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One of our favorite pastimes in the English Composition office is to discuss the sayings we’ve seen on t-shirts around China. On Thursday, one of my students took the cake with the following saying, printed in white, bold letters across the front of her shirt:



N’ A



I love it!


This is what I’m all about right now:

I burned through the second season in three days. Now, I must get my hands on season one.

What’s everyone jonesing these days?

I’ve finished another draft of the memoir. Now, I’m working on a query letter to send out to agents.

Writing the memoir was hard enough, but imagine boiling a 94,000 word memoir down into 300 words. That sucks.

Any suggestions?

No Easter bunny for me. No dying hard-boiled eggs or picking through green plastic grass for the Hershey’s chocolate eggs at the bottom of an empty half-gallon pail of ice-cream that is doubling as an easter basket. Nope. None of that. Here’s what I’m doing for Easter, and I suggest you all do the same:

1. Start your day by catching up on your podcasts. My podcasts aren’t working in China. I like to get the weekly podcasts for This American Life and Radio Lab, but in China, it’s really hit or miss. Some weeks they come through. Other weeks they don’t and I have to go to the websites and listen to them there.

Anyway, while I was doing laundry and cleaning my apartment this morning, I listened to the This American Life episode from the week before, titled “Remember Me.” The episode is about how we remember people and it features a story about a ghost who haunts a hotel in Wisconsin (as well as a few interviews from the StoryCorp people!). But what I was really impressed with was the third act – “Giving up the Ghosts” by Shalom Auslander. This is a must-hear episode and, if you can get your hands on it, his short story collection sounds like a good read.

2. Next, visit the Washington Post so you can take a look at the third annual Peep Diorama Contest. Then ask me about “peeping.”

3. Finally, zip on over to the New York Times so you can read the latest Modern Love column, a Sunday ritual for me. These columns are the perfect fit for a lazy Sunday afternoon (at least for me in China!).

Happy Easter!

Previously on Boots to Blogs:

The last time we saw your hero he was stranded in the great, wide north of China with six boxes of Junior Mints, a pocket-gnome named Gnomy, five bottles of hand sanitizer, and a dozen paperback books. As our hero sidestepped loggies left and right, he marched off into Shenyang to teach youngsters how to write.

What you’ve missed:

Our hero survived his first semester as a full-time writing faculty. He was both pleasantly surprised and shocked by his students’ writing. He passed a lot of students, and failed seven, before catching the first train out of Shenyang for tropical southern Asia. He spent two months traveling around Vietnam, southern China, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, and returned to northern China refreshed and ready for another set of challenges.

What’s to come:

Stay tuned to find out if our hero finally finds a decent carton of milk at the local grocery store, if he doesn’t kill a handful of his students as they attempt to write arguments and find research for their writing, and news on his nearly complete (!) memoir.

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