Small steps in the right direction…

Right now, there is a lot of hurt in our world. People are afraid and angry, and they should be.

In times like these, I often turn inward because it’s more manageable to focus on things I can control rather than the huge, hellish, frightening things I can’t. So I am going to do my little progress post, even though it feels trivial and self-indulgent in light of so many heavier, graver things.

It’s Lunar New Year, or Seollal, in the Eastern hemisphere, and maybe this can be a starting point for more positive growth and change for the larger world. Therefore, as I take these small steps for myself, hopefully I can climb toward the peak of the mountain. Anyway, that is my hope.

My starting weight today is 167.8, which means I’ve gained one ounce since last week. Given that Wednesday was Valentine’s Day, and we shared a feast at Palmer’s San Marcos, I’m going to take this as a minor victory.

This week, I have written 1,571 words on various projects, including my final chapter in Much Ado About Something, a BTS fanfiction co-written with Parker Dumas. Much Ado is a romantic comedy very loosely based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and writing it was hilariously painful and painfully hilarious. Co-writing presents a whole new level of challenges as both writers must learn the other’s process as much as getting the writing done. I consider the whole endeavor a success considering that Park is still willing to speak with me. If you’re at all interested in a super-gay Shakespearean romp set in the southeast hills of Seoul, South Korea, you can read this story here.

As I mentioned in my last post, my short story Don’t Touch did not get published in Coffin Bell Magazine. However, they sent me the kindest, most encouraging rejection I’ve received in a long time. Seriously, this was greatly-appreciated, and I definitely will submit to them again. Not only that, I really enjoy the stories they have published, so if you’re into horror, give them a peek.

In reading progress, I finished Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and wrote a brief review of it on GoodReads. I started reading Call Me By Your Name, by Andre Aciman, which I can already tell is going to break my heart (like the movie did). I also bought The Dispatcher, by John Scalzi (because John Scalzi…) and If On A Winter’s Night, a Traveler by Italo Calvino (because it seems really cool). I’ve read six books so far this year, so I’m one-fifth of the way to my reading goal of 30 books.

One exciting thing: I reached 1,000 followers on Twitter this week! It has taken a long time, but I’m grateful for everyone who shares the noisy sphere of the Twitter-verse, and who has not given up on me despite my many cat, plant, and k-pop posts.

Finally, I wanted to share an article I read this week that has me thinking about life and my place in it as a woman. For the last few years, I have felt voiceless and invisible, and this pervasive feeling of powerlessness led me to make massive, sweeping life changes, like moving to Seoul and ultimately giving up my teaching career to pursue writing. This article, The New Mid-Life Crisis for Women, goes a long way to explain why I’ve been feeling this way, and demonstrates – in a somewhat bleak but inspirational way – how I am not alone in feeling this of despair.

Happy Seollal, everyone. May the Year of the Dog bring you good fortune, and may all of your loved ones be healthy and safe. ❤