Exploring China

Hey everyone!

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that lately I’ve been exploring China! I’m here in Shanghai for some classes until the end June and, after a quick three-day stopover in Toyko, I’ll head back home just in time to start Camp NaNoWriMo!

It’s been an exciting summer so far with a lot of learning about me, people, and the world, and I’ve been growing a lot as person as a result.


Shanghai is a lot more like an American city than people would think, and big Chinese cities like Beijing have become more modernized, but there are still some traditional places that you can visit.


The biggest difference for me is the culture. People seem to notice me a lot more here because my blonde hair and blue eyes stand out, and when my group and I go to popular tourist sites around China, a lot of visiting Chinese ask for pictures with me.

It’s super easy to just see these things as different and dismiss them as just that, but it doesn’t take much to just look a little deeper into those things that aren’t understood. Many of the people who are visiting these tourist spots aren’t from major cities, so they haven’t seen any foreigners in person before. I look as stereotypically foreign as they get, so they want to take pictures.

I don’t claim to understand all of why they do certain things, but I don’t want to isolate myself because they think differently. I’m trying to understand more things I don’t know so that I can write a more accurate depiction of people in my stories.

Just a report of what I’ve been up to! Have any of you been traveling this summer? Let me know in the comments!


2018 – What I Want to Accomplish

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Before it strikes midnight and the ball drops, I just wanted to reflect on this year. For me, even with all of the craziness that came into the world, this year wasn’t all that bad. I made a lot of good friends and got a lot of writing done. During the creative writing class I took last semester, I had to churn out a short story every other week for six weeks, and that really pushed me and my writing capabilities. I started this website and got serious about pursuing publication.

Even with all the good things that happened this year, this next year looks like it’s going to be even better! I’m going to be taking a novel writing class this spring while I attempt to finish rewriting the novel I’m currently working on, and for two months in the summer, I’m going to be studying abroad in Shanghai!

I want to pause and, before it’s officially the new year, make a list of goals that I want to accomplish over the next 365 days. I’ve never actually made a list of New Year’s Resolutions, but I think it’ll help me focus more.

  • Read more books. Towards the end of the year, I realized that I was so busy reading assigned books for school and writing that I got away from reading for pleasure. I saw a cool reading challenge on Hope’s blog post that I want to try.
  • Finish rewriting my novel. I’ve been working on rewriting the novel I finished for a few months now, and I really want to finish it.
  • Start outlining the sequel. I’ve got some ideas, but I want to put them down on paper and flush them out more.
  • Publish a short story in a magazine. I’m thinking the magazine at Pepperdine, but maybe I’ll try another one too.
  • Try NaNo again. I’m aiming for Camp NaNo in July since November is right before finals and April IS finals.
  • Keep up social media presence. Being active on Twitter and reading other writing blogs is helping me to see writing from new perspectives.
  • Keep the grades up in school. ‘Nough said.
  • Carry a conversation in Chinese in China. I want to be fluent in another language, and this would be so cool!
  • Multi-class a character for Dungeons and Dragons. Circle of the Moon Druid for one side, still trying to figure out the other one.
  • Work on a Dungeons and Dragons campaign of my own. I’ve always wanted to DM, but it takes a lot work, and I want to come up with a good original plot.
  • Eat a Pizooki at BJ’s. I was too full last time. Not again!

What about you guys? What are your goals for the upcoming year? I’d love to hear about them!

Hope you all have a Happy New Year! I’ll update next year!