Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 3

Just wanted to post some happy news today. I am an adoptee from South-Korea and I was pleased to hear the news that Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl and her husband Josh Kelley had adopted their first daughter, 10 month old Nancy Leigh, nicknamed Naleigh, from South-Korea. She is named after Heigl’s mother Nancy and her sister Leigh who is also adopted from South-Korea. The adoption process, which requires a couple to be married for more than 3 years (Heigl and her husband married in 2007) was allegedly pushed forward because their daughter has special needs. The couple has posted pictures of their daughter on their animal rescue website http://www.jasonheiglfoundation.org/news.html

Heigl and her husband are joining other celebrities, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as the most famous ones, who adopt overseas. As far as I know, they are the first celebrity couple to adopt from South-Korea AND also adopt a special needs baby. I think they are setting a good example and the baby looks very cute!

Here are other less known overseas, mixed race adoptions amongst celebrities: Hugh Jackman: Adopted son of African-American origin, Steven Spielberg and actress Cate Capshaw: Adopted son of African-American origin (they also have 1 daughter who is adopted), Mary Louise Parker: Adopted daughter from Africa, country unknown, Meg Ryan: Adopted daughter Daisy, 1 year old from China in 2006.

Check out more famous adoptees and adoptive parents at http://celebrities.adoption.com/
- the list is quite impressive!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 2

Day 2: Is writing secret or are there secrets you cannot write about?

When you read someone's diary and the writer suddenly skips one day, do you assume that the writer did not have anything to say that particular day or that he or she skipped it on purpose? It could be either. I once thought that writing about myself and my own experiences was the most selfish, boring thing you could do. I believed that the writer should distance herself or himself from anything personal or private and write about something entirely different. Well, then. What is that something exactly?

Maybe some writers are only able to write about certain events and situations in past tense. "Yesterday was my birthday." Or "Yesterday I met an old friend." They need a certain distance. It does not mean that they don't want to write about it right away. If they had, the story could've been different, maybe more honest. "I am mad at her for not writing to me all these years" instead of "We had not seen each other for so long."

From early age, when I first started writing in my early teen years, I have consulted my diary entries on many occasions. My first novel, "When the tigers smoked" (Da tigrene r√łykte, Damm 2007) is loosely based on my own experience as an adoptee traveling back to my birth country South-Korea even though the narrative self in the novel, Katinka, was very different from my own, personal voice. Maybe my novel would've been different had it not been for the fact that my diaries from the year I traveled to South-Korea, 1991 and 1992 respectively, are missing. Was there a secret hiding in those diary entries? I will never know.

My theory is this: If you're a writer or want to be a writer and you want to write something, then start with yourself. It can be simple, it can be complicated, but at least, it will be honest. After all, one of the most famous books of all times was a diary, Anne Frank's Diary. Not only was it never suppose to be published (aka secret), but after her death it was even banned (considered too honest about being Jewish) in many countries for a while. Franz Kafka, another famous writer, also wrote diary. He always wrote strictly about literature and writing, never about his private life. He kept that part a secret. Virginia Woolf's diaries is being read as part of her authorship. The common thing I find between these writers, are that they never intended these diaries to be published.

Maybe there are secrets you cannot write about. But think about it. If there were no secrets left to tell, we wouldn't have some much fun writing about them.

Maybe this blog would've been different if I wrote it last night. After all, I was suppose to post it yesterday.

Day 1

Day 1: About the difficulty of writing and the beauty of writing.

The Chilean writer Isabelle Allende once said: "The first lie of fiction is that the author brings some order to the chaos of life." Perhaps writing is suppose to be a mystery. There's certainly many writers that encourage that myth. Yes, writing is difficult. Virginia Woolf only wrote for 1 or 2 hours in the mornings. Then she spent the rest of her day reading and writing essays. In the afternoon, she revised what she wrote in the morning. Other writers prefer night-time or isolation in order to concentrate. Yes, it is sometimes best to isolate yourself from the world in order to create your own, fictious world. Some would even say that writing is impossible. A writer has to be his or her own reader, marketing manager, strategic consultant, problem-solver, not to mention, his or her own, crisis coordinator. But most of all, a writer has to develop his or her own narrative. His or her own language that defines them as a writer. The writer Jim Grace says: "Narrative is not just for novelists. Writers simply formalize between covers what is an essential life skill for human beings. To have no spoken narrative skill is a form of autism." Maybe I don't agree with Grace that everyone should know how to narrate his or her course of day the way a novelist do. After all, human beings has different life skills. But I do agree with him that a narrative skill is a writer's magic spell. I would except that a writer would surprise and impress me and even challenge me with his or her narrative skills. I except nothing less for my own writing. Which is why it is difficult. Back to point 1.

Writing is the stuff that dreams are made of. Or was that poetry? The Japanese writer Yukio Mishima writes in "Thirst for Love" from 1969:

"Life - this limitless, complex sea, filled with assorted flotsam, brimming with capricious, violent and yet eternally transparent blues and green."

Yes. It is possible to except the impossible and yet, it is also the beauty of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Test

This is a test.