Found in my mother’s garden, a pot of spawning cactus plants. A google search informed me they are hedgehog cactus. I’m not 100% certain that’s correct, but I love the name, so I’m sticking with it! My mother’s garden is full of surprising delights tucked away in nooks and crannies. A slow wander around with a sharp eye is an early morning treat.
My super small, eco-friendly, potted Christmas tree surrounded by bookish presents. Hopefully it will be a few inches taller next year! Focusing on the small pleasures in life to balance out the very large and harsh realities in the world. Wishing everyone a joyful holiday season filled with moments of peace.
The sound of ocean waves calls to the human soul in a primal language translated by the heart. Every time I visit the seaside I remember what it is to be alive, to exist on this small, aching world. So pleased to have taken part in the Alderney Literary Festival and to have had the chance to recharge my head, my heart, my soul on this beautiful island. Nature reminds us life is beautiful.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy NYE! May 2019 be filled with more love than hate, more happiness than tragedy, and more light than darkness for everyone, for me, and for you.
I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season! Thank you for a beautiful year and all the love and support you’ve given to me and White Chrysanthemum. It has been an amazing journey since publication day in January. I can’t wait for 2019 and the adventures ahead!
The Turkish translation for White Chrysanthemum is out just before the start of the new year! Thank you to my publishers, Arkadya. (Translated by Dilek Parsadan)
White Chrysanthemum has been shortlisted for Best First Novel by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. I’m honoured to be selected along with two wonderful writers Guy Gunaratne (In Our Mad and Furious City) and Nicola Mostyn (The Gods of Love). If you have time over the holidays, pick up their books and give them a read. If you haven’t read mine yet, what are you waiting for!?
Happy holidays and happy reading!
A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and its War with the United States
Sometimes research for a novel can take over a writer’s life–especially if that writer is me bc I love learning about everything. I had to share this book by Timothy J. Henderson, published in 2007, and one I picked up randomly from my son’s school library. It’s fascinating! Mostly because I grew up in Texas and the history I learned about Texas’ independence from Mexico was written with a victor’s slant, but also bc Henderson focuses on the players behind the buildup to the war and gives so many personal details about each one (Santa Anna, Austin, Houston…and more) that he makes them come to life. It’s definitely non-fiction but feels like I’m reading a novel filled with fascinating characters whose lives were destined to be remembered in history. If you’re interested in American, Texan, or Mexican history, read this book! ❤️
Can you spot my book? Hint, it’s on the top shelf. Dreams do come true! At my local @waterstones in the O2 Centre.
On another note, Happy Halloween!!!! 👻🎃
Here’s the US paperback release of White Chrysanthemum. Hopefully this beautiful new cover will reach many more people across America. There are so few Korean ‘comfort women’ still alive today–eight women died this year. I still meet so many people who have never heard of them, what they endured, or how many perished during WWII. History is written by the victors, yet women’s history is largely ignored. It’s time to remember, to tell women’s stories, so they will be ingrained in our collective memory. White Chrysanthemum tells one story, a historically ‘shameful’ one, hidden for decades, until a woman finally comes forward to tell her loved ones what happened to a sister long forgotten.