Anecdotes of a novelist 小說家逸事

I have been listening to Conversations of ABC Radio since 2014. And I happened to come across this interview of writer Lee Child, whose Jack Reacher series remained untouched from my side because I have been busy reading Jeffrey Archer’s works.

Having lost his job as a scriptwriter at a television station, the British author with the original name of James Grant decided that he would give it a try to write fictions to earn a living. His pen name was drafted after careful thoughts, while Reacher, the last name of the main character of his Jack Reacher series, was something mentioned by his wife. She suggested that if his novels were not selling, he could work as a reacher in supermarkets to help customers take goods from higher racks. Continue reading “Anecdotes of a novelist 小說家逸事”

〈投機者〉陳昇 Speculator by Bobby Chen

Speculator by Bobby Chen
Melody and Lyrics by Bobby Chen

後來他究竟去了日本還是美國 就沒有再聽過村子裡的人們說
然而我心裡知道 他應該已經完成了夢想 不再是村民眼中的混球
他說反攻大陸早已沒了希望 像我這樣的豆乾開計程車都嫌扯
(Did he go to Japan or USA, nobody in the village talked about it anymore.
Deep in my heart, I know he must have accomplished his dream.
And he is no longer a scum as perceived by neighbours in the village.
My Brother Bao created trouble in the army and retired since.
He planned to start a band when returning to village.
Not even a moment of free time.
He said counter attacking mainland is hopeless now,
and found himself to be unqualified, even just to drive a cab.)

誰又能夠看得出來 我是個忠貞的愛國者
我有我表現愛情的方式 卻沒有人能懂
效忠於我自己的 高貴的自由人
(I would like to be a shameless speculator.
Who could tell that I am a loyal patriot.
I have my own way of expressing love—which nobody knows.
I am the elegant freeman pledging loyalty only to myself.) Continue reading “〈投機者〉陳昇 Speculator by Bobby Chen”

Mad World 一念無明 (Republishing May 2017 Piece)

I rarely watch some emotionally heavy movies, for I find them very unbearable. Crying for loved ones is not what I enjoy watching in a cinema. I stick to my principle all the time so that I can pick cheerful and funny movies when I enter a cinema.

Yes I love sad songs, but sad movies often tick me off.

But Mad World is a different story. I bought a movie ticket to support this film of Shawn Yue and Eric Tsang, just as how I supported Trivisa starring Gordon Lam and Philip Keung.

In this movie Shawn played the role of Tung, who suffered and recovered from bipolar disorder. And Eric, his father who abandoned the family when Tung was little. Continue reading “Mad World 一念無明 (Republishing May 2017 Piece)”

你說,寮國到底有什麼?What is there in Laos? (Republishing July 2017 Piece)

A friend of mine brought me this book from Taipei early this year. I was eager to read it in a leisurely manner, for I know Murakami’s travel essays are still very good. The Chinese version of What is there in Laos? was translated by Mingzhu Lai. For me, it is a great pleasure to read Traditional Chinese arranged vertically from right to left. Although it is a Japanese-styled expression, I often find refuge in Japanese- and Murakami-styled Chinese-language written by Lai.

According to Murakami Haruki, Laos is a country where everybody slows down everything. Even dogs have a lot of free time for a siesta in temples. Travellers who wish to save money enjoy their time a lot in Laos, whose cuisines fall between Thai and Vietnamese dishes in terms of taste. And the price is cheap. Continue reading “你說,寮國到底有什麼?What is there in Laos? (Republishing July 2017 Piece)”

Wu Bai – the rocker cum traveller (Republishing Sep 2017 Piece)

Poet rocker Wu Bai is known for his music career with his band China Blue comprises dummer Dean “Dino” Zavolta, keyboardist Yu Ta-hao (nicknamed Big Cat) and bassist Chu Chien-hui.

The reason he picked up a camera to start shooting around – as he wrote on this book Wu Bai Story (《伍佰.故事》), was that he wanted to get himself a background on his computer. And he started with colour photos, only switching to black and white films, when he travelled in Angkor Wat, the Cambodian city where only black and white films are sold.

Apart from music and occassional acting opportunities, Wu Bai also travels extensively. In this book – as he put it, he went to Tokyo to take photos of Japanese office workers. From his perspective, he was curious if these office workers feel tired for their lifestyle – everybody follows the conformity of the society, puts on the same suits, walking in the same direction, eating at eateries after work. And he put it very bluntly – don’t they feel stupid? Continue reading “Wu Bai – the rocker cum traveller (Republishing Sep 2017 Piece)”

好戲之人一生精彩 Great actress, great life

For Cantonese drama fans, Lee Hong Kum was a respectable senior. I always saw her acting when I was watching Hong Kong TV drama during my childhood years. Lee Senior was a great actress who played her roles naturally. The Justice of Life, a drama during my primary school years, was the most impressive work for me. She played Alex Man’s mother in the drama and people addressed her Aunt Ming, while Stepthen Chow greeted her Aunt Pretty. During my Year 3 and Year 4 at NTNU, I was always reviewing these Cantonese dramas before bedtime. This was how I comforted my Cantonese soul deep in my heart. Continue reading “好戲之人一生精彩 Great actress, great life”

每時每刻都是逆境球 It is all about moving forward in life

I make time to follow quality programmes, including Sharon Cheung’s programme. Malaysian and Taiwanese friends might not be familiar with Sharon Cheung. She was a journalist when Hongkongers were unhappy about the performance of their first Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. She asked the then chairman of PRC Jiang Zemin if he was to appoint Tung for a second-term. Mr Jiang could not hold back his anger and described her as ‘too simple, sometimes naive’. Which then becomes the name of her YouTube channel. Continue reading “每時每刻都是逆境球 It is all about moving forward in life”