I’ve spent a lot of time in the past day thinking about how my story “The Broken Pathway” needs to end. Mo-Sa, the focal character, has been coughing and sniffling rather impatiently as I’ve struggled to figure this out, and finally, looking through older drafts, and at what I did with what was once his cat, Nabi (“Butterfly”, a common name for cats in Korea, for who knows what reason) — now it’s a shabby little brown thing, an apparently stray mountain cat who leads him right to the big what-the-hell-is-that early in the story — and at one other minor character who makes an exceedingly brief appearance in the tale, I realized that there’s a character in the story who has appeared, but not really acted on his own incentives. It’s a neat realization, one that ties together a few strange phenomena, and makes a somewhat tragic (and thus historically accurate) and, narrative-wise, rather logical ending possible.
Meanwhile, reading over the current draft just now, I also picked out a bunch of little points to polish. I should be able to get a proper draft done tonight after my last class finishes.
Next week is the last week of classes, and since I tend not to give exams in many classes, it’s also somewhat like exam week for me. All the essays I’ll be collecting (from my writing course and my poetry course) will be coming in early next week. In addition, both of my debate classes will be holding their final debates next week, so that we can get some kind of audience together to attend the proceedings. That means that the week after, I’ll be relatively free to attend to grading and working out the gradesheets, as well as preparing for my upcoming holiday travels with Lime.
More on that later. For now, I need to get ready for my evening classes, and send Mo-Sa out of my mind for a little while.
Last thing: the chapbook is looking good! I’m quite impressed with it at the moment. I don’t know how well it will come out in the end, and I have about 30 pages of editing to go, plus insertions of poems from a few more contributors, but it’s looking alright at the moment. I will go to the printer on Friday and ask how much it’ll cost to get about sixtyor sixty-five little books printed up for Monday afternoon. (Since the reading is Monday at 5pm, I’d like to have books on hand then. Hell, maybe the students can even try hawking a few copies? We can always get more printed up for their mothers and friends with the proceeds. But I’m not optimistic about the likelihood of them making any sales, even just selling the book for a buck or two.)
Anyway, sixty-five copies should be enough for about two each for the students, plus enough for me to drop one into every professor’s mailbox, send a few to some people around here who might enjoy it, and for me to have one or two copies on my shelf as well. I sure hope the copy-shop people will be able to provide a nice cover. It’d be terrible of the cover looked exactly the same as the boring old pirated textbooks that you see all over the place around here. The last book I made by hand had hanji-papered cardboard as a cover, but that was a one-off and such covers aren’t really practical when you’re making 60+ books.
Now I need to go prepare a note for my colleagues reminding them of the poetry reading. One or two of them are interested enough to actually consider coming, if you can imagine. A group of me poetry students did, after all, win second place in the department variety night last week. They read wonderfully, and I was proud of them.