Friday, February 27, 2009

Video #5 Peacemaker from Thailand

This is the first Thai song I ever learned. It hit me so hard for some ineffable reason. I didn't understand any of it except the melody which is basically "I MISS YOU" and yet somehow the way it is said is so poignant, so heartfelt that it made me want to learn how to sing the song. I shocked my Thai friends one night in a Koreoke room when I took the microphone, something I almost never do, and sang this Thai song.

If you are not Thai you will not get the meaning of the song, which in truth is just one of a myriad of  Thai pop songs which revolve around love. From what I understand the record labels here in the Kingdom don't encourage anything but love songs in the pop music world. It does get a little bit sickening to hear nothing but sappy and often sugary sweet songs of love, lost love, and yearned for love. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Detailed information about THOSE WHO HEAR 

The Astropaths series has struggled to get off the ground because book stores in Thailand are not sure what to do with the book. Asia books barely placed an order informing Bangkok Book House that YA and fantasy novels just don't sell. I had to laugh when I heard that considering Harry Potter is poised to pass the Bible in book sales in the next few years. Fantasy and YA doesn't sell? This seemed incomprehensible to me when we think of all of the block buster films out there based on novels in the fantasy or YA genre. Lord of the Rings and Narnia are two of the best examples of loved YA stories that have turned into gold mines for the film industry. Still it is their book stores and their shelves and so they have the right to put the books that they like in their stores. But I sincerely disagree with their assessment of what young readers and English readers here in Asia are looking for. 

Now having griped enough about this, I'd like to mention that I hold the North American Copy Rights to Those Who Hear and the Astropath series. So I have begun looking for a publisher in the west who might be able to produce the book and get it on the shelves over there. 

Please take a look at the link which my agent has put up to promote my book proposal. Click on the headline of this article to go directly to the publisher's promotional site. If you are interested in the series but have not yet purchased THOSE WHO HEAR on line, you can get lots of information about the book by looking at this book proposal. 


Well I have been trying very hard to be the new me. I even came up with a nice acronym to better label my quest. The acronym is SNUGGLE and it stands for: Sims, new, universal, good, given, lovingly, everyday. So what this is about is the fact that everyone right now is feeling horrible, broke, and in a state of despair. We all need to give good feelings and give smiles and try hard not to get down or give a lot of our anger and frustration out to the world. Let's face it, when we glower at others it is a glower we are going to get back. Let's try to smile. Let's try to offer a kind word. Let's try to SNUGGLE our way through this global depression. 

So day one of my quest went something like this. Bad luck for me. I have long feared that if I ever lowered my guard to the teeming masses around me that bad things would happen and sure enough, they did.

It began when I heard some people outside my front door. In front of our gate we had put our trash can out for the garbage collection. I have some plants close to there and so when people look through my trash I usually water the garden with my supersoaker and if a few sprays of water go errantly onto the people looking through my trash well I say "get away from my rubbish", but today I did not get out the water gun. I walked out to see who was out there. 

A young girl of about 5 began to shout, "the farang (foreign devil) is coming grandmother run." She might have been sprayed before I can't be sure. "No," I said, "what are you looking for?" She held up a cardboard box. I knew this was my chance to do something nice. I ran inside and dumped out all of my wife's things, anything that was in a box and took the boxes out to the bewildered old woman. She nodded and smiled and I felt very good.

Later I was driving to badminton practice and saw the little girl and her grandmother going through the trash of one of my neighbors. I rushed to the V-SHOP and purchased 2 cokes because it was boiling hot out and I knew they would need something to drink. I took them the cokes and was thanked. The old lady then dumped out the coke, crushed the cans, and put them in her recycle cart. But okay, she seemed happy with my donation.

So now, as the Thai folks would say, I had offered some nice boons to the universe and it would seem that I should have a better day or perhaps some good luck. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

At badminton I purchased 1 water and and a tea to quench my thirst after working out in 95% heat. I had a racket bag, my gym bag, and was trying to make change for the drinks. My hands were full, so I payed and then gathered my things and walked out to my truck. After I had pulled away and was nearly dead from thirst, I reached into my bag to find nothing to drink. I had left the drinks on the counter and the Thai workers, being too shy to say anything to me, had watched me walk out without saying a word.

It got worse. Monday I caught my first head cold of the year. I take about 2 sick days a year, and usually these are sick days where I need to get something done and just can't make it in, but by Tuesday I was so sick I couldn't breath. I missed work, and stayed home to rest. But it gets worse. It is currently HOT in Bangkok. I decided to recover in my movie room. Where better than this?  But when I turned on the air-conditioner I heard a whirling sound and then a BANG. The motor had blown. 

I guess the moral of the story is this, no good deed will go unpunished. If you want to snuggle those around you, don't do it with hopes of something good happening for you because it won't. Do it because you want to help others, because actually since I started this things have gone horribly. I am still sticking with it. I've got to try. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Leprosy is not Contagious

I think we all know just how hard the year 2009 is going to be. The year of the ox may as well be known as the year of the goose egg, as in zero. It seems nearly every nation all of the world is declaring 0 or 1 % fiscal growth for the upcoming year. Zero is a more accurate descriptor also of the level of hope most people are feeling about their jobs, investments, retirement, ability to pay for health care, college funds, or just about anything related to our economy. Some oil baron got drunk, oh but not any more wink wink, and now an entire planet gets to enjoy his hangover. Thanks George Bush, we all needed a lesson in humility and your global policies have ensured us that no one is safe from your lesson.

But This is not about GW, this is about all of us finding a way to help everyone get through this mess. I have decided that I need an attitude adjustment. I am a teacher and try very hard to be nice to my students, some of the time, like when they are not being annoying. But I must admit at times I am a bit stand offish with my fellow man. 

My friend Speedy was not very happy with me recently when a woman suffering from Leprosy butted in front of me in line and sort of rubbed up against me, I shouted "Leprosy!" and pushed everyone away from her as if I was rescuing them from a speeding bus. Leprosy is not something I give a lot of thought to, but I must admit I did think it was catching and that it was totally uncool of this woman to be out in public with her skin condition. But Speedy informed me that Leprosy is not contagious. Should I have shouted Leprosy and rushed to get away from this poor woman? Popular opinion with my friends is that I was rude and narcissistic. So I did a bit of checking and found out they were right, Leprosy is gross and disfiguring, but it can not be transmitted by touch. So I am going to try very hard to improve my attitude in dealing with people.

We are all in this sinking ship together, so we must try hard to be cool with each other and make everyone feel connected united. 

I have decided not to cover my face with both hands when other people cough or sneeze. I will not run away and walk quickly around people with exploding acny problems or who are horribly obese. I will allow others, well those who have some basic grooming habits, to stand within arms reach, and in general I will do my best to simply keep my composer in dealing with people. Honestly I do like people, I mean like the ones that bring me a coffee in a coffee shop, or the people who give me a massage, or the laundry lady, or the cleaning lady, or the accounting women at my work who assist in the processing of my monthly pay, so it is obvious I have a lot of love for the common people. But I want to really go beyond this and attempt to offer a smile to all -- even people with skin diseases who cut in front of me in food lines. 

But of course when I mean people, I don't mean the rich. Those monsters are on their own during this economic melt down. F*** them and their SUVs and their BMWs and their F****** hedge funds. Of course for the rich who are on their way back into the humanity of our planet do to bankruptcy we welcome you back with open arms. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Amazon Has Siminoe's Books

Amazon dot com is the largest single books seller in the world. So I was really happy when I was able to list my books with them. The great thing is that they have the look inside program, so people can take a look at a couple of pages and see if the book is what they might be looking for. Right now I have 1 of my three novels, Notes from Manhattan, set up on look inside; however, within the next week both Echo Pool and Those Who Hear will also be look inside ready. So if you haven't purchased all of these books, go check me out on Amazon! The economy is ugly, but you deserve to read a good book! JUST CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE AND YOU WILL BE THERE!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Orchestra in down town Bangkok

I love Bangkok, it really is a great city. We enjoyed this free performance of the Bangkok Orchestra last Sunday night. They did a lot of movie tunes. The music was splendid, and the company a lot of fun. Writers and tourists love to hype all of Bangkok's nasty little secrets, but not enough is written about the simple life here in one of S.E.A.'s biggest cities. There really is a lot to see culturally, museums and ancient temples abound, and there is a very international feel to the metropolis as people from all over the world work and travel here.
Of course, this was just a simple night with friends, but what's better than that?

Siminoe Video of the week #4

Yo, sometimes when I'm not sure who to ask the hard questions of, I think of Lenny Bruce. The man was not the funniest comedian in the world, but he may have been the most profound. Take a look at his views on TRUTH.