March 2022–Uncanny Mag, layoff, and staying happy

What a month March has been. It only feels like it was just March 1, when I had such a strong start with a publication in Uncanny Magazine and all of the sudden, it’s March 31 today.

This month was a blur. Let me start with the good stuff: On March 1, after decade of trying, I’m finally in Uncanny Magazine!!!!!! 

Wouldn’t have made it in without my dear friend Meghan Elison. She randomly asked me if I happened to have any nonfiction work. It just so happened I had an essay due for revisions sitting around! 

“Acknowledging Taiwanese-American Vampire Foodies” is my love letter to one of my favorite Taiwanese street snacks, pigs’ blood cake, and waxes poetic about my ethnic cultural and goth subcultural background fueling my writing. The support and response I’ve received from my agent, writer friends, and non-writer friends has been so heartwarming. One of the responses that has meant the most to me is my mom. A Taiwanese immigrant herself, she’s always supported me in writing (the one creative outlet she’s approved of for me), and I loved her live reactions as she was reading it. On the day of publication, she laughed and told me my writing was very engaging, witty, and funny. She even shared it with her friends, aunties who’ve seen me grow up, and they all congratulated her for my achievement. One of the aunties even texted her that she always admired my persistence to go after my writing goals since I was a kid. That really meant a lot to me. 

I’m in issue 45!

One week later on March 8, I got laid off from my day job. It was honestly a blessing in disguise. I generally try to keep my day profession and creative pursuits separate, so I won’t talk too much about it in this blog post, but if you keep up with mortgage and/or tech industry, then you’ve likely heard about the mass layoff that happened at Better Mortgage, and all the bad PR surrounding the company. I’ve written my experiences on LinkedIn on the day of the layoff, one week later, and three weeks later when the Scotsman Guide rankings were publicly released.

March has been a month of running around with tying up loose ends, mentally and physically chasing anything and everything that needs closure, and surprisingly actually not writing as much as I would have liked to. On happier notes, my first-ever Taiwanese passport arrived in the mail (yay for joining the dual passport club), I saw Turning Red at Grand Lake Theater in Oakland (only 1 out of 3 theaters in the nation that played it, the other two were in LA and NY), and celebrated my 6 year anniversary with my boyfriend. On our anniversary, I surprised him by wearing a sewing project I’ve kept secret for the past two months: the Blood of Stars dress from Elizabeth Lim’s Blood of Stars duology.

My interpretation of the Blood of Stars gown

One of the ways I kept myself busy and happy while there’s no day job to worry about is completing all 3 enchanted gowns. I think they deserve a blog post of their own, especially since Elizabeth Lim’s works has been an inspiration for my own writing. 

In April, on top of job hunting and interviewing, writing-wise, I’ll be turning my focus to the two novels I’m working on (a dark fantasy MG I’ve been working on since last year and am revising after getting feedback from two CPs, and a historical fiction I’m in the early stages of researching for), going through the BIPOC fairytale anthology submissions, recording a sci-fi audiobook narration, and traveling to Pennsylvania for the In-Community Retreat for AAPI Kidlit Creatives taking place at the Highlights Foundation. It’s hosted by Grace Lin and my agent sibling, Debbi Michiko Florence. I’m SO excited to be connecting with other AAPI kidlit writers, and will certainly be dedicating another blog post to that experience.

So excited to go aaaahhhhhh!!!!!

Ending March with bigger and better things to come! 

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