September Success and A Brief Hiatus

Credit: Men's Health (Singapore)

I published five stories in September (2018), and I have a dozen more in submissions. Of the September publications, my proudest piece is “A Cycle of Toxic Domestication.” I’m telling you this because it represents the pinnacle of my writing success this year. I had written most of the stories that were published in the last few months over the summer, or at the beginning of the school year. I had the ability (and luxury) to think freely, to let loose and comfortably sink into a pool of ideas conjured by my brain. Now, unfortunately, I feel too overwhelmed to do this. Though, I’m never too busy to write. I simply cannot write as much as I’d like to.

I have been reading the New Yorker since early 2016. One of my long-term goals is to publish a short story in this magazine, despite how political and difficult it is to even be considered for publication. I know, there are plenty of other prestigious magazines out there, and trust me I’m aiming to one day publish in some of them as well. However, I’m a little concerned that I’m running out of steam. My PhD program is kicking my ass, and I rarely find time to enjoyably write. My prose often feels forced. I find myself staring at a blank canvas, desperately attempting to regurgitate anything but mediocrity after a long day of reading scientific articles/textbooks as well as meeting additional demands of my courses and advisors. Though, I realize this isn’t a real excuse. There are countless people out there who probably tackle on more responsibilities every day and still find the time to write (and produce good work). I’m searching for this balance, something that works for me. Trust me, I don’t intend on giving up. I just need time to figure this all out.

So, I’m taking a short break. I’m going to catch up on my academic obligations and then take a few steps back to reflect. I’ll still be writing as much as I can everyday, but I won’t be focused on publishing and sharing my works until this semester is over. Thanks for reading.

P.S. I have a few pieces scheduled to debut at the beginning of next year. Keep an eye out for them, if you’re interested. A link is below:

Creative Writing Publications


Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Racial/Ethnic Population Statistics

Credit: Eyes on Michigan

After moving to Ann Arbor, one of the first aspects of the city that seemed a little odd was the homogenous racial/ethnic demographics. After getting a haircut in Ypsilanti, a neighboring city approximately 15-20 minutes away from Ann Arbor, I discovered it was vastly different. My experience inspired this short post, which includes very raw population statistics of the two cities to suggest a stark contrast.

Ann Arbor (2017):

Total population: 121,477 (Note: There are no Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders here)

  • White/Caucasian (72%)
  • Black/African-American (7.3%)
  • American Indian and Alaska Native (0.4%)
  • Asian (15.7%)
  • Hispanic or Latinx (4.3%)
  • Two or more races (4.1%)

Ypislanti (2017):

Total population: 55,312

  • White/Caucasian (56.6%)
  • Black/African-American (32.0%)
  • American Indian and Alaska Native (0.3%)
  • Asian (3.0%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (0.1%)
  • Hispanic or Latinx (6.7%)
  • Two or more races (6.8%)

These populations are significantly different. I conducted a chi-square test (excluding American Indian and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander race/ethnicities) with an alpha level of 0.05, and the results support my prediction (p=<0.0001). Interesting, right?

Source: United States Census Bureau


Good/Bad News, Free Time, & Transition to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Hey everyone,

To preface, I’ve failed my goal of writing at least one blog post a week (consider this bad news). Good news: I successfully defended my thesis and submitted the manuscript on time without many errors. I’m now relieved of an incredible amount of stress.

Though, I’m not immune to that stress reappearing as I soon begin my doctoral program in epidemiology at the University of Michigan. I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday. For the next few weeks, I’ll be participating in orientation-like activities (workshops, lectures, networking). Thus, I will have plenty of free time. Expect to see more posts from me, including the excerpt-a-chapter theme I tried out a few months ago.

Classes begin September 4th. The first year of my program is supposed to be brutal. However, I will never stop writing. I’m going to be taking a break from flash/short fiction to edit Awakening. With the help of my sister, we should be able to edit/review Awakening to completion within the next couple of years. Fingers crossed!