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November 2020



Dear Friend,
 
If my book, Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops, were adapted into a film, this would be the dream cast:
 
Bruce Willis would play Cameron Chastain, a rebellious young man from Texas who is assigned to serve a two-year mission for his church in Taiwan. 

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Rosamund Kwan would play Allison Hong, a Taiwanese young woman who understands she has the agency to choose the life she wants, and pays the price for it.  


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This role should rightfully go to Ed Harris because, in the book, Ethan is described as a 36-year-old Canadian man who looks like Ed Harris. Sadly, Harris doesn’t have enough hair to properly portray the character Ethan, so I have to cast Viggo Mortensen instead.
 

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Hugh Grant would play Drake Merrill, an American young man who is nonjudgmental and accepting. All he does is love, love, love. His camera time is short, but the film ends in a glorious moment when he turns out to be the gift to Allison for metaphorically having jumped through 99 fire hoops to create her own destiny.  

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Ken Watanabe would play Ah-Gung, a wise, kind, and loving patriarch in a Hakka clan village in Taiwan.

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It’s tricky to cast this role. In the book, Ah-Po is a Taiwanese grandmother in her 60s. Among all the Chinese actresses in that age group, Gong Li is a top choice. Although, at 54, she looks like she was in her 30s. It’s a great problem for her to have, and quite a common one among Asians.

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In the book, the character of Dad Bushman is described to resemble the late U.S. president, Ronald Reagan. But I feel that Sir Thomas Sean Connery would be a great actor to play Dad Bushman, a generous and kind man from Utah who devotes his life and his wealth to serving God and his fellow beings. 

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Jamie Lee Curtis would play Mom Bushman, a nurturing and virtuous lady who loves unconditionally. 

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Takeshi Kaneshiro would play Baba, a free-spirited, athletic, alcoholic father who struggles with infidelity. 

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Here I face the same problem mentioned above. In the book, Mama starts out as a young mother in her late 20s. 41-year-old Zhang Ziyi is just right for this character’s growth through time. 

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What do you imagine the story is like with these characters in it? I would love to hear your version. Please email me your idea to be featured in a future segment. Thanks! 

 
Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is available on September 21, 2021. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55414844-99-fire-hoops. Thanks for your support. I love you!
 


Blessings,


October 2020



The Chinese use a lunisolar calendar, so every year, major Chinese holidays fall on different dates on a Gregorian calendar. For example, the Mid-Autumn Festival (August 15 on a lunisolar calendar) falls on October 1 this year. 
 

According to Chinese mythology, there used to be ten suns in the sky, scorching the earth and destroying crops. A talented archer, Hou-Yi, shot down nine of them, ending people’s suffering. To acknowledge Hou-Yi’s heroism, Heavenly Queen Mother rewarded him with the elixir of immortality.
 


Hou-Yi grew arrogant and cruel. His wife, Chang-Eh, couldn’t bear the thought of people suffering a different kind of misery in his company, so she took the elixir. As soon as she did, Chang-Eh floated all the way to the moon and stayed there, forever.
 


The Mid-Autumn Festival is the day when the full moon appears the brightest and the biggest in an entire year. Traditionally, Taiwanese people gather with family and friends under the brilliant moon, eating moon cakes, pomelos, barbeque dinner, and (re)telling Chang-Eh’s story. 
 


Can you imagine how crushed they were when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 and didn’t see Chang-Eh there? Nevertheless, the myth of Chang-Eh on the moon lives on forever.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, my friend!
 



P.S.: What would you like to see next? Please email me your ideas to be featured in a future segment. Thanks! 


Blessings,

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