode)

11:28pm  |   URL:
Filed under: yep david so me 
September 1, 2012

(Source: suzybishop, via preteenboys)

July 15, 2012
Even if you make $11 an hour and work full time (40 hours), your annual income would be below the poverty line ($23,050) before taxes. The nations minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour.

(Source: occupyallstreets, via maidennymphcrone)

10:06pm  |   URL:
Filed under: yep 
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