Category: Books

The Bamboo Brothers – A Story of the Chinese Who Connected America

Recognize the image below? This famous photograph immortalizes the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory Summit, taken shortly after the joining of the first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. It was perhaps the greatest engineering feat of its time, yet absent from this image are any of the 15,000 Chinese railmen who helped make it possible.

Continue reading “The Bamboo Brothers – A Story of the Chinese Who Connected America”

Progress of My Novel – A Resource for Writers & Storytellers

Progress of My Novel - A motivational and useful resource for writers and storytellers

In case you didn’t already know, I’m a writer. I write things. Right now, I’m working as a freelance travel writer and editor, but my real passion is storytelling.

I’m currently working on a novel set in San Francisco during the period between the 1906 earthquake and the start of World War I. I’ve always found this era fascinating, what with all the social and technological changes taking place.

In a hopefully worthwhile fit of distraction, I created a Tumblr page updating the progress of my novel while providing motivational and useful resources for other writers. Please follow me there if you’re on Tumblr, and I’ll follow you back!

(Also, the irony of cutting into writing time to create a blog dedicated to keeping me on track with writing isn’t lost on me.)

My High School Senior Project: The Myth

I found my senior project research paper among old files on my backup drive and decided to share it here. The subjects touched upon are ones still important to me: hero myths, the collective unconscious, who we are as humans, etc., although my writing style from ten years ago isn’t as comparatively eloquent as it is now. I did a quick edit for glaring errors, such as double-spacing between sentences, something I feel is one of man’s greatest sins now. I guess that is what it means to be young and reckless.

Oh, and that IS Encarta 1994 listed in the Works Consulted at the end…

(Like this post? Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get updates on new posts and photos!)


Hero myths represent the mind of the individual. Through analysis of various myths, one finds common aspects that can only be explained as being innate in every person. Traits of the human psyche (see Appendix H) are represented in various forms in such myths. Before one can elaborate on such a topic, one must first understand the meaning of myths, as well as rituals, symbols, dreams, and the meaning of the hero.

Myths, Dreams, and Rituals
A myth is a story that has strong cultural roots. They are found worldwide and have different themes within them such as love, jealousy, revenge, trickery, or journey. There are also various types of myths: creation myths, flood myths, etc. Although there seem to be many variations and incarnations in myth-storytelling, all myths have basic similarities that can be seen in the stories from widely varying cultures.

According to Joseph Campbell (see Appendix A), myths “serve four distinct functions: to instill and maintain a sense of awe and mystery before the world; to provide a symbolic image for the world such as that of the Great Chain of Being; to maintain the social order by giving divine justification to social practices like the Indian caste system; and above all to harmonize human beings with the cosmos, society, and themselves” (Segal x).

Myths have been enjoyed since the dawn of time, and the exact origin of the myth is yet to be discovered. One theory relates to a central, base myth that may have started from an early civilization, eventually spreading to other lands. Another theory incorporates Carl Jung’s (see Appendix C) theory of the collective unconscious (see Appendix D). This theory is based upon the idea that every person is born with the archetypes (see Appendix E) evident in myths, hence the similarities found in stories from around the globe (Rank 4-9). Continue reading “My High School Senior Project: The Myth”

Tumbling back up the rabbit hole…

Danny Elfman | MySpace | IMDB

I had two books with me on the plane: The Picture of Dorian Gray and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass. I felt this was appropriate as both books deal with the self-realization of their respective main characters. Dorian Gray finds a new world within himself, where beauty leads to morbid terrors, and Alice finds herself in a new world, beauty in terrorizing morbidness. Both are ultimately set free, in a manner of speaking.

I made the recent impromptu trip to Hawaii partially in an attempt to find myself. Self-identity was something I struggled with continuously in college: the dilemma of living in California while having grown up in Hawaii. In visiting home, I felt like I had no claim to either place because I really had claim to both. I would dream, then, of living on a boat, traveling from port to port, existing between worlds and having loyalties to none. It’s amazing how lost one feels when one doesn’t know where “home” really is. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, which in turn made me unsure of who I was.

I’m very thankful now for being quite certain that San Francisco is my home. I’m even more thankful for all the good friends I’ve made since. And while there’s a soul to Hawaii that could never be replicated here (I always forget how beautiful the beach is at night when all the stars are clearly visible), there’s enough wonder and discovery to more than make up for it in other ways.

I found my apartment as I left it weeks ago. It was at once familiar and foreign to me as the underside of my palm, a familiarity committed to feeling but never noticed until actually thought of. It stood as if frozen in time, though I had changed and experienced so much since. I suppose mine was a combination of the adventures of Dorian and Alice, where I rediscovered aspects of myself by both delving deep within and tumbling, tumbling away…