Writing Writing Updates

Green Hills Literary Lantern has nominated my story, “Glass Tank“, for the Pushcart Prize. It is the second story I’ve written as an adult and the first I believed in, so much that with each rejection I grew a little more bewildered and desperate.

My favourite part about the whole experience is how, just before submitting it the last couple of times, I had slightly altered the last sentence, and when the editor of GHLL — professor & PhD in English and everything — sent me edits and suggestions, he changed it to the original wording.

And my poem about Spencer, B-cat’s nephew, won a Sakura Award in the VCBF Haiku Invitational.


We met Spencer when he was a few days old, just before he went back to the hospital with a heart infection. He passed away four weeks later.


Summer’s Out for the Year

Moon Bus art installation by Taiwanese artist Jimmy Liao

How has your summer been?

In July someone hit me and B-cat with a car (and rightly accepted all fault) while we were on the way to a Tanabata Festival tea ceremony. Later that month, my story appeared in the 2016 issue of Green Hills Literary Lantern.

In August my grandmother passed away, a few years from 100. I flew to Taiwan for the funeral and three weeks of family bonding.

Other than “riding” the moon bus near Taipei 101 Tower and making a moon-shaped clay cookie pendant at a crafting tea party, I haven’t had an artsy summer, but I’m digging the lovely coincidence which I’ve just noticed.

I made the moon cookie; my cousin Annie made the star cookie

I still think it sounds cool to get ahead in lines and use diplomat-only counters at airports, but it’s definitely better to not be horribly injured. Looking forward to autumn!

The Healthy-Sized Lady Sings

If you haven’t heard, Vancouver Opera is giving up on regular productions and switching to a “festival” format in 2017. This seems to be a cheerful way of saying it will put on fewer productions, at venues smaller than Queen Elizabeth Theatre, over a week or two each year and spend the rest of its time dabbling in smaller projects that aren’t putting on operas.

So the issue might not be customer service-related, but I did guess at VO’s financial troubles as it loosened restrictions for youth discounts — which, incidentally, I’ve never used — put on more and more operas that are new (read: unknown) or not even operas (Sweeney Todd etc.), and asked me to resubscribe, after ignoring me the previous season.

Grudges aside, this is sad news for local arts, sadder than when Ballet BC overcame bankruptcy only to abandon everything classical in its repertoire… unless you count The Nutcracker, which features borrowed dancers from Royal Winnipeg Ballet or Alberta Ballet.

It’s not Thursday, but this is worth a (worthless) TBT:

Opera 2005
Digital camera technology of the early 2000s, yo

The above was taken before my first live opera, VO’s production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, circa 2005. It was a great experience.

On the way out, though, some elderly women loudly criticised my choice of footwear. (Come on, those were some awesome suede boots!) Maybe there’s something to be said for bringing in a younger audience after all.


*Before you complain, I know VO isn’t dead. But its heyday might have passed into history like the willowy limbs of my 20-year-old self (see above).