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.

Beach Chairs and Group Dynamics

  They seemed courteous and friendly enough, our fellow vacationers at the Nassau Beach Melia Hotel. They held the door for the next person, and at breakfast they waited their turns to be seated. They smiled at appropriate times; they … Continue reading

Culture, People, travel, vacations , , , ,

Book Reviews and Other Acts of Kindness

This week I had a group of writers over for a meeting. It was nice having them here. They brought food and flowers. They volunteered for upcoming projects. They sprinkled our time together with good will and all those small … Continue reading

book reviews, books, China, historical fiction, home, Tiger Tail Soup, writing , ,

Images from the Bahamas

It snowed this year in Seattle for Christmas … or so I’ve been told. I wasn’t here. I escaped to the Bahamas. I’m back home now, grateful for my week in the sun with my family and hoping you’ll enjoy … Continue reading

Christmas, holidays, photography, vacations, winter , , , , , , ,

The Trials and Joys of Traveling on the Holidays

  I woke up this morning to bright sunshine. Bypassing the coffee pot, I stepped out onto the patio and checked the thermometer. It was cold, 39o, but it felt warmer with the sun shining. Coming back inside, the first … Continue reading

family, holidays, vacations , , ,

Christmas Cards–Keeping in Touch and Losing Track

  I’m all in with Christmas cards. Even in these days of emailed Christmas letters, I still do the cards and the enclosed printed letters and the personal notes. I know. There are other simpler ways to do this. And … Continue reading

Christmas, expatriate life, holidays, Philippines , ,

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 , , , , , ,