Happy Lunar New Year! 2022 arrived with the roar of the tiger (#yearofthetiger–see what I did there?).
If, like me, you need a fresh start, here’s your chance. The Lunar New Year can also be referred to as Spring Festival, and festivities can last up to fifteen days! That’s right. You can still join in on the fun.
Cue gratuitous New Year treats:
These nut-embedded and sesame-studded sticks are one of my favorite snacks during this time. They’re so satisfying to munch on, and they’re also slightly sweet/addictive.
Nian gao, or New Year cake, is made from glutinous rice flour. The gao means “cake,” but it also sounds like “high,” which means eating it may result in a “higher” or more prosperous year. Maybe I’ll have double prosperity in 2022 because I got two cakes (homemade and purchased):
Another play on words can be found in this phrase for sending well wishes: Nian nian you yu. This could mean “every year have fish” or it could be interpreted as “May you have abundance every year” since the yu sound can have different meanings.
Speaking of words, mine have fizzled this past winter. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m plain tired (one day I shall learn to say no to things) or if I need to refill my creativity well.
There are a few factors making me feel stuck:
Sassy Cat standstill
Book 3 in my Sassy Cat Mysteries, Mimi Lee Cracks the Code, released on November 30, 2021. Right now the series is on
paws pause for continuing. I really love Mimi and Marshmallow, but maybe it’s nice that they finally get a break from investigating.
Night Market nerves
I recently sent in my first pass page edits. I listened and read the work over and over until even my brain kinda got bleary. By the end, I kept putting in a word and then taking it out. I guess I’m nervous about whether people will like the new series because I really, really want folks to enjoy Death by Bubble Tea (you can pre-order it now). When I need a confidence booster, though, I revisit these blurbs by fellow Chicks on the Case-ers:
“Appealing characters and the alluring setting of a night market make Death by Bubble Tea a delicious page-turner of a mystery.”—Ellen Byron, Agatha Award winner and USA Today bestselling author of Cajun Kiss of Death
“As addictive as shrimp dumplings and sticky rice in lotus leaves, Jennifer J. Chow’s Death By Bubble Tea will provide a delightful treat for lovers of culinary cozies. With its intrepid sleuth and vividly-drawn setting, this clever whodunit will have you greedily turning the pages for more.”—Leslie Karst, author of the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari series
Idea generation misery
I have a two-book deal for the L.A. Night Market series but after that, who knows? (Note to self: Do not write a whole manuscript before checking with your agent to see if it’s salable—at least that didn’t work for me, but it has for friends.) I’ve had to shelve a few WIPs and am back to the drawing board. But I do currently have the glimmer of a sparkle of an idea…
It feels like I’m wading through a writing
slump swamp, so I wouldn’t mind a restart. Thank you, February 1st, for having brought me another new year.
How about everyone else? Would you like a do-over or not?