Monday, March 30, 2015


You know what that means, right?
It means, I can spend my time reading books and I'm WORKING.
It's part of my job description!

Ah, if only it were that simple!

Seriously, I learn the most about writing through reading.
Every time I read a book, I learn something new and it always, always improves my own writing.

Image courtesy of [Master Isolated Images] /

As I've been working on my newest book, CHASING FIREFLIES,  which takes place in China, I've also learned many new and interesting little tidbits.

For example, the number four to China is just like the number thirteen is to America.
Evidently, the Chinese name for four is similar to the name for death, hence it is considered unlucky. 

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] /

My daughter spent a semester teaching English in China. She was housed in a very nice apartment building across the street from the school she taught at. 
The floors were labeled: 1, 2, 3, 3B, 5, etc.
The Americans, of course, were housed on Floor 3B!!!

The stories my daughter has shared with me about China are finding their way into my new book, lending an air of authenticity.
Fascinating stuff!

The English in China can be quite humorous. Now don't get me wrong, I am impressed that the Chinese make such a huge effort to learn English. Very impressive. I mean no offense toward anyone trying to learn a second language. I can only speak ONE language and I can't imagine how hard it would be to learn Mandarin or any other dialect of Chinese. 
I'd get it completely wrong. Every. Time. And I don't doubt they'd be laughing at my attempts.

That being said, sometimes the English used in Asian countries just isn't correct, and it gives me a good giggle.
Like this shirt . . .

When my daughter was in China, the popular shirt to buy was emblazoned with:

That's it. 

I want one!!

Another example: Here's some cute little pajamas for a young girl:

Oops. Not quite right!!

Hmmm . . . what about all those shirts we Americans buy with Chinese (or Asian) characters on them? Do you think they actually say something that makes sense? Makes you wonder! 

When my husband was stationed in Korea, we purchased adorable coats for our daughters. One coat had a tiny picture on one corner of two kids on skateboards. The caption read:
Be careful not to overexert yourself.
It always made us smile. I mean, it's not wrong, it's just not a phrase Americans commonly use.

However, I can't laugh too hard. Like I said, I can't speak two languages. Kudos to all trying to learn English!
It's not easy!

Okay, moving on . . .

Girl of Mine is officially DONE!
It is now with my editor.
I plan to release it in May 2015.

That's all for now!

Have a wonderful Monday!


  1. I cannot even imagine trying to learn any Chinese! It is such a hard language. Those American attempts are so funny. We need shirts with random stuff on them lol. Love the jammies! Too funny!

    1. I've heard that Mandarin is one of the hardest languages to learn, and I know I can't do it, so I won't even try! The attempts at English crack me up. Good for them for learning two languages, but when it's not quite right, it makes me giggle. I do wish I had a YOUR t-shirt. So random and so funny!

  2. Hehehe!! Can I get the I Love Beer in a woman's size?! :P
    I took Japanese in college, and I thought it was easy. But, I am just adept at languages. I just never stick with them long enough to become fluent...and I'm terrified of speaking them. I prefer to read and write in other languages. But I understand how hard it is to learn them if it isn't your "thing." Even while it IS one of my I said, I'm TERRIFIED of speaking!! I used to feel sick before I'd go to class, even Spanish class, if I thought I'd have to speak!!

    1. P.S. I don't understand what the other shirt is supposed to say...

    2. Good for you for having an aptitude for languages! My dad is the same way. He picks them up easily. I, however, do not! And it is scary to speak them out loud. You never know if you're saying the right thing! I took Spanish in High School, but only learned the most basic of skills. But I do admire people like you who can pick them up easily.
      As for the other shirt--it doesn't make any sense. That's the beauty of it!!! My daughter said the Chinese love to buy shirts with English words on them, but most of them make no sense whatsoever!

    3. Haha, that's amusing. Whereas Americans would feel sooo self conscious if we had another language on our shirts and they were just random words that did not make sense! We need to learn to loosen up!! Not everything has to be perfect - sometimes it can be FUN!! (yes, this coming from a perfectionist...haha!)
      Good for your dad :) If he doesn't mind the speaking, it is great for travel!! I bet he really enjoys visiting other countries if he has the chance.
      And don't worry. Just because foreign languages isn't your thing, you definitely have a lot of unique talents :)

    4. Thank you, Natalie! You are so sweet!
      My dad always tries to have conversations with anyone who is willing when it comes to Spanish. He loves to practice speaking it and doesn't have any qualms. I'm sure he drives people crazy, but they don't seem to mind too terribly much!

  3. Hee hee. This was funny. My daughter is in Korea right now and I can't wait to hear all the weirdness she spoke. I know after speaking only Korean for a year, she went to an English ward and felt like they all spoke too fast and she had a hard time understanding them...and she couldn't remember how to ask someone how their family was doing. She couldn't translate from Korean back to English well, which I thought was a good thing. Can't wait for your next book...and to read the final version of Girl of Mine. Exciting!

    1. I can't even imagine how hard that would be! Switching between the two languages would be tough! Sounds like she's really mastered the Korean language though, and that is wonderful! I have a nephew who went to Korea on his mission and he loved it there. We lived there for about a year and a half when my hubby was stationed there, but we lived on base and didn't really experience the Korean culture. It was like living on a slice of the US. My children were very little at the time and traveling around just wasn't feasible. Loved it though! Hope your daughter is loving it as well!