Fireworks: Flashes of Insight into Fiction

Che Daaihpaau: boast, talk big; tell a lie

Many Cantonese words and expressions come from ancient times.  The characters used back then have become so rare that they’ve been changed to homophones.  In che daaihpaau, the original che means “to boast” and paau signifies “to fool people with exaggeration.”  Nowadays, the words “chariot” and “big cannon” have replaced the characters.

Speaking of booming cannons, I watched a beautiful fireworks show this past 4th of July.  It lasted 30 minutes, which a fellow observer found too short.  I wonder what they would think about the celebration mishap in San Diego, which lasted only 15 seconds. 

The San Diego incident made me think of diversifying my writing investments–not putting all my efforts into one manuscript, lest it explode in my face.  To that end, I’ve been working on short stories and revising a novella.  I’m aiming at various contests using writers’ magazines or valuable links like the following: Funds for Writers and Erika Dreifus’ website

The fireworks malfunction also reminded me of authors who explode onto the written world.  I wonder how they detach themselves from their trademark novel and continue on in their writing careers.  The sophomore novel is known to be a notoriously difficult task.  For example, I loved Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, but I found her next book, Her Fearful Symmetry, less appealing.  Her second work painted an interesting atmosphere of Highgate Cemetery, but it didn’t adhere to the expectations that I’d formed from her previous novel.

J.K. Rowling has experienced phenomenal success with her Harry Potter series.  I wonder how her adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, will be received.  Also, I recently discovered Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, which has been touted as the new Twilight or Harry Potter.  (By the way, Ms. Morgenstern will hold a live video chat through Goodreads on July 30 at 5pm ET/2pm PT.)  I found it a magical read, but how will she move on from there?

As a writer, or even in general, would you rather emit a bright flash or exude a steady light?

p.s. I’ve posted a new profile on this blog site, since I’ve been revising my author bio.  Take a look at it (in the “About Me” section under my photo on the right) if you get a chance and tell me what you think.

The Author Bio
The Animal Inside You

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