Meet Memeng Labial (pronounced as Me Ming), the publishing cat of Puiyin W.L. Publishing.
Memeng is a male tabby cat who came into my life at only four weeks old in the summer of 2016 shortly after the launch of Puiyin W.L. Publishing. When I first laid my eyes on him, I thought he was just like any other kittens; playful, cute, adorable. But it was his fur pattern that got my attention. He was handsomely beautiful with his rare looking green eyes and large white patch infront of him (which I nicknamed ‘The Vanilla’) that made him look like a tiger-gentleman in a suit. My husband, son and I didn’t have to think twice about getting him.
On the way home in the car, Memeng wouldn’t stop crying. I even tried comforting him by trying to pet him while he was in the comfy pet carrier. But he didn’t want to be touched as he kept avoiding my hands. He just looked scared, valnerable and fragile. Mind you, he didn’t once tried to scratch us. When we arrived home, we left the door to the carrier open. But he didn’t want to come out as he continued to cry. There was nothing we could do but to give him time.
After what seemed like over an hour, Memeng stopped crying and slowly made his way out of the carrier. He then started to explore the house curiously and with caution. We pretended not to take notice of him, although we kept our eyes on him. After a while, the unimaginable happened. I was lying on my front on the carpet watching TV when I heard a soft meow from behind. I glanced around and saw Memeng approaching me. I remained in position and gently ushered him to climb onto my back. I expected him not to understand me. But to my surprise, he looked at me with his then soft, curious eyes and fearless expression before making the rest of the way to me. And with a little bit of a struggle, he managed to climb onto my back without my aid and rested there. I was beyond astonished at what had just happened. I wanted to pick him up and scream with joy at his little accomplisment, but I had to contain my excitement, because I didn’t want to scare him. Also, I didn’t want him to see what a crazy momma cat I was. I didn’t want him to think he had a crazy momma to put up with for the rest of his life. Deep down, I was so happy he was finally beginning to settle down in his new home.
Since then, Memeng and I had quickly developed a strong, tight-knit bond. Of course, he is close with my husband and son, but my relationship with him is different. I feel he is my spirit animal. Memeng is kept indoors most of the time. He will not leave the house without any of us, and that’s usually to our garden. Otherwise, he would follow me everywhere in the house, even if it was to the same place continuously. He would follow obediently. When I am working in my office at home, he would either sit on my lap or on the desk, watching me work. Sometimes he would stare at the computer or laptop screen, looking like he was reading and editing.
During times when I have to work long hours without any breaks, Memeng would know how to tell me to stop by putting his paw on my hand or climbing onto the desk and smooching my face and blocking my view. He is never in my way at work. Having him by my side is theraputic and helps to control any busy day under control and stress-free. Some days when I do have to leave my office at home to work outside, Memeng would stay home and wait for me. According to my husband, Memeng would sit by the window and wait. Sometimes he would make a crying sound, as though he was missing me. And that is how Memeng became my publishing cat aside from being my cat son. I’ve also nicknamed him Tiger Assistant during working hours as he looks like a tiger who knows his way around the office. After any long day’s work at the office, Memeng and I would go to bed and sleep head to head. He is like my fluffy pillow. He doesn’t do that to my husband, therefore, he’s extremely jealous.
We never had to train Memeng. He has walked into our lives with his already known knowledge, intelligence and awareness of his surroundings and everyday life.
On Saturday evening, I came home from work and found out on social media that an iconic British presenter had killed herself. Although I didn’t know her personally, I’ve been a huge fan of hers for almost a decade. Her funny, down-to-earth, humourous and beautiful personality made me feel like I already knew her the very first time I saw her on TV. Since then, I have watched and follow her programs. I’ve always wanted to meet her in real life and tell her what a uniquely humourous personality she had. Call me a dork, but when I was based in London Soho for work, I would always have a pen and paper in my handbag just in case I bumped into her and wanted her autograph (I am old-fashioned). She was definitely one of a kind. Then I found out about the tragic news. I had to blink my eyes hard several times as I stared at the headlines before understanding what it meant. She was gone. Apparently, she had taken her own life to escape all the causes to her mental health. Then it made me think about my own experience.
Almost a year ago, I had my own experience of a mental breakdown. I never thought it would happen to me. I would often read about others on social media, TV and magazines about their mental health, but never really understood what it was really like. To my understanding then, mental health was about feeling sad and crying. Little did I know what I was in for. It all began during one afternoon when I was taking a short nap. I don’t usually take naps as I constantly work around the clock. But on that particular day, work took its toll on me. I don’t even remember having a dream. When I woke up, I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something was telling me to look back on a project I had done a few years back. Feeling uneasy and confused, I turned on my computer and opened up the files to the project. It wasn’t long until I saw what could have been a huge problem that could have cost me my life. I began to panic. I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. For the next whole month, I wasn’t myself. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t eat or sleep properly. Thinking back, I don’t even know how I had managed to survive without food and water in my system. I felt no hunger or thirst. My mental breakdown had emotionally blocked it all away. My stomach wasn’t even making hunger noises. I spent most of my time crying on and off. If I wasn’t crying, I would just stare into space. The feeling inside me was unbearable. It felt uneasy and out of control. Everything around me felt emotionally dark, like I was in my own hell. I even thought about my parents and prayed for their presence. I needed them. I tried to be strong in the presence of my then eleven year old boy. But he too knew something was wrong. Death even came to mind. But it was the thought of leaving my family behind that stopped me, especially my boy. He is my muffin, my life. I was also afraid to see my doctor or talk to my friends. I was afraid to seek help.
It wasn’t until a ‘professional’ friend’ came to my aid. He had a look into my problem and finally convinced me that there wasn’t a problem. He then went on to tell me that sometimes when we think that there is a problem when there is not, our minds will begin to create one without us even knowing it. After our deep conversation, things slowly began going back to normal. I tried to focus more on my well being. I didn’t work for six months, which would explain my long absence from this blog. I did a lot of working out. I tried to live positively and not think about what happened. I would be lying if I didn’t say there were a few times when I thought about the problem. But I managed to force myself to shake those dangerously toxic thoughts away.
After six months, I feel like things were back to normal. And in order to test that theory, I faced what I thought was the problem during those past months. I looked back to the project…and felt nothing. There was no problem. There was none to begin with. I couldn’t believe how I thought there was one to begin with.
So you see, mental health can affect anyone at any time, sometimes without their knowledge. After my experience with mental health, I saw life a little differently. I no longer question anything in life, because you’ll never know what might happen. I never expected to go through a mental health scare. I am also careful with my thoughts. Deep down, I am afraid to experience what I’d experienced. Therefore, I try to have a clear, positive mind. I’ve even started to chat with two of my best friends, *Coco and *Winnie (who I have mentioned before in another post) more than usual. The three of us may be in different parts of the world, with Coco being in Malaysia, Winnie in Australia, and I myself in London-town, but our friendship have always remained intact.
I hadn’t planned on sharing my experience on mental health until only a few days ago after the death of my idol. Her death has really hit me to the core. By sharing my experience, I hope to let my follow bloggers and those reading my blog know that I am here if you ever need to reach out. We may not know each other in ‘real’ life, but I am here. I always love to hear from you guys. Don’t be shy, don’t be awkward and don’t be a stranger. Sometimes a simple one word ‘hello’ can make a huge difference. We are human beings at the end of the day, so let’s be kind to one another.
Much love and hugs always,
“The work of the Devil is strange and powerful and for now I need you three to stay together.”
She handed Fay a small crystal, not unlike the one she had given to Rex. She placed it in the palm of her hand, said a few whispered words as she spun her hand over the top and they all watched in amazement as the crystal glowed and left a red mark in the middle of Fay’s hand.
“This will help protect you, but please, please, stay together until I call you,” she said stressing the second ‘please’.
He put his notes down, switched off his bedside light and relaxed back into his two feather pillows. He was just drifting off to sleep when something touched his cheek that caused him to jump. He was immediately awake and on the alert. As he sat upright something touched his face again and in the semi-darkness he could make out the shape of a giant spider hanging from the ceiling by a single thread. He leapt out of bed, avoiding the spider, and ran to the side of the room. He needed something with which to kill the arachnid that was now staring at him with blood red eyes.
The Dark Web is finally out. The sequel to The Warped Web by the sensational Vivian Head is now available on Amazon. It will soon be available in other retailers and on ebook.
As a publisher when looking to take on titles by others, I first look at the linguistics of the work itself before the overall storyline. This is to determine whether the writing is at a ‘readable’ state and if I would be drawn to the words. I want to ‘know’ the original work. After a story is edited, I would still like to see most of the original style of the writer in the story rather than a whole different, edited one. With over forty years of experience in the publishing industry, it was no surprise that Vivian’s writing immediately grasped my attention, and it took me just less than a day to finish reading the first book The Warped Web with many written pages of my own detailed notes to go along with it. Vivian had created such an atmospheric setting at the beginning of the story with her style of writing that I was already drawn to what was happening and wanted to know what would happen next. After finishing the story, I knew that Vivian had to come up with a sequel, which she did with The Dark Web. I am currently on the verge of pursuing Vivian to write a third instalment…or more. On top of it all, the character Rex Saloman already has a place in my heart. For me, The Warped Web is more thrilling and heart-throbbing, whereas The Dark Web is darker and spine-chilling.
Following the success of his first case as a private detective, Rex Saloman embraced his next case aware that it was not as simple as it would first appear. Approached by a concerned father, Rex was asked to look into the background of his daughter’s new boyfriend. As suspected, there was a dark side to the young man’s nature and a connection to the Black Widow Temple which Rex had believed was over following the arrest of Lucifer’s servants. But the devil knows no barriers and his work spread beyond the bars of a prison cell threatening the lives of Rex and his associates. Rex calls once again on his ex-partner, Peter, for help and together they follow their target to Mongolia, where their lives become entangledwith the Dark Web.
The Warped Web on Amazon
The Dark Web on Amazon
Do follow the adventures of Rex Saloman and get in touch with any thoughts or leave them on Amazon.
The titles for my series Who We Were are revealed. For those of you who have been following my blog and are fan of the first title, you will know that I have been working on all of the sequels for a while, and I can now reveal the official titles.
Who We Were The Diary
Who We Were The Invisible Cord
Who We Were A Later Time
Who We Were Ashton’s Story (A Novella)
It is difficult to understand the theory of a parallel existence, but two young people – Jace and Melodi – experience out-of-place memories that later prove to be strangely accurate in detail. In 1950, a young man named Qingshan moves to Jiangning in China with his parents in search of a better life. He meets a beautiful young lady named Lei-Li, but their love is forbidden due to old family traditions and cultural differences and they pay the ultimate penalty for trying to be together. Jace and Melodi meet at High School in Connecticut in the USA in 1996 and feel an immediate affiliation for each another, but their relationship is also doomed. They meet up again as adults, when Jace is a doctor and Melodi a writer, and their paths become intertwined through the words written in a diary by Lei-Li. The coincidences are hard to ignore and a tragic accident leads to a better understanding of who they really were.
The sequel to The Warped Web is coming…
I came to writing my previous post How I Write My First Draft Of A Novel In 3 Months after having been asked many times how long or how fast I could write a novel. So in this post, I will let you in on my writing life and show you what my typical day as a writer/author/publisher is like.
Depending on whether I am in the drafting or publishing phrase, every day can be different in terms of what time I wake up or how busy I get.
(*Names have been changed for privacy purpose)
7am: Good morning. I wake up and first thing I do is go on my personal group chat where I keep in close touch with two of my childhood friends, *Coco in Malaysia and *Winnie in Australia. We have a tight-knit, unbreakable bond, and no distance can break that. Anyways, we chat every single day, and I wake up every morning to their messages. I would spend ten minutes replying to them.
7:10am: As much as I love my girls, I have to leave them and climb out of bed to get my son ready for school. He’s not hard to wake up. Sometimes he’s already up before me. I always have a quick shower in the morning for a fresh start. It wakes me up instantly.
7:25am: My son and I are already in the kitchen. It doesn’t take me long to get ready if I don’t have someplace to be in the morning, such as my work taking me into central London. My son has a quick bowl of cereal. As for me, depending on how I am feeling, I would decide whether to have my Starbucks’ filtered coffee which I can prepare at home or grab the one at my son’s favourite bakery.
7:35am: No matter what, my son and I are out the door at this time. We then head our way via walking to his favourite bakery. We live seconds away from the bustling streets of coffee shops and bakeries, but there’s one that we go to every school morning.
7:40am: We are at the bakery getting my son’s favourite chicken pasty, one for breakfast and one for school. After then, we hurry to my son’s school bus which is at a waiting spot only a few minutes away. The bus leaves at 8am sharp.
8am: I am home by this time. I prepare my morning weekdays favourite breakfast, hash brown and runny eggs alongside my second round of coffee. I then bring my breakfast up to my office room and eat it at my desk in front of the laptop. While I eat, I check on my many emails.
8:20am: I am a fast eater. Once breakfast is finished, I go straight to work. If I am working on drafts, I like to usually work in bed. I also don’t just work on one draft of a novel alone. I tend to work on two to three maximum. So I will split my time doing about an hour on three chapters each, depending on how much there is to write on one chapter alone. There are times when I have to proofread/edit my authors’ work. In that case, I put their work first before mine and work on them for as long as I need to. I don’t usually take more than two weeks.
11:45am: Lunch time for me. During the weekdays when I am working, I like to have healthy homemade egg noodles with chicken and salad for lunch. I prepare it the evening before as I like to have it at a chilled, overnight temperature. Every now and again, I would have some chocolates after my lunch to give me the bit of energy boost. I am not a fan of healthy snack bars or the energy ones. Besides, like the saying goes, life is too short not to have chocolates, right?
12:10pm: Once again, I am a fast eater. After lunch, I relax a bit and check my group messages from Coco and Winnie and reply to them.
12:15pm: I go back to work.
*There are days when I catch up with my fairy godmother aka editor on work and personal stuff over the phone.
3:15pm: I stop working here and get ready to pick up my son at his bus stop. If he has swimming practice (go Team GB!) I would then have to pick him up at school. From now until 9pm is ‘mommy’s time’. I give my son all the attention and spend time with him, whether it’s watching him swim, going shopping, or having ice-cream. My mother-son bonding time is very important to me, and I would always put him first on top of everything else.
9pm: It is my son’s bedtime. Once he’s tucked in bed, I continue with some more work. This time, unless I am proofreading/editing, I will have Netflix on. As mentioned in my previous post How I Write My First Draft Of A Novel In 3 Months, I cannot work in a quiet environment when writing. I will only have the TV on while working at night, and during the day, I will have the music on. Also, I am very much a night owl. This is the time where my imagination becomes extremely active. And I tend to write more in the space of an hour than I usually would in an hour during the day.
11:40pm: My husband is home from work and we spend a few minutes catching up on our day.
12:10am – 1am: I go for a run or fast walk on my treadmill (sometimes up to an hour). I find it hard to workout during the day. I just can’t set my mind on it. I would workout five days a week.
1:15am: After a nice shower or bath (I would take about twenty minutes in the bath) I go back to work. Yes, my mind is still active at this hour.
2:30am: Here is where I stop working and watch Netflix or read a book in bed. Occasionally, I will message Coco and Winnie.
3am/4am: The lights go out. Goodnight and see you at 7am.
It does seem like I’m working in the comfort of my own home, which is good. However, every work that I do have deadlines. And I’m used to the little sleep I get. It’s waking up and doing what I love and being who/what I am that gives me the boost and motivation to keep on going.
So there you have it, an example of my ordinary weekday.
Memeng the publishing cat is a long time fan of Mr Whiptail. In fact, he could see himself playing one of the roles.
©Vivian Head, Biddy Lee 2019