Here we are, well into 2019, and I'm still waiting for the arrival of some exciting news or powerful insight to share with you. But can you feel it? In so many conversations lately, I discover others share my feeling of something impending. I sense society awaiting a shift, for better or worse, for our communities and leaders to light the way to a new era of understanding, sharing, and restoration, or for the sudden descent into the demise of civilization as we know it. Maybe a bit of both? As a reader and writer, I can appreciate the honesty of ambivalent conclusions.
Yet, as the climate changes and humanity seesaws between connection and competition—as if it were an either-or proposition—I still believe this: as long as each step we take is with the intention of expressing our best selves, there's hope. Here's where I am on that journey:
I've recently finished the manuscript for my historical novel, The Candlelight Bridge, a tale of immigrants and their mixed-race children seeking home in a world that does not want them, of a young woman rescuing her family in a world ruled by the passions of men. I've begun seeking a home for it, and I've also begun writing the sequel. Parts of the story take place in China, where I'll be making my fourth visit in April, to immerse myself in history and culture, and to continue learning Cantonese.
Meanwhile, I'm still telling other stories too: writing essays and flash fiction, and performing true personal tales at live shows in Los Angeles. I believe storytellers follow an honorable calling. We seek to unearth deeper truths: bringing people together to honor our common humanity, reminding us of what we all value, offering hope that we have overcome trouble before and can again.
Like many writers, I have favorite themes: home, belonging, and women finding their voice. These themes might seem timely during this era of environmental threat, fear of "the other," and the Me Too movement. But I make no claims to being a seer. I believe storytellers are weathervanes, revealing which way the wind blows. I hope we're all paying attention. I hope we can respond well to the prevailing winds.
I'm mindful that stories depend on at least two people for meaning: storyteller and audience. Thank you for reading and listening.
May we share a meaningful year!