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For those of you who do not know, my good friend John got married and I was his best man. It was a beautiful ceremony — right there on the beach. Everybody looked lovely and just happy to be there. It was such a pleasure to see the two lovely families that were there together and overall it was a wonderful day.

I, of course, tried my best to fulfill my duties as Best Man as well as I could. John promised to return the favor whenever I got married — but he might have to wait a while lol. The best man speech went off without any calamity. In regards to speech giving: if you’ve never done this before, giving a speech to nearly 200 near strangers is a little bit more difficult than it seems. Actually, on second thought it’s exactly as difficult as it seems. Umm, I didn’t mess up too terribly but a small bit of advice for those who happen to be in my position: do not drink before you’re supposed to give a speech. You think it will give you some liquid courage but it does not! You need all your neurons firing and they cannot actually do that when they’re swimming in alcohol. Overall, I’m super glad to see my buddy get hitched and I’m wishing him the best in the future.

What’s up everybody. I know I haven’t posted in a while - no update since April 2018! - but just wanted to give everybody a little bit of a recap of the past several months.

Let’s see. Right around May is when I dropped “Remembrancy” - a cyberpunk short story. I started this year with the goal of completing 10 short stories. Well, I haven’t done that. Writing for me got really terrible around May all the way until August of this year - I attribute it mainly to being distracted - so I didn’t finish that goal. This whole year I haven’t really achieved many goals. I guess you can say the past several months I was in a slump (but more on that later). I just could not focus on any one project and found myself floundering. Personally, I also felt pretty unfulfilled and like I was just not centered.

September was a turning point: I took a vacation that was really good for me (more on that later). We’re in October now and I’m in a good place mentally. Looking to update this site more so look out for some new thoughts/posts about me and my writing in the near future.

For everybody who have stuck around, thanks for the support!

There were two men sitting in a restaurant discussing life over a plate of fried chicken and a mug of beer. The young man seemed harried; he had just gotten off the phone with his father, who told him that he was eating too unhealthy, drinking too much, and staying out far too late. Knowing the young man quite well, and thus was sure the young man was simply being too hard on himself, the old man asked the young man a question:

“Have you heard the story about the man who only ate healthy foods, and never drank, and never stayed out, and never spoke a bad word but yet he died a happy man?”

“No,” the young man said.

The old man took a hearty swig of his beer and set it down on the table, wiping his lips with satisfaction. “Me neither.”

I wasn’t super productive this month in terms of writing, but this month was very positive overall and I’m happy about it. Here’s a quick recap:

Personally …

1. I told the truth.
This month I got to exorcise some demons that were holding me back. Got a lot of stuff off my chest. If you haven’t read it yet, check out my two posts Confessions Part 1 and Confessions Part 2.

2. I started living a healthier lifestyle, but mostly I just chilled.
I guess you can say this was a transitional month or even that I took the month off. Because for the most part, it was mostly spent healing, getting my mind right, doing some self-reflecting, and of course a good amount of chillin’ with friends. Burgers and beers, people.

But recently, maybe the past week or so, I’ve been managing myself better in terms of the day-to-day stuff. I’ve been getting my priorities straight and trying to center myself. I spend a lot of time morning journaling and it helps me get my thoughts in order. I feel much more balanced now.

Writing-ly …

1. I’m letting myself be guided by my artistic impulses that don’t really fit with my overall game plan.
I wrote a short story; something like a metaphor. It’s called “A Boy and His Balloon”. I’ve commissioned a talented artist to do the artwork for the cover and hoping to do something interesting with it. I’m considering it a multi-media project. Very short, but happy with where it’s going. This has zero commercial viability. And it doesn’t fit with the whole “thriller” thing that I’m trying to do, but to hell with it. It’s fun.

2. I opened back up two work-in-progress short stories.
Sent them out for some feedback to trusted readers, seeing where to take things. One is solid. The other one is proving rather frustrating. But that’s the game. Sometimes you crack them on the first shot (and be thankful when you do). And other times, it takes several drafts.

3. I continued outlining a novel!
Yeah, the short stories are the focus these days, but I still find myself drawn to the bigger narratives. It’s very rough, but has lots of potential.

Well, this post kind of seems like a jumbled mess. But for anyone concerned out there, really, I’m in a good space right now. Thanks for all the support 🙂

New short story comes out in April. Title: “Memories from Someone I’ll Never Know”

-Peter

It was 3 AM at a sooljip in Bundang and a friend that I hadn’t seen in nearly a year let me know what he thought about me: “You’re too careful.”

By that he meant that I tend to be too guarded, that I don’t open up to people. I’m rather tight-lipped about my personal life and my opinions. And it’s true. I usually play my cards really close to the chest. I don’t know why I do it. Perhaps it’s a self-defense mechanism. I think it comes from my agreeable personality trait, or the society that I grew up in; I’m so concerned with how people perceive me that I wind up saying nothing at all.

But recently, I’ve realized that, by being overly concerned with protecting my neck, I haven’t shown people the real me. Either way, I realized that I am pretty guarded. I’ve just hoped that people would take me at face value. But the accusation made me think. Then, if not the raw truth, what have I been showing people? At best, a veneer. At worst, a lie. One of the banes of my existence is the politician who is serpentine with their words; orating something that I call “non-speak”- a carefully crafted and articulate response yet containing nothing of actual substance. Have I become something that I despise?

And I’ve been thinking about this overall characteristic has been affecting my writing. If withholding our thoughts, ideas, and personal information (refraining from speaking the truth) in our everyday lives can be detrimental to our personal life, then can it also hurt our writing? And of course the antithesis of that; would being an unbridled truth-teller liberate us to freely express ourselves in writing? And since the highest form of writing is self-expression, shouldn’t every artist strive to speak the truth in every arena, not just their chosen mediums?

Hemingway said that the writer’s job is to tell the truth. So if to write is to tell the truth, then the highest quality of a writer then is honesty. And since writing, or the state of being a writer, for many, forms the very fabric with which they weave their lives, then of course being a truth teller should permeate every aspect of their being, not just when they are engaged with work.

What does this mean for me? Simply put, it means being honest with myself.
I can’t only speak the truth in storytelling. I need to embrace truth everywhere. In my personal life, in the banalities of daily living, in conversations, in love.

I used to think that being truthful could hurt me, but now I regard it as a source of strength. Because great writers are honest. I can learn something from that.

February has come and gone and we’re in the middle of March now. What’s the cliche? “Where does the time go?” The weather is changing. Hopefully I’ll be inspired by Mother Nature and I’ll change along with it. February was a tough month to stay focused on work, honestly, but I’ll give an update. It’s long overdue, but they say better late than never. So here goes nothing:

1. I released my short story The Revolver.
Published the first of ten short stories 🙂 It’s gotten some reads and also some kind reviews from people that I am very grateful for. It’s really been a humbling experience to have people connect with your writing. It kind of reinforced the idea of why I started doing this creative stuff in the first place. I’ve been writing “in the dark” for quite a long time and it’s good to come out and share stories with people.

2. Outlined a novel (sort of)
In terms of actual writing pages, I did some tinkering on a new story. By no means is it finished, but it’s got some interesting potential and I’m exploring some different avenues for it. I’m not putting anything in stone yet, which is something I’ve tended to do before; shoehorn the story into what I wanted it to be rather than exploring different alleyways. It’s a non-linear approach, but I’m hoping it’ll be a good tweak in the process.

3. Wrote words on the page (a little bit)
Again, not the most productive month, but oscillated between a number of short story ideas. Didn’t complete them all but worked on each one quite a bit. I think this may have been somewhat of a mistake. Perhaps focusing on one or two would have been more beneficial. Focus is better. Still playing with my style.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ve got a bunch of half-baked ideas and unfinished treatments tucked away in the vault and I’m hoping they can come to fruition soon. I’m going to be dropping a few more updates on the blog this month hopefully to explain to everyone what’s been going on with me personally.

If you’re reading this, thanks 🙂

All the best,
Peter