A short, fourth excerpt from ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’

She felt like she was about to have a panic attack. She didn’t know why she was having that feeling. And then she felt like she was about to cry. She wasn’t feeling at all excited and happy like she had been a few seconds ago. It seemed like the happiness and excitement was taken away from her. Even though she knew that she was a mother, it somehow suddenly seemed unreal to her. It was as though she had never been happy and excited about becoming a mother. She didn’t know how her feelings had suddenly changed. I am a mother. I am a mother. Those words kept going through her head, and it was making her panicky. Then an image of her mother popped into her head.

Sales gone up

Sales for ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’ have gone up. Thank you so so so very much to those who have bought my book. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly know who these people are. If it’s anyone from the WordPress blog, my Twitter, or Facebook page, do send me a message via my ‘Contact Page’ so that I can thank you personally. I really wish I can find out who you guys are. Otherwise, I cannot thank you all enough. Thank you very much and god bless.

A Halloween special

In Chinese culture, it is believed that seven days after a person dies, the soul will come back to visit its family at home for the last time before moving on to the afterlife. The soul will visit the family anytime from late in the evening to the early hours of the morning. During this time, the family should be in their bedrooms fast asleep, because if they see the soul of the deceased, they might not want to let them go. And this would prevent the soul from moving on. There should also be no interruptions or distractions of any sort. All lights in the house must be turned off, and all the telephone lines disconnected. There must be no visitors, and no going to the toilet in the middle of the night. Even a little interruption or distraction would prevent the soul from moving on. And if that’s the case, the soul would remain in the human world as a wandering soul and not be able to move on. During the visit, the soul will also bring along other ‘companions’ into the home, so it’s best to just leave them alone. Food and drinks are prepared for the soul and their ‘companions’ to enjoy. As far as I know, there are two ways of finding out whether the soul really did come back. You can pour flour all over on the floor to see if there are any footprints the following morning. Or you can leave some incense sticks burning. If you happen to smell the incense sticks in the middle of the night, even when it has all finished burning, it means that the soul is around.

Seven days after my mother died, she came back to visit me. At that time, my father was still alive. As we were preparing the food and drinks, all I could think about was my mother. For some reason, I was scared to see her. I didn’t know why. No matter how much I miss her, I also didn’t want to see her. By six in the evening, my father and I went to bed. My father had some wine to help him sleep. But I didn’t have any. When night finally came, I was still wide awake. I couldn’t stop thinking about my mother. By that time, I was feeling so scared that I was hiding underneath the blanket. I didn’t know what I was thinking. I felt like running out of my bedroom and going to my father. But I knew that I couldn’t leave my bedroom. That was how strangely scared I was. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. But I couldn’t. So I remained underneath the blanket and curled up into a ball. Not once did I take a peek.

After having stayed awake for so long, I started to feel sleepy. Just when I was about to fall asleep, a smell caught my attention. I opened my eyes. It was the smell of burning incense sticks. The smell quickly became strong. Even from underneath the blanket, I could smell it, like it was surrounding me. I immediately began to panic. Could it really be my mother? I asked myself. I also knew that it couldn’t be the smell of the actual burning incense sticks that my father and I had lit, because that was awhile ago. And it doesn’t take that long for the incense sticks to finish burning. I remained completely still. I even tried to breathe slowly. I suddenly had a feeling that my mother was standing right by the bed watching me. I could feel and sense her presence. I was curious. I wanted to come out from underneath the blanket to see if she was there. But I was scared. So I closed my eyes and tried to remain calm. It wasn’t long until the smell slowly went away. But I still didn’t move, nor did I open my eyes or take a peek. And before I knew it, I fell asleep without realizing it.

I didn’t know how long I was asleep for when I suddenly woke up. The first thought that came into my head was my mother. I was no longer feeling scared, so I came out from underneath the blanket. It was still dark. As I looked around my bedroom, I suddenly felt sad, stupid, and lonely. My mother had come to see me for the last time, and all I did was hide. It was strange how I was no longer feeling scared. At that moment, I wanted to see her. I wanted her to come back. I even tried to catch the smell of the burning incense sticks. And then I started to cry. I cried for a very long time, and as I did, I kept calling out to her quietly. But she never came back.

Thinking back, maybe I was supposed to be scared, because if I had seen my mother, it would have been hard for me to let her go.

Richard and Helen

My parents, Richard and Helen, died when I was eighteen years old. It has been over 10 years. It took me a very long time to come to terms with the loss. And when I finally did, I decided to write a book about it. That book was ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’. Before I started to write the book, I’d already decided to base all of my main characters on real-life people. And the characters are portrayed exactly the way they are supposed to be in real-life. Two of the main characters, Raymond and Veronica, portrays my parents. ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’ is a painful story to read. It’s about lies, secrets, and betrayal in within a family. And it’s based on a true story. My story. I chose to set the story during the most painful time in my life when my parents died. It was a traumatic time for me. I needed the support of the rest of my family in Malaysia. But when I arrived back home, everything changed as I realized that my family were not who I thought that they were.

‘Family sorrow’ was another painful book for me to write. The story is inspired by the childhood and upbringings of my parents. When I was young, my parents would always tell me stories about their childhood. Both of my parents had different upbringings, which was why I felt the need to write the book, because their stories were inspirational to me. They made sure that I never had the kind of childhood that they had. In the book, the characters Russell and Elena, portrays my parents. However, unlike in ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’, the character of Elena is Eurasian rather than pure Chinese. This is because my mother had an exotic look due to her pair of extremely light brown/amber eyes. She looks Chinese, but at the same time, her eyes gave her the exotic look. My mother never knew her biological father. Her mother never talks about him. On her birth certificate, her father is stated as unknown. Therefore, he could be Caucasian. As for my father, he grew up in a broken family, and because of that, he became an independent person. He didn’t want to be like the rest of his family. He would work hard in order to have a better future for himself.

One of my future projects will include a prequel to ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’. The book will be about my mother’s family, including what made them become the way that they are in the sequel.