About Me

I used to blog under my real name–I’m talking surname, too. For many, many years! But I decided to go underground–things got too complicated and scary.

So I moved my internet home. I feel like I’m in the Witness Protection Program. I don’t know how to go about in anonymity on the web. But here I am, writing under the pseudonym of “Jade Park.” I’m Korean. I’m American. I’m female. I’m a writer. That’s all I’ll say for now.

But this is a new step–a new dynamic! Thanks for dropping by. Maybe you’ll stay and get to know me (and even like the place!) even though I don’t have a face anymore.

Tidbits…

  • After years of saying, “I’d be a writer but–” I enrolled in an MFA program in Fall 2004.
  • I got published. I went to a writing colony (Hedgebrook).
  • On December 31st, 2006…I had a stroke. I withdrew from school for a semester. I’m recovering from it, waiting to be able to write fiction again–and using this space to write and share what I can about my experiences.
  • In the midst of my recovery, I found I was a finalist in a short story contest I’d entered many months previous. Weirrrd syncopated timing.
  • On June 22, 2007…The doctors closed a hole in my heart that was both discovered and diagnosed to be the cause of my stroke and multiple TIAs (Trans-Ischemic Attacks, or “mini strokes” to you), thus closing the stroke chapter of my life.
  • I re-enrolled in my MFA program in Fall 2007 to complete my last semester.
  • In winter of 2007-2008, I turned in my thesis, finished my last workshop, and in the most anticlimactic of stylesgraduated from my MFA program.
  • Spring 2008…Went back to my old career, took a fulltime job.  Still writing, figuring out how my new brain works.
  • Late Fall 2008…finally feel like my brain is back to 99% (the 1% I attribute to just old age).  After a year of being able to function fully but also feeling like I wasn’t anywhere near 100%…I finally feel like my old self.
  • January 2009…turning a negative into a positive–in the wake of the economic meltdown, got my work hours slashed. Going to finish my novel with the extra time.
  • Spring/Summer 2009…writing the novel. Discovered I can now do aerobic exercise without getting immediately nauseous or short of breath!
  • Summer 2009…got an honorable mention in a litmag contest (and a litmag I looooove!)…and a story of mine will be published in a Japanese litmag.
  • July 2009…Wow. I used to hate beer before my stroke. But, having just been allowed to drink alcohol again, I have discovered I LOVE BEER. Weird.
  • August 2009…Teaching composition. How do I balance teaching (an endless job) and writing? Step 1 involves black tea/small dose of caffeine…
  • December 31, 2009…I finished a complete draft of my novel! Now, on to revision…
  • 2010…I spend the whole year teaching composition to wonderful students in an innovative community college program…but do not get much writing done.
  • I move to NYC in January 2011. And begin revision of my novel in earnest while writing at The Writers Room.
  • I don’t blog much here anymore. I blog under my real name. Some of you have figured out who I am. That’s okay–I’ll tell you if you’ve guessed correctly.

39 responses to “About Me

  1. by the way, i’m only the editor, not the editor in chief.

    i like your idea about product placement. wanna be a team member and run that venture?

    best, howard

  2. Diane

    I’m taking my time to write my feeling on your writers observation. your on the “write” track.
    more to come.
    “D”

  3. Hi Howard–let me think about this, as I am under pseudonym on this blog, and have to figure out how I’d run such a group!

  4. der Anders

    how horrible though, that you need to hide just because of some idiot.
    but i guess it could be fun to be anonymous too.

  5. Hey,

    Just came across you rplace here and wanted to say howdy and hello.

    Have I seen your past blogs in eponymous incarnation?

    Still writing as me – full name in dorkitude and all

  6. Hi Jade,

    I can certainly understand why you would not want to use your real identity. I use mine as I have no secrets or security reasons (yet) to not do so. Like you, I prefer to use the identity I have rather than create a whole new one. I was wondering if you have had anything published Jade and if so, what that might be and how would one obtain a copy. Thanks and I will read your blog some shortly.

  7. Hi LeRoy Dissing–yes, I’ve been published (one of the answers I supply to that question. To tell you where though, would reveal my real identity–so I’ll have to leave you in suspense.

  8. Based on what little I read of your questions and answers to my question, whatever you have published I am sure would be amusing to say the least. Until whenever I can know *sigh*, I will just stay in suspended suspense!

  9. LeRoy Dissing: thanks! :) Hope you enjoy the writing on the website!

  10. Just found your blog via Pinky…

    Jesus.

    I can relate to your wish for anonymity as there are a couple people who do not need to find me.

    My husband and I are dealing with serious chronic illness and can empathize with some of your experiences…keep on writing…

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned Floyd Skloot to you, or if I am, like, the millionth person to suggest you read his memoir of life after illness attacked his brain.

    All the best,
    BK

  11. BK–you are the first person to mention Floyd Skloot to me! Fascinating–I am building up a collection of books to read once I can read again. i went to look up his work on amazon.com, and I see he’s written quite a few books, which one is his memoir?

    Thank you, BK. :)

  12. seneca

    I admit that I know nothing of writing.

    I must add that I am just floored when “howard”, claiming the title of “editor”, of all things, cannot use proper punctuation. Perhaps he needs an “editor”!

    Seneca

  13. I think it’s so brave of you to write about your stroke and how it is changing your mind, your abilities, your self in so many ways. As a writer you will shrug this remark off; you have no choice but to process it in words, on paper, on electronic paper, in a communion with readers, but that doesn’t make it any less admirable, wonderful, wonderous.

  14. Just found your site through my buddy Kellementology. Great site. Nasty guy.

  15. you write wonderfully. :)

  16. Just found your blog. Wonderful writing. I look forward to reading more.

    Maria

  17. I recently just did the same thing – dropped my name, started new with a new domain, a new name, and a faceless picture.

    It’s therapy, somehow. I needed to be blunt without feeling so exposed and vulnerable.

  18. Shyma

    Chanced upon your blog, enjoyed reading your posts.
    Hope you recover from your health problems soon…..
    Cheers!

  19. Greetings. I found a link to your site on one of Ronnie’s blogs. I look forward to reading some of your writings. In the meantime, you are very courageous and we wish you much continued health!

  20. Correction: found Mel’s Mystique on outofmyhead blog, found yours on Mel’s Mystique!

  21. I’m also trying to delete my real identity in the internet. I use to write every info about me, but not my real name. However, the alias I’m using sounds like my name somehow…hmmm…

    Man, but my names are still all over the search engine even I’ve deleted a lot of my accounts already.

    Anyways, I enjoyed reading your posts. You still have a face, don’t worry…hehehe…

  22. MMB

    Hello, I am also a writer. Second career after many successful years in IT. But I always wanted to write. I came across your blog accidentally. I searched on “pseudonym” and your site popped up. I’d been pondering what name to write under and whether or not to use a pseudonym. I’ve decided to use my initials and lastname. That should ensure my privacy and prevent gender-based prejudiced. Also will add a little mystery. BTW, I’ve been on the internet since the late 70’s (via universities) and there is no trace of my real name out there despite my avid participation at one time. I decided early, after reading the bitnet vampyres list that there were too many whackos about.

    I enjoyed your posts and good luck with your health problems. I hope you make a full and speedy recovery. MMB

  23. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with your anonymous blogging, MMB. :)

  24. freebird1

    Hi, I found your blog while surfing wordpress for other blogs that were also on / about writing. Like you I have chosen to be anonymous on here; I do not have a reason to hide though; nothing has happened to me and I would like to keep it that way. I am not published; my blog is there to give me an inkling on whether I ever will be; with the theory being that if I put the shorter version of a novel on here the hits from week to week will tell me the truth. No hits; no sense to spend money on a manuscript box or stamps to the publishers house.

    Anyway I am glad to see that there are several of us in here, and happy for you that you got published :)

  25. Hi “Jade Park”–I guessed you might be Korean. The “Park” thing.
    Clever Blog, interesting to find you. Saw that you posted at howard Junker. Found him through Kate Evans. Found Kate Evans through Collin Kelley’s Blog…
    I’m at:
    http://www.lisananetteallender.blogspot.com/
    I’m thinking you’d find my recent entry om Korean food like Chapchae/Japjae(spell?) interesting…I ought to do a poem on all the wonderful Korean foood…

  26. Anna

    I came across your site while searching for advice about MFA programs. Your blog about your MFA pros and cons showed up on my search. It was very helpful, and echoed a lot of things I’d been thinking about myself. It seems that there are other ways to make contacts and get feed back besides an MFA program. I feel that the stage my creativity is at now requires some nurturing, and I’m afraid some harsh professors might disrupt that process.

    I really admire how you’ve kept writing despite problems with your health and with strange people on the internet. It’s very inspiring–keep it up!

    You may have inspired me to make my own blog under a pseudonym!

  27. How come kimchihead isn’t updating his site? Do you know?

  28. Hi Rachel…I dunno! I hope he’s ok…having gorgeous fun “in real life”…?

  29. Alissa

    Jade:

    Like many of your other readers, I found your blog after looking up information about writers who use pseudonyms. I thought your mini-bio was compelling; you write so well, and the challenges you’ve faced in regard to your health and writing career are powerful ones.

    Congrats on getting your MFA—one reason I always wanted one was, as you said, for the mentors and to network with other writers. I’m resorting to writing groups and the Internet to satisfy the latter need, at least for now (thanks to undergrad debt).

    If you don’t mind, I have a few writerly questions for you:

    *Do editors of magazines disdain submissions from those of us who use a pseudonym? (I’ve heard this from other writers.)
    *Do you personally have any rule of thumb you go by as how to most efficiently submit work to publications? (For example, 5 a week . . .)
    *Why did you choose WordPress.com as opposed to WordPress.org? The format you’re using here is the free version, right? And did you register with Google? (If you couldn’t tell, I’m presently investigating blog formats to start my own.)

    Best of luck with your career! And your site is great.

    -Alissa

    • Hi Alissa

      Thanks for your compliments–I did enjoy my MFA but it’s not mandatory as you know to lead a writing life!

      As for your questions:
      1. I don’t use a pseudonym for my fiction so I don’t the answer to your question–I know as a fiction editor for mine, I don’t care at all about pseudonyms (though I do find myself asking, “Why?”). As for publishing books, I do hear that oftentimes writers who fail on their 1st published book take on a pseudonym for their 2nd book to avoid association with failure.

      2. I just submit whenever. In waves of confidence/hope, when I feel a story is ready to go out. I’ll send out to 2 litmags or 10 or whatever. :)

      3. I did not even realize there was a wordpress.org until you mentioned it. The one I’m using is the free one (.com)–because well, it’s free. I used to have a website that I wrote totally by hand, HTML, etc, etc…but that became tedious and when the whole blogging phenomenon really went mainstream, I hopped onto wordpress because I like wordpress’s usability and look and feel the best. I don’t think I’d ever host my own blog again unless I became a Famous Writer and wanted 100% control over my own blog.

      Good luck.

  30. kotodama

    Jade:

    Thanks so much for your reply and advice. I have one more question for you: how are you attracting viewers for this blog? Is Twitter helping a lot with that?

    I actually did start a blog this weekend (an anonymous one), and I’m aware that part of generating traffic involves linking to other blogs. How do you begin the process of establishing your own blog network? (I noticed you have a pretty long list under “People.”)

    I really appreciate the input all the way from CA! (I’m on the East Coast.)

    -Alissa

    • Hi Alissa…it’s just all about a community. Though I do not blog to attract “eyeballs”/traffic–my blog’s purpose is about a personal space and building a community and friendships. I’m grateful to my blog for the many good people and good friends it has brought into my life.

      I guess there are a number of things you could do to drive traffic on over–but mostly it’s about reaching out to others and in the end, about writing good blog content and strong writing.

  31. chefkelly

    Dunno how you found my blog but I was intrigued by your anonymous name and me being korean was drawn to check out yours as well.

    Really inspiring that you’re pursuing your writing career path despite some of the blips in your life. Thanks for sharing and have fun along the way~

    I plan going back to my roots more intensely and experiment korean cooking, my way:) Love your garden progress, btw;)

    take care~

  32. interesting blog, i love the whole title
    “writing under a pseudonym”

    im definately going to be checking out your blog time to time :)

  33. Jade: You are an incredible writer. I wish you the very best – the way you want it!

  34. Chris Chon

    Hi Jade, I came across as I began to find out what ‘blogging’ is about. I find myself very lacking in writing…once I blamed the way I was raised in Korean education system that forces their children in math and science, but no more blames, trying to improve my writing skills. Long way to go…

  35. Pingback: 6 Reasons why I Write Under a Pseudonym & One Problem About that | Singapore Actually

  36. Hi, I’ve recently discovered and followed your blog, and became hooked instantly. I was nominated for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and I wanted to relay it by nominating you. (http://mselliejee.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award-nomination/) I’m not sure how exactly it works or what it is, but please take it as a sign of me enjoying your blog! Best wishes.

  37. Hey, “Jade.” I just wanted to directly thank you for the essay you wrote that was posted in Buzzfeed about your stroke. After reading that essay I went on for at least an hour and read through the blog posts on your site that followed your stroke. Your essay really affected me because I had a hole in my heart as well that was closed when I was 15, about 4 years ago. The hole was discovered because I suffer from debilitating migraines, and my doctors were very thorough. I felt the procedure was a useless block in calendar at the time, but of course now I am eternally grateful that I had it done. Without giving you my entire life story, the procedure that fixed my heart DID NOT get rid of my migraines, and a year later I went on to have a surgery done on the base of my skull. After my head surgery, I went through a lot of inner turmoil that was brought on by sudden weight loss and a desire to cling to what I thought was perfect. I have read through my journal entries since my surgery to the present so many times, I have lost count. I am obsessed with the evolution of my thought processes and I am endlessly analyzing every painful night spent crying and truly hating every part of myself. I scour through pictures of when I looked great but felt horrible, and I try so hard to accept who I am NOW, although I look different but am definitely much happier. Although I still find myself often attacked by the demons that tell me I am worthless, I am usually in a better place.
    My point is this– as I read through your blog entries and saw YOUR evolution of thought and acceptance, I saw a lot of parallels between my personal entries and yours. Now, it is absolutely ridiculous to compare myself to you, because you have gone through so much more. Nevertheless, I still found it extremely therapeutic to read SOMEONE else’s musings that remind me of my own, and for the first time in almost 3 years, I finally feel like I am not alone anymore. I am a VERY open person. I do not keep secrets, and I tell everyone everything. But these dark parts of myself, I hold deep in the back of my heart. I know that I am loved even though I do not actually love myself. Your story has taught me a lot, and I want to thank you for helping me. Reading about what you have gone through makes me want to be strong, and it makes me want to accept my thoughts for what they are and just let them be. Thank you for reaching out and helping me through your struggles. You are an inspiration.
    You are also a WONDERFUL writer, and I am a HORRIBLE writer. I always feel intimidated to write anything to someone that I know will see all of my mistakes, so I apologize for that. I also apologize if this message is a nuisance because of its length and the fact that you do not need to know some random girl’s superficial problems. I just could not go on without letting you know how much of a positive affect your courage and strength have had one me, and many many others as well I am sure.
    I hope you are well and happy, because you deserve to be. Have a wonderful day, and thank you again!

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