It’s hard to believe, but this marks the ten-year anniversary of my first novel’s pub date. The cover that currently shows on Amazon is the much superior paperback version. The original looked like this.
The less said about that one, the better! Anyway, according to good old Google, a typical 10th anniversary is celebrated by a diamond or a blue sapphire. I have just the thing.
What you see above is the working cover of the Korean edition of Everything Asian. Perhaps not as blue as a sapphire, but there are diamonds in there for sure. Rumor has it that it’ll appear sometime in June this year. I’ll have more to report in the coming months, but pretty cool, right? Ten years in the making, as it turns out. I’m absolutely thrilled that family back in the motherland can finally read it.
For a nostalgic look back at the book launch, check out the photo from KGB Bar!
A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by John Weber, a veteran reporter and frequent contributor for NPR. He’s heading up a wonderful project called Authors and Answers and I’m proud to be the inaugural interview! Take a look it on YouTube.
My wife and I are house shopping, and we are walking down a woody path to the For Sale sign. Along the way, we see squirrels — lots of them. And one in particular is enormous, as big as a child.
“Do squirrels get that big?” I ask my wife.
She shrugs and we move on.
We arrive at a house that is actually a train, as in a locomotive. Old-timey, all black and with a steam chimney. The owner, a woman, greets us. Inside, the train is well furnished. It’s long, but it’s a house with all things you’d expect in a house. She meets us at the kitchen.
“I need to be able to drive this thing,” I tell her.
“You can’t. It’s a house. Besides, you need a license if you wanted to drive it.”
“What about the electricity, water?” I ask, thinking you couldn’t move a house-train so easily.
“There’s another train house down a bit,” she says. I think she’s trying to get rid of me.
And then I wake up.
Commentary: On a recent run, I ran past a trailer park. Trailers sort of look like railway cars, don’t they?
I’m walking with three guys from high school I haven’t thought of in…at least a decade. But of course, in the dream no time has passed. Donnie tells me about the varsity baseball team. I ask him who’s the power hitter on the team and he proudly announces that it’s him. He’s batting cleanup, fourth in the order. Chris, tall and lanky, says he’s batting third, which means he’s the best hitter on the club (at least this used to be true in baseball — not sure if it applies anymore in the world of Moneyball/stats-everything nowadays). Before Justin has a chance to speak, we’re at the ball field so my fellow classmates take the field.
I sit on the bleachers to watch, and lo and behold, half the team are girls at our school. And while the guys are wearing random sweatpants and t-shirts, the girls are all in different sundresses. Big Red (my high school team name) is on the field and I know most of the girls on the field. Jenna is the pitcher, while the bases are covered by Tracy, Stacy, and Helene.
Jenna throws the first pitch, and it’s not over-the-shoulder like regular baseball; she throws it underhand, more like fast-pitch softball, except this has a bit more of an arc. She’s got a devastating off-speed pitch that has some serious bite, fooling every batter to swing and miss.
My college friend Mark walks in, and he looks absolutely exhausted. He’s been on a very long trip and he tells me all he wants to do is sleep. I tell him he should just get on the couch and close his eyes. Lucky for him, there is indeed a couch, right there, and he falls into it and does just that. Within a few seconds he’s snoring away.
And then I wake up.
Commentary: My wife and I are currently on a trip to Orlando, FL, and yesterday, after visiting a friend, we stopped by First Data Stadium, where the St. Lucie Mets play, the affiliated minor league team. And a few days ago on the flight over, I wasted an hour or so playing Amiga games on my laptop via emulation, and Hardball! was one of the games I played (pic above). So baseball has been on my mind, plus playing that old-school video game must’ve activated some very old bits in my brain.
The reason why girls might be on the team is because before going to sleep, we watched two episodes of Russian Doll, which I can see easily burrowing its way into the dreams of many of its viewers.