Category Archives: words

Novel excerpts: My herbalist father

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On this Father's Day, 2023, I'd like to share two excerpts from my forthcoming novel about the Chinese immigration experience through Angel Island in the early 1900's (Bridge Across The Sky, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Fall 2024) that were inspired by memories of my father.

The opening stanza of the novel is based on the only story I ever heard my father tell about his younger days.… [more]

That The Power Might Take Knee

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In the course of the protests sweeping our nation, police in many cities transformed potentially incendiary standoffs into powerful visions of unity and hope by kneeling, marching, and mourning with the protesters they swear to serve and protect. Not all of them maintained that stance, but many did. I've written this anthem to celebrate the moments they created. It can be sung to the tune of our national anthem.… [more]

The Gun's Thunder

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On this day of the March For Our Lives, I'd like to share an excerpt from my current work in progress, Matoaka, a novel of Pocahontas, John Smith, and John Rolfe.

The entire novel is written in the form of prayers by Pocahontas (who is a daughter of the high chief of the Powhatan nation, and whose true name is Matoaka), diary entries by John Smith (one of the leaders of the Jamestown settlement), third person narratives from Smith's point of view, and letters by John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer who arrives at Jamestown late in the book.… [more]

Solstice lullaby

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photo by Biswarup Ganguly

An excerpt from my work in progress, The Death of Arthur. (A sequel to The Light of the Grail, which I'll probably be self-publishing some time soon after I self-publish Joan, my novelization of the life of Joan of Arc.)

In this passage, Elaine, the daughter of King Pelles of Carbonek, describes to her servant Brisen her visit in disguise to her homeland, where she finds her father incapacitated and the land made barren as suggested by rumors that had reached her in the kingdom of Arthur.


CreateSpace: a Review

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I recently self-published a collection of my best haiku from the first year of my daily haiku writing experiment,¬†Haiku Diem,¬†through CreateSpace, the affiliated print-on-demand service (see the FAQ below if you don't know what print-on-demand is) and have been asked by friends what the experience was like and whether I'd recommend CreateSpace for similar book projects of theirs.… [more]

On the Norway attacks

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First, read this courageous comment on the bombing and shooting in Norway.

We had our own "Oslo moment" here in the U.S., of course: the 9/11 attacks. In the aftermath, there was a lot of talk about tightening national security even at the cost of compromising our freedoms. A point that was often made in defense of more, and more extreme, measures was that no matter how strong our security was already, the terrorists would only need to find one crack in the wall, and they'd be in again.… [more]