China – more often the Western gaze and warped sense of China – has always proved fertile for narrative, allegory, metaphor…
Take for example the way Kung Fu (morphed from the original Chinese for ‘hard work’) is often misrepresented and misunderstood as mysterious skills, impossible to attain beyond any given style’s purest lineage from grandmaster to master to disciple. Like so much in life, Kung Fu is not a mystery – it’s a puzzle. There’s usually more than meets the eye – and much of that which is unseen is plain old hard work.
Writing is like this too.
I write with ghost hands – a euphemism from an esoteric Kung Fu style that I only quote, whether in print or speech, with crow’s feet hooked under a glint in the eye and atop of a wry smile…
I recently shifted gears to re-draft the second novella in The Feng Trilogy. For me, a re-draft is a rearrangement of the (draft) puzzle, and a chance to reassess and research afresh – all hopefully for the better. One of the pieces of this particular puzzle has been polished with the help of a podcast (linked below). I contacted the eponymous co-hosts of “Two White Chicks in China” [TWCIC] – two young ladies working overseas in, Shenzhen, China – because that southern China super city happens to be the place I chose as a base for the lead character in the trilogy, Mr Feng.
In my effort to lace in more of a sense of place over the next two novellas of The Feng Trilogy I have sought diverse and authentic perspectives in various places and platforms (interviewing people, readings, video clips, etc). So I asked the TWCIC podcasters if they could try something new and record just ambient audio while they were out and about on the streets and living the course of their daily lives – and this they did… click on the pic below for the podcast episode that includes multiple audio clips that spark much intriguing discussion and insight. Dynamite.
Spied in the local news this morning: today marks the first ever direct flight from Manchester to China. I’ve previously flown to Paris and on to China, which is no great hardship although the layover can be long, so this is a handy development. Could this provide another piece to the Feng puzzle?