I wrote 103 words for my novel at the end of the day…

But that’s not the progress I’m talking about.

I finally started packing! And my writing desk, drying rack and the vanity set are sold!

My friend came and helped.  By help I meant he watched me pack those used and unread books.

He did muscle out the New Yorkers, the Economists I’ve hoarded over the course of three years. And some of my printed scripts.

The first box was easy. All the Tony Robbins, all the productivity books. Thanks, but no thanks.

The second box was a little harder. The Doris Lessings. The Pulitzers. The Man Bookers. Guys, I know you’re important, but I’ve just fallen out of love with you.

The third box was difficult. I was only able to fill up one-third. I was not sure if the rest of them would also go to the Goodwill.

“Books are high personal items.” My wiser older friend said. [Translation: Goodwill it is.]

I did manage to gift some to my friend yesterday. Plus two IKEA pillows and a 1/3 1L bottle of Absolut Vodka, a reminder of my richer former Chinese roommate, which I used to bathe the salmons…

“Why didn’t you use a library card? You’re buying second-hand books anyway.” My friend pointed out as he watched me agonizing over the third box.

  • I thought I was better off if I owned them?
  • I thought buying books would make my chance of staying in the US higher?
  • I thought I need to fill the bookcase wall my friend helped me built a year ago?


All strangely had nothing to do with the books themselves. 

I don’t need to guess to know that I’d better off without them. Like a snake shedding a skin of the past. Au revior.

In the end, they are just craps and junks.

But wait, I’m a writer. I’m finishing up my novel’s first draft. These people, authors, spent years of their lives writing those books I now call junk… The odds that people actually read these days.

But still, I can’t take you with me back to Shanghai. I’ll be more mindful next time before I claim you mine.


Yours truly,

PS. Listen to the latest RBYZ podcast if you haven’t already. The guest is a Vietnam vet and a dear wise fried. Episode show notes here.
PPS. Clocked in 866 words. Tallying 61,272 words. 14.36 days remaining.



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