Light Show on The Bund, Shanghai

dsc06736

One of the highlights of my trip to China in October was Shanghai. With a population of over 24 million, it is three times bigger than New York. If you combine Shanghai’s population with the 8 million who inhabit the city of Suzhou which is just two hours away, it almost equals Canada’s population which is just over 36 million.

Shanghai rivals New York City in razzle dazzle. Every evening from 6p.m. to 10p.m., it puts on a light show along The Bund that highlights the old and the new sides of the city. Here’s a short 2 minute video that I put together. It doesn’t do it justice, but I hope you enjoy it.

10 Tips for Travelling in China

dsc07368

I went on a group tour of seven cities in China in October which is considered an ideal time to go. There were so many things to consider in preparation for the trip, the main one being what to wear as the tour started in the north in Beijing where the temperature was supposed to be about 12C to Guilin in the south where it should have been around 20C. During the trip, we learned that the weather forecast was, as our tour guide put it, “just a suggestion”. I packed long sleeve t-shirts and a jacket for Beijing’s cold weather forecast and ended up wearing short sleeve t-shirts as the days were hot and sunny. Elsewhere, cloudy forecasts turned out to be either drizzle or heavy rain. Rainy forecasts in the south were hot, humid days instead. I regretted not bringing a pair of shorts, but when we returned to Beijing for the flight home, the temperature had dropped to 7C.

So if you’re planning a trip to China, here are a few tips to help make your trip more comfortable: Continue reading

It’s a Barbie World

One of the most famous names in the world now has a permanent home in Montreal. Barbie Expo is the largest permanent exhibit of Barbie dolls in the world and is open to the public for free at Les Cours Mont Royal. I had a Barbie doll when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite toys. I loved the dresses my mom made for her out of scrap material. They weren’t as fancy as Mattel couture, but I thought they were beautiful. The Barbies in this exhibit wear outfits designed by top designers such as Vera Wang, Bob Mackie, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein and Versace. With dolls that resemble Beyonce, Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Lawrence, Lucille Ball and more, the exhibit is a fascinating commentary on fashion and pop culture.

Continue reading

Five Ideas on Where to Promote Your Self-Published Book

I’ve uploaded my latest book, The Red Pagoda and Other Stories, to Kindle, set it for pre-orders and now for the part that I find is as hard as writing the book: the marketing. Of course, social media is always a good choice, but I thought I’d share some other options that I’ve used, big and small. What I keep in mind is that all magazines and their web sites need content. It’s just a matter of finding them and seeing what works for you.

Continue reading

Being an Author is Just Another Day in the Park

One of the things I enjoy about being an author is that I get to take part in some fun events. Saturday, I was at Prose in the Park, an annual outdoor literary festival which was held at Parkdale Park in Ottawa. It was an opportunity to meet local authors, to listen to them talk about their books, their views on writing and the publishing industry, and of course, to buy new books. Continue reading

Straight Talk about Race

So now you get to see what my Cover Girl experience was all about. The CBC officially launched Real Talk on Race today. For the next two weeks, CBC Montreal’s radio, television and social media platforms will be discussing and encouraging people to talk about race and racial identity. Ten Montrealers,  including me, contributed personal stories which you can read on their web site. My story will roll out on Wednesday, but you can have a sneak peek here.

Listen to CBC radio’s Daybreak and Radio Noon. You can join the conversation by texting or calling into the show. You can also like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CBCMontreal/ or follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @CBCMontreal.