Quirky stories with a twist of lemon.
Poetry with a pinch of salt.
Green tea fueled creative nonfiction.
I’m a leap year aquarian rabbit from South Africa who lives in Taiwan.
Picture a flying wooden rabbit leaping over clouds.
I like it best when my writing jumps off the page and onto the stage of your unique imagination.
My wife is amazing. Our three children keep both of us in awe of a life lived in the drama of the present. They all have front row seats to my punishingly punny puns, silly songs, and wordplays.
Even though I have a professional background in the performing arts I feel I am the best version of me when I take to the stage of the page.
I help children to be problem solvers through the use of drama, dance, art, and music in my language classroom and in my stories.
I hold degrees in Drama & English, Classical Ballet & Dance Musicology, and Creative Writing.
How do the best stories invoke a physical reaction in our bodies and our minds?
We know ourselves better by the end.
We learn something new about the world beyond the borders of our own skin and the limits of our limbs.
Isn’t storytelling the best kind of magic?
I arrived along with color TV in a racially divided South Africa in 1976.
I grew up in Durban, but moved to Cape Town to be a professional dancer.
My career ended in June 2003 when I injured my ankle dancing in Cats in China. I lost all 9 lives as a stage kitten and my dreams of global feline fame and fortune were forever paused mid-air.
The end of one gracefully furred life meant time and space for a new adventure!
After an intensive TEFL course, I was back on my feet in no time as a Teacher.
I started teaching English in Taiwan in September 2003 using my performing arts skills.
I wrote for Redroom, put a novel on Authonomy, and had online poetry conversations with writers around the world.
Over 5,000 students experienced my Drama Tours and Travelling Tales Storytelling Projects when I found my way back to the stage in 2012.
While completing an MFA in Creative Writing (Hong Kong) I took on the challenge of being a staff writer, editor, and voice artist for Rainbow Time Magazine. I helped develop the magazine’s interactive educational design. Co-hosting weekly radio storytelling programs for ICRT for two years was a highlight.
The world can be a scary place.
I believe we can make a difference by being a creative part of it.
It doesn’t matter what country we live in, what language we speak, or what culture we are part of.
Stories are the magic glue that holds the world together.
If I can touch the heart of just one reader in the world with my words, my voice, or my life on the page, then I have made a difference.
You can, too!
I pledge to celebrate my rarity.
I promise to continue the dream of my ancestor(y)s.
I will be Quenntis.
I am before I do.
I honor my muse.
I pledge to celebrate my rarity.
Out of all the billions of people on this planet, I turned out to be me.
And there is only one of me.
That makes me a very rare creature indeed.
So I will be me, and I will celebrate the quirky creature that I am.
Those interested in experiments in form and genre should also definitely check out Quenntis Ashby’s “Bear Weds Rabbit: An Ukiyo-e Fable,” in which he reinvents an 18th-century Japanese haiku in the “floating world” (ukiyo-e) genre… While Tadao’s original haiku has nothing of the “floating world” about it, Ashby effectively brings the work into the new genre, by expanding it into a haiku sequence and reimagining it as an ethereal fable.
Michael Tsang (It’s Only the Beginning: A Review of Afterness, 2017)
Quenntis Ashby [is] a multifaceted performer-writer currently based in Greater Taichung. [He] contributes two unnerving items.
Bradley Winterton (Book review: ThunkBook One (Taipei Times, 2013)
‘The Lake of Swans’ by Quenntis Ashby is, as you might guess, reminiscent of the story of Swan Lake. It’s also no surprise that the author is also a dancer. It is a terrible, brutal tale. The pain of the main character reflects a dancer’s painfully broken body. There is the idealisation of the ballerina character and her objectification. There is pain, fear, torture and death. The powerless woman is then the victim of a bungled rescue. Beauty is a curse and death is a release. There is no happy ending, but there is escape. This is a bleak reflection and reworking of a traditional tale. It is beautifully written and very disturbing.
Anne Stormont (Review, 2011.)
(into the desert of breaking things without pause for concern) Quenntis – post-apocalyptic prayer and warning message for those haunted and taunted by their casual disregard of our beautiful, wee, blue planet, of its structures – physical, natural, political and economical – i.e a call to all of us. This is reminiscent of P.D.James’s ‘Children of Men’ (I loved that book and the movie) – it’s ‘Children of Men’ on the moon, if you like, and what might come next. Clever and entertaining.
Anne Stormont (Review, 2010)