Monthly Archives: January 2017

Project Memoir

Writing Hieu Tran’s memoir is an intimidating project for me as a writer. In order to truly write a book about a child who leaves Vietnam alone in search of a place called “America,” I need to understand the Vietnamese people and how the Vietnam war affected the people of Vietnam, especially after the war.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information available, in general, about the people of Vietnam. Most of what I find is about the Vietnam war.

I finally found one book: The Vietnamese Boat People, 1954 and 1975-1992, (By Nghia M. Vo) which led to two more: In the Jaws of History (By Bui Diem with David Chanoff) and The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides (By: Christian G. Appy).

I have already learned some important details.

(1) The Vietnamese people have a fierce desire for Vietnam to be ruled by other Vietnamese and not by foreigners.

(2)Countries will go to extraordinary lengths to remain in control of a foreign country once they claim it–regardless of the harm this brings to the people of that country.

(3)People can suffer an extreme amount of abuse, hunger, and deprivation.

I have also learned that, at least during the years leading up to Hieu’s escape, the two main religions in Vietnam were Buddhist and Catholic.

If you can suggest additional resources that can help me in my endeavor to learn about the Vietnamese culture and people, please comment below or leave a message on my Facebook page.

Exciting Announcement–As Promised!!!!

This announcement really belongs more to Hieu Tran than to me. He and I are collaborating on his memoir. Hieu  escaped Vietnam, alone, when he was twelve and came to live in the United States. His book is about his life, especially his experience getting to the United States and what happened after he got to the United States. It is also motivational as Hieu  has learned valuable life lessons we can use in our lives. Stay tuned for updates.

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I have a big announcement to make about a project. I will be posting about it on Monday.

Contest Entries

I just entered two stories in the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition.  I will know on or before February 28, 2017, if either of my entries place. I worked on setting and character development with these two, so they should stand a better chance than last time. I will keep you posted.

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

I am hooked on this book series. It has really dark humor. I have laughed out loud a few times while reading the first book–and I don’t generally laugh out loud when I am reading. It is a great adventure story for kids 6th grade and up.

Contest Results

I did not win the contest, or even place in one of the categories. I hypothesize three reasons:

  1.  I did not establish the setting well enough.
  2. I did not describe the characters well enough.
  3. I do not have a big enough audience to win a prize of this size.

What do we do when we lose a contest?

Fix the story and enter it into another contest. I LOVE this story.