Announcement!

Twelve Paths To Glory is ready for pre-orders.

Official release will be 31st October 2022.

September updates!

August’s been here and gone very quickly. Ghost Month, me cutting down on social media hours, illustrating and writing. Also editing the SEA special for Strange Horizons! And I just signed a work order/contract for [redacted], more rpg-related stuff. Hopefully, this month will see me gathering enough courage to actually leave the country for a trip (yes, my country also dropped the mask-wearing mandate, though it’s still encouraged. In civil servant speak, it means mandatory). But I guess the general public won’t bother and very soon, we might have another wave (which the national rag harped on right after the announcement).

So, what does September have in store for me?

1. Midautumn Mice – stay tuned for merch!

2. A trip out of the country.

3. Writing (rpg!).

The year of tears and the fight for hope

When I was invited to write a story for the anthology, I was a mixed bag of emotions. Joy. Sadness. Regret. Mostly, sadness. Because 2020 was – had been – a shitty year for so many people.

2020 was the year when the pandemic started. Cases. Deaths. Life came to a standstill. Massive massive sorrow in all levels of society (except for the rich). The news were just so grim. Nothing seemed good. Hope seemed lost like forever. We were never getting out of this alive.

Death seemed to fill the air. We were (and still are) masked up. It was in the air. I had my brush with death. Right smack in 2020, I was losing a lot of blood. I thought it was triggered and made worse by a bout of Covid. My periods were painful. I was simply bleeding too much. When I saw my doctor, I found out I was extremely anemic and could die, if there wasn’t intervention done. She admitted me immediately. I had three bags of blood.

Then, there was the matter of the Ghost Month. For us Chinese, the Ghost Month technically falls in the month of August (which is now at the time of writing this blog). It’s mostly celebrated in vivid colour in Southeast Asia, in places like Singapore, Malaysia and even Thailand. Imagine Halloween… but creepier and celebrated for a month. There are ghost stories, dos-and-don’ts rules (“don’t go swimming at night!”)… and kim zua. Kim zua (“gold paper”) is basically joss paper or paper products made for ancestor worship. You smell the burning of kim zua during the Ghost Month.

With the lockdowns (Circuitbreaker, Heightened Alerts in Singapore), many companies were affected. This also included many artisanal shops producing traditional items. Kim zua is one of them. Many companies suffered. How did they survive? What did they do to survive? Did they pivot to other things? Or they just simply gave up and closed?

What is hope? What is art? What gives us… joy? Do we just give up?

My story explores these questions. The pandemic has shaken us to our core, reduced our belief in people – and we are all craving for contact/touch/support. Do we reach out? Do we fight the darkness? How do we stay hopeful?

How do I stay hopeful? How do I fight the darkness or just give up?

Updated!

Gave a new cover to Twelve Paths To Glory.

August updates!

I am trying to ignore the news. I swear the viruses (virii?) have more of a social life than I do. And corporate news are just nothing but doom (which is the norm for the past few years). I swear there are people who are hell-bent on making other people’s lives miserable. They want us helpless and hopeless. Eff them.

Fire Heart is two months old! Continue to tell Scholastic Asia that by making it only Asia is doing it a disservice: sea.marketing@scholastic.asia.

August is also Ghost Month… which starts on the 29th July!

What am I up to this month?

1. Independent research.

2. Probably Mid-Autumn Mice stuff.

July updates

June flew past quickly with me moving into independent research/scholarship. It’s not easy. I haven’t written and thought “academically” for almost two decades… but once I started drafting, it felt right

I am still pushing Fire Heart. It came out almost three weeks ago and wow, I still wrestle with “I am not a real author!” impostor syndrome thoughts. After 10 (?) books or more out, I struggle.  

Happier news: I am now an editor for Originals under Cold Open Stories

So, what do my July look like? (NOTE: I am trying not to be distracted by “news” (covid, other viruses now running about))

1. Continue drafting the research – streamline the survey.

2. Editing COS Originals.

3. Post a couple of WIPs (research-related)?

4. Art!

Book launch: a recap

On the 28th May, Fire Heart was finally launched – virtually – on the AFCC (Asian Festival of Children’s Content) FB page. Together with other Scholastic Asia books like Red Eyes, Chopsticks and Blue². We talked about the motivations behind writing our books. Mine was world-building which was something I have always enjoyed.

So later I had cake! (Made by Monice Bakes – look for them on Instagram)

It was so surreal seeing Fire Heart on sale, together with many amazing kidlit books.

For people who want to have a copy beyond/outside Asia, please contact sea.marketing@scholastic.asia.

June updates!

Very briefly: Fire Heart finally got launched. There was cake.

What I have in mind for June:

1. Work on independent scholarship thing.

2. Art.

3. Writing.

BOOK LAUNCH DAY!

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BUY LINKS FOR FIRE HEART

SINGAPORE: https://shopee.sg/Fire-Heart-(ISBN-9789814885799)-SABA-i.321678928.17865001311?sp_atk=9665244f-12fb-4314-ad8c-a700dee0406c&xptdk=9665244f-12fb-4314-ad8c-a700dee0406c

SINGAPORE: https://closetfulofbooks.com/products/fire-heart

MALAYSIA: https://shopee.com.my/Fire-Heart-(ISBN-9789814885799)-i.171885922.16964051291?sp_atk=856a3fd9-cb89-4e41-9b65-eafb8c4ec25c&xptdk=856a3fd9-cb89-4e41-9b65-eafb8c4ec25c

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