Monday, November 26, 2012

Loma Prieta Holiday Craft Faire This Weekend!

Dec 1 and Dec 2 (from 10-5), I'll be autographing books at the Loma Prieta Craft Faire on Summit Road, Los Gatos. The fair is conveniently sandwiched between numerous Christmas Tree farms. So, if you haven't already gotten your tree, this would be a fun time to do so. Look forward to seeing you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Three Magic Words: Find Your Motivation

I've got one child whose definitely not a morning person. His ideal waking time is sometime in the afternoon. In fact, it's a family joke that he always calls out that he's on his way....but is still fast asleep. About the only time we see him up of his own accord is on Christmas morning.
That changed last week.
He got his driver's license last week, and he asked if he could drive one of our cars to school. I said, "If you can wake up on time."
As we watched a showered young man pull out of our driveway way ahead of schedule, my husband said, "It's a matter of finding your motivation."
How true. Whether it be waking up to get to school on time  or writing your novel.
Having  just finished Blossoms and Bayonets, and being busy with marketing and talks, it's easy to slip into a routine of not writing. Of being "too busy/too tired." So I've pasted these words on my office wall: Find Your Motivation!
They're magic.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Come See China's First Feminist

This Saturday, filmmakers Rae Chang and Adam Tow will be showing their movie, Autumn Gem. This lovely film follows the life of China's first feminist, Qiu Jin, who lived in the late 1800s. The showing starts at 11am at the Chinese Culture Center on Kearny St in San Francisco. I will be there, as well, signing books of My Half of the Sky. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chinese Citizens Vote

This is an historic moment...the two friends, the US and China, are having their elections one day apart. The Chinese elections, which are done once every ten years and decided by the Party Leadership (rather than electoral vote), are not as participatory. So some Chinese citizens instead voted in a mock election for the U.S. President. Obama won.

Monday, November 5, 2012

One final bid for Deepka Lalwani

I'm excited Deepka Lalwani is running for Milpitas City Council. Ten years ago I was introduced to her as someone whose organization (Indian Business and Professional Women) might enjoy my novel. While my story had nothing to do with India, Lalwani embraced us both. She invited me to networking events, promoted my book better than my publisher, even recommended the title for Silicon Valley Reads. 
I'd love to think that my words inspired her enthusiasm. But this is just who Lalwani is. In her years of founding IBPW and volunteering for numerous organizations, raising a family, and working in real estate, she works from a big picture of people interconnecting to make our city a better place.
But wait. 
Milpitas isn't my city.
While I can't vote, I wish I could. It may look like this is a last-minute thought, but that's only because I've been busy donating, calling real Milpitas residents, writing editorials. This is more my last-ditch effort. So, if you're lucky enough to live in Milpitas, remember to vote for Deepka Lalwani.

How To Avoid Getting Sucked Into the Void of the Internet

I saw an old friend yesterday, my partner for years of doing the Writers Camp for Kids. She wrote a cute children's book, Isn't It Great?  She is currently working on a non-fiction book about the Finnish Community in California, but is having trouble getting work done on the hours just disappear.
I asked her if she got online.
Well, yeah, she has to for research....but then she gets lost and then the day is gone.
I suggested she avoid getting on the internet until she had done a certain number of pages each morning.
How do you balance your internet usage? How do you avoid getting sucked into the void?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pigeons Instructed Not To Fly In China

That was the gist of the "news" I heard on the radio this morning, as a report spoke of the concern for subversive elements to poke their heads up before the election of the 18th Congress next week which coincides with our U.S. elections. According to the report, taxi drivers had been instructed to keep their windows rolled up (as if any of them would have them down in the chilly November weather), to keep people from dispersing leaflets. And pigeons were not to fly. Really? Sometimes one wonders where news comes from....
I never did find the source of this juicy tidbit.(I really wanted to see an army official addressing a flock of pigeons.)However I did find an interesting debate on the difference between U.S. and Chinese
governing style. Whereas an overwhelming majority of the audience went into the debate thinking the U.S. style was preferable, many switched their opinion after listening to the debate.

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

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.
Caroline Leavitt,
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

My Half of the Sky is a wonderfully-crafted story that was obviously written with a piece of McBurney-Lin's heart. A masterpiece."
Lee Lofland, Author - Howdunit: Police Procedure and Investigation

My Half of the Sky heralds the arrival of a fantastic new storyteller. With artistry and precision, Jana McBurney-Lin's clear-eyed prose takes the reader on a new journey into a past world that speaks to a modern sensibility, a modern world, a modern woman. This is a book to be treasured.
Emily Rapp, Author - The Poster Child

Through vivid descriptions of sights and smells, Jana McBurney-Lin's My Half of the Sky is a haunting, emotional journey of what it means to be an honorable female in modern China. Jill Ferguson, Author - Sometimes Art Can't Save You