Tonight (11/22/13) I did something a bit outside of my comfort zone. I got up to say something impromptu without any notes at the Asian American Writers' Workshop Mouth-to-Mouth Open Mic Event. I've been to this event quite a few times in the past. It's actually a pretty entertaining night with people getting up and taking turns at the mic- some read a poem, or a piece of writing, others do stand up comedy, or sing a song and/or play an instrument. It's like a mini-variety show.
However, I've never taken a turn at the mic. I guess I wasn't prepared or inspired. And it really makes me nervous to have to so something like this, especially if I were expected to do it on the spot!
Well when I heard that the theme this month was "Ancestors," I thought to myself, this is the perfect opportunity to step up and say something about Su Beng. So I did.
I had informally prepared something to say, but my nerves still got to me. Here's what I said:
This man has wrapped a million dumplings and fried tons and tons of Chinese lo mein.
This man’s hands have written thousands of pages of TAIWAN’S 400 YEARS OF HISTORY.
This man’s birthplace is the Shih Lin district of Taipei, which is the same as my ancestors.
The book that this man wrote, TAIWAN’S 400 YEARS OF HISTORY, sat on the bookshelf of my parents’ home for years.
Incredibly I didn’t know any of this when I embarked on the journey to write his biography, which has taken almost 10 years at this point.
Who is this man?
This man in Su Beng, a 95-year-old Taiwan independence activist, who worked undercover for the Chinese Communists for seven years, tried to assassinate Chiang Kai-shek and wrote the book TAIWAN’S 400 YEARS OF HISTORY.
And I, Felicia Lin am his biographer.
Then Ed Lin the master of ceremonies kindly invited me back up to make some announcements, which I did:
The announcements were that:
1) I'm currently running a crowdfunding campaign MAKING HISTORY: The Story of Su Beng.
2) On Wednesday December 4, 2013 from 7-9pm I'll be speaking at the Taiwan Center (137-44 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354)- about my work on documenting the life of Su Beng and my personal journey as his biographer. For complete details regarding my talk click HERE or here: www.feliciatalksaboutsubeng.eventbrite.com
Special thanks to my support team of friends who came that night, a Friday night! I really meant a lot to me that you made the effort to be there for me!