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2 August 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Geoje-do Memoir

If you've wondered what I've been up to, over the past week I finished the Geoje-do memoir draft! I spent the last couple of days beginning to cut parts and add others, trim the excess, tighten sentences and dialogue and rewrite paragraphs for a smoother read. Actually I feel kind of embarrassed that I published on my site such poor writing in the first place. However, I read something once that really made sense. Many amateur writers never get far because they keep going back and trying to perfect what they wrote instead of moving forward. Rather than obssessing on what I wrote each time, I pushed out new parts now and again, scribbled in a journal, and now I have 200 pages. Also, I should give credit to my readers. If I didn't get so many comments and e-mails urging me on, I may never have come so far. Though the draft as it stands is still pretty bad, it's something to work with and I'm glad I wrote it.

For now you can get an idea of what I'm doing by looking at the these two paragraphs:

Original crappy paragraph

I was already annoyed. Didn't she realize I was exhausted? Patiently I answered each question one by one over the next two hours. Meanwhile she was driving much too fast, weaving in and out of cars, crossing into oncoming traffic and laying heavily on the horn. I have to admit, aside from everything else, the scenery was quite beautiful. I wanted to lay my head against the window and absorb the surroundings. Almost everywhere were the rolling hills covered with thick green foliage and interspersed with rice paddies. There were some small villages of traditional Korean homes with colorful blue and red roofs.

Improved crappy paragraph

In truth she was just curious about me and trying her best to speak English, but she was oblivious to the fact I had come halfway across the world, that I was miserable and exhausted. One banal question after another popped out of her persistent mouth. Meanwhile she jerked in and out of traffic, crossed into the oncoming lane, sped up only to have to brake hard, and continually hammered on the horn. It wasn't only her, though. All around us people drove in similarly reckless fashion. The chaotic flow of vehicles contrasted sharply with the peaceful scenery. Moments, during a rare, steady flow, I desired to lay my head against the window and absorb the surroundings which looked to me like pages from National Geographic. Farmers in bamboo hats speckled rice paddies flowing like wheat in the wind and bordered by great hills smothered in thick green foliage. Short, flat fronted pickup trucks toting metal and glass surged past villages of old wooden homes and structures with bright blue and red roofs. Just then, a zombie jumped onto our car, reached into the window and lopped off Mrs. Kim's head!

Well, back to work. I have nothing better to do while waiting around to hear about the public school position...

Update: As soon as I made this post, the guy called me and said I have the job and details will come tomorrow on e-mail.


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