I wish all of you a very happy new year, the Chinese Lunar one begins at the end of this month or early next. You'll all know it as it will be well advertised in your cities. It will be the year of the Earth Horse, as even though there are twelve animals in the Chinese Calendar, each is divided into the Five Elements. Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and one other, escapes my mind at the moment. It will come back to me at 3 am. So if you are celebrating your 12th, 24th, 36th, 48 th etc, birthday, then this is your year. You can look it up on Chinese horoscope sites for free and find out your character type. My gorgeous daughter is an Earth Horse, and her great free spirit and sense of adventure is also tempered by a well-grounded common sense. So she is very true to type.
I am a Wood Monkey -- yes! That is the 5th element WOOD! So even though I have the capriciousness of a monkey and the ability to mimic, I am also very set in some ways, like a block of wood. Though I like to think of myself as the finest Kauri (the best NZ native) or perhaps a majestic Sequoia. I think all in all the best way to know your type is to marry both Chinese and Western horoscopes. Then you get the most detailed reading.
Well this is going to be my very good year. I have just put out THE MING ADMIRAL: A CHINESE ODYSSEY which is now out on all book sites. You can get a paperback version from Create Space. This was very well reviewed, garnering a 5 Star. It is what some people call a 'rollicking good read' which means it is fast paced, and full of adventure, pain, and pathos. Look for it on your favourite e-book site.
The Chinese Characters here is ZHENGHE, the name of the Ming Admiral who was castrated and put into service of the Warrior Prince Zhu Di who later seized the throne from his nephew with the help of ZhengHe. ZhengHe was a great soldier, poet, diplomat and finally a Great Admiral. There are temples to him all over Asia where he is regarded as a saint.
The book takes him from his early life in the mountains of Yunnan to the end of the Emperor' s reign. A tempestuous and dangerous relationship between two of the most incredible men in China's long history.
Also to be published soon is the sequel to MEMORIES IN THE BONE. This second book in the trilogy of the Chinese Diaspora is called DESTINIES DIVIDED and follows the lives of the mixed-race children of ZHOU YU and HOROWHAI, the Maori slave girl he saved.
It will be out by March, which is fortuitous and really quite unplanned, because 2014 is the commemorative year of WW1.
I am sure most of you are unaware of the Chinese involvement in that war. Well, nearly 200,000 of them served in Flanders on the side of the Allies. Find out why from DESTINIES DIVIDED.
Till my next blog, I wish you all a wonderful new year. May 2014 bring you all the health, wealth and happiness you all deserve.