Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Step At A Time

This past week I went to my critique group. They're always full of great ideas--lots of them. I needed to change this character's name and re-do that scene and add more tension to that conversation. I went home and was sitting with my notes in my lap, overwhelmed, when my eldest daughter called from university.
"I'm already stressed," she said. "We have a ton of books to read. There are all these labs and huge lab reports. We have to--
"Wait," I said. "Just hold it."
"What?"
"It'll be okay," I said. "Just take it a step at a time."
She paused. Took a deep breath. Laughed.
"Yeah," she said. "A step at a time."
When I got off the phone and looked at my critique notes, I laughed too. Yeah. A step at a time.
Books of the Week: Help. I need a good book. Give me some ideas. Please.

3 comments:

beckylevine.wordpress.com said...

Run by Ann Patchett
Telegraph Days by Larry McMurtry

:)

Tokyo Biker Mommy said...

I've been wallowing in Jack Kerouac lately. No matter how you feel about drunks, you've got to admit this guy had a way with the language. I love how he puts his thoughts and experiences down on paper.

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

What People Are Saying About My Half of the Sky

My Half of the Sky was the BookSense Pick for August 2006 as well as a Forbes Book Club Pick.

"McBurney-Lin tells a wonderfully entertaining story with the traditional coming-of-age theme (which is experienced universally)...weaving in the cultural challenges of growing up in China's rapidly changing social system."
Mary Warpeha, co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of US-China Friendship Association
March 2010


"The novel ...includes many of the tales and the folk ways of the people living in the rural areas of South China, still followed provincially. The story takes place in current China, but could relate the dilemma of any young woman in rural China through the ages."
Kitty Trescott, National Board of the Midwest Region of US-China Friendship Association. March 2010

"A lot is expected of a young Chinese girl. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is the story of Li Hui, a young girl who has just achieved marriageable age. She seeks to make the most of herself, but the expectations all around her make it difficult, as her parents seek to use her as pawn to their advantage, she is faced with what she believes to be true love. She must balance career, romance, and family, all to somehow make everyone happy, a tough endeavor indeed. An engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end, "My Half of the Sky" is a poignant tale of the modern Chinese woman, and recommended for community library collections.
--Midwest Book Review November, 2008

“It is a rare women’s novel that sensitively describes the life of a young educated woman in modern-day China in its full complexity, without resorting to unnecessary sentimentalism. Jana’s deep knowledge of the realities of life in China and Singapore makes the reading extra rewarding. In fact, with every new page the novel gets harder to put down and you find yourself gobbling it up before you know it. Finally, the author has given a voice to the Li Hui in all of us, as we struggle for the golden middle between tradition and the modern momentum of our world.”
Isabella Sluzek
Friends of the Museum Book Review 2008
Singapore

You'll be rooting all the way for Li Hui as she struggles, ahead of the curve, to be her own woman in an emerging, modern China. Jana McBurney-Lin's My half of the Sky is a beautiful, witty, touching debut novel.
Thomas B. Sawyer
Head Writer TV Series "Murder, She Wrote,"
Author - The Sixteenth Man


A complex and mesmerizingly original tale of a young Chinese woman caught between the modern world and the pull of her ancient culture. McBurney-Lin’s intimate portrait of China sparks with insights and is peopled with characters so rich and alive, they seem to breathe on the page. Dazzling and unforgettable.
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Author - Girls in Trouble

McBurney-Lin's debut novel is a gift. Li Hui is a memorable heroine, a young woman torn between her heart and her culture.Her daunting journey is a trip into China's complicated soul, and a deeply moving exploration of love, honor, duty, and loss." Frank Baldwin, Author - Balling the Jack


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