Tag Archive | review

Maui

First, here’s a lovely review of Wildings I stumbled upon!

At the end of February, I went to Maui for a family wedding. After all my friends in the Phonetics Lab went to Honolulu for the Acoustical Society of America’s conference at the end of November, I was particularly eager to go to Hawaii myself, especially since I’d never been there before. I’d never visited the non-continental U.S. or flown over the Pacific Ocean before either.

It was my mother’s cousin who was getting married, and my mother and I were the only representatives of the groom’s extended family. The bride had scads of relatives who traveled to Maui from Los Angeles, Toronto, Washington, D.C., Jakarta, and Singapore, among other places. Her family was very warm. And multilingual! Mandarin, Cantonese, Lao, English, French…

sam_1073

My great-aunt (the mother of the groom) and me at the rehearsal dinner

We were invited to the tea ceremony in the morning before the wedding itself. I’d never participated in any traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies before, so it was fascinating for me. And as a younger relative, I received 紅包 from the couple!

img_4384

View from the lawn where the wedding was held

The day after the wedding, my mother and I went snorkeling. On the boat ride to Molokini, we saw half a dozen or so humpback whales logging, breaching, and waving their pectoral fins out of the dark blue waves! It was quite spectacular. Definitely topped the whale watching I did off the coast of Maine once. Once we reached Molokini, a crescent-shaped volcanic crater I’d seen from the plane flying into Maui, we donned wetsuits, flippers, and snorkels and plopped off the back of the boat into the water. I’d never really swum in the ocean before; it was fun being so buoyant. The water was beautifully clear, and the coral and the fish were gorgeous. It was especially wondrous when those silky, gem-colored fish swam right past your face or your hands.

The next day, my mother and I drove along the northern coast of Maui on the road to Hana (we didn’t actually go all the way to Hana). This extremely twisty road, with its one-lane bridges, winds through mountains and rain forest, past many lovely waterfalls. There was even a hillside with goats on it! We stopped at the Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden, where we admired the peacocks, exotic ducks, and many interesting native and non-native plants.

img_4440

View of Puohokamoa Falls from the Garden of Eden

On our last morning, we visited the town of Lahaina and the Wo Hing Temple, now the Chinese Museum. The museum seemed to have actual Shang Dynasty oracle bones (?!) and Song Dynasty pottery, among other Chinese artifacts. There were also photographs depicting the history of the Chinese community in Maui and lots of information on Sun Yat-sen, who visited Hawaii six times in his life and lived for a time in Maui.

img_4512

Inside the Wo Hing Society’s cookhouse at the Chinese Museum in Lahaina

All in all, it was a delightful family wedding and an idyllic post-prospectus defense vacation.

Wildings Galore!

Wildingslatest trade review is from VOYA! You can read it here. The book will be out in the world in less than two weeks! And yesterday, a whole bunch of books arrived in the mail. I could build a book castle!

img_4190

img_4195

Also, here’s an article about a new independent children’s bookstore opening in the Twin Cities! It of course mentions the lovely Red Balloon Bookshop and Wild Rumpus, two of my favorite places. I’ll be at Red Balloon in just over two weeks for Wildings‘ Minnesota launch.

Angel Island and Muir Woods

Wildings just got a lovely review from Publishers Weekly!

The day after the opera, my parents and I visited Angel Island with some friends. We took the ferry from Tiburon to the island.

img_3894

Angel Island was once home to an immigration station that processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants, most of them Chinese. Due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese immigrants were detained for weeks, months, or even longer on Angel Island. They carved poetry expressing their hopes, disillusionment, melancholy, and despair on the walls of the detention barracks, and some of these poems can still be seen today.

I was particularly excited to find a poem written by a Yee (余) from Taishan (台山) because my mother’s surname is 余 (Yee) and her family is from 台山! I could imagine that this poem was written by a distant relative of mine.

img_3907

The poem in Chinese

img_3908

The English translation

img_3909

The poem itself on the wall (the end and the signature)

For a lovely story about a character from 台山 who spends time on Angel Island, read S. Qiouyi Li’s “Her Sacred Spirit Soars” in Strange Horizons.

The following day, we visited Muir Woods, a pocket of primeval forest in the mountains north of the Golden Gate Bridge. We arrived just after the park opened and walked among the towering coastal redwoods before too many hordes descended upon the wood.

img_3974

Minnesota State Fair 2016

First, a bit of book news: Wildings received a review I’m quite pleased with from Kirkus!

I kept up my tradition of making it to the Minnesota State Fair every year I can. Here are some photos:

IMG_3623

I started off with the beer brat buddies

IMG_3625

Ukrainian eggs decorated by Luba Perchyshyn

IMG_3651

Lovely delphinium at the flower show in the Ag and Horticulture Building

IMG_3653

Minnesota food brands

IMG_3674

Kids in the Miracle of Birth Center

IMG_3705

Sheep in the Sheep Barn

IMG_3706

Cattle in the Cattle Barn

IMG_3713

There was once again a sad dearth of goats, just two rows of Boer goats in the Swine Barn. Clearly Read and Ride Day (i.e. library card discount day) does not coincide with goat judging. I may have to adjust my fairgoing strategy.

Chocolate Agate Crunch

Izzy’s Chocolate Agate Crunch with Church ‘Elder’ Berry Izzy scoop, from the Hamline Church Dining Hall

IMG_3753

Art in the Fine Arts Building

IMG_3761

A linotype machine! Like in Sparkers!

IMG_3778

Ethnic baking in Minnesota

And to finish, a trio of Minnesotas:

IMG_3654

U of M research center Minnesota

IMG_3668

Seed art Minnesota

IMG_3763

Type Minnesota

A Special Stamp Revisited

Today is the 365th day in the life of this blog!

You may recall the stamp a fellow linguistics graduate student made me when she was a prospie visiting UCLA. I brought it to my book signing at Children’s Book World last week, though I only stamped her book (and Andrew’s, because he requested it). She wasn’t entirely happy with the stamp because the phonetic transcription of “writer” is both a little odd for English and doesn’t reflect how I personally pronounce the word because I have Canadian raising (see the old post for relevant linguistic explanations). Well! She made me a new stamp, with a new transcription for “writer” that exactly matches how I say it! The old stamp is on the left and the new stamp on the right:

 Black StampRed Stamp

A few other newsy items:

  • I haven’t linked to any blog reviews of Sparkers before, but I really liked this one at Asian American Literature Fans (you have to scroll down past the reviews of all of Marie Lu’s books). I found the commentary quite interesting–it goes in a different direction than most of the reviews I’ve read–but I’ll admit I was also just tickled to see Sparkers called “part of the ever-growing archive of young adult fiction penned by American writers of Asian descent”.
  • Also this week in being Asian American, there’s a little piece about me on page 13 of the October issue of ChinaInsight, a monthly Minnesota newspaper about Minnesota-China relations (or more broadly, U.S.-China relations). It includes a photo from my Red Balloon launch party.