Skip to content

Novel Writer Turns Keto Blogger

April 30, 2018

And a youtube sensation! Haha, I have 2 subscribers to my youtube channel. Making videos, writing about ketogenic eating which has given me LIFE, reduced my debilitating fatigue and depression. The wrong food can cause disease. The right food can prevent and cure it! Blogging at KetoCookKC.

Now, Keto crackers that are gluten-free and crunch like potato chips!

 

Watch Ken Burn’s Vietnam Documentary. Then read about refugees in post-war Laos. Chapter 1: Escaping The Tiger

September 15, 2017

Wordpress header

$3.99 on Amazon ~Vientiane, Laos April 1982

Vonlai’s father roused him in the middle of a moonless night.

“What? Stop it,” Vonlai mumbled.

“Shhh. Wake up,” Pah said, pulling Vonlai’s elbow. “We’re crossing tonight.”

Vonlai wobbled on weary legs. Pah strapped a bag of beef jerky and sticky rice around Vonlai’s shoulders. A shudder shot down his neck and his mind snapped awake.

Vonlai’s older sister, Dalah, was awake too, teetering as she sat upright on the mattress, grumbling at their mother. Meh pulled Dalah’s hair back, twisted two strands, and tied them into a knot.

“Ouch, Meh!” Dalah pulled her hair to readjust it. “It’s crooked.”

“Who will see you?” Vonlai asked.

Meh snapped her fingers to quiet them and grunted her disapproval. “Surely you don’t expect to be admired, girl? Now clear your mind and dress.” Meh’s voice cracked. “Without another word.”

Vonlai steadied his tired body against the wall. He wouldn’t add to Meh’s worry by complaining.

Pah looked out the window, his hand on the doorknob. “Walk like a tiger hunting a meal. Understand?”

Vonlai’s breath wavered as he nodded. He wanted to dive under his bed-covering, even though the night air was sticky and plenty warm. He held nothing but a pair of worn flip flops hooked through his fingers and a day’s worth of food—he needed to hold on to his nerve. Maybe his parents would see he was more grown up than other twelve-year-olds.

Pah turned the handle and walked out as confidently as if he were headed to the market. Meh stood in the doorway, knees locked. Vonlai pulled her hand. They all followed Pah out and slipped into the night. Most border patrol guards were teenagers accustomed to farming during daylight hours. They were likely to doze off under a black sky.

Read more…

Stay Woke to Freedom of Expression… Before We All Lose It.

August 19, 2017

First, I am on your side. The side that rejects evil/hate. And if any #NAZI scum ever threaten you with physical harm, I stand at the ready to open up a can of Jerry Springer on their ass.

But what does freedom of speech in America mean?

Imagine if someone insisted that you have no right to do with your body what you will. Imagine if they said your body, but not your choice. Imagine if they said it doesn’t matter that you were raped, you will carry that baby to term. Imagine if they passed laws regarding this. Now imagine if someone insisted that you have no right, under law, to voice your grievances in public.

Imagine if someone told you that our country was founded on Christian principles. That we are one nation under God. Not once nation under Allah or Muhammad or Vishnu or Buddha or mountains and streams and rocks, but one nation under the Christian God and as such, you must proclaim your commitment to that God Almighty or face jail time. Or public stoning. Now imagine if someone insisted that you have no right, under law, to voice your grievances in public.

The ACLU says that freedom of speech, press, association, assembly, and petition are guarantees protected by the First Amendment. They comprise what we refer to as freedom of expression, the foundation of a vibrant democracy. That without that freedom of expression, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither away.

The point is that you don’t have to agree with what people express. You don’t have to agree with the vitriol that Nazis espouse. It simply means, that under law, you must simply allow them to have their voice, as long as it’s not coupled with violence. So when #Charlottesville first happened, I suggested these Nazis were merely loud-mouth skinhead punks who wanted to throw a public temper tantrum, and that we should have just let them have their tantrum, their Freedom Of Expression, so that they could return to their parents’ basements to play video games and smash beer cans on their heads.

Counter protesters could and SHOULD have stood peaceful guard in CASE some shit happened, the way that counter protesters do when Westboro Baptist asshats come out to spread their hate. The way that counter protesters form human chains when those idiots try to scream their vitriol at a fallen gay soldier’s funeral. But instead, counter protesters in Charlottesville came ready for a fight, screaming that Nazis have no freedom of expression (see the irony?). No right to wave a Confederate flag. No right to voice their grievances about removal of a statue. EVEN IF that stature was erected post war as a means to intimidate.

So because both sides came ready for a fight, a fight is what happened. Consider the It Takes Two theory. Had counter protesters stood peacefully back, stood peaceful guard, there would have been no violence, no death, no media there making those one hundred or so punks seem important by providing TV coverage which increases ratings, which leads to more money for media corporations, which leads to more coverage of Nazi punks slinking out of the basement to shout their pathetic tantrums, which brings out The Sky Is Falling crowd, and round and round the cycle goes.

So #Resist, #Persist, and #StayWoke to what #freedom of expression actually means, before it is taken away from all of us.

Charlottesville: Hate is hate. There are no shades of gray.

August 13, 2017
S L O W . . . D O W N . . . and process this: “When both sides show up equipped to bust heads, there ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys. There’s just angry, violent assholes.” Credit to Marc MacYoung.
Trump was right. <<< Three words I have never uttered.
When he said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” he was right in that hatred, and the ensuing violence it can create, IS on many sides. Hate does not see sexuality, gender, age, religion, ethnicity or color. Hate is evil. Period. But people are playing semantics now. “Trump didn’t use the right phrase to call out the hate. He should have said it this way or that way.” But hate is the only word necessary. When discussing specific policies of the left or right, I frequently argue that there are many shades of gray to consider. That extremists exist in every political party who can distort a simple concept. But with hate, THERE IS NO GRAY. Hate does not discriminate.
But if we insist on defining hate in different ways for different people of varying sexuality, gender, religion, age, ethnicity or color, are we not expanding the divide between us? When Liberals yell “I told you so…own it, you racists” or when Conservatives refuse to acknowledge the truth of someone’s struggle (BLM, WhitePrivilege), doesn’t that keep us divided? Aren’t we hating each other MORE, even though we agree on the most basic tenants of life? That slavery is evil. Child abuse is evil. Rape and murder are evil.
So when someone shares the truth of their struggle, can we all slow down and listen? Return love, not dismissal? No matter your color? For well-meaning folks who misinterpret #WhitePrivilege as a means to devalue their own struggle through poverty or abandonment or abuse, that’s not what the term means. For well-meaning folks who think #BLM is the opposite of #BlueLivesMatter, slow down and listen. Challenges exist for all of us, no matter our sexuality, gender, religion, age, ethnicity or color, that no law can mitigate. I will not separate evil into less distinct shades of gray. So please slow down and listen, and consider what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.”
Thanks for listening to ME! I promise to return the courtesy.
Signed,
White mom to LGBT, half-Asian, lower middle class, first-generation American teenagers of a refugee, immigrant father.
P.S. What will I tell my kids about #Charlottesville? I will tell them that during the Perseid meteor shower the day after, I was alone and awake. And it was dark. And outside, a few stars were falling from the sky. And I watched them from afar and then stuck around to watch the sun rise and bathe the earth in light. And I will tell them that despite Charlottesville, there will always be falling stars whose light dies, but that there will also always be a sunrise. And I will tell them to stay the course. Empowerment through vigilance, not fear, my beautiful babies. And I will tell them to go light the world with love.

Wolves, anyone?

October 2, 2015

Screen shot 2016-02-09 at 11.53.36 AM

Chapter One 

Her headlights sliced through the night, a yellow blur of road lines flashing past. The desert air, warm as breath, wound her hair into spirals, circled her neck.

Malia hit the brakes. Dust rose in her high beams, lingering shapeless like fog. Her only company was the hum of the Jeep. Her breaths came fast, the seatbelt cutting across her chest. She killed the engine, killed the lights. Darkness knocked into her, and her eyes pushed against black hunting for even a speck of light.

She waved a hand in her face. Nothing. “Hello!” Her voice fell away fast. “I’m here!”

When she’d arrived earlier that day to check in with her supervisor, she marveled at the sunlit desert, its plain of dry grasslands surrounded by erupting mountains, so striking compared to the rolling hills of the Midwest. She’d never felt so weightless, moving under Arizona’s massive sky with no more significance than a snowflake on fire. But at night, Malia felt connected, rooted to the landscape the way the immovable hoodoos sprouted from hilltops.

As each minute passed, the sky covered Malia in more glitter. “Hello stars!” Faint currents swirled over her like butterfly kisses.

She unlatched herself and stood on the seat but she wanted to be higher, closer to the night sky that wrapped her in purpose. She stair-stepped her way from dash to doorframe to headrest until she balanced like a warrior, one foot on the windshield, one on the roll bar. A rumbling tickled her throat and she let her laugh spill out. Why bother stifling it? No one was listening. No one was watching. This moment belonged to Malia. Read more…

I Banned My Own Book

August 31, 2014

(Originally posted at Page Turner’s Blog on 10-22-10)

(E-book released August 2014 with new cover)

ARCs from HarperCollins!

New Cover for E-book Release, August 2014 New Cover for E-book Release, August 2014

When I received the advance reader’s copy of my novel, Escaping The Tiger, I told my daughter she couldn’t read it—yet. Perhaps in a year or so. She was only 8 ½  and I wasn’t sure she could appreciate or process the gritty realities my characters face, realities that are based, in part, on her father’s childhood escape from Communist Laos. But she sneaked the arc and read it anyway.

Of course she did. It was forbidden fruit.

I caught her about three chapters in and decided if she was willing to read it, I’d be there to guide her. We talked on the way home from school one day. I asked her how the book was going.

“Fine,” she said.

“Is it scaring…

View original post 227 more words

Escaping The Tiger now available as e-book!

August 19, 2014

EscapingtheTiger_Ebook_Small

Consider it a book rescue. I started writing it just before I found out I was pregnant with my first born, who is now in middle school. I got an amazing agent in 2006 whose reputation made me about faint. She sold Escaping The Tiger in 2007 to an amazing editor who also made me about faint. The book was born in 2010 during a book launch party at the best bookstore in the world…yes, I felt a bit faint. The reviews came in and were very nice. Very nice indeed. My hopes soared.

And then it dwindled. The hope. The sales. It all dwindled, culminating with the 2013 news that my novel was out of print. Sad face. But temporary sad face. I’m kind of stubborn, and rarely take no for an answer. So I hired a cover designer to create something new, hired a formatter to do all that tricky, techie e-book stuff that makes me cra-cra and weep, and now in 2014, the e-book is born.

Today is the perfect day to announce the book rescue, as it is World Humanitarian Day. Escaping The Tiger is on sale for $.99 on Amazon. A tale of refugees, oppression, hunger, survival, soccer, immigration, bullying, feisty older sisters, mentoring, respect, dignity, and hope. For kids, teachers, coaches, social justice advocates, literature lovers.

Thank you for celebrating this book birthday with me. 

%d bloggers like this: