I’m leaving for South Korea in 8 days! I simply don’t know what to do with my adrenaline, so I’m pretending to design to a book that isn’t yet written.
Jeez, isn’t that what Hollywood does? Start with the marketing and go backwards from there?
At the Frankfort, Kentucky Book Fair back in November, I learned something about book buyers. Indeed, I spent 8 hours watching people who passed by my table and talking with people who stopped at my table.
The passers-by recoiled at the sight of a book cover featuring a brain. They also recoiled at the title. Some recoiled at the idea of a book about Alzheimer’s. There was a lot of recoiling going on.
Thankfully, too, there were a lot of people intrigued by the very same things that caused others to recoil. Prior to printing, my publisher and I agreed that the book WAS and HAD TO BE called Brain in a Jar. That was the heart of the (grey) matter.
Still, the Frankfort Book Fair experience was a character study in what characteristics, in general, sell people on books.
So now, going into the fourth and FINAL re-write (and going back to Seoul) on my very first manuscript, I want to be sure that I’m putting my best tailfin forward– on the concept, the title and the image. Of course any potential publisher will have the final say, but it helps me to have a title and an image in my mind.
To help sell me on what I’m about to do.
This story is about the conflicts that arose in Nancy S. Bercaw as a 21-year-old mermaid/teacher/journalist in South Korea.
And what a sea of conflicts! You name it and I was fighting it!
Nancy v. Nancy
American v. Koreans
Students v. Teachers
North v. South
East v West
The central conflict being the murder of my friend. Who killed her? American or Korean? Student or teacher? Someone from the North, South, East or West?
Her murder is heretofore unresolved and will forever be. So how do I lay that conflict, and all the others, to rest?
In my new take on this aging idea, I will revisit, as a 48-year-old mermaid/coach/journalist, the same landscape that caused me all the troubles in the first place.
And I shall learn from Korea’s own history with horror, exemplified by the DMZ. A place of permanent tension. A place of permanent ceasefire.
In the end, aren’t we all endless juxtaposition?
I conclude this blog post in honor of how it began: the adrenaline I feel about going to Seoul. My fabulous personal physician (okay, she is the personal GP to many others) once said this to me, and I paraphrase:
The adrenalin you got from swimming competitively might have kept your endorphins high. Now that you don’t swim, you are depressed. No endorphin rush. You need another kind, or you need antidepressants.
But as long as I have Celexa and an iMAC, I’m OK with the DMZ in ME.