Funny how when life gives you lemons, you just have to write a book about how to make lemonade.
A few years ago a series of bad things happened in my life. Rather than going into details, let’s just say that one after another people who were in the position to cause a lot of harm through negligence, did. Now in each of these occurrences, if I’d chosen to engage in legal battles, I had a fair chance of having the wrong righted. However, when taken as a perfect storm, I basically had the choice of losing myself in the pursuit of justice, or surviving the serial ordeal itself. I chose to let go. I chose my family. I chose love over hate.
It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done, and for months after I had a lot of trouble with insomnia. Revenge fantasies ran rampant. It was then that I realize that in my heart of hearts, I hadn’t truly let go. Not wanting to have this blinding anger consuming me for the rest of my days, I knew I had to do something.
So I did.
I created a fictional world where justice is being served in a systematic way, and a young girl dreams of getting certified as a vengeance demon while facing injustices of her own. So you see, VENGEANCE BE MINE is not only a labor of love. It is a product of my effort not to turn into a bitter old woman. And it worked. If you’ve experienced unfairness in your life. If you prefer to laugh rather than brood. Then this book is for you.
On My Favorite TV Shows…
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (btw love that online video of Bella vs. Buffy)
Castle (Nathan Fillion – need I say more?)
Big Bang Theory (I love nerds. I married one, didn’t I?)
Firefly (the show got to live forever in the hearts and minds of the fans without ever jumping the shark. There’s a beauty in that)
Zena the Warrior Princess (yes it’s campy but it’s so much fun)
Supernatural (until they killed off Bobby)
Murdoch Mystery (until Murdoch totally sissy-handled his relationship with Julia)
Battlestar Galactica (until they gave one too many red herrings)
On My Favorite Songs…
My taste in music is a little bit of everything:
Hit the Road Jack! (Ray Charles)
Take Me to Church (Hozier)
Nanna’s Song (Kurt Weill)
You Know I’m No Good (Amy Winehouse)
Love Theme from Ben Hur
Liza’s Aria & Shto Nasha Zhizn? Igra! (Queen of Spades)
Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Historia de un Amor (various artists)
On My Favorite Books…
Saga of the Skolian Empire (Catherine Asaro)
The Confederation Series (Tanya Huff)
Poison Study (Maria V. Snyder)
The Door Into Summer (Robert A. Heinlein)
Last Car to Annwn Station (Michael Merriam)
Three Sisters Island Series (Nora Roberts)
The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
For a lighthearted read: F.M.P. Society (Dakota Cassidy), Undead and Unwed (Mary Janice Davidson), and Breath of Magic (Teresa Medeiros).
And then there’s Legend of the Condor Heroes (Jin Yong). It’s like the Game of Thrones plus Star Wars with kung fu. Super addictive. For years I’ve been meaning to re-read the whole series to figure out how the author managed it, but it’s the kind of book you don’t touch unless you’re prepared to not sleep for like, a week.
On Inflation in the Underworld…
Before my maternal grandmother in Hong Kong went into surgery, she wouldn’t let my uncles tell me what was happening, not wanting to cause interruption in my life. I was starting my career in accounting at the time.
She didn’t make it.
What do the Chinese do in the face of crushing grief? They burn paper money.
Here’s how it works. You buy a stack of Monopoly-style paper money, you burn it, and your loved one will supposedly receive it on the other side. The money becomes real currency in the underworld, and the dead use it to set up their new household. It gave people something to do, and a sense of control in an otherwise utterly helpless situation. In another word, it was grief therapy before grief therapy.
So here I was, at the mausoleum with my Uncle Chuen, burning paper money. The co-signers on the money note were the Jade Emperor (he’s like Zeus) and Yanluowang, the king of the underworld. Then I noticed something else. All the nomination on the bills is either one, five or ten million dollars. So I turned to Uncle Chuen and pointed out the underworld must experience the worst case of inflation, with the living burning these things like, well, paper. My uncle laughed and said, “Only you would think of that, Louisa.”
Looking back, I think I was so deep in grief that my finance training kicked in and forced me to have something to focus on. Whatever made me say what I said, it made Uncle Chuen laugh, and to this day I’m still proud of getting that out of him on such a bleak day.
On Living Simply…
I don’t have some grand master plan when it comes to saving money. I just live simply and try not to be tempted by shiny things.
I do that by keeping my eyes on the prize. I know I love writing, and writing means not making a lot of money. Since I love writing more than a LV bag, so no LV bag for me it is. Simple as that. It’s not hard once you know exactly what makes you happy.
On Pet Ownership…
To have a cat is to understand that he doesn’t owe you anything at all. He graciously lets you and your spouse sleep on HIS bed, and he reserves the right to evict you from certain sections of the bed – such as the pillow – anytime he feels like it. THAT’S the essence of pet ownership.
On Getting Older…
Like many insecure young women, I was terrified of turning 30. It just sounded like the end of everything. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I can tell you that it’s the best decade I’d had so far in my life. It is in my 30’s that I’d found myself. There’ll always be external shit happening regardless of age, but I’m talking about the health of my core being. I learned to forgive. I learned to choose my battles. I learned the art of letting go, and not letting go.
So yeah, if you are approaching that magic number, or will someday, remember that it really does get better.