Saturday, April 11, 2015

Finding My Feet

I have been in the United States for two weeks and fourteen hours. There's still a bit of an unreal quality to being here. I feel happy, but unsettled. The days pass in a whirl. My watch is still set on Korean time. Last night, as I went to sleep, I mentally walked from my old apartment to the Beomnaegol subway stop then back the other way. I tested myself to see if I had forgotten any landmarks. So far, so good. This morning at breakfast, I was talking to my mother and referred to Busan as "home". Ooops.

Read Life has definitely taken a back seat to Real Life. At the present, I'm still bashing my way through A Game of Thrones. My inner Bonnethead and Nerd Girl are both enthralled with Pioneer Girl.  All those footnotes! Squeeeeee! I'm also reading a memoir by Ingeborg Day called Ghost Waltz in which she explores the elephant in the room as she was growing up: Her father was a Nazi police officer. It's well-written, haunting, disturbing. I've only finished one book since I arrived back: Unworthy by Anneli Rufus. It's part memoir, part self-help about the self-loathing that lurks in so many of us. What led me to read it was research. I'm working on my next novel and that is my main character's chief characteristic, so I needed to understand that more clearly.

And what of the Bybeeary? It's sitting in several boxes in the living room, half-unpacked. All the boxes arrived safely.

My mom is telling everyone we meet that I wrote a book. Last night, she was strong-arming a relative into buying a copy of Even if the Sky Falls Down:

Mom: Have you got Susan's book on your Kindle yet?

Relative: Book?

Mom: Yeah, she wrote a book. You can read it on your Kindle or on the computer.

Relative: What kind of book is it?

Mom: It's about Korea.

Relative: Is it about your experiences there?

Me: Uh, it's a novel. Mom, quit pressuring Carol!

Mom: Tell her the title.

Me: Even if the Sky Falls Down. I can't believe you're strong-arming people.

Relative: What, are there copies piled up in your garage, Judy?

Mom: It's not a real book. It's on the computer. [A close friend] read the whole thing, and she said it's good enough to be a movie.

Me: I don't....she's really nice.

Relative:  Yes, she is. Even if the Sky Falls Down?  Okay, I'll look for it.

I don't know whether to laugh, cry, cringe or hire my mom as my publicist.


Sam Sattler said...

Susan, hire you're mom quickly - and start sending her door to door hawking your book. :-)

I really enjoyed the story and bits of history interspersed throughout it. I have, in fact, a formal review all written up and in line for posting to Book Chase. It won't come up for a bit because, for once in my life, I'm ahead of the pace at which I post reviews. I have eight written and only post 2-3 a week.

Congrats on such a good debut. Proud of you.

Susan Bybee said...

Thank you so much!

Bookfool said...

Be grateful. My mom read a draft of the story I had published in an anthology and when I brought her a copy of the published book she said, "I've already read it." I told her I'd added a scene at the request of my editor and she just shrugged, set the book down on a side table and changed the subject. I took the book home with me.

I agree with your mom's friend. It would make a decent movie. It's a good story. Good luck writing the next book!

Unruly Reader said...

Welcome back! Best wishes as you settle in. What a relief that all the boxes arrived.

Your mom is awesome. So is your book. If there were a movie made, the book would be so much better.