I am currently working on a book while I am here in Thailand - it's not going as well as hoped to be honest but I never expected it to be easy. I was wondering if anyone else here is working on a book around teaching? Or if anyone has had a book published in the past? They say we all have a book in us so there must be some posters out there who are writing a book on the side. If so I would be interested to hear briefly what the book is about/title/plot. How is it going? Any tips for switching into creative mode? Any useful books you've read that can help budding writers? etc.
To get the ballpoint rolling I tell you briefly about my book. It is a comic autobiography based on 7 different jobs I've done - each job story touches on a more profound theme all can relate to - e.g. prejudice, the media, love, death. The aim is to keep it light-hearted and humorous - but for the reader to also find themselves thinking deeply about issues raised in each chapter. The book is based loosely on the seven deadly sins - my main argument is that working - and by that I mean doing a job that prevents you from following your heart - is the ultimate sin committed today.
I would be interested in some kind of feedback if anyone can be arsed. If it sounds shit or you think it has potential please tell me. There seem to be many well read people on this forum so I'd appreciate any comments/feedback/tips.
I've never finished one, but I have started several. (never about teaching. One is about an Alaska fishing job I had, and another about a particularly strange Korean train ride)
I've found meditation to help getting the creative juices flowing and standing on my head....as well as smoking slight amounts of hash or weed. Also writing poetry at lightning speed and singing.
I've read a few useful books on the subject but titles are failing me now. There are so many!!
Good luck to you...all the best.
Thanks for advice Jimbo. Like sound of those 2 books - any chance of the first paragraph from either/both?
Did you find your time in Korea inspired you to write incidentally? Or was it just that one train journey? Reason I ask is I may head Korea in the future to work and hope life there may give me some writing ideas.
I'm too health conscious to smoke - though my ex was a big smoker so there were times I did dabble. I have to agree - it helped so much - couldn't stop writing afterwards - some good stuff too - stuff I know I couldn't have produced sober. I want that feeling again but without having to smoke. May have to get baking.
Meditation - I'll have to have a go at that.
A friend once said Stephen King wrote a book on writing - called - imaginatively 'Stephen King - On Writing'. I never read it but he says it's very useful.
I have attempted to write a movie script. I read a book about writing movie scripts by Syd Field which inspired me. One thing that helps, when you write, just write. Get your thoughts down do not worry about grammar, spelling, sentence structure........etc........GET IT DOWN ON PAPER. Its a lot like making a statue out of clay. First get the general form down then shape it...............Good luck
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I have read that King book.. It is fekkin' fantastic!! Get it ASAP. Korea (then) inspired me to write...did alot of LSD in those days as well. Those "journeys" gave me lots of ideas and material. Korea (now) is less than inspiring, however I've grown lazy and I drink too much. I can't write with a hangover! I'd rather not share unfinished material. I apologize. Poetry is another matter. If interested in that, send me a PM. It ain't all that great though.Originally Posted by BHOY01
PS: Have written a TV script for Thai TV as well. It's waiting to be pitched to the right producer....comedy.
Last edited by jimbo; 21st October 2006 at 14:47. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Thanks for that Traveler2. I will certainly look that book up as writing a movie script is also something I've been thinking about for a long time (and writing a few notes). I personally think writing a script is easier than writing a book - though the chances of a script ever being developed is probably more remote than a book being published. Though it's better to have tried and failed... Have you given up on your movie script? What's it about?
Fair enough Jimbo about not wanting to put up unfinished material - totally understand.
It seems that the drugs do work when it comes to creativity.
I'm certainly going to get that King book now - I've seen it for sale here (Chiang Mai) I'm sure.
Good luck with the comedy for Thai TV! Having seen some of the 'comedy' on TV here it would have to be quite something.
Last edited by BHOY01; 21st October 2006 at 15:06. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
I am a writer, albeit, I am known for this only in my own circles. (seems like a circle jerk)
What I've written since I have been in Los.
Economics course book
World History Course book
Technology course book
several short stories for kids
I'm currently working on....
1. re-writing the econ book
2. An English book that focuses on thinking skills(in collaboration with another teacher)
3. A short fantasy/adventure novel about evil spirits trying to enter into the living realm
4. A compilation of short-stories.
Ideas that seem to linger....
1. SARS-the Hong-Kong flu indisguise
2. Teaching in the 21st century
3. The legends of ancient societies.(how they are still believed today)
I believe that writers write. It's what we do. In the end, if what we write is read and appreciated, so much the better.
Miles and miles to go before I sleep...
Actually, I entered the forum this pm with the special intent of raising a particular issue about writing books - and here is this thread!
After 3 years of hard labour in LOS trying to make headway with no textbooks, very little curriculum, and no help from Thai teachers, I have turned all the work I have written into 3 Maths textbooks (Years 7, 8 & 9) adapted for the international EFL market. They are currently with my publisher in London but when they will get to the shops around the world I don't yet know.
Actually, my publisher is interested in contacting anyone who would like to write a 'companion' set of Science textbooks for the international EFL market (Years 7, 8 & 9).
Anyone out there who has years of work they would like to turn into something really useful and lucrative? - Give me a shout via email.
The PackageBy DunceCap
It was one of those dark and stormy nights that you read about. Except, this was not some horror novel; this was Shuksan Drive. It had dangerous twists and turns, and one never knew if some car might over shoot the next corner. The wipers were flapping, but it didn’t seem to help much. I was looking for an address number, but between the rain and the darkness, my headlights only hit on more trees. I slowed the car down and looked at the package again.
It read: 2513 Shuksan Drive and in little letters: just passed the bridge.
I had already passed the bridge. I wished I knew whether it was on the left or the right. I came to another tight curve, so I slowed way down. The thunder flashed and off to the right a little wooden sign shown 2513. I turned the car so my headlights could light-up the sign. Sure enough, 2513. I could see the driveway just on the other side of the sign. I followed it as it paralleled the road for a bit, but then it veered off to the right. I couldn’t see any buildings just the driveway and some trees. I wasn’t going fast at all, as a matter-of-fact I was going extremely slow, because of the rain. I was afraid I would hit something or miss a turn. Then, my headlights flashed on a little white garage. The door was open, but there was no car inside. I turned my car so the headlights could light up the area around the garage. I could see the roof of a house. I pulled the car into the garage and turned it off. I was glad not to have to get out into the rain.
I guess this might be a good time to tell you what I was there for. You see, this sounds like one of those dark and stormy night kind of stories, but it isn’t. I was there to deliver a package, not just any ole package, a last possessions package. And if you don’t know what that is, it’s not a pleasant thing. It’s a dirty thing to do. It’s an unpleasant thing to receive. Nobody wants to give one. And surely, nobody wants to get one. You can only guess at what’s inside. Each one is different. You can try and estimate by whose it was or by to whom it is going, but you never really know. By the time they open it, I am long gone. I look at their faces when they get one; pensive and distraught. No one ever smiles. To have to open a thing like that. Not me! I only give them. I am a giver not an opener.
The flash of lightening was enough to show me the path that led away from the garage and down towards the house. The wind was cutting and trying to push the rain inside my jacket. With one hand clutching the package and the other held outwards incase I should fall, I followed the path as it led down some steps to the house. Another flash and I could see the side of the house. It had long short windows. There were no lights on. I stepped under the eaves, but the rain still cut at me. The path changed to concrete as I neared the door. There was an over hang with two large planter boxes on either side. A rope was tied to a ring on one of the boxes. There was just enough light for me to see an old pair of rubber boots just under the rope. It was drier under the overhang, but not much. I stepped to the door and gave it a triple knock. It thunked out good and loud.
The package was a little wet but I wasn’t worried because they were water proof. No one would want a thing like that getting wet. It wasn’t a big package. It was about the size of a shirt box. The kind you get at Christmas time. But this wasn’t Christmas. This wasn’t a joyous occasion, certainly not.
No lights came on but the door opened. It was too dark to make out the face. I heard the voice of an old woman.
“Who’s there?” she asked.
“I’m sorry to bother you at this late hour Ma’am, but I have a package for you,” I said, realizing that I didn’t answer her question.
“A package? “ she sounded hesitant.
“Yes, a package. Could you, please, turn on a light?” I asked.
She opened the door further. I could hear her reaching around for something. There was a click and a humming sound, and suddenly, from over head, light shown down. It was not a lot of light, but enough to show me who I was talking to, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. In most cases people might say darling old lady or sweet old lady. This was not one of those cases, at least, not in this situation. Now she was old that part was true, but there was no shawl wrapped around her shoulders. There was no kindly little smile beaming out at me. Instead, I was looking directly into a pair of the scariest looking blind eyes I had ever seen. The kind that looked like they got a bunch of grey goop plastered over them. She wasn’t smiling, but her mouth was open. I could see gritty black and yellow teeth. Her face was wrinkled. There was a nasty looking scar that stretched from her left eye to her left ear then down to the corner of her mouth. It was as if she had fallen or had gotten hit by something.
“What kind of package?” she inquired. “You may have noticed. I am blind,” she said this with a sort of bite.
I held the package out for her to see, then, pulled it back quickly. That was stupid.
“It’s from the agency, Ma’am,” I said quickly trying desperately not to do something else stupid. Then, I realized what I had said was stupid, ‘The agency.’
She turned her head to the side as if she were listening for something. “What department?” she asked reaching her hand out.
I held the package out to her again. Her old fingers ran around the edge from one side to the other.
“Returns and Possessions, “ I answered haltingly.
She put her hand on top of the package, but lightly, and felt around the top. I was hoping she would take it and say good night. A few minutes passed as she skimmed her hand around the top. The night air was chilling and the storm wasn’t letting up. I wanted to get back to my car, to my house- to get away from there.
“Could you bring it inside? Are you sure it’s for me? She asked, then, continued, “The agency has made mistakes before on these things.”
She turned and went inside. The light was fine under the overhang, but where she went was still dark.
“Um Ma’am, “ I stuttered, “The agency doesn’t allow me…”
I squinted in at the darkness. “To, a, um, enter residences,” I said this last part and waited.
“Well, this time it’s different, “ the old voice came out from somewhere back on the right.
I stood there for a moment, still holding out the package as if she were looking at it, touching it, feeling it. With every fiber of my being saying no, I stepped slowly through the door. A short hallway led off to the right into a doorway. In the dimness I could make out the edge of a table. Then, Suddenly, there was a mighty thunderous flash and boom. In through the doorway I could see her sitting at a small table in a kitchen. Then the light was gone. And I mean gone. With that last thunder clap went the last of the light. Somewhere it had taken out the power. I dropped the package. I hurriedly scooped it back up.
“Are you alright Ma’am?” I asked, Peering into the blackness.
I felt along the wall with one hand as I walked.
“The power has gone out. I can’t see,” I told her. My voice was quavering a little. Not because it was dark, but because of this whole situation. I got to the doorway and felt around the other side for a switch.
“Just a little bit more and you’ll be at the table,” she said.
I heard a screeching sound like a chair being slid across the floor.
“Here’s a chair. There’s no use trying to turn on the light. There isn’t any,” she said almost with a laugh.
I couldn’t see her but something told me she was smiling then. My hand found the switch and clicked it up and down to no avail. I found the chair and sat in it heavily. I put the package on the table.
“Thank you,” I replied. “Now the package is for a Mrs. Fontaine. That is you. Isn’t it?” I was praying more than asking.
The agency does get things wrong every once in a blue moon. But this was no blue moon night. This was a no moon night. This was a very dark night. This room was very dark. I could hear the rain coming down outside. I had forgotten to close the door.
“Yes, I am Mrs. Fontaine,” she answered.
Her voice was tired. Her voice was pensive. Her voice was distraught. I could hear her touching the package. She was moving it; turning it, feeling it.
“Okay then, since you’re Mrs. Fontaine,” I said meekly, then, continued, “I need to get back to my car. With the rain and all, It’s a pretty horrible night.”
I said those last words, but tried hard to take them back in. It was no use; I had said them. They were out there. She already knew what the package meant. I had to go and throw words around carelessly. I felt bad.
I stood up and said, “I left the door open. I’m sorry. I’ll make sure I close it.”
I had said that with finality. She knew what I meant. I was leaving. I made my way back to the doorway, but not before she asked me the question she should have known I didn’t know the answer to.
“Who is it from? Can you tell me that at least?” she asked quietly.
“The agency doesn’t tell the currier,” I replied. “That is strictly confidential.”
The lightening flashed and gave me a glimpse of the small hallway. The floor was dirty with my wet foot prints. I was near the door. The rain was the only sound. I could tell she was still feeling the package. I stood there for a moment in the darkness; listening to the rain. I walked to the door and turned around and looked back at her- at the blackness. She was still feeling the package. I closed the door and went up the path to my car. I sat there in the dark for awhile before I drove away.
I'll give that a read later, DunceCap.
I'm writing a book actually. I mean you see so many books in Thailand about farang males and their experiences in Thailand all the time on the shelves so I want to share my stories of being a young farang female in Thailand instead! That will make a quirky difference.
That sounds interesting Ice. Let us know when it is available.
Even contains the famous moment of a Thai lesbian psycho hitting on me, she even paid for all my drinks that night! And she took me to an agogo and asked which girl I wanted to take to join us and she offered to pay.
That was me, love. I'm sorry. I didn't know it was you.Originally Posted by Ice Maiden
Hopefully a picture book eh! ...Originally Posted by Ice Maiden
Are you Magpie as well?Originally Posted by jimbo
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