About

This page is all about me, isn’t it? Me. Me. Me. But I would like to start with the two people who had influenced me the most, my parents, because they’d helped me to define who I am.

I learned from my father to appreciate solitary moments. Because of his job, Dad lived alone in a different town for many years. Even when he came home, he spent a lot of time sitting alone. At first, I felt sorry for him. But seeing how content he was – sitting there drinking his tea – I began to understand being alone wasn’t a bad thing. And I began enjoying it.

I also learned from my dad that we shouldn’t ignore quiet people. They don’t say much, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care, or they don’t want you to care about them.

My mom taught me to be brave, not easily being intimidated by others. I am still not as brave as I would like to be and often have to picture her standing by my side supporting me.

She also showed me that I should take my responsibility seriously. She had this thing about duty – fulfilling her duty was her life.

When I was five year old, my father took a job far away from home. As soon as I could write a handful of words, Mom started asking me to write letters to Dad for her. At first, I only wrote whatever Mom told me to write. After a while, that became quite boring, so I started reporting to him what had happened at home, and later I added some of my stories to entertain him. I found out that writing made me feel better. And I haven’t stop writing ever since.

Finally, Here is a list of things I have done in writing.

Book:

Jin-Ling’s Two Left, a YA novel, was published on Oct. 1, 2009.

0twoleftfeetvF 

Writing Contest:

2006 Winnipeg Free Press/Writers’ Collective Non-fiction Writing Contest, 1st place – Sister Guan
2005 Minneapolis Writers’ Group Writing Contest 1st place – Old Man Tea
2004 Winnipeg Free Press/Writers’ Collective Non-fiction Writing Contest, 3rd place – After 30 Years, and a Honorable Mention: Grandparents Magic
2002 Kay Snow Nonfiction contest 3rd place – Sliding Doors

Magazines/Newsletter:

2008 Feb. issue of Stories for Children online magazine – How Rat Got to Be First in the Chinese Zodiac
2007 March issue of Generation Today – Playing Safe
2006 July issue of The Sun Magazine – Waking up
2006 May/June issue of Rochester Women Magazine – Oh, Mother!
2005, Dear Mom, I Always Wanted You to Know – My letter to Mom was accepted but at the end, it wasn’t included in the book, but my email to the editor was quoted in the introduction of the book.
2004 Feb., Fate magazine – Tap-Tap-Tap
1998 July 8-21 1998 Women’s Press – Empty What?

 

Speaking:

April 18, 2009 Rochester Writer’s Festival, gave a talk on Beginning, Middle and End.
Sept. 19, 2009, Won first place in Area 84 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest on .

Others I’ve started two writing groups: one in 2003 (?) and one 2006. Both groups are still doing well.

Not much, I know. I am having fun and that’s what it counts. 😉

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85 Responses to About

  1. Hi there HCC, just calling on over to explore your blog and to thank you for the follow on my own wee corner of the blogosphere. Great to have you on board, all input welcome. Have a great week, I like your wise words on here, keep going, MM 🍀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joannesisco says:

    Your ‘not much’ sounds like quite a lot to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen C says:

    Thanks for stopping by. Life is interesting. It took me a long time to find myself. Then I have so much to catch up. 😉

    Like

  4. Hi there,
    Thank you for taking the time to stop by and check out my little corner of the blogosphere and the follow, your support is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to seeing more from you

    Have a great Day, 🙂

    Eddie

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Eddie,
      I love your photos! Looking at many great photos every morning is a wonderful way to start my day. Thank you to all of you! (Someday, I hope, I will become a good photographer too. 😉

      Helen

      Like

  5. Mother Hen says:

    My goodness Helen, looks like you are doing just great with writing experiences..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Roberta. I should update this page. Last two years, I have made 10 videos of people’s life stories, and ghost wrote one (wit a writer friend). Everyone should tell his/her story, I think.
      Thanks for your BIG support! 😉

      Like

  6. loisajay says:

    You’re a Toastmaster?! Me, too! I also won Humorous Speech Contest for my Area and District but did not place in District. What a ride though, right!

    Like

  7. Helen C says:

    yes, I am a Toastmaster. TM has helped me a lot. I was very shy 😉
    You must be a better speaker – I only won the area contest, didn’t place at division.
    I have to speech at our club meeting on Monday. I’ll work on it tomorrow. Ha.

    Like

  8. neihtn2012 says:

    Thanks for following my blog. Your writings are impressive and I will from now on follow your blog.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      It s interesting that we both like writing, photographing… and we both have IT job.(I retired last year though.)
      Thank you for visiting my blog and thanks for following. I am looking forward to get some feedback from you 😉

      Like

  9. Hi Helen, it’s amazing what we learn from our parents! Getting back to your Dad, I think it’s people who don’t say much, that actually listen more. Once I heard someone say, stop talking and see how much you can learn in a minute, just by listening… something not many people do.
    Anyway, it seems you have certainly learned a lot along the journey of your life, and might I say, successfully so!
    Wordpress is such a great place to be able to share. Thanks for sharing your story!
    I will enjoy following your blog 🙂 Anica

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello Anica. Thank you for visiting my blog and thanks for your message. I love my dad a lot. Making him talk was always my challenge/goal 😉
      Yes, I have learned a lot in my life. It took me a while to find myself and be myself. I don’t know why that was so hard. ha.
      Did I tell you that I want to take photos like you do? I love your photos. Please, please, if you can give me any constructive feedback about my photos, I would be thrilled.
      We just took a trip to France and there are a lot of Australians in the tour group. It seems like most of them, if not all, were very happy… sunshine type people. Am I right? Having them in the group was really fun.
      Helen

      Like

  10. Ronovan says:

    I think I should forget doing Writing 101 and begin exploring your site instead. I believe I could learn more.
    Much Respect
    Ronovan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Ronovan. Your comment makes me a little nervous 😉 English is not my native language. I have no doubt that you write much better than I do 😉 Thanks for being so kind. It’s interested that we both like writing YA novel. I can’t wait to read more of your blog. Take care.

      Like

  11. Hi Helen, thank you for stoping by my blog and deciding to follow, it’s always nice to have someone take the time to look around. This is a great introduction! All the best to you and your blog. Have a great day.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Hello Mark,
      Thanks for stopping by. And thank you for your comment here and also on one of my other post. I have been thinking about your comment whole day, and I sure have more thoughts and maybe questions about photographing. I am going to work on it tonight and hopefully I will post it tomorrow. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Helen

      Like

  12. Cee Neuner says:

    Hi Helen,
    http://hummingbirddreamsphotography.wordpress.com invited me to be part of a Virtual Blog Tour, which I agreed to and will be posting on Monday, June 30th. It is also my turn to extend an invitation to one or more people who’s work I’d like to introduce my readers/followers to. There are four questions to answer and you can also add your photos to the post.Here is a link to previous VBTs if you want to check it out before giving me an answer.
    http://uniquesochic.com/2014/06/16/virtual-blog-tour-artwork/

    I look forward to hearing from you. If you agree you would post on the following Monday (July 7th)
    Cee

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Hello Cee,
      I feel so honored for your invitation, and I am very excited about it. But I will travel to LA on July 2nd and be back on July 8th, so I am not sure I will be able to post anything on July 7th.
      For many years, I only have contact with one of my college classmates. Recently, I found 4 classmates living in LA area. We are going to have a small reunion that week. We haven’t seen or talked to each other for more than 40 years! I am afraid I won’t be able to remember posting anything during that time.
      Thank you very much!
      Helen

      Like

  13. Mjollnir says:

    Keep on having fun. It’s the only thing in life that counts as far as I’m concerned. Thank you very much for following my humble efforts and welcome to Norway! I haven’t had much of a chance to look at your blog yet but I look forward to doing so soon. Hilsen fra Norge 😀

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks. At my age, having fun IS the only thing that counts. I don’t even have to think. 😉 You have a wonderful blog. I love those colorful photos you have. I am looking forward to see more.
      By the way, I have never been to Norway. And it’s on my wish list!
      Take care.

      Like

      • Mjollnir says:

        At my age having fun is all that counts and I’m an old fart! Thank you for your kind words and save a lot of money and come to Norway. You’ll be amazed. 😀

        Like

  14. pambrittain says:

    Goodness, you have done so much and still going. I’m so glad I hooked up with you.

    Like

  15. Don Royster says:

    Thanks for the follow for my blog. I do appreciate it. It is there for entertain. Not a serious bone in its body.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Don. Thanks for stopping by. I like your sense of humor. I admit I was a bit slow. It took me a little while to figure out what you know about women 😉 I was entertained!

      Like

  16. Amy says:

    i just learned about something new about the lens last week. You might know it already. It’s helpful to use a lens that has a stabilizer. I thought I had. But the one that is made with metal works better, a little heavier.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Amy. Thanks for the information. I, too, thought the lens I use has a stabilizer. I think I better check again.
      I had a discussion with my husband on this issue. He said the lens I am using (most of the time) is a convenient lens. It is reasonable in price and produces good pictures, but if I want higher quality photo, I have to get more expensive one.
      I am going to do some experiments: use the same lens with and without tripod, use a different lens do the same. Hopefully, I will find some answers to my problem.
      Will keep you posted. 😉

      Like

  17. Nice site. Enjoyed surfing it. Thanks for visiting.

    Like

  18. Helen, first, my thanks for your follow and for all the support you have shown me this past six weeks! I appreciate it so very much. Second, my apologies for taking so long to get here! Summertime travels kept me from keeping up as I wanted to with following up those who have showed kindness to me. But I’m “back” now and I am delighted to follow your artistic journey as well! Cheers:)

    Like

  19. seeker says:

    Your parents thought you well and you are a good student “daughter.” Reading the list of your accomplish that is braver than brave. Well done, Helen. Perpetua aka seeker.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Perpetua. I know there is room for me to improve.
      Like you, I have thought a lot about life. But it seems to me that I have a lot of questions, and you have a lot of answers. I like reading your blog!
      Vancouver is a nice place. I live in Rochester, Minnesota. Every Canadian I have met is very nice! Helen

      Liked by 1 person

  20. seeker says:

    P.S. Are you in Canada? I’m from Vancouver, BC

    Like

  21. Amazing and impressive. I am looking forward to reading more. Writing has helped me in a lot of ways and I am still learning. So, to find blogs like yours inspires me to want to perfect my writing skills or lack there of. I hope you don’t mind me following.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning… I feel like to call you sunshine instead of blueinsomniak… Your comment brightens my day! It will be my honor if you follow my blog. And thanks for all of your kind words.
      I am trying to guess your age, but I don’t think I have enough clues 😉 We can not change our past, so I use my experiences to help me write stories. I cry; I laugh, and I keep writing…
      The most important thing I’ve learned in my life is to love myself. I am not a selfish person; I am still willing to give more to others; but I love myself even when I make mistakes.
      Another thing I would like to share with you is that if I write before I go to bed, I usually don’t sleep well. 😉 I still do, but I try to do less.
      Take care. Helen

      Like

      • Wow, thank you. That’s so nice of you to say. It’s actually a privilege to follow you. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can from constant reading and it has helped to also release some of what is inside by starting this blog. I find it very difficult to love myself because I don’t know who I am anymore. Hopefully this is a start in trying to find myself so that I can one day love the person I see in the mirror. Again, thank you.

        Like

  22. Welcome and thanks for the “follow” – looking forward to exploring your world and perspectives 🙂

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning. Thanks for stopping by. I was going to leave a note on your blog, but forgot. Sometime I glance all the posts and “like” the ones that I do, and later, I would go back to comment.
      You have a wonderful blog. I have been pondering (about everything) all my life 😉 I am looking forward to reading more.
      Have a great day. Helen

      Like

  23. M-R says:

    NOT MUCH ? – that’s wonderful, Helen !!! Would that I could claim a fraction of all that.
    Keep it up: you’re on the upward path ! 🙂

    Like

  24. Cecile says:

    I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be just
    what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers
    to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you
    write about here. Again, awesome site!

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Cecile for your kind words. I really appreciate them. This blog has a little bit writing, and a little bit photographing. I am quite new, so I think I should focus on learning at this point. Thanks again. Helen

      Like

  25. Hi, Helen: Thank so much for the Follow. I like what you are doing here and look forward to seeing more of your photography and your writing.

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Robin, you are very kind; I can tell that from reading your blog. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. Hopefully, you will be able to see my improvement through time; I plan to continue learning a lot from photographers like you. 😉 Helen

      Like

  26. Dear Helen, I understand you support Award Free Blog. However, i could not stop myself appreciating your work and hence, have nominated you for the Liebster Award, if you would like to participate. Thanks.
    http://suyashchopra.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/the-liebster-award-november-2014/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Dear Sutash, thank you so much for nominating me! I saw your message when I was in Taiwan and it warmed my heart. But I didn’t have a computer to work with and it is hard to do too much with iPhone, so I didn’t reply. I hope you know I appreciate it. (And you deserve the award much more than I do!!!) Helen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks a lot Helen. I hope you had a nice trip to Taiwan. Hope to see your photos from Taiwan 🙂

        I understand that iPhone or any mobile is not a convenient tool to write blogs. A laptop or desktop is always a better choice.

        Enjoy yourself and take care in the weekend snowfall of MPLS 🙂

        Like

  27. loisajay says:

    I know you are award free but I still think you deserve an award for what you do. I was nominated for the Harmony & Peace Award and, in turn, have nominated you. I so enjoy your blog, Helen. And your photography….!! I am loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Robin says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I see you participate in Cee’s photo challenges. I love the tribute you wrote to your parents. It is wonderful that you have been published, and that you have two successful writing groups. The organizer of my poetry workshop is having a lot of trouble getting it going, even though many people have joined. I look forward to reading your blog. It is very nice to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Robin, I enjoy reading your stories and I am looking forward to reading more. I think in order for a writing group to succeed, someone has to take the ownership and spend time and energy working on it. We also have a poetry group in town and I heard that it goes quite well. Best wishes to you and your group. Helen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robin says:

        Thanks, Helen. The organizer has taken ownership. He is very good at editing and he knows a bit about publishing. I’m afraid he needs some guidance in running a workshop/writing group. I’ve been trying to make suggestions, but it is his group. -Robin

        Like

  29. Muzzy says:

    G’day Helen

    Your visit and like is very much appreciated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello Wendy, Thanks for stopping by. Since English is not my native language, I find poems are not easy to understand. I do love the ones that I could fully understand though 😉 Wish I could write them like you do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Muzzy says:

        Such a lovely compliment, thank you Helen, I think anyone that can not only speak a 2nd language but write in it gets my vote every time.
        One of the things I like about word press is the variety of not only topics but genre, photography, occupations, etc etc. It is these difference that I feel keep readers returning, I have no doubts whatsoever that it wouldn’t happen if all our blogs were the same or even similar. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  30. jamoroki says:

    Hi Helen. I am really pleased to see you are following Jamoroki. I’d love to know what attracted you. Now I must have a good look at your blog. Keep well. James

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, James. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Your blog attracts me on two parts: beautiful photos and wonderful stories. Nothing can beat that 😉 Thanks.

      Like

  31. Muzzy says:

    G’day Helen,
    Unexpectedly I finding myself overseas with limited PC time, means it being is what it is 🙂 … do I post, read or comment? … albeit I do thank you for your many visits and likes, all are very much appreciated, once I return to Aus I will start doing the rounds to catch upon everyone’s page,
    As always. Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  32. marjma2014 says:

    My father was also away from home a lot when I was young – I was a teenager in fact – it was always interesting to see him after extended breaks he always looked a bit different, grew fatter/thinner, grew a beard or a moustache. I had quite an unusual upbringing in many ways! Nice to find your blog today hope we can be bloggy friends. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Very interesting. I remember we were very excited when Dad came home even though he didn’t really play with us. Having him in the house was good enough, I guess. 😉
      I visited your blog and like it a lot. I plan to read more later (have a niece coming for lunch.)Hope we will keep in touch! Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Anabel Marsh says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog, The Glasgow Gallivanter. I like yours too!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Lady Oscar says:

    Dear Ms. Chen,
    I would love to get your book “Jin-Ling’s 2 Left Feet” for my students. Do you think it is good for students between 11 and 13 years old? Or it is for older teenagers/high school students? Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Dear Lady Oscar (is this the right way to address you?),
      I think my book is good for 11 to 13 year old (people told me that ;-). I would love to send you a copy if you give me your address (緣). My email address is: hhw.chen@gmail.com
      Thanks.
      Helen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lady Oscar says:

        Dear Ms. Helen,
        Thank you so much! You are so kind. I found your book on booksellers websites. I am so excited. It will be good for my students!
        I will email you later.
        Thank you again.
        (yes, simply call me Lady Oscar or Hsin-Jung~ ^^)

        Liked by 1 person

  35. amruta00487 says:

    Wow! Your writing experience is so impressive! I loved your blog and your photos. Will be waiting for your next post eagerly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. GP Cox says:

    It says a lot about you and how you were raised by how you spoke about your parents. I’m very pleased to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Your about page is awesome. We are looking forward to following along with your journey and seeing the world through your eyes and words.

    Like

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