Author Archives: Nicki Chen

About Nicki Chen

About Nicki Chen
Nicki Chen is a writer living in Edmonds, WA. Her first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, is set in China during the Japanese invasion and occupation, 1937-1945. She’s working on a second novel set in Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation where she and her late husband lived in the early ’90s.

Stories to Go with My Paintings

 Three weeks after we moved to the Philippines I started taking Chinese brush painting classes from Professor Chen Bing Sun. Four years later, I could pretty well handle the basics. I’d learned to paint bamboo and plum blossoms, chrysanthemums and … Continue reading

Chinese brush painting, expatriate life, Philippines, Vanuatu, writing , , , , ,

Halo-halo Especial

The main characters in the novel I’m writing are a husband and wife. I’ve set the scene for them in lots of different places. They talk and fight in the car and at the beach. They talk and laugh and … Continue reading

food, Philippines, writing , , , , , ,

Another time, Another Place

 I’ve always liked autumn—the bright colors, the golden tint of the light, the scent and crackle of newly fallen leaves. You’d think I would have missed it when we lived overseas. Somehow, though, it never occurred to me. For more … Continue reading

expatriate life, fall, seasons, Washington State

Bookcases and Hot Air Balloons

  This past weekend I drove across the mountains to spend some time with my daughter, T, on her birthday. When I left home on the coast, it was raining, sprinkling when I reached the pass. Even with the sprinkles, … Continue reading

books, home, Washington State , , , , ,

Don’t Forget about UN Day … Not This Year.

  For twenty-two years my late husband worked for an international organization, the Asian Development Bank. He and his colleagues, men and women from every continent except Antarctica, devoted themselves to the economic development of developing countries in Asia. As … Continue reading

Culture, expatriate life, holidays, Philippines , , , , , ,

Keep on Learning.

Monday morning, and Jane, one of my favorite clerks at QFC, was scanning my baby spinach and ground beef and avocado. “How was your weekend,” she asked. “Good. I went to Write on the Sound.” “Oh!” It was an upbeat … Continue reading

books, Edmonds, writing , , , , , ,

The Lady Washington’s Short but Eventful Life

 In August, a few days before the eclipse, two tall ships sailed into town: the Lady Washington and its companion vessel, the Hawaiian Chieftain. They tied up at a couple of docks along the Edmonds waterfront where I often take … Continue reading

Edmonds, Washington State , , , ,

Family Visits–Eat, Talk, and Walk

  My three daughters live in places with nice weather in the spring and fall (Indiana, Maryland, and Eastern Washington). So that’s when I visit them. But nothing beats our summers here in the Pacific Northwest. This year all three … Continue reading

Chinese food, photography, summer, walking, Washington , , , , , , , , ,

My Mysterious, Miraculous Cure.

 For the past eight years I’ve had asthma, the main symptom of which was frequent coughing. Several times a day the coughing would progress to a full-blown asthma attack with thick mucus building up in my throat and lungs. My … Continue reading

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Notes on a Typhoon

Looking through some old journals, I found some jottings on a typhoon. It was October 11, 1989. Our three daughters were in college or grad school in the United States. Eugene and I were living in Manila in an apartment … Continue reading

expatriate life, Philippines, storms , , ,