Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fishing / 釣魚


貓頭鷹小姐的身體對她說:我們去釣魚吧! 

Miss Owl's body tells her, "Let's go fishing!" 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Nap / 午覺


睡了一場午覺,感覺自己在涼涼的海水裡輕輕地飄著‧‧‧‧‧‧

In my dream, my body floats lightly in the cool seawater...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The owl boy Wayne / 貓頭鷹男孩韋恩


I am only eight, 
but I have to wear glasses and braces. 
Well, as long as I can blow bubbles,
nothing can cause troubles. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

My first marathon race / 我的第一場馬拉松


給了Nike辦的Women's Run!雖然事前已經先自己練習過跑十公里,去賽跑的時候心情很不一樣,晏蘋說到現場會很興奮,果然聽到快節奏的音樂和很動感的教練,我等不及要起跑!

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! 

        剛開始得在人群中鑽來鑽去,漸漸地人潮開始拉長,果然和大家一起跑步比自己在操場上練圈圈有趣多了!沿路不時有工作人員喊加油,這些鼓勵的話語超級有力量,讓我能夠再次加快腳步往前進。我按著一貫的速度,慢慢超過一些跑者時,不覺得是自己變快了,心想也許是別人變慢了,但是馬拉松的精神真的是和自我的競賽。

     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. 

        我們從仁愛路上高架橋,跑在平常車輛行駛的道路上有種很奇異的感覺。我隨身沒有帶任何手錶或計時器,所以對於跑了多遠沒有什麼感覺,倒是看到沿路的距離牌之際才有恍然大悟的感覺。八公里左右有撞牆期,但是有經驗的跑者知道千萬不要停下來,因為會熊熊發現雙腳不是自己的,再起跑就難了,這時有位跑在我身邊的選手對我說:「你好厲害!」我看著眼前的其他選手,不解地回答:「為什麼呢?」她說:「我從剛才就一直跑在你後面!」被她這麼一說,我的雙腿像裝了推進器,又加速往前衝!

     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.  

        結果我以六十三分三十秒完賽,是六千零五十一名選手裡的兩百一十六名喔!以一個跑短跑慢到從來沒有機會跑大隊接力的人來說,我在四十歲的時候找到我的天空!

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

Water warriors / 水戰士


我們和鴿子的對抗持續中,每天每天十三樓居民都想破頭,希望能用和平的方式迫使鴿子家族搬家。

Our fight with the pigeons has continued. The residents on the floor rack their brains to make the pigeons go away peacefully every day. 

        雖然潑水節剛過,對面家的爸爸買了水槍,帶著男孩展開保衛家園大戰。鴿子在黑漆漆的夜裡被水噴,因為感到不安穩,的確去另覓新居了。

     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. 

        這次躲在陽台邊的冷氣機縫隙裡。

     This time two pigeons hide in the crack between the wall and the air-conditioner next to the balcony.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Grapes and wisteria / 葡萄和紫藤


小狐狸的困境:葡萄和紫藤,我可以兩個都要嗎? 

The dilemma of the fox: Can I have both grapes and wisteria? 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Moving / 搬家


去年參加佳怡的喪禮之後,從主持人身上得到了靈感,想要好好地重寫阿嬤的故事。這次還請了同事如慧家的小亮和小佑來合作畫插圖,雖然實際準備的時間不長,但因為是一直在腦海中的故事,所以寫起來很順暢。

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. 



        這是我第一次和別人合作做繪本,剛開始並不確定自己的想法是否有辦法成真,對於不能讓小亮自由發揮想法,我覺得很過意不去,但因為如慧的決心和堅持,慢慢地我們找到了合作的方法。,以前都是自己一個人埋頭苦幹,有了伙伴之後,我得到意想不到的力量,例如說,如果我進度快,把當天的進展拍給小朋友看時,他們也會加緊腳步,這之間我們互相鼓勵,產生很美好的能量。

     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. 



        孩子們在過程中同樣的稿必須畫很多次,我非常感謝他們的耐心,而能看到這本書的讀者,翻開的時候都感到很驚喜。

     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. 

        雖然今年我沒有入圍信誼的繪本獎,儘管之前有些沮喪,不過因為常常失敗,對於輸贏想得很開了,同時也趕緊自我檢討,我想應該是我的故事要從小朋友的觀點來說,必須把死亡的議題更具像化,不過我也能更寬闊地想,寫故事要回到開心做的初衷,然後不要忘記問問小讀者的意見。

     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. 

        這個星期終於拿到印出來的書,只印了三本,我想我之後一定又會把這個故事做華麗大變身,到時候這個故事各時期的樣貌排在一起來看時,就會很驚人! 

     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! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Smell of spring / 春天的味道


雨停了,春天植物開花的味道又瀰漫在空氣中;聞到柚子花香味,便直覺地聯想到灑滿陽光的春日。

When the rain stops, the smell of spring fills the air again. The fragrance of pomelo flowers remind me of spring days full of orange sunshine. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Pigeons / 鴿子


社區的鴿子們最近發現我的書房外是絕佳的築巢地點,於是展開了和我的同居生活。我不知為何感到很惱怒,不過在這一場戰爭裡,我好像是居弱勢的一方。

The pigeons in our neighborhood have discovered that our roof is a perfect habitat, so for the past week, we've been living together. My typical poise vanishes into the air whenever my ears pick up the slightest noise they make. Still, I have to admit that they have the upper hand in this war... 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Morning exercise / 做早操


春天的早晨,我喜歡特地繞路看做早操的人們,看他們緩慢優雅地擺動身體,我在短暫的某一瞬間也能慢下腳步,吸一口芳香的空氣,然後大步往前邁進。

On spring mornings, I will go out of my way just to take a glimpse at the elderly do morning exercise on the square. Their slow yet elegant movement gives me the freedom to imagine that I can slow down for a second. After inhaling the fragrant morning air, I take a big stride forward with confidence. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Clue / 線索


總是在不知所措的時候,看到上帝刻意留下的一些線索。

In moments of confusion, I still see clues that God has left deliberately for me to see. 

        七歲的楷維戴著牙套,也即將配眼鏡,但還是會說出孩子般的話語,要我緊緊抓住童年的尾巴。

     The seven-year-old Kai now wears braces, and his small face is going to be weighed down with glasses, but sometimes he still blurts out childlike remarks.  It's God saying to me, "Hold onto the last traces of childhood!" 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sandiaoling Holiday market / 三貂嶺文創市集


下週日(三月二十六日)我要和Irman去三貂嶺參加文創市集,邀請大家一起來踏青!

Next Sunday (March 26) I am going to Sandiaoling Holiday Market with Irman. Please come join us!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wat Niwet Tham Prawat in Ayutthaya / 大城安娜教堂


明明就是個佛寺,安娜教堂的外表非常西化。要到教堂得搭纜車過河。

Wat Niwet Tham Prawat in Ayutthaya is a temple with a westernized style. First we have to take a gondola ride to cross the river. 



不管是西式或泰式外表,都很療癒人心! 

Despite its westernized facade, the place is soothing all the same. 

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Lesson 2 of the Owl Family / 貓頭鷹家族的第二課


Dad: No matter how old my child is, she is always my baby. 



Mom: Though you are an owl, you should hit the sack if you can't stay up! 

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Lesson 1 of the Owl Family / 貓頭鷹家族的第一課


雖然我們是貓頭鷹,不過我們不太會飛。

Though we are owls, we don't know how to fly, to be honest. 


Story 1 of the Owl Family: We all need to learn to fly

(from left to right) 
Wayne: Flying is so beautiful! 
Tony: It's not that hard! 
Gee: Follow us. What are you waiting for! 
CC: I am afraid! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Don Wai Floating Market / 海椰寺水上市場




我的朋友百方住在海椰寺水上市場附近,來到這裡不吃一晚鴨肉麵好像很不道地!

My friend Bai-fang lives near Don Wai Floating Market. It seems a must-do to eat a bowl of duck noodles here.



        我非常喜歡市場裡各種顏色的蔬菜,綠的紅的,用塑膠袋包得鼓鼓的,是視覺的饗宴!

     I love vegetables of various colors in the market placed in inflated plastic bags. What a feast for the eyes!



        水上有賣水果的小販,但不像觀光水上市場那樣競爭激烈。

     There are vendors on the river, and fortunately, not so many as in other touristy floating markets.



        坐船遊河可以一覽泰國人生活的風景,塔金河上的風光平靜寫意,這個地方輕輕鬆鬆成為我最愛的景點之一了! 

     The cruise gives me an opportunity to take a peek into Thais' daily lives. The views along Tajin River are serene and graceful. Well, this place has become one of my favorite spots in Thailand!



        河邊有從主流分叉出去的小河,有高架小屋。

     There are mysterious streams leading from the river as well as water chalets. 



        有文青風的咖啡館,泰式民宿和破舊的民房。

     Also, really poetic modern cafes, Thai guesthouses and shabby old houses.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Night market in Ayothaya / 大城夜市


小販們和工作人員穿著古典服飾在夜市裡穿梭,令人有時空錯亂感!

Food vendors and the staff dressed in traditional Thai costumes dot the market, and somehow I feel I am in the ancient Thailand! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hospitable Thais / 我的泰姐泰妹


去年到曼谷旅行時,在碼哈拉碼頭寫明信片之際,遇見了百方,是個二十出頭的女孩,我們隨便哈啦了一下,他對我說:你這樣自由自在旅行,又會畫圖,你是我的偶像。我們因此成為臉書之友,不過連絡了一陣子,百方就不見了,直到我今年又要去曼谷之前,百方剛好連絡我,我們就這麼又搭上線。

I ran into Bai-fang last year when writing postcards at Maharaj Pier in Bangkok. Bai-fang is a super friendly and sincere twentish young girl. I was touched and surprised by what she said to me back then, "I really envy you for being able to travel alone so freely. I also love your drawings. You are my idol!" We thus became Facebook pals though she kind of disappeared halfway through. However, right before my trip to Thailand this past winter, she popped up again. And that's how we came to meet again this time. 

        這次百方帶我到她在佛統府的家,我也認識了百方媽尼莎,第一次見面尼莎就阿莎力地說好第二天要帶我到開車三小時的北碧,我真的被百方一家的熱情感動到說不出話來。去完北碧回來,百方和姐姐百芬準備好熱騰騰的酸辣海鮮湯和飯菜等著我們,這真的是好泰式的體驗啊! 

     Baifang took me to her hometown Nakhon Pathom. I had the pleasure to meet Baifang's whole family, including Nisa, Baifang's mom. We had barely met for five minutes when Nisa offered to drive me to Kachanaburi the following day. I was totally impressed by the hospitable family! At the end of the long drive from Kachanaburi back to Nakhon Pathom, Baifang and her big sis Baifern had prepared hot and yummy dinner for us. This is a very Thai experience for me! 



        百方帶我到家附近的海椰寺水上市場遊船,這裡的鄉村風情有典型的泰式風格,比在曼谷的昭披耶河的遊船之旅更有泰國人的生活感。

     Baifang took me to Donwai Floating Market near her home on a river cruise. It was so peaceful and quiet, which definitely feels more Thai than the cruise on Chaopraya River in Bangkok.  



        佛統府產又大又甜的柚子,所以市場裡到處都可以看到柚子!

     Nakhon Pathom is famous for big and fat pomelos, so they can be seen everywhere in the market. 

        雖然實體的旅行結束了,每天下班畫一張泰國的圖,就可以延續在泰國旅行的幸福感!而且每過一天,就離回到泰國見泰媽泰姐的日子又近了一天! 

     Though the trip seems over, I am in the habit of drawing a picture about my trip in Thailand. This surely keeps my passion for Thailand alive. What's more, as days go by, I am nearer the goal of traveling back to Thailand! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thailand healed me / 泰國療癒了我


在泰國旅行的連續好幾天,每天回旅館打開信箱時,赫然發現自己失去了想要的機會,雖然當下很傷心,不過在充滿希望的國度裡,我很快就被療癒了‧‧‧‧‧‧

For several days on end during the trip, I received bad news about the opportunities that I wanted very much. It was heartbreaking at the moment, but traveling in a country with Buddha to keep me company, I was soon healed... 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mango with sticky rice / 芒果糯米


我的泰國旅行就像芒果糯米那樣甜蜜,覺得自己整個淪陷在泰國的美好裡!

My trip to Thailand was as sweet as mango with sticky rice. I totally fall for the charm of the country and its people!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Faith / 信念


有信念是世界上最美好的事! 

Having faith is one of the most beautiful things in the world! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Amazing Thailand / 泰式驚喜


泰國真是個充滿驚喜的地方,有各種可能性可以共存,難怪我會一直想回去!

Thailand is a place full of so many surprises that what you don't believe can coexist do. That explains why I never get tired of the country. 

        雖然旅行一開始發現大家為了悼念泰王,還是多半穿黑衣,滿身繽紛的我自覺很突兀,不過大家會說:你是觀光客嘛!正如大家接受我東倒西歪的泰文。最後像我這麼銅牆鐵壁的人,走在路上都交得到朋友,我也因此看到自己的潛能!

     I discover on the first day of the trip that most people still dress in black in memory of King Bumibol, and thus my colorful clothes are very "eye-catching," but people would say, "That doesn't matter. You are a tourist." They don't give me judging looks just as they put up with my sloppy Thai. In the end, I find someone so reserved like me can make friends even when walking on the streets. Thailand helps me to see my potential! 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Growth / 成長


去年這個時候幫泰文老師畫了一些泰國文化的插圖,雖然很可惜最後沒用到這些圖,今年又回頭看時,覺得自己可以畫得更有風格,這也是我的成長吧!

Last year at this time I was illustrating a book on Thai culture for my teacher, but unfortunately, the project was canceled halfway. When I look back now, I feel that I can come up with more stylized pictures, which I think indicates my growth. 



         明天又要去曼谷旅行了,可以吃吃看畫過但還沒體驗過的食物,我自己很期待喔! 

     I am traveling to Bangkok again tomorrow. I am looking forward to sampling food that I have illustrated but haven't tasted yet! 

"Booster" year / 「機」年


新年來了,希望自己可以大鳴大放!

Here comes the new year. I hope I can live the new year to the fullest and reach out to the world!



        趁著好天氣,趕緊享受陽光和百花綻放!

     Let's seize the beautiful day and flowers in bloom! 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cheeky / 厚臉皮


遇到一隻厚臉皮討愛的貓,我也變得厚臉皮了。

I ran into a cheeky cat asking for love, and I've learned to be cheeky. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Starry starry night / 星空下


和孩子們一起去彰化服務學習,孩子們形容給我聽小小教室裡的夜晚,我覺得人肉堆疊戰很有畫面。

I went on a service-learning trip to Changhwa with my students. When the girls described to me the scene in the small classroom, I couldn't help drawing it.

        這幾天發生許多大大小小的故事,不過當我看到滿天的星空,心裡冒出的還是同一句話:難怪我會一直想要來!

     A lot of stories happened during the past four days. But the twinkling stars at night erased my doubts and reassured me of my decision to take such a trip with the kids!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mansfield Park / 曼斯菲爾德莊園


雖然我一直深受時尚插畫吸引,我的畫風卻不是以時尚為特色。要準備珍奧斯汀的「曼斯菲爾德莊園」插畫時,我突然想到時尚插畫是很好的起點,很適合奧斯汀筆下的女性角色。

I've always been into fashion illustration though my style is not fashionable at all. It occurred to me that fashion illustration would be a superb starting point when I was about to prepare the illustrations for Jane Austen's Mansfield Park because her ladies feel beautiful and want to be beautiful. 



        畫著畫著是很開心,不過這些模特兒非常有姿態,不僅身形美,眼神也都有故事。

     I had much fun drawing the models in the fashion magazine. They not only look beautiful but also make me curious about them. Their eyes tell stories. 



        她們寫字看書的樣子也好帥氣,就算和女主角范妮天差地遠,但我還是很高興可以做新的嘗試。

     I focused particularly on how women read and write. However, these models appear to be very confident of themselves. They are worlds apart from the protagonist Fanny, but it was still nice for me to take a new try. 



        這本小說到底在說什麼呢?簡單地說,就是乖女孩范妮從小寄住在有錢的阿姨和姨丈家,和乖男孩表哥艾德蒙青梅竹馬,不過長大之後因為新的角色出現在莊園裡,艾德蒙愛上了勢利女瑪麗,而瑪麗的風流男哥哥亨利則受到范妮的吸引,范妮看著自己深愛的艾德蒙被愛蒙敝,還要一邊抵擋亨利的猛烈追求,還好她的堅忍不拔最後換來艾德蒙的愛。

     What is the novel about? Simply put, the good girl Fanny was sent to Mansfield Park to live with her rich aunt and uncle when she was little. She grew up together with her gentle cousin Edmund. With the arrival of the new characters, her life began to change. Edmund fell in love with the beautiful but snobbish girl Mary Crawford while her player brother fell for the charm of innocent Fanny, who had to suffer silently from seeing her beloved Edmund blindfolded by love and make every attempt to resist Henry in the meanwhile. Luckily, her virtue and perseverance finally won Edmund's heart. 

        插畫比賽除了三張內頁插圖以外,還要設計封面,而且規格有嚴格的規定,其實剛開始我並不確定自己做得出來,不過我不想就這麼放棄,很幸運地友人幫了我一把,讓我可以達到目標。

     Besides the three illustrations for the story, every contestant was required to design the cover as well and meet some specific rules. In fact, I wasn't sure if I could make it, but I didn't feel like giving up either. I was blessed with Alex's help so that I could reach my goal. 



        范妮是內向壓抑的角色,在珍奧斯汀的作品中是較沒自信的女主角,不過我覺得自己很像她。

     Fanny is an introverted and repressed role. She is probably the least confident heroine in Austen's books, but I can relate to her because I see much similarity between her and me. 



        與其把重點放在她和其他角色的互動,不如把舞台都給她吧!她的慰藉除了艾德蒙外,就是書和花草,還有自己的書房。

     Instead of placing emphasis on her interaction with the other characters, I prefer to feature her only in my illustrations. Apart from Edmund, she took solace in books, plants, and her personal space, the East room. 



        像書裡說的,就算是快樂,范妮也安安靜靜地感受。

     As is said in the book, Fanny feels ecstasy in a quiet way. 

        做完插畫的那一晚,想到五年前在英國讀書的時候,急著想用自己以外的風格畫圖,老師問:你為什麼不用自己的風格呢?五年過去了,我終於可以用自己的風格,不論結果如何,我都感到欣喜,因為我嘗試了之前做不到的事。

     On the day when I finished the illustrations, I thought of the winter five years ago when I was studying in London. I was eager to borrow others' styles, so my tutor couldn't help asking, "Why didn't you use your own style?" Five years have gone by, and I am proud to be me when drawing. Whatever the outcome is, I am joyful all the same because I achieved what I couldn't in the past.