My Very First Publication | 平生第一次出版

---"The Undiscovered Self", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被发现的自我》摄于斯里兰卡

—“The Undiscovered Self”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被发现的自我》摄于斯里兰卡

 

“Three year olds can play piano, can paint, can sing, but can three year olds write a novel?”
Thus, the B人BEL editor Luis questioned when he lay out his work on editing my short story – Traditions or Choices – my very first publication.
“三岁的孩子可以弹钢琴,可以画画,可以唱歌,但是三岁的孩子能写小说吗?”
B人BEL杂志编辑Luis在摊开讨论编辑我平生第一次出版的短片小说《传统还是选择》时这样质疑。
---"The Unrecognized You", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被认可的你》摄于斯里兰卡

—“The Unrecognized You”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被认可的你》摄于斯里兰卡

 

Certainly writing a novel is impossible for three year olds, and even for most thirty year olds. I had no idea how to write one in 2014 when I started drafting my first English novel. It was a call like no other –
“Writing is not a ‘career’. There is no salary, no job security, no promotion, no pension, no guarantee of work, no guarantee that anyone will ever notice what you do. Writing is a calling. If you are called, answer. Prepare for a life of intense work at curious hours, likely obscurity and regular self-doubt, punctuated by periods of wonder that somehow make it all worthwhile.”
三岁的孩子当然不可能写小说,甚至绝大部分三十岁的人也不行。2014年在起草我的第一部英语小说时,我还不知道该怎么写。只是很多久远深沉的故事从四面八方推压着我不得不去释放,可以说是绝无仅有的一次内心的呼唤。(如今庆幸自己这么做了,读个段子再激励一下)
有一天,在公园里·····
女:”有三室两厅吗?”
男:”没有!”
女:”有路虎,奥迪吗?”
男:”没有!”
女:”有7位数存款吗?”
男:”没有!”
女:”那你有啥?”
男:”我………”
女转身就要走···
突然男的说:”我是作家”!
女立刻回头抱住男的腰,满脸崇拜的说道:
“你不早说,写作压力这么大,如此辛若,你还没被累死,一定是个潜力股,这就够了!够了!”
——这是2019年度最励志的段子
 

---"The Unheard Story", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《不为人知的故事》摄于斯里兰卡

—“The Unheard Story”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《不为人知的故事》摄于斯里兰卡

 

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For B人BEL Magazine #2 launch information, please click here.
有关B人BEL杂志第二期发行活动信息,请点击这里

Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her fans, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的粉丝们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

 

Last article 上一篇:  My Very First Exhibition in Life | 平生第一个画展

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Ashamed or Proud? | 羞耻还是自豪?

---"Ashamed or Proud?", Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《羞耻还是自豪》摄于马来西亚

—“Ashamed or Proud?”, Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《羞耻还是自豪》摄于马来西亚

 

Why would we feel ashamed when we haven’t done anything wrong? For being poor? For being born in a poor family? For being born a tiny creature in a poor family? 
我们没有做错事,为什么会感到羞耻呢?因为贫穷?因为出生在一个贫穷的家庭?因为与生俱来我们就是个不起眼的弱小生物?
"Weirdos". Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《怪人》摄于马来西亚

“Weirdos”. Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《怪人》摄于马来西亚

These are half of the pieces of feedback I received on my last article Bumps. They are categorized into two groups: Westerners & Easterners.
 

以下是来自读者对上篇文章《颠簸》所作反馈的一半内容,分为两部分:西方人和东方人。

 

0

 

-Westerners 西方人-

 

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1

 

Interestingly, more women feel vulnerable in silence than men. More interestingly, we don’t even hear these stories from men. Believable or unbelievable? There are far more true stories to write than fantasies to create.

有趣的是,与男性相比,更多女性在沉默中感到脆弱。更有趣的是,我们甚至很少从男人那听到类似《颠簸》的故事。可信还是难以置信?我们的身边有那么多真实的故事可以写,却有那么多人绞尽脑汁去创造一些遥远的幻想。为什么?

 

2

 

-Easterners 东方人-

 

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捕获

4

 

From being ashamed to being proud, is like a revolutionary moment of fearlessness.

从羞耻到自豪,像是一个无畏的革命性的冲锋时刻。

 

Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her fans, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的粉丝们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

 

Last article 上一篇:  Bumps | 颠簸

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Writer’s Block

---Dancing in the Dark, 2015.7.10 | 《在黑暗中跳舞》

—Dancing in the Dark, 2015.7.10 | 《在黑暗中跳舞》

 

Imagine your head is empty and you are facing a blank wall. What conversations can you possibly have?

 

---Fashion, 2015.5.17 |《时尚》

—Fashion, 2015.5.17 |《时尚》

 

In the first half year of 2015, my brain was erased. I couldn’t read or write. Nor could I communicate with anyone, including myself. The only word that kept scratching my skull was “curse”. You might ask, what curse? What happened?

 

---Torture, 2015.5.16 |《痛楚》

—Torture, 2015.5.16 |《痛楚》

 

It was about my younger and only brother. When we were little, we already believed that the only hope to escape from poverty was to climb out of the mountains, go to a college and work in a city. And we did. He has everything that many Chinese people long to have – a stable career as an official Shenzhen teacher, a house, a car and a lovely child. But he has a drama-queen wife, or should I say, an ex-wife? Honestly I don’t know. They got divorced a year ago and now they seem to be together again. For what? I really don’t understand their love if there is love and their marriage if there is still one. Just like I never understood how she could storm into his class, slap his face in front of his students and argue with his headmaster, just for a Taobao password? Even when they just started a relationship? And how she could call the police one morning when he couldn’t drive her to work because he himself was running late? Don’t you think that is too ridiculous?

 

---Pray, 2015.5.1 |《祈祷》

—Pray, 2015.5.1 |《祈祷》

 

Almost every goddamn time, when I heard or witnessed something, it was all like a chicken fighting against a dog with no peace. How could my brother tolerate such a ridiculous woman over and over? What exactly has he seen that is so good in her? Does he actually love her? Is love really a bitch?

 

---The Dream Police, 2015.5.3 |《理想的警察》

—The Dream Police, 2015.5.3 |《理想的警察》

 

I asked him these questions during Spring Festival of 2015 after she had smashed glasses all over the place. But he kept silent. His silence made me feel that his marriage was a curse. And the curse almost crushed me. I became depressed.

 

---Man & Science, 2015.5.4 |《人与科学》

—Man & Science, 2015.5.4 |《人与科学》

 

Worse, the following month of not being able to write a single word scared me. The fear urged me to make a move. On Feb 28th, the same year, I traveled to Sri Lanka. Like magic, when I was using the toilet in the first hotel, a strange face popped out between my feet. I took a long look. The face became more and more vivid. I couldn’t help sketching it, and made it the very first drawing of my life: The Left Eye.

 

---The Left Eye - my very first drawing, 2015.2.28 | 平生第一幅速写:《左眼》

—The Left Eye – my very first drawing, 2015.2.28 | 平生第一幅速写:《左眼》

 

 

From then on, I started seeing faces everywhere and kept sketching them for months. Here are some of them.

 

---Queue In China, 2015.5.8 |《在中国排队》

—Queue In China, 2015.5.8 |《在中国排队》

 

At this point, I still couldn’t read or write. But luckily I could speak to nature when traveling and talk to some strangers on the road. They mostly encouraged me by sharing their stories or listening to mine. And, one of them actually pointed out that I was experiencing so-called Writer’s Block.

 

---Writer's Block, 2015.4.29 |《创作灵感障碍》

—Writer’s Block, 2015.4.29 |《创作灵感障碍》

 

I started searching it online. The more information I gathered, the less fear I had. Gradually, the wall of my mind cracked. I came to understand the reason why I had this writer’s block was not only because I had depression, but also because I was ignorant of the fear. As soon as I knew what was happening to me, in July, I could read and write again. This assured me: depression is temporary, writer’s block is temporary.

 

---Half Man Half Beast, 2015.5.9 |《半人半兽》

—Half Man Half Beast, 2015.5.9 |《半人半兽》

 

But do you find it easier to talk to someone you don’t know at all than to someone you know very well? Why? Why does it feel easier to chat in a shared taxi when you are traveling together but not looking each other? Why is it more difficult to have a conversation with yourself than with strangers? Are you afraid of a new place in a distant land or more afraid of the unknown possibilities in your imagination?

 

Heather Cover

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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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

Synopsis

In Between

neutral

natural 

 factual

 imaginative

 cold-blooded

 passionate

 heartless

 heartfelt

 colorless

 in colors

tight

 flexible

 skeleton

 plentiful

framed

free

inexpressive

expressive

 formal

 informal

challenging   enjoyable

 

Drawing#70: Cry

 

 

Cry

“I’m worth more dead than alive.

Don’t cry for me after I’m gone;

cry for me now.

–  Marlene Dietrich-

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#69: Hatred

 

Hatred

“Years of love have been forgot

In the hatred of a minute.

–  Edgar Allan Poe –

“IT IS BETTER TO BE HATED FOR WHAT YOU ARE THAN

TO BE LOVED FOR WHAT YOU ARE NOT.”

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#68: Singer

 

“The best advice I can give a young aspiring singer is not to become an old aspiring singer.

– – Renata Scotto

“There are a lot of aspiring singers who are not to be paid attention to because they don’t look like a fashion model.

– – Linda Ronstadt

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#67: Butterfly

 

Butterfly

“The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet.

– – Paul Erlich

“I would like to think that the singer is the butterfly, and the drummer was just the little grub in the ground, working to become a caterpillar.

– – Robert Wyatt

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#66: Stranger

 

Stranger

“From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents – Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.

– – Jane Austen

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#65: Freedom

 

Freedom

Freedom

“FREEDOM IS

WHAT YOU DO

WITH WHAT’S

BEEN DONE TO

YOU.

– – Jean-Paul Sarte (French Philosopher,1905-1980)

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading