Monday, September 28, 2015

on my desk monday

On my floor are the revisions to my novel:

I actually have many more than this, these are just the major revisions, the ones I felt I needed to  I print-- More more minor or earlier versions (about 20+) I didn't bother to print out

I learned the hard way that I do the best revising when I read from real paper. When I revise only on the computer I miss a lot! Somehow, reading on paper with pencil in hand is much more effective. So when I asked my good friend Libby to be my beta reader for my novel, I completely understood when she asked if I would send it to printed out, on paper.

However, my novel is close to three hundred pages and my three hole punch could only punch ten pages at a time.  So trying to put it together neatly and securely was a challenge which I pretty much failed:

When I lamented my lack of craft to Libby, she commiserated--saying she had the same problem as well! Some of our other author friends put together and bound their drafts so beautifully? How did they do it? They must just have more patience.

But then in the middle of night, Libby sent me an e-mail:

I felt really dumb that I hadn't thought of this!

Pre-punched, 3 holed paper!!! 

Which changed my life.

Now, I could do the rest of my revisions this way: 

behold the power of the 3-ring binder and pre-punched paper!

I think it's made a difference! Of course I am biased, but I really like this new novel!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Happy Autumn Moon!

Today is the Moon Festival! Take a moment tonight to gaze at the moon, be thankful for your blessings and send the Moon Lady your secret wish. She might grant it!

Wishing you a happy Autumn Moon!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Don't forget to celebrate the Autumn-Moon Festival!

The Moon Festival is on Sunday!  Need some help celebrating? I have a pinterest board with celebration suggestions as well as one with books you can share!

You can even share this poem I just wrote in honor of the day:

Phases of the Moon
by Grace Lin

it is a sideways smile
then a tilted silver rainbow
it becomes a white banana
and then a half-cookie
that is swallowed
in a bulging belly
until it is full
That is when I like the moon best
floating and round
a balloon in the sky
just for me

Happy Autumn-Moon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

summing up summer in our garden

It's the Autumn Equinox today which means the summer is over!

Like this blog, due to the focus on the new novel (When the Sea Turned to Silver, the title has changed so many times I have to repeat it so that it sticks in my head), everything in the yard became a bit neglected. But even overgrown, the garden still had its charm.

our overgrown yard is still kind of pretty, I tell people we were going for that "natural look."

Maybe because Rain Dragon didn't notice the weeds. She waited eagerly everyday for something to ripen so that she could pick.

Sometimes she didn't even wait for things to ripen:
"but the dragon likes green tomatoes!"
But finally, there peas and beans to pick:

The beans were appreciated:

But the peas much more so, feasted upon:

as well as played with:
"I'm having a pea party!"
And then our overgrown jungle of plants had new treasures to find:


and one tall sunflower, to match our windspinner:

A nice little harvest:

and a lovely summer:

Goodbye, Summer!

Monday, September 21, 2015

on my desk moday

Today, there are flowers, a throwback to my past writing companions

These are to celebrate the almost-end of the novel writing, but mostly they are a last goodbye from the summer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Preparing for the the Moon Festival!

from Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes

This year the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on Sept. 27th! As I've said before, the Moon Festival is one my favorite holidays.  Now that I don't live in the city anymore, I can't just go pick up some mooncakes in Chinatown, which makes me feel a little sad. But I'm still going to celebrate!

Many of my books, from Thanking the Moon to Starry River of the Sky deal with Chinese moon myths. I have oodles of activity suggestions to help celebrate it! I even started a Moon Festival Activities Pinterest board as well as a Book list board in honor of the holiday!

The Moon Festival is basically a Chinese version of thanksgiving, centered around the moon. One  big tradition of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is to share poetry--either ones you love or ones you, yourself, write!

Me, personally, I've always thought of myself as more of a poetry-hack so I've always been a bit hesitant to share my poems. But over a year ago, my friend Janet Wong encouraged me to participate in her Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations and so I submitted one of my Moon Festival poems.

And, in honor of the upcoming Moon Festival I share it with you now:

On the Moon Festival

I am allowed to play
Outside tonight
Climb and slide and 
I will knock on the moon
And the Moon Lady will say
Yes, tonight
The rabbit can come out to play

(Note: On the night of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, people send the Moon Goddess or Moon Lady a secret wish in hopes that she will grant it. The Moon Lady's companion is the Jade Rabbit. Read more here.)

Monday, September 14, 2015

on my desk monday

On my desk today is the most beautiful blue and white rabbit rice bowl! It was handmade by Jade Schuyler of Chatham Pottery. Why did she make me such a beautiful gift? Well, those tickets should be a hint:

Because I saw the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production at the Harwich Junior Theater:

and Jade was one of the actresses (she played Ma and she was so moving that she made the audience cry):
She was out of costume when she gave me the bowl, but she was fantastic!
The whole show was great! To the evil green tiger:

to Minli (the so, so talented Caroline Workman!) and the hilarious Dragon (B. Christopher Williams):

Honestly, they were all terrific! And it was so much fun seeing the story come to life again.  Here's me and the great cast and creative directors Nina Schuessler and Jane Staab:

And this is the selfie I tried to take with them:

I kind of like this one better, don't you? You can just make my glasses out at the bottom.

Great fun and a great way to end the summer!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


The days of summer are ticking away! I was determined to cross off more than one thing on my summer to-do list, so even though I needed to be working on sketches and other things, I took the day off to paint the downstairs bathroom (#4 on the list).

This bathroom has been my responsibility to paint since we moved into the house over two years ago. There are still SO many projects...but the downstairs bathroom has gnawed at me. It's the guest bathroom and it was rather dingy:
You can't tell so much in the photo, but it is a well-worn, much marked-up, off white.

But a new nice green (fyi, Benjamin Moore Jolly Green) and a whole day of labor made it into:

maybe i should get prettier hand towels!
Looks nice, doesn't it? Anyway, I feel much better! How many more things do you think I can knock off the list before summer is officially over?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

back to our regularly scheduled program...


The summer is pretty much over. My goals for this past summer were pretty much the same as last year (I even used the same list) BUT this time I got to cross something off:

it's only one thing, but it was biggie!

Yes, I finished my novel!!!!

When the Sea Turned to Silver  (and that is the final, set-in-stone title) will be out in Sept. 2016!!!

Of course, now I have to do the art for it and a million other little tweaky revisions to it, but because the majority of it is done, I can now return to other things--like this blog! Yes, I am now officially back from hiatus!

 My newsletter, of course, will ALWAYS be the best way to hear the important stuff (like when I give away advanced reading copies of the book, so sign up!) but I'm so happy to be able to come back to blog and fill this place again with silly posts about writing, Rain Dragon and dying gardens...more on that later!