It's been a busy week since I last posted. I've finally gotten myself back into a reasonable creative writing routine and I'm trying to work my way up to consistently higher daily word counts. Rather than going about in my usual fashion of working on a dozen manuscripts at once, I'm taking the time to focus my attention on one until it's finished. This also means that I will limit my distraction time on this blog and social networks.
Though it was finished a few weeks ago, the new issue of Terracotta Typewriter is online. As always, I'm looking for new work to publish in the next issue, which I hope to have complete in May.
I've also been refocusing my attention on my Chinese studies. Listening to Chinesepod as background noise and reading the same chapters of my textbooks again and again have not helped me make progress since returning to the states. Since Jia convinced me to start a new Web site to teach non-Chinese cooking to the Chinese, I've decided that I need to learn more vocabulary and grammar related to cooking (mostly because Jia doesn't have a lot of time to translate the site between work and studying). So, I'll do my best to start translating the posts at Laowai Kitchen on my own and ask Jia to edit my attempts at written Chinese. A lot of the posts on the site are about traditional foods that we take for granted, but I'm also experimenting in the kitchen--usually with positive results.
And because it is Friday, here's a photo of the inspiring beauty of the Fujian countryside. This group of tulou on the hillside was our first stop on our morning journey through the region. Most tourists have photos from above and below the group--the Chinese think it looks like four dishes and a soup from above (I agree, it does resemble a Chinese table setting).