Tag Archives: anthology

Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror by Lee Murray

Stars: 5 out of 5 (Extra extra star for the gorgeous cover)

I don’t often read non-fiction unless I need it for work, so I was a bit skeptical when I picked up this book. But that cover drew me in like a magnet, so I decided to give it a try. And I must admit that I didn’t regret my choice.

This is a collection of essays by Asian women about their experiences having to reconcile two often different cultures or trying to integrate into a culture that is different then the one they were born into. It’s also about the role of women in Asian culture and how powerless they often are. And each essay also talks about some monsters traditional to various Asian cultures and how those monsters are often females.

Yes, summarized like that this book doesn’t sound particularly interesting, but trust me, it is. Maybe because being an immigrant myself, I can relate to the struggle of reconciling different cultures within oneself. I had to move and integrate into a different society several times in my life, and each time I had to decide which parts of myself I wanted to leave behind and what was the “core” of my being that I wouldn’t compromise on, no matter how strange and “foreign” that made me in my new country. 

And while my culture doesn’t have such a radical and repressive stance against women, I still can relate to their struggles. My mother also sacrificed her career to follow my father into a foreign country and dedicated her life to raising a family. She also never bothered to learn the language. She surrounded herself with friends that spoke the same language instead. So you might say that she never fully integrated, even after living there for 20 years.

So a lot of these stories resonated with me, and as a bonus, I got to learn about folklore of other countries, which I am always fascinated with.

PS: I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My short story “A Small Detour” has been published.

I have started my journey to become a writer during NaNoWriMo 2013. Can’t believe it’s already been seven months. During that time

  1. I have finished the first draft of my novel Of Broken Things,

  2. thought I had finished a short story called Mists of the Crossworlds, but it decided to become a novelette instead,

  3. Finished the short story A Small Detour.

  4. Started the first round of edits and rewrites on Of Broken Things.

  5. Started brainstorming an idea for a new novel involving a vampire and a Tuata de Danan (don’t ask, I have no idea what’s going on there, I’m still busy torturing my characters and prying information out of them).

  6. Had to get a big bucket for all the plot bunnies that started breading in my head at the speed of light.

  7. Started submitting A Small Detour to different magazines.

Well, on May 24 I passed another important milestone on my writing journey. My short story had been accepted by Witty Bard Publishing LLC to be featured in their anthology Of Dragons and Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds. Here is a beautiful picture of the cover:

Of Dragons and Magic

This is a big deal for me. I know it’s just a short story, but to me this is proof that what I do is worth something. That I’m not just spinning stories for myself and my immediate family, and that other people might find it interesting and worth their while. As of two days ago, I ceased to be a pre-published writer and became an author.

To pick your curiosity, here is a little synopsis of A Small Detour: When Ryssa’s horse gets stolen along with most of her possessions, she is forced to take a small detour. Little does she know that this detour had been the destination the Norns had intended for her all along.

It’s available on Amazon (see link above), so go check it out, spread the word. The other stories in the anthology are well worth your while as well.

Onwards towards new accomplishments!