Monday, February 8, marks the official beginning of the Lunar New Year: Gung Hay Fat Choy!
One of the nicest things about celebrating Chinese New Year is the sense of getting a holiday do-over. This past Christmas and New Year’s caught me flat-footed and unprepared. And January 2016 has seemed particularly January-ish, bringing more than its share of bad news and untimely passings. So it’s nice to have something to look forward to with hope—and crossed fingers that things will be better from this point on.
Last year, there was considerable confusion over which zodiac animal was being recognized, owing to multiple interpretations of the Chinese character. Was it the Year of the Sheep? The Year of the Goat? The Year of the Deer (which I must admit has a certain ring to it)? Apparently, it could have been any hooved, grass-eating, cervine animal being honored.
This year, there is no such doubt. Welcome in the Year of the Monkey!
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And not just any Monkey: the Fire Monkey, especially known for its energy, activity, and aggression! The Fire Monkey can be reckless, headstrong, and impatient, but if its energy is channeled properly and in a positive direction, it can also be a force for creativity and productivity.
Sounds like an auspicious omen for a writer, or anyone else who makes a living by their creativity! So bring on the Year of the Monkey, along with lion dances, dragon dances, firecrackers, lanterns, gongs, tangerines (the lions are partial to those), noodle dishes (for longevity), and of course, those red envelopes bringing good fortune and usually a bit of extra wherewithal…
In lieu of those red envelopes, I’m giving away two digital copies of Devices & Desires, Book One of my new historical series, The Lyons Pride! A description and excerpt can be found here and here. Comment by midnight PST, Monday, 2/8—with a contact email address, please--for a chance to win!
Happy Year of the Monkey!