Live lightly like the breeze.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017
Nike's Women's Run was my first marathon race. Though I had practiced running for ten kilometers twice before the run, it felt very different to run in a race. I was kind of skeptical when Irma told me that I would feel the excitement on the spot, but the loud music and hyper coaches really turned me on on the spot. I couldn't wait to begin!
In the beginning I had to worm my way out of the crowds, but little by little, the runners began to thin out into long lines. It was indeed much more fun to run with others than practicing alone on the university campus. Along the way, the staff kept rooting for us, and I had to admit, their words were really uplifting. As I progressed at my speed, I gradually ran past some runners. I didn't feel I was running faster. Instead, I couldn't help wondering if they had slowed down. To me, a marathon race is more about competing with myself than with others.
We ran along Renai Rd. and then went on the Jianguo Expressway. It felt weird, in a good way, to run on the roads normally for cars. I had neither a watch nor a a timer with me, so I couldn't tell how far I had gone. It was not until I saw the sign that indicates the distance we had covered that I got a clue. When I had run for eight kilometers, I felt I was about to hit the wall, but experienced runners know better than stop to walk because then it will be hard to start again. The legs will feel so heavy that it will require more determination than ever to break into a run again. At this moment a runner next to me said, "You are amazing!" I looked at the runners ahead of me, puzzled by her words. I asked her why. She replied, "I've been running behind you." Upon hearing her words, I couldn't help pushing forward as if my legs were equipped with propellers.
In the end I finished the race within 63.5 minutes, ranking 216th out of 6,051 runners. I always thought of myself as a super slow runner, so low that I had no chance to run in a relay race in my life, but I found my talent at the age of 40!
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Our fight with the pigeons has continued. The residents on the floor rack their brains to make the pigeons go away peacefully every day.
Songkran Water Festival was over, but our neighbor bought a new water gun for another round of battle. Attacked in the midst of dark night, the pigeons did move away for a safer shelter.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Last year I was inspired by something said by the host of Chai-y's funeral, which prompted me to rewrite my granny's story. Because of the story's narrative, I even invited the sons of my colleague Emily, Liang and Yo, to illustrate the story together with me. I didn't spend much time making the book since it had been a story that I wanted to tell all these years.
This was a very special experience because it was my first time doing collaborative work. In the beginning, I wasn't sure if the plan was feasible. I hesitated at first for I felt a great sense of guilt in not being able to let Liang exert his creativity. However, thanks to Emily's determination and persistence, we gradually found ways to collaborate. In the process, I gained much strength from my partners, and this was what I couldn't imagine when I worked all by myself. For example, we would share what we had done with each other on a regular basis. Our mutual encouragement made me feel that I could go on and finish the project with ease.
Liang and Yo had to redraw the same pictures several times before the final version. My thanks to them are really beyond description. The design and arrangement of the images also surprise readers when they open the book.
Though I wasn't even shortlisted this year in the picture book award of the picture book competition held by Hsin-y Publisher, I bounced back soon after taking my time to get over the frustration. I guess constant failures have turned me into a very powerful person. Fortunately, friends gave me great feedback regarding how to revise the story. The best advice is that I should try to tell the story from a child's perspective and give concrete imagery especially when it comes to a difficult issue like death. Meanwhile, I remind myself that I should write out of joy and constantly consult my young readers.
This week I finally got the printed version of the book, and there are only three copies in the world. I will definitely transform the story into another one when I feel ready. Then, the books I have written along the way will be amazing when they are juxtaposed together!