My Story

Who is chasing sandcastles?.  

Chasing Sandcastles is me, Ja! Hi there!

Me in Bangkok’s Chinatown!
Photo Credit: Witchawain Panyasombat (Ice)

WhO is ja?

I’m Ja Racharaks, founder of Chasing Sandcastles and freelance writer. Even though my background is in architecture, something that architecture and writing has in common is the ability to create places for people to live and explore in. The only difference is that one is physical and one is subject to interpretation and whether you feel like pulling out your reading glasses.

I’ve been writing professionally for about five years now and in that time I’ve finally come to terms with the dream that I’ve had since I was little. I wanted to write stories, more specifically a novel. But the scared adult in me (aka just me) wants to practice before I take that leap. (Also I might have already tried already - coughNanowrimo2012cough - but it definitely needs work.)

What is Chasing Sandcastles?

Chasing Sandcastles is my sandbox (ha.) where I can play as a fiction writer. Also, it’s my way to encourage writers and dreamers to explore their world from the perspective of someone/something that they made up. Why does Rowling and Gaiman get to have all the fun?

Why should I read your stuff?

Because you’re looking for a good story! And beyond that, these (generally) short stories are a nice break in your daily routine. They come with pictures from actual locations so it might even inspire you to go visit these places someday, or create your own stories closer to home. Also, you’ll be helping me improve and encourage my writing.

What kind of stories will I find on Chasing Sandcastles?

Adventure! Drama! Pirates? (Maybe.) Magic! Romance? (Hard maybe.) Also, fantasy type stories based in real-world settings with real-world consequences. And also, realistic stories based in fantasy-world settings with fantasy-world consequences. And sometimes no stories at all, just ramblings.

TLDR: depends on my mood and what I’ve been reading/watching/feeling.

Do you do other writing?

Yes I do! My day job is a freelance writer, primarily in travel related content, but I’m also dabbling in tech. I also copywrite on occasion. You can see a fun article about Muay Thai I did for Scoot Airlines’ inflight magazine here. (I don’t know why the pages are out of order, the physical copy was fine.) I’ll put up a proper portfolio on here soon!

Why the name Chasing Sandcastles?

It started from a brainstorm focused around the first quatrain of William's Blake's Auguries of Innocence, one of my favourite quatrains. (I’ve only read the whole poem through maybe once, so it’s not my favourite poem. Yes, I’m being technical.) To see a world in a grain of sand…somehow transformed into Chasing Sandcastles.

Alternative origin story: In “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, she writes, “You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sandcastles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander.” So… yeah, this is where my imagination can wander.

Alternative to the alternative origin story: I didn’t know what I wanted this website/blog to be exactly so I chose something that was poetic, but vague.

But what’s the true origin story?

A combination of two of those. You can decide which two!

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
— William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

RIP V.v.V The Last Crab