“Shrinkage” Published in Joyland Magazine

"Shrinkage" by Millie Ho in Joyland Magazine

Super thrilled and honoured that my short story “Shrinkage” is now published in Joyland Magazine! This story was inspired by my summers working in retail, and is about secrets between friends and how silence leads to shame (and vice versa). Edited by the fabulous Kathryn Mockler.

Some of my favourites from Joyland include:

Please check them out, and happy reading!

My Mother Forces Me To Draw Cats

Millie Ho With Cat Drawing

My mother forces me to draw cats.

I draw them for her birthday, for my birthday, for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and that time I left home for university for the first time.

“Why don’t you get a cat if you like them so much?” I asked her once.

She shook her head. “Cats are too complex for me.”

I took it at face value at the time, but saw into her soul years later, on a drive to a restaurant, when she started showing the cat drawings to relatives who couldn’t have cared less.

“I call this one lao hu,” she said, pointing to a cat with stripes in its fur and teeth as sharp as a fishbone comb.

Lao hu, tiger in Chinese, the symbol of war and strength.

It wasn’t the complexity she feared, I realized.

It was the attachment.

Cats are complex, even more so when they die.