Archive for the 'books' Category


A Book List and a Note about North Korea

So, since I spend a lot of time on buses, there is a good online used bookstore here in Korea, and Marc left me some of the books he brought with him during his visit in July, I have accumulated a decent number of books while here in Korea.  Here is the list (ones I have completed are crossed out, those I am close to finishing are in italics):

I prefer to read two books at once (keeps me from getting burned out by a book), and I think that my next two will be Frontsoldaten and North Korea: Another Country.  I need to read a German memoir or two from WWII before I go portray one at the reenactment I have in February, and Frontsoldaten seems to be one of the better ones.  As for North Korea: Another Country, well, given that the collapse of North Korea seems on the horizon, I figured I should learn a little bit more about that last relic of Soviet times.

On that note:  Last week, the Chinese moved an invasion force to the North Korean border that is slightly larger than the force that the US sent to invade Iraq.  My friends in the military (including those who are serving here) say this is very significant, if that wasn’t obvious enough already.  It has been almost confirmed that Kim Jung Il is very sick, and possibly already dead and replaced by a double, and the country seems to be destabilizing.  The reason the Chinese movement is doubly significant is that while South Korea has spies in North Korea, China actually has ties with North Korea, and they communicate regularly.  If anyone knows what’s up, it’s the Chinese.  So, the fact that they have seen fit to make such a large and sudden troop movement should be taken as a rather important sign.

On one hand, that scares the bejesus out of me.  On the other, I’m a photojournalist and an opportunist, and if shit goes down, it could be a boon to my career.  If there’s one truism about us press folks, it’s that our priorities are royally screwed up, and I am certainly no exception.


*shifty eyes*

So, I have finally bitten the proverbial bullet and joined the most geeky of geeky things:  an LJ fandom roleplay.

I have become somewhat obsessed with a recent HBO show, True Blood.  It hits all my right buttons for some reason, and I have now read through half the series of books it is based off of as well.  The roleplay is based off the series/books.  I’d explain how LJ roleplays work, but it’d take forever.  Suffice it to say, it’s very geeky.

I was hesitant at first, but I now look at it as potential writing practice.  Honestly, I have thought about writing fiction, from time to time, but I have shied away from it due to the fact that 1. I don’t actually read that much fiction in the first place and 2. I worry about how my stories might come off.  In reality, I write stories and scenes all the time in my head, and have done so since I was a little kid.  I see this roleplay as an opportunity to attempt to write in someone else’s voice (though the character and I do share some similarities), which is one of the first steps in practicing fiction writing.

I find the escapism welcome here in Korea, where I pounce on any chance to distract myself from my less-than-enjoyable life here.  And, frankly, I have been writing with various degrees of seriousness for about 7 or 8 years now, and perhaps it is time to try something new.

Anyway, that’s my embarrassing moment for the day.

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