Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Peek into Zalea's World: Part 1

I've changed things up here on my blog and I have to say, I like the new look! ;) As you can see from the post below this one, you can now find me and my blog on Blog Lovin, so check that out!

I know I've been writing a lot about the novel I am working on, but I haven't imparted too much information on what it is about. This past week, the Deacon of our church asked to read what I have written so far and that was exciting; no one apart from me has read it and I am dying for some feedback. Since I am nearing the end, I've decided to share a little of my characters and their world with you all! :)

All characters, names, idea, and settings are copyrighted to Ophelia Leong.

A Peek Into Zalea's World: Part 1

Setting: The first half of the novel primarily takes place in a country called Milania. Milania is a large country, similar in shape to the USA, and is broken through the middle by a wide river known as Whistling Ford River. Whistling Ford River is maintained by a group of people called Whistlers, who carry passengers across the churning water in ferry boats. The nobles and Royal family live in Goldcourte, the capital city of Milania.

Zalea Amber Tracey, the daughter of a Tea Merchant lives in Merchant Crossing, a town in the southeastern part of Milania where Merchants have gathered to work on their wares and businesses. After a war 40 years earlier, the relationship between the Merchants and the King in Goldcourte has been tense. However, at the start of my novel, the visit of Prince Jarek to Merchant's Crossing for the Honeyblossom Jubilee is a start to fixing all that.


Zalea: Zalea is nineteen and very comfortable with her life at Willow Manor, her family's estate in Merchant's Crossing. At the start of my novel, she is trying to learn more about being a tea merchant and running a tea plantation like her parents. Her humor tends to be on the dry side, but she is a loyal friend and has a big heart. Zalea hasn't given much thought to marriage or adventuring outside of Merchant's Crossing, but when the opportunity for an adventure presents itself, will she go? 

Tyriel: Tyriel is Zalea's twin brother, who is quite the ladies' man. He has broken many hearts in and around Merchant's Crossing with his good looks and bright smile. He has always been a happy-go-lucky guy, and is very protective of his family, especially his siblings. 

Maggie: Maggie is one of the Whistlers, who man the ferry boats across Whistling Ford River. Usually, Whistlers live their whole life next to the river, but Maggie wants to explore and learn about the world. She joins Tyriel and Zalea on their adventure after they discover her unique power. 

Darren: Lord Darren, at first, is a dour and unhappy young man who accompanies Prince Jarek to Merchant's Crossing for the Honeyblossom Jubilee and insults Zalea. He has just suffered a tragedy and is in no mood for Jubilees or any sort of social event. However, after spending time with Zalea, his heart begins to heal. Darren is an intelligent and capable man with the most gorgeous violet eyes. ;) 

Sateela: Sateela lives in a country across the sea from Milania called Heeli-Shul. She is also nineteen, and is the daughter of Dr. Khosnas, the Sultan's physician. She is courageous, even in the face of the Sultan's wrath, and fights for what she believes in. Her life goes through many changes throughout the course of the novel. 

There are many more characters in my novel, and I will introduce them to you in another blog post. My characters are very excited to meet you all! I hope you've enjoyed this first look into my novel! Let me know what you thought in the comments section; I am so excited to hear about it! :) 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Writing About Motherhood

Hello everyone! Here we are at the end of September and I am enjoying hot chocolate, even though this past weekend was HOT. Hope everyone else is well!

I've been thinking about motherhood lately, and the ways to express my experience with motherhood in writing. I wrote two new poems for an anthology about motherhood called All You Can Hold, and I hope the editor likes them! I recently had a poem accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of Mothers Always Write, which is a wonderful online literary journal. They published one of my poems in the beginning when I was just coming back to writing and submitting a couple years ago. The staff have been so supportive too!

Writing about motherhood is important but might not be easy or simple. So many emotions come with being a parent, and sometimes it can be difficult to sift through those emotions and express them on paper. I love writing about little moments with my kids; my most recently accepted poem is about peeling an orange for my kids. I was inspired to write it when, you guessed it, I was peeling an orange for my kids and the sweet scent of the orange wafted up to my nose. I then thought about how I am the one making food for my children and feeding them. All three are much too young to cook for themselves, so I make their food. As parents, we provide our children with so many things, and food is a big one. They are growing and need all the nourishment they can get, and as their parents we purchase their food and make it for them.

Motherhood is a precious time as well as a busy time. We as parents have to make time to write, create, or even just relax. My husband and I both feel that since we've had our kids, we both have been more motivated than ever to work on our creative projects. My husband is a musician and is working on recording and perfecting his original work. By day, he is a musician for assisted living facilities, board and cares, nursing homes, and more. I am so proud of him! You can check out his Twitter here: Andy Lovesong Twitter .

Expressing oneself creatively is cathartic and healthy while in the midst of parenthood. I can't believe how many literary journals have published one of my works since I've had the kids; it's not a huge number, but since I am so busy with three kids, it's awesome to me!

Being a mother is a wonderful gift, but it's not without it's hard times. Writing about some of those difficult moments may help parents reflect on those times and help others who may be going through the same thing. As a mother of twins, I've gone and am going through unique experiences. Some things aren't that easy for me to write about, but I've recently written a poem about twins called "Twins." (Imaginative, right? XD) I'd like to try to write more about being a mother of twins, but I'm not going to force it. Writing poetry can be fluid and inspiration comes from all over.

What is your experience writing about motherhood or any other life-changing event? Let me know in the comments! :)

*Photo from