Wednesday, 8 April 2015

april updates: yuan's lit endeavors

1. finally, by the end of last month, i had had my poetry accepted by or published in more than 1,000 literary outlets across 32 countries - it was quite amazing to myself. when i tried to write english poetry in early august 2004, i had no idea that i could have gone so far, and i am still going, though through a limbo or dilemma period for the time being;

2. i am really tired of having to make poetry subs, but without taking this exhausting and boring step, i cannot hope to get my work out there to be read. indeed, i always enjoy the creating part of the job, but i hate the process of getting my work out of my little ivory tower. what's to be done next? just to continue writing, and let my work squat on the corner of my file box?

3. maybe i should try to write prose work now. i have always wanted to write a novel, or some short stories, but prose writing entails more attention and especially more time with the computer. this has been making me hesitate for long enough: my attention span is short; my eye condition forces me to minimize my computer time; and it will take more time, effort and patience to get any prosework published...

4. this morning when i opened my linkedin account, i received an invitation by Frank Joussen, a german author/editor, to send some family-themed prosework to his Anthology to be released in december. excited, i sent along my first and only short story 'ancestor worshipping,' which i wrote from my poet teenage son's perspective in 2008, one year after we had our joint china trip to our ancestor's home in shisan village, hanyang county. interestingly, Frank accepted the piece right away and gave me particularly encouraging comments, which end:  'I was only disappointed when I´d reached the end, I would have loved to go on reading - so maybe you´ll write a sequel one day? You or your son may submit again if you wish; I´d be delighted.' - isn't this an encouraging moment to begin to write more prosework?

5. these are all the prose works i have thus far written in english: 
- 1 short story 'ancestor worshipping' (i published a poem with the same title, and roughly same content in the canadian magazine grain); 
- 1 what chinese poets usually refer to as 'poetry talk,' titled 'die in poetry, or live forever,' published in the volta ( and to be included in progressive poetics; (i also published a poem with a similar title 'die there, or live forever' in teh sangam magazine (;
- 1 travelogue with the title of 'china revisited' which was published in us-china review in 2013 ( Changming, “China Revisited,” XXXIV, 3, 17-18);

6. the 400-page hardcover book create abundance is well on the way; as its translator and publisher, i have been undergoing more trouble or frustration than i am ever prepared for: the author/her representative is sometimes as unreasonably demanding, willful and irrespectful as those infamous chinese upstarters, the printer's formatter and editor in charge of layouts are careless, unprofessional and inefficient, while the import procedure involves much more business work than i ever want to expose myself to - one word, i have bitten more than i can chew this time; hopefully the e.galley is completed tonight and will go onto the machine in a couple of days; hopefully 30,000 copies will arrive in mid-may from shenzhen without creating more problems...

7. i have written about 130 mini blog essays in chinese. i post one each monday, and have created a quite loyal readership of around 300 - but for the hoster/editor's censorship, i would have had a much larger readership ( i have observed that if my mini-essays were not 'censored' or intentionally 'kept down,' there should be at least 1,000 hits for each single posting). most commentators are as impolite as they have poor thinking and writing skills, but i do not care. all i want to do is just to put into chinese characters everything i have observed and thought about chinese culture, chinese personality or chinese tradition, especially about the weakness or ugliness of the chinese as a modern nation

8. should i begin to write prose in english?

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