hey all, please take a moment to pray/send well-wishes/whatever it is you do for the families, survivors, and the hundreds still missing after a ferry sank off korea.  also, please keep in mind the rescue teams as they continue searching for the missing — the ocean is apparently very muddy, so visibility is poor.  most of the passengers on the ferry were second-year high school students, a fact that doesn’t make this any less or any more tragic, but please send out a prayer for their parents and families.

thank you.

(more information on the new york times and bbc,)

no idea if y’all have heard about that “100 happy days” thing going on where you take a photo of something every day for 100 days with the idea of appreciating life in the moment — or something like that … (wow, what a fail attempt of explaining it.  you can check out the website here if you want.)

anyway, so, i decided i’d do it, not so much to appreciate moments in my day-to-day (that’s what instagram is there for as far as i’m concerned anyway), but more so as a way of tracking time as i rewrite my book.  my days tend to bleed into each other, and i wanted a way to keep on top of this rewrite so i didn’t end up mid-may without a book, which made this 100 days thing perfect — i figured that, if i averaged 2,000 words a day, i’d be done writing by 50 days, which would leave me 50 days to edit/read through/etcetera.

so far it’s been going great, even if i’m behind on my word count.  of all the social media out there, instagram is the one i love without misgivings, something about how instagram really celebrates the trivialities and beauties in life.  i don’t know what it is, but i dig it, and i’ve been having a great time with this 100 days thing.  it’s been 4 weeks of it, so i figured i’d make a little collage of my days thus far — my instagram handle is "jjoongie" if you wanna check it out!

one month from CA means …

(01)  … one month to finish this book — i should be halfway through now, and, when i last counted a few days ago, i had 37,000 words.  i should be at 52,000 as of tonight, but i’m sure i’m not there yet … not really beating myself up about this, though — it’s not like i’ve been slacking off and not putting in the hours everyday, and i’ve been making very steady, positive progress, anyway.

(02)  … i’m already making plans for CA.  friends to see, food to eat, places to visit.  rituals to continue, too, like brent’s first thing with the illustrator friend.  i should get on planning that road trip into the desert, too, and start making the necessary reservations and such — at some point this week, i’ll take a break from work and do that.  terribly excited for it.  i’ve got a thing for the desert.

(03)  … i don’t know, that time goes ticking on?  once i get back from CA, it’ll be a crush to edit, edit, and edit until this manuscript is submitted (by mid-june, goes the plan now!), and then hopefully i’ll hear back soon and things will get kicked into motion, but then there’ll also be a new apartment to look for and this apartment to pack and a move to arrange and blah blah blah, life goes on!

(as an aside, it’s warm in new york now, and can i just say?  i hate/loathe/despise summer already.  ugh.  UGH.)

"It was time to move on," Sylvia said to Enid. "I saw it all of a sudden. That whether I liked it or not, the survivor and the artist was me, not her. We’re all conditioned to think of our children as more important than us, you know, and to live vicariously through them. All of a sudden I was sick of that kind of thinking. I may be dead tomorrow, I said to myself, but I’m alive now. And I can live deliberately. I’ve paid the price, I’ve done the work, and I have nothing to be ashamed of.

“And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight — isn’t that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you’re less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn’t it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you’ve experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you’re seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this.” —Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
The taste of self-inflicted suffering, of an evening trashed in spite, brought curious satisfactions. Other people stopped being real enough to carry blame for how you felt. Only you and your refusal remained. And like self-pity, or like the blood that filled your mouth when a tooth was pulled — the salty ferric juices that you swallowed and allowed yourself to savor — refusal had a flavor for which a taste could be acquired. —Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

hmm, yes, aware that it’s april, and i haven’t done a recap of the books i read in march, and i did read in march — portrait of an addict as a young man (bill clegg), ninety days (bill clegg), and my education (susan choi) — and i have things to say about them, especially my education, which was fab (highly recommended) (went and bought two more of her books today because i loved my education), but i figure i’ll do a combined march/april post at the end of this month.  been reading a lot these last few days, too — reread the interestings (meg wolitzer.), finished drifting house (krys lee) (highly, highly recommended), and halfway through sleepwalking (meg wolitzer) and the corrections (jonathan franzen) (second read) now.

cannot recommend drifting house enough.  it took a few stories for the collection to grip me thoroughly, but it wasn’t like i disliked or was disinterested by those first few stories, either, not in the least.  krys lee is a fabulous, confident writer (there’s an unease of displacement that’s threaded and pulled tight through the stories), and i love how she has a foot firmly planted in korea and the other in america.  can’t wait for her novel.

But what might have happened if Gilho had not married and scrambled to provide Soonah the life that she and her parents, that everyone, expected, if he had not been so susceptible to her fear of risk, of failure, of others’ eyes, all fears that were his own? —Krys Lee, Drifting House, “The Goose Father”

current word count:

29,950 words.

reading the interestings for the second time and, yup, still in love with ethan figman.



This is so cute I don’t even know what to do with myself.