ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

#IWSG...The A-Z is into its first week...but I am climbing walls in China!

What an eagerly-awaited month!

 April is here!
The A-Z is here!
But...I am not here.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the April 6 IWSG are Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury, Christine Rains, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner, and Patricia Lynne! Please visit if you can!

First Wed of Every Month
Click HERE to visit more posts
I am not participating in the A-Z as April is a different sort of month for me. Posting every day and commenting is out of the question...because I AM IN CHINA! Yes, you heard! I've been here 3 days now and no doubt I'm loving it! (If that confuses you, this is a pre-scheduled post).

I mentioned some time ago that China was on my wish list, and I grabbed a fantastic opportunity for a guided tour of Beijing and Shanghai when it came up. So, I'll either be so amazed I'll return and see more under my own steam, or this short tour will be enough to satisfy my China wunderlust.

I love immersing myself in new cultures, do you? China is the polar opposite to Australia in so many ways. The good thing is that several of my students speak Mandarin, so I have the important go-to phrases if I manage to give the guides the slip and do some exploring of my own.

This is not a travel article (that will be written when I return), but for those who're interested, here are the highlights...Can't wait to get photographs of my own, but here are found images...

Image result for IMAGE OF THE GREAT WALL
www.china-mike.com
BEIJING: The Great Wall of China (of course!!).  I'm probably clambering over some of the 5,000 km Wall (3,100 miles - some say 5,500 miles) trying not to think about the skeletons under the cement of those labourers who died during the making of (I used to teach Ancient History), Tienanmen Square (to pay  homage to the students who did/didn't die there in the demonstrations of 1989), The Forbidden City, parts of which are no longer forbidden to Westerners. We get to eat real Peking Duck...hmm...hope the feet have been removed...ogle bogle!

Shanghai French Concession
1930 on Tai'an Lu - art deco store
in the French Concession
SHANGHAI: The highlight here to me will be the French Concession. I read a fabulous novel by Lisa See set in this section of the city (it is not on the guided tour, so will have to sneak off..but I AM GOING THERE!). No doubt it'll turn up in a future story.

Click here to read about it...











Then the Bund District (the European section which I suppose they think we'd like to see), but most importantly we spend a couple of days out in the country visiting and staying at two little traditional cities where we can imagine the Old Dynastic China. I'm expecting a photographer's paradise!

So, not feeling insecure. Travel always washes away my insecurities as it's my default happy position. I've been writing up a storm in March...have a novella set in Paris which keeps growing at the suggestion of my beyond-awesome critique partner, and I have made a good start on the sequel to my paranormal romance, Under the Tuscan Moon.

All you A-Zers, I wish you well. I'll be along to read catch-up posts when I return. But the final weeks of April I will spend doing my April NaNoWriMo...writing every day like it's November. In China I will be writing every chance I get. Will have a new big, fat, copious journal clutched under my arm.

Thanks for coming by!

Leave a comment please! Google is out of favour in China, so is Facebook and most social media, I am told, but I will reply to comments when I return to the land of Oz.



47 comments:

  1. Have fun climbing the wall Denise! :) Look forward to the pics on your return, and to the writing that this trip will inspire.

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  2. Enjoy! You'll probably come away with some new story ideas as well.

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  3. Hi Denise - lucky woman .. so much fun. My god-daughter was over for 10 weeks and positively loved it ... she worked and lived for 7 weeks, then travelled/toured for the rest of the time ... she's settled back in - but the experience made a huge impact on her .. cheers and just have fun - Hilary

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    1. China won't leave you unmoved. It definitely packs a punch!

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  4. My brother-in-law just moved back to the States from Shanghai. There is so much to see there!

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  5. How thrilling to hear from you, thanks for planning ahead. I've missed you. :) I do hope you are having the most fabulous time! Can't wait to read your travel posts and see all those magnificent pictures!

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  6. I am SO excited for you! I'd LOVE to go to China. It's definitely on my list as well.

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  7. Good for you for seizing an opportunity like that. No doubt you'll come back with loads of inspiration for your writing!

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  8. Congratulations! What an awesome trip. Have a great time and I'm looking forward to see the pictures when you get back.

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  9. I am way jealous. I hope you have a fabulous time and see some amazing things. Enjoy it!

    Crystal Collier

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  10. I envy you the sights and sounds of China ... but those thousands of dead workers under the Great Wall. :-( And it still did not keep out the barbarian horde. A wall is only as secure as its gatekeeper.

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    1. I pretty much believe it was more to keep their people in than the hordes of barbarians out! It did a pretty good job!

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  11. Be careful coming down that wall. The Chinese were amazing stone workers, but not one of those steps is the same height.

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    1. I see what you mean. You could have a nasty fall all right! Some people found it worse coming down than going up!

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    2. It's those gray stones that seem to go flat, even in the light, so first you're not sure there is a step and second it's never the same height at the previous one. Clever those Chinese. I'm sure that was done with the goal of slowing down anyone who managed to scale the wall.

      Glad you made it up and back safely.

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  12. Hope you're having a wonderful trip. Be safe and hurry home to tell us all about it.

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  13. Have fun! I love traveling, too. So much!

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  14. Hi, Denise... I am so in awe of ALL your travels. I wish I can explore the way you do! Some day, I hope.....

    When are you coming to the US? I have two spots know so PLEASE pick one. LOL... We must get together one of these years..

    ENJOY the mystery of the orient. Yes, China is on my list, but I am a bit more intrigued by Japan. So there first, then China....

    HAVE an AWESOME, EXCITING, EXHILARATING, and FANTASTIC time!

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    1. Not sure when we'll get to the US. It's definitely on the bucket list. Will enjoy meeting up whenever it is! And I did have an AWESOME, EXCITING, EXHILARATING, and FANTASTIC time!

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  15. That is amazing! China? Can't wait to hear all about it on your blog. Have a superb time.

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  16. That must be a fascinating trip. Have fun but be safe.

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  17. Sounds like a wonderful trip! I hope you're enjoying it. :-D

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  18. You are SOOO lucky, Denise! You are where history has happened for centuries. I didn't know you taught ancient history. A fascinating subject. God, I hope they take the feet off the duck too. Lucky you to have such a wonderful critique partner who helps you shape your stories. Always enjoy coming here.

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    1. Yes, a long and turbulent history. But they are moving into the modern world up to a point! I'm sure China will turn up in my stories. Heard so many while I was there!

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    2. I believe they are, too, Denise. Great idea to add a piece of China to your beautiful stories. All the best, my dear!

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  19. hahahahaha I've just come back from Brisbane. So funny. But China is awesome. I'd love to visit one day (I've only done Hong Kong so far).

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    1. I hope you enjoyed Brissie! China was super awesome. Broke some of my preconceptions!

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    2. Everyone is so friendly in Brissie. It freaked me out ;)

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  20. Have fun in China! I've been there twice and saw the Great Wall--very hard to climb--and was in Shanghai too. Can't wait to hear more about it.

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  21. OMG -- that's so exciting! I figure you're probably back by now, so I'm waiting for some awesome pics and the details of your adventures!

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    1. Probably wait til May as no one will read them during April, lol!

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  22. That's so wonderful!!! Happy travels!

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  23. I'm jealous. I've always wanted to go to China as I love Asian culture. I read in a comment that you're back but unwell. I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for the birthday wish on Instagram! :D

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    1. My pleasure Chrys. Yes, I returned home with a China bug. Still trying to get rid of it. Ugh!

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  24. I'm envious!!! So excited for you! I don't know if I'll ever get that far, so I'll live vicariously through your posts once you're back! :)

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  25. Awesome post. Saw your comment on mine that you're back from the orient. I bet you'll go back one day. More later...jen's having health problems, we're having aide problems...what else is new. So glad I'm back to blogging...you et al keep me going. Xoxo

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    1. Sorry to hear things are topsy turvy Ann. Here's hoping for a great improvement in both Jen and the aide! Lovely to hear from you...:-)

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    2. Thanks! I'm hopeful also ...

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  26. Wow! Looking forward to reading all about your trip and all the pics!

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  27. Ohhh! Denise! You are in China? How awesome!

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    1. Back now Nas! It was awesome beyond belief!

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  28. I hope you have an amazing time. Fill it with memories and adventures you can't have at home.

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  29. I hope that you have an amazing and wonderful time :)

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  30. Hope you're enjoying your trip! I look forward to hearing all about it.

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  31. Hope you're having a wonderful trip!!!!

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  32. Waiting for all your China photos Denise!

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  33. Have an amazing trip! Bring us lots of pics!

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