Inspirational Excerpt from ‘Made in Thailand’

My father, the most inspirational figure in my life.

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“…my father might be strict, but at the end of the day he wanted me to have the best quality education and be the very best that I could be. He wanted me to have the opportunity to further my studies in the international field and have broader choices when it came to my career. He wanted to prove that an Asian could be just as successful as anyone else in the international field.”

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‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’ re-vamp

Six years ago, I first published my book ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’ (Xlibris Publishing). I never expected it to do alright in the market. Better than I had expected. And so, I have decided to do a re-vamp and bring out a new edition of the story under the new ownership of PUIYIN W.L. PUBLISHING®, and turn it into a series. Along with the recent news of ‘Who We Were’ becoming a trilogy, I am proud to officially announce another trilogy/series project in the making for 2017-2018.

Day 4 – Meeting Amy Tan…I wish

“You have best quality heart. Best quality is everything. Mothers know this.”  – Suyuan Woo, mother of June Woo (The Joy Luck Club)

If anyone were to ask me who my favourite author is, no doubt would it be the sensational Amy Tan. Sure, there are many authors who I know of, who are exceptionally good in what they do. But if I were to meet anyone of them, it would be Amy.

Amy_Tan (1)  (Photo credit – Amy Tan – Wikipedia)

Although my background is of Chinese, I was brought up in the Western culture. The first time I knew of Amy was in my teens when I saw the film ‘The Joy Luck Club’. After watching the film, it left a place in my heart. I then decided to look it up on the internet and found out that the movie is based on Amy’s best selling book of the same name. It is about four Chinese mothers and their relationships with their Americanized daughters. It is a touching movie. I have seen it several times, and every time I see it, I cry, because it reminded me of my relationship with my mother.

My mother and I had a good relationship. We were close. But I guess sometimes she wished that I would have followed parts of my Chinese roots growing up rather than follow the Western culture in which I was brought up in. She would always tell me stories of her childhood in order to try to remind me where my roots belonged. But being the rebellious teenager I was back then, I never really paid attention. I only thought of the present then. I did not appreciate what she told me, until now. She even tried to teach me to cook proper traditional Chinese dishes, the kind that you hardly find in Chinese restaurants. She said to me, “Listen, so that one day when I am not around, you will know how to cook for your husband.”  Probably to most, that is just a sentence. But in Chinese culture, especially those from the older generation, would know that the actual hidden meaning of that sentence is, “Listen carefully and pay attention, because one day, I will not be around to cook for you.” Most Chinese from the older generation do not like to say what they mean. They rather you see the ‘fiction inside the lie’. I never realized any of this until after she was gone.

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Later on, as years went by, after the death of my mother, I began reading most of Amy’s books, in which most of them explores the mother-daughter relationship, friendship, and family. These books include The Kitchen’s God Wife, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, A Hundred Secret Senses, and The Opposite of Fate (a non-fiction). I have read many books in my life, but nothing like these books in which I could relate to. I could see myself being a part of Amy’s story, even my mother. Maybe not as the main characters. But just a part of it. After reading those books, not only did it make me think about my roots and the relationship I had with my mother. It also made me think about my mother’s roots and her background. Sure, my mother did tell me stories of her childhood. But one thing she never told me about was about her parents, my grandparents. My mother and my grandmother did not have a good relationship. Although my mother allowed her to be in her life, they hardly had the kind of relationship my mother and I had. And when I asked my mother and my grandmother (both on different occasions of course) why that was, they would never give me an answer. Until today, it remains a mystery. It does make me wonder what happened. There were also other mysteries involving my mother’s childhood. For instance, she never knew who her father was. Apparently, my grandmother was involved with many men before. Maybe that would explain my mother’s slightly exotic looks. Sometimes I wonder if she was mixed race with a touch of Caucasian blood.

Just like Amy, I like to write through experience. With my first book A Chinese Christmas Carol, I based that on real life. And I think it’s safe to say that the foundation of the story can relate to The Joy Luck Club. It was in a way an emotionally painful book to write. But at the same time, I managed to find some closure after having written it. And I can’t wait to expand the story and give it a bit more meaning to the readers with sequels and a prequel.

In one of my previous posts I did on Amy, I shared one of my projects I did back in art university. We had to create and make a gift to give to our favourite person. And of course, I chose Amy. So what I did was I made her chocolates (not real) made out of plasticine. Each of the symbolic ‘chocolates’ represents the similarities to Amy’s and my life. Yes, I know it sounds kind of ‘stalkery’. But hey, it was a fun project. But don’t worry. It’s something I don’t think I would do in real life. There’s more chance of you being an Amy Tan fan to figure out the meaning of each ‘chocolates’. Here’s the link to the ‘chocolate’ post. https://puiyinwl.wordpress.com//?s=amy+tan&search=Go

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If I were to meet Amy in person, I think we would have a lot to talk about, especially about our mothers. We would definitely get along.

If any of you are planning on watching ‘The Joy Luck Club’, beware, it’s not for the faint-hearted. You will shed a tear or cry.

News update

Hello all,

Good news. The publishing company is well under way. I am trademarking the name and logo, and I have just passed the first HUGE step. Now, it’s the waiting game. Under UK law, every new company needs to have its name/logo in the Trademark Journal for two months for anyone/company to object. I have until mid December, before Christmas. Therefore, once again, I have to delay the launch. Meantime, work on the first soon-to-be published book under the company is also underway. There have been so many sleepless nights for the last couple of months. But it’s all going to be so bloody worth it. I haven’t forgotten you all. Aside from the company, I also have news regarding my two previous books.

There will be a new re-write of ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’. Don’t get me wrong. The book will still be available to buy. Considering many of you bought the book, I would not want to make any changes to the original. Instead, a similar, but slightly different story will be told. I am grateful for those who have bought it. It will always be the original background story. However, I want to made a saga or a series out of it. For those who have read it will know that there are questions to be answered. And those questions will be answered in the saga/series.

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Unfortunately, ‘Family Sorrow’ will be taken down once the company is launched. Instead, it will also be re-written and be part of ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’ saga/series. For those who have bought it, thank you, and always remember it will always be the original background story.

All these changes are due to the fact that as a will-be-soon company, I want to start fresh with the books. But there are still stories regarding characters from both books to tell that I cannot just not write about. Which is why I want to start fresh, and yet, hold on to parts of the old.

I hope many of you will support me on this new exciting journey. Because without readers, writers, bloggers, and supporters like you out there, there will be no means for books to be written. Meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions regarding the changes. I will do my best to answer them.

Love you all,

PY Lab

Short excerpt from ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’

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Grandma Ling nodded sadly. Joie only knew very little about the Chinese customs when it came to wakes and funerals, but she didn’t know that a mother couldn’t attend her own daughter’s wake and funeral. So a mother couldn’t say a proper good-bye to her own daughter?

“That’s very stupid,” said Joie.

“That’s the custom,” said Grandma Ling sadly.

“Grandma Ling, how are you going to say good-bye to my mom, your daughter?”

“I can’t”

“What happens if you turn up at the wake and the funeral?”

“Joie, in Chinese custom when it comes to wakes and funerals, we Chinese people take it very, very seriously. If the customs are not followed and obeyed, there will be bad luck, ill fortune, and disaster within the family.”

Joie didn’t say anything.

“Joie, during the funeral, you must send your parents off well and properly, especially for me, OK?”

5 years on………

xmas carol

It’s been five years since A Chinese Christmas Carol was published. And because of you lovely followers/bloggers/supporters out there who are following and supporting me, the book continues to sell today. Although I have no idea who these buyers/supporters are, but if its any of you following my blog, I would like to say a huge, genuine thank you. And do get in touch. Don’t be shy.

Anyways, sorry I have been away. I’m sure most of you know my absence is to do with my current book and publishing company. I had no idea how much work there would be and the number of sleepless nights it would take. But there are no regrets. So please don’t think I am ignoring the blog and you all. Once everything is finished and ready, this blog will be as ‘busy’ as usual. However, I can’t give a date.

For those of you who have read A Chinese Christmas Carol, there will be a prequel to it. So if there are any questions to the first book, don’t worry. It will all be explained in the second one. Just a heads up.

Until then, I will sign off here. Take care and thank you again.

Much love,

PY Lab

xoxo

Missing in action – updates

Hey all,

Been missing in action once again working on the publishing company. It’s hard work trying to find the right distributor. I am trying to ‘work’ with the distributor for my very first book ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’, but I need to have a minimum of three new titles in their account. Therefore, I have been working and writing really REALLY hard to get some of those ‘titles’ done.

Meantime, I will be doing a Halloween post mid-next week. Catch up then 🙂