Another Author I admire

I had blogged about the authors Laurence Yep and Lensey Mamioka. Another author I would like to emulate is Andrea Cheng. Some of her stories have a Chinese perspective. Others, a Hungarian Jewish one. She is of Hungarian Jewish heritage and married a Chinese. She also wrote about cancer, about hers, from the point of view of her younger daughter as a teenager. A possibly dark book becomes one of hope as she finished chemotherapy sessions and recovered fully. The book is Brushing Mom’s Hair.

Debussy’s March

This morning, I heard on WQXR Debussy’s Scottish March. “Debussy” and Scottish” together? It was beautiful music. I could discern a Scottish theme, but it sounded more like a dance than a march. You can hear it on Youtube.

Impressed by Prince Charles

I watched a program about the artists in the British royal family on PBS. I was most impressed by Prince Charles’ paintings. They are good! He paints on his official tours all over the world, a reprieve from his boring official duties. He paints at the various castles and royal estates of surrounding spectacular scenery in Scotland and Wales. What surprised me was the Queen Victoria and her husband painted too. Prince Charles’ paternal ancestors also were very good amateur artists. Prince Charles explained that in royal households, children were all taught to appreciate art. He started an art school in England for children. I like him! He was insightful and humorous as he flipped through the sketch books of his ancestors. I appreciate what he said about the importance of introducing art to children.

I feel the same way about classical music. Children are introduced to pop and rock music early in life. It’s important to expose them to classical music also.

Children’s response to nudity in art

Neither my two sons nor my two grandchildren asked the questions I dreaded to hear when they saw nudity in paintings and sculptures.

“Why are these people naked?”

“They’re posing for artists.”

“Can I be naked for my friends to draw me?”

“Oh no!” Then what else should I say?

Well, I was never asked. Maybe other children had asked. Adults, I, for instance think too much. Children take what they see in stride.

I was at the Metropolitan of Art with my twins grandchildren on Tuesday. They are now twelve and have been to this museum numerous times and seen plenty of nudes.  Brian noted as we came towards a nude male statue from the back. He said casually, “His behind. I think I can see a hole.”  I said something like, “I I guess it’s there.” We passed the statue. Nothing was said about what was in the front. In fact, they didn’t even turn to look.

We proceeded to the room of musical instruments.

An author I can relate to

I have discovered only recently the books by Lensey Namioka, a Chinese American author of children’s books. I, also, write about the stories with Asian  American characters, how their culture and American culture can collide and how their experiences can be different from Caucasian americans.  She can get into the heart and mind of her characters. I hope I can succeed in the same way.

Namioka’s books are not only illuminating for Caucasian readers, but also reassuring to Asian readers that there are children like them that face overcome problems similar to their own.

Writing is like arranging flowers

I have a new hobby, arranging flowers from my small but diverse garden. I arrange flowers in an informal, simple manner. The result must please the eye. It’s similar to writing. Use simple language that pleases the ear.


Indian in the Cupboard

Now that I’m writing MG novels, I’ve been reading as many as I can. I watched the Movie Indian in the Cupboard, directed by Frank Oz, several years ago with my grandchildren then 6 or 7. We loved the movie. I read the book recently and found that the locale had been changed from England to Manhattan in the movie.  It doesn’t change the story at all. In the book, Omri’s friend is white, in the movie, he is East Indian. What surprised me is that the editor didn’t catch one error of the illustrator. The drawing of the house Little Bear builds is not a longhouse,  but a colonial looking house with a peaked roof.

This book is the kind of fantasy that I wish I can write. No aliens, or wizards or zombies for me. Children and adults enjoy  the book and the movie. I would love to write a book adults and children enjoy and that it can become a classic.

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