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.

Ring in Summer with an Arts Fair

Today is the Summer Solstice. In Seattle that means almost sixteen hours of daylight. This morning the sun came up at 5:11 am, and it won’t be setting until 9:10 pm tonight. This is our reward for having suffered through … Continue reading

Art, seasons, summer, Washington ,

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey.

A swamp in New Jersey? I suppose you could call it a swamp. But if the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge had been named today instead of in the 1960s, we might be calling it a wetlands. In fact, the … Continue reading

family, travel, walking , , , , , ,

Graduation 2017 and my Granddaughter

A Completion and a Beginning. Most of life is just day after day—the rising and setting of the sun, the turning of the seasons. One day blending into another. But then, there are the milestones, those events that mark a … Continue reading

family , , , ,

A Certain Kind of Soldier

(This post was first published more than three years ago. I think Memorial Day weekend is an excellent time to revisit these two remarkable men, my dad and my father-in-law.) Two Veterans of WWII My dad was a gentle man, … Continue reading

China, family, holidays, Second Sino-Japanese War casualties, war, WWII in China , , , , , , ,

When Familiar Landmarks Disappear …

  I remember Harrison Street. If you asked me, I could draw you a detailed map of it. The first feature on my drawing would be the little hill in front of our house. The hill would be small enough … Continue reading

family, writing , , , , ,

Does Science Really Matter … for You and Me?

We already have the wheel and gun powder and the internet. So … Haven’t scientists already invented and explained enough already? I don’t think so. I’d like to relate just one family story about a modern scientific discovery that has … Continue reading

Health, news, The March for Science , , , ,

Easter Then and Now

Back then, I wore a new dress every Easter. I usually had a new hat too and sometimes a new lightweight matching jacket. We called it a duster. (I was in eighth grade in this photo, out in the backyard … Continue reading

family, holidays, photography, seasons, Washington State , , , , , , , ,

Journal Jottings on a Coup d’état

  I have stacks of steno notebooks, a.k.a., my journals. Writing in them has been my way of paying attention to the world around me and saving my observations for the future. In recent years I haven’t been journaling much. … Continue reading

books, expatriate life, Philippines, Tiger Tail Soup, writing , , , , , , ,

An Assassination, Martial Law, and a Revolution, Part 2

  The phone call came at five in the morning. It was my husband’s secretary. “Turn on the radio,” she said. “Marcos just declared martial law.” That’s how it happens, without warning. For the next two hours, my husband sat … Continue reading

book reviews, books, expatriate life, family, Philippines , , , , , , ,

An Assassination, Martial Law, and a Revolution, Part 1

  In 1983, when Senator Benigno Aquino was assassinated, we were there—not at the Manila International Airport where thousands of supporters waited to welcome their hero back from exile in the United States, but at our home in Manila, watching … Continue reading

book reviews, books, expatriate life, historical fiction, Philippines , , , , , ,