Chance Encounters

The scene was a funky underground bar in the Greenwich Village. Live jazz, pool tables, shuffle board, and other assorted games. The occasion: my brother and his wife’s annual visit from China. 

We were enjoying a wonderful evening, full of food, fun and rain-soaked subway journeys. We were in New York, together- a rare and wonderful circumstance.

My sister-in-law is a brave, smart, vivacious woman from Shandong Province in China. On that night, she took it upon herself to introduce me to a young man who was enjoying a game of chess with a friend nearby.


We started communicating and it didn’t take long for us to discover we were both writers. He shared with me the link for the online literary magazine, In Parentheses, which he helped to create and contributes to on a regular basis.

Later, sifting through the content, I found an incredible mix of prose, poetry and essays written by a number of different contributors. The range of material was impressive, but held firm to their belief of ‘intellectual expansion of the masses.’

In the weeks following that random meeting, I was encouraged to submit to the blog, which I did, and they were gracious enough to post the piece. Please check out my submission, and the rest of this awesome blog. 

Is it just random chance that we meet other writers? Or is it something more; can we sense a certain camaraderie? Have any of the other bloggers out there had similar chance encounters with fellow writers? I’d love to hear your opinions and personal stories. 

Happy Writing, and Happy Mingling! 

Why I’ve Become Pro-Blogging

I decided several months ago that I wanted to start a blog. Why, you may be asking? Well, quite simply because every one I knew involved in writing told me I should.

If you want to get published you have to start a blog, they said. OK, I knew I wanted to get published one day, so then blog I would. But what for? I still wasn’t grasping the idea.

To network, to get your name out there, to show people are interested in your work. Great, so I start writing a couple times a week and soon I’ll have my name in neon lights somewhere in the blogging-sphere.

It’s been just under a month since I started and so far no neon lights or publishing offers thrown my way. And that’s alright, because the benefits I am seeing from this experience far outweigh what I ever anticipated.

Blogging is not something which comes naturally to me. The idea that whatever I post here may interest people seems quite brash. But then, the experience is more personal; I am writing this blog because it is important to ME. Maybe I have to be a bit selfish, because it has enabled me to learn a lot in a short time.

Here are some lessons:

Critique. I’ve become much more critical of my own writing. Learning tips from other seasoned writers has been extremely beneficial to how I view my own writing.

Patience. It will take time. I had this idea in the beginning that I would have one year to make it or break it. But now that seems silly. Writing is my passion and I’m willing to pursue it to the ends of time.

Encouragement. Writing in the past has been such a solitary pursuit. Here, I am able to share my frustrations and fears and receive helpful and thoughtful responses from my fellow bloggers.

Commitment. It’s only been one month, and I’ve made some modest progress, but I realize I have a long way to go. Having contact with other bloggers and writers who have reached the goals that I’m striving for makes me more committed than ever to pursue my dreams.

So thanks to all the people who have made this such a rewarding experience so far. And if this post can convince anyone who is on the fence about starting a blog, then I feel like I’ve done a good job.

A Novel Idea

It hit me some time late last year. I knew what my New Years resolution for 2013 would be (and I’m not typically one for resolutions). I would finish my first novel by the end of the year. Brilliant, I thought. What a unique, interesting, admirable goal. I must get started right away.

The problem: the farther I go into this adventure, the more I realize how completely unoriginal this ambition is. I’m almost embarrassed now that I thought this would somehow be innovative, fresh, different. A young woman dropping out of the rat race to pursue her dreams. How romantic; I think I have my next book’s plot line.

It’s blown my mind seeing the community of writers out there. And the amazing thing is, what I’ve seen so far is only a minuscule fraction of what really exists. It’s been inspiring to see so many other young women following their dreams; working hard to pioneer new paths. It’s been intimidating to see so many of them thriving, growing, publishing.

Yes, it gives me hope. People do this, it happens. For some. But for how many? What I can do to give myself the best chance possible is to work hard, be patient and learn something new each day.

So far, thanks to the great online community of writers, it’s been pretty easy to do. I look forward to working with you and being inspired by you for many months to come.