Horns: the devil is really in the details


I realize that the season of spookiness has passed but after waking up one morning a couple weeks ago to the absence of Daniel Radcliffe’s face staring out from the buses outside my window and generally hearing very little about this film after its release, I wanted to contribute my own thoughts about Horns.

First off, I have read the novel and I recommend everyone to as well if they are at all interested in black comedy. That said, the book isn’t just a black comedy. I’ve seen reviewers describe the film as a horror and/or thriller and that’s frankly not what it is. I’d describe both the film and the book as a darkly comedic Southern Gothic love story with a lot of violence. The story is weird and unique, as it deals with the truly messed up side of humanity while poking fun at it at the same time.

In short, the story follows Ig Perrish, who is currently demonized by his hometown as a killer who got away with brutally raping and murdering his girlfriend, Merrin. Ig was never officially convicted due to lack of concrete evidence and even though he is actually innocent, that doesn’t stop the townspeople from camping outside his house. Then, Ig suddenly grows horns that lets him hear people’s darkest secrets and he subsequently uses his new powers to try to find Merrin’s killer. Along the way, he encounters cheating middle aged housewives, cops with extremely internalized homophobia, and doctors who need to have their medical licenses revoked immediately.

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like dollhouses



From a distance they look like dollhouses, small and unchanged. As she nears the narrow, flaking green door to her home, (but is that still what it is? Home?) she takes steps that are longer and steadier than the small, shaky ones she took when she ran through that door two years ago. She didn’t know what she was looking for then but she knew that whatever it was, she wasn’t going to find it in this beautiful, suffocating land to which she was born. (like her mother and grandmother and great-grandmother before her) She hasn’t found what she is searching for, still, but she’s closer now than she was then. Her body no longer screams at her to keep moving, keep moving, don’t stop as loudly as it did before. (the screams have softened into low whispers; it’s not perfect but she no longer wakes up every morning thrumming with restlessness)  She’s gotten bigger both on the outside and inside but her home just seems so much smaller. She doesn’t know if she will still fit in it anymore but she’ll try.

Tugging the straps of her backpack higher up her right shoulder, she lifts her left hand and knocks.

Diversity in the Media: Minorities’ Stories Matter


For those of you lovely people who have stuck with this blog since its conception, it seems that diversity is a topic that comes up fairly regularly (e.g. my first post was about Asian actress Lucy Liu’s character on CBS’s Elementary and my last post was about fellow Asian actress Hettienne Park’s character on NBC’s Hannibal). It is not entirely by accident but it is not completely purposeful, either; it is, however, something that I am always forced to think about every time I leave my house.

Whenever I go out in London, I see a thriving city with a rich, multicultural atmosphere. There are so many people from all over the world gathered together in this almost dream-like city. Yet, whenever I turn on the TV or flip through a book, I only ever seem to encounter one type of character: able-bodied straight cis white males. Occasionally, if I’m lucky, I’ll find a female protagonist waiting for me to read her story, but it’s a rare thing for me to find a woman of colour, let alone a queer and/or disabled one, within mainstream media.

This kind of representation in the media is simply a lie. While there is the understanding that fiction does not equal reality, that doesn’t excuse creators and producers from being ignorant and lazy. I’m tired of seeing women who look and sound like me (without the stereotypical Asian accent) getting shoved into the background to play a stock character over and over again. I’m tired of seeing ads for “The Next Greatest Love Story” when they’re all exactly the same: a straight white man and a straight white woman fall in love but are forced to overcome hilariously small obstacles in order to be together.

But most of all, I’m tired of talking about diversity.

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Racism, Sexism, and Hannibal: Eat The Rude


The amazing Hettiene Park provides some excellent insight into the recent controversy of [SPOILERS] Beverly Katz’s death on NBC’s Hannibal.

As I wrote in my comment, while I understand her point and continue to look forward to what Fuller has in store for us in future episodes of Hannibal, there is still some bitterness within the fandom (myself included) after seeing a strong woman of colour being killed off so soon out of the possible roster of characters when there are already so few well written WoCs on television these days.

Change, like Park says, can’t happen overnight. Yet, when people who have the power to change the status quo continually tell us, “It’s happening! Change is happening!” while taking painfully slow baby steps instead of the larger, more effective steps they are capable of, it is going to result in a lot of frustrated fans who expect better because they were promised better.

I will continue to watch Hannibal because I believe Fuller, with his impressive portfolio of feminist shows, genuinely has a good, progressive story to tell (you know, in between all the delicious horror–pun intended). I’m not asking those in power to change the system overnight; I’m telling them to do better. If they want to prove that they can do better, then show us. We’re waiting.

Eat This

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I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.

Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine…

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NaNoWriMo: It’s Over!


It’s over!!

I know, I know, NaNoWriMo was officially over three days ago but give me a break; I was using that time to catch up on some much needed sleep.

As I’m sure was the case for many of you, the last week of NaNo was probably the most interesting part of this journey. Staying up well past all reasonable hours of the night, consuming unheard-of amounts of caffeine, worrying your friends and family with your ramblings and alarmingly decreasing hygienic upkeep–it was a familiar song and dance for me but the experience never gets old. 4am and I have become good friends over the past few days.

Even though NaNo is over for another year, the writing process is never really finished. I remember thinking, as soon as the clock’s hand hit midnight way back on November 1st, that I was finally going to finish my incomplete novel from last year.

But, like most plans, my writing journey didn’t go exactly the way I hoped it would.

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NaNoWriMo Week 2: Writer’s Block


Hello all! It’s been a while since my last post, hasn’t it? I apologize for the sudden hiatus, but a combination of writer’s block and various real life issues cropped up and I’ve been barely keeping up with my word count. For the most part, I seem to have defeated my writer’s block for now, so I wanted to talk about it, since I’m sure this is a subject many of you are intimately familiar with.

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NaNoWriMo Days #7 & #8


Hello, friends! I’m sorry for missing Day #7, of which the only excuse I have is that I spent most of the day ignoring my own advice by being away from my computer and socializing instead (I know, right?). Obviously, that decision has come back to haunt me because I’m two days away from the minimum word count at 12,625 words. Appropriately, I wanted to talk about word count today.

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NaNoWriMo Day #5


It was Guy Fawkes night only 12 minutes ago at the time of this writing and instead of watching fireworks with my fellow Londoners, I was sat at home eating a quiet dinner as I finally, finally wrote the last few words of chapter 9. Even as I felt relief at meeting my word count, I was still a little disappointed that I turned down a friend’s invitations to see the fireworks in celebration of the time a political terrorist almost destroyed Parliament (as an international student, I still haven’t figured out if the British are celebrating his failure or almost success; personally, I think it’s a solid excuse to set off fireworks and burn effigies). Would I still be able to meet my word count even if I had decided to go with my friend after all? Probably, but why risk it?

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NaNoWriMo Day #4


Tonight, instead of posting my reflections, I thought I’d share a snippet. My novel, The Queens Who Rose, is a retelling of the Arthurian myths but with Guenevere as the heroine instead of Arthur, who is actually the villain in the story now. In this scene, Guenevere, Vivien, and Morgana (who is “offscreen”) are trying to persuade the Faerie Queen of the Seelie Court to ally herself with them in the upcoming battle against Arthur and Merlin’s army.

I hope you enjoy!

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