Posts Tagged ‘memoir’

  • Welcome New Subscribers

    Date: 2019.07.17 | Category: Assignments | Response: 0

    Welcome New Subscribers!

    A brief introduction.

    The “Love Imagined” blog is thanks to my publisher, LHP.  Its main focus is writing.  I am an author, literary editor, teacher, and mentor. My interests include:  identity, particularly mixed-race identity; autism; the 70’s (not the decade, but the numeric age that I am); and, of course, writing and all its particulars.

    My books include:

    And You Can Love Me a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD (a picture book for children and adults)

    How Dare We! Write a multicultural creative writing discourse

    Love Imagined a mixed race memoir

    Sherry Quan Lee

  • Oh So Wild and Oh So Beautiful

    Date: 2018.12.27 | Category: The Art of Writing | Response: 0

    What’s it like to be seventy?  2018, for me, was a year of introspection.  Check out my thoughts on Midwest Mixed:

    https://www.midwestmixed.com/community/midwest-mixed-community-spotlight-sherry-quan-lee

     

  • 10 minute writing assignment: revised twice

    Date: 2015.06.11 | Category: Assignments | Response: 0

    I enjoy re-visioning (not editing). It’s fascinating to see where a poem will lead you, if you let it. It helps to play with words, with sounds, with punctuation: change happens. The following poem changed meaning from the draft to the second revision: suddenly the grandmother was no longer thinking about kisses from former lovers, but from her mother-did her mother kiss her, did she kiss her mother-these thoughts triggered by the way her grandson, who has autism, kisses her by not physically kissing her, but by her kissing him.

    This poem is far from completion.

    Any comments about your process of revision welcomed.

    Give Grandma a Kiss
    for Ethan

    I always wear mauve lipstick, give
    Grandma a kiss

    he leans in, all 2 1/2 years of him,
    knowing more than I know
    after 67 years not knowing
    if my mother kissed me.

    He leans in without hesitation,
    silent, vulnerable.
    I mark his tender forehead with a temporary
    tattoo: my kiss his kiss. Like no kiss
    I can remember.

    give grandma a kiss

    His heart organic, knowing what it is
    to hold breath a millisecond; a mime
    needing to be understood.

    give grandma a kiss

    Grandma wants to see underneath
    his innocence, to reach what she lost;
    she was a girl afraid to speak.

    give grandma a kiss

    Later, my daughter-in-law, the nurse,
    questions what she thinks is a scratch
    on his forehead;
    how has he hurt himself this time?

    The hurt is mine. The gift: unwrapped,
    visible, transparent.

    ©Sherry Lee
    June 11, 2015
    Second revision

    Give Grandma a Kiss
    for Ethan

    I always wear mauve lipstick, give
    Grandma a kiss—

    He leans in, all seven years of him, knowing
    more than I know
    after 67 years, and thousands of kisses.

    He leans in, without hesitation, vulnerable.
    I mark his tender forehead with a temporary
    tattoo. My kiss his kiss. Like no kiss
    a man has given me. Words
    not necessary language. His way
    of love, spontaneous, silent

    give grandma a kiss

    a heart organic, knowing what it is
    to hold breath a millisecond; a mime
    needing to be understood.

    give grandma a kiss

    Grandma wants to see underneath
    the innocence, to reach what she lost
    or never experienced.

    give grandma a kiss

    Later, my daughter-in-law, the nurse,
    questions what she thinks is a scratch;
    how has he hurt himself this time?

    The hurt is mine; the gift unwrapped,
    visible, transparent.

    ©Sherry Lee
    May 25, 2015
    First revision

    The Kiss, More Than a Kiss

    I always wear mauve lipstick, give
    Grandma a kiss
    He leans in, all seven years of him, knowing
    more than I know after
    67 years of thousands of kisses.
    He leans in, without hesitation. I
    mark his brown forehead with a temporary
    tattoo. My kiss his kiss. Like no kiss
    a man has given me. Words not
    necessary language. His way
    of love, spontaneous, silent

    a heart organic, knowing what it is
    to hold breath a millisecond; a mime
    not needing to be understood.

    But Grandma wants to see underneath
    the innocence, to reach what she lost
    or never experienced.

    Later, my daughter-in-law, the nurse,
    questions what she thinks is a scratch;
    how has he hurt himself this time?

    The hurt is mine; the gift unwrapped,
    visible, transparent.

    ©Sherry Lee
    May 19, 2015
    Draft

  • LOVE IMAGINED: synopsis read at two Book Award Events

    Date: 2015.04.01 | Category: LOVE IMAGINED | Response: 0

    MINNESOTA BOOK AWARDS

    THE LOFT LITERARY CENTER MARCH 20, 2015

    HOSMER LIBRARY MARCH 23, 2015 (36th and 4th Avenue

    by Richard Green School, previously Central High School)

    (Aunt Lucille Wilson Shivers lived on 39th and 4th Avenue.

    Her husband, Spencer Shiver, owned the barber shop on the corner of 38th and 4th Avenue.)

    Doll Buggy

    Once upon a very long time ago there was a princess, Quan Lee, born 1948. Her kingdom was a house on a hill with a white picket fence in South Scandinavian Minneapolis.

    She was Cinderella awaiting her prince. She loved her shoes. She sang to them. Hugged them.

    Maybe she knew that beauty was bound in binding a young girl’s feet; that somehow history had whispered to her it’s always about finding the prince, no matter how painful the journey, no matter how many pairs of shoes it would take.

    Has anyone seen Cinderella’s other shoe?

    Is there a lover in the audience?

    I grew up in South Scandinavian Minneapolis, the Miles Standish neighborhood. Beginning in the 1900s mostly Norwegians and Swedes settled there.

    However, my father is Chinese, my mother is Negro;

    I grew up passing for white.

    My friend Carolyn challenged me on the use of South Scandinavian Minneapolis.   Carolyn was right. She too grew up in South Minneapolis!   She went to Central High School. My cousin Butch went to Central High School. Carolyn had a crush on my cousin. My friend Carolyn, my cousin Butch, my aunt Marion-Black folk- lived in South Minneapolis with other Black folk, unlike me who lived east of whatever line divided us (the line might have been Chicago Avenue or 4th Avenue, or Portland Avenue).

    However, my mother’s relatives could only visit us at night,

    when it was dark and the neighbors couldn’t see them.

    Another frog and another frog. I could only imagine love because…do you remember the saying love sees no color? Well I bought those t-shirts, lots of them, until one day I realized the saying is a sham. Love does see color! If you don’t see me and understand and respect the color that I am, well then, you can’t possibly love me. I am not the white woman, the invisible woman, the exotic woman, the domestic you might need me to be—that my mother needed me to be to protect me and keep me safe.

    I didn’t know about the lack of civil rights: Jim Crow,

    the Klu Klux Klan, race riots in Minneapolis.

    I knew chow mein, white rice, and maj jong.

    I have four siblings.

    Between us there have been 14 divorces.

    Well, what do you know? I have the other shoe. It’s been hidden in my closet for 67 years. I am the prince I was searching for. I am the love imagined. The last therapist I needed to see explained to me that of course I didn’t have any self-esteem, any self-love! How could I love the person I was told wasn’t good enough to be visible—the Black/Chinese girl that had to pretend she was white

    Over the past thirty seven years I have written myself into existence with the help of communities and writers and friends. The Asian American Renaissance. David Mura. Marlina Gonzalez. Elsa Battica. Sun Yung Shin. Ed Bok Lee. Rose Chu. Sase the Write Place: Carolyn Holbrook and Carolyn Holbrook and Carolyn Holbrook. The Loft Literary Center: Bao Phi. Sherrie Fernandez-Williams. AND: Lori Young-Williams. Sandee Newbauer. Barb Bergeron.   Eden Torres. My cousin Jay, his daughter Terri and his wife Shirlee. And the list goes on and on.

    Of course, culturally, I was raised white: I grew up in a Scandinavian neighborhood, went to a white church, went to a white school/I had only white friends. I am learning to embrace being white too.

    With much appreciation, thanks to the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library!

Artist Statement

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Lee is a Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University (Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing), and has taught at Intermedia Arts, and the Loft Literary Center. She is the author of A Little Mixed Up, Guild Press, 1982 (second printing), Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, published 2002 by the Asian American Renaissance, republished 2008 by Loving Healing Press, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, Loving Healing Press, 2008.

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SHERRY QUAN LEE

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HOW DARE WE! WRITE

LOVE IMAGINED

CHINESE BLACKBIRD

HOW TO WRITE A SUICIDE NOTE

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