Today, you're receiving my one hundredth blog post. The first one went up on 22 October 2016: Welcome to Shanghai. A lot has happened since then and this seems like the right moment to reflect on that.
Yes, I'm following the US midterm election results. Too soon for me to articulate how I feel. Maybe more next week.
Two days after that first blog post, I signed with Linen Press to publish my debut novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle. That novel launched in April 2017. Two US book tours, some great reviews and countless readings later, I'm still thrilled every time a copy gets sold, especially when it's to one of my creative writing students.
Like most authors, I started blogging as a marketing tool. But I've grown to love it, that opportunity once a week to talk about something important or funny to me. Along the way, I've learned to write newsletters and review books. I made the leap into the Neverland of social media where you can now find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Despite all this social media chatter, I continue to write. As many of you know, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is part of a larger work, The Shanghai Quartet, four interlocking novels about my beloved Shanghai. The second volume, Peace Court, is now in the hands of a few beta readers. It's already clear that I'll need to do a major rewrite but I won't start until I've heard all the feedback.
Instead, I've been looking at my stash of short stories, rethinking, reworking, wondering where-oh-where I can get them published. You see, I have been less than successful in bringing those short fiction works to the public eye. Time for a submissions strategy, methinks. You can read all about that in this week's blog post: Batting Average.
More diversions for me as I bide my time, waiting to get back to the real task of novel-writing. Last week, Global Voices republished my blog post The Cop and the Showgirl. Last weekend, I listened to Richard Powers speak eloquently about his novel The Overstory. You can find my review of that book here: Sentinel Tree.