the ch!cktionary

I'm Lena Chen, a writer, activist, and media producer who's been called a "skank" (by Bill O'Reilly) and "a small Asian woman" (by The New York Times). My favorite part of my workday is the hate mail.

For the unlikely story that is my life, read on.

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irregular features
Ask Lena: Reader Questions Answered
Anatomy of an Outfit
Bad Feminist Confessions
Freelance Friday: Career Advice for Young Writers
Hate Mail
Gratuitous Photos Of My Bulldog
Notes & Snapshots from Abroad
Recent Tweets @lenachen
Posts tagged "quotables"

What does writing teach us?

First and foremost it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation. So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

Second, writing is survival. Any art, any good work, of course, is that. Not to write, for many of us, is to die.

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
Part of where you are is where you’ve been. If you aren’t too sure where you are, or if you’re sure but don’t like it, there’s a tendency both in psychotherapy and in literature to retrace your history to see how you got there.
Margaret Atwood, Survival
If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Oscar Wilde
You look like an ostrich.
a gal pal on my penchant for frou-frou tutus
You can do anything you want in Singapore. Just don’t get caught.
according to a Singaporean we met
  • Me: If one can be unflappable, can one also be flappable?
  • Friend: I think you can in Europe.
  • Me: Is there such a thing as post-post-modernism?
  • Friend: I think they have that in Europe.
Only two of us have boyfriends, and mine isn’t particularly affectionate. You probably can’t even tell he’s my boyfriend in public. Minus all my fawning.
Me, chatting with a pal about my friend group’s slow descent into the trappings of couplehood
Oooh … he has tenure? That makes him even hotter.
post-brunch girl talk about Harvard profs