24 June 2021 update: I have taken a brief hiatus after my father passed away earlier this year but will be back soon with more articles and essays.
5 Tips on Self-Healing During Tumultuous Times, The Ascent, November 2020
Make Writing Your Therapy, Write Like a Girl, November 2020
How I Began To Breathe Again, In Fitness And In Health, October 2020
A Guide to Self-Care, In Fitness And In Health, August 2020
Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Cinemania, February 2021
The Queen’s Gambit Got Me To Play Chess Again, Cinemania, January 2021
All my life, writing has been my therapy. Then came the triple whammy of 2020: the pandemic, divorce, and my dad’s illness.
Some days, I can’t write. Not poetry, not fiction, not an essay.
The feelings swirl inside me like fragments of fruit in a blender not yet ready to become a smoothie. I pick up a pen, and there’s nothing.
Then, I turn to drawing.
My hand remembers. I sketch the faces I’ve trained it to sketch and in them, there is some peace and comfort.
Often, it is the other way round. I can’t draw but the words…
It has been known now for some time that cats have deep emotional lives and are capable of great love and affection for their humans.
We frequently read about it in news stories, the most recent of which is the Malaysian cat Nana who still visits her human’s grave every day since he passed on 2 years ago.
Love is always best shown through actions, not words, and it is in these 8 ways that your cats show you they love you.
When you love someone, you want to spend most of your time with them.
For cats, it’s the…
Bryan Thao Worra is the Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate and the author of 10+ books. He holds over 20 national and international awards for his writing and community leadership. He is the President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association and a professional member of the Horror Writers Association. He has presented at the Smithsonian, the London Summer Games, and around the world on the role of the imagination and memory in creative writing as a poet and prose writer, particularly focusing on the creative journeys of Southeast Asians. You can visit him online at http://thaoworra.com. …
After he died,
My father told me,
Don’t look for me
In my bones and ashes,
I am not there.
I am now free —
I am pure energy
Released into the world
After years of captivity
In a body that consumed me.
See, I am here
With my sister and my mother
And we are strong and happy,
Free from bodies that chained us.
Here we are, always close to you,
Written in your code, your DNA,
Wired to be forever with you
Because of love,
A universal tie that binds us
Together for always.
Note: My father died at 11.08pm +0800 GMT on 24th February 2021. He was 86. Goodbye, Dad. I will miss you forever.
Lee Murray is a multi-award-winning author-editor from Aotearoa-New Zealand. Her unique perspective as a Chinese New Zealander has been instrumental in the success of her writing, from her military thrillers to supernatural crime noirs, culminating in her first collection Grotesque: Monster Stories and the birth of Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, an anthology by women writers of Asian descent, edited alongside Australian-Chinese editor Geneve Flynn. In this interview, Murray talks about her life as a Eurasian in New Zealand and how it has influenced her writing.
Interstellar Flight Press: Tell us about yourself and your Asian influences through your…
“The sun always shines on TV.” ~a-ha
Once upon a time, I thought so many of the relationships I watched on TV and in the movies were perfect, so romantic, so ideal. Now, I realize I was painfully wrong about most of them.
Poisonous, toxic relationships on film and television are often disguised as romantic, with such tropes as:
“If he is mean to you, it means he likes you.” (No, he is just mean.)
“She cheated on you to make you jealous, isn’t that romantic?” (No, it is infidelity, pure and simple.)
“You’re his wife, of course he has…
Ask me about
The delicate bond between
A mother and daughter
And I could give you
A tome of grief and
A river of sadness.
For nothing breaks
A daughter like the lack
Of her mother’s love.
Nothing destroys her
Like the barbs of criticism
That never stop.
They tear at her,
Peeling layers off her skin
Until she is raw from just
Being exposed to air —
It gets hard to breathe,
Let alone live.
My daughter will not
Experience all that,
I promised myself this.
She will always feel loved
And heard. …
I was taught chess at the ancient age of 17 by a learned and cultured boyfriend. He was an avid player and we spent countless weekends at the local chess club. When I was there, I never dared play with others but I watched and analyzed the many games.
Our relationship didn’t last but my fascination with the game endured. When I was 23 and working in a pub as a bartender, I set up my chess set by the counter and I’d play in between serving drinks. I won every game. The exhilaration was unparalleled.
Life shifted and other…
Hansel and Gretel lived with
Their father and stepmother
After their loving mom
Suddenly died of cancer.
Their father’s new wife told him
To get rid of the children.
She said she’d love him better
If they were no longer with him.
So he took them for a walk
Into the deep, dark forest,
And left them there
To a wintry death sentence.
“I’ll return soon,” he promised,
Before leaving like a coward.
Gretel had a bad feeling, but
Thought, he’d never abandon us.
By nightfall, she was less certain
As the winter cold set in. …