James Michael Bush: Eat, Play, Write, Travel

Little India, Deepavali, and Challenges


It was Deepavali, or Diwali, this week! My family and I went down to Little India in George Town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site here in Penang, Malaysia. Little India here really is… LITTLE! Consisting of only three roads; Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Chulia, and Lebuh Pasar (sometimes referred to as Jalan Pasar, or Market Street). The streets were lined with people, stalls, decorations, sweet treats, and delicious samosas.

Now, according to my seven year old who learned about the holiday during his Bahasa Malaysia class, Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights. A time to celebrate the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi, and her husband Lord Vishnu. Traditionally, people clean their homes and workspaces during the day of Deepavali, and then at night light candles in and around the home while wearing new and fancy outfits, then pray to Lakshmi. Not Padme from Top Chef, but since I’m not Hindu, that’s who I thought fondly of. Pretty lady.

So anyway, we wandered down the three bustling avenues of Little India in our new city, and the smells took me away, reminding me of my dream to one day live in India. I’m fascinated by the culture of India; more so than any other Asian country. I know it’s considered crowded, dirty, hot, and smoggy. I don’t care. The music, the food, the movies, the clothes, and the language… every single aspect of it fills me with interest and excitement. I’ll admit it; I’m a little obsessed.

It’s going to happen for me one day. I will go there, and I will live in India. I’m the type of person that sets a goal and goes for it. Take for example the NaNoWriMo Challenge; to write a 50k word novel during the month of November. A year ago, I would have said it was impossible. No way. I don’t have enough thoughts in my head to fill a book!

Well, in March of this year, I decided to pursue writing. I sat down and wrote a book. I wrote it four damn times, to be precise. It’s now a 101k word urban fantasy about magic users in China, a thousand year old magical terrorist, and the law enforcement agency of mages and wizards that must find the villain, and put an end to his murderous rampage.

Then, I wrote a 63k word novel set in Alabama in the not too distant future, about two people falling in love, the hardships they face, a global corporation trying to ruin their lives and take everything they have, and automatons, too.

After accomplishing those two monstrous feats, I felt a sense of pride… and a growing collection of stories in my subconscious mind waiting to be unleashed. I put pen to paper and began jotting down story ideas like crazy. I’ve got loads of books to write, y’all. It’s insane to me, still.

So when I heard about NaNoWriMo, I knew that it was not going to be a problem for me. I mean, I wrote two big books in eight months, surely I can write a smaller book in one month? Right?

Well, we’re 11 days into the challenge, and I’ve got 36k words written. Yep, I’m almost done. Of course, my mind doesn’t work well with limits, so I know this story is going so ZOOM past 50k words and keep on going.

The book I’m currently working on deals with two of my favorite subjects: space travel and dwarves with battle hammers. I never said I was Hemingway, y’all. I write nerdy shit, and I love it. I’m still trying to get my first book represented by a literary agent, and some beta readers are reading the second one as I type this. Soon, I’ll be sending that one off to agents everywhere, too.

Someday soon, my books will be available for everyone. I wish they were available right now, but I can wait. I’m patient.

Until then,

Day day up, y’all.

#writerslife #america #asia #magic #writer #malaysia #china #expat #blog #expatlife #blogger #travel #alabama #author #littleindia #penang #georgetown #UNESCO #novels #fantasy #scifi #diwali #deepavali #hindu #vishnu #lakshmi

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