It started with sketching out a couple of scenes while I was attending UBC. Years later, I wrote more scenes and stitched them together into a novel and met many obstacles to get it published. Some were self-inflicted. Some were not.
I reworked it over and over again; I submitted it over and over again. There were many tears and I almost gave up on it entirely at one point because I felt like I had completely failed. Finally, I decided to set it aside..for how long…I wasn’t sure. I’d pull it out here and there and work on it, but something just wasn’t clicking. Today, looking back on it all, I’m super grateful for the obstacles and the time away from the book because that’s how I fell into making films! Which I LOVE SO MUCH.
Life isn’t linear. It expands in all sorts of directions. Life, if anything, is a constellation, which is far more beautiful not just to look at, but also to experience, than a straight line.
After completing my first feature film, The Tree Inside, I was able to see the novel with fresh eyes because the making and editing of the film was such a huge lesson in story and structure for me.
Today, I’m thrilled to officially announce that my novel, Running Through Sprinklers, was picked up by Simon & Schuster in NYC (imprint: Atheneum) and is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2018.
Much love and my deepest gratitude to all who supported me on this journey. Also huge thanks to my agent, Sam Hiyate, and his team at the The Rights Factory, for making this possible. Sorry that this is a bit long-winded and a bit woo woo but I’m a little emotional. Details of the deal are here. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since my last post; my apologies to all (or, most likely, to the very few) who read the site. The film has played in more festivals and won the Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival and Favourite Narrative Feature at the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival in Portland. It’s amazing to think that my little film on relationships and heartbreak would resonate so much with people from different places and backgrounds. The film also got a lot of press coverage, which was a wonderful surprise (I will update the press page with all the clippings when I find a moment).
I also had the privilege of attending the Kyoto Filmmakers Lab late October where I met wonderful emerging filmmakers from around the world and learned a lot about the Japanese cinematic aesthetic. I was also able to spend some quality time with my dear friend from high school, Jenn, and her young family in Tokyo. I even visited a magical little town called Nara and fed some deer!
This past weekend, Diana and I were in Los Angeles for the Unforgettable Gala where she presented (along with actor and doctor Ken Jeong), “The Royal Salute Mark of Respect Award” to actor Randall Park. When Diana and I first arrived at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the gala, I think we felt a bit like a couple of Canadian bumpkins. However, the Asian-American film community was so incredibly warm and welcoming; we left grateful, charged, and uplifted. I can’t wait to return.
This post only skims the surface of what I want to say-there is so much. But for now, I think it would be safe to say that the word gratitude sums up these last few months. It’s how I’ve been feeling every single moment. I hope to write more soon.