Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6-25 (yuk-yi-o AKA the Korean War) ramblings

In remembering the upcoming anniversary of 6-25, referred to as yuk-yi-o (June 25th   when the Korean War started in 1950), I’ve decided to share my story on how the war had shaped my family’s lives. Oh yeah and how the war gave birth to one of my favorite dishes, the budaejjigae (army based soup).

Budae=army base
Jjigae=stew



Sunday, June 21, 2015

1.) Letter to Self - 2.) Letter to Future Readers

I have just completed the first draft of my book. And here I go....getting all dramatic and writing letters like it's a huge deal lol.
 

 
 
 
A Letter to Self
 

Dear self,

Well, you finally did it. You have finally finished writing a book. You should be proud that you stuck with it until the end this time. Okay fine, don’t be too proud yet. You’ve only finished the easy and fun part so far, the first draft. I hope that you are enjoying your time off from the book and resting while you can. What lies ahead is sure to bring unimaginable headaches, wanting to shoot yourself moments, sleepless nights, tears, heartaches, and possibly every emotion known to mankind. Brace yourself. Be prepared. The end results will be greater in reward. Your efforts are sure to shine in the end. Just keep going no matter what. You got this.    
Like I said, save the proud moment for later when it has been earned. Well, maybe you do have a right to be a little proud….maybe 10% proud for seeing the fun and easy part to the end. When was the last time you finished writing a book? In the fifth grade when you created that fairy tale novel of a dozen pages or so? Of course you remember. You wrote, illustrated, and crafted (with construction paper that was held together with a string that book. It was that story that the teacher accused you of plagiarizing. It was the story you spent time thinking and thinking of and creating all on your own.

You had what was probably your first writer’s block back then. And when inspiration finally hit, you wrote what you thought was one of your best work only to have the teacher say, “You were supposed to create your own story, not write the same story from one of the books,”
You were flabbergasted. What was she talking about? You had read most of the fairy tale books in the class during leisure reading time. Frustrated and angry at being accused, you go to the back of the room to dig through all of the selected books that were stacked standing in that week’s book box. You have read almost every book in there. Then, you come across an unfamiliar book that you have seen but not ever read or looked through. It must have been that one fairy tale book you had missed. You flip through it. The story is identical to yours. How could this be? You thought of the plot all on your own. You put imagination and creativity into it. But someone else had written the exact same story. “WTF??” your little mind thinks. With no way to prove yourself, you have no choice but to rewrite another fairy tale for that assignment. It is second best to your masterpiece, but what else could you do? As infuriated as you were, you are impressed with yourself.

And now, XX years later, you complete your first book since that fairy tale. Sure, you have finished writing plenty of short stories in your Short Story writing classes as a Creative Writing major. But remember those partial WIP scripts you have submitted in your novel writing class? Whatever happened to those two novels that you were supposed to go somewhere with? It was one of your last classes in college. When school was over and done with, you never once looked back on those WIP’s.
And then you grew up, got a job, and before you knew it, you were just another regular 9-5er bored to tears every day as you rot at your desk.

Years later, the foodie in you decides to enroll in culinary school. You have zero desire to even consider working in the kitchen as most of the students there do. You just want to expand your foodie-ism and learn to cook better at home. Culinary school seemed more practical and fun than if you were to take weekly cooking classes at the local likes of Sur Le Table and such. Culinary school meant playtime in the kitchen every night…and eating yummy every night. So sure why not…
Being at the time of recession, your freelance work suffers, as did many businesses everywhere. To supplement your income, you start to pick up kitchen work here and there. But deep inside, you know it’s not what you want to do. You hate it. But hey, you spent all that money on culinary school and it would be a crying shame if you made no use of it at all with that little shit paper they hand out when you complete the program, right?

As a lover of food and writing, you feel that writing about food has to be your calling. You start on an inspired-by-a-true-story novel halfway into the program. You tell everyone you know that you are writing a book inspired by the world that they are a part of. You start brainstorming. Once you think you have something, you share the details with all your culinary school classmates. The book is centered around aspiring chefs (just like them). They feign interest when you tell them that some of the characters in your book are going to be inspired by them. They ask when the book will come out. You tell them….hmmm…in about a year or so.  
When the program ends, so does the life of your book. Life becomes busy again. There is little to no leisure time at all to invest in writing.

Years pass by. Working in the kitchen somehow turned into your main job. You are still puzzled how all this happened when that was not the plan. “When I find the time one of these days, I am going to write and finish a book,” you tell yourself time and time again. But time is nowhere to be found. But you don’t want another five years, and then ten years to pass by again only to say, “I wish I had,”
No, years from now, you are going to want to say, “I did it. And I will do it again,”

Besides, you are much better apt now to tell the kind of story that you were trying to tell some years ago. With a similar plot, your pigeonholed story was revamped….with similar but new and improved characters, more realistic scenes, and told from a more mature voice.
So here we are now…first draft finished and in the early impressionable stages of life. And we are about to embark on one heck of a journey in preparation of when it is going to finally be ready, ready to go out into the world. Please don’t lose focus and don’t let this one die. Let’s do this, self!

 

Your #1 fan,

Self

 
A Letter to the Future Readers of my Book


Dear future readers of my book,

First of all, I want to say thank you for your interest. Thank you for choosing my book out of the gigantic pool of the many fabulous books out there, -books written by accomplished and esteemed authors that actually know how to write.
I also want to apologize ahead of time. God’s honest truth is that I am clueless of what I am doing. Half of the time, I have no idea what I am doing or if I am doing it right. In just writing my first draft, I am pretty sure that I have broken every rule in the writing book. Some of you might find my book to be garbage. Heck, even I think it is pure garbage sometimes….well, with the first draft anyways. But first drafts are supposed to be garbage, right? There have been times when I almost felt like I should just be leaving it to those that actually know what they are doing.

But nonetheless, I will continue to write. And I will continue to edit, revise, rewrite, rewrite, revise, edit, edit, edit, and repeat until my garbage turns into a masterpiece.....errr...or as close to as I can possibly make it. lol
I choose to write because I want to give life to the characters that only my imagination can create. The world needs them.

While I continue to work on this little first book of mine, I promise to draw from every creative fiber from within to bring you into a world that you want to become a part of.
I also promise to read as much as I can on everything about writing fiction, more specifically, romance. I don’t want to embarrass myself or be criticized when the time comes. I want to give you a story that I am proud of. That can only be accomplished if I am to put my heart and soul into it. And that, I intend to do. I will do it for you, my future readers.

I am not going to lie to you. There may be times when the WIP gets pushed to the side. Life happens..shit happens…..there may be times when I may take a break from the whole process to clear my head. But one thing that I promise is that no matter how long it takes, how painful the whole experience can become, I AM going to bring this book to life. And I intend to take you on a memorable journey. That’s all.

 

Sincerely,

 

Miss Kim

Monday, June 8, 2015

Finishing Up The First Draft Of My Book - Inspiring Déjà vu Moments That Pushed Me To Keep Writing

Where does the time go? I started writing my book almost a year ago, thought I would be done with the first draft by the end of last year, and going through the umpteenth editing process right about now. Where is my freaking discipline? I blame it all on laziness, busy-ness, tiredness, and again on laziness. But I will finish getting there. I may slack behind now and then, but I will get it done.....one of these days.  

Nonetheless, I wanted to say thanks for letting me share my progress over the past year, which included:

- new ideas flowing, having fun writing, unsure where the story will lead. This was probably the easiest and most exciting phase of the first draft. I had a ton of ideas in my head just waiting to be written into a novel.

- getting hot and steamy. I knew my book was going to include the hot and steamy scenes, but I actually got into writing them out, I began worrying about the embarrassment of having people close to me getting a hold of my book. But I had to stop focusing on the embarrassment and just write without fear.

-going through a mild slump and finding more inspiration. Sometimes inspiration just falls in your lap when you least expect it. Other times, reading will inspire new ideas.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Juicy Kdramas that will make you hungry

When I come across a Kdrama (Korean drama) that I find enticingly juicy, I get HOOKED…like I’ll binge watch until the sun comes up (if it’s not a newer drama and all or many episodes already been aired), then feel like shit the next day for staying up all night. But I can't help it. Many of my favorites have been ones with a focus on food. And of course, if it does not include scandals, secrets, adultery, and revenge, I won’t get hooked. These are all components to anything juicy, right? I’ve compiled a list of some of my all time favorites. If you are a newbie to Kdramas, check them out (with subtitles). I've been told that I have good taste in drama, so take my word.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Sous Chef from Hell

About a couple of months ago, a major dickhead entered our kitchen. Tony was his name. I hated him immediately. I hated him even before officially meeting him. It was his aura. Everything about him made me cringe. I walked in one day and AD points him out saying, “Did you see the new sous chef (she said he was an uncle of her first boyfriend when she was living in Mexico)?” I glanced across the kitchen to find a tiny, petite, middle aged bald man going over things with another chef, “E”. AD referred to this new guy as a “Mini ‘E’”, as he resembled a tinier version of him (the stache, the baldness, etc.)

The new dickhead was loud, foul mouthed, chauvinistic, perverted, and rude. And I sensed all this from observing him that day before we even officially exchanged introductions.  And my intuition turned out to be spot on about this guy. Sometimes my intuition amazes me lol.
You know that feeling of how the homogeneity of the workplace seems to be flowing smoothly until an outside factor is added only to taint everything? Well, that is exactly how it felt with Tony.

I have no idea where this mother fucker came from or where they found him.  I remember thinking to myself, “Why did they have to hire such an ass hole?”
Tony was mean, self entitled, and one of the people that misuses his authoritive position. I was probably the first one that hated him (because I just have a knack of who I am going to and should hate..and it has always proven me well). And after seeing Tony’s true colors, other haters followed. But I still probably hated him the most.