My Very First Publication | 平生第一次出版

---"The Undiscovered Self", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被发现的自我》摄于斯里兰卡

—“The Undiscovered Self”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被发现的自我》摄于斯里兰卡

 

“Three year olds can play piano, can paint, can sing, but can three year olds write a novel?”
Thus, the B人BEL editor Luis questioned when he lay out his work on editing my short story – Traditions or Choices – my very first publication.
“三岁的孩子可以弹钢琴,可以画画,可以唱歌,但是三岁的孩子能写小说吗?”
B人BEL杂志编辑Luis在摊开讨论编辑我平生第一次出版的短片小说《传统还是选择》时这样质疑。
---"The Unrecognized You", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被认可的你》摄于斯里兰卡

—“The Unrecognized You”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《未被认可的你》摄于斯里兰卡

 

Certainly writing a novel is impossible for three year olds, and even for most thirty year olds. I had no idea how to write one in 2014 when I started drafting my first English novel. It was a call like no other –
“Writing is not a ‘career’. There is no salary, no job security, no promotion, no pension, no guarantee of work, no guarantee that anyone will ever notice what you do. Writing is a calling. If you are called, answer. Prepare for a life of intense work at curious hours, likely obscurity and regular self-doubt, punctuated by periods of wonder that somehow make it all worthwhile.”
三岁的孩子当然不可能写小说,甚至绝大部分三十岁的人也不行。2014年在起草我的第一部英语小说时,我还不知道该怎么写。只是很多久远深沉的故事从四面八方推压着我不得不去释放,可以说是绝无仅有的一次内心的呼唤。(如今庆幸自己这么做了,读个段子再激励一下)
有一天,在公园里·····
女:”有三室两厅吗?”
男:”没有!”
女:”有路虎,奥迪吗?”
男:”没有!”
女:”有7位数存款吗?”
男:”没有!”
女:”那你有啥?”
男:”我………”
女转身就要走···
突然男的说:”我是作家”!
女立刻回头抱住男的腰,满脸崇拜的说道:
“你不早说,写作压力这么大,如此辛若,你还没被累死,一定是个潜力股,这就够了!够了!”
——这是2019年度最励志的段子
 

---"The Unheard Story", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《不为人知的故事》摄于斯里兰卡

—“The Unheard Story”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《不为人知的故事》摄于斯里兰卡

 

WeChat Image_20191123071231

WeChat Image_20191123071201

WeChat Image_20191123071243WeChat Image_20191123071247

 

For B人BEL Magazine #2 launch information, please click here.
有关B人BEL杂志第二期发行活动信息,请点击这里

Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her fans, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的粉丝们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

 

Last article 上一篇:  My Very First Exhibition in Life | 平生第一个画展

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

qrcode_for_gh_1231092a6fe5_430 (1)wps图片

 

Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club Drives Me Crazy

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

When I was little, the only time the parents could talk to their children was when they returned home from the rice fields. But at the table, we were not allowed to talk. And away from the table, the parents would be busy farming. They slept early and got up very early. All the year round, there was always something to occupy their hands and their minds. Therefore, we hardly had a conversation. Our home dialect was mostly built around a very basic daily life. And our emotional dialogue was through eyes or in silence, not words. Still I can only speak half the language, and cannot communicate well with my family. So you know I was never much of a talker.

 

--- My auntie's dishes in my home village, 2015.12 | 老家婶婶的拿手菜

— My auntie’s dishes in my home village, 2015.12 | 老家婶婶的拿手菜

 

Luckily I could play with words in my diaries and talk to my imaginary friends. But this didn’t help me build communication skills with real people in real situations. There would always be a barrier or a gap. Even four or five years ago, an English friend told me on the street, “Hey! I can’t hear you if you talk with your back to me.”

 

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

I know it was a sign of my inferiority. My weakness. Until tonight, I’m going to share with you how SH Leadership TMC has made me confident and drives me crazy. It’s the people, the people and the people.

 

图片4

— My very first time in Shanghai Leadership TMC, 2018.8 | 首次接触上海头马

 

Most of my life I was discouraged from speaking – like one interviewer who interrupted my self-introduction, saying that I was too short to be a teacher. But when I first stood on this stage, it wasn’t that scary. In fact, I felt welcomed to be recognized with nice people, including that night’s Sharing Master Steve.

 

--- My very first time on the stage, 2018.8 | 首次站上海头马演讲台上

— My very first time on the stage, 2018.8 | 首次站上海头马演讲台上

 

After joining several times, I observed that there are many great people in this club. Not only speakers and leaders but also guests. I decided to become a member so that I would have more chances to learn. My positive-change intention then was just to make one proper speech, as simple as that. And I did my icebreaker speech Transformations. It was poetic as the most handsome president Brian evaluated, but it was disconnected from the audiences as I made no eye contact at all. This was assured by Michelle Wu, who evaluated my second speech Aftertaste and told me, “Novel language is all about liberating the soul of the author, while public speaking is about making an instant connection with different souls.”

 

--- The evaluator, Brian Pippard, Shanghai, 2019.1 | 点评人Brian Pippard

— The evaluator, Brian Pippard, Shanghai, 2019.1 | 点评人Brian Pippard

--- The evaluator, Michelle Wu, Shanghai, 2019.2 | 点评人Michelle Wu

— The evaluator, Michelle Wu, Shanghai, 2019.2 | 点评人Michelle Wu

 

That was really useful to me, and I took all the feedback seriously. As Suhail once suggested, “Your speech is too much like a speech. Your mind is framed by the concept of speech. You should jump out of the box, and talk to the audience instead of yourself.”

 

psbWJ9S0YE5

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

Believe me, it was hard. But I tried hard too. And what Alvin emphasized about the purpose of a speech opened a window for me. I had only grasped half the meaning of a speech. What is speech? Speech is the communication or expression of thoughts and ideas in spoken words. I knew expressing my feelings on the stage is just like talking to my imaginary friends in a diary. But how about communicating ideas or interacting with you?

 

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

This is something I wanted to learn. And later, I understood that it’s not just about a speech, not just about me. It’s about me becoming one of you, one of us. We are not only guests in this room or members of this community, but also real people who would influence or empower the others. I never thought I would connect with you in this way. But you know what? This enthusiasm or motivation of mine is not originally mine. It is yours. You make me crazy. Thank you to all the leaders of this club, and to all of you lovely people. Thank you all for driving me crazy.

 

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

qrcode_for_gh_1231092a6fe5_430 (1)wps图片

Sri Lankans (Part One – Like a Poem, Like a Song)

Listen! …

Gradually, traveling (more especially, traveling out of China) has made me a good listener and a story digger.

Listen to the locals. Listen to the travelers. And listen to myself. All different lives with different voices, but the same goal – to live a better life.

(If ever I will have a child, I would rather educate him/her at home, not send him/her to any Chinese schools. If possible, I’d like him/her to grow up by traveling, listen to the world outside, then sink down at home and rethink in the dark.)

First, I’ve met a Dutch couple one short evening in Galle, Sri Lanka. Listening to their voices, I was amazed by their adventurous life on a boat for more than eight years now. Also, I’ve learned how a Chinese boat company cheated their European honest heart. And a story about how a Chinese woman who even don’t know her own birth date, could escape from her Chinese husband, get married to a nice Dutch guy and nobody could imagine. Then I learned My Flee From China and 1421. (Here’s their website: www.sy-nightfly.nl)

Then, the next evening an English couple who are both language teachers in college, were hooked by my angry voice like waves. Through them, I’ve learned what is cricket by watching an international match where their son was the captain of the school team. And if possible, one day I may visit them and feel their life living in a cottage with a big dog.

 

She is Naomie, a Japanese artist, who loves the art of communicating, especially with French people.

She is Naomie, a Japanese artist, who loves the art of communicating, especially with French people.

She told me, it was painful to travel with a 81 year-old Japanese woman who made her sleepless at nights, who never dined with her but only asked her to bring food to the hotel room and who even told her to do this and not to do that. The original aim for her was not to travel alone, but the end seemed worse than being alone. So we shared the table in Suisse Hotel, Kandy.


20150319_205246

Monica from Switzerland. I “fell in love” with her sexy back and her taste at the first sight in Amaya Beach Hotel.

She speaks five languages. She is teaching German in a university in Switzerland. She is the opposite of my thinking. She can describe a thing simply and clearly by a word or even a number while I have to use a series of description to make myself clear. Even sometimes I sink so deep I get lost from the maze of my words.


 

The waiter looks young and small but very anbitious.

The waiter looks young and small but very ambitious.

Strangely in Sri Lanka, when I asked, Are you married?, no matter how young the person appeared to be, the answer was the same: Yes and with a child or two. In Nuwara Eliya, this waiter who is married in his early 20 and has got a 6 year-old daughter, behaved smartly. With his whole body moving with a swift agility and of course, his smiles, he served us lively, even though we were the only customers eating in the Chinese restaurant (Though the food was not much like Chinese food). Before he asked me to take a photo with him, he told me that his dream is to work at a bigger and bigger hotel, though he couldn’t imagine one day he would own a hotel himself.


Our gentle driver Kusum in Sri Lanka.

Our gentle driver: Kusum.

In Sri Lanka, the craziest driver is bus driver. Last month, a bus driver managed to scrape by another bus. Due to that, a boy’s arm was straightly knocked off from the window. Maybe taking a train is a safe option. But both trains and buses are always packed by the locals. And believe or not, this is what I’ve witnessed: a train was starting off yet a young man deliberately stopped the train by walking on the rails towards the train. Then the train had to slow down, meanwhile many people jumped off the train from the windows and more people sneaked into the train without any tickets. That’s why no one knows exactly how many people died from the tsunami in 2004 after the whole train was swallowed.

Whatever, be wise – get a car and a driver to pick you up from the Colombo airport and let the driver take you wherever you want. Likewise, our driver is honest, reliable, cheerful, kind-hearted and gentlemanly. His style is to drive safely and do things efficiently. He would share whatever he knows about whatever you want. He has never bought a pack of cigarettes in his life but only one or two cigarettes, because a pack of cigarette is a luxury for him. So he even didn’t know how to open one.

He said that most of his customers would eventually become his friends like me. Some of them even have sent him Christmas gifts, like his laptop was given by a Belgian couple. 

Listened to him carefully, his dream is to run a small business and then become a big boss himself. 


 

In a word, I am touched…

I