I had made changes to my diet depending on my productivity for the day. I would notice my food intake when I feel tired, and when I just switch off and can’t think anymore. I have added bananas as my breakfast and seen that it prevents after lunch sugar crash. I would notice how my sleep is disrupted by the effects of caffeine if I had too many cups by the results of my Mi Band. The moment I feel tired about (5 -6pm) I would get up from my chair and go for brisk walking, do a dance workout and get moving.
My conclusion is that our energy and productivity levels are influenced by what we eat. After having a rich yummy dessert with friends on Saturday, I crashed from the overload of sugar and was unable to exercise but sleep it off. I am on a no sugar diet, and any sudden intake of sugar = crash. Most food don’t look appetizing to me after switching to this diet. I no longer have cravings for ice cream or chocolate. I find desserts too sweet, and when it tastes too sweet it gets disgusting and yucky.
My constant craving right now is for coffee. I guess I can’t kick the caffeine habit after living in Melbourne. Melbourne was the cafe capital of the world and the coffee, even those at secluded alleys with no advertisements but a coffee machine – they tasted heavenly. The best coffee in Melbourne was a sandwich shop owned by an Egyptian near Little Collins Street. He had no signboards for his coffee but he sells hundreds of cups a day. I had noticed more people buy his coffee than his sandwiches for a strange reason. There was always someone queueing at the sandwich counter while he brewed a coffee. I had tried every coffee on that street and I made the jump for his. He revealed to me the secret of his coffee is in the beans, his beans are a special blend. He asked if I would like to buy his sandwich shop or recommend a buyer so he could retire.
The randomness of this experience opened me up to a whole new world of hidden coffee culture. I got myself a coffee Michelin equivalent guide to Melbourne and hunted down the top 10 cuppas in the city. I self-declared after that I am a coffee connoisseur after completing the guide and having my own rankings and recommendations for others. In my travels, I am the on the hunt for a good cup of coffee. With the exception of China, where tea reigns supreme and dragon well tea is undoubtedly the finest green tea in the world – I am a caffeine addict.
As much as I had tried to kick the caffeine out of my life, it crawls back to my memories. My grandmother would make a tin pot of coffee using a sock as a filter as she poured the concoction from one flask to another. She would do this every morning before we woke up. My cousin and I drank coffee as kids. Everyone in the household was served coffee from the sock. The bitter coffee beans were from Malaysia and it the coffee was creamy with hints of roasted butter, condensed milk that gave a texture of sweetness and a strong aftertaste of milk. Drinking coffee reminds me of my nostalgic memories of my grandmother, who loved coffee and never drank water.
I had written and compiled a poetry book called The Chase which I am intending to release soon on Amazon. The Chase is essentially about my infatuation and loving term loving relationship with science. To put it precisely – physics. When I was a child, I was intrigued by a computer game about the solar planets in our galaxy. I was drawn to the concept of time on our planet – we have 365 days in a year as that’s the amount of time it takes for a planet to orbit the sun. For other planets, they may take days or years to orbit the sun, and if a human is born another planet we would age differently.
I would say I am an atheist at this stage of my life. I have no religion. As Stephen Hawking says in an interview, “”Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.” In my opinion at this stage of my life, science provides the answer to our existence in the grand scheme of the universe. My dad is an atheist as well. God, by definition is our interpretation of it.
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” Victor Hugo
I had expanded on my definition on God to include everything in the universe. To me, that makes perfect sense. When I have a spiritual experience, it is my connection with humanity and all that encompasses in it. Averral is an angelic name bestowed to me by angels on the milky way. My angels in the cosmic flow are watching over me on my journey of creation. I am empowered to make a difference by tapping into the reservoir of possibilities.
In The Chase, it is about my love hate relationship with time. Time will eventually rob us of everything as we know it. My dad says that time stops when one enters the black hole. Death of a galaxy happens when it enters a black hole. All things that start will come to an end. On the book cover of The Chase, I had chosen a picture of a black hole. When writing those poems, I was contemplating about the meaning of life and what is the point of living when it all comes to a definite end. Is our life sole mission to procreate? Or create new worlds that we would never imagine possible? What is it really?
The subscribers to my blog will get an advanced copy of The Chase once it is out, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and be rewarded.
There is one essential skill I am lacking in my life – control. In a dance, it is all about control of body movements. How good a dancer can be depends on how good he is able to control his motions. In my work, I engage in losing control more than being in control. I lose control to perform in my videos. I lose control to write pages after pages. To me, performance has been about losing control.
But from today onwards, no more.
I had re-defined performance as an act of control. The control of my voice, my movements and my mind. The control over each and every aspect of my work. It has been an insane quantum jump in my usual filming of 5 videos to 16 videos the last session. I intend to bring it to the next level.
I had been working on writing The Prince to completion. I am pleased to say it is almost complete at Part 9. The preliminary drafts are available on my blog, but the final version is elaborately detailed. Researching on monarchs and watching The Crown last night has been inspired me to complete The Prince in a fantasy meets science fiction setting. I can’t wait to release my collection of poetry and short stories on Amazon soon. Stay tuned for the news.
Online communication is an illusion that we know someone, but actually, what we are interacting with is between two screens and it is hardly real. I have to admit my productivity went skyward the moment I started to call, meet and get to know what’s happening on the ground. Things are done at a fraction of the time, and I got to know what is not working or what is working. And I had started to discover that the more acquaintances you have the more lonely you are, and the more close friends you have, the more secure you are. And lastly, closeness to family is what grounds us to who we are.
I am enchanted by historic places. The visit to the Versailles left me in a deep space that the culture of a nation is dependent on the actions of the monarchy. Paris followed the fashion trends of Marie Antoinette for she was the Queen of France. But they abhorred her for she did not socialise with the ladies of the aristocracy that lead to her head being guillotined. Similarly, the Empress Cixi of China loved Chinese Opera and had a theater built in the palace for her to watch the opera lounging beside a window, and following this tradition, they held opera performances in all the districts in China to consolidate their control over their empire through the power of culture.
If I could go back in history, or rewrite history from this point on – I would make BDSM lifestyle a mainstream pursuit. The state of the world today has to do with the construct and introduction of financial markets and globalisation. People spend too much time in pursuing materialistic acquisitions and paying sky high mortgages than do anything meaningful. In this sense, there is a focus on self-inflicting pain and suffering on oneself to achieve material goals instead of the pursuit of pleasure, freedom, and quality of life by investing in relationships. This may not make any sense, but this is something I see very clearly when I travel.
I see the BDSM lifestyle an answer to having liberal attitudes towards sexuality and in this sense, divert the focus away from material acquisitions to investing in quality relationships. Move from the pursuit of pain, to the pursuit of pleasure. Move from loss of control, to total control. Move from misunderstandings, to compromise. I am proposing a wild answer to the state of our existence today, but it has been examined by philosophers such as Rousseau. “‘Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.’
These are the topics I am examining in writing The Prince.
She laid asleep
In a rest she will never wake up from
Yet her boisterous laughter resonates
Her large presence now stilled by the
Silence of the church halls
Maybe maybe she would open her eyes
As youthfulness returns to her pale skin
But she won’t open her eyes no more
They will remain closed, as the coffin encloses her within. Her ashes will burn and she would return to earth without saying goodbye.
Only the living can say, farewell
Farewell farewell. You will be missed.
My grandaunt has been the inspiration behind the White Queen figure. She was plump and had a loud voice. You could hear her voice from below the apartment complex to the top floor. She was the matriarch and was a strong prominent figure in society. She was unabashed about her absurd requests and demands on others. And somehow, everything will go according to her way no matter how impossible it was. She would ask me to call her “grand aunt” in Cantonese and not “auntie”.
Every Chinese new year I would fear meeting her and not getting her name right. She would scream loudly if I got her name wrong. But no matter what, she still gave me a red packet filled with dollar bills. She was proud of her achievements and would announce her entourage of children and grandchildren has arrived in an almost military style fashion in a big group. Yet, she was comical and loved to joke and had a laughter that was unmistakably hers. Around her, she filled the room up with love and concern in her larger than life ways that penetrated walls and defenses. She made everyone feel at ease that with her around, nothing will go wrong and we will be safe and looked after as part of her family.
In my entire life, I resisted being part of any organisation. I refused to get a job, dropped out of grad school, precisely because I felt suffocated by having to follow rigid rules and code of conducts that suppressed my creativity. The moment I felt I wasn’t expressing myself, I would just drop out of projects although I am on the verge of finishing them. My life has been about running away from getting dominated. Or dominating others.
Even my blog, videos, and books are about resisting organisation and going undercover, into espionage mode. I was a very curious child, I would read tons of books to find ou the answers to life and of course reading more equates to more questions instead of answers. I designed my life in a way to avoid being committed to any organisation and would go rogue if I am forced into one, including relationships with men.
I spent years travelling in different types of accommodation – five-star hotels, sofa, backpackers hostel. I tried them all. I did not want to be confined to just one type of life, I wanted to experience life from different perspectives. I dated guys from rich and poor families, and tried to elope with my bf in Australia but failed. I still speak to my cousins on a regular basis although they are doing very different things in life from what I am doing, I still prod them and ask them what is life next for them?
I had put myself on the fringe of society to examine society from the outside in. But I don’t feel belonged to any one society or any country. My identity is not related to where I studied, done or did. It is fragmented and each piece of me belongs to a different part of the world I had visited, and it continues to expand as I explore new boundaries.
I reside nowhere and belong nowhere. I am not part of just one organisation, but many organisations. I refuse to stay in cliques and prefer deep one on one conversations. I am not the sum of one, but the sum of many. For this, I give the world my perspective but my perspective is one of the many perspectives and it is not the “real” or “truth”. It is for each to discover through the journey of the characters I created in my Scarlet Queen Universe.
The underbelly of China’s economic success juxtaposed with the decline of America are the themes I explore in the Blue Orca. I would regard the Hourglass Series as my thesis on the reality of the world we live in today. Pre-order now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1MPRCI
Tara Keogh is my editor, without her, the Hourglass Series would not be possible. Behind the scenes, Tara is my coach. This is an email I wrote to her after returning from China. As suspected by my reader
This is an email I wrote to her after returning from China. As suspected by my readers, my trip to China on a vacation was to double verify the scenes and themes are accurate as it is today as I last visited China about four or five years ago. Inflation has caught up, and things are not as affordable as they used to be before. A bowl of noodles is about 30 Yuan = US$4.5 in a cafe.
On my trip, I took domestic buses and trains on local routes that tourists would not take. As a result, I fell sick upon my return as the public transport system is not the most hygienic of places to be. I was mostly moody while on the train/buses as it is crowded and people spoke loudly to each other. There is hardly any personal space. There is no much of a consideration for others around them. It is a stark contrast to Japan where taking the train is quite an enjoyable peaceful activity.
Discovering the underbelly of Shanghai was an amazing journey, I completed the novel way one month before I wrote the ending. I just didn’t want the journey to end. It was like a nice train ride in the countryside that I did not want to get off. I finally wrote the ending and handed it to Tara. I used to be unable to complete my projects in the past, and left them hanging and incomplete. But now, I had learnt to let go of the result and just accept that the journey has ended for (me) and the journey for the reader begins.
I am back from Shanghai after a ten day trip spanning Suzhou and Hangzhou. I had uploaded lots of photos visiting places that I wrote in the Blue Orca for double verification and fact checking that these places and customs exists. It is all good. I am so excited for the launch.
In China, apparently a novel costs about 35 Yuan ($5.2 USD) in the bookstore. It seems that it is not a lucrative business for publishers or writers as the book printers and book stores make the most margin from what it looks. I doubt their copyright laws and royalties law justify the amount of work put into writing a book. It is truly out of love that people are writing novels in China. Still, it is my ambition to one day translate the copies of the Hourglass series for publication in China by working with an approved publisher in China. I will look into it once I have three books published.
I found an interesting cosmetic product called “Pearl Powder” while in Suzhou. Apparently the properties of Pearl crushed into powder makes for a good skin care. I am using the Pearl infused products now. Just some trivia to share. But to “high class tai tais” they would prefer western skin care products as it is seem as of a “superior grade” to those manufactured in China.
The underbelly of China’s economic success juxtaposed with the decline of America are the themes I explore in the Blue Orca. I would regard the Hourglass Series as my thesis on the reality of the world we live in today. Pre order now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MD0K7VJ
She is releasing a novel (Hourglass Series) yearly and weekly YouTube videos. She does experimental flash fiction on this blog, along with song, movies and character analysis using historical and literature references.
One Million Views on Scarlet Queen YouTube (2015)