Hair: a braided essay

  Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen who desperately wanted a child. It seemed like an eternity, but then one perfect day, the queen became pregnant. During the height of her term, she craved a particular kind of vegetable that happened to be growing in their neighbor’s yard. (Do kings…

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Confession: I have bad writing habits.

What? But you seem so disciplined, Lani. You’re always writing these lovely posts on how writing has elevated your life – and we all know that you are working on another book. Exactly. My goal of getting it done, came and went like all those other empty goals. I went through a phase of reading…

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Do you speak broken English?

Despite the fact that I’m an expat in Asia and I hear broken English all around me, and struggle to communicate just as much as the next foreigner navigating these poorly maintained roads, I don’t speak broken English. And this isn’t because I’m an English teacher and I have my nose in the air, it’s…

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Was it really stealing? Stealing is wrong.

First of all, let me say that I’ve never stolen anything before. Well, that was what I truly thought until I started to write and then I began to remember my dishonest and theiving past. I was astonished, really. It’s funny what we forget and what we remember once we start writing. Forgive me and…

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How has your name impacted you?

I remember in the sixth grade when this new kid came to class. He was one of the few black kids at our school, and on his first day he answered Mrs. K’s questions as best as he could. “Your name is Filet Mingon?” “Yes.” She said it louder and slower, “Your name is Filet…

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Am I a feminist?

(And are there free cookies and punch involved?) Feminism is such a LOADED word jammed-packed with wholesome cynicism, abuse, and misunderstanding.  But the good girls at The Lady Errant and She is Fierce have started a link-up on feminism, so before I knew it, I was contemplating, “Am I a feminist? What does that word…

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Transitions: Life’s waiting room

I don’t have writer’s block; I just don’t like anything I’m writing now. Part of the problem is I’m in the middle of moving from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai. I’m spending much of my time dealing with logistics, and saying goodbye to friends. I’m packing and planning and waiting for Season 4 of Game…

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The Chinese in Chiang Mai

My coworkers were getting fired up about the Mainland Chinese again. “One of them got caught defecating in the moat.” “They also got in trouble for shitting in the hallways at a kanatoke (Thai dancing show).” “I almost ran one over! They just stand there waiting to get hit!” “I was in an airplane with…

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Swearing.

Swearing was not allowed in the house. But then again, swearing was on the cable TV and in the rooms and behind the words of everyone in the house. I remember the first time I swore in front of my mother. I must have been about 15 years old. We were in the garage, getting…

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Stupid travels, too.

Don’t assume travelers are smarter, more worldly or better than those who stay at home. Stupid people travel too. I know this is a bit unfair to say because I live in Thailand. I hear foreigners talk to Thais in broken English and I want to “go hit you” in the face for perpetuating bad…

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Why audio blog posts?

I feel I must explain. Do I need to explain? I’m going to explain. It might seem redundant to record my self reading my blog post, but I assure you it is not. Reading out loud has many benefits. None of which I will mention here. Okay, you’re right, I should mention them here. I…

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What is tone in writing?

What is tone? I’ve never really thought about it before – in speaking, yes, in writing, no. In speaking, we listen for tones to understand a language, for tone of voice or inflections; we listen in for intent or the emotion beneath the words. But when it comes to writing, I never think, at least…

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