Category Archives: Writing

Last Words

Translated…

Zeng Shen once said, “Before a Man Dies, His Words are Kind”.  In the decades of life, been sucked, into endless moments of guilt, of dirt, and, only in the moment when one is about to pass, one can finally, let it all go, and can finally, say the words of kindness that came from the heart, leaving behind, the last scent of beauty for this world.

And still, it isn’t so in the real world.  The elders wanted their offspring to inherit their “last wills”, and the children always wanted the inheritances instead, and so, the last will will always be debated on.  The children from the rich families would fight each other in court for the inheritances, get the paternity tests, that’s nothing new already.  Emperor Yong-Zhen from the Ching Dynasty, is still being debated on, with NO end to it.

In the detective novels, after the last wills are left, the cases start.  The assortment of the last wills, not only are they filled with mysteries, they’d also make people feel that strong “scent” of death.  The historic “Island to the Gates of Hell”, is probably the weirdest case of all: a soldier who’d returned home after the war, had gotten infected with something serious on his trip back, right before he’d passed, he’d told his comrade, Inugami, “if I couldn’t arrive home, to inherit my great inheritance, all three of my sisters will be murdered.”

But, this was still, a spoken well final words.  More than common were, the deceased was murdered out of the blue, and, before they’d died, they couldn’t mumble their words out, all they could do was, use their final strengths, grabbed onto something, even, using her/his blood, and wrote the illegible writings, to leave the hints as to who’d killed them.  Naturally, under these circumstances, there’s NO way that the person about to die can write legibly, “Mr. Police Man, my husband murdered me!”, and, even IF the deceased was able to write legibly, the handwritten words would have gotten destroyed by the murderer just the same.

“The Words Before Dying”, was like a signal that came out of the blue, the deceased couldn’t use the elaborate schemes to write out the final messages, nor could the person write for that long, the person can only use hints, to try to tell others about her/his murderer’s identity.  By the same token, the detectives must also have an active imagination, to piece together the crime scenes, and, to understand what the deceased was hinting at.

The British master, Charles Dickens also wrote a couple of detective stories, his final work, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, was only half way written, then, he’d died, of a stroke, in the end, nobody knows who the killer is (or rather, why the victim had gone missing).  In the end, a lot of writers, critics critiqued this halfway finished work, found an assortment of explanations, of them all, the British writer, Peter Rollins’s “The Case of the Missing Edwin Drood”, even had Sherlock Holmes, to sort out the case.

Every once in awhile, the Japanese writer, Yoshimura Tatsuya, died of stomach cancer in 2012.  The year before, he’d just planned to finish a series of a hundred volumes of “The Mysterious Creatures”, in the end, he was only able to complete three volumes before his death.  On the day he’d died, there was an obituary written by himself on his official website: “Hi everybody, thank you for supporting my work.  It’s really suddenly, that I actually died this time.  And, the identity of QAZ, and the truth of “The Mysterious Creatures”, after I’d had my funeral, there would be a more detailed notice later on.”

Yes, I must remember, that as a detective story writer, telling my readers who the killer is in my final work, is the most important part of my last will.  And, if the onset of death is sudden, then, you MUST “leave a final message before your time”.

And so, this, is the matter of life and death, the last wills, the final words, from a detective novelists’ perspective, and, you don’t know when your time is up, and, there’s NO way of preparing for it before hand, all you can do, is to make sure, that you do everything you’re supposed to every single day, and the rest, there’s NO way you can make sure!

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Filed under Expectations, Life, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Writing

Attire

A short prose, translated…

There was the label, “Made by the Universe” on my shirt collar, the style was Galatic, the material was of ordinary values, every Wednesday, I’d worn it to the nightclubs, and, drank down my own loneliness.

And, that just shows, how ALONE we are all feeling, in this VAST universe, because we’re desperately longing, for that connection with someone else, and that, is still because, we are all, too caught up in the pursuits of things that are of NO value whatsoever, the emptiness of modern man’s soul is seen here.

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Filed under Awareness, Being Alone, Cause & Effect, Coping Mechanisms, Emptiness of Modern Man's Souls, Life, Loneliness/Solitude, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Writing

Behind the Cameras

Behind the cameras, you took up, your hiding place, thinking, that so long as you keep on, having that machine (the camera???) in front of your faces, then, the world will NOT notice you, but, you are, DEAD wrong!

You’d hid, behind the cameras, never getting yourselves exposed, not even for a photo op, and that made me wonder, WHY?  Do you have something you’re trying to hide, from the world?  From yourselves?

Behind the cameras, it’d become, your way of life, you’d gotten used to being invisible, with people, going on and about their busy lives, and NOT paying an INKLING of an attention to you.  Behind the cameras, you tried to hide yourselves, from getting exposed, because, those photographs, shows you, WHO you really are, that, is why, you never liked your pictures done as you were growing up, and, maybe, it’s partially due to the Inferiority Complex (Adler, anyone???)

Behind the cameras, I’m staying, besides being camera-shy (uh, yeah right!) I know, the end results, of being under that spotlight too long, getting BURNED, anyone???

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Filed under Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Pictures, Properties of Life, Self-Images, Story-Telling, Writing

The World Looks, Different…

The world looks, different, when I look at it, from this side of Goldie’s (the goldfish???) tank, everything seemed to be, submerged, under water, with that blurry effect.

The world looks, different, when I’m standing, on my hands, with my feet up in the air, it looks, funny, and smiles became frowns, and frowns turned, into smiles.  The world looks, different, and, it no longer feels the same today, as it did, yesterday, I wonder why!  Has it, changed that much?  No, the grasses are still green outside my window, the moon, the sun, and the stars, still high in the skies, during the day and into the nights.

The world looks, different, but, nothing has changed, I’m just, older than yesterday, or, a second ago that’s all.  The world looks different, and I can’t make everything stay the same, and, the thought of losing things just hurt, very awfully bad!

The world looks, different, so, what’s changed, is it, me?  Is it, you?  Is it, how we got along together?  Remember that fight we had?  Are you still mad at me?  The world is changed, again and again, and, this feeling of not being able to, hold on tight, to the things that matter, well, it just hurt, very bad.  The world not only just, looks different, it IS, different, isn’t it?  What’s changed, that trash can is still right where it was yesterday, that dog still barked like crazy when I passed by, people’s yards still look so very green, so, WHAT, had changed, that makes the world, feel so different today, compared to yesterday???

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Filed under Cost of Living, Expectations, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Writing

On Writing, the Last of the Relativity of Literature

Translated…

Writing, for the Sake of Vanity

Yue-An Fu: let’s talk about writing then.  Actually I don’t really like it at all, it’s too boring, a person, just sat down, and write, nonstop, and sometimes, the person would get a traffic jam inside her/his head, couldn’t find the flow of her/his words, it’s kinda boring, so, I’d often stalled, on turning in my scripts, I’m well known for my delays, I’m actually, quite ashamed, I have a New Year’s resolution: to NOT delay turning in my scripts to my publishers this year!

Thinking back, the reason that got me to start writing, was of vanity.  Because I’d read so many volumes of books, and felt, that it wouldn’t be actually, that hard, to write a good article, and I’d even felt, “is that all?  I can write better than you can!” as I read through the works of others, plus, there’s the need from my work, my friends, (especially the ladies), had added wood to the burning blazes, it’s just, cursing and talking badly about others, “Sir, you can totally manage this!”, and I’d started writing, dumbly, without knowing, that I’d gotten, so very much into it, that I’d actually managed, to publish a few volumes.  But, deep down, I’d always felt, that I should be an editor instead, I’d enjoyed editing and reading the books, and, I’d tried, to dodge writing, as often as I possibly could, it’s not like, if I wrote one article less, it would affect this world in great measures.

And, maybe it’s because of this attitude that I took, when I’d thumbed across a good article, I’d felt ecstatic!  Like last month, I’d read two articles by Da-Chun Chang, one old, one new, “A Lesson for Wen-Je Ke” and “The Lessons to Take, from the Warring Era”, after I’d read, I’d thought: wow, you are a very good writer, so, what the HELL are the rest of the author, slacking off on?  And, secondly, I’m self-aware, thank heavens I’m just an editor, not a writer who would be competing with you.

Jien Mao: Just like you, I’d started writing, because I was, enticed.  When I was younger, I couldn’t stand, being placed, on that high pedestal.  “The Kaleidoscope” as edited by Xien Lu, I’d submitted an article, and he’d allowed me to continue writing for the publishing, and so, I’d continued to, then, I’d gotten a letter from an unknown reader, who’d suspected that I was a man, who wrote,  using pastel writing papers, and there were those, who’d asked me out, to play table tennis, or basketball too.  The way we’d flirted at the end of last century is still quite healthy, the female readers would send me photos of their idols, there was, Andy Lau, as well as a female singer too, back then, I’d told them, that I am a woman, and told them, that there’s a difference between my writing and me, as a person.

And I’d started writing as such, started in 2001, I’d started a column, continued writing in the column for over a decade now.  But, I’d never treated myself as an author, because a “columnist” is just like a relationship of a boyfriend and a girlfriend, not accepted into the mainstream societies, that we can’t be brought to the hall of fame.  So, when I’d read works of An-Yi Wang, or Gan-Lu Sun, I’d taken my hat off to them, they are, the real writers.

Yueh-An Fu: bottom line is, in my mind, you’re a great writer, if you can write novels.  When you’re able to, write a long, that someone can finish, then, you’re truly, an author.  Yu-Chen Jing had been editing half of his life, he was always an editor, but the moment his “Flowers in Bloom” came out, who can disagree, that he’s a writer?

Writing a column (or essays on various topics), is quite different, compared to writing novels.  Writing the essays on the various topics is like engaging in conversations, there’s, whatever you want to discuss, based off of whatever knowledge you may have, and, after you’re done, you’d wait for the applauses or the boos, it’s not hard at all!  But, writing a novel is quite different, although made up, you’d still have to build it up from the ground up, you must, set the characters up, the storyline up, there’s too many professional techniques involved, and, it’s all done, on your own, very lonely, very difficult to do.  Taking the opposite view, if you can write a novel, and, you’d switched to essays, it would be, comparably, easy.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at Da-Chun Chang, Yi-Jun Luo, Ping-Ao Jia, Xi-Xi, which one can’t bull shit, they’re all amazing writers!  Even Xun Lu started as a novelist, and later on, he’d written essays (I’d always believed, that Xun Lu’s stopping writing novel, that, was the lucks of the Chinese revolutions, but a downfall for the Chinese literatures).  Without writing a novel (or structuring a story on a grander scale), it’s hard, to call oneself an author (poets are poets, that’s another story, plus, the poets don’t like to call themselves writers.), this, is the prejudices of the subjectivities, that just, never, quite, escape from my mind.

And so, these, are the definitions of what being a “writer” is to these two individuals, however, I believe, that being a writer is not as complicated as stated above, you just need to, find a way, to express yourselves well, so that when people read your stuff, they get what you’re talking about, then, you’re, a great writer, after all, isn’t the whole purpose of writing, conveying your views to others???  But, from a literary perspective, my views are probably, way too raw…

Things are Changing Right Now

Jien Mao: but, on the separations of the genres of novels, articles, and poetry, I have something different to share.  Perhaps, it’s because how long I’d been writing the newspaper columns, that as the magazines and papers came to me to request an article, the first question I had for them had become, “How many characters?”, meaning, that the word count became the schemes to which I wrote to.  This was just like when we were still in the elementary years, when there’s a writing assignment, and we’d asked the teachers, “what sort of essays, descriptive, classification, compare and contrast, etc., etc., etc.?”  Basically, any article with no more than 2,000 characters, I’d written them like paragraphs, but essays with over 5,000 characters, I’d written them like short stories, although, I’m no novelist.

At the same time, because there’s the interaction of the internet websites, from Book.com to weblogs, on the topics of expressing oneself, the most obvious change is in the total number of characters written.  Like how the cars shortened the distances, how e-mails took the place of mailed letters.  The literature today, can only be defined by the traditional novels, essays, and poetry pieces, and, it may be because of how we’re so used to thinking a certain way, that we’d overlooked the newer and more revolutionary concepts.  Naturally, the concepts such as poetry, novels, are still the key to understanding literature.  But the issue of word count, a total unliterary concept, should be looked upon from time to time, when it’s fitting, because I believe, that this, is a reaction, of the study of literature toward the era’s “speed” or “frequency”.  In the realm of the television, the most important productive concept is “the number of volumes in a series”, and, the importance of “word count”, should not be overlooked either.

Yueh-An Fu: I completely agree.  This had become, a serious problem.  Like the practice of martial arts in Chinese said, “one long, one strong; one short, one dangerous.”, there’s a huge difference to writing long pieces of work and shorter prose.  When I’d written on my blogs before, two, three thousand, even up to five thousand Chinese characters are considered the norm.  But after Facebook, weblogs, surfaced, we’d written these essays like articles, usually ended them in a few hundred Chinese characters.  We’d become more focused on expressing emotions, offering the information, as for knowledge, to tell the truth, it is, quite hard to achieve!  Writing on Facebook for awhile, my brain became tied up, and now, if I’m asked to write a five-thousand character article (there’s NO proposal lasting that long?), it’d become, hard.  There’s no right or wrong on the matters.  I believe, that writing the weblogs, the Facebook, a person can get restricted, and, become stagnant.

By the same token, we couldn’t communicate as easily, writing the letters by hand in the piles, after e-mail came out, it would be amazing if you could write a couple hundred words, and, everything that’s talked about is practical, and, after “text messages” came out, we’d taken turns, “speaking,” in order for things to get done speedily, there would be no more than thirty Chinese characters at a time, but conversation is very different than essays, the art of “reading for content”, may well head toward extinction.  The times are changing, we’re restricted by the computers, and, I’m not saying, that short is bad, but, if everybody only wanted what’s short and straightforward, then, the generation will be in trouble.  Computer IS convenient, I’ll give you that, but, is it, helpful to writing?  I couldn’t really say, especially when there’s linked pages, I’d get sidetracked, from one hyperlink to the next, it became, too hard, for me to focus.

So, even though, the development of the internet is for the sake of OUR convenience, it does, pose some problem, as the writer stated here.

Ahhh!  The Tabloids!

Jien Mao: Yeah!  If I’m at home, on half-hour intervals, I’d have to check on my instant messages.  As I arrived at a hotel, before I even sat down, I’d asked for their WIFI passwords.  If the internet is down, then, we can’t live anymore, it’s as if, the world is writing to me constantly, like it’s fallen out of love, and must pour its heart out to me or something.  This, is a problematic way of life, but, I believe, that my writing was shaped, by this mode of living, even, to say it even further, without the computers, I could, no longer write.  As I’d become weary of writing on the computers, I’d logged online, to see the news, like how the writers would, from the last century, to walk onto Nanking Road, or Huai-Hai Road, to see what, is going on there, go into the crowds, to see some new faces, and I, logging online, to see those newly formed phrases they’re using nowadays, to listening in on the tabloids on the discussion boards, sometimes, these activities would seriously affect my writing, caused me, to get sidetracked, and not get back on track for the rest of the day.  But sometimes, it would act as this forceful energy that gave me a boost.  In fact, as a columnist, I’d changed the famous detective, Ms. Marple, to explain my own actions, “someone who’s uninterested in the tabloids is not going to be a good columnist.”

This, is an age where rumors are flowing around like crazy, and I feel, that since we’re facing this trend, might as well get the needed energies from these tabloids then, toward the end, where, is this time leading up to, it all, depends on the attitude to which we take, to approach life.  And I believe, we can only take a positive view to it all, because this, is an age, where new ideas are coming at us like raging floods.

Yueh-An Fu: “The tabloids are the strongest force that moves the human civilizations forward!” back in 1997, when I first was introduced to the Internet, I’d hosted a board of discussions, and saw so many messages, flowing from all over the places like the floods, I’d once joked on the matter, and today, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc., etc., became, the evidence of this fact.  Don’t call it useless, the point is in how you can use it?  The bottom line being exactly the same as we’d discussed the purposes of reading, “the thing that gave your life the most nutrition, that teaches you about the truth of life, are usually those ‘purposeless and useless’ bits and pieces of information.”

So, this, is how reliant we’d all become, of the internet, because we all became, hooked onto it, and, there’s NO way of kicking THIS addiction, after all, we are, only human, and, as humans, we thrive on interactions, even IF the interactions we’re engaged in are unreal, like not face-to-face interactions, like when you’re holding a conversation with someone, looking them in the eyes???

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Accent

A poem, translated…

You May Not Understand

Every Word I’d Spoken

Some of the Pronunciations

Were Off, Others are, Incorrect, and Even More

Were Spoken Wrong From the Very Start

But, My Precise Meanings

You Must Understand

And so, this, is listening for the CONTENTS, and it’s important, as a good listener, because if you don’t listen for the contents of the conversations, then, you would’ve missed on everything that people are talking about, wouldn’t you?  Uh-huh…

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Filed under Communications, Life, Observations, Properties of Life, Socialization, Writing

De-Toxing of the Human Mind

Spring cleaning time!!!  Awwwwwwwww, do we have to???  Translated…

Around the New Year’s, other than the external environments that needed to be cleaned, the minds also need to be de-toxed.

I’d stayed on the computers all day long, and one day, my computer stopped working altogether, and I’d taken the time that it was away, to clean out my room, and, I’d accidentally, flipped open that file of dusty and forgotten memories.

I’d found several diaries of mine from many years ago, and, it kept track of the ins and outs of my life, along with the complaints I’d made.  As I’d flipped through the pages, I’d felt, that the troubles I’d encountered had become light as the wind, with the passing of time.  And the love I’d cared so much about, had gotten, carried away by the years too.  And, when I’d written out my thoughts, that, was the moment, that my mind was going through the de-tox.  Those unspoken secrets, after they were all, poured out onto the pages, my heart felt light again.

There would always be a lot of worries, and troubles that we have, and sometimes, when we tell others, they may not understand, so, journaling became for me, a scheduled de-tox process, it had, the ability to soothe me.  After awhile, when I looked back, I’d felt, that I’d matured, that I was no longer, the me back then.

After each and every de-toxing of my own mind, I’d cleaned up ALL the worries, and made myself stronger.

And so, this, is the pros of introspection, by journaling, you not only get a “safe place” to complain about things, you don’t have to worry about getting judged by anybody, and, after awhile when you’d gone back to those pages, you’ll see, how far you’d come from then, and how much you’d grown, it’s a great way, to keep track of one’s own maturation process, and, it helps a person, to not carry everything on her/himself.

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