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It was at the MGS Reunion Dinner held at Impiana Hotel in Ipoh last Saturday night (13th June) that my second book, “A Daughter Less Ordinary” made its debut. Past and present teachers as well as former students were the first to buy and read the tale of a girl born with a pair of yin yang eyes. I truly hope they will like the book and find a meaning in the story.

I am very grateful to the organizing committee for allowing me the opportunity to bring my book to more readers. Special thanks to Miss Yau Sook Fun for making this happened.

Meeting the school principal inspired me to donate two of my first book, “The Scissor Sharpener’s Daughter” to the school library so that present students could read the tale of a girl growing up at 188 Hugh Low Street as the daughter of a humble scissor sharpener struggling to make a living amidst poverty and despair.

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The night was even more meaningful for me when a little girl of hardly seven ran up to me and wanted to have a copy of my first book, thus becoming my youngest reader!

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It was during this reunion dinner that I managed to meet up with some former classmates whom I have not seen for more than thirty years. We had a wonderful time catching up.MGS 1981 group

All in all, it was a memorable night for all who were there that night.

Once again, a big thank you, MGS!

“Our utmost for the highest!”

 

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Mrs. Wong Yew Choong is my former teacher at Methodist Girls’ School (Ipoh) and she has helped me in editing my second book. I am very blessed to have her help and support. Below is her endorsement:

When Frances told me she was planning to write another book, I was pleased that she would continue on her chosen path as a writer. But when she said she planned to write about her experience as one who possessed a “third eye”, I had wondered what she could make of such a story. However, she has successfully penned her personal experience in a realm which few of us know about. Whilst believing that such events did occur, I had never explored the details about such “bizarre” occurrences. Reading what Frances has written, I have learnt more about this world of the supernatural. She has woven a fascinating tale of her life, love, sad and happy experiences…..a story everyone will appreciate and enjoy.

Thank you, Mrs. Wong!

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In Ipoh, Cantonese is widely spoken – you must understand this dialect to move around and get things done. At home, my father used to speak Cantonese, so too Mom, Grandma and all my elder siblings.

Besides the daily conversations, Cantonese proverbs were a common feature in our house.

“Yau kam sang, mo loi sai” means “only in this life and not in the next.” This is used when siblings are at odd with each other. We were reminded to cherish each other because we are only siblings in this life and not in our next.

“Lou luen kut tow” means “all the bones got mixed up in the same urn.” This is also used to describe siblings at odd with each other, just like the bones fighting for some space and privacy when they found themselves being kept in the same urn.

“Man see yew yan” means “to stay cool and calm in all situations.” This was the advice my father gave me on the day I moved down to Kuala Lumpur to stay.

“Ngor sik yim toh gor lei sik mai” means “I ate more salt than you eat rice.” Used to describe a person who has gone through a lot of trial and tribulations in life.

These Cantonese proverbs which Dad used very often, appeared in my second book, “A Daughter Less Ordinary.”

To me, proverbs are pearls of wisdom, and hence, I love to use them in my writings.

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When the movie was over, hand in hand, we walked home together along the quiet Cockman Street. No cars were in sight and all the shops in that vicinity have been closed. It was midnight and way past my usual bedtime.

“Do you like the movie we saw just now?” Dad asked me as we quicken our steps. I told him I loved it, especially the scene where the giant gorilla took the beautiful girl away and disappeared among the skyscrapers of New York. He nodded amusingly. I loved that part too, he replied smilingly.

When we reached the doorstep of 188 Hugh Low Street, instead of entering the house with me, Dad bid me goodbye and prodded me to go inside. Quick, your mother is waiting for you, he urged me. I was very surprised that he did not follow along. Turning my head around, I saw him floating away into the dark. Baffled by this, I ran out and called loudly after him, “Dad, where are you going? Please come back!”

Of course my father did not come back anymore except only in my dreams…..

Excerpt from my second book, “A Daughter Less Ordinary.”

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When I told Dad about the couple’s fate on my next trip home, he said life was like having a dream and then waking up from it.

“One moment, you’re rich. The next, you’re a pauper. One moment, you’re alive. The next, you’re dead. It’s just like waking up from a dream when morning came and nothing of it remained,” he sighed as he got up from his easy chair to get himself a cup of Chinese tea.

I am sure, at the age of eighty eight, Dad knew what he was talking about. After all, he had been through two world wars and in his own words, “Ngor sik yim toh gor lei sik mai.” It means he had eaten more salt than I have eaten rice!

Another excerpt from my second book, “A Daughter Less Ordinary”.

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She was in tears because from now onward, she would have to do everything on her own and this prospect really depressed and frightened her at the same time. In between tears, she let out a deep sigh.

“You’re so ungrateful to me……..remember how I got you a job in a big company………and now you’re leaving me just like that,” she accused me with a glaring stare to which I had grown so accustomed by now.

“I think I’ve repaid you enough, just take a look at my hands,” I said, and showed her my hands, so harsh and dry from all the washing and scrubbing which I took up on her behalf so that she could keep her hands silky smooth.

“No, it’s not enough! You’ll never be able to repay me for the rest of your life!” she yelled back at me, stamping her foot angrily and drops of tears were seen dripping from her sculptured cheek onto her fine jaw.

More excerpt from my second book, “A Daughter Less Ordinary”.

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The violent urge to throw up again and again when there was nothing much left in my stomach made me cry out in frustration. In the end, my tiny frame could not put up with this kind of punishment anymore. Drained of all energy, I just collapsed back onto the bed with small drops of saliva dribbling down from one side of my mouth.

When Mom recalled that fateful night with me days later, she said, with my limbs dangling lifelessly over the bedside, and my long hair in such a terrible mess, I looked more like some child’s discarded doll lying by the rubbish dump than a robust young girl of twenty and in the prime of her life.

When all the throwing-up was done, the room was strangely quiet again. So quiet I could hear my own breathing and also the hanging fan rotating sluggishly above me. Obviously, Dad had not oiled it for some time. Even in my current condition, I found the noise a bit annoying to my ears.

Excerpt from my second book, “A Daughter Less Ordinary”.