As I worked on the pitch for my web series, I realized that even though I’d put my novel writing on hold, I didn’t want to give up the story entirely. It wasn’t going to be as easy to pick my novel back up as it was to put down. A story has peaks and valleys; I’d stopped in a valley and it was difficult to find the momentum to reach the next peak from there. So I turned to research, where I always turn when I want to get my head into the story without actually writing. However, on this occasion, Google wasn’t enough.
I stopped writing for a while. Half because I got busy, half because, I don’t know. I stopped feeling like a writer.
I’m in an airport as I write this, but won’t be anymore when you read it. I’m on my way to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam, where I will rendezvous with my mom, my sister Amy, and my brother Marvin. My flights were booked later and as a result, I’m travelling separately from them.
My computer is getting slower by the day and it is driving my crazy. Also driving me crazy? My room. I don’t have a chair for my desk so I have to bend over to use my laptop which is uncomfortable and probably bad for me. I have stuff all over the floor in an attempt to organise. My closet is still waiting for some coverage. My wall is still blank. It is not the inspiring space I wanted to spend my summer writing in. It is not a retreat in any way except that it has a door which separates me from the less-than stellar living conditions outside of it…
I was trying so hard to get used to the idea of my little brother getting older. For the past three months I was going around in a stupor, repeating to myself “Bub’s going to be twelve soon. Bub’s going to be twelve soon.” I convinced myself of it. Then I got home and discovered he was only going to be eleven and I picked him up in a huge hug and yelled “Thank god! You’re too little to be big!”
My sister turned sixteen last week. Yup. She’s growing up without me on the other side of the world. But I’m still her big sister, so today I’m going to give her some sisterly advice. Here are 16 tips for my sixteen-year-old sister.
On my mom’s side, I have 20 aunts and uncles and 25 cousins, three of which have spouses and one who has a toddler and a baby due any day now. Including my siblings and I, my maternal grandparents have 28 grandchildren and nearly 2 great-grandchildren. I am the youngest of the older half of the grandchildren, and for six years before 2011, I was smack dab in the middle.
On Christmas there’s a big party at my grandparents’ house. After dinner, presents—usually between close cousins, or godparents and godchildren—are given out. Then the older half, plus the oldest of the younger half, of the cousins do our secret santa exchange and get to discover who had our name and so on. After we’re done, the adults (I guess, at twenty, I’m technically an adult, but here “adult” means family members out of university who have jobs and own homes and stuff) play their gift-giving game where they draw numbers and the whole thing is kind of complicated.
After the adults have finished their game, the dining table is cleared and the poker game begins.