China Book Update

In the China book is a section entitled “Totalitarianism.” Considering current relations between the US and China, I’m wondering if something that happened in the emailing of the manuscript file shouldn’t be included.

When my editor sent it back to me after having had it for 3 weeks or so there was a HUGE red warning banner over the top telling me to consider carefully if I wanted to open it because it resembled many suspicious “phishing” messages. I clicked “safe” on the red banner and it disappeared, but when I responded to my editor, she got the same message.

We decided to change the name of the file from “My China” to “Baby Duck”. When I sent it back to her this afternoon, no red banner, no warnings, all was well.

China has launched a propaganda war against us, and godnose what “we” are doing in response…

OTHERWISE I spent the whole day reading my editor’s comments and evaluating changes she suggested using the comments and changes pane that exists on both Pages and Word. It’s laborious but not difficult. Her suggestions were good — and the main takeaway I got was that not everyone has experienced what I did and it’s important that I consciously consider that and offer details and backstory. Chinese history is not everyone’s obsession…

So… I have sent it back to her and I guess I’ll get a response next week.

I love the project and it’s made me think in ways I haven’t thought before, mostly that it has taken me all this time — 35? — years to be able to write that story, though I’ve written bits along the way. So much to grapple with — the experience itself, the fact that I was in a new marriage that was a disaster just a few months into it — something I didn’t want the book to be about at all and yet, Jim was there, part of it. I was stunned by how much Chinese I remember and wondered how to integrate it meaningfully. I hope I’ll be able to include illustrations because they’ll give some needed continuity to the stories in the book, which is largely a compilation of anecdotes.

I hope it’s moving toward being the good, beautiful and true book I want it to be. No project — except maybe Martin of Gfenn and My Everest — has meant as much to me as this one.

2 thoughts on “China Book Update

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