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! 


     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

Water warriors / 水戰士


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. 


     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


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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Moving / 搬家


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! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Smell of spring / 春天的味道


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


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


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


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


     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!"