Made in Thailand – An Excerpt

thaiThere was once a beautiful young woman named Mae Nak whose love for her husband, Tid Mak, was undying. One day, while her husband was away at war, she died giving birth to their baby who did not survive either. Due to her undying love for her husband, Mae Nak and the baby returned to the living world as spirits. Everyone in the village has learned of their deaths, but when Mae Nak’s husband returns home from the battlefield he is greeted by his loving wife and their newborn child, unaware that they are spirits. The villagers try to warn him but he doesn’t want to believe them. One night the ghost of Mae Nak is preparing dinner for her husband when she suddenly drops a lime and it falls through a gap in the wooden floorboards. Back in those days, the houses were built a short distance off the ground. Tid Mak watches Mae Nak from the outside of the house as she stretches an elongated, ghostly arm through the long gap to the ground and reaches for the lime. He was aware that no human could reach that far and it was then that he realised the villagers were telling the truth. He runs from the house in terror to a nearby temple to seek refuge where the ghost of Mae Nak is unable to enter. Mae Nak becomes angry and takes out her frustration by terrorising the villagers. There are a few versions of how the story ends. In one, Mae Nak and her baby’s spirit are believed to be confined in a piece of bone from her exhumed forehead and bound into a wristband worn by a monk. In another version, a monk convinces Mae Nak that she will be reunited with her husband in another life at which point Mae Nak, along with the baby, is believed to have voluntarily moved on.

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5. The Positivity Project – One Email to Read Before Work (Day 1)

Get your AM brain into gear by signing up to gohighbrow.com’s fun email-learning platform. It sends a five-minute lesson (on a huge range of subjects – money, art, tech, health) straight to your inbox each morning for ten days.

So I signed up to gohighbrow.com (Highbrow) to the subject on The Science of Happiness. 

From Highbrow:

For many of us, psychologists are those people who can tell you what’s wrong with you, who can look at you and find all those hidden fears and issues that we all have. But what if psychologists were those people that can tell you all your hidden talents and the wonderful sides of your personality that go so unnoticed most of the time?!

Positive psychology is a science that looks at what works, what’s right, and what’s improving with people. It is an approach within psychology that is meant to complement the majority of traditional psychology research done before, that’s focused on clinical settings and people with mental illnesses.

Underlying this new approach is the insight that happiness is NOT the negation of unhappiness. For example – overcoming a depression does NOT mean that you are happy and thriving. This course is based on a scientific approach that tries to find out what we need in order to flourish.

In addition to overcoming weaknesses, we will look at building strengths. Instead of running away from unhappiness, we will try to find ways to be happier. And in addition to overcoming tough times, we want to understand how to live a fulfilled life. 

The main question that we want to tackle: How can this research be applied to help us make long-lasting, positive change? This also made positive psychology the most popular course at Harvard – back when it was taught there a few years ago. Nowadays, organizations, consulting companies, governments, schools are taking on positive psychology.

Excerpt from ‘Who We Were’

Who We Were Cover (pb).indd

Qingshan was left speechless. And then out of nowhere, he did the unthinkable and reached for Lei-Li’s hand and held it. All this time he had wanted to hold her hand, but he had never plucked up the courage to do it. At that moment, however, it felt right. It felt like the right thing to do. He then looked right into her eyes and she looked right back at him. She didn’t have to say anything for him to read the expression on her face and to know she felt exactly the same as he did. It was that one intimate moment that confirmed to Qingshan that he and Lei-Li were more than just friends.

Inspiration from Metro newspaper

Photo credit: Metro newspaper (UK)

Sometimes I get my inspiration for my writing from this newspaper, Metro. It’s available for free from Mondays to Fridays at almost every underground tube stations in London. I am not sure about outside of London. Almost all commuters read the Metro, including me. The Metro is a good read, and it consists of things/events that are going on in London, including gossips, celebrities and author interviews, good books to read, places to dine and have fun, entertainment news, latest films and reviews, and sports. It might seem like any other ordinary newspaper to most people, but for me, it always gives me ideas for the kind of books that I might want to write about. The Rush-Hour Crush section in particular is where I mostly look at to get my inspiration. It is also my favourite section. The Rush-Hour Crush is a section where commuters write (via Metro) to their rush-hour-on-the-tube or on-the-bus crush. Sometimes it’s funny to read about how two strangers meet, especially during the hectic and chaotic rush hour in the mornings on the underground.