Chris Pereira’s Recent Work and Updates

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Meris the Monkey: An Introduction

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When trouble is brewing, you definitely want Meris the Monkey by your side – he’ll help with whatever he can find, with a hop, heave, huddle, holler, hug and cry.

At home, Meris the Monkey’s favorite thing to do is play! With mom and dad. With friends. With toys, trees, balls, books, mud, and sand.

Meris the Monkey is a busy little fellow, and loves to cause all sorts of trouble! But he isn’t just a troublemaker – he knows when to be kind, and will offer a helping hand (or tail) at any time. Just look at his smile – he is someone you can count on, and not just for a while!

What am I on about? And who is Meris the Monkey?

My name is Chris Pereira, and I am the author of the Meris the Monkey series of children’s books. At least I will be, once they are finished. An important part of parenting is showing your child the joys of a true love for learning. Parenting, when done right, will demonstrate to the child a kind of proactiveness, a passion for life, a desire to “do more, see more, and achieve more”. In this article, instead of focusing on my translation activities, I thought I would widen our conversation a bit, and share a relatively new project of mine. It is a passion that is brewing into an obsession.

The idea for the series started with a list of names. James? Jonathan? Chris the Second? No, our son needed a less common name. It had to be unique. Acton? Amadeus? A little too Victorian. It also definitely had to start with M and have Latin roots. Merrick. Marinel. Merekden. Marius. Merison. Meriston. Meristen. Merisari. Merisdon. Maradeus. Merisden.

Merisden. Merisden. Yes. Of the ocean. Refreshing. Smart. Unique.

I am writing the Meris the Monkey series for my son, Merisden. As of this writing, he is 4 months old. By the time he is old enough to understand, at least a few of the books should be finished and ready to read. To see his eyes light up with joy and excitement when he realizes his name is part of the story will be my “pay day” at the end of the journey.

In addition to giving the book to my son, I have a vision that Meris the Monkey could bring joy to many more children. I think it has the potential to be something bigger, something that can make the lives of children around the world better, happier, and more fun. That’s my longer-range view. For now, I need to get the first manuscript fully edited, confirmed, and sent to the illustrator.

I have thus far written two books in the series. Initial sketches are being done now for the first book in cooperation with an outstanding illustrator from the UK. We went through multiple iterations of the character Meris the Monkey before settling on our final version. Check out the “in process” versions at my Meris the Monkey Facebook page (facebook.com/MerisTheMonkey) – they are each very cute and rambunctious in their own way! Which one would you have chosen? Do you think we made the right choice?

If you are interested in following my progress as I complete the illustrations and take on the daunting task of publishing, I welcome you to get in touch. I will be sharing my thoughts on composition, on parenting, on arranging illustrations, on publishing, and on the future of these books through Facebook and eventually a dedicated website. I have published work in the past, and I write for a living now (as a translator and editor) but this will be my first children’s book series.

This project has become a passion, something I think about all the time – when that sort of enthusiasm hits me, I know I am on to something great. I look forward to hearing about your own projects, as well as your feedback, ideas, and suggestions!

Meris the Monkey is born!

Chris Pereira is a senior translator and editor from Toronto, Ontario currently working and living in Shenzhen, China with his young family. His published works include “Living The Dragon: A Journal-Based Account of Four Years Studying in China” and “Tang Dynasty Literature Translations: For the first time, an accurate, faithful, and beautiful translation of these timeless works”. He also has 7 years of teaching experience. Follow his work at: facebook.com/MerisTheMonkey, twitter.com/MerisTheMonkey, and linkedin.com/in/wiptranslation

杂诗 沈佺期 / An Impromptu Poem by Shen Quanqi

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My latest poem translation — enjoy!

杂诗 沈佺期 / An Impromptu Poem by Shen Quanqi

Translated by Chris Pereira

闻道黄龙戍,频年不解兵。
可怜闺里月,长在汉家营。
少妇今春意,良人咋夜情。
谁能将旗鼓,一为取龙城。

The troops stationed at the Huanglong garrison,
face unremitting combat year upon year without end.

A melancholy young woman raises her gaze to the dazzling moon,
whose light invariably upon the frontier encampment does too descend.

Her memories erupt in Spring reminiscences,
as his thoughts to home in the night quickly wend.

On whom can be counted to raise the flag high and lead the charge,
to take the City of Dragons and victory in this borderland.

Notes:

1. City of Dragons: the stronghold of the enemy, namely being the Xiongnu.

Final Excerpt of “Living the Dragon”

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The final excerpt from my soon to be released book “Living the Dragon”. More details to come soon!

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2008

I have a list of goals hanging next to my bed. One of those goals has been sitting in the middle of an ever-aging piece of paper for years and years, never crossed-out, greeting me every day with the single word: “Graduate”. It has followed me for so long and encouraged me to work so hard for such a long period of time that I am a little worried that if I cross it out, the magic will be gone. That single word forced me to wake up at 6am every single frigid Winter morning for three years (this year I finally have 10am classes!) forcing me to wear three layers of clothing and two pairs of gloves for the electric bike ride to school. It kept me going to class even when I wanted to travel, wanted to go home, wanted to scream at the Chinese who laughed at me for asking a question in their language. That word allowed me to forget about all that and the outside world for a little while, to forget about the future and just worry about understanding first the simple dialogues, then the magazines, then the novels, then the ancient Chinese, and my professors’ dialects. It lit a flame inside me that has ignited something larger, something harder to extinguish than what was originally in my heart. I think that feeling comes with having accomplished something worthwhile, something big that took a certain amount of time and effort to achieve. It’s a certainty in my ability to DO things, which, strangely enough, I didn’t have before.

So as I begin writing my graduation thesis, I really do have a feeling of nostalgia for that single word next to my bed. It did something magical to me, it changed my life: it forced me to learn how to learn. Next to the X will be the date of completion, just like all my other shorter-term goals.

—-

More information coming soon!

Brother Orange in China

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Language and cultural barriers can be a formidable thing. Thankfully we now live in a world where technology makes it easier than ever to break down these boundaries, allowing us to connect with people all over the globe.

One example of this that I recently came across is the story of Matt Stopera and his friend, “Brother Orange”.

After losing his iPhone at a pub, Matt (from New York City) began to see strange pictures on his iCloud – pictures that were being taken with his stolen phone. Among them were pictures of a man standing amid a stand of orange trees. With the help of the internet and social media, Matt was able to track down the man who had come to possess his phone – in China! The man was nicknamed “Brother Orange” after the photos he had taken.

Matt and Brother Orange arranged a date to meet up and became veritable celebrities in China. After spending a week or so together, with the help of several translators, the two quickly became friends.

There is of course, so much more to the story, but it just shows how the barriers that once seemed so daunting have been torn down and in their place – wonderful friendships can be formed. The world is truly at our fingertips!

If you are interested in reading more, you can find the original story here

Spring Sentiments

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Spring is a time of hope and new beginnings everywhere. Remember that spring rain is a gift to the land and to us. Enjoy it!

A fitting poem for the season — author information is below.

Rain clouds fly by me
they think that I don’t see
warmer air that follows close
whispering to the trees

I don’t know what they talk about
I don’t know what they said
but tiny buds appear now
bringing visions to my head

One by one they seem to swell
I imagine they might pop
With them each a small surprise
I hope that they don’t stop

Soon the trees will sing out loud
Their branches filled with life
Thousands of brave tiny leaves
dancing in the light

They say that April showers
bring May flowers
I can only hope that’s true

As for now,
I watch the clouds
and listen to the rain

I hear it now
It’s getting loud
and all it says is
Grow

Poem generously provided for our enjoyment by: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Pereira/688752297901810?fref=ts

April Fools

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April 1 has been known as a day of lighthearted yet mischievous pranks and jokes in the Western world for centuries, but nonetheless tricksters appear all over the globe on April first. From infamous pranks like spreading piles of horse manure in the streets of Venice, to schoolyard pranks (“Hey I’ll meet you outside in ten minutes, oops I wasn’t there – April Fools!!”), the day is now widely celebrated everywhere.

In France, Italy, Belgium and other French speaking areas, one of the major celebrations of the day, known as “April Fish,” involves attempting to tape or stick a paper fish to the back of a friend without them noticing, while in Nordic countries, most news outlets will release a fake story into their papers to celebrate the day, but only one!

While the exact origins of the day itself seem to be a bit of a mystery, it’s likely that it began as an outlet of spring fever and a celebration of the arrival of the warmer weather.

Write On!

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“Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote.
Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote.
Through good report and through ill report, I wrote.
Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote.
What I wrote it is unnecessary to say.” – Edgar Allan Poe

What is the Origin of the Chinese New Year?

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461800619Where did Chinese New Year originate? This description from chineseculture.about.com offers a great explanation:

The most important holiday for Chinese around the world is undoubtedly Chinese New Year — and it all started out of fear.

The centuries-old legend on the origins of the New Year celebration varies from teller to teller, but they all include a story of a terrible mythical monster who preyed on villagers. The lion-like monster’s name was Nian (年) which is also the Chinese word for “year.”

The stories also all include a wise old man who counsels the villagers to ward off the evil Nian by making loud noises with drums and firecrackers and hanging red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors because for some reason, the Nian is scared of the color red.

The villagers took the old man’s advice and the Nian was conquered. On the anniversary of the date, the Chinese recognize the “passing of the Nian” known in Chinese as guo nian (过年), which is also synonymous with celebrating the new year.

Sneak Peak 2: Living The Dragon

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This is an excerpt from my upcoming book “Living The Dragon”. It is expected for release in late March or early April of this year. I will provide additional updates moving forward. Enjoy! 

SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2006

There is a street corner near my apartment that really holds my attention each time that I pass it. I live on an exceptionally long and curvy dead-end road, and this corner comprises the middle section of it. Maze-like, it leads one to the un-paved portion of the street. In the mornings, without fail, the area’s elderly men and women will be walking in wide circles on this corner, stretching, gossiping, and sometimes complaining about how many foreigners there are in Zhengzhou these days.

At lunch time there are dog-walkers and friends come to see their neighbors’ dogs. There can at times be 5-6 dogs all skipping around on that corner at any given noontime. Since it’s summer, there are often farmers taking refuge from the midday sun under their watermelon tractors a short distance from this corner, cicadas screaming defiantly and ever louder at the merciless heat.

In the evening, ten o’clock or later, there is usually at least one majiang (Chinese spelling) table set up on that corner, with dogs and children playing and shouting and calling all around the semi-serious gambling adults. On those nights that I arrive home especially late (usually returning from a bike ride) I will have a wonderfully surreal sensation of rolling silently past the tables, a solitary streetlight casting shadows from above. I used to get long looks when I came back late, but now most people at the tables don’t even look up at me when I pass them. And at those times, as I am about to turn the next corner and have just hit dirt road, the clack-click of majiang tiles echoes ahead of me into the darkness, reminding me of something I can’t quite describe; echoes and tinny music are like that. Comforting and melancholic all at once.

Give Warmth Where You Can

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When content is translated, possibilities expand. To these matches, without that initial spark, there is no flame. Who knows who you might inspire by passing on the warm glow of knowledge?