Late Night Coping Mechanisms

There’s been a long silence on this blog, not because I haven’t been eating and reading books, but because I’m almost done writing my second novel. I say this with some trepidation because to be honest, I’ve been claiming I’m “almost done” for a while. And all the time, my book keeps getting longer and longer and longer.

The good news is that I’m very excited about it, as I think it’s a strange and interesting tale. The bad news is, of course, I also thought the same thing about my ill-fated elephant novel, which featured a first person pachyderm detective.

“Why aren’t you done yet?” said my sister the other day. “How much longer is this book going to be?!”

“Um… I just need to kill off a few more people.” I said.

It’s terrible to announce one’s progress to friends in terms of a literary body count, but as they pile up, I feel a certain freedom. Like a dog eagerly sticking its head out of the car window, I can smell it coming – hooray, the end of the book is nigh! Though of course I’m very sad to say goodbye to all these fictional people, and maybe, just maybe I can squeeze in an extra plot twist. This is when one must give one’s inner dog a sharp tap on the nose.

Chastised, I then recall telling my lovely and long-suffering agent that I’d send her something to read in August…of 2014. Now it’s November 2015 and my giant book is far too large to send to anyone without a good chopping. At least 60,000 words must go before I can show it to people without having them run away screaming in horror, so a few days ago I sat down and contemplated my manuscript. Hmm.

Then I got up and went to the fridge to find some “inspiration”.

Back again. Yes, I can do this! If I make “I am” and “He had” into things like “I’m” and “He’d” then I can get rid of lots of words. Ha ha!

Gloom as I realize that there aren’t enough contractions to save me.

More walking back to the fridge, dejectedly, to discover that all the dark chocolate inspiration has been eaten by my inner dog.

Needless to say, I’ve bounced between encouragement, excitement and also the pit of despair as I embark on the endgame to this novel. In fact late one night, I decided to make lots of quail egg bunnies (see above picture) to take my mind off the process. Note: the more elaborate my kids’ lunches, the more procrastinating I’ve done. 

The good news is that the quail egg bunnies were cute and all the children loved them. The bad news is that they were too cute and they didn’t want to eat them. Which, I suppose, is sort of the same way I’m feeling about my novel. So I’ve told myself that now is the time to murder my darlings. Or at least, eat the darned things.

How to make quail egg bunnies:

  • Boil as many quail eggs as you want plus some extra. You can never have too many bunnies. Quail eggs cook fast so don’t overcook them. About 5 minutes should do it.
  • Peel them.
  • Cut a thin slice off the long side of the egg to make a flat bottom so your bunny won’t tip over.
  • Take the slice you cut off and cut a small V shaped bit off. This will be the bunny’s ears.
  • Cut a slit about 1/3 of the way along the egg from the pointy end (where you think the bunny’s head should be) and insert the ear piece. You’ll be surprised at how nicely it sticks up.
  • Add 2 small eyes made of black sesame seeds.
  • Present on a dish and watch as small children refuse to eat them.

What are your late night coping mechanisms?

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32 responses to “Late Night Coping Mechanisms”

    • I saw a photo somewhere on the internet of something like this; it’s pretty simple to figure out once you look at it carefully. I think you can make them with chicken eggs too, but probably not as cute!

  1. You can always make the book into a “trilogy” or “saga”. Been waiting for this second book till my “neck long” already. LoL

    Sure looks cute. My son would love the bunnies.

    • Thanks for waiting! I will try my best. Must. Finish. Soon!

      You should try making them for your son. It’s quite easy (though a bit fiddly trying to stick the eyes on. I had to use a toothpick to help out). 🙂

  2. I am here by way of Tor and Bookriot’s 7 Standalone Novels for Fantasy Lovers. I’m enjoying your blog so much that I ordered your book, which I probably would have ordered anyway because, ghosts! I’m a big fan of ghosts, especially since I have been in their presence more than a few times.

    • Hi Soyfig,

      Thank you for your kind words! What an honor to hear that you discovered this blog via Tor and Bookriot’s lists – I’m delighted that you’ve enjoyed it and hope that you enjoy the book too! 🙂

  3. My sister suggested a dual book review of your book on our blogs (which we post next week), so I ordered your book and absolutely loved it from page one. There are very few books I love from page one, so thank you! I then, of course because why not, stalked your goodreads author page to find out everything you’ve written which led me here to your blog. I can’t wait to read anything else you write!

    Pertaining to the quail eggs, they’re adorable and my son would have no trepidation eating them. His favorite way to eat gummy bears is to bite the heads off first and laugh. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that but it’s apparently a normal toddler occurrence.

    • Thank you so much – I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Will try my best to finish up my new book as I’m now editing it and doing final research checks back in Malaysia. In fact, I’m currently in a small town called Taiping taking pictures of the old Anglican graveyard and the lovely colonial Lake Gardens (will post pix on my FB page )
      Hope your son enjoys the quail egg bunnies as much as his gummy bears! 🙂

  4. I’m a writer who has been where you seem to be, and I share your pain! Having just read The Ghost Bride, I am clamoring for more. As a sister with ink in my veins, I hope you are finding your way forward, and if you ever need to commiserate, I”m not hard to find. Wishing you well, wonderful writer and lady!

    • Hi Patricia,

      How lovely to hear from you! I enjoyed your website immensely and was delighted and honored that you read my book! Yes, things are still “progressing”… a feeling that you probably know well. 🙂 I’m hoping though that my gigantic book will see the light of day soon, as it’s with my agent. In the meantime, I’m working on the next one (reward: marzipan coated with dark chocolate). Thanks for stopping by and I wish you all the best for this Chinese new year of the Rooster!

  5. I’m sending encouragement to you! Your writing was an absolute treat; I can only believe your next novel will be a wonder. Thank you for your hard work! Also, with Easter around the corner, your egg bunnies will be a hit with my kids!

    • Hi trishadaze,

      That’s very kind of you! Hopefully, I’ll have some news to share soon, but in the meantime, thank you for the good wishes. Happy Easter and I hope that your kids enjoy the egg bunnies. 🙂

    • Hi Michal,

      Thank you! My new book isn’t a sequel (am open to writing one in the future!), though it’s set in the same world of colonial Malaya. And if you look hard you just might catch a glimpse of Li Lan in it… 😉

      • Hi Kathy,
        It’s almooosstt done! Book has been sold (yay! will have update on that when official press release comes out) and I’ve submitted it to my publisher and am waiting for 2nd round edits. I’m so sorry it’s taken so long – I’m a slow writer and it also ballooned into a gigantic book that then had to be cut in half. Thank you for being patient! xoxo

  6. I’m a long time reader and lover of the Ghost Bride and am so so excited to read your new book! I really hope that it’s available to read soon 🙂

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