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21 April 2005
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KLB - Good Karma?

Maybe donating to the ASPCA has given me some good Karma because I had a great day today. It started with the train. For the first time in weeks I got a seat! Believe me, it makes a difference between sitting and standing during that hour on the way to work. I don't get a chance to sit at work or on the way home.

Then, my worst two students in A class were absent. Without those two little pencil case-dropping, "no" shouting rascals the class was much quieter. As a matter of fact, a lot of kids were absent today. And, of course, because of the smaller classes, teaching was a lot easier than usual. It's my opinion a foreign teacher should never have more than 10 kids in a class to be effective. Having smaller classes really does make a big difference. The kids that were there today definitely learned a lot more than usual.

Later Julie called me to tell me Seoul Selection wants to order 30 more copies of my book. Apparently they've been selling better than expected. That was nice to hear. I still haven't gotten around to doing any marketing for it. Maybe I should work on that. They won't sell themselves, I guess.

On the way home, the bus driver welcomed me on board with a boisterous "oso-o-shipshio" and when I got off he beeped, smiled and waved goodbye as I crossed the street. Usually the bus drivers just grunt and beep for you to get the hell out of the way.

Now it was two-for-two! I got another seat on the train! That never happens. I almost always stand both ways. The only downside was the guy next to me gagging and clearing his throat every few seconds.

Anyway, it was a nice day and it's not over. Julie, though she still hasn't joined the health club, is in a good mood after a nice birthday yesterday. We will go out and have a simple dinner together. Then it's to work on the new book I've started. See you later.

The news gets better. I came home to find out Jade Empire finished downloading - all 6 GBs. Since it was too big to burn onto a standard DVD-R disk, I extracted the files using XISO. Then it was just a quick transfer via ftp to the Xbox and I'm now playing one of the hottest, most anticipated games of the year without having to wait for it to make it's way to Korea. Bit Torrent is a life savor for those of us living abroad.

Julie's sound asleep. She's been crashing at 10:00 lately. I can't remember the last time I fell asleep that early, except for the night we stayed in the country a few weeks ago. While she's been asleep I worked for a bit on my new book project. I'm existed about it and have a lot ideas, and certainly enough experiences and material to draw on. Before I get too involved this time, however, Julie's working on a proposal for Korean publishers to see if they'd even be interested, as I'm aiming the material towards Koreans this time.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this but a couple of Korean publishers turned down Island of Fantasy because they felt the material would be offensive to Koreans. One guy with some connections even gave the book to a sample audience and several readers thought my actions in the book were plain rude, such as when I turned down an old woman who tried urgently to sell me boiled silkworm larvae. Not to mention my description of "Wonder School" and its owners didn't exactly please them either - I'm sure they just thought of me as an ungrateful foreigner. Maybe I should send the book to some publishers outside of Korea. I need to buy one of the big writer's guides to publishing. For now, at least I've done fairly well with self publishing. I never expected to sell that many copies on my own without paying for a lot of advertising.

Though I didn't think my first book was all that negative - it wasn't my fault my first job was a virtual hell, but I tried to contrast that with the mystery and beauty of Koje Island and the intersting experiences I had - with this new material I will focus on the more upbeat parts /experiences of the last few years. If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to send me an e-mail.


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