Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

Tag Archives: randomness

On being the token Yank, an introduction



Image from though apparently the website got hacked.

(Holy crap that eagle is scary. Don’t mess with America or he’ll eat your soul! Seriously though, I’m a nice American, not a scary one)

My Husband: So I just got offered a position in Singapore. What do you think?

Me: Um…is that by China somewhere?

No, no it is not. Well, I mean kind of it is, I guess. Relatively speaking….

Anyway, many steps later, we’re living in the tiny island nation of Singapore (see map below). A few quick boring demographic notes about Singapore: 74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 9% Indian. There is also a sizable population of Westerners here as well, mostly brought in by companies to do specific jobs, and a large number of foreign domestic workers and foreign workers here to do construction jobs. Most people speak English (mostly the British variety, but mixed with American vocab) or Singlish (a mix of a variety of dialects including English, Hokkien, Tamil, Malay, and Cantonese).


Over here in Singapore I just don’t know many Americans, even though I’m sure there are plenty. I hang out mostly with English, Scottish, Australians and a few locals who also speak the British variety of English. Weird, right? Travel to the other side of the world to hang out with people from a different side of the world. It’s amazing how similar we seem when surrounded by Asians haha.

Anyway, being surrounded by people who are NOT Americans has taught me quite a lot about the United States. I was over here during the government shutdown. Try explaining that fiasco! Um, no actually President Obama can’t just restart the government…  It’s also helped with my writing tremendously. Stay tuned for all my random musings and observations on the topic.!

Next post topic: Things my British friends say that I wish I could

Have you ever experienced being the token______? What were some of the things that really struck you?

iTunes Playlist Challenge! part 2


Image(Retrieved from

One of my biggest creative writing fuels is music. I need to have music all.the.time. Riding Singapore’s amazing public transportation system, washing dishes, running, writing, shopping at the grocery store— music all the time. I create my own soundtracks for my books, with songs for different characters and events and setting. It helps me connect with the world I’m creating. This morning I ran my iTunes Playlist Challenge again because it was just so much fun last week. I put my iTunes on shuffle and wrote down the first ten songs (or so) that came up.

Here they are:

  1. “Attack on Murron,” James Horner, Braveheart soundtrack
  2. “Do or Die,” Papa Roach, Getting Away With Murder
  3. “The World Is Ahead,” Howard Shore, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  4. “Exiles,” Bryan Tyler, Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune (Original Television Soundtrack)
  5. “House of the Rising Sun,” The Animals, Retrospective
  6. “Whispers & Confessions,” Trevor Morris, The Tudors
  7. “Thru The Eyes of Ruby,” Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness: Twilight to Starlight
  8. “Ishwilf,” Disturbed, Asylum
  9. “Pinwheels,” Smashing Pumpkins, Oceania
  10. “Killing In The Name,” Rage Against the Machine, Rage against the Machine

So several of those were less than two minute songs, so I did one more for funsies:

“Tomorrow Comes a Day Too Soon,” Flogging Molly, Within a Mile of Home

Wow, that was a lot more random in terms of music…. But I wonder if shuffle got stuck on soundtrack mode or something. Now you know a little about what movies and TV shows I like I guess haha.

Try it for yourself and see what happens. Post your results here!