IMG_1422I am ambling down the road with Sheba. The air is still and cool but the sun is shining through. I’m hard pressed to find words and ideas this morning. What story do I have to tell? Where do I start? The question comes up every morning.

It is disconcerting to be pumped with creative joy one minute only to have the joy plummet the next. You see that someone has taken something of ours. So what if the door was opened. It was not an invitation to help yourself to our stuff. We just forgot to close the door.

Have you ever had things taken from you without your permission? You must not. Otherwise, you would not have taken from me. You would know the feeling of violation and disrespect. It does not matter the value- monetary or otherwise. It is the disregard for me.

Once, a coworker used my coffee mug without my permission. It was not an expensive one but I love the pattern and the feel of it. You must know what I mean – those silly attachments we have. I had set the mug and a little tin of specialty coffee in my nursing station.  The tin had my name on it.

When my coffee break time came, I could not find my mug. It might sound dramatic to say I was frantic. I didn’t know I had such attachment issues. When all search was to no avail, I had to settle for a different cup.

Half an hour later, the coworker showed up. She heard I was looking for my cup.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was yours! I was outside for a smoke and dropped it. The handle broke.”

What do you say? Are you going to get out of control over an old mug? I bit my tongue. I did the usual song and dance that it didn’t matter. It was an old mug and I have more at home. That was the proper thing, wasn’t it?

I wonder how many times I have compromised myself – always striving towards doing and saying the proper thing. I’ve done it for so long it’s second nature. It is the way I was brought up. When someone comes to your house, you greet them. When they leave, you bid them goodbye.

Proper manners and saving face are very important in Chinese culture. You do not air your dirty linen in public. Money is huge. Even if you have no social standing, people can’t look down on you if you have money. That is what my mother says and I agree. Money commands respect.

I’m like George Washington who couldn’t tell a lie. But then maybe that story is a lie. If so, I wonder where that leaves us? We’re living in a world of false histories. Even good old Abe Lincoln’s facts are suspect. He might not have been all goodness.

What does that tell us ? We’re looking up to false heroes. We’re worshiping the wrong things. There are no supermen or wonder women. As for super athletes, there are a few known women beaters and killers among them.

It’s time to stop looking outside of ourselves for heroes and guidance. It is time for me to do the proper thing and trust and honour myself. No need to cast about for directions on the proper way to be. The time has come, says the walrus, to speak of strings and many things…..

What do you speak of?



The stage is set.  I have a title for the novel.  There is a plot and a cover.  I have drank enough coffee and I have lost sufficient sleep the last two nights, wrestling with the project.  And my desk is certainly messy enough to start the creative juices flowing.  That is what you get when you sign up for the project with just a week to go.  Now is the time to let go of the doubts and researches on how to write a novel.  I just have to write.

The other day I took out Alex Quick”s 102 Ways to Write a Novel.  The cover said that it has indispensable tips for the writer of fiction.  It defined a novel as fiction having at least 50, 000 words.  Otherwise it would be a novella.  Well, I haven’t even ever done a novella either.  It also said that writing a novel could be an arduous task – taking months, years and even DECADES to complete!

WOW!  Not very encouraging words.  So, I’m going to have to leave conventional wisdom behind and charge forward.  How else can I write a novel otherwise?  A novel by definition is fiction.  Fiction is not truth.  Hence a novel is a bunch of lies strung together.

How hard could that be?  Well, it could be very hard for me.  I’m like George Washington.  I can’t tell a lie. I have my work cut out for me.  I am thinking with three days remaining before the kickoff for NaNoWriMo, I better clear my energy field in my work space.

I went to my special place in my mind.  I opened my heart space.  I breathed stagnant chi out.  I opened my arms to embrace my heavenly creative chi.  November Novel Writing Month, here I come!  I wonder if my nose will be like Pinocchio’s at the end of November.  I sure hope so.