“Living Room” is live at Wyoming Public Media

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Photo by the wonderful Ash Ngu

Woohoo!

Way back when I recorded an essay for the radio. Remember that? It’s since been produced and published. Grab it on iTunes or on Wyoming Public Media.

Oh my! I’ve been waiting for this since February of 2016. When I received the email this morning that it had been completed I almost didn’t open it for fear of hearing my own voice. Of course, that’s silly. I’m so glad I did. So much has changed since I sent a query from chilly London to windswept Wyoming to see if they’d have me on the Wyoming Public Media Spoken Words program. When I went in to record an essay about her, my grandma was still living in her own house at the age of 90. Since then we’ve helped her move into assisted living. When I first went in to record, I was just launching a journey to independently discover who I was as a creative media maker. Since then, I’ve learned much more about that part of myself and feel confident in it. Of course, both of these situations will continue to evolve, not unlike what I describe in this piece, and this podcast captures a perfect snapshot of where my family and I were at that very moment, one tile in a mosaic I’m piecing together.

Many thanks to the team at Wyoming Public Radio & Media​, especially production director Micah Schweizer for thoughtful conversation on third culture and mixed race experiences, and producer Annie Osburne for making sense of it and putting it all together. Thanks to GrubWriters​ and Jennifer Mattson​ for initially giving me an outlet to play with essay, including this one. Thanks to Gakko​ for the media-making and identity formation love. Thanks to CSU APACC​ for the community and Silk Knots support. Thanks to the East Bay Donut Club for the community and nudge to keep writing — this story and others.

P.S. Still building out the Silk Knots archive. Record or write something here.

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Homecoming

She said our meeting was 命運, fate. And I believed her. Words from the young woman I met at the airport, in transit from one country to another. I had been on the road now for more than six months. I had started to yearn for home. Where was home, any way? She reminded me it was with good people. Continue reading “Homecoming”

Let’s Talk Story: A Need for Speed

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Growing up, Alexander Larson had a need for speed. Make that Speed — the 1994 action film. It was the cars that drew him to the film (a subject he’s still passionate about as he pursues his degree in Mechanical Engineering as a senior at Colorado State University) but it was also something else. It starred someone who looked like him. Keanu Reeves is one of the best known Hollywood actors who happens to be part Asian, significant when only one out of 20 speaking roles goes to Asians and only one percent land leading roles. Alexander writes about these memories and more in his essay here.  Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: A Need for Speed”

Musings on literature in translation and a quest to see the Super Moon in London

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Behind the scenes to the most recent feature I wrote.

One of the things that makes me feel grounded and connected to all parts of my identity (and just generally feel human ) is gazing at the moon. It’s something that’s simple and universal, but has special significance to me because it’s referenced so frequently in Chinese poetry, including the Tang poet Li Bai’s famed work “Quiet Night Thinking.” This week I wrote about it in relation to my quest to see the Super Moon.

I hadn’t done written translations since college, and started to consider it again this summer when my English vocabulary fell short in trying to describe my affection for my childhood best friend in a speech. It worked out so well I decided to try it again. Continue reading “Musings on literature in translation and a quest to see the Super Moon in London”

Kyungso Park and Andy Sheppard at the Royal Albert Hall, London

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I’ve been away from home for quite some time. This statement then begs the question, where, exactly, is home? For now, I content myself with the idea that my home is wherever I happen to be at a given moment, in this case, London. It’s rather difficult to conduct oral histories based in the Mountain West here or the other nine countries I’ve since visited, so I’ve been occupying my time in myriad other ways, including other sorts of research and writing. Continue reading “Kyungso Park and Andy Sheppard at the Royal Albert Hall, London”

Let’s Talk Story: The Company We Meet, the Family We Keep

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Who’s your family? Sometimes it’s the people we choose, and sometimes it’s those we’re born to. In the case of two Colorado State University students, these relationships are works in progress. Myvy Ngo talks about the evolution of her relationship with her parents who immigrated from Vietnam, and another discusses the familial roles different family members and friends have played at various times in her life. Listen to their conversation above, or read on for a full transcript. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: The Company We Meet, the Family We Keep”