Portrait by Tao Nguyen

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Last Thursday, February 9th, I had the honor of being the guest of the Gig Harbor Welcome Club, Book Club II that selected GOOD FORTUNE as their February read and they invited me to attend their meeting. To have my book acknowledged this way was truly an unexpected honor. The ladies were warm and welcoming, and almost everyone brought their copy of my book with them. The few who came for the first time purchased one from me and asked me to autograph it. I practically had to pinch myself to prove to myself I wasn’t dreaming! The lovely hostess had prepared a Chinese lunch with a variety of delicious chocolate desserts including chocolate fortune cookies. Of course, the chocolates went with the theme of Michael’s business, Kokoa Joz’. With so much thought put into the lunch so it evolved around my book both pleased and humbled me.

Every writer hopes and dreams their work will be read, appreciated and most of all enjoyed. What deeply touched me about this book club was I saw the ladies had dog-eared pages of GOOD FORTUNE with passages underlined and highlighted. They asked me questions about certain phrases I’d written that especially touched them and wanted to know: How did you write that? The answer is simple: It came from my heart and beliefs, and what I have personally experienced. Writing GOOD FORTUNE was truly a labor of love.

One lady appreciated what I’d written about inner reflection, and turned to page 195 where Tong is talking to his son, Wu:

You are your own best teacher; no one else but you can know your innermost soul. I urge you to put aside some time each day for quiet contemplation. You may be surprised by what you hear.

Another lady asked me about what appears on page 31 regarding self-doubt. Here, in a flashback, Great-Grandfather addresses young Tong as he tutors him:

            Listen for your inner voice to guide you. Trust your instinct.” As if it were yesterday, Tong remembered Grandfather’s voice instructing him when he was ten. “It may be no more than a whisper, but if your intent is pure, you will hear the voice clearly. Follow where it leads you.”
“I’ve tried, Grandfather, but I hear nothing,” Tong insisted with frustration. “What am I doing wrong?”
“If you try too hard, the noise from your thoughts will obliterate all other sounds, thus making it impossible for you to hear your heart speak.”

A basic rule of mindfulness is to live in the moment, relaxed and quiet, with acceptance. Allow the flow of energy to be one with you. If your mind begins its endless chatter accept that without judgment. Breathe deeply and focus on your breath; relax and be in the moment. It is a simple technique anyone can do with success.

Yours in good fortune,

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