Lanying is envious of my blog. I had assumed she wasn’t reading it but she claims to have had a quick look. It’s a good job I didn’t post that article I wrote on Tuesday night then. There are certain things about my novel that I don’t want her to know yet. She knows she’s in it but I haven’t told her yet what part she plays.
I was lulled into a false sense of security while she was in Munich because I got into a dreamy state of mind in which I imagined she was just another fictional character. But she is real. I picked her up from the airport last night and we touched and talked.
It’s strange when you discover that your characters have an independent life.
Soon she is going to give up one form of independence — her job — and exchange it for another form of independence — a blog. She already has a blog but she wants to start a new one. I have inspired her.
I’ve told her that she should make her blog anonymous and not tell me where to find it. It’s not enough that she’s going to write it in Chinese. With a bit of effort I can decipher Chinese and I might be tempted to pry. It’s best if I don’t even know about it. Then she can write with complete freedom.
She writes beautifully. In Chinese you can achieve poetic effects that are inconceivable in English. A single Chinese character can hold a lot of information and they can be combined in very creative ways. There are also hundreds of homophones in Chinese so there is scope for clever wordplay and suggestive ambiguity in almost every sentence. My Chinese is not good enough to appreciate all this but Lanying uses imagery so cleverly that I can tell that her writing is beautiful even when it’s translated into English.
I suppose her new independence may also be seen as a form of dependence. She will have to rely on my income. She will be a bit like a human epiphyte, which is appropriate because her name means orchid, which is one of the most beautiful epiphytes.
So with a little nurturing and privacy and the right environment her creative imagination will flower.