I also did not post the photo from the Manifest event on November 18, 2016. Thanks everyone for coming out for this soft launch of the book. I really do appreciate it.
And, more recently, on Friday December 2 at 2PM, I did a reading at the Hawaii Pacific University Library.
I’m thinking of starting a guest writer/artist series.
Watch for updates! No matter the size of the audience, I think that dialogue between audience and writer/artist is always successful in that it is a chance for people to ask questions about the writing or creative process, and also for the writer/artist to understand the audience perspective.
I will be beginning a private open-level creative writing workshop in January for approximately four weeks (two hour sessions), with one additional private session. We will work on craft technique that can be applied across the genres, primarily concentrating on fiction/non-fiction-memoir writing skills. Please contact me if you are interested in finding out more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope to get everything up and running in a few weeks.
Friday December 9, 2016 I will be reading at Century Plaza on the corner of Kalakaua in Waikiki at 10AM.
I have had students come forward and many react very strongly to the results of the election. This is to be expected given the outcome and the potential ramifications this has in terms of our nation’s civic culture, as well as the implications it has across every aspect of our lives and those around the globe.
I hope that we can try to work together and think about how our actions inform and educate. We have our differences and similarities in our polycultural society. No single person can divide a nation if we all strive to understand what is at stake. The key is empathy. We must remember that we all have stories to tell, and that there is now a great and understandable fear on the part of many people, and we need to do what we can to show our compassion and our willingness to be allies. Honor the disparate voices of our nation. Listen to the chorus and the random notes, and know that all matter in this symphony. Be brave. Know that courageously stepping out of the status quo is what will make us stronger individuals, better community members, and bring us together as a country.
The future is in your hands. The world depends on it. The globe looks to the American people with admiration, astonishment, and fear. As students, you must stand for what the future can be. People asked me how they can help, what they can do. People expressed fear and worry. People expressed anger. Your actions matter. Kindness counts. A reassuring smile and an offer to align with the principles of democracy will go a long way in this very troublesome time. Understand that this is not easy to do, but that the choice of how your own children will navigate so many years in the future is down to what you do now. Look to new ways of thinking and reframing how we see the world. This can be a difficult process, but it is necessary if we are to imagine a different future.
We need to understand the paradigm of our differences. We need to ask more/ask less of people. Do not silence the anguish. Listen. Do not shut down the conversation. Open your heart. We will make mistakes as we do this. We will come short. We will feel terrible and we will feel angry and disappointed. The anger will come in every direction. This is normal. These are feelings and we must respect this and honor this. And this is a process that leads to clarity. Do not falter. Know that you have the courage to make a change and that you possess the weapon of education and knowledge. Rethink your world. Bravely read. Make a friend. Listen. Experience. Think historically. Dream of the future. Take a risk. Practice all that you want to be, and all that you dream the world can be and it can truly happen.
Now is a time to reconsider how we think of our various identities, individually, and as a community and nation. How can we understand our history, gain strength from our past, reckon with it, and move forward? How can we heal each other through the tough process of acquiring knowledge? I believe in every single one of you. I have seen how you read and write, and I know that the future of the planet is in good hands. Have confidence in your steps. This current reality will and has shaken the very foundation of who we think we are as a nation. Let us show each other and the world the many ways we can be.
And as my dad told me: Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight Times!
My thrill at seeing my book arrive was fast eclipsed by Trump election.
Like everyone around the world who doesn’t align themselves with the KKK, climate deniers, misogynists, racists and the haters-of-the-world, I spent a great deal of time on my social media feed reading comments and posts.
I wasn’t surprised. But then again, I was. I had donned my pantsuit (didn’t have one, so black trousers and jacket) and Stephen had bought a bottle of champagne thinking that HRC would win. He said he figured that there would be a chance, so as a back-up had bought it.
I ubered to cast my first vote in person in years. I was overseas for the two Obama elections. True to the reality and crisis of Hawaii, a clearly homeless young man was trying to vote, had no ID, hadn’t registered. Lost with his backpack in a heavy sweatsuit in broiling heat. But I digress.
We didn’t drink it. I drank one beer. Read FB posts. Thought about what I would do in class today.
I taught two classes today and shifted some of my lesson plans due to today’s election. I played two videos and did a writing prompt based on them. Seriously–now what? Or something to that effect…
Check them out.
I was pleased to see those who were in certain educational institutions got issued notes from the heads of the school (K-12) that were attempting to address the outcome. My son goes to a great school, a public school. He reported kids cheering for Trump. I asked him what he did. He said he tried to tell them why Trump was bad. They continued. Then he said he swore at them. I said that wasn’t a good idea, we must elevate the conversation. And then he said that swearing at them worked. They shut up! I said that was not the point. We couldn’t act like Trump. The ole they-go-low-we-go-high mantra of Michelle Obama, which is very similar to the one my own parents would tell me growing up: Rise Above It was the way to go, but try explaining this to a 9 year old kid.
He got the point.
We live in Hawaii. Diversity is a bumpy road at times for all in this grand experiment, but I have to say, it is overall, quite impressive. There is something in getting along here. Geography. Aloha. We are all on a small island in the middle of the Pacific. Aloha has been bastardized and turned against the Hawaiian people who remain disenfranchised from their own land, but this is not the Midwest or the South. There is some semblance of basic decency, or a recognition of it, at least for the majority. For this I am so grateful.
And today my students. The worries. The tears. Palpable. Real. The future is theirs. They will seize the justice and hope and truth and make it ours. I have faith. The old must die and pass. The disillusionment of those first time voters. The bitter disbelief.
I am very glad to see this review by Misty Urban on femmeliterate. It’s quite interesting to know what people think of the writing, and also to ponder any suggestions or thoughts that they might have to make the work better.
So much of writing is just dropping into a state of imagining, usually without any idea about who might really understand the work. I might think about who the writing will speak to, but truly, how would I really know? As a first time author, I have no built-in audience. Thus, there are no expectations other than those that the genre suggests. Through writing and reading we meet others, mind to mind. In so many ways, especially for me, it is an example of how we learn to understand our humanity.
Thanks, Misty Urban, for taking the time to read my work. I really appreciate it.
Stephanie Han’s award-winning stories cross the borders and boundaries of Hong Kong, Korea, and the United States. This is an intimate look at those who dare to explore the geography of hope and love, struggle with dreams of longing and home, and wander in themyths of memory and desire.
The short story “The Body Politic, 1982” was published in the FeministStudies, Volume 42, Number 2 (2016), pages 469-483. This was the very first story that I wrote for this collection; it is the very last story to be published before the release of this short story collection. It was started in the fall of 1997. I rewrote this dozens of times, and it was rejected well over 100 times throughout the years. It was the story I took to the VONA workshop in 2001, and the story that I also submitted for another fellowship and that brought me to graduate school. I believe that it was finally published because it discusses what is now public conversation: ideas of sexual consent, intersectionality, Asian American feminism, and identity. Such conversations were happening prior to 2016, but they were not a part of the larger population’s understanding of identity and sexuality. I hope that you might check it out.
While I encourage you to support this journal (they can use the clicks and so can I), I do understand that many instructors seek material for students and do not have the funds or access to journals or JSTOR (particularly teachers who are not affiliated with institutions that have subscriptions and/or who teach at the secondary level). Please feel free to email me and I will send you a PDF. I am also glad to Skype in and meet your students.
Feminist Studies Journal “The Body Politic, 1982” by Stephanie Han