Let’s Talk About My Writing Process…

Sunset in San Francisco, 2009
Sunset in San Francisco, 2009

Today’s post is special because it’s part of a larger project: My Writing Process Blog Tour. Back to regular programming next week!

Thanks to one of my favorite writers and good friend, Craig Lancaster (author of books such as 600 Hours of Edward & The Summer Son), I am partaking in this little blog tour. The premise is to answer four simple questions regarding my personal writing process and then tagging three additional writers to join in on the tour. Easy, right? :)

1. What are you working on?

Remember Novel 1, aka Writing the Past? My very first novel from NaNoWriMo 2007 (yes, that was my first time participating in the frenzy). It is now nearly seven years later: at the beginning of this year, I finally got the manuscript going again with some editing from Shonell Bacon, another fellow writer but also excellent editor. Just last week, I got around to organizing her comments on my manuscript and have started working on some grammatical issues, chapter by chapter. I want to get this novel published before my 30th birthday next January, but I will also be content to just have the final manuscript ready for agents before my birthday.

I am also working on getting some freelance blogging gigs, so if you know of any good leads, holler at me!

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

At the moment, I don’t know which genre Writing the Past should be included in. However, I do know that when I started writing this novel, I knew that I wanted to write the story of a family without fitting the family into a stereotypical box that other Asian-American writers tend to fall for in their novels. Unsure of if I’ll be successful with this notion in the final manuscript.

3. Why do you write what you do?

If you’ve noticed via my blog categories, I have written more than one novel since 2007. Granted, the rest of these are all at first drafts currently, but nonetheless, I got the words down. My novels have dealt with light and dark themes stemming from personal observations and sometimes personal experiences. I like to think I write what I write because I ultimately want to live vicariously through my characters.

4. How does your writing process work?

So far, my writing process has been just writing on the fly, especially during NaNoWriMo in November. The community in November really gets me motivated to get my word count up for each of my novels. Then, as you can see from my experience with Writing the Past, I wait out several years before I get around to edits and revisions, haha.

Naturally, I would love for this process to change so I can get more of my novels ready for publication after Writing the Past!


 

Now it’s time to tag the next writers!

Christin Haws is a long-time friend of mine online: we’ve known each other since Livejournal days (I believe that’s how we got connected). Christin writes short stories and just recently released her first self-published novel, A Tale of Two Lady Killers. She’s a huge baseball fan and rerun junkie.

Shonell Bacon is another long-time friend of mine, probably also from Livejournal; I don’t remember anymore! Shonell is: author, editor, educator, and sexy coffee lover! You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Megan E. Evans is a newer friend and fellow Denver resident. Megan is a freelance graphic designer, artist, and creative writer. She recently launched her blog Womb of Words as an accountability project on completing 100,000 words in nine months for a new work of fiction.

Thus continues the blog tour next week with these fine ladies!

Transition Period

20140514-174537.jpg

Since the beginning of 2014, I’ve been working a couple gigs to make ends meet. In the past month, however, I have left those gigs due to poor treatment from employers and low pay. My next step in my career is currently undecided.

I’m one of those people who think quite a bit. I have many interests, so therefore I have many career paths to choose from. This is both exciting and frightening to me.

While all of this is happening in my work life, I have also been slowly packing up my apartment to move soon to my next apartment. I have lived in this apartment for two years now, and it feels right to be moving on from this point.

It’s like all of this timed out perfectly to tell me It is time to move on to the next chapter. New beginnings, new paths.

Sometimes we just stick with the status quo and just watch life pass on by us. Every once in awhile, a swift change kicks us back into gear to take action on new adventures. I feel that we need this to make life enriching.

Now, I am not leaving Denver/Colorado anytime soon. A new home (where the rent is much more affordable) will make a difference, though.

In terms of my career, you may be noticing a few changes around here in the next several months. As I am currently in the midst of packing up and moving in to the new place next weekend, the posting schedule may be off. But I promise you I will resume my #supportlocal posts! There are so many great Denver businesses to highlight.

In the meantime: be well!

Pakems: Conveniently Packable Sporty Shoes

The Pakems + Kid Project Giveaway ends today! Go over and enter to win a pair of low-cut Pakems now!

Wearing my high-top pair of Pakems this past winter.
Wearing my high-top pair of Pakems this past winter.

This post is part of a series of Support Local pieces on my blog. To check out other posts in the series, check the category “support local”

I don’t quite remember how I came across Pakems late last year: could have been another random Twitter find. Pakems is a Colorado-based company that makes portable shoes for after skiing/snowboarding and general travel for outdoor sports. From the Pakems website:

Pakems are lightweight, water-resistant, packable shoes engineered to take anywhere. They feature lightweight rip stop fabric, rubber soles for traction, and a strapped bag for packability.

I got myself a pair as an early Christmas present and I certainly have enjoyed this purchase. I’ve worn Pakems during the snowstorms earlier this year and they held up with their waterproof promises. The shoes are also good for slick sidewalks since I hadn’t slipped in my Pakems when I wore them. The high-top shoes are great to keep my ankles warm, although I may cave and buy a low-top pair for other reasons, hehe.

High-top Pakems in Lumberjack Plaid.
High-top Pakems in Lumberjack Plaid.

Pakems has shoes both for men and women, which come in a variety of colors and patterns. Each pair comes with its own carrying case so you can store away the shoes after you use them. Super fun!

Might be cute to see Pakems make kids’ shoes in the future. For now, I say buy a pair for yourself and check them out. Ski season may be winding down in Colorado, but that shouldn’t stop you from buying a pair for summer vacation hiking and other outdoor activities.

Pakems are currently sold in-stores at only a few locations, but you can always order your own pair on their website! Heck, why don’t you take a stab at the giveaway ending today? You just might be the lucky one.

***DISCLAIMER: I received a discount on a pair of Pakems, so in no way did the company offer me a free pair. This post is written from my own free will, so it is not a paid advertisement from the company. :)

One quarter into the year

Downtown Denver on a sunny January day.
Downtown Denver on a sunny January day.

Well, that blog schedule I listed in my previous post hasn’t surfaced. Oops.

I find that this website here has had a severe identity disorder. I first started helenekwong.com back in 2009 to get my writer platform running; since then, this blog has evolved and gone all over the place. I am not sure if I am ok with that.

However, I suppose this describes the changing seasons of my own interests. My brand, Helene Kwong, has seen a lot of change in interest, passion, etc. since 2009. Some passions dialed down a few notches while others flared up; some disappeared and some exploded into reality.

Anyway: I will be getting back on a regular posting schedule next week. I find my posts about highlighting local businesses (or small businesses in general) are the most helpful for those businesses. My posts on the job hunting process were a hit last year: perhaps I will evolve this topic once again.

We shall see.

First post of 2014: what you can expect from my blog

This is what you get when you use a cookie dough tube. (Photo circa 2005)
This is what you get when you use a cookie dough tube. (Photo circa 2005)

How’s everyone faring so far in this next revolution around the Sun? Thirteen days in, and I feel like I have learned a lot already in my day-to-day experiences. This past weekend was especially a learning lesson (well, two combined): I know I must overcome this hurdle I have encountered. In due time.

So, since this is a new year, I would like to incorporate more themed posts throughout the week. Last year, I left off with posts highlighting local businesses; I plan to continue this on Mondays so I can honor each of the local businesses for their unique offerings. On Wednesdays, I will keep my posts to personal updates, thoughts, etc. Since I am currently getting my novel reviewed by my wonderful friend, Shonell Bacon, I may also include updates on that novel (I aim to publish it this year). On Fridays, to exercise my creative writing muscles, I will include short stories to give the work week a bit of flavor at the end.

Anyway, that’s how things will be on my blog this year. Help me stay accountable on this!