End of the month…

… and I don’t have any big blog planned. Whatever to write about~

I try to post something at least once a week. I’m afraid I don’t have enough to say this time.

It’s been a hell of a month. I secured a very busy and slightly lucrative freelance editing job. When it’s all out there perhaps I’ll share. Suffice to say, rewriting an entire book over the course of September wasn’t easy. But very good work to do.

In keeping busy, I’ve been very antisocial lately. Which works for me. Most of the time I’d rather stay in and read and watch movies and occasionally play video games, to be honest. Could it be I’m getting boring?!

I have plans to release some of my own writing. In due time. And some book reviews coming up, perhaps interviews. There’s always Chinglish. What else should I share? I have an idea for a short blog series about literature under a medium I haven’t explored as yet.

So stay tuned…

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Talk Show video

A few weeks ago I participated in a nice little talk show in Shenzhen to promote my novel, and riff about writing and creativity. I posted some info here: Annie Talk Show

Unfortunately I only had a link to the QQ video at the time, which wouldn’t embed. I am now pleased to share that I have since uploaded it to my seldom-used YouTube page and that’s much easier for view non-Chinese Internet viewing.

I’m afraid it may not be my best presentation of myself, but I’m always pleased if anyone would like to watch…

 

Monthly Chinglish roundup

It’s been a while since I posted any Chinglish pictures I have come across, and a lot of Chinglish I have come across.

(You may have seen if you follow my Instagram…)

How about mid-monthly Chinglish? That seems a good pace for sharing.

From hikes to restaurants. Notice the increasing focus on random shirts…

I do feel kind of bad taking pictures of people on the subway, but I sometimes I just have to!

 

Always hike within your power limit! #Chinglish?

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Classic #Chinglish phrasing, be sure to slip carefully!

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#China dream… #chinglish?

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BE A FLYING FISH! At the new mall, I'll have to eat there soon it sounds nice #Chinglish

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Came across shopping. Whatever this means. #Chinglish

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The sex offender rules in China are so harsh #Chinglish shirts #pervert

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Book Review: Threads of Silk

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Threads of Silk is a new historical novel written by Amanda Roberts — blogger at TwoAmericansinChina.com — and published by Red Empress Publishing, which is sure to fascinate fans of Chinese history. The novel is about one woman’s perspective in the twilight of the Qing Dynasty (which ended in 1911), and is full of historical details. The author certainly did her research; the world of Threads of Silk is grand and exotic and rings true.

The story opens in rural Hunan and is told through the character of Yaqian, a poor girl who raises silkworms and enjoys her simple life in the countryside. After being taken up by upper class mentors, she learns embroidery and is eventually taken to Peking where she stays for the bulk of the novel. The capital city is full of politics, treachery, funerals, the aging dowager empresses, the final child emperor, and there’s even a prince. Yet this is no fairy tale by any means.

The start is somewhat on the slower side, focusing on the atmosphere of the time, and the narrative pace eventually picks up. The bulk of the tales take place within the Forbidden City, a most fascinating setting, although there is a sense that all what goes on in all of China is crucial.

Year by year Yaqian survives and grows. It’s the details that makes the stories feel truthful. Roberts paints an era of intrigue with Han Chinese versus Manchu. Much of the book is also focused on cruelty towards women, and there is ample material full of foot-binding and all the minor crimes that were part of society at the time. Ultimately, the strength of the main character shines through. Especially when it comes to the overlap of politics and family…

The country of China irrevocably changes in the course of these pages, but overall it is a human story about the people who are caught up in history. Right up until the end.

The novel covers such a grand and ambitious scope that it occasionally feels like there is a checklist of historical events to go through. It does work, and it is somewhat the point of the novel to show how a woman of humble origins would have witnessed all that occurred. For the most part the flow works with Yaqian’s life, and the exposition is part of the interest in reading Threads of Silk.

Available on Amazon