October Recap

The recap is late. I haven’t been in a blogging mood for the past month, and I’ve had other things on my mind. Besides, there hasn’t really been much to talk about lately. The interview I did for the German reporter never materialized into anything, and I’m actually glad. I really gave a horrid interview. I’m out of practice.

I spent the last ten days of October in Japan, this time moving from place to place instead of staying only in northwestern Tokyo. I drank with former students in Chiba, talked to a monstrously tall Ukrainian who just broke up with his girlfriend after purchasing an engagement ring and was too scared of aliens to leave the hostel to buy a beer in Asakusa, witnessed my friend try to pick up girls on the streets (nampa) in Takasaki and Karuizawa, did some day-drinking at a yosakoi festival in Ichihara, more drinking in Chiba, more drinking in Shinjuku with an old friend and new ones, more drinking in Kanda and a late-night, drunken conversation with a taxi driver on the way to Ikebukuro, and took my friend’s kid to the zoo and went to a makgeolli bar in Miyazaki. I started teaching the day after I got back and feel like I’m just now sobering up, but I’m not sure if I want to.


I’m still trying to figure out how to get my books back in the bookstores. I got a call from an intermediary while I was in Japan, but I asked him to call back after I returned to Korea and haven’t heard from him since. I tried calling the number, but it doesn’t accept incoming calls. I’ll have to try to get this taken care of now that I’m back in Korea.

I did manage to sell most of the contents of one of the 17 boxes last month. I only sold nine of the paperbacks, mostly to former students and friends of friends, and seven I bartered for alcohol. The money probably would’ve gone to alcohol anyway, so it’s fine. It’s good because my traditional sales last month were pitiful. One e-book on Amazon and two paperbacks from CreateSpace.


The interim project I’m working on, I call it a textbook for lack of a better term, I plan to finish a draft by the end of the year. While it means putting my novel on the backburner, teaching is still a passion of mine, and this book is the result of almost nine years teaching at the university. It’s also a potential moneymaker, which is good considering that I’m far in the red on the memoir and my salary at the university was cut almost in half following the accident. I believe that a degree of pain and privation is conducive to creation, but it’s a dream of mine to one day be able to support myself on just my writing and not have to whore myself out for additional editing and translation work, other people’s work. If I can sell the textbook by the spring or summer, I’ll be able to work on my novel with a clear and unhindered mind. The Korean translation of the memoir is still a lingering problem, but I’ll deal with it when I get there.

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2 Responses to October Recap

  1. bighominid says:

    Let’s imagine an optimistic future in which you’re kicking back on plush sofas made of dollar bills, swimming laps in a pool filled with Kobe beef, and being fellated by a bevy of nubile Japanese and Korean pixies with gorgeous nanotech diamonds for eyes. What I want to know is whether you imagine your Hefner-huge mansion being located in the States or in Korea. If you hit it big, will you remain on the peninsula or be out like a shot?

    It’s a question I often ask myself. I suspect that, if I had the money, I’d buy places in the US, Switzerland, and South Korea, then spend four months a year in each spot. I’d definitely want to avoid Korean summer in favor of Swiss summer, for example.

    Just curious.


    • Young says:

      I don’t imagine a lavish future for myself–well, maybe on occasion–and I see my situation right now as pretty optimal. I work less than ten hours a week and can still survive; that’s a pretty sweet deal. As long as I didn’t have to take on extra work that distracted me from writing, that amount of cushion would be enough for me.

      But, supposing that I did hit it big, I’d definitely bounce around internationally. I don’t have any plans to go back to the States (although I’d probably have to spend some time there to do promotion) and I don’t think I’d spend all my time here (although I’d have to spend time here as long as my mom is here). I’d like to spend more time on the beaches in Southeast Asia (particularly during the winters), Japan, and I still have never been to Europe and wouldn’t mind spending a good part of the year there. I don’t know where because I haven’t been, but I suspect anywhere is fine.


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