HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The challenge for the day is 500 words in 30 minutes (Failed — only did 362 words in 30 minutes).
Sure, for some people it’s easy. For me not so much. This, despite having 2016 as the year I counted words.
2016 was a sad year for a lot of people. So many things happened that it felt like Armageddon was already upon us. For all we know, it is, and the end of the days has gone and passed. Maybe.
But enough about 2016, and look forward to 2017. In NorCal, it has started well. We have a storm after what feels like two long years of summer. But not a devastating storm like in the other states. It wasn’t even a signal number one compared to the Philippines. It was just good enough to get some red counties in the yellow. The Bay Area? Completely normal now. L.A.’s still red though (AFAIK).
Along with counting words, 2016 was the year I became aware of the diversity movement in American media, and how it seems to be never enough. As if the whitewashed Oscars hullabaloo wasn’t enough, Asian stereotyping and the poor excuse for avoiding it was spread aplenty all throughout the past year. Although I don’t work in Hollywood or anywhere near it, I kinda felt I was caught a bit in between.
I’m a five feet tall late-30s Asian woman. I went to this scriptwriters event once in the first quarter of 2016, and I found myself looking up to everyone in there. And when I say looking up I meant quite literally! Since everyone in the event looked like they were descended from Anglo-American ancestors, all of them were towering over me. I saw a handful of people of color peppered in the crowd and only one other Asian woman in the entire event. She was also the same Asian woman I was mistaken for a hundred times in 2013 when I was still active in that indie filmmaking group. Noticeably, no one wanted to talk to us, or even try to approach us. And when somebody did ask me what I was working on, they all had this blank stares. Maybe I’m just insecure, but seriously, I do believe that they weren’t listening.
Back in 2013, I didn’t mind much, since I was only in my 2nd year in the country. I was still thinking very much like an Asian living in Asia. So, racist microaggression didn’t ruffle my feathers. I laughed at it, told myself, “We really do look alike to them!” and brushed it off my shoulders.
2016 was different, though. As I watched my friends build a life, make a family, travel the world — I proactively chased my dream. I joined writing competition after competition, betting on the law of averages. As I received feedback after feedback, I slowly recognized that thinking like an Asian in Asia would not get me to where I want to be. Reception for Takatak was bluntly different from J/K’s. And that says a lot.
But where do I really want to be? By the last quarter of 2016, I got lost again. What do I really want to be?
I should be honest with myself and everyone who would hear me out.
I WANNA BE A ROCK AND ROLL LEGEND.
A rock star with a pen. I recognize and believe that anybody can be a rock & roll superstar in any field.
I WANNA BE A FAIRY.
Queen of whimsy and delight. I want to be recognized as a figure of joy and hilarity.
I WANNA BE A DEVICE OF SPINE-CHILLING CONSTERNATION.
Master of horror. Ceding nightmares today and generations to come.
I WANNA BE A MAJOR REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AAPI IN WORLDWIDE MEDIA.
And in 2017, I shall work hard for this.
So that when I go to a place where people tower over me, they will look me at eye level … OR BETTER — they’ll look up to me.
660 word in 1 hour
BTW ... somewhere in the future, I wanna be seen on this list.