sit tall

Why the next 10 minutes might solve your problems

betty ming liu Relationships, Writing how-to's 5 Comments

Last semester, I surprised my creative writing class with a simple but profound assignment. Forget about the usual high standards for submissions. No need to labor over their words. Instead, just write for 10 minutes a day. I didn’t care about their topics, punctuation or logical sequencing of ideas. In fact, I didn’t want to see their homework at all. But …

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roscoe & me

Writing about dogs: RIP to the king of canines

betty ming liu Health, Inspiration 16 Comments

One glance at his Match.com photo and I knew. He was big and strong, with a magnificent head of hair. Roscoe also proved to be a total gentleman: attentive, kind and fun. Within weeks, he pretty much moved in with me as part of a package deal. It was love at first sight with Roscoe, a black-and-tan Belgian Shepherd — and, …

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Blue1

Creativity secret from the masters: dare to be unremarkable

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration 8 Comments

Until recently, I looked for inspiration in great work by great writers and artists. Do my best! Unleash my uniqueness! Be a star! But creativity’s flip side might be even more helpful. In reality, geniuses fail to be genius all the time. If anything, they spend most of their lives churning out stuff that’s forgettable. This is true whether we’re …

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freak show families

The shocking history of Asian American women, &, owning my power today

betty ming liu Inspiration 4 Comments

For much of my life, I struggled with being woman, Asian and American. Three pieces in a complex personal puzzle. Much of the time, I felt Not Good Enough. But recently, connecting with my female ancestors changed my outlook. They put up with such horrifying crap! Their story made me so mad that fury displaced fear to make me brave. Did you …

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prince

The night I met Prince, or, the coolest moment of my life

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration, Relationships 19 Comments

Dear Prince, I am writing my first-ever fan letter, to say “thank you.” Three decades ago, we met in a fleeting New York moment that gave me faith in my nerd self. With your death, I see the memory through fresh eyes. By staying fabulously purple your entire life, you’ve shown me that cool is possible at any age. The …

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signs

What it means to be girls of color: “Bright Futures 2016”

betty ming liu Money, Relationships 9 Comments

I just healed by sharing personal heartbreak on race issues. The experience chiseled me out of my emotional armor, the fake-confidence that protected me from acting like a lonely, yellow outsider. Maybe I can finally chase away the sense of otherness for a healthier, more satisfying option: wholeness as an American woman of color. Miracles like this happen when people talk. …

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