In the effort to maintain transparency, I want to let you know that this is my first blog post in years and is probably just going to catch you up on who I am, where I'm at, and what I do. As I'm sure you know already, I'm Mea. My childhood was a bit of a mad rush to apparently try to live in every southern city across as many southern states as possible, so I'm from the south bits of America, but mostly I resonate with the middle Georgia area. Everyone always assumes, once they here you moved a lot as a child, that you're from a military family. That pause when you say "Nope, mom was just a bit unstable" is p.a.l.p.a.b.l.e. Did you know it's not normal to move once a year while growing up? 'Cause I did not. I feel like that nomadic lifestyle is sort of ingrained in me now, in a way. Living somewhere for more than a year is fine, but I do find myself traveling quite often (or I did, pre-COVID).
Nowadays I'm here, near a river in Beijing:
I've been living in China for about 5 years now. I lived in Chongqing for the first four years, and I've only recently relocated to Beijing. A position in Beijing just kind of happened, and I decided to try my luck!
People like to ask me "Why China?" and I have a hard time answering, 'cause... why not China? Of course, things are a bit more complicated now with COVID, but back then no one was really talking about China in my circle, so I decided to check it out and haven't left yet! If you're interested, Chongqing looks like this:
This is Chongqing on a typical cloudy day. Don't be too sucked in by the night photos from the riverside that you can find online! This is reality most of the time--cloudy, rainy, generally overcast.
It's sunny in the summer though, I will give it that.
Not to be rude to Chongqing, it's a great place, but the winters can wear on you after a while if you're used to sunlight and dry shoes. I will be honest, I did move outside of the US to try and gain some perspective on different ways of life. It was my hope that these experiences abroad would help my writing.
To that end, last year I started my online MFA with Lindenwood University. It's been a great experience in helping me hone my writing.
I've been publishing works in various literary magazines and anthologies since ~2014, and now I feel much more comfortable with where my poetry is at (though I do write some fiction and non-fiction, hopefully more on that later this year).
Hopefully my poetry collection will be picked up for publication later this year, and I'll have a serious work out for you to check out! Signing out, Mea