Shaking it Rough: A Prison Memoir

21 11 2015

I’m biased. Again.

This time, it’s because Andreas was my brilliant creative nonfiction teacher back at UBC. He was so supportive and enthusiastic and helpful that I really credit him for inspiring me to write a memoir after taking his class, which I hadn’t considered prior. So of course reading his spectacularly written memoir about his stint in prison was a well documented, exciting journey.

And if you’re wondering, that’s me with my high school cross-country sweater. Which is actually too big for me. Go figure.


End of Brave New Play Rites

30 03 2014

Well, it’s been fun. I caught my play twice, and I’ll be attending the second program tonight for the first time. When I signed up for the class and even when I was told that my play would be produced for the festival, I didn’t really know what that looked like. To me, my play was still words on a page, even when there was a director attached to the project and it was being workshopped. It was really only when I sat there on Wednesday night, after the second play was finished and they began laying down the walls for the house that I had written in my play, that I realized my play was now real. It was when the actors wandered on stage, embodying the words that I written months ago.

I’m just really happy that play was chosen, especially when, at the time, I really didn’t know if it would be or not, since I didn’t feel all that confident about my writing. But as I watched the actors say the lines I had written, as they walked on stage and then off, as the play ended unhappily, I felt confident. I felt like I belonged, that I had worked hard to get to this point, and that my writing was good. I think that’s something I’ve been trying to get over, and it’s been a slow process, but watching my play — and all the other ones in the festival too — has helped with that, for sure.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to dress fancy for the last show and getting drunk at the closing party tonight. Yeeeeaah!

Brave New Play Rites press

22 03 2014

Haven’t really been alive for the past few days, which may have been obvious because of my lack of posts, but I’m feeling a bit better now. Stumbled upon this article in that mentions me and my play, In the Movies,  in the Brave New Play Rites festival this upcoming week. Check it out!

Come watch my play — In the Movies!

14 03 2014

For those who are in Vancouver or somehow willing to travel to Vancouver, I blogged about a play I wrote a while back titled In the Movies and it’ll be on stage in a couple weeks as part of UBC’s Brave New Play Rites Festival! It’s the story about an average gay guy named David, and the drama that ensues when his first boyfriend seemingly randomly shows up at his place after they haven’t seen each other in sixteen years. It would be super to see you there!

The dates for my play are Wednesday March 26th at 7:30pm, Friday March 28th at 7:30pm, and Sunday March 30th at 2pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students. My play will be part of a program with five other plays (there is also a second program held on different days with a whole other set of plays too). If you’d like to read up on Brave New Play Rites and the other plays, check out the website:

And once you’re done deciding which day (or days, if you’re a keener) you’re coming, you can either buy a ticket on the Brave New website above, or follow this link and select Program 1:

I hope to see you there!

Reading Program

6 03 2014

What most people correctly assume is that there is a lot of writing to do in the Creative Writing program. What many don’t know is that there’s a ton of reading to do too. Since all classes are workshop classes, there can be a lot of reading to do for classes, especially if you’re taking longer-form genre classes. Like what I somehow got myself into this year.

Last year, I was taking lyrics, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Lyrics and poetry were pretty one-pagers. Not much time to spend reading.

This semester, I’m taking stageplay (where we’re now reading 20-page one-act plays), TV pilot (where we’re workshopping four to five pilot/specs a class, but we’ve just finished doing outlines and now heading to scripts, which will be around 30-60 pages each), and creative non-fiction (where even the shortest submission is four to five pages). It’s my fault for signing up for these classes, but I guess I didn’t factor in just how much time I’d spend reading and giving feedback. I’m pretty sure others don’t spend as much time as me as evidenced by a short paragraph of feedback I get, but I really value feedback so I can spend quite a bit of time just writing good notes. It’s not really fair, but what’re you gonna do.

At least I had the privilege of handing in a 4,000-word personal essay for workshop last week… which, now that I think about it, I’m not sure if people will have actually read for tomorrow. Ugh.

Five weeks

3 03 2014

Five weeks left of school to go. Although I guess the last week doesn’t really count as a full week, since I only have two classes, so it’s more like four and a half weeks to go. Even closer! Argh!

(I had nothing new to say so that’s why)

Final (scathing) thoughts about UBC

25 02 2014

In yet another email from UBC, I was invited to share my thoughts on my undergrad experience and to give feedback. Most of it was standard, boring survey stuff, but at the end, I had a big blank box to add any other thoughts about UBC. Here’s what I wrote:

UBC is a school renowned for not the quality of instruction, but the brand. As such, instructors are experienced in their field of study, but are not trained as educators (some worse than others). This leads to ineffective and often frustrating learning. For the amount of tuition we pay as students, and for a “world-class” university, this is sad and has left me very disappointed in my educational experience. I thoroughly enjoy the Creative Writing program, but for many courses and instructors in the rest of the university, it has been truly a letdown; courses in which I was excited to take and learn have left me disinterested and disheartened after. Many dismiss or downplay getting a bad instructor, but it’s much more than that; you feel upset/bored/tired going to class; you’re bored/tired in class; and after class, you’re upset and carry around negative emotions that impact the rest of your day. And to top it all off, you’re paying for this experience. This has happened time and time again, not just to me, but to others I know too. I am proud to have been a part of the Creative Writing program, but almost ashamed to have done it at UBC.

UBC prides itself with being a gorgeous campus with shiny new buildings. But if they can’t afford to hire trained educators, it seems clear that their money’s simply going to maintaining a grotesque facade and continuing their swindling scheme on unsuspecting future students.

I’m reading next week!

19 02 2014

For those reading this who are actually in Vancouver (which I think is all of two people, both of whom I could actually contact instead of via blog), I will be reading as part of Outwrite, the BFA reading series for the undergrads in the Creative Writing program at UBC. Also, I will be trying something I haven’t done before (surprise!), which could go horribly wrong, but I’m only allowed 4-7 minutes so that shouldn’t be too long a death. The reading starts at 7pm at the Cottage Bistro (4470 Main Street), so if you’re in the area and don’t mind a free reading by some up-and-coming writers, swing by and chill out with us!


New Year

1 01 2014

I left my house last night knowing I didn’t write a post for the last day of the year, but I’m a low-key kinda guy, so I was okay with the blog ending on a small note (or I guess, non-existent note) than on some big extravagant thing.

And similarly, I thought I’d start off the year with a simple post. Yesterday, I spent the day revising a memoir piece about growing up and watching different representations of gay Asian people on TV and how that affected me. I submitted it to Existere magazine since their deadline was last night, and got it done. Felt really good about that, and it confirmed for me that I can in fact motivate myself to write and to keep writing and to submit my work when I’m out of school without assignment deadlines. Take that, no one.

So here’s to another year of even more writing, and hopefully getting a few more steps closer to assembling my memoir book.

Last assignment

6 12 2013

A 10-15 page assignment for my Intro to Motion Picture Directing class? Really? Ugh. Just let me be done with you already.