Archive for March, 2011

Debut

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

the prologue

The dictionary defines the word “debut” as the first public appearance of a new product. My book’s debut was today. I did not sleep too well last night because I was very nervous. Up until a few minutes before my presentation, I was asking for prayer to calm my nerves. When I finally got up to speak, I immediately felt the familiar thrill of being in front of an audience (as in teaching) and slipped into easy engagement with the crowd. I was introduced as a writer … it was strange to be called that since I’ve always known myself to be a teacher. In any case, this writer read the prologue of her first novel in front of a captive audience. The prologue has to do with an owl, and hence, the illustration.

I could tell by appreciative nods and excited faces that my audience was taken with the book’s beginning scene. I talked about the background of the book’s inception and explained the book’s purpose. I saw people getting on board with our vision by the look on their faces. I was still very nervous during the presentation but the crowd’s interest was so high that I felt comfortable speaking. By the time we reached the Q&A section, I already had a few people offering their USB drive so they can read it in their computer.

Overall, the book’s debut was a success. It was warmly welcomed into the community’s fold. People embraced its value and offered to give me feedback for improvement should I need it. What an encouragement! And here’s the ultimate kicker. Someone asked if he could translate it to Korean. Another asked to translate the book to Dutch. Earlier, there had been talks to translate it to Thai. It would only be a matter of time before someone translates it to Chinese, as well. It looks like my baby will be multilingual, too …

“Here am I. Send me.”

Book Report

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

the baby and the book

I spent most of the day answering questions and talking about my book. Some people have already heard about it. Some are just curious. I’m waiting to make the official presentation tomorrow morning. However, the more I talk about the book, I find that I vacillate between being proud and ashamed, being expansive and timid, being self-promoting and self-deprecating. I can’t seem to figure out the happy balance in my quest for modesty. I suppose it is like talking about one’s own child. Chinese parents are notorious for putting down their own children in front of people either to save face or to hide their fierce pride. I’m not sure which one is better — or worse. To a certain extent, I can relate to these parents as the day of my book’s coming out party draws near. After its launch (at least for feedback), I hope I have a better grip on my feelings about my book, my baby.

Japan Quake

Friday, March 11th, 2011

I’ve just been watching the devastation in Japan on TV tonight. Having lived in earthquake country (CA) for most of my life, I know the terror of having firm ground shaken from underneath. Even though Japanese buildings and psyches are used to quakes, I don’t know that any structure or anyone can be fully prepared for an 8.9, the biggest in the nation’s modern history. Watching signs shake, ceilings fall, buildings collapse, waters rise up to 23 feet in a matter of seconds, sweeping away houses and cars and poles and causing tsunamis across the seas … it is enough to get me on my knees in prayer.

The body count will begin soon enough. Let’s pray for Japan …

Japan's 8.9

The Writing Experience

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

my mac keys

It was like coming up for air after being underwater for so long.
Like finally crossing the finish line after a full marathon.
Like finishing the culminating work of a Masters thesis paper.
Like coming out of a whirlwind after spinning in it.

That’s what it felt like after I finished the book. It took me a few days to get my head together and begin to think outside of this world I created. For a while, I was living in it — laughing, loving, crying, delighting along with my characters. I found myself identifying with these characters and caring so much about them, it hurt. The last two chapters were really tough. Either I experienced some type of writer’s block, burned out my brain muscles, or just unwilling for it to end, but my muse refused to speak to me. It took me a full two days to write those last two chapters! But when I finally wrote the final sentence, I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude. It was then I suddenly realized felt how physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted I was … yes, sitting immobile for a long time can exhaust you.

During my toughest moments in this writing process, I was literally coaching myself and telling myself to keep going, to not give up. It was quite a mystical experience and little hard to explain, but there were more than a few times when inspiration would just hit me and my fingers would simply type from an overflow. I believe this was the answer to the prayers of so many people who have committed to praying for me. God is good; He is faithful. Towards the end of this experience, in my mind’s eye, I was seeing people cheering me on at the finish line. When it all ended at 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, the adrenalin was still pumping and I spent a good hour or so in praise and worship.

Let the revisions begin.

Touchdown!

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

victory