The Year of The Dragon (Oh, and... I finished writing a novel, hooray!)

These are apples some Chinese friends gave us for the New Year.
 Chinese New Year is one of my favorite times of year in Malaysia.
 Celebrations take place for 14 days here.
And this year, for the beginning of the year of the dragon, malls really went all-out decorating.
 I especially love seeing the lion dances that take place all over KL.



 After the above lion dance, my husband and I decided to go to our favorite Shanghai Dumpling place, Dragon-I, in honor of the beginning of the year of the dragon.
I'd post picture of my food, but they were terrible pictures. Let's just say if you've never tried soup dumplings, I suggest seeking them out. They are yummy!
 My son likes the drums that go along with lion dances. And he likes how the lions hand kids oranges through their mouths (even though he won't eat the oranges, —ya he's that picky)
So all of this has put me in the perfect mood for doing some dragon drawing in my own studio..
 I'm working on some illustrations for the book I've been writing.
Here are a few early sketches of the dragon fruit dragon that's in the book.
Have you heard of dragon fruit? 
The strange looking fruits behind the oranges are dragon fruits:

And this is what they look like on the inside, although sometimes their flesh is purple-pink, not white:
And here's a picture of the tree they grow on:
Also...
Lion dance drum roll please...

Yesterday I typed the words "The End" on my first ever attempt at writing a novel.
I WROTE A NOVEL!
I wrote it through to the end. YAY!
I can't believe how fun it has been to write mid-grade fiction.
I mean really fun. Like, I-want-to-try-again fun.
I also can't believe how fast the whole thing went.
It took me just under three months (and that includes lots of travel and the holidays).
I am not accustomed to working so fast. But it felt good to work so fast and with such focus. 
Really good.

Although now I'm nervous to begin the critique and revision stages.
Perhaps that will not be so fast...

Never mind, at least for a small moment, I'm relishing the wonderful feeling of having completed it:
I WROTE A NOVEL! WHOO HOO!

I hope your year of the dragon is prosperous. 
Cheers!