2014 into 2015 (Go, Go, OKPotato!)

It’s still New Year’s Eve here in the Islands, and Chebk and I are together while I panic about how to close out this past year on our blog. We’ve just barely started OKPotato (back in November) and it has, thus far, been an arduous and rewarding journey (much like any writing project we’ve undertaken.) Thanks to all our readers and kind visitors for your comments and views. We’re excited to ramp up into 2015 with more posts and more content.

For one thing, we are entering two challenges in January:

1. The Ultimate Blog Challenge: Despite GREAT TREPIDATION, Chebk and I will be posting EVERY DAY in January 2015 because we are ambitious in our masochism. For once Chebk has managed to wrangle me into planning ahead and I am ecstatic to report that we have a vaudeville-esque variety of topics lined up from new release YA books to interviews, writing analyses, and epic photo adventures.

2. Bout of Books: We’ll be incorporating this week-long read-a-thon into the above challenge. I will be taking on 3-5 books I’ve been meaning to read and Chebk will stare at me with sad, horrified eyes until the night before she decides. I will probably regret this public declaration next month.

 Bout of Books

And, our writing/reading/whatever resolutions for this year, you ask?

Cheri: FINISH NOVEL. Post more on personal blog.
Chebk: WRITE. (She said with conviction!)

We’ll keep this short and sweet since it’s so late. Happy New Year! We will see you again tomorrow for our first post of 2015!

Signing out for 2014. – Cheri & Chebk (OKPotato!)

Writing Prompt: Watercolor Flash

On one fine, Friday evening, Cheri, a friend, and I broke out old and dusty sets of watercolors and two new and one ancient laptop to commence a hopefully enduring tradition of Watercolor Writing.

Indiana Jones tension switch gif
This is how we stretch our fingers before an intense writing session — like Indiana Jones.

It started off as a misguided attempt to gain a skill that Cheri had learned in college for stress relief (a common start to these side ‘hobbies’ like crocheting which turns into points of stress in themselves). I generally like learning new things and I had a watercolor set that I would dabble with on occasion. Cheri generously offered to bestow her knowledge on us plebeians and we gathered. Unfortunately, I had the brilliant misguided idea to use this as a writing exercise in which we would swap paintings to produce a ten-minute flash fiction.

And the stage was set.

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Reading Traditions

Happy Christmas Eve, readers! (And other winter holidays! Yay!)

Despite my best efforts, I could not think of any adequate winter-related, diverse media to review for today’s post (besides A Muppet Christmas Carol, which is my only actual holiday tradition. Technically, they’re a diverse bunch of creatures…), so instead I thought I’d follow-up Chebk’s recent post on her reading history with one of my own.
I know: Sounds not only boring but derivative. Fear not, readers, for what ahead lies a treacherous tale of jealousy, thieves, and plagues.

Here we go~

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Learning to Read: A Journey

So, a get to know me a little better post: it has been said that Cheri and I have been voracious readers our whole lives, but in my case, that hasn’t been quite true. I tell this story to everyone who never asks, and it is the story that started me on my reading journey.

My entire family is full of readers. My mom devours crime novels, at the time my brother would read hundreds of novels a month (he was and is a super geek), and my dad used to and still reads the paper and magazines quickly and regularly.

With all that going on around me, the reason why I started reading was Cheri.

cheri ok-potato drawing
Bringing this dude back — artwork by artist Cheri

I’ve been pretty competetive my whole life. I was a smart kid and so when we were given picture books to read, I read the hardest picture books with the smallest words: Sally and Bill both liked jumping and crawling, they might’ve said. But they were still picture books.

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New adult is a budding and controversial genre covering a range of topics such as substance abuse, sexuality, and moving out of the house/getting married targeted towards audiences between the ages of 18-25; in other words, me.

Going from preteen to adult fantasy has always been a huge step. You go from shallow, cliched plot lines that explore rudimentary ideas to grand landscapes, a huge cast, and questioning the big human questions i.e. good vs. evil, person vs. self, etc.

best YA and fantasy of 2014
Best YA fantasy novel and Fantasy novels of 2014 as told by huffpo and amazon respectively.

I feel very strongly that there is a rising generation that feels increasingly lost in the world. We are finding that we have no direction and the world is changing so fast that a lot of us are having a hard time gaining our bearings. Literature has a way of exposing people to situations without them necessarily having to experience it.

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Pantheon of Queer Ladies: In The Beginning…

First off: My deepest apologies. I have been incredibly remiss in keeping up with my posts for this blog. Adult life is harder than anyone could have prepared me for, particularly the psychological parts. High school was largely useless in the grand scheme of things. So, onto more pressing matters.

Why the hell is it so hard for me to find queer Asian Americans in media?!

Since we’re still new to the blogging experience, every week Chebk and I find ourselves in the same quandary of figuring out blog topics. Every week, to Chebk’s exasperation, I ask her about her interests and likes and tell her to write about that. Whenever she turns the tables and asks me, though, my answer is pretty consistent: “Queer Asians.” I’m particularly interested in Asian American portrayals in media, hoping it will weed out the usual lotus blossom/femme fatale stereotypes for women and kung fu master/nerdy weakling stereotypes for men (and all the pratfalls in between.)

Still, despite my burning passion, there aren’t a whole lot of characters to which I can actually cling (and worship.)

Searched for "sad clinging gif" on Google.Was not disappointed.
Searched for “sad clinging gif” on Google.
Was not disappointed.

Admittedly, during college I fell behind in my pleasure reading, so my references may be a little dated. (That’s my entire life though, folks. A well of neverending nostalgia and longing.) HOWEVER, let it be known that in the eight years or so of endless classes dedicated to 19th century nonsense, East Asian classical poetry, and the untouchable Virginia Woolf, a single truth remains: Not that many new LGBTQAI Asian characters have burst into existence in mainstream media anyway.

What queer Asian ladies can we place in the pantheon as muses for future writers?

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