Marlene Cheng

I ran barefoot on the Canadian prairies in the dust that settled after 2nd World War. That makes me an octogenarian, an oldie.
Thrust from the infinity of wheat fields into the warp of the Rockies, Selkirk and Purcell mountains, the light that defined a frightful, but interesting, high school life challenged me.
Our neighbours were all Italian—migrants to Canadian mining towns. With his Welsh-born farmers’ busyness, my father found strange their art of dolce far niente—that is, the sweetness of doing nothing. They practised it, “Come in. Come in. Sit down. Taste my homemade vino.” My father adapted.
And the flames of railway trestles burning and women parading nude colored life. Doukhobors (a sect that had fled persecution in Russia) settled in the Kootenays. They protested, having to send their children to public schools.
Wearing a babushka and twirling spaghetti, not only did I survive those years, but, I thrived.
Vancouver, the “big city,” where I discovered traffic lights and city buses, claimed me for medical lab training, and I worked the night shift in the blood bank to put myself through university.
I’ve worked in cancer research, taught at tech schools, become a registered massage therapist, taken up energy schooling in NY., married and raised two kids, and, at 76, published A Many Layered Skirt, a biography about a young Chinese girl trying to keep one frightening step ahead of the soldiers, during the Japanese occupation.
My husband, of 56 years, was Chinese. Our mixed marriage was intriguing, and happiness was ours. Interests in people, cultures and places took us around the world. Many of those adventures find their way into my writing. He passed away, throwing my life into chaos. Now, I’ve picked up the pen, again. I hope to publish A Mystical Embrace, the third book in the contemporary romance Bond Series, soon.


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marlene.cheng@telus.net