I dream of Gackt very often. Maybe it’s the way my minions dream about Risque in her Scarlet Throne. But I had been idolising Gackt since I was a teenager and watched and consumed all his songs and videos and got them translated and even hung posters of him on my wall.
Ever so often I will get a recurring dream of him. I would be dating him in a cafe. I am in his presence where he engulfs me into his soul and disappears. He is literally everything I ever wanted in a man. He is multi-talented, plays many instruments, sings like a dove and lastly, he speaks to my soul and tugs my heartstrings like a violin as his voice enters me.
I am inspired by him, and his magical performances. Like the crazy fangirl I am, I read his biography and memorised it. I can’t speak Japanese and I will never end up marrying him or even remotely moving to Tokyo. But he still is in my life like an angel behind me and my creations. When I feel down, I turn to him and his music and it uplifts me. I had never dared write in a fanmail. I kept my obsessive feelings for him in a place where no one will see it, deeply buried in my subconscious, I am floating in the abyss of his voice.
At the back of my mind, he is always with me. In times like now when I feel quite down and upset and lousy about myself, I turn to him. He speaks to me and although he sings in a language I don’t understand, I can hear his soul. Through this healing process, I am energised to create again.
Gackt has this power over me I don’t quite comprehend either. Is it obsessive fan girl love? Or is it just the act of disappearing into his soul that makes me feel alive again? I don’t know. No one else in my life has this effect on me as he does. I could probably sing Mizerable in Japanese although I don’t understand a word just because I had listened to it thousands of times till I had memorised the lyrics in a language I don’t understand.
I totally get his misery, his isolation, his alienation. That sometimes being a creator is a solitary, lonely journey in a vast desert. There is no oasis, just mirages that appear and disappears in the desert storm. In this journey as a creator, I know my soul may never be understood or heard and yet I cry and sing a song no one might ever comprehend.
As I write this, my realisation of why I am doing what I do is pouring back to me like a torrential rain. Why did I stop for so long? Why? My existence is based on the feedback of my surroundings. If the calling is for me to create more works of art and beauty – it should be it.
In the depth of the milky way of creative energies, I am finally at one with creation itself.
I am writing the Purple Python, the third book in the Hourglass Series using the tried and tested 90 Day novel by Alan Watts. It has worked magic, and when I read the guide; I get new ideas, new discoveries and new questions that my subconscious wants to emerge on page.
On Day 12 of the 90 Day Novel, it is about Freedom.
“The swan still wants to belong, but it is only in recognizing the impossibility of ever belonging with the ducks that she can find the other swans. Freedom might be the willingness to choose one’s dreams over some idea of security.”
Then a revelation hit me – I am joining the swans! I don’t have to fit into any organisation, or be anything or prove anything to anyone or a group of people. I just have to be me and find my own tribe of independent writers and artists who are out there creating art for the stake of creation and advancing the consciousness of humanity.
It would be nice to feel belonged to an organisation or group of people, but it is not necessary if their ideals don’t fit with mine, and I can’t fit in no matter how hard I try. All I have to do is surrender to the fact that I am just not suited for a hierarchical organisation as it stifles my creativity. Maybe even getting an agent or publishing house for my series is a bad idea as I am doing a fairly okay job being an indie. All I have to do is create and create and create and eventually the readership will come, and my words will resonate with those who feel the same way about life.
I am happy with my results at the end of 2016: 2 million videos on YouTube for the Scarlet Queen Channel with 48 videos released, publication of Blue Orca and The Chase, increase in revenue for my business, and spending lots of quality time with family and friends especially my grandparents.
The cities I had visited this year: Hong Kong, Bangkok, Macau, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto. Met and interacted with amazing people from around the world. Attended the Thrillerfest in New York and met great writers like Heather Graham and Lee Child upclose. Set up monthly donations to good causes.
My calendar is fully packed for 2017 and I look forward to visiting more cities, more seminars, more books, more writing, more revenue, and more connections with people. My patreon minions makes it possible for my artistry to continue, and the Scarlet Queen Channel wouldn’t be possible without their generosity and support. More to come in 2017!
I watched Cloud Atlas (2012) four years ago. I know I have a habit of delaying my movie reviews, writing them years after I watched them. But that movie gave me the inspiration to become an author.
My interpretation of Cloud Atlas is that you will never know if you work of creation would indirectly be used to advance the human collective. It starts with a 18th century gay composer, wrote his symphony and committed suicide shortly after although he knew his lover was looking for him. In a dramatic twists and turns of the event, at the final futuristic scene of the movie – it was his symphony that lead to a rebellion and creation of a new world as it passes one time line to the next in different forms.
Cloud Atlas is hard to understand and digest, in fact it would be one of the most complicated movies to analyse after The Matrix and Inception. It fundamentally answers the question – what is the meaning of life, and what is it for the future generation?
In the Hourglass series that I write, I am attempting to contribute to the human collective through my research and writing in the espionage thriller genre. It seems insignificant and even foolish to dedicate my prime years to this task. I could otherwise be using the time to generate more income, assets and material acquisitions to better my lifestyle and travel more. But, to me it makes perfect sense as it would be the Hourglass Series that will stand the test of time and not my videos, audio or blog. It would be in novel form that it will be preserved and last a century or beyond.
But a thousand years? Maybe not. My cousin and I had a discussion that the history that we know a thousand years ago is mostly lost by now. Looking at how insignificant our human lives are, writing a novel is just a small feat compared to the contributions one can possibly make to humanity.
Cloud Atlas is one such contribution, it may not be fully understood now but it would be one of those classic movies that would be referred to be cited as a catalyst to something else a hundred years from now.
I had started writing the outline for Purple Python, the third book to the installment of the Hourglass Series. It will be from Jessica point of view, she is half Vietnamese, half American.
As part of my research into the horrors of the Vietnam war, I had watched Miss Saigon at West End in London. I had downloaded a book called Unwanted – A memoir of childhood by a Amerasian survivor of the Vietnam war. His chilling depictions of the final days before the last planes leaving Vietnam had lead me to shake my mind off it and write this post. My hair stood on ends when he wrote about how the last planes left the US embassy without his family in Vietnam when they lost the battle to the communist.
On hindsight, I am very very fortunate not to experience any horrors of war in my lifetime. My ancestors had made a good decision to depart China during the civil war and migrate to Nanyang and resettle to new unknown lands. They contributed to the community by teaching, volunteering at the clan association and resettling other families. They made contributions to the society at large by imparting Confucius ideology for a civil upright society.
Now, my generation enjoys global mobility and interconnection with the world due to technological advancement in communications and accessibility. I had the privilege to study in Australia and attain fluency in English as my native language. It was only in Australia I discovered about Vietnamese refugees and how they were referred to as “boat people” and how they risked their lives to go on boats to seek refuge in Australia. I was so insulated and I had no awareness that this existed till I traveled and was exposed to the world at large.
I am now using Alan Watt’s “90 Day Novel” as my guide to write Purple Python as it has worked so for my first two books. It examines through the process of inquiry to building worlds and characters. A sentence that really hits me now is that, “the story lives fully within yourself.” I had never believed in that, I had thought that the story is constructed outside myself. But now, I had discovered this sentence is true. The whole universe of the Scarlet Queen and Hourglass Series is existing within myself and through a process of rigorous inquiry, that it would be materialized in this world.
I am now on Day 5 out of Day 90. I will be on a cruise for a year end vacation with my family and friends in a large group including my grandparents. On the four day cruise with no internet connection, I will continue to be engaged in the inquiry as it says to “write daily and not stop”.
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.
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)