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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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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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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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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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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.



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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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