My Writing

I've had the opportunity to be mentored by many incredible people, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Prof. Adam Johnson, Jonah Willihnganz, Laura Davis, Rose Whitmore, Jenn Trahan, Molly Antopol, Richie Hofmann, Melissa Dyrdahl, and more. The works you see below are tentative drafts that I'm continuing to work on!


All the Stars in the Air (2023)

A nonfiction work about my childhood playing with fireworks and doing competitive sports. Ultimately, it is an exploration of the immigrant identity. My parents came from China and I was raised in a small village where most of my friends were white. In slipping into a new culture, where do you integrate, and where do you rebel? This current version is the 3rd place winner in the Stanford undergraduate creative writing competition. The writing is still a working draft and will eventually be submitted for official publication.

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Dolphin Trainer

Matchmakers of Dolphin Grotto (2022)

Some activists will tell you that dolphins don't belong in captivity. But what about dolphin trainers? Here, Taika the head trainer at Dolphin Grotto wallows in his own kind of captivity. He tries to shake the walls erected from his own past insecurities. Inspired by a real story. This is my first fiction piece, and it has numerous (unrecoverable) technical issues. I will overhaul it before sending it to publication, but in the meantime, I've put my best draft below.

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Poetry Chapbook

See it Here, Save it Where? (2021)

A collection of 5 quasi-fictional poems. It begins with a critical essay on my writing style, written by a poet classmate. In my work, I write about innocence, a tumultuous family, and dying animals. Some of these pieces have been published in the Stanford Quarterly magazine.

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Wave Rider (2022)

In San Diego I once saw the palms sway beneath the waves. While attending an animal training conference, I took an afternoon and went looking for a moment of clarity.

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Chowder (2021)

After 15 months of staying in a 1.5 mile radius of my house, I try to remember life as it used to be.

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Country road

But it Does to Me (2021)

There's a road behind my house that leads through old farmlands. Two days before I leave for college, I decide to take a look. This is unpolished writing.

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Orca trainer

Orca Boy (Work in progress, 2023)

In this audio production with the Stanford Storytelling Project, I talk about my friendship with a killer whale trainer from my hometown. Through our near-parallel stories of self-discovery, we look at what it means to pine for an unreachable past. This work will be one story in a larger audio show that I'm leading, titled "Reconnections."


Eight Ways of Looking at a Killer Whale (Work in progress, 2023)

I'm constantly drawn to the absurdity of amusement parks and the rapturous beauty of animal shows. In this collection of vignettes, we follow the fictional story of a killer whale trainer, her team, and their whales. From the crowded stands of a whale stadium you can only take a small sip of the human and animal condition. In this story, I'm trying to take a large, greedy, salty gulp. I've included the workshop draft that inspired this longer piece. Beware that the workshop is all about trying crazy ideas and failing. I would say that the premise in this workshop draft is a failure, but writers don't show their failure enough. So here's a failure:

Workshop Draft

Joe's Shanghai (2022)

Joe's is a place of sticky tables and ginger strips soaked in black vinegar. Before it burned down in 2020, I learned to slurp their soup dumplings hot.

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Portrait of a Bosnian Neighbor (2021)

Josenko is a neighbor who shows me the ways of the rake, the mower, and the suburban life.

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Roads and Rivers and Skies (2021)

I hate this piece, but this was the first real emotional experience I had with a piece of writing. It is also one of the first piece of creative writing I've done. Slippery with fish guts and moonlight, this is a deep dive into something. Perhaps it's myself.

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