Finally, I finished my new project, my first non-fiction language book, Lady Xiansa’s Guide to Beginning Korean, which is now available in paperback on Amazon:
I could have named it just Beginning Korean or something equally utilitarian, but I thought this had more pizazz and stood out better using my Lady Xiansa handle to reference this blog. This book is available to the public, not just to my private students, and I hope it will be a valuable resource. I wrote the textbook using an inductive language learning method instead of a more popular format – after 12 years of teaching ESL I have a particular hatred of cloze exercises – and I tried to avoid putting together a book that would make my eyes glaze over. My new book isn’t really a self-study textbook but more of a reference that should give students a good foundation. I will use a lot more supplemental materials in my classes. Right now, I have four classes available, and I’m going to be starting to prepare my class on North Korea next. Like my Korean history class, this one will be heavy reading, but if you want an in depth look at the wild and wacky history of the world’s most notorious totalitarian society, this class will be right up your alley.
Additionally, I am planning a new project that I hope to start publishing on my class blog soon at the Enlightened Rabbit Scholastic Society site, and that will be a bilingual Korean-English novel delivered in microchapters called Sohyeon After Midnight (소현 자정이 지나면). It’s shaping up to be a horror-fantasy novel with some Lovcraftian influence, and since it will be in two languages, it will be a little something for everyone. For monolingual English speakers, you can just read the English; for Korean language students, you can look at the parallel construction of the novel and decide if it works; and for Korean language natives, you get the added entertainment value of watching a foreigner struggle to write in your language. I don’t pretend that I’ll get it right all of the time, though I will strive to do a good job. I want to have a good time with it.
There is actually some good pedagogy behind this bilingual novel project. One exercise they recommended when I taught ESL was student-produced texts, which made room for student errors as part of the process. So I’m going to lead by example here, though creating a bilingual novel from the ground up isn’t the same as just translating a novel into another language, not by a longshot, so it is an interesting project to tackle. Details on that will be forthcoming.
Meanwhile, I’m pushing ahead on my webcomic related to The Haunting at Ice Pine Peak on my overflow blog. That story will shift in another 20 pages or so to the next ghost story in the series of four stories that the webcomic will encompass. The current one is exploring a major character’s reaction to the aftermath of the novel’s historical massacre, but the next ghost story will shift to a creepy, gothic stepwell. For those who are unfamiliar with Indian stepwells or my novel, I have a whole mythology in my novel built around one that is based on this famous structure in Gujarat and others like it around India. Here are some photos of it:
I intend on getting caught up again on this blog in the next month or so, too, because I want to be in a certain place with it when I speak at Anthrocon during the Fourth of July weekend. You can get details for the event here:
This will mark my first year speaking for their event, and my topic will be Hello Kitty. I will probably also have a table in artist alley where you can get my books and some of my artwork.
I have a number of other events in the works coming up this summer, so stay tuned!