Xiao Xiao on Patreon

I have decided to post Xiao Xiao And The Dragon’s Pearl on my Patreon. The first chapter is up.

Why Xiao Xiao And The Dragon’s Pearl?  Because I love this Qing China fantasy and I feel that it could reach more readers.

If you love this fantasy serial, please help me signal boost. 🙂




Issue 12 is here!

Issue 12 of Tincture Journal.

Includes Crow Girl. Yes, I wrote a poem.



I do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the American tradition. Growing up though, I have had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving in school as it was a mission school and gratitude to God/the Divine was part of … well… learning. So, whenever the school year ended, we would have a Thanksgiving service in our school chapel.

I think giving thanks is a rare and oft-ignored value. Gratefulness, gratitude, all these are often not acknowledged because the world is horrible, everyone is rude and things are not going your way. It’s easy to dismiss such sentiments as lazy. Yet we are all caught up in this rush, this perpetual race to something, be it a destination, a goal, a job, school, family obligations, greed, pride, etc. We all forget, I think, to be thankful or see the little blessings in our paths.

Being a writer on top of being a teacher or a mom or a daughter is a tricky thing. There are years when your writing runs dry, acceptances are scarce and your rejection list is a scroll. For many writers, the ability to write, to submit and to garner deals/acceptances/accolades, is tied so tightly and intrinsically to self/identity, so much so that depression and pain sets in when things do not go our way. I don’t want to sound sanctimonious (and many people do, for some strange reason) when other writers experience such things in their journeys. I have heard horrible one-liners like “Don’t give up” and – the odd – “Be thankful!”. I don’t know how these one-liners would help an already-grieving writer. Do you give the writer warmth if he or she needs it? Do you give the writer food if he or she is hungry?

Anyway… what I want to say is that it is hard and I acknowledge it and accept it.  It is not a hard path to walk. So, I focus on little blessings, tiny tiny gold nuggets or shiny things or beautiful flowers along my way. And no, this is not going to be a list of “OMG, I have these things done!”.

For me, gratitude is the little passion flower I see along the way.

For me, gratitude is the blue skies after a rainy day.

For me, gratitude is my daughters’ hugs.

For me, gratitude is my chilli plant finally blossoming and growing chilli.

Gratitude is the physical and tangible things I see.

What do you see?


Have a lovely weekend!


Gardens By The Bay, 21/11/2015

The phoenix is ephemeral



A write-up on InstaLove: Romance & the YA novel

First, apologies for the long overdue write-up on the SWF author panel about … Instalove: Romance & the YA novel. Life intervened and I was caught up with a slew of stuff.

Second, well… what is love? This song sums up everything: Haddaway says it best!


Romance is the hot trend for YA novels. You think “YA novels” and you instantly about Twilight and its ilk. Well, it is true that romance is important in YA novels. Teens are after all discovering this vital aspect of growing up. But the teen years are not just love: they are also beset with issues of identity, of fitting in, of choosing their right paths(s) and of balancing emotions that are sometimes out of control (aww, thanks puberty!).

After a reading of selected pages/paragraphs of our books, Joyce Chua, Rachel Hartman and I answered questions from the audience. Kudos to Denise of Closetful of Books as an awesome moderator and kept the momentum going.

So, to sum up (and I am trying to remember what had been said/discussed!): Romance is important, but not the only aspect in a teen’s life. Yet, romance and love can have its redemptive aspect: for Joyce Chua’s Lambs For Dinner, love is redemptive for the protagonist. There are other kinds of love and they are as redemptive and life-changing as well. We discussed about parental love, love between siblings or blood kin, love between friends etc.


Much grateful thanks to the friends, families, readers and supporters who came to the YA panel. And to the many young men and women who came up and asked questions after the panel. Keep writing, keep practising, be inspired by the things around you!


Hope, illustrated.



Like the lotus
there is hope,
a bud buried deep inside.

Hope rises
the darkness.

Be kind.
Be bold.
Be compassionate.
Be clear.


If we rise
bright as the sun,
we chase them

Oktopus Ink has acquired my YA novella!

More details here!

Ming Zhu & The Pearl That Shines is up on kindle

With a new cover. 🙂

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