Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dubious Friends

Having built my network (250+ folks thus far, of greater and lesser familiarity) on Facebook, I sent off the TMTF manuscript to Ambassador, a high-quality Christian publisher based in Greenville, SC.  The challenge to publishing the book is that it may seem too academic for popular audiences, too popular for academic audiences, too Christian for secular audiences, and too secular for Christian audiences. That said, it is a fascinating peep behind the Iron Curtain of yesteryear, a record of thoughtful romance, considerable economic and social challenge, and long-term courage that is remarkably contemporary.  I would not have spent all my spare minutes for seven years working on the translation, creating substantial explanatory endnotes, and reading and re-reading the manuscript for clarity, accuracy and lyrical beauty if I didn't believe whole-heartedly that the story was one English-speaking audiences would be profited by knowing.  Russia needn't be the "dark continent" of the 21st century, and good books like this can contribute immeasurably to better understanding of their past and present.

My laptop is giving me fits--I had to buy a new battery a month or so ago, and it's had problems overheating ever since.  I have an external hard drive to back up the data, so if the machine goes up in a puff of smoke one of these days, I should be fine as far as preserving essential information, but how on earth am I going to afford a new computer?

One of the downsides of Facebook is that there's a subconscious desire to represent one's life as lovely, complete and enviable in pictures and updates, and though I am extremely grateful for the blessings I have (room and board-wise, no unemployed person ever had it so good!), it is a little galling to see the lovely wedding and baby photos of so many, many people--some of whom I used to babysit when they were little!  Not that I don't love seeing others happy--it's just that my life doesn't seem to follow many of the conventional patterns, from matrimony to employment, and it's almost like there's an asterisk needed next to my name, to explain my peculiar circumstances without work, kids, pets, a spouse or a noble spiritual calling.  That said, I may have a lead on an English teaching job in Russia for this coming year--of course, I'm still going to look into jobs in South Korea and that area--if it works out, I would have an opportunity to better my own foreign language skills (become really fluent in Russian, instead of "passable") as well as help others with theirs.

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