Amy Chua can’t be trusted

betty ming liu Inspiration, Relationships, Writing how-to's 76 Comments

On Tuesday night, I heard Amy Chua speak at the Time-Life Building in midtown Manhattan. Even though her whole Tiger Mom phenom disturbs me, I was curious. In the end, the opportunity to see this controversial author up close was a revelation…Wow. Amy Chua is actually a confusing, ideological mess. She constantly contradicted herself. She chattered away without providing real …

Fales Library & its director Marvin Taylor are special

betty ming liu Inspiration, Writing how-to's 11 Comments

For inspiration, I like visiting Marvin Taylor. Without fail,  just hearing about his life gives me new ideas for reinventing myself… Marvin is a self-described “queer” boy from the Quaker midwest. He fled to NYC and found work as a nerd librarian. Today, at age 50, he has a hot job running a very cool, private library that archives the …

How punctuation works

betty ming liu Writing how-to's 27 Comments

A lot of my students are annoyed by punctuation. They think it’s a bother to deal with commas, periods, dashes, hyphens, semi-colons and colons. But then, I take them through two drills. And suddenly, they get it: Punctuation is a fantastic tool for self-expression! It’s the ultimate accessory for the style-savvy writer. My drills come from fabulous moments in “Eats, …

How to become a model in Seventeen Magazine — like my daughter!

betty ming liu Inspiration, Relationships 77 Comments

Hey, guess what — my baby’s in the April issue of Seventeen Magazine! Look for her on page 82! She’s in the upper right-hand corner of the “pretty prom styles!” photo layout. That’s my Gabrielle, the dimpled cutie with the elegant updo! Sorry for putting you through all those exclamation points. But we’re just so excited! Gabi loves fashion and …