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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Latest Entertainment & Composition

There are a lot of fellow Kdrama addicts out there, and we all share some common characteristics, as described recently on the DramaFever blog.  My Korean vocabulary has developed to about two dozen words, and sooner or later I'll sit down and learn the Hangul alphabet (it's simple; like the Cyrillic alphabet, you just need to spend a couple of hours committing the sounds and shapes to memory, and then you can accurately sound out anything written down--unlike English, words are spelled like they are pronounced).  The best series I've recently completed, however, is from Taiwan: In Time With You. There is no way that I'm ever tackling Mandarin, though! As I can't hear the difference between "pin" and "pen" in English, a four-tone language where "pin" can mean "pinkish", "spelling", "frequency", "to betroth", or "stripper" (just to name a few), depending on intonation is way beyond my abilities!

I've discovered a historical mystery series that, thus far, has made me a devoted reader: James R. Benn's Billy Boyle World War II series.  Benn is a retired librarian and obvious World War II history buff, and his attention to accurate real-world detail in the construction of good, interesting adventure stories makes me happy.  In my own WWII-related literary publication efforts, I sent off an email on Monday to a local editor who was recommended to me by a professor at Georgetown with whom I chatted at last month's Phi Alpha Theta chapter anniversary banquet.  He and his wife have published several books through New Academia, a press here in DC, and have been pleased.  She hasn't  acknowledged that she received the email, so I will wait another week or so and then re-try.

While I was in Rhode Island, I showed my niece my drafts of my children's stories.  She was immediately inspired to write her own, and carefully composed it on my computer, using 16-point AR HERMANN font.  It ended up being 213 words, all slowly typed by Rita herself ("hunt and peck" method), who asked me how to spell only a couple of words.  I also explained the accurate use of quotation marks, and she inserted those where necessary.  I was thoroughly impressed.  I don't know that I would have had the wherewithal when I was her age to write a tale like that, of that length and clarity, much less type it meanwhile.  I sent a copy to Mums, S Dawg and my other siblings.

The last night I was there, Rita had insomnia and came out to talk to me (I was curled up on the couch, reading).  "Sometimes I feel like a bicycle that's been left in the garage all winter by itself," she told me. "I am lonely and I don't have anyone to talk to.  Everyone is asleep and I am in my room at the end of the hall." Poor little girl. [Wow, such a poignant illustration of solitude!] I told her I understood.  I wish she had a cell phone so we could talk, though neither she nor her brother have yet to show any interest in talking on the phone, unlike my honorary nephews, who seem more than willing.  Her typing is a little slow as yet to accommodate online communication, and besides she doesn't have an email address.  I have mulled the idea of snail-mail, but her mother is awful about making sure that her letters are sent promptly, and so short of sending her a stack of pre-addressed and stamped envelopes (a possibility, I suppose), that's a dead end.  A little girl who loves books as much as she does, who is able to express her emotional depth at her age (I felt the same way--anyone who says children can't be truly depressed was a clueless child) needs some means, some opportunity, to write.  And given that I am the "mother ship", and she is my clone, I must do what I can to facilitate this.

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