so i shall continue my favorite books read
in 2014. there were many, but i am only including
the ones that hit all the right notes and spoke
to me especially as a reader. that is a very
personal thing. the books are listed in the order read.
















































































happy 2015, friends!

i apologize for dropping off the face of the earth,
but december definitely kicked me in the arse with
my bubs holiday activities, and then they were home
with me for vacation.

now! i’m in the midst of mad writing to finish my
Serpentine sequel. :D so exciting, but also nerve
wracking. ha! i haven’t had a deadline for an entire
novel since, er, 2010. that’s half a decade ago!

i’m not one to really do recaps. but 2014 was a quiet
year for me, in which i crawled into the “troll hole”
as an author, limiting my events and signings, because
i had no new book out. Serpentine and its sequel sold
unexpectedly to Month9Books, and i’ve only had a wonderful,
collaborative experience with this newer small press.
i’m so grateful and thrilled that Serpentine will be published
by them.

then of course, i visited china for the first time.
it was such an amazing and fantasic trip, and truly
the highlight of my year.

here is one of my latest paintings. i admired my author
friend Liz’s bluebird photo she has posted on her facebook
page, and took the image to inspire me for a painting.


i first tried rendering the bird on white rice paper,
but because its breast is white, its fluffy effect was
lost. so i bought pale green paper and tried again. the
texture of the paper was challenging (controlling my ink)
so you see a halo around the bird. but i was able to get
the fluffy white look of its breast, and i’m very happy with it.

i put him on a rock and had the idea of adding some colorful
flowers around him, but my teacher refused! she said nothing
should take away from the quiet grace of this bird. :)
the calligraphy (by my teacher) says: Peaceful Heart.


my lastest chinese brush painting. our
teacher wanted us to paint red mountains in
celebration of autumn, and i tried. but i just
wasn’t feeling it and the mountains werent’ good.
so i decided to try indigo instead. and i think they
turned out well! my teacher’s calligraphy, per my
request: Tranquil Heart. my chinese name is on the
very left.

hello all!

i’m honored to be on the advisory board
for the amazing We Need Diverse Books team.
they just started an indiegogo campaign to raise
$100k for the great initiatives they plan to
implement in the near future, including the Walter
Dean Meyers award and grant program, the WNDB kidlit
festival in 2016, and working with various organizations
to bring diverse books directly into the classrooms.

please consider contributing to this great cause!
even five dollars, the money you’d spend on a frapp,
would help!

i’ve offered an original brush painting as an incentive
for a $400 donation.

















“Nestled Chick” is bordered in light green
chinese matting (mounted in the traditional
chinese style) and measures 22 1/4W x 17 3/4H.
Not shown is the calligraphy for “Spring Color”
(in chinese) and a red chop bearing my chinese name.

an example of the light green bordering (it resembles
brocade but too fine to see in this photo) is used
for matting in this bird painting below.


please check out WNDB fundraiser page and consider
supporting through a donation OR sharing the love on
social media. thank you!!

it’s been a while. i had a wonderful visit to the uk,
and returned straight to back to school madness, with
some busy weekends thrown in. i also started working
on Serpentine’s sequel again! and have our annual brush
painting art show beginning next week in Spanish Village
at Balboa Park.

here’s my latest brush painting. i had been trying to
paint a kingfisher on rock from a painting book, but
didn’t have much luck, so decided to google for a kingfisher
image. the first one that popped up was this regal little guy.
how could i resist?














the resulting painting was this little guy!
my teacher and i had a big discussion about how we
should place him, on a branch, on a rock? with flowers?
in the end, i wanted to paint the rock and nothing else, as
he’s the main focus of this painting! i had so much fun doing
his “mohawk”. =D hope you enjoy him as much as i do.