Welcome to the Fourth Number (the 2006 Number) of Writing Macao. Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the contents of the issue and to explain a little of the journal¡¦s new ¡¥institutional¡¦ context. Writing Macao has always had a loose affiliation (and a close relationship) with the University of Macau. Although the editorial board and the poetry contributions,  articles and artwork have included people from all over the world, almost all of the journal¡¦s staff and local writers have been either students or teachers at the university. We at Writing Macao are very grateful for the university¡¦s continuing support in providing us a community and in helping Creative Writing to flourish (especially in English) in Macao. Until now the journal has never really had an official home, which is why I am writing now to announce that it does now have a proper and ongoing auspice, in the form of ASM (the Association of Stories in Macao). ASM is a non-profit Macao-based organisation dedicated to the promotion of writing and other artistic expression in and about Macao. ¡¥Promotion¡¦ includes a range of activities, including publishing (on-line and in print) and the organisation of events, such as book launchings, poetry readings and art exhibitions.


In this issue of Writing Macao we introduce ASM¡¦s initial publishing program. We offer our readers excerpts (or in some cases more) from the first twelve volumes to be published. We invite our readers to become ASM subscribers and to come to the launch of our first twelve books at CCI (Creative Macau ¡V the Macao-wide artists¡¦ organisation which lives under the Cultural Centre, half-way between the Kun Iam Statue and the Fisherman¡¦s Wharf.) The book launch will take place on Thursday 7th December at 6 p.m.


Below please see a list of the books and their descriptions. Click on the links to take you to samples of text from each volume.


Macao: A map of the seasons (by Christopher Kelen)


Macao: A Map of the Seasons --- Christopher Kelen¡¦s Macao stories, poetry and sketches, created over the last six years are collected in the one volume for the first time.


Story Circle Manual (by ASM)


The story circle manual trains readers to become writers of stories and capture the community spirit of ASM (which is itself a story circle).


A wager with the gods (by Christopher Kelen)


A wager with the gods is a science-fiction/historical novella set in the Macao; A story of gambling, murder and prostitution, a wager with the gods tracks the movements of hapless Hong Kong high school teacher, Albert Ng, subsequent to his father¡¦s funeral.


Lotus I love you (by Jodie Leong Sok Wa)


Lotus I Love You is a book of ten stories, each of which focuses on an aspect of Macao¡¦s identity. The cast consists of local Chinese, Mainlanders, Macanese, Portuguese, children and adults, priests and prostitutes, ghosts and gamblers.


Ah Xun¡¦s Five Destinies (by Hilda Tam Hio Man)


Set in 1950s Macao Ah Xun¡¦s Five Destinies is the story of a young bus conductor whose greedy stepmother interferes with her love life. When a wealthy rice merchant Yiu Jo takes an interest in Ah Xun, it seems all of the stepmother¡¦s dreams have come true.


Cherry¡¦s Diary (by Chan Cheng Lei, Cassenna)


Cherry¡¦s Diary is a set of four detective stories with a Macao setting. With a strong interest in murder, Cherry Lam is seen as a troublemaker by her police colleagues. Ignoring the risks, Cherry relentlessly pursues the truth in order to bring criminals to justice.


Man, god, ghost (Amy Wong Kuok)


Man, god, ghost is an adventure story which opens in Nanjing in 1937. Villager Hua has an uneventful life but when he dies heroically, finds himself with a boring desk job in heaven. Frustrated with the eternal boredom of an afterlife upstairs, Hua decides to escape and return to his old home.


The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (by Jenny Oliveros Lao)


Whatever happened to the king of the jungle? Borrowing from old Chinese stories The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac tells how - when the world was young - twelve animals were chosen for the task of ordering time.


Crayon Tales (by Carol Tong Hoi Ian)


This book for 7 to 10 year olds is a compilation of fairy tales, myths and fables. These stories will bring you into a fantasy world where you will find out why clouds are no longer square and why the hare and the tortoise had a new running competition.


Hidden Treasure (by Juliana Ho Weng Ian)


Hidden Treasure is a book of eight stories for children aimed at the junior secondary reader. The stories should interest teachers because each refers to one or more of the intelligence types suggested by philosopher of education, Howard Gardner.


The ice-cream formula (by Elisa, Lai Kin Teng)


Tim Vong, proprietor of an Ice Cream Shop (just off San Ma Lo) enters the elf world hoping to recover the stolen secret formula for his special fairy floss ice cream. His adventure shows him sides of Macao (and himself) he would never have expected to see.


Climbing a Tree for Fish (Han Lili)


Ten Macao fables and fairytales unveil ancient mysteries of various creatures (carp, toad and snake) and help to explain some unique phenomena of our city.




In concluding, let me take this opportunity to foreshadow ASM¡¦s 07 publishing program, which will include bilingual volumes of poetry from Yao Feng, Christopher Kelen and Agnes Vong, along with books of translated Chinese classical poetry (also prepared in parallel text format). The first of these will feature the work of the Tang poet, Meng Jiao.


Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to join ASM and let me once again welcome you to the Fourth Issue of Writing Macao. We hope to see you at CCI on Friday 8th December at 6 p.m. for ASM¡¦s gala launch.


Kit Kelen





            The opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily express those of the Editor, the editorial staff or the Board of Readers of Writing Macao. Nor do they necessarily represent the views of the University of Macau, its Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities or its English Department.