I’d asked. I’d been told. Now what am I going to do?

Because I asked for an Hermes lookalike, she told me the story. IThey were made by little children, supposedly no more than 9 or 10. “Because their hands are better for delicate work,” she told me. She added, “But they’re always wanting to go out to play. To keep them still, the factory owners fracture a leg … Continue reading

40 years on, where are the young ones in VN headed?

On 30th April 1975 the young men of America came home from war. Forty years on, in the Little Saigon’s of America, the end of that war is still commemorated as a day of mourning. And in that place across the vast ocean, where the blood of other young men and their fathers and old women and their daughters, has … Continue reading

This Palm Sunday I didn’t go to church

On Palm Sunday, the church commemorates the triumphant entry into Jerusalem of a would be king who would ultimately be killed for daring to say he was the son of god.  Most years, on Palm Sunday, I go to church, pick up my palm leaf and wave it along with the crowd. Most years, on Palm … Continue reading

For Lent I’m giving up words!

I know I’ve not been present for ages. The excuse was my new MS. But, for the last 3 weeks, that’s been set down too. I’ve given up words for Lent. The hours I’ve set aside for writing have been dedicated to contemplation. Silence, that’s what I’ve been sitting with. And I’ve been rewarded with … Continue reading


Sending my writing out into the world has always been heart opening and humbling, in equal measure. With Heart Bones, it was no different. When it went into the world, I steeled myself for criticism and non-understanding. I also opened myself to affirmation. I’ve been touched by the fan letters that came back saying I’d … Continue reading

Talking about Heart Bones on Lion City Lit

It’s been a hectic month – Work, participating in the Iowa Writers Workshop’s MOOC, travelling, trying to take in at least a little bit of the Singapore Writers’ Festival. One of the nicest things about Writer’s Fest is bumping into fellow writers. Over a coffee, I met Raelee Chapman of the Asian Books Blog. We … Continue reading

Coming out of hibernation – paralyzed

Yes, I know. I haven’t been around much. I must confess I felt a little tired after Heart Bones came out. That was October last year, almost 12 months ago now. By the time I was done with the Myanmar, Washington DC and Virginia reading appearances in March I was exhausted. So … I’ve been hibernating. Taking … Continue reading

Homelessness? Or a kind of freedom?

We have been in Vietnam for a week now, the first few days in the new family home in the Delta. The new home, housing the family altar with my in-laws’ ashes, is a modern grey and white villa near the lower branch of Mekong River.  It’s comfortable and airy with a small fountain and newly … Continue reading

Do you wonder how writers write?

The #mywritingprocess blog tour is going round the world asking writers to answer questions about their writing process. Writer and traveller Patricia Storbeck – who leads the kind of life I sometimes dream of— has just taken part in the tour. She’s an intrepid brave woman who’s not afraid to bounce back from personal losses … Continue reading

If this had happened to you …

I’ve been moved and paralyzed since I stumbled upon “Intended Consequences“, a multi-media presentation by Jonathan Torgovnik. The world has a way of intruding into my writing.  I’d planned to write a sequel to my novel As the Heart Bones Break. I’d intended to focus on a female character in the first novel  and set the story in the refugee … Continue reading