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APR
15

Frozen, Starring Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, Turns Stereotypes on Their Heads

I love how this Disney princess movie turns stereotypes on their heads. Anna, second princess of Arendelle, falls in love with a handsome prince and plans to marry him. But Elsa, first princess of Arendelle, forbids their sudden marriage, unleashes her frozen power on the kingdom, then flees. Anna leaves Arendelle to find her sister with the help of Kristoff, an ice seller, who falls in love with Anna.

When Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the heart with her frozen power, the only way Anna can be saved from death is by an act of true love. Thinking she must be kissed by her handsome prince, Anna pleads for him to kiss her. But he refuses, and turns out (spoiler alert) to be evil, bent on taking over the kingdom. He charges her sister Elsa with treason for Anna's impending death.

Then Anna realizes Kristoff truly loves her. She sets off across a fjord to find him. At the same time, Hans chases Elsa onto the same fjord, intent on killing her. Anna reaches Kristoff, but sees Hans is about to kill Elsa. She throws herself between the two and freezes solid, blocking the blow. As Elsa grieves the loss of her sister, Anna begins to thaw. Her sacrifice for her sister constitutes an act of true love.

It surprised me how the handsome prince turned out to be evil, breaking a stereotype. The screenwriters thought of a great twist in making sisterly love the key to saving Anna and subsequently Elsa instead of the love of a man, as it usually is in Disney princess movies. Frozen is my favorite movie of 2014 so far.

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OCT
23

Dream High, Starring Suzy Bae and Kim Soo Hyun

I really loved this show. The music was awesome, the characters well-rounded, the plot well-told. It didn't end the way I thought it would, which is good, because I like to be surprised. I even enjoyed the adults' stories.

I liked the fact that the main character was a girl jerk and the two boys nice guys, different from the usual nice girl falls for the jerk guy. So you don't know who she's going to end up with.

The joy and passion these young people have for their music is inspiring. Dream High is not only for young people, but for old people with dreams too.

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OCT
19

Linsanity the Movie--An Inspiring Asian American Success Story about Jeremy Lin

A week and a half ago, I watched Linsanity the Movie about NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin. In February of 2012, he shocked the sports world with a five-game winning streak for the New York Knicks.

More shocking was the fact that he seemed to come out of nowhere. Undrafted and unwanted by the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, he ended up with the Knicks and fully expected to be sent home. Then several New York players became injured or sick and Lin got his last chance to show what he could do. He amazed his teammates, opponents, fans, and the sports world by sinking baskets left and right, tearing up the court.

Sports commentators didn't know how to describe him. Unfortunately, some ugly racial stereotypes came out that actually started a dialogue on how Asians have been ignored or misrepresented. But the movie doesn't dwell on this. Lin credits his parents and his Christian faith for seeing him through good times and bad. His God gave him strength to do what he needed to when he needed to.

This inspiring movie gives hope to anyone the world has written off. No matter what your skin color or others' perception of you is, your dreams still can come true.

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JUN
23

Fierce Compassion: The Life of Abolitionist Donaldina Cameron

Fierce Compassion: The Life of Abolitionist Donaldina Cameron, by Kristin and Kathryn Wong

Can one ordinary person truly make a difference? In turn-of-the-twentieth century San Francisco Chinatown, Donaldina Cameron did just that. Fighting against racism, gangs, and her own self-doubt, Miss Cameron freed thousands of Chinese slave girls from prostitution and dealt a huge blow to human trafficking.

From Scottish ancestry and born in New Zealand, Donaldina moved north from Southern California to 920 Stockton Street to teach sewing for a year, but ended up staying for forty-six. She also became an advocate for the Chinese living in America and traveled to many cities speaking on the topic.

This biography by a mother-daughter writing team captures readers' imagination and takes them to the streets of Chinatown exploring not only Miss Cameron's life, but the lives of the many girls and women she saved. Most were tricked or coerced into prostitution or sold as house slaves by desperate parents in China. The book portrays their struggles to escape slavery and adjust to life as free women.

Today, a hundred years later, human trafficking again has risen to the forefront of the public eye. Fierce Compassion is must-reading for anyone interested in modern-day slavery, Chinese-American history, Christian biographies, San Francisco Chinatown, the Presbyterian Church, the abolitionist movement, inspirational stories, women's issues, Donaldina Cameron House and more.

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MAR
16

GCB: Hell Hath No Fury

On March 11th, I watched the second episode of GCB. In the first episode, the protagonist, Amanda Vaughn, played by Leslie Bibb, seemed to be the only positive major character in the show set in a mainly Christian community in Texas. I was hoping the second episode would introduce more positive Christian characters. I missed the first five minutes, but viewers did get to see some of the major characters change for the better.

Heather the realtor, played by Marisol Nichols, finally accepts Amanda's apologies and befriends her, even openly defying Carlene. Cricket the businesswoman advises her daughter Alexandra, played by Alix Gitter, to be nice to Amanda's daughter Laura, played by Lauran Irion, and not throw mud on her in a mean girl ritual.

The strained relationship between Amanda and her mother Gigi, played by Annie Potts, is explored. Gigi is portrayed as a prudish, self-righteous Christian and Dallas socialite whom Amanda had vowed she would never be like. But Amanda finds herself in the same situation with her daughter, when Laura vows never to be a mean girl like her mother was in high school.

The wacky characters introduced in the first episode seem to be getting rounded out. Hopefully, as the show progresses, all the characters will become more developed and show both good and bad characteristics.

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AUG
19

A Week at the Squaw Valley Screenwriters Workshop

In May, I received a call from Diana Fuller, director of the Squaw Valley Screenwriters Workshop and was ecstatic to be invited to participate. The workshop has been held every summer in the Lake Tahoe area since 1985 under Diana’s helm. From August 6-13th, twenty-two screenwriters plus ten staff participated in informative workshops, inspiring speeches, eye-opening panel discussions, and getting-down-to-brass-tacks mentoring sessions.

Morning workshops covered topics like beginnings and endings, theme and structure, characters, sub-plots and backstory and panel discussions. Afternoons were reserved for individual conferences with our mentors. I had applied to the workshop with a completed screenplay. My mentor, Lisa Rosenberg, had read the manuscript before the workshop and critiqued it. During the week, screenwriters took time in the afternoons and evenings to revise their work. Lisa and I met five times to discuss my revisions and she helped me take my screenplay to the next level.

One evening, before dinner, we played a pitching game in which teams voted for one screenwriter from each team to represent them in a pitch-off. Four screenwriters then pitched their story before the whole group and participants voted on which screenplay they would most like to see on film. My roommate, Mary Park, won for a screenplay about the Korean War.

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357 Hits
NOV
22

Thanksgiving the Chinese Way, sticky rice and all

As the holiday season draws nears, I'd like to post the very first article I got published ten years ago. Can't believe I've been writing that long. It appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. BTW, the Chinese characters to the right mean "Thanksgiving Day."

Thanksgiving the Chinese way, sticky rice and all

While I was growing up in the nineteen sixties and seventies, my family always ate the same dishes every year at Thanksgiving—but, oh, were they delicious! As a Chinese American family, we blended the best from both cultures into one meal.

My mother was very Americanized. She was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Alameda. She seasoned her turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning and beau monde. These flavors mixed together on the skin formed a savory, crackly, pudgy texture. The most flavorful part of the turkey was the wing, because it was covered with the most skin. However, the very best part of the turkey, over which my sister, brother and I constantly fought, was the turkey wing tip, not only for the aforementioned taste, but because it also had the most fat and was good for gnawing. We weren’t concerned about our cholesterol as children.

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NOV
01

Malcolm Gladwell Discusses Asians in The Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell is not Asian American, but he discusses Asians and others in his bestseller, The Outliers. "Outlier" is a scientific term to describe something that lies outside normal experience. Why did so many Korean Airlines planes crash in the 1990's? Why are so many Asians good at math? Gladwell theorizes that generational legacies have more to do with success and failure than we realize.

Because of Korean views of authority and heirarchy, Gladwell says, a co-pilot and flight engineer had to speak to a pilot in "mitigated" or polite speech, even when they thought he was wrong. The pilot was in charge, despite being tired or otherwise not at his best. They could do nothing unless the pilot told them to. So when bad weather, a minor technical malfunction, and a tired pilot combined, trouble ensued and crashes happened. But Gladwell also gives an example of a non-Asian country in which the people have similar views of authority and heirarchy and a high percentage of plane crashes. So it wasn't just an Asian thing. Korean Airlines has since changed the way their cockpit crews communicate.

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OCT
26

Asian American Sports with Rick Quan: Interview with Michael Chang

When I found out about Asian American Sports with Rick Quan, I could hardly wait to share my thoughts on this unique website. Rick Quan is a Christian and had been a sportscaster in the San Francisco Bay Area for a number of years. In April 2008, he started his own video production company, Rick Quan Productions. With the sports website, Rick is doing for Asian American athletes what I am doing for Asian American Christian artists and writers--showcasing the talents of sometimes overlooked Asian Americans.

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AUG
03
0

Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith

More Than Serving Tea shares true stories of how Asian American Christian women must navigate three cultures; Asian, American and Christian, that sometimes conflict with each other. Being pulled by expectations, perfectionist tendencies, and swallowing suffering are a few of the problems many AAC women face. I really like this book as it is very eye-opening. It speaks to me and elucidates areas that I suspected were true of many AAC women, but were never fully delineated. I've learned something about myself and others around me. Kudos to Nikki A. Toyama, Tracey Gee, Kathy Khang, Christie Heller de Leon, Asifa Dean and Jeanette Yep for their roles in compiling this book.

MTSTbook 

 

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About Us

A screenwriter who have written various genres.  I have five completed screenplays and are ready to be optioned or produced. 

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