Writing, Cultural Diversity and….erm… my mum.
I’m thinking about moving house. My current house is getting a little small. So I make the mistake of telling my mum that I am thinking of moving house. In my head I am sure my mum would say something like errr… “Happy house hunting!” and then let their grown up child who has flown the coop for 7 years already be, but of course this is how the conversation really went down.
Me: Mum, I’m thinking of moving house. I’m going to see this house on Monday.
Mum: What is the house number?
Mum: 20 is good. 18 is better and 8 is best, but thank goodness it’s not 4. I would say don’t even bother if it’s a 4. So bad luck. Chinese people don’t need bad luck.
Me: Um… okay. Thanks for the blessing.
Mum: Make sure the first question you ask the agent is “Why are the owners moving? Did someone die in the house?”
Me: I’m pretty sure if the owners are selling because they had all been involved in a mass murder I would have gotten wind of it.
Mum: You never know. I remember when we first started house hunting when we immigrated to Australia, some of the houses we looked at, I had to bring protective charms and everything.
Me: Okay. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Mum: Do you want your dad to come? Your dad is the construction expert in the family.
Me: No, no, I can do this myself.
(Later I found out my dad did secretly visit the house. If the neighbours spotted an older Chinese man tapping on all the bricks on front to check for workmanship, that would be Dad. He would also comment that the house is obviously built by Italians and was very solid, immigrants always built their houses strong… so shout out to the Italian community #immigrantpride)
Anyway, being a POC writer, my aim is always to try and write POC characters when I do with a lot of heart and integrity, maintaining what makes them and their family mad and crazy and fabulous, but without sending them over to caricature land. I recently received an email from lovely teen writer Wendy Chen who purchased a copy of my novel Preloved from a Preloved bookstore. How cute is that? She totally needs to be a character in another story in her own right. Here is an awesome article she wrote for That Reminds Me Mag about my novel and cultural diversity and it is so intelligent and all good things. Check it out. I feel very honoured.
To all those POC writers out there, I see your true colours.