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.
- 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 styles…graduated 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.
- On September 21, 2014, BuzzFeed published an essay in which I wrote about my stroke. The essay went viral, and Jade Park came out of anonymity for good.
- I blog under my real name at www.christinehlee.com/blog/
- My memoir TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER, based on much of what I documented here on Jade Park, will be published on February 14, 2017 by Ecco / Harper Collins. The memoir will be followed by my novel, THE GOLEM OF SEOUL.