The biggest news isn’t about me: it’s Hong Kong. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last month, you will know that the situation here has gotten interesting — and volatile. I’ve been out in it a little, although nothing like the commitment the students (including many of mine) have shown. For me, there’s a boundary: I’m not even a permanent resident yet, so there’s kind of a limit to how much I am willing to sleep on the street. But I was out there the night the teargas was thrown (I missed it, mercifully), and I’ve made a couple of supply runs; in fact, I’ll be making another one later tonight, provided I don’t go down the Internet rabbit hole.
Wherever you are, please lend support to the Umbrella Revolution (or Umbrella Movement, or Occupy Hong Kong, whichever name you prefer). This can be as simple as retweeting news items about the protests. The situation here is both inspiring and deplorable. I am as in awe of HK’s young people (and citizenry in general) as I am disgusted by the Chief Executive CY Leung, the rest of HK’s “government,” and their puppetmasters in Beijing.
If you are a member of Anonymous, thank you for your support. In the interest of aiding the population here, I would ask that you steer clear of — or, if possible, protect — the following:
- Universities in HK (they have generally been supportive of the students, and their presidents are trying to be a collective voice of reason)
- HK Immigration (this will only hurt the expat community here, and we do not need to be collateral damage)
- Inland Revenue (again, this will hurt the people more than it will hurt the “government”)
- The MTR (popular support for this movement somewhat hinges on transportation not being completely impeded)
- The airport (ditto)
- The websites of Scholarism, HK Federation of Students, and Occupy HK
Beyond that, I got nothin’.
On to the book stuff:
1. The paperbacks for The Queen of Statue Square have arrived. I don’t anticipate a huge bookstore presence for them, especially outside of the UK, so if you are interested in a copy, please shop online or contact the publisher CCCP (www.new-ventures.net).
2. We will be doing a book launch for it in November. Stay tuned for details.
3. I will be speaking at the HK Literary Festival. Details here.
4. Because of the Umbrella/Occupy events, my PhD supervisor and I have decided I should take a little time off from writing the novel/dissertation and focus on information-gathering. This is a watershed moment for HK. Like 9/11, there will be a Before and an After, even though During is still far from over. It’s too soon to anticipate what kind of mark this will leave on the city, and because the new book is set here, I have to make an informed decision about which side of that boundary I’m writing from. My current thoughts are Before, but no writer in his right mind passes up an opportunity like this. (Well, I’ve had to: I’ve had the flu and a sinus infection. No teargas and pepper spray for me, thanks!)
5. However, this break in writing has inspired me to pull Murder in the Cabaret Sauvignon off its metaphorical shelf. I have been increasingly frustrated at not having time to spend on edits, and now I do. Even better, I figured out a system for keeping track of clues, hints, and red herrings, so I can be careful all the plot threads are dealt with in the end. I’m about halfway through the edits now — they’re going fast and gaining momentum — and am relieved to see that I did a better job the first time than I had thought. It’s all hanging together rather well. Having a chart to track my signposting (for lack of a better word) makes that clear. When I’m done with it, this book really ought to be quite okay…
6. And I’ve decided I should publish it in 2015 after all. Instinct tells me that this book is firmly rooted in Before, and as such, I need to go on and finish it, and publish it, in order to clear the slate. At some point, I’d like to write a sequel, and it will take place either During or After. I can’t do this with Murder in the Cabaret Sauvignon gathering metaphorical dust. So it’s time to get on with it.
7. If you’re here in HK and are curious, I’ll be hosting Liars’ League HK’s “Here & Queer” event at the Fringe Club on Monday, Oct. 27. It starts at 8pm, although if you’ve met me, you will know how well the concept of punctuality and I get along.