About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

Winter Wonders

IMG_1359You heard the newsman. There’s going to be snow! What’s the first thing you think of? Oh great, it’s time to bring out the shovel! Tell me that thought didn’t run through your head?

I always look forward to the winters in the North East, but once the first snowfall hits, I realize that it’s not as fun as when I was a kid. I used to love pressing my nose against the window, watching the fat snowflakes float down, or stand out and look up at the sky and pretend I’m flying through space, or even just jumping onto the fresh layer of snow and making snow angels. Seriously, where has time gone?

It’s been so long since I’ve sat down next to the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm blanket and read a holiday story. Or even just stay in for the day to watch Christmas movies before Christmas arrives.

Now I catch myself glaring out the window at the fluffy white stuff covering the grounds and the salt trucks driving pass my house and chugging salt at my car. I’m not going to tell you that I have a bake-a-thon like most normal people around the holidays, because truthfully, I wouldn’t recommend inviting me into a kitchen around this time of year…as I’d be the one eating all the cookies before you can let them cool and package them up nice….DSC00881

Winter is wonderful! It brings the blues at time, but do you remember the wonderful things that occur around this time of year? Remember the first snowball fight you’ve ever had? The first time you’ve put on your fancy new snowboots? Or watch your dog traipse through your snow-covered lawn?

So I’ve decided that I’m going to take a day off. Shoot! Maybe I’ll take two days off and just curl up next to the fireplace with my mug of hot chocolate and a Christmas story to warm my heart.

What makes you happy around this time of  year?

Comment and enter to win a holiday story you can read right next to your fireplace! Remember to check out the other blogs!

SE_LG_NoHeader

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

Family Traditions and Values – It’s what makes you special.

It’s November! And Thanksgiving is coming soon and then Black Friday hits, and before you know it, Christmas is here and New Year’s will be around the corner… Pretty scary, right? But to me, they’re just holidays that I’ve grown up with and learned to enjoy and appreciate, but technically, I really don’t celebrate them… (Don’t gasp at me!)

For me, I have to say I was pretty lucky to grow up with Asian parents and then I had my American parents, which consisted of my older sister and older brother. They enjoyed making sure we learned about the American culture and celebrating American holidays since we do live in America. As I got older and went through grade school and middle school, I didn’t really understand why I was so different from the other kids. I wanted to be like everyone else, except I had different responsibilities and higher expectations for being my parent’s kid. IMG_0707

Growing up, I never really thought much of traditions. I just got excited that my parents didn’t have to work on holidays, and we got to eat good! They’d cook noodles and rice or put together a hot pot, which consists of savory broth that you cook your vegetables and meat in and eat each morsel as it’s done. All our holidays and family times centered around food (which probably explains why I need a personal trainer or nutritionist to control my relationship with food).

Sundays were our big family dinner days. My parents loved to cook and had taken their passion in food and made it a career by opening their own restaurant when I was nine. And I’ll admit, I took it for granted. Now that it’s been years since I’ve lived home, I hadn’t realized how much love and appreciation of food is ingrained in my culture and values.

Each year, we would go visit our ancestor’s graves and pay our respects. We’ll spend time together to watch Asian dramas, listen to Asian music and have debates on Asian history.

I thank my parents for giving me everything they have, for teaching me of our ways and what makes me special and different from everyone else. I’m culturally well-rounded and speak a different language, which may be more than what most people were given. What they’ve given me and taught me is great, in that I wish and I hope I’ll have the chance to pass down their traditions and values to the next generation. Traditions should never die as it makes a family more unique and special from others.

What are some of your family traditions and values?

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

Freak me out!

It’s that time of year! Partly through Fall, and of course, ghosts and goblins are here to come out to play, and I’m sure you’ll be dressed as one or you’ll encounter one before the end of the month.

Usually Halloween makes me think of everything scary…and who wants that? Okay, I may be a little boring and not as thrilling as most but…I’m a chicken all right! I get scared from watching Scary Movie 3 (no joke. I see that girl from the well along the side of the road…and I admit, I get nightmares from funny scary movies. Don’t judge!).

Here’s five things that also freak me out:

1. Killer scenes in my writing when I attempt to write suspense – okay, so I scare myself here, but I can’t help it if my muse likes to mess with me.

2. My wardrobe not fitting me – who can afford to buy a whole new wardrobe? You can? Adopt me!

3. Chucky…and his girlfriend-maybe it’s a childhood thing, but my sister used to make me watch it with her and I would have nightmares for a week straight.

4. Superstitions that come true- my parents are pretty superstitious. Every time they call me and tell me that their eye is twitching and to be careful…I want to hide under the bed covers and bubble wrap myself!

5. Extinction of cupcakes – who can live without cupcakes?

Okay, I may sound nutty, but they’re true!

So tell me, what makes you scared or freak out?

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

First Day of Class – 2nd chances!

1176000_black_notebook_with_pencil

You walk into the new classroom with your new backpack, sparkling new shoes, new outfit that you’ve tried on a few times before today, and school supplies you’ve recently purchased. The idea of crisp white paper, never written upon excites you.

Your classmates are staring at you. You nervously inch to the back of the room, hoping you’re invisible. But then you notice the cute boy across the way, laughing with his friends. They turn their eyes toward you. Your cheeks heat up. You drop your backpack and all your belongings fall out to the floor. You quickly try to pick up everything, only to have a pair of brand new sneakers come into view. You look up. It’s the cute boy. Your breath lodges in your throat and you try to smile, except you give him a wobbly glare instead.

He shrugs and walks away. Then you call yourself a million times a fool and think these things only happen to you. You shove all your supplies into your backpack and scramble to the seat in the back of the classroom. The boys are laughing about something but you’re pretty sure they’re making fun of you.

First day of school. Sound familiar?

It’s amazing how fast times flies. As a child, I always wished I was older and could skip past the awkward encounters, the learning curves of puberty and adulthood, and worst of all relationships and figuring out what I want to be when I get older. Now that I’m older, I would give anything to go back to being a child. Life was so much more carefree. School was exciting. And I didn’t have to worry about how my book sucked or battle the uncertainties of being a writer or go through the struggles of submission and finding the perfect agent.

In actuality, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be. Do you know?

I actually went to school for marketing but find that writing interests me like no other career. I remember when I used to go to school with my composition notebook and write notes and jot down ideas throughout the school day. Then I’d go home and put my notes and story ideas onto paper in longer paragraphs. The writer in me started the day I picked up my first romance book when I was nine.

If I did have another chance at school, I think I would go back for my MFA. Just so that I could study the art of writing and wrap myself in the great literary stories introduced in classes I’ve seen. I’d have a ball freelancing and writing creative stories, just because I had to do it for homework. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

If you had a second chance to be back in school, what would you do?

 

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

Where’s your writing spot?

DSC_0149.JPGStop!

Take a deep breath.

Do you smell the air? The scent of flowers teasing your nose or maybe the aroma of barbeque floating from the nearby street stands?

Do you hear the sounds of the rolling waves? Or the toot of the ship docking by the pier?

DSC00772How about the stillness of mountains? Or do you feel the texture of sand between your toes?

Now reach for that drink…and open your eyes.

It’s amazing where your imagination may take you but wouldn’t the real thing be so much better?

I’ve traveled so much in the past few years and find that different places have sparked different ideas for my writing. No matter where I go, my imagination always brings me back to Hawaii–to the white beaches, blue waters, sweet smell of ocean air, and corn grilling on stands on the side of the road.

Depending on my mood, I always find that I write best when I can relax and push all my everyday life worries out of my mind. Yes, it may take a lot of wine for that to happen, but Hawaii has always given me that freedom to let my muse run buck wild.

I love sitting on the beach with my notebook and spending the afternoon plotting or lounging on my back porch with my laptop while I watch the sunset. Sometimes I used to walk the golf course in my backyard and count the exotic birds that would stop by or fly above my head while I’m outlining my stories in my mind (Of course, I’m running away the minute I know they see me…).

DSC01047I miss the days of peace and quiet, of being able to take the time for myself. Whether or not I’m still in Hawaii, my mind always brings me back to where I’ve found the most joy and peace.

So go on that trip you’ve always wanted to and venture to wherever your heart brings you. Experience it. Say it’s research.

Find your writing spot. Where do you envision it to be? Where do you most want to go?

Mine would have hot men climbing trees down the street…

DSC00750

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

Summer Freedom

Freedom…

To sit by the pool

…and the beach

Go on trips

Soak up the sun

Visit city fairs

Eat corn dogs

Excuse to go shopping for Summer Clothes!

Okay, so maybe Summer isn’t the only time to be free, but when this hot, hot, hot season rolls around, these are all the things I think about.

I’m definitely not a heat person, but then I don’t like the cold either. What can I say? I’m a hard person to please… But I do love the things that I can associate with summer. Who can resist all that happy sunshine and festival food? (Make sure you throw me in an air conditioner as an option in case I roast too long outside.)

I have to say my best summer was in Hawaii. Okay, maybe it was my best year…

First Cruise

First I went on a cruise. First cruise ever! And it was pretty amazing…except for my friends having motion sickness the whole trip… But the food, the ocean air, the stops on exotic islands, and shopping–totally impressive! I would do it again if I could…

DSC_0032Then my move to Hawaii, where I experienced the hottest months of my life (I’m talking about whether for those whose minds wander…). The weather was gorgeous everyday. My trips to the beach were fun and careful, and I’ve never seen bluer water. Along with the amazing food, cultural experiences, I had no trouble adapting to Bohemian life. I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity.

The opportunity to experience life and freedom away from home was the best gift I had ever gave myself. It was my best summer–my summer where I had the chance to reflect upon life and figure out what I really wanted, which was to write. And it was also the time, I had the chance to find myself. DSC_0058

Summer brings me freedom and the chance for me to wind down and remind myself that I need to slow down and enjoy life.

What does Summer mean to you?

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series release in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.