grabs attention with suspense. Who is following Mai Martin, an American in Beijing? And why? Ronald Zhao, a retired Hong Kong police commissioner, drops into her life just when she needs someone, and her husband is gone on one of his covert meetings.
It was partly sunny the day we drove up the south fork of the Sacramento River on County Road 26, off WA Barr Road, behind Lake Siskiyou near Mt. Shasta. We got nearly to the summit at Gumboot Lake before being turned away by snow.
Taking the less traveled route home, down Old Stage Road, we came across a section of the forest recently cleared of under brush. Artifacts of the century before the previous century, maybe around 1860, are exposed. Rock walls constructed most likely by Chinese track workers for the early railroad grade, culverts and seen here monumental base for the trestle at Big Canyon, north of the Crystal Geyser bottling plant where the road takes an extreme hairpin turn at the bottom of a steep ravine.
Leonard the scrub jay and his mate stopped by for a visit. There was no hesitation. He swooped down and plucked the peanut from my fingers!
Got the printer's proof for Beijing Abduction.
It's sunny weather (67-deg F or 31-deg C)
gardening time: prune the roses, water the potted trees. The Purple Pony prunus is in full bloom.
Pink petals float on the breeze like snowflakes. But wait! They ARE snowflakes!
Long term Unemployment
What about it? I know a little about being unemployed. In the 80s I was out of work for eight months when Microsoft dropped PC DOS on the market and everyone in the computing industry either adapted or dropped out of business. Couple that event with an untimely exit from my
employer, something which unqualified me for unemployment benefits. So-- I scrambled.
Kelly Girl would drop me into temp jobs where I would figure out how to work most computer systems in a few hours and could get some production going while the regular person was on leave or vacation. Think Lanier mini computer systems for law offices. There was a real early programmable typewriter...? help me out here. Anyone else remember?
I tightened my belt and squeaked by while campaigning the 250 top corporations in the LA Times business section that year. Mailing my resume and cover letter to all and following up all with a phone call to the HR Department. I got four interviews, one job offer to move to Arizona and one referral to another company which eventually hired me.
The new job was in financial planning, a totally different discipline than information technology. And I had to study for and take exams to get licensed. I loved the job and have many positive memories of the years I spent helping school teachers save money in annuities. I'm back playing with technology now. The time working in other disciplines, including Higher Education and self-employment, have made me the multi-faceted person I am today. Time spent mastering another discipline will also increase your self confidence and make YOU the multi-faceted person you could be.
So-- this is what I think. Taking a job-- any job-- is better than sitting on the couch and crying, 'Oh, woe is me.' Even a job as a busboy/girl is an important cog in the big wheel. Receiving atta boys/girls from your co-workers is the kind of thing that BUILDS self confidence. Not sitting on the butt. Out and about, networking with the customers, other possibilities will come your way. They don't come at you sitting and crying.
My friends who are experiencing depression and physical aches and pains cascading out of isolation and negative thinking: I'm shouting out to you! Get up and volunteer at the corner art museum or school. Get up and shower and get dressed and get on with life.
Nothing great started that way. Nature starts small, like the seed and grows big. So can your new career. GO FOR IT!
From the mailbox
I have gotten over and through a busy process in the beginning of the new semester and also completed the translation of an English version of a bestseller on stress reduction written by a Russian psychologist, who is really satisfied with my translation by saying that I did a really great job. Well, my Chinese translation reads like the text a Chinese reader finds it fluent and smoothly flowing in readability.
I also used that style to translate and publish the translation of an Indian short story collection in English entitled
Eating Women, Telling Tales
by Bulbul Sharma, the book was reprinted and published in March and available in Amazon. It is a book about Indian food and women's family life. You can check it out.
I am translating the Pulitzer winner, Taylor Branch's 1982 award-winning book entitled
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63
, a book thicker than a brick and I will get it done in a few months. After that, I will write an easy-reading book about how to learn English preferably for my students or anyone in China, who would like to teach oneself English and learn it well.
I am also arranging to do a Living Library Show with my local library to use me and my experience as a book to be presented to the readers there. Our topic is mostly about books and how reading and studying have changed my life and careers.
In Chapter 1, the story opens as Mai Martin is leaving work on Beijing University campus. It is August 29, 2011. What follows is an exerpt from page 4.
She passes the guards and turns left onto the avenue. While the SUV is stopped at the car gate, she slips into the bike lane. At the end of the street, near the newsstand, she stops to look again. The Dongfeng passes her and makes a left onto the big boulevard, Chengfulu. Just as she is about to turn around and head back onto campus, the motor scooter guy returns, two of them now.
Turning left at the corner where the regular fruit peddler has a truck, she heads into the small amount of traffic coming at her in the bike lane. Just as the motor scooter guys start to overtake, she cuts into the parking lot of a strip mall directly behind her LiNai apartment. Dodging pedestrians and cars, she makes it to the front of the building housing the massage clinic, just as she sees the motor scooters circle around and come back in her direction. Rushing past the private guard sitting on the entry porch, she finds her phone and calls Ron.