On Saturday, I’ll post the final episode of Man’s Last Song. I’ve been posting a section of the novel every week or so since last October. In twelve months, I have only missed one deadline by a few hours (according to Hong Kong time.) Starting next week, Song, Rhea, Ma, Huan, John, Melody, would no longer be part of my routine. The feeling is reminiscent of watching Daughter No. One packing her suitcase, getting ready to leave home to start university. Another milestone: YES! and sigh . . .
So, what next?
I have started the next novel. I see Man’s Last Song as a reflective mosaic of our paradoxical civilisation that has become increasingly incompatible with human nature, and threatening to the only life-supporting environment we know. The next novel is a tale of ironies: One protagonist discovers life through personal calamities. Another gets lost in a quagmire of unexpected success. They live right here in our contemporary world — a likely place for either to happen. Finishing the bilingual versions would keep me occupied for a year or two, hopefully no more.
I intend to be busy with other tasks too. Up until now, I have not seriously sought publishing. I dithered uncharacteristically, worrying about compromising the indulgence which I have been enjoying in my writing so far. Having been a business operator in my past life, I also expect publishing to be more like a business than literary creation. I would need to package, promote, capture, just like in the old days. There is also a degree of cowardice in my hesitance; I do not feel like facing rejections, something that I know is inevitable even to established writers.
Thanks to the encouragement of my amazing friends, I have decided to grow out of these what ifs at long last. I will start planning to get Man’s Last Song published. Whatever the outcome or format, not trying would be a waste in many regards.
When I first started writing, I also had a wish that one day I might be able to help promote bilingual writing after I have learned enough through practice. Have I learned enough?
What about the Guo Du blog?
Last August, before someone suggested the idea to me, I hardly knew what a blog was. Having participated in Blog-sphere for the past year, I now know a bit more about this fascinating universe of information and disinformation, entertainment, propaganda, and idea (great and dumb ones) exchange.
Unexpectedly, I have made many virtual friends who have given me substantial support. The surge in visits during the first hours of a new post never fails to surprise and energise me. I have no idea who these readers are, just as I am sure they have no idea how much their dependable support means to me. In rainy days when I could not summon up the energy to get another post ready, I would think of them, take a deep breath, and turn the computer on. To them, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks. Thank you thank you. Bow bow. I know I’ll miss you.
Perhaps I should keep the blog going with the occasional opinion? I do not want to have to comment on something for the sake of posting regularly. It is also my wish to detach from, rather than getting closer to, pointless disputes. Furthermore, my views change as the world changes, and I do not believe in such a thing as the absolute truth in human affairs. But we live in the Propaganda Age, and are all potential victims of humongous official lies. If I could occasionally help to cast doubt on a 100% lie with a shimmer of partial truth, I might do my karma some good while keeping the blog going, and waiting for the new novel to acquire life. Why not? Oh well, don’t think I would be able to help it anyway.