The State of Publication Address
It is the end of Oct 2010 and my publication endeavor has brought me to my "high, wide and handsome" goal--one that was set in a flash of inspiration on a summer day.
On that day, I wrote out a list of fifty-things-I-must-do-before-50. (At the time, I was just being fanciful. Being a "list-person," I've been always drawing out plans of things to do). One ambitious line sticks out like a teasing tongue, "Publish a book."
Well, must I say more, that's what a list does to one's head. It constantly questions one's sincerity and commitment concerning what one sets out to conquer. It mocks one's procrastination to the point that, to have inner peace, one must set out to attack that itemized line.
First, an arrow would be drawn out, as to assure the "list monster" that, "Allright O, I'm working on it." Only then, it would relent, backing off for some times. But it would not forget. It would rake in infrequently, give one a "Giddyup," once in a while, to rest only when one deliver to it that wonderful check mark, like an exquisite bird taking flight.
My arrow was released more than a year now. It's flying far, still shooting towards the intended target, not losing its momentum.
On the way, the "list monster" does funny things to it.
It attaches bells and feathers to its plain tail, making it looking more like an Indian warhead.
From the one-book target, the embolden, richly-decorated arrow now aims for two additional side deals:
- A second memoir/fiction. I have the basic structure of this second book but no title. It will be about the beginning of our new life abroad, from 1982-1989. Maybe I can call it, "The Wonderful Seven," referring to the next seven years after "Behind the Red Curtain." I had one chapter down.
- A third memoir/fiction. All I have is the title, "Give me a year and I'll come back to be a housewife again." I plan to write about my writing years and how I become an author. Not yet know how I would approach this.
I just hope that by the time my arrow hits its target, it would not kill too many birds with one quill.
Who Am I?
A living entity.
A mother of three,
the wife of One.
A sister of eight
a daughter of One.
Only one parent is left.
My mother has passed
My father is only existing
seeking his way out.
Looking for the old glory
Who Am I?
in this strange language wanting to be sweet honey.
With words as my outlet
seeking my way out.
looking for the old glory
when a language was part of me
but now dead, unused, forgotten.
Who Am I?
a writer only by virtue of writing
fumbling with my pen
I am not!
An Exercise in Character Development
They sit down that night to talk to each other, trying to be business-like--civil and polite--patiently waiting for their turn to speak.
Mia's gaze is glued on her husband's face--following the movement of his lips and the flickering sparks of light in his black eyes, skimming the sharp tip of his Aryan nose. She is intent in her listening but the string of words tended to her, well-measured by him, carefully weighted by him, is still miles too far for her to reach, its weight too light to plumb the bottom of her despair. As he speaks, his left hand's thumb touches his opposite fingers alternately as if he is counting out the beads to string.
Sitting across from him, with the restaurant's table separating them, Mia lets her silence swallow her revolting thoughts. She drinks her unuttered words all down with her hot tea. Inside her head, she carefully selects her beads to string them into coherent sentences, while waiting for her husband to finish his monologue--as he strings his beads, she removes them one by one and lets them roll off from the edge of her mind, or selects one out for her own string.
He realizes the impasse and stops talking. "You are showing impatience. Go ahead then, it's futile for me to continue," he says to her, shoving his beads away.
Mia picks up her line carefully, "I've been thinking....For fifteen years we've been raising the children, we've been working toward a common goal to make them into talented, motivated, loving kids. We work so hard----"
Forgetting their convention, her husband cuts in, "We've done well. They are good kids."
She looks up reproachingly, "I'm not done. You don't want to listen. Do you? It's too much for you to spend another five minutes with me. Isn't it? My talk is tiring you."
He sounds tired, disinterested, "You're concerned too much about yourself. If you've been less critical of everyone, you would note how lucky we are. We have everything anyone would ask for: a good home, steady jobs, beautiful children....Yet, you----"
She raises her voice, "That's parts of being a wife and mother. I tried...I want to have an orderly home, and that's why I always get upset when things are thrown around. I want the kids successful, therefore, I spend my time correcting their mistakes. What do you want from me?"
He folds his arms, "Why are we driving here for this same trite? Let's forget this conversation. It's useless."