One Hundred Words A Day
Friday, October 29, 2010

  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.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

  Frustration is a Writer's Thirst for Clarity

It's like meeting a person, a stranger, in the market. And over the high pile of yellow onions, while picking out the wholesome bulbs and remarking out loud, "They are mostly rotten today," to hear her speak in agreement, "Yup! These are not worth buying."

A smile, and the person becomes, in that instant, someone one can relate to.

I open an English textbook, Great Writing, a Reader for Writers, to read: "Aiming for contemporaneity, too many anthologies for writers avoid great writing; they may offer readable, serviceable samples, but they rarely show our language at its best or address the great intellectual issues of our civilization."

Right then and there, my heart swells.  I love the author(s) of these compelling lines.  I can relate to him. To her.  (The book was co-authored by Harvey S. Wiener and Nora Eisenberg) 

Strange thing!  I am poring over the pages, yet it is the author(s) who reads me instead.  "As you write, you too will move from states of frustration and despair to states of exhilaration; that is all part of the roller coaster a writer will ride to a finished draft."

I suck in the air.  The feeling is great.  

I am understood.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

  Trick or Treat, a Halloween Horror Story

Saturday, October 23, 2010

  Celebrating CA Writers Week--Reading from an excerpt of my memoir "Behind the Red Curtain"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

  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.
There, looking
Looking for the old glory
in money.

Who Am I?

A voice
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?
among you
a writer only by virtue of writing
                       fumbling with my pen
for thought.

I am not!
Thursday, October 14, 2010

  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."
A commitment to write


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Mother, Engineer, writer, manager, and more. I am a bit of everything, a creature of God. I am passionate with life. I fear death and its many forms. I love my mind, cherish my body. I express through WORDS.

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