“You look cute today.”

My very sweet colleague

I’m breaking the rules a little today. This quote is not from a book, but it was said by my older female colleague. It stood out to me because I’ve never had that type of female support around me.

Growing up Chinese, we were humble. Our mothers did not make positive comments on our appearances. Our mothers did not make positive comments about anything regarding us at all.

So it always stands out to me, when another female says something positive about me directly to my face. It’s something that’s so genuine and so against the grain of what I was taught about female companions (I was taught that we were usually petty and jealous of each other) that a comment like this suspends time, and there is an instant connection between us borne of compassion.

Anyway. I like this simple line that is just said out of the blue. It’s very simple, not elaborate, and I’d like to use it in one of my stories to establish a feeling.

How do you feel when someone says something unexpectedly complimentary?

Do the stars gaze back? Now, that’s a question.

Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Gaiman was born in 1960 and published his first novel at age 30.

“I guess under the right circumstances, a man will do just about anything.”

John Grisham, The Racketeer

Grisham was born in 1955 and published his first novel at age 34.

I’ve read a few of Grisham’s novels, and they’ve all been great reads. A Time To Kill left a HUGE impression on me, more so because I was so young and optimistic back then.

“But somethings are just too important to let fear stand in the way.”

Diane Chamberlain, The Lost Daughter

Chamberlain was born in 1950 and published her first novel at age 39.

My list of important things:

  • The Happiness of my little family.
  • Writing.
  • Being the person I want to be.

What are yours?

“I always get the shakes before a drop.”

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

This is the first book I’ve listened to on my own as an audio book. I’d run out of podcasts I enjoyed and I needed something to listen to on my morning jogs. I remember hearing bits and pieces of this book back when Jamie was listening to it on audio, and I remember liking the bits I heard.

The book is amazing. It’s right up there with Ender’s Game, or maybe even better than Ender’s Game. It’s a much more grown up novel, and it was extremely relatable despite the setting being in space. Also very interesting how Heinlein was able to weave so much philosophy into an interesting, futuristic story.

And it is nothing like the movie. Which I thought was awesome. I don’t think any film producer could have really done this book justice, especially when so much of what makes it a great novel is not something you could translate easily into a visual representation. I loved this book so much that I actually want to read a paper copy now just so I can fully immerse myself into the feeling of the novel.

“The hardest choices in life aren’t between what’s right and what’s wrong but between what’s right and what’s best.”

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Ford was born in 1968 and published his first novel at age 41.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t remember reading this book. I DO remember that I enjoyed the prose, but the plot wasn’t one of those mind-grippers.

Still, reading isn’t always about the thrill of a good plot. Sometimes it’s just about being content with a good piece of prose.

“Even a broken clock is right twice every day.”

Anita Diamant, The Boston Girl

Diamant was born in 1951 and published her first novel at age 46.

Nothing is ever so broken that it’s always wrong.

“The prize was at the bottom, gambles and perils and hazards be damned.”

You tried to teach me this years ago, how getting to the good stuff required a free fall into the unknown, that that was where the real joy would always be waiting. The prize was at the bottom, gambles and perils and hazards be damned.

Deborah Reed, Things We Set on Fire

Reed was born in 1963 and published her first novel at age 48.

It took me a long time to learn this type of bravery. I was 27.

“The longer they were married the less they knew each other,”

Harriet Paige, Man with a Seagull on His Head

Paige was born in 1979 and published her first novel at age 39.

There is a lot of truth in this sentence for some people. From what I hear and have seen, marriage and cohabitation makes us all slack off when it comes to maintaining our relationship. We come to take our spouses for granted. We think they will always be there, so we can always ask them about their day tomorrow. Today we want to rest after a long day at work and we have done all the socialising and patient listening that we can for this day. We will love our spouse tomorrow.

But sometimes there is no tomorrow.

“Here is one of the worst things about having someone you love die: It happens again every single morning.”

Anna Quindlen, Every Last One

Quindlen was born in 1952 and published her first novel at age 39.