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Shanghai Noir

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle: publication date 01.04.2017

There's an epic mahjong scene in Crazy Rich Asians in which two women fight for the love of a man. As Chinese ladies are wont to do, they arrive for their mano a mano flashing lipstick, diamonds and a fresh manicure. It ain't about strength for us Asian tigresses. It's about tearing out the heart of your opponent, strand by strand.

Symbolism oozes in this mahjong scene, from the table seating to the discarded bamboo tiles. And then there's the number eight. It's the coup de grace in the film. But you'll also find it on license plates and storefronts all over Southern California. It's regarded as a sign of fortune and supposedly the reason why Monterey Park is such a mecca for well-heeled Chinese: that highly auspicious area code 818. Read all about a little ABC turned Cinderella thanks to a lucky number 8 in this week's blog post: Crazy Rich Asians. And if you get hooked into that saga, then click on the photo above and you can follow the Twitter account #crazyrichmovie.

I'm liking the number 8 for other reasons these days. Paul Manafort found guilty on 8 counts. Michael Cohen pleads guilty to 8 counts. As the cherry on top of the cake, GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter has just been indicted for campaign finance fraud. It's too late for the GOP to launch a new candidate for the California 50th so that district is now in play. Come on, blue wave!

In other news, my short story "Frogs" is getting published. It should be out in September on the Canadian flash fiction platform nunum.ca. If all goes well, I'll have a second publication soon to follow, this time a review of a poetry collection for a US literary journal. Watch this space!

Rewriting History
Shanghai Mind
Mother Tongues
Violent Femmes
Graffiti

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