Labor Day 2014: Summer’s Unofficial End

Time ticks by constantly.
Time ticks by constantly.

My last post was mid-June, before the Summer Solstice; and now, here we are on September 1st, Labor Day, and the summer is now unofficially (officially?) over.

I started off the summer with two big changes: a new apartment and a new gig. Both have served me well over the past three months and have helped propel me towards even more positive changes.

Sometimes serendipity stumbles upon an ordinary situation and straight smacks me in the face with opportunity. That’s essentially what has happened since June and mid-July. 2014 started off with great positive light and has continued to surprise me with good fortune. I continue to stay grateful and appreciative for all that has come my way.

My social media expertise has been in more demand these days and I find myself drifting a bit from writing long form: tweets are my forte now and I tend to run from my blogging duties as you have well noticed.

While I have made promises in the past regarding a regular blogging schedule here, this time I will just simply say that I will blog as often as I can, but I cannot adhere to a schedule at this time. Sounds like a cop-out, but I find that when I make a public promise about my blogging schedule, I don’t follow through and end up disappointing myself. I’d rather this time, if I do become inspired to blog on a regular basis, that that’ll happen as a happy accident rather than something that I force myself to adhere to.

Anyway, this post was quite a rambling one, so I will just leave the post at that. Change is the only constant in life and I am excited to see where life takes me next. Stay tuned for a possible post on Wednesday (theme unknown at this point!).

Life at 3MPH: Walk2Connect Gets Us All Moving

Group photo during a trip in Lakewood, February 2013.
Group photo during a trip in Lakewood, February 2013.

This is a long overdue Support Local post. I have known Jonathon Stalls, lead itinerant and founder of Walk2Connect, since early 2013. Walk2Connect’s mission is to get more people walking rather than driving: discover the beauty of everyday life around us instead of letting it all speed on by. Jonathan was inspired to start Walk2Connect after his own epic, life-changing walking trip from Delaware to San Francisco in 2010 for Kiva Walk.

Hearing Jonathon’s story really inspired me to attend his walking trips around the Denver Metro area. I have met so many incredible people on these walking excursions: people I wouldn’t have met if I had stuck with my usual crowd at startup events. Walk2Connect has grown to many followers these days, considering the organization has expanded to include more daily walking trips throughout the Denver Metro area (such as Park Hill Sunrise Walks, Five Points at Dusk, and many more) in the past year.

Got to hold an egg-laying  hen at last year's Walk2Connect Farm-To-Table Experience in Wheat Ridge!
Got to hold an egg-laying hen at last year’s Walk2Connect Farm-To-Table Experience in Wheat Ridge!

My favorite Walk2Connect trips have been walks where a bit of local food-making is involved, such as the Wheat Ridge Farm-To-Table walk last summer: we walked to several farms in Wheat Ridge and collected ingredients to make pizza at Right Coast Pizza after our walk. The beer and the delicious pizza were all well worth the nine miles of walking!

I really hope more Denver-area residents get to experience Walk2Connect at least once in their lifetimes. The walks are a great alternative and active way to meet new people in your neighborhood, city, region. Plus, Jonathon’s personality is so infectious with his laughter and impeccable enthusiasm for life. You’ll be glad to have met Jonathon and the other walkers on your next trip: they’re sure to change your life.

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

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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. :)