When I was a little girl, I lived in a two bedroom apartment in Shanghai, with my parents and grandparents. On our tiny balcony was a small bamboo windchime. In times good or bad, it plinked every hour and every day, the sound of the moment in time and the sound of passage of time at once.
Today, whenever I go back to Shanghai I always make time to visit the the small park in the center of the city, where our apartment building used to stand. As I linger around the ground feeling the energy and hear the sound of today's city all around me, I can still hear the windchime on our balcony, whispering to me a time by-gone.
When I decided to write full-time a few years ago I contemplated how to tell the stories that have been swirling in my mind for many years. One day it hit me – the windchime. My writing should be like a windchime, telling the story of today through the plinking of past memories.