Wolves of any kind.

When I started the worldbuilding for Wolf At The Door, I had an vision/mental image of the Singaporean wolves. They are immigrants. They are descendants of the Chinese diaspora. Like their human counterparts, they have adapted to the Singaporean landscape.

The Lang, as they are called, do not have the physical characteristics of the timber wolf (Northern Hemisphere). They have shorter coats, are smaller in size and their coats are of a darker color. In visual terms, they look like a cross between the Tibetan Wolf and the Indian Wolf. Some of them might still bear resemblance to their bigger cousins/relatives. The ones from China might have thicker pelages and larger bodies.

Singapore is a hot and humid tropical island-country. The Lang adapt accordingly. So, their shorter coats ensure that they remain cool in a warm environment. Their smaller size enables them to slip through the humid forests without any problem. Their appetities remain carnivorous, though the younger generations of Lang are more inclined towards an omivorous diet. But, of course, when it comes to hunts and pack gatherings, meat is paramount. Like their Northern Hemisphere relatives (the Vargr), they are still essentially wolves.

However, I sometimes wonder: what makes a wolf a wolf? Is it the genus? Is it physical characteristics? Do wolves have to look like wolves to be wolves?

Wolf At The Door needs your help.

In about two months’ time… perhaps even less than it… my book Wolf At The Door will be released.

I need your help. Wolf At The Door needs your help.

If you are an UF reader or blogger, or that you want to read something different from the usual UF fare… please reply to this blog post. Likewise, if you are an artist, do pitch in.

A good signal boost is also greatly appreciated. 🙂

Chances are, if sales are good, the ebook might just become a print book.

So, let’s raise a howl. A wolf needs her pack!

Research and synchronicity

When I started writing Oysters, Pearls and Magic, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery of sorts. Readers would know that I based Mirra’s people on the Hui’ An people in Fujian, China. The Hui’ An people are of special interest to me: my paternal grandparents came from that particular region.

Like any writer, I love research. I begun reading about the Hui’ An people, asking my dad and teasing out interesting information about food, culture and traditions. Although they see themselves as Han Chinese, the Hui’ An people are a minority group with their own distinctive ethnic costume. The Hui’ An women are known for their beauty as well as their hardworking nature. I see this trait reflected in my grandmother who still wears the silver belt for married women.

Of course, the Hui’ An people do not practise polyandry or polyamory. The story of Mirra is after all fiction. But stories are often interwoven with deep truths. An important motif in the story is Mirra’s link to the sea. She calls herself “a daughter of the sea”, as the sea is literally the giver of life for her people.

Then, in the course of research, I found something which sent a shiver of recognition, of synchronicity, up my spine:

“Hui’an women have been well known for being virtuous and hardworking in history. In the past, they took over all the housework and farm work when their husbands sailed out for fishing. Their chores included fishing, ploughing and stone carving. Today in Dazuo Village, people can still see them busily working at the beach. They are nicknamed “the daughters of the sea”.”
(Italics are mine to denote emphasis)

Even now, reading this particular excerpt, I have goose pimples on my arms, because I feel as if I am indeed writing about deep truths. I have written something which I’d thought was/is fiction… and it turns out that I have indeed discovered that it exists. This is pure synchronicity, pure magic.

What do you think, gentle reader? Do you have moments of synchronicity when you write/read?

Author’s Note: Support the novella!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

It’s the Year of the Rabbit (my year!). [Note: The Vietnamese celebrates the Year of the Cat]

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year.