Quick May Blog


This blog is so unkempt and abandoned these days, and every time I sit down to write, I can’t get myself to blog, and I can’t figure out what to blog about…plus there’s twitter. I’m addicted to twitter. Mostly, I tweet as my “irl” name. But occasionally, I’ll tweet as Jade Park…and the tweeting has dampened the blogging compulsion.

But whatever–here’s an update.

I FINALLY finished reading Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Amazing read. I learned so much from his work. (It is looong–remember the last quick blog? I was reading it then). I am now reading The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa, a very different piece of work but awesome just the same. In parallel, I’m tackling my issues of New York Magazine, The New Yorker (sense a theme?) and Gourmet….plus have decided to read Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle again.

Have decided to table my memoir until after I’m finished with my novel (after all, once I’m finished with a draft, I intend to set it aside for a few months–so why not take that time to write something else?). So I’m almost solely focused on my novel, even though it’s slow going these days, so slow going that I have to swallow the intense self hatred I have for not progressing more easily. Oh, and this blog post.

I have been watching a serious amount of television season finales these days. L O S T (OMG!) and Grey’s (ho hum but I’m still addicted and choose to ignore the Grey’s writer tic of repeating things like “Seriously? Seriously. Seriously…?” and e.g., “I like you. I LIKE you. I like YOU. I.LIKE.YOU.”  Come on, there are better ways to communicate intensity and confusion!) and House (Hugh Laurie can do so much despite a ho hum plot) and well, you get the idea. I have not seen any movies, even though I am eyeing the new Star Trek and thinking, “IMAX.”

But then again, I have viewed frogs in my backyard. A woodpecker up in the Sierras.  And a jizzload of pollen on my cars.

Memorable eats:
My friend “C” came to visit this week–we hung out for 3 days, she slept over for one night, and we spent most of our hang out time eating or hovering over, food. The food–not always memorable, but the company very memorable. She and I have known each other since 2nd grade and have lived very weirdly parallel lives. But have made different choices–once in awhile, we like to converge and trade notes.

Ate Out:
(Omg this is so perverted). I can’t even answer this question.

But for the record: I went and had CPK’s BBQ Chicken Chopped salad again.

Chicken enchiladas. Cincinnati chili. Yum.


  • My friend C came to town! It was like looking into a mirror and seeing a chiral image–me, but not me, my life but not my life…everything the same, but in reverse but not. It stirred me up and awakened me a bit, and everything inside me pulsed a little louder for the duration she was here. She is as cool as she ever was.  And she has made me think.  A good thing.
  • Job #1: still doing that. Mostly, I feel invisible at that job. Sometimes it’s pleasant to feel invisible, other times it feels utterly demeaning.
  • Job #2: still doing that, too. The VP at the college leaned to me and said I’m “doing an extraordinary job.” Whee! 🙂
  • Running! Can you believe it? I’ve started jogging/running! I’m on the Couch to 5K Running Plan, and I’m taking it super slowww (e.g., my friend Foodie McBody and I both started about 8 weeks ago, and she’s on week 8, and I’m on week 5). But the super slow progress works for me, and I’m enjoying running, and I feel a semblance of fitness again and I am loving how running makes me feel. I wonder if the running/body will translate into my writing/head.
  • Experiencing an onslaught of literary rejections. All those litmag submissions I sent out? They’re coming back–in the form of rejections, whether blank form letters/notes…or whether with handwritten encouragement scrawled on them, or whether they say I was in the final round but didn’t make it. Rejections. I’m adding several week to the stack I have pinned up on my bulletin board (ohyessss, I collect them ALL).
  • Didn’t get a waitership at Breadloaf. Just got the rejection on Saturday night. As consolation, they said I made it to the final round but this year was very competitive. Oh well. Time to move on.  Also, got waitlisted for Junot’s workshop.  I didn’t expect to make it in at all, because I’d already taken his workshop (and they generally do not allow people to take his workshop twice) plus this year was more competitive than ever, owing to the conference’s anniversary and Junot’s Pulitzer.  Plus, I submitted a nove excerpt as my writing sample and I am oh-so-insecure about my novel.  So, not bad.
  • Working on the litmag–there is a workflow delay but that will be fixed soon.  And yes, when I send out the rejection letters, I think about the kind of rejections I prefer to receive.
  • Gardening: the veggies are in the ground and in various stages of growth and maturity! Radishes being eaten. Tomato plants growing hearty and sprouting yellow star shaped flowers. Potato plants green and healthy and I can only surmise, sprouting potatoes underground. So far, no gopher. *knock on wood*
  • Been going to and fro Tahoe–see that picture up there? That’s snow, in late APRIL. We went hiking in the Sierras a couple weekends ago, and we went as far as we could before we hit impassable snow (well, impassable in hiking shoes). Water gushing everywhere. Beautiful.
  • Waiting for the Muse, as always.


Filed under Life

7 responses to “Quick May Blog

  1. hyunjin

    I don’t know why, but hearing about other writer’s writing/reading routines/updates is quite satisfying and helpful. Thanks for sharing, as always, with such candor.

  2. You are busy! Congrats on doing an extraordinary job at job #2, and I thin it’s smart to put memoir on hold until you finish the novel, so you don’t end up with two partially completed projects. What is a Breadloaf waitership? (I know what Breadloaf is, but not the waitership).

  3. hyunjin: thanks for reading! 🙂

    bustopher: Breadloaf waitership=Breadloaf work-study scholarship. It’s an invitation to attend Breadloaf but have tuition waived because you then work as a “waiter” at the conference. The waitership is a prestigious thing (bc everyone knows you’ve gone through a very competitive application process) even though you’re picking up everyone’s trash and serving all the attendees and they end up being everyone’s darling at the conference.

    Of course, there are people who find the whole thing destestable, too (class issues and lots of people just don’t like BreadLoaf). There are writers I know who say that it’s horrible and to never do it. And there are writer friends of mine who found it to be an awesome experience. Controversial, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. Made it to final round. They accepted 6% of 1190 scholarship applicants this year.

  4. I am very very excited that you were running. We used to talk about this but it truly felt like an unattainable pipe dream. We’re doing it! Woo!

  5. What’s happened to blogging? You know I’m with you on that…

    Hearing that you’re maybe reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicle again makes me want to read it again… can you believe I’ve only read it once? I want back in again. That book is so good.

    And my rejections are coming back as forms now too… so many lately. I don’t know about short stories anymore… someone remind me why it’s worth it?

  6. anonwupfan

    Whoa JP, I’ve heard of communing with the forest, but it seems that you have been on the mountain so long that you have inadvertently adopted the lockerroom slang of the male alders!

    Now if I may offer my services, in my best CW workshop voice, of course…

    JP, I admire your fearless turn of phrase here, but I will admit that it bothers me a little that the term “jizzload of pollen” is redundant–perhaps “untold loads of treejizz” would be a better fit here :- 9

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