Finding Your Tribe

We all take breaks.

We all need breaks.

In the last few months I’ve been back and gone and back and gone and back and gone… Well you get the point.

Why so many breaks Kimchi?

I wish I could pinpoint it to one thing really. But when things happen they happen all at once. Then you don’t notice that you are falling until you’ve reach the bottom.

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From there you still have a choice. You can rise up or keep falling down.

Sometimes you can’t do it on your own.

Tribe

I’ve been open about my struggle with suicide and depression. It is a miracle that I am here today. Due to my dear friend answering my text, it was the life line I needed and I grabbed on with shaking hands and a still empty heart.

In these last few years I formed groups with other writers. We video chat on a weekly basis. We talk about our writing, help each other with writers block, and support each other when we need it.

These last few months I was riding high in January after finishing my third book and I really saw it as my best work yet, which made me so excited to see improvement.

Then I tried to start the next book.

It was slow going but I was getting there. Then I stopped.

Then I got sick.

Then I got into more debt due to health.

Three things kept me afloat these years. I had three goals I was working on and as long as one was going strong I felt like the depression was kept at bay.

Writing. Heath. Paying off debt.

Then in March all three went to shit.

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Then I started to stay in bed. Part of me almost realized what was happening. I would go to work (barely it look me forever to get out of bed in the morning). Then I would come home and stay in bed. No yoga, no writing. I guess in my defense I was very sick but you know even things that are out of your control just add more to the pile.

Last week my mind started a dangerous game.

It started to tell me to give up writing. It told me that there was no point since no one would read my books. My mind told me that I shouldn’t bother since I will never be as good as so and so. My mind told me to give up something that brought me so much joy in the last few years. It told me to quit.

Tribe

This time I had backup. I had writers gathered around me to support me. They were going through the same things as me. I wasn’t alone anymore. They asked me what they could do to help me. Honestly just seeing their faces every week helped me.

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I knew I couldn’t give up writing. My depression isn’t going to win this round. Even though I had to put aside this book to work on something different. I didn’t lose.

It is a battle. All the time. It is a battle we have to fight. I will say it a thousand times. If you feel like you ever need someone to talk to send me a message. I want you to know that you are not alone.

March ended like a lion for me. However, I’m back on track and I know that I have a tribe to back me up.

And all you wonderful anime nerds to hang out with. You are part of my tribe and I’m thankful to have something like this in my life. I can’t promise I won’t disappear again but I want you to know I’m fighting. Thank you for being you :).

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Artwork Reveal

So this blog is still about anime… right? ha… ha… ha…

Okay I’m getting back into gear. But for now I’m excited to show you all the commissioned work I got done for my author page and blog page!

I had this wonderful work done by Tanya Hales

I wanted a plus size commission that had a bit of my sass… or sarcasm whatever you prefer. Also my bowl of kimchi is still in my photo which I was super excited about. She was great to work with and I’m excited to use this art for my author webpage and my blog!

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I’m getting things organized the best I can. I will probably make posts on my journey to indie publishing next year and still blog about my love of 2D boys since that is something that I will be infected (I mean affected?) with for the rest of my life.

In the mean time I’m still enjoying every ones posts and I hope that some of my creative brain will go back to blogging. Not that it going to my books is a bad thing, but I need more anime in my life!

Happy Watching!

Something to think about

Thank you everyone for your comments and support as I pitched my latest story last week.

I’m excited to announce that I got a request for my ya fantasy!

Then I had some hard moments at the conference. The topic came up of authors who write in cultures that are not their own. My ya fantasy is based in historic Japanese and Korean culture. I took elements from both and then melded them into my novel. It is still very obviously Japanese based.

In living in Korea and learning about Japanese culture for the last six years my main goal was to share my love for both. I never expected that this would make my novel a harder sell since I was not born in either culture. This spoke to a bit to my own white privilege that I didn’t think it would be a problem.

It was a sobering thought. I wrote this novel, and I was not only excited to see my improvement as a writer, but to share this world with others.

I spent a good amount of time mad at myself and then feeling sick that I may hurt others with this novel. The characters are now alive in my mind and their story is not over. Thoughts of shelving it and then not writing books two and three seemed like the reasonable choice.

Then my novel that I was about to start was based in a Korean myth with all Korean characters. It was also going to weave in the story of  depression and suicide. Using elements of the myth and the character to speak to those who are suffering in silence. You are all familiar with “My Reasons Why” and how that is a theme that is extremely important to me. I knew this novel would be hard to write in the first place but I thought it was time. Then more thoughts of scrapping it came in my heart. Again, what right did I have to write about a Korean myth?

Throughout all of this a bit of my joy in writing seemed to leave my heart.

Then my writing friends, who knew my story, surrounded me. They encouraged me to continue to write these stories that were on my heart. To keep on going.

I am very blessed to have so many that believe in me. In writing these novels it was never my intention to take away someone else’s story. This was the story that came to my heart. Written in cultures that I love.

I know that in the future I will need to think on hiring sensitivity readers. Since in all my novels I want to be diverse in all aspects of culture, sexuality, body types, and many more. I also have a lot to learn.

This blog that I have ignored for a few months is also part of sharing what I love with others. It is the reason I started it! I wanted to share my love for anime, then I found so many wonderful anime lovers.

So I guess it is time to roll up my sleeves and then get cracking on the next project. This one lived on my heart for the last two years. It will be hard to tell. It will take me back to a time when I myself thought that suicide was the only answer, but it needs to be told.

 

Dear Brother

This time of year I always feel a bit off and then I remember, it’s because you’re not here. It is strange how birthdays turn in to lonely memorials of those who leave us. Then fondness of the memories you have and regret at those you forgot.

You left me with something that I carry forever– The passion to write and tell these stories in my head. I can finally honestly say to you that– I’m doing it. I’m following my dream. You were at the start of it all, my dear brother. You will always be the first one on my journey to find the passion in my life. You never said it was a silly dream and you honestly gave the best advice– Write. Isn’t that funny what it comes down to? Just write. You don’t need to be an expert, you don’t need to know everything. Just write.

Pages are filled in my high school notebooks. Ones that will never see the light of day. Pages that helped me grow and learn. Thousands of words. It is pretty fun to go back and remember.

I remember fondly all the times you took me out for ice cream. The gifts you gave me as I grew up. The other day I looked through many pictures and I miss not getting to sit by you at Christmas dinner. I was a pretty clingy brat (My apologies to Holly). When I go your post cards and my fingers slowly trace your handwriting; it is almost like you aren’t gone when I have things around me that remind me of you. I even came across the Jasmine Barbie doll you gave me. My years of playing with dolls have passed but she remains a guardian of precious memories of my childhood.

The Belle figurine watches me in my writing room as I scrape together words. The picture of us looking forward on the ferry makes me think of my future. We both were looking forward that day and you honestly had so much more to give and do. It is hard to make wishes that won’t come true but I wish you were still here. I think I always will. We never got to write that book together but you are in every book I write.

Thank you for calling me and saying that you love me. Thank you for letting me hug you constantly. Thank you for coming to my birthdays. Thank you emailing me and letting me vent all my silly teenage drama (that alone should make you a saint). Thank you for sharing your love of fantasy and I wish I could be friends with you now. I have so much I want to share with you now that I’m older (I think you would have liked anime, maybe you did). Thank you for sharing your love of travel.

Thank you for being honest with me about your struggles. You were not perfect but you also showed me that a person can change and do better. I picked myself up these last few years, your honesty helped me see hope. I promise I won’t travel down that path of darkness again.

Thank you for being a listening ear, a pair of warm arms, and a truly kind soul. A brother taken too soon.

I miss you.

I love you.

See you.

A year with a bowl of Kimchi

This is a strange date for me since Kimchisama wasn’t my first wordpress account. In wordpress years I’m a bit older but in Kimchi years I just turned one.

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So welcome to a year in a life of me!

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It is interesting to look back on my year. When I first started this blog I did it for my creative writing II students. I had them make a blog and I made one along with them. Mostly to help them with any pitfalls along the way. Then I found amazing people and you all got stuck with me…

Anime Review

My first post haha and good old Future Diary became the very first anime I talked about. Wow have things changed and got a lot more random…

I noticed I started to focus my blog posts more on character. This is something that I’ve cared about with writing and since I don’t think I’m great with reviews I’ve enjoyed pointing out certain strengths and weaknesses in character development.

A Father’s LoveA Father’s Love

Obsession

Do Sunglasses Count?

A Debt Paid

These were a bit about character but my favorites will always be the ones where I mentioned each Yona of the Dawn characters. I had such a fun time writing about them and all their unique personalities!

Growing up – Fighting Back- A Badass Woman

The warmth in silence

Responsibility – Duty – Honor

I will take my freedom

“What a pain!”

I removed my heart.

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Man that was fun and I almost want to do it with another anime. Hmmm.

So this blog journey has been great. I’ve gotten to interact with so many different people online and found a truly supportive group of people. Part of me wishes that I was better at making connections through messenger but also I’m a bit of a weirdo…

My blog post that had the most views was

Thank You Followers/My Reasons Why Award

This really warms my heart and I find myself going though some of your posts and holding tightly to your reasons. Your reasons for living helped me in more ways that you will ever know. The honestly and rawness would always bring tears to my eyes and sometimes I didn’t even know what to say but thank you in my comments.

I still thank you. I’m thankful for you. Even though I am not the best updater or writer or commenter your warmth reaches me on a daily bases.

Thank you.

So my blog has taken me on quite a journey. I’m hoping to be a bit better about posting an maybe posting things that are more meaningful but you know we need to see abs every once in a while… right :D.

Personal goals

In the year where I almost took my life I finally started to reach out towards something I almost gave up on. My writing.

It has been a journey.

Sarah Scribbles

This comic from Sarah Scribbles really sums up my life with reaching my goal to be published.

In the year 2017 it was a fight to sit down and write word after word that I thought sucked. I had to force my butt into the chair and some days getting 100 words was an act of God.

I wanted to give up. I wanted to just sit and watch TV again. I wanted to drown myself in junk food and depression.

But I had small beams of light around me support from other writers, friends, family and online. In December 2016 I finished my first book.

There was no feeling like it in the world. “The writer who didn’t write.” That is what I called myself for the last 10 years and here I was looking at something I finished. Was it pretty… eh? Do I need to hire a good editor? YES. haha but it was done.

Now that I knew I could write a book in a year nothing was stopping me. I knew I could finish. So I wrote book two! I finished it in less than six months. I couldn’t believe it. I now had two urban fantasy books done.

For these first two books I hand wrote them both. Now that may seem a bit insane, but it helped me focus on getting the ugly words out without trying to stop and make everything perfect. So I wrote, scribbled but didn’t back down. Then when I typed them all out I would edit and revise.

Now for book three I thought I could get a lot more done if I didn’t hand write it. So I started this new YA fantasy (inspired by Japanese and Korean culture) and I typed it. I started it in September and even though I had two- three weeks of not writing I’m going to hit my midpoint at the end of this month.

I’m planning to finish the first draft by the end of November. Three months.

First book: one year

Second book: six month

Third book: 3-4 months

I included editing time but not beta read time.

I’m still querying and pitching my books to agents, but I’m also saving up money to self publish. If it all goes well be on the look out for three urban fantasy in 2020!!

Now it feels weird to look back on my journey of personal goals and dreams. Writing is now a part of my life. Something I always wanted but never achieved until now. It is just always there every night when I sit down to write 2,000 words.

It is something that is there, even though things in my life aren’t going great but having a goal… Life changing.

This really comes back to My Reasons Why. To your reasons why. When you have those goals those things that keep you going they make all the difference.

I hope you take the challenge to make them a part of your life. Never feel guilty for doing something you love and than brings you joy. This is how we take care of ourselves.

I hope I get to grow in the next year with you all. Thank you for putting up with my rambles and pictures of abs.

Thank you for being you and I believe in you. Always.

Happy Watching :).

Kimchi makes a Birthday List

I wanted to do something fun for my Birthday. Since I still have to work on my birthday I think I can celebrate in a fun totally not pervy way.

HA j/k this is going to be totally pervy.

I’ve decided to make a list of scenes that made me squee from anime, webtoons, otome games or manga. Hold on to your noses. It’s going to get bloody.

Okay some of the scenes are just sweet okay? So hold off the the tissues.

9. Yuri on Ice

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As much as I like boy love there is nothing better than consensual boy love. Every moment the sweetness of their relationship warmed my heart. I think the world stopped turning on this day. I know most of us didn’t get the blocked “kiss” but there are plenty of images online that will show you :).

8. Good Day to be a Dog

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This little gem is from a webtoon that I haven’t had a chance to review yet. I love this moment because it is first off, adorable. What is it with blushing males? Second it is when he starts to realize that he has feelings for someone. I will have a full review of this webtoon later but I found his blushes sweet.

7. Mystic Messenger

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(Spoiler) This is one of the otome games that hit the world by storm and there is nothing like 707’s story. I loved this moment because it is before they go on a raid and he is basically saying goodbye if something happens to him. Also it gets a bit steamy. This otome game doesn’t show sex scenes but I guess you will just have to use your imagination…

6. Let’s Play

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I did a short review on this webtoon and these last weeks have all given me heart palpitations. Link a character who has been very sweet but not as noticeable really came out as top heartthrob. First with the muscles… Then he protects Sam and her dog Bowser. It is such a freaking amazing moment and ships around the world exploded in favor of Link. If you still haven’t read this webtoon you really really  need to.

5. Skip Beat

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Okay I admit I have maybe reread this moment a few hundred times. This is when things are going to steam up a bit… Prepare yourself haha.

In this portion of the manga two actors are acting like siblings. Yeah, I’m not a fan of brother/sister things but since they are not related, this moment is very very forgivable. I love the fact that they are in character and they are both thinking how far this is going to go… haha. Neither of them have told each other how they feel and this moment is both very sexy and funny.

4. Kamisama Kiss

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This is more of a sweet moment but it is one of my top moments. This part he tells Nanami that he wants to “renew” the familiar contract which is a kiss. The first time she basically forced him and this time he is choosing to serve her himself. It is a lovely moment where he starts to realize he may have more feelings for her.

3. Collar X Malice

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This otome game has come out as one of my all time favorites. First off things have a bit more steam and also the main character isn’t a complete potato. All the routes are amazing but she has some wonderful moments with Anjii that are sweet and he is pretty much the best character.

2. Namaikizakari (spoilers)

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This is still an ongoing manga but when these two finally get together… Whew! They have some lovely lovely sex scenes and they are all very sweet and steamy haha. Go ahead and give it a read ;).

1. Yona of the Dawn

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Well this is still my top moment. I think the gif can really speak for itself. I mean honestly nothing can compare to Hak licking honey off of Yona’s hand. Seriously. Also it is just the fact that he loves her but he never says anything he just stands by waiting for her. Sigh. I need a Hak.

Thank you all for celebrating my birthday with me! If you feel so inclined you can post some of your own favorites on Twitter today and please tag me so I can see haha ;). This is kind of for science…

Maybe.

As always Happy Watching!

 

 

 

 

The Blog Post where I thought I was okay but I wasn’t

I’m unsure of how to start this post.
Only a few weeks ago I was ready to come back and be active again in this wonderful community.
I guess you can never predict what will happen in your life. Things that come out of nowhere and then your brain decides that it is done. That was the breaking point. You can’t function.

The last two years I have been under attack. My mental health was like at tiny little plant that was trying to grow in hail storms, tornadoes, and floods. It was a struggle but I survived. It still grew even though bruised and beaten.

I made it through my roof replacement. Broken lights. Floor replacements. A broken stove. Then flooding in my basement. Leaks in my house every time it rained. Finding out the roofer didn’t do a good job. More floods.
Now a sinking front porch.
These were all stresses on me mentally and financially. I really can’t afford to fix any of these things, but I saved and struggled and now with my porch I don’t know what to do really.

The small plant inside of me was still alive though. Asking others for help is probably the most embarrassing and humiliating thing for me to do. I know we all need help sometimes but for the last two years I feel like I have been such a taker. I set up a GoFundMe and now in my mind I just want to delete it. I hate that I made one. I hate myself. I am still ashamed.

All these house things they were tough. I had my writing and my community and things would be okay.

Then I got back a critique.

I know as a writer you need to be able to handle critique. I actually love it. There is nothing better than making my book the best it can be and seeing it improve. Getting the comments back and finding new ways to connect the story. It is so amazing. I get more and more confidence with each edit.

I suffer a lot of self doubt since I am terrible at self editing my own work. TERRIBLE. One of the reasons I hand write my first draft is that I can turn off my grammar brain and just create. However, I can spot mistakes in others work but I cannot for the life of me catch the mistakes in my own.

It has always been embarrassing. I teach. I should know how to see that I have a run on. Also why do I mess up sent and scent and where and were? I know the difference but it is like my fingers have a will of their own. Ha. I find the mistakes sometimes. Other times I read it like I think it is in my head.

In the critique I got back she really reamed me for my grammar. She called me amateurish. That this was the worse grammar she has ever seen in the history of the contest. That I would never be able to publish if I don’t know the basic tools. Also that she was supposed to be encouraging but she would be doing me a disservice.

Ouch.

It is funny because I do know the basic rules. Commas are still the enemy. There are trickier things that I do forget and I have to refresh myself on before I teach them. I mean, I don’t really have the MLA guidelines memorized… However, I can see a run on in something else but why not my own writing?

So this critique really hit the heart of my self doubt as a writer. Yes, things like grammar should come more naturally to me, but when I’ve tried to make my writing perfect I don’t write. I never finish.

I know this very post is full of errors that I will not see. It is like all my writing is in my voice and I can’t undo that to make it grammatically correct. It is a conversation and I’m talking to you.

I don’t know.

I do know that I’m not okay.

I haven’t written for two weeks and I’m scared.

Between the financial struggle with my house and my self doubt… I can feel it. The claws sinking in telling me to just lay down in bed. Not to do anything because why bother. That there is no way I can ever get out of this hole so why try.

I’m not okay. The small plant is dying. I don’t know what to do. Part of this is that I cut myself away from this community. That is what you do when things get bad, most of you will understand. I didn’t need a break from you all. I needed to be more involved, but you start to isolate yourself and that is how it works.

I’m holding my reasons close to me this week. I just don’t want it to win.