Technical Writing VS Creative Writing

Copyright@Heather Cai 2017

Seaweed Farm. Photo taken in Xiapu, Fujian (2016.12)



Finishing editing my second English novel In Between felt like a deep breath, and getting the submission package ready is a deeper breath.

Personally and frankly, initiating the synopsis was a hard birth. After doing some research and reading some examples with different genres, the thoughts kept fermenting for days and sometimes fighting annoyingly. There were times it felt like your period is wrong. I had to walk and walk, meditating and cleansing, then abandoning my usual way of thinking, like practicing the sense of direction. I forced myself to be practical for this once. As a result, I became practical and “cold” in doing other things too. Thus time and space, light or night, didn’t matter that much to me. My brain can think like a spider web, but only can move one spider across the star at a time.

Here, after the synopsis is finally done, I proudly represent this comparative table, to purely indulge myself. Wahoo, autumn is embracing. I’m relieved. It is always rewarding when you have seriously learned something new and valuable. 🙂

From Experience

Technical Writing

Creative Writing


In Between










 in colors











challenging   enjoyable



Alexander Stone/Riders On The Storm

Riders On The Storm - my drawing.

Riders On The Storm – my drawing.

Thd Doors - Jim Morrison

The Doors – Jim Morrison

Foreword: Music is as inspiring as image. It is more like an abstract form of art. Its depth can be read only by certain people. Just like a pattern naturally formed on the wall, which only can be seen by someone with a different eye.

Here comes a song by The Doors – The Riders On The Storm. Like some of my drawings are inspired by the particularly strange vision of my short-sighted eyes, my way of listening to music with limited understanding and plenty of imagination is, more or less, a legend, amusingly exaggerated or exaggeratedly amusing.

Alexander Stone

Alexander Stone

Into this house he was born

Into this world with a throne

Like a dog with a bone, an actor on the moon

Alexander Stone

There’s a killer on the road

He is bringing  a weapon like a tong

He is jerking around all the day

Let your children play

If you give this man a ride

The sweet is like an evil die

Killer on the road

Girl you gotta love your man

Girl you gotta love your man

Take him by the hand

They can understand

The world depends on

The life in the end

God love you man


Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirming like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If you give this man a ride, sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah

Girl, you gotta love your man
Girl, you gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends, our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm

Big Breasts and Wide Hips

The Purple Blind. (I collected the leftover papers from the gift shop and created such a character.)

The Purple Blind is here to “bomb” something she thinks is not right. (I collected the leftover papers from the gift shop and created such a character.)

Maybe it’s a matter of time. Maybe not. 

Last year, before reading Wild Swan, I thought it might be a novel with some romance or something like that. But I was wrong. After reading half, I felt it to be boring, as most of the descriptions were repeating Chinese History textbooks, except for the part of Cultural Revolution which the textbooks didn’t tell any details. On the whole, to me, it was rather like an account book.

Now it’s Big Breasts and Wide Hips, a “book as thick as a brick” by Mo Yan, the first Chinese Nobel Prize winner and the author of Red Sorghum.

It has taken me about half a year to finish, going back and forth with other books. Not because it’s so “thick”- I could have read it more than one hour per night and finished it within a full month. But maybe I lost interest in continuing after reading the first chapter. After all, a Greek writer friend did tell me that he just had to give up, after reading less than one-third of it. Plus it would take much longer to finish reading a book that is not interesting to you than those you’ve read with great interest. Right?

The most interesting thing in the book is the “compelling” Introduction, which now seems to be a “trick” and in which, there are three things that caught my attention.

No 1, a dialogue from the book. –

First Sister was stunned. “Mother,” she said, “you’ve changed.”

“Yes, I’ve changed,” Mother said, “and yet I’m still the same. Over the years, members of the Shangguan family have died off like stalks of chives, and others have been born to take their place. Where there’s life, death is inevitable. Dying’s easy; it’s living that’s hard. The harder it gets, the stronger the will to live. And the greater the fear of death, the greater the struggle to keep on living.”

No 2, a sentence from the Introduction. –

“Mo Yan styles himself as a writer of realist, often historical fiction, which is certainly true, as far as it goes.”

No 3, Mo Yan himself has said: “If you like, you can skip my other novels, but you must read Big Breasts and Wide Hips. In it I wrote about history, war, politics, hunger, religion, love, and sex.”

However, when I finally finished reading the whole book the night before, it’s like a shit bag, full of shit. From the beginning to the end, the stories float everywhere and go nowhere, the characters don’t make sense apart from Sima Ku, and what he has said about the “history, war, politics, hunger, religion, love, and sex” are ridiculous. Alright, some details are OK. But the storyline is too far-fetched and no story particularly good. Why would people have tried to use such a “brick” to build something “great” for the literary world? I just don’t understand…

About Art & Money

The Lotus Eye@Heather Cai

The Lotus Eye – Born in dirt but not dirty, grows up with ripples of water but straightens up gracefully. (出淤泥而不染,濯清涟而不妖)

By Picasso, currently sold out for $179m. (Source:Google)

Women of Algiers by Picasso, currently sold for $179m to set new world auction record. (Source:Google)

If an art can be measured by money, would you still call it art? Does art have to do with money?

My Chinese name is Lotus in Peace. I drew The Lotus Eye once I heard the news of Picasso’s Women of Algiers sold for an amount of money almost as big as the sky. I can’t remember how much exactly but I shall never forget the fact. It just disgusts me.

According to Wikipedia-The Arts, “In its most basic abstract definition, art is a documented expression of a sentient being through or on an accessible medium so that anyone can view, hear or experience it.” Obviously, the definition of the Arts doesn’t mention anything to do with money. So should I say, art is there for people to view, hear, appreciate, experience or make the world a better place, but not for sale?

$179m, so what? How exactly does the $179m do good to the people, to the world? Personally,as a matter of fact, whether you admit it or not, it just makes the arts cheaper and cheaper. For the sake of art, I dare ask, what will they do with the money and what will they do with the painting?

Nowadays, nothing is not that cheap. Hearing the voices of majority people on earth, everything is not cheap but expensive. You’ve earned more, but you would spend far more. Your basic salary improves little by little, but even the price of a proper Chinese soup goes higher and faster than you might imagine. There is nothing absolute. You can afford something like Picasso’s Women of Algiers, give it a superb price, break some record, so what? The painting is still a painting. How many people can really view, hear, appreciate and experience the art of the painting itself that way?

Why everything is so cheap? Nothing is really priceless. Everything has a good price. If anything has got a price to sell or buy, is it still so precious or priceless? Is it?

Anything you can buy with money is not priceless or rather not precious. Before, a medal could be priceless or precious, but now you can buy one cheaply; a life could be precious or priceless, but now you too can buy one secretly; a love could be priceless or precious, but too you now can buy one on the street or through the internet; a piece of art could be very precious and priceless, but now it seems not. It only weighs for the weight of money and values for the meaning of money. It is swinging between the edge of pure art and the commercially corrupt. And it’s people who make it so…

I believe pursuing art should be the final lifestyle. Only creating our world with a pure heart can make us against any forms of lowness, live for the meaning of life and the sense of human dignity.

I doubt any real artists want their art to concern money. After all, they don’t create any art for money, but for the sake of art itself. Otherwise, they are no different from those art dealers.

I believe Van Gogh already suffered the pain long before he cut his ear and suffered more before he shot himself. His Sunflowers can tell how much he wanted the pure life. I also believe Pablo Picasso wouldn’t mind how much his paintings were being sold for today if he were still alive. He already grinned at us even after his death.


F the Fakes

Fake or not

Fake or not

What do you think of the fake likes and followers on Instagram? The tricks and boosts on Twitter and Facebook? The so-called “art” painted or made by internet?

On Instagram, there are more and more users carrying a name such as “get 900 free followers”. If you are as curious as I was, you would click it and find out how and why. As a person who strongly believes, there is no free lunch or there are no cookies falling from the sky, as I am, I just don’t buy it. After reading some of the reviews, I even got disappointed and somewhat angry – why the hell you want more than 900 followers to get an app that is useless and meaningless to your life?

Isn’t it just like the dark air poisoning our lungs and blinding our visions?

Such is one user with only 2 posts but more than 20,000 followers. Neither of the posts is interesting with something to appreciate. And of course, it would make people wonder how and why. To be honest, it’s just impossible. It’s FAKE!

For the tricks on Twitter and the boosts on Facebook, why would I spend dollars on someone who just do like-for-like and follow-for-follow but doesn’t really appreciate my art works? 

For the art made by internet, I feel something hanging in the balance and something in danger. You’ve learned how to speak a language and you would forget soon after not speaking. You’ve studied all sorts of stuff at school and you think you’ve got them in your mind, but when time is up, you’ve no idea about what you’ve studied. You have to study again with substantial materials and social practises. The word is just a word on paper. If you can use the word in reality, you are creating a world that is unknown unless you reveal it. 

You’ve leaned how to hold a pencil and how to use a pen before. Now you use fingers or cellphone pens. Alright, you don’t need to buy any brushes, paints or paper or any other materials. All you need is two eyes, two hands, a brain, a PC or a smart phone. You don’t need to go anywhere but sit there and keep posting one and another and whatever. But?

Don’t you worry about it, if you just count on the internet, one day you would forget all and become a robot yourself? Just like one would forget how to spell a word properly after using the phone?

I’m afraid, sooner or later, the entire human race would be poisoned and consumed by the “robot”. I wonder who can really resist all the fakes and who can fight with the fakes. It seems as if the fakes already have formed an overwhelming trend. And people can’t stand still as the money and fame are waving before their eyes.

We can’t even tell which art work is made by brush and which by cellphone pen. More and more people call themselves artists, but who knows? Maybe they are creating more junk rubbish?