from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Random #36: Spread Too Thin

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Now that I no longer have a home in Seattle, my Stateside visits will be few and far between, and one of the things I will miss the most is the food. Chalupas top my list (especially since Taco Bell Korea is run by fools), Taco Time crispy chicken burritos with side sour cream, chicken breast fettuccine from the Old Spaghetti Factory with creamy pesto salad, 2000+ calorie burgers with bottomless fries and honey mustard at Red Robin to name a few. I’ll miss the snacks, too. I’m not much of a snacker, but often when I’d wait in line at Target or Rite Aid, one thing I’d pick up was a Handi-Snack.

Image taken from Google Imagesearch (some Tumblr blog)

I think that a person’s approach to eating Handi-Snacks tells a lot about a person.  In general, there are three approaches*: 1) liberally applying the cheese to cracker, resulting in a last cracker with a slight orange tint from the thin scrapings of leftover cheese, 2) conservatively applying the cheese to cracker, resulting in a last cracker with a surplus of salty orange goop because it would be a shame to just throw it away, and 3) carefully applying an exact quarter amount of cheese to each cracker. I won’t go into my interpretation, but it can be applied to many different types of situations.

I’ve gotten back into the groove of writing at the coffee shop for the greater part of the day—I got paid last Friday— and the six or so hours I spend here are not very productive but at least I’m putting in the time. The problem is that while maybe ten percent of my time is spent productively (the other ninety is spent in playing Freecell or surfing mindless Internet sites), I’m working on several projects at once. The memoir takes priority, but I have three more book/short story ideas in the works as well. If you add this blog to the mix, I have too much to work on and too little time.

You could say that one solution would be to be more productive with my time but this is it. Ten percent is as much as I can ask of myself. The number is an average: I do have streaks of inspiration but the debilitating funks last much longer. I said “problem” but a more appropriate term would be “situation.” I don’t feel a need to remedy this situation. It’s the way I work.

With regard to the Handi-Snack situation, I’m a type-1 person. I’d rather enjoy the first three crackers with liberal portions of cheese and choke through the last cheese-less cracker. By that time, I’m usually bored with the flavor anyway and eat the last one because it’s there. The connection to writing is this, the crackers are the projects I’m working on and the cheese is my limited amount of productive time and energy. The memoir is my first cracker. The other ideas that are still in the brainstorming stages are my second and third crackers. For those of you who still stop by this blog, I am deeply thankful that you bother, but this is my last cracker.

I started this blog to garner interest in the book leading up to its publishing, but because I’ve started over, it’s going to be a while. And with all these other ideas begging for my attention, it’s hard to sit and write these entries “prolifically.” So, whereas I had been posting at least once a week previously, I’m going to try to update at least once every two weeks or so. Hopefully things will pick up again once the memoir gets along to the point where I’ve revised the shit out of it and am ready to start querying agents again.

* Of course, there is a large fourth group comprised mostly of the younger generation whose parents bought them Lunchables instead. Fuck Lunchables.


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