Wonhng Mahkwa: relatives of the boss (lit. yellow jacket)

In the Ching dynasty, Manchurians wore mahkwa jackets when horse riding. Typically, these clothes were blue or black, but the emperors would bestow a yellow jacket on imperial relatives or respected officials.

I'm part of a group of imperial relatives (read: worthy writers), a tight-knit band led by the illustrious Robert Lee Brewer. Last April, I participated in his platform challenge. It's been a year of much growth, not unlike that of a baby changing into a toddler.


Yep, that's me!

Here's my journey in developmental milestones:

Rolling Over: A mere infant of social media, I learned to flip over and have fun on:
  -Twitter: I found like minds. My followers probably doubled or tripled with the platform challenge.
  -Google+: Instead of restricting this medium to family, I started posting to the public.
  -Goodreads: I spruced up my old account and connected myself with fellow readers, giving and receiving book critiques.

Sitting Up: I sat up and started seeing the world around me by creating this blog. In turn, I:
  -Received recognition: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Sunshine Award, The Versatile Blogger, Liebster Blog
  -Found my voice by making a themed blog (see Chinese expression above)
  -Explored my interests (I recently added Foodie Friday postings for a splash of culinary culture) 

Crawling: I moved beyond my own space to reach shiny new objects, like:
 -Wordsmith Studio, a group of my fellow scribes
 -Twitter chats (follow us on Tuesdays for general talks and Thursdays for fiction subjects with #WSChat)
 -Google communities and Facebook groups

Cruising: Using many handholds, I made my first steps and participated in the challenges of:
 -Submit-O-Rama (Khara House's challenge to regularly submit your material over the course of one month)
 -Writer's Digest Conference (and I even participated in the Pitch Slam!)

Walking: I got to toddle and move on my own with these acceptances:
 -Short stories in IdeaGems Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Mouse Tales Press

Next up: running.

Help me to run by liking my Facebook fan page! In celebration of this special anniversary, I'm also giving away a free $10 Barnes and Noble gift card (I'll provide you with the online code). Just post a comment below and enter your email address, so I can contact you! **I'll announce the winner this Friday.**


Comments (38)

On April 22, 2013 at 7:08 AM , Emily McGee said...

Congrats on all your successes in the past year! Also, I wanted to tell you that I really love the angle you use on your blog with the Chinese sayings. It's such a cool idea and something I haven't seen any other blogger do. Good luck with your next year of milestones.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:06 AM , Michelle Pond said...

It is so much fun being one of your imperial relatives! Congratulations on how much you have grown as a writer this past year and Happy Anniversary!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:08 AM , J.lynn Sheridan said...

Jennifer, You're right. It's like learning to walk. I think you've been trotting, though. Wow, congratulations on your publishing credits! Adorable baby picture, too!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:12 AM , Sarah Turnbull said...

Jennifer Chow - wow! You've hag a good year :) Way to also "shout out" to other group members and the tweetchats - that's exactly how we build a community! ::hugs::

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM , sherea said...

Happy anniversary:) I'm a fan! I love your blog. I get the updates delivered to my inbox.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Hi Emily,
Thanks so much. Glad you enjoy the Chinese sayings!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:49 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Hi Michelle,
Thank you! So glad we're one big family now :)

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Trotting--very funny! Maybe I'll aim for galloping next then.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Hugs right back to you!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks for the support, Sherea! Keep on reading :)

 
On April 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM , Heather Button said...

That's such a great summary Jennifer! May I recommend Geist literary magazine to you? I think your personal stories and fiction could work there.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks, Heather! I haven't checked them out before, but I'll take a look when I have a new story in the works.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM , AlvaradoFrazier said...

What a great analogy to use for your first anniversary. I admire your persistence in going towards the walking phase. Congratulations of your submissions and acceptances.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks so much! I love how much your culture influences your blog, too. Let's keep striving together!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM , bolton carley said...

wow! you've accomplished tons! and great niche!. would love to hear about your participation in the pitch slam!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM , Carol Cooney said...

Thanks so much for sharing and in such a thoughtful way. I like they way you compared your year to an infant growing. Perfect!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM , takeaim11 said...

I love this piece, Jennifer. Wishing you continued success.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

It was pretty nerve-wracking. A couple of agents were interested, but passed later on. On a side note, I also got to meet Robert Lee Brewer at the conference.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM , Gail Kushner said...

Wow. You've taken great strides. You've been published! Congrats on all of your accomplishments.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

This blog ended up being like a little baby to me. I had to constantly nurture it, and it grew in leaps and bounds. (Happily, I did not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of it.)

 
On April 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thank you so much for the nice wishes!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks, Gail. Looking forward to what happens in the future.

 
On April 22, 2013 at 4:22 PM , Romelle Broas said...

Happy anniversary! It's so wonderful to watch you grow as a socialite in this cyberspace and to witness your first walk. You have a bright future ahead of you Jennifer!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 4:24 PM , Elizabeth Saunders said...

I just read about the Emperor getting mad because his cousin had yellow trim in his sleeves. Congratulations on your growth this year, submissions, publication, and getting to meet Robert!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 5:08 PM , Melanie Marttila said...

Love your take on your journey, Jennifer. Great post! Congratulations :)

 
On April 22, 2013 at 5:25 PM , Sabra Bowers said...

Congratulations on all your success this past year. You will be running in the upcoming year. Thanks for sharing your story. Great job!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks for allowing me to blossom with you guys!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

What a coincidence that you read about yellow sleeves :) Thanks for all your warm wishes!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks, Melanie!

 
On April 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Let's work on running together!

 
On April 23, 2013 at 4:26 AM , Rebecca Barray said...

What an awesome journey, Jennifer. So glad to have had the chance to grow with you. Let's keep it up and we'll be running in no time. ;)

 
On April 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks for helping me grow, Becca! All the best!

 
On April 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM , Claudine Jaboro said...

Oh I can relate to the whole baby growing comparison! Beautiful post Jennifer! I'm so happy I was able to be a part of the last year as you grew into the wonderful "Platform Toddler" that you have become! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! :)

 
On April 23, 2013 at 10:21 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

I thought all the mommies could relate :) Looking forward to all the toddler years (minus the terrible 2's).

 
On April 27, 2013 at 10:46 AM , Lauri Meyers said...

Congratulations Jennifer! I can't believe how much we have all grown in the last year. I remember being sooooo resistant to twitter. Why? I have no idea beyond being chicken. Now I just go for everything!

 
On April 27, 2013 at 2:37 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks for dropping by, Lauri! That's great that you're embracing everything now. Can't wait to see how much more we grow next year!

 
On April 28, 2013 at 5:42 AM , Monique Liddle said...

Hi Jennifer!
What a joy to read about your developmental growth as a writer, a participant in social media, your other steps to make WSS your homebase, & stretching your wings as you get your writing out to the public. I so enjoyed your metaphor. As always, you share your creative eye/perspectice with your readers. You have a true writing gift that has devloped greatly between when I read your first post to this one.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments!

Monique

 
On April 28, 2013 at 9:46 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thank you so much! I'm really honored that you've identified growth in my blog over the past year. It's hard to keep an objective perspective with my own writing, so thank you for the compliment!