Where the green grass grows…

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There’s a garden/gardening theme in quite a few of my books. It’s interesting considering I don’t have a garden and I’m allergic to most flowers. If I even have a bouquet in the house, I’ll be sneezing my head off in minutes.

I love gardening, though. My grandfather was a farmer. He prided himself on his roses and his vegetable/fruit patches.

My father-in-law is the son of farmers. He grew up on a farm. And my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, loved her garden.

I think my love of the idea of having a patch of veggies and fruits to tend myself comes across in certain stories of mine: Here Comes The Son and Primrose Poison, in particular. Lalo and Motts, in their respective stories, both love working with their hands. And they have greener thumbs than mine would be.

For Lalo, gardening is a passion but also what he feels is his life’s purpose. It comes in handy during his adventure. And could even be considered to be a saving grace.

In Poisoned Primrose, Motts treats her garden like a third pet. And, quite a bit of the dramatics in her mystery start in her garden. But that’s my fault, not hers. =)

Do you garden? Is your thumb green or black? I’d love to try gardening, I’m just not sure I have a talent for it.

 

How a Cantonese Drama Caused Me to Almost Die

 

Let me set the scene.

I’m fifteen years old. My brother’s old water game is finally mine because he left home. It’s ancient, and I want the basketball out of it.

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(Something like this, but not exactly)

So I grab a mini screwdriver and begin to try to pry the little top part off. It’s old and has basically turned into concrete. I miss it entirely, cut my hand with the screwdriver, and proceed to panic.

I panic because I’m convinced I’m going to die of tetanus.

And then I faint, narrowly missing whacking my head against the wall and hitting the hard tile instead. This is also, incidentally, the best nap I’ve ever had. Seriously. My mom was shaking me to wake me up, and it felt like I was in the best sleep of my life.

It took a lot of effort to open my eyes.

A lot.

It was the best nap ever. In retrospect, as an adult, I realize that was probably not a good sign, and my parents should definitely have taken me to the hospital. They didn’t. They were never super concerned about my health.

Anyway, so why you ask was I convinced I was going to die of tetanus?

That’s where the Cantonese drama comes in. We lived in Singapore at the time. I lived there from the ages of eight to eighteen. And every afternoon on TV, there would be a soap opera/drama type show.

This one, in particular, was Cantonese so I read the subtitles. It was set during wartime in Singapore.  I can’t remember the title. But at some point during the series, this woman, who’d been acting, as a nurse steps on a rusted nail, gets sick, and dies. Because, of course, she does.

I was a melodramatic teenager, and that terrified me.

Fun Fact: I still have a real fear of stepping on a rusted nail lol.

And that’s how a subtitled drama almost killed me lol.

Staying Focused in Crisis

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How do you write in the middle of a global pandemic?

It’s definitely a conversation going around the writing community. Here are a few things I’ve been considering/doing/whatever.

  1. I accept that some days I just don’t have the mental, physical, and/or emotional energy to put pen to paper.  I try to be kind to myself in those moments and not stress. Words will happen eventually.
  2. Write something that brings me joy. Now, at least for me, isn’t the time to write something that feels like pulling teeth.
  3. Turn off social media and the news. Nothing kills my writing vibe than a constant influx of bad and overwhelming information.
  4. Take breaks. Seriously. Take a walk, read a book, watch my favourite TV show. Anything but trying to be creative.
  5. Find a new routine. I’m autistic. Routines are in my DNA. So, I’ve definitely had to add a new normal into the structure of my day.

What are you doing to keep focused?

Book Review: After the Scrum

76062-after_scrum_frontcover “Brilliant, Humorous, well written story. Loved the main characters, who had great depth to them. Lovely story about how you never know where life is going to lead & who you’ll encounter & how they’ll affect your life. Well worth a read.”

Suziq, 5 stars on Amazon

10 Facts about Pravina

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An introduction to Pravina from my upcoming cosy mystery, Primrose Poison.

1. She’s Motts’s ex-girlfriend.

2. Nish is her twin brother.

3. Vina and Nish are Motts’s best friends.

4. Her mother is Indian and her father is Cornish.

5. They run a coffee shop/bakery.

6. She’s the most stylish out of their friend group.

7. She’s known Motts since they were young.

8. Definitely the extrovert in the group.

9. She can occasionally bit a little high-strung.

10. She identifies as a Ravenclaw–everyone else thinks she’s a Slytherin/Gryffindor.