Half-Year Recap (April~September)

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!

Thoughts & Reflections: On Healthy Living

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.”

March Wrap-Up

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”


Thoughts & Reflections: Tell the Truth

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 Wrap-Up 2018

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,

January Wrap-Up

First update of 2018!

Last month, I made a new goal to write 10 short stories this year and January was the first month of that new direction. I didn’t totally crush this month like I wanted to, but I did make some accomplishments. I completed two short stories and they are currently in the editing pipeline.

Here are some quick highlights of January:

1. Writing Process.
January was all about falling back into the process of writing. I tried to establish a writing schedule, and be more consistent, with my eventual aim to become prolific. Fell short of that goal, stumbled and fell, even, but I’ll make adjustments and keep doing it next month. It’s all about managing the chaos of daily life.

2. “Don’t overthink. Trust your instincts, you’re a talented writer.”
One of my early readers said this to me and I can’t thank her enough for the advice. She was talking about the opening two paragraphs of a short story that I sent to her. Ironically, I spent the most time and effort “crafting” these two paragraphs. As a result, they came off as “stiff” in her words, and overwrought.

I’ve been guilty of dwelling on my writing in the past. Last year, I especially had a tendency to overthink my work to the point that it became stifling. Going forward, I don’t want to work too hard or second guess myself too much, or get so “inside my head” that I get psyched out,  but rather I want to let my thoughts and emotions flow.

3. Feedback.
I’ve been lucky enough to connect with some really helpful, professional readers who have provided some amazing guidance with my work. It is impossible to catch every single mistake that I make and I’m so thankful for the people who have helped with these short stories. If you’re reading this, thank you!

Oh, and a quick shout-out to all the people I’ve met on social media! What a great, supportive community of readers and writers. I’m really glad to have met all of you and I’m looking forward to knowing more about your stories 🙂

Other than that, not much has happened in January. I just want to continue the daily grind and keep at things.

For February, my goal is to flourish.

Will touch base with you soon.


December Wrap-Up!

“Sometimes you need to go backward in order to go forward.”

A few months ago, I gave my friend Brandon a piece advice about his writing career. He was having trouble with a novel and after scrapping his pages several times, I told him to take a year off from the novel and instead to write short stories.

Well, I should have taken my own advice.

For more than a few reasons, I’ve decided to write 10 short stories next year. The main reason for this is discover. I want to experiment, learn, and fine tune. Maybe even push the envelope with a few. I’m going to be trying on different tones and styles, trying different characters, and subject matter.

So December was mainly about re-positioning myself to write short stories. After my decision, I looked through my writing notebook and picked out a few concepts that I thought could make good shorts.

The first one that I chose was a thriller about a detective searching for a missing person. I tried to complete it, but it just didn’t really feel right it its short form. I wound up putting it down.

But the next one I finished. I picked up an old concept that I just couldn’t crack because I was trying to develop it as a longer piece. I always knew it had to be a short. It’s finished and I’m currently in the editing process of it. And hoping to release it next month, so please keep on the lookout 🙂

For January, I’m planning on releasing the short story and writing another one (maybe two). Hopefully this new direction pans out.




November Wrap-Up!

A lot of my friends ask me what writing’s like and I tell them that writing is constantly being frustrated. Either you’re stumped on a scene, a character, or something about the story – something is always puzzling you.

I was hoping to get three chapters done this month, and reasonably expecting two, but closing out November, it looks like I’m only hitting one: Chapter 4. Obviously, this is a bit frustrating. I can’t have too many months like this if I want to launch this book next year. If anyone is counting, I’ve got 4 chapters written out of my anticipated 30. Only 26 more to go. Really still hoping to get this out to everyone by September. Remaining optimistic but I’m not afraid to push the date back either. I’ll never sacrifice quality just to get something out there.

The good news: The chapter that I did write was quite difficult. It was an introduction of a new character and I was stuck on it for some time but I finally think I cracked it. Now that I have a better feel for who these characters are and their dynamic, I’m hoping to cover a little more ground in December.

My goal for December is to continue honing my voice. I know that’s kind of abstract but I’m honestly still tweaking things in terms of my overall style and how it affects the tone of the work. Also, hitting a respectable chapter count would be nice as well 🙂 Here’s hoping.

I’ll check back with you in December.


October Wrap-Up!

Last month, I told you that I wound up scrapping my work. Well, no more looking back, October was the first month of writing in this new direction of my novel. Overall, I feel really good about it. It’s good, clean work. The novel is going to be different. It’s going to read different, it’s going to feel different than the other novels out there.

Looking at my pace this month, I wrote two chapters. I want to be able to get to three chapters a month, but I’m not going to force it either. At this point, I’m abandoning hitting a daily word count, and simply focusing on time plus effort.

I probably won’t be soliciting feedback from anyone for this. I truly think I just need to incubate this and put in the hard work in solitude before I release anything out to the world. Thinking about doing a solid draft, and then going out for notes.

Oh, and I’m not forcing myself to follow the treatment as it’s written. I got a solid route I can take, but I’m also giving myself room for improvement. I’m letting myself be carried away by the story a bit as my understanding of the true story starts to unfold.

Another thing is sacrifice. I can’t go out and play too much if I wanna give everyone the story they deserve. That means no drinking or partying for a while, but I guess it’s high time for that. I gotta buckle down and grind out this novel.

November, I’m looking to continue putting in the hours, staying focused, writing quality material. If all goes well, I’ll be messaging everyone in a month and saying I did exactly this.



2015, 2016, 2017 Retrospective


What the hell have I been doing for the past few years?

It honestly all seems to blur together at this point. In the age of hyper-productivity, it’s popular to set goals and track progress. I knew I should have been doing it, but alas, after not having really tracked my progress for a few years, I felt compelled to compile this list of checkpoints that I hit while working on various projects. I came up with this list:


October 23rd – FINALLY complete The Lottery, a spec screenplay co-written with my friend, after an arduous three year process, send to friends and mentors for feedback

November 18th – Receive notes from college professor/mentor on The Lottery. Some encouragement, mostly negative


January 17th – Submit The Lottery to a workshop in the Itaewon district in Seoul

February 25th – Complete an early unfinished treatment of a Sci-Fi Thriller. The first sign of my new project after deciding to write novels.

March 7th – Complete list of changes needed for The Lottery, prioritized by importance

July 9th – Finish experimental chapters of Sci-Fi Thriller

July 15th – Finish revision of The Lottery

August 20th – Receive competition feedback on The Lottery

September 4th – Send First Act treatment of Sci-Fi to potential editor

September 20th – Final rejection letter for The Lottery rolls in

November 27th – Send experimental first chapters of Sci-Fi Thriller to workshop group in Itaewon.

December 17th – Attend first meeting of workshop in Gangnam


March 5th – Send 20 pages of psychological thriller to a workshop group, calling it “While You Were Asleep”. It’s about a guy who hears his wife confess a murder while in her sleep. First documented evidence of my story.

April 26th – Send 8 page outline to a friend, calling it “Untitled Mystery Thriller”.

April 9th – Send one page outline on the story to a friend, very thriller-esque, lots of plot

May 4th – Finish eight page outline

August 3rd – Send 13,000 words of novel to a friend.


So, I worked on three projects during those three years.

  1. The Lottery, a spec screenplay
  2. Sci-Fi Mystery novel
  3. Psychological Thriller novel

I completed the first, abandoned the second, and the third is what I’m currently working on.


I was simply revising my spec The Lottery, getting feedback and rejections, and also most likely mining concepts.


This was a year spent trying to crack a very difficult, ambitious story, plus also trying to find my voice as a novelist. Whenever novel writers try to write scripts, I always say that you can’t just walk in day one and try to write a screenplay. Well, it’s the same vice-versa, I should have taken my own advice! The process was much more frustrating than I had imagined and, while I’ve now found a style I can run with, I don’t feel I’m completely matured in my voice just yet. I wound up abandoning that tricky story altogether. I did do some revising on my spec script as well, but it didn’t take the bulk of my time I think.


This year isn’t over, but it was equally frustrating, as I was trying to crack a new story that I thought was simplistic. (It’s never simplistic). I was writing a lot of pages and throwing them away. Rinse and repeat. It was a very humbling, unpleasant experience. I wasn’t doing well in the story department, and I wasn’t doing well in the craft of writing either. Wound up scrapping somewhere along the lines of 50,000 words that were just simply horrible.


What I learned:

So what was the major takeaway of doing this and also the past two or three years? Now that I have a good view of the previous two years, I can say that they were a great learning experience. Two major things come to mind:


  1. I learned a lot about story. I did a bunch of treatments and I did a lot of thinking about the true meaning of

    story. I also learned about what appeals to me as a writer is very

    important,and that audiences have expectations as well.

  2. I learned a lot of adapting my style to novels. You can’t just

    forgotten years of playwriting and screenwriting knowledge, throw it all out the door when you start writing novels. I need to fall back

    onmy craft. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, just need to adapt my current style so that it fits the conventions of novels.

One more thing comes to mind: I threw away tons, and tons of pages. Like, actual weight in tons. Alright, not really, but it sure felt like it. I think I threw away about 90-95% of the words that I wrote.


I came up with a few rules/takeaways for myself:

  1. Know when to walk away from a project. Seriously, my sci-fi thriller had tons of potential, but I just didn’t have the tools to execute it. Had I doggedly pursued it, I may have written something bad.
  2. Listen to your inner critic. There was a solid stretch there where I was just typing away, knowing something was wrong, but not addressing it. It came back to bite me and I wound up throwing all of those pages away.
  3. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Gotta fall back

    onmy craft and not forget about everything I learned up

    untilthis point. When I decided to switch over to novels, I felt like it was this strange new territory to be conquered, but I realize I just need to do what works for me.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to writing-wise for the past few years. When I decided to switch over to novel writing two years ago, I didn’t envision this happening. But looking back, I can say it’s been a valuable experience for me.




Novel Update: 10/1/2017


Hello everyone,

Just a quick update.

I scrapped my pages. All of them. It’s hard to admit this, but the quality just wasn’t good enough. I think I was really impatient on getting something out there, too focused on the result, that I just completely rushed the process. In the words of Toy Story 2, “You can’t rush art.”

I also psyched myself out of it in a way. I don’t want to get too into it, but for a number of reasons, somewhere along the line I got convinced that this project wouldn’t be very successful.

So where am I now?

I’m beginning again. It can be frustrating, but setbacks are a normal part of the game. Just need to have faith that things will work out in time.

I just finished Chapter 1 and so far it’s going really well. Like most writers, I never really consider anything “done” but I do know when I’m “close enough” and these pages are right there. On to Chapter 2 with this new direction.

For anyone who has been waiting for this novel, sad news, but I’ve pushed the release date back yet again. At the pace I’m going, I’m thinking I’ll be finished somewhere around Winter 2018. Sorry for the wait!