Writing requires never giving up

Writing is really hard

And writing requires never giving up. The example of JK Rowling is so emotionally moving – and encouraging –  for a small writer that I am. I still can’t believe how the lady did it all. Impressive.

See: “This Animation Of JK Rowling’s Life Is Seriously Powerful”
Posted by Doireann Garrihy – 29 Mar 2017
An animation that follows the life of JK Rowling has gone viral.
Starting with her being rejected from college at the age of 17, it goes through the journey of her miscarriage, her marriage breakdown and her severe depression.
http://www.spin1038.com/entertainment/this-animation-of-jk-rowlings-life-is-seriously-powerful

See here the clip directly:

How I came to write my first book

See the story here: http://www.damulu.com/about/
The problem was first of all to start the real writing. Jotting down ideas is not enough, one must start “the real stuff”. The way I managed to start was disappearing from Beijing, getting away from office and home. The first escape was near the Western Ming Tombs (Yixian County, Hebei), in early August 2009.

Some pictures of the guesthouse, its fabulous view on the lake (I think called Wolongshan Natural Scenic Area), and the tombs: Western Qing Tombs (Qing Xi Ling, 清西陵) in Yixian County, Baoding, Hebei. Pretty close to the new Xiongan Zone…

The second escape was to a small village in the far north east side of Beijing in Pinggu County near Hebei Province (late August 2009). See the “main road” that leads to a dam. the simple guesthouse and the local food. During the week the place is empty but in the weekend people from Beijing come in great numbers to eat the, yes, delicious food.
Later I simply retreated regularly to a modest IBIS Hotel not very far from home. No contact with others.

Another long night in IBIS

When I started working on Toxic Capitalism I somehow managed to do it all at my home office, mostly late at night and burning the midnight oil.

writing and thinking at the home office

The next challenge

I am working on a couple of books. I have set the goal of finishing two completely different books this year. I have scribbled tons of notes and collected newspaper clippings, plus some files in the computer.
But nothing really written yet for the “most important book challenge”. So, after months of doubts and overloaded schedule, I have finally decided: in May I will disappear… Hopefully to start building the foundations for the “Manifesto”.
The other book will be more easy, the main challenge will be to first master the needed software: Scrivener. The topic? Jokes… Yep. No kidding.

The book about Sun Bingwen

A family of authors

My wife, Sun Bin, co-authored the book about Sun Bingwen (1885-1927), her grandfather. It was published in October 2015. The title “先锋战士 孙炳文” “Xiānfēng Zhànshì Sūn Bǐngwén” can be translated as “Vanguard Fighter Sun Bingwen”. (vanguard/pioneer – fighter/soldier/warrior). It was written by Luo Jin and Sun Bin, with Sun Bin providing most of the content. She is not totally happy with the content and might at one stage rewrite it to tell her side of the story.

The Sichuan connection

Her “laojia” (ancestral home) is considered to be Nanxi (in Yibin, Sichuan) though she was born in Beijing and actually never lived there. See the pictures taken in Nanxi where a statue was erected of Sun Bingwen (native from Nanxi) with Zhu De; both were “brothers by oath”, together with Zhou Enlai.
See the news article from Yibin Government:
141209 yibinnews

The relations between the two families, and with Zhou Enlai were very close. It was instrumental for Zhu De to change from being a warlord to a key leader in the Communist Party. The two also worked together in Luzhou, where there is a museum dedicated to Zhu De.
In the book there are some pictures, we have most of those plus more at home. See as an example pic SBbook6, another picture of Sun Bingwen, not in the book.

About Zhu De, see
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/cpc2011/2010-09/30/content_12475227.htm
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhu_De

Less is published about Sun Bingwen who was the father of Sun Yang (Sun Bin’s father) and Sun Weishi (her aunt).
See this part of the book Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution, by Jiaqi Yan, Gao Gao
https://www.amazon.com/Yan-Turbulent-Decade-Library-Translations/dp/0824816951

Also, in 中國婦女傳記詞典: The Twentieth Century, 1912-2000 (Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women), see: https://books.google.co.jp/books?isbn=0765607980

About Sun Bingwen, Sun Weishi and Sun Yang

Sun Bingwen, the father of Sun Weishi, was recruited by Zhou Enlai to join the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Germany, and subsequently became a close friend of both Zhu De and Zhou Enlai. After studying abroad in the Soviet Union, Sun Bingwen returned to China in 1924 and joined the faculty of Whampoa Academy. Sun Bingwen was executed when the relationship between the KMT and CCP deteriorated in 1927, during the “White Terror”.
Following her father’s death, Sun Weishi’s mother, Ren Rui, took the family into exile, raising Sun Weishi and her three siblings alone while participating in CCP underground work.
Sun Weishi had one sister and two brothers. One of Sun Weishi’s brothers, Sun Yang, was imprisoned with his father in 1927, when he was only twelve. Sun Yang was eventually released, became Zhu De’s personal assistant, and became the president of Renmin University after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He was also one of the pioneers of the State Planning Commission (now called NDRC).

The calligraphy by Zhu De dedicated to Sun Yang and his wife (Shi Qi) (our Beijing home)

In 1967 Jiang Qing accused Sun Yang of being a spy for the Soviet Union, the Japanese, and the Kuomintang, and Sun Yang was tortured and killed by Maoist Red Guards in the basement of his own university. Sun Weishi was also wrongly imprisoned by Jiang Qing who considered her as her mortal enemy; she was said to be killed by a nail driven into her head. There is a shrine in Babaoshan Cemetry dedicated to them. I still need to find back the picture I took of it…
We obviously rejoiced when Jiang Qing hanged herself in prison, after the Gang of Four was brought to justice.
One good source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Weishi

Introducing Toxic Capitalism to Rotaract and Rotary

Finally

Yes, introducing Toxic Capitalism to Rotaract and Rotary in Beijing took some time but finally!

Rotaract Clubs of Beijing

On 27 March, Gilbert presented his book Toxic Capitalism in Cafe Ruhe (Pacific Century Place, Sanlitun), the new venue of Rotaract Beijing. members of Rotaract Beijing West also attended.
It was followed by a lively debate, fueled by sharp questions!

Rotary lunch 14 March in Kempinski: Gilbert introducing his book

Gilbert is the founder and president of a Beijing-based management consulting company that provides strategy guidance to foreign and Chinese clients. He was deeply involved in the building of the 2008 Olympic venues and as a result got the highest decorations from the Chinese government.
His talk focused on how the idea of his book “Toxic Capitalism” was born, on the challenges of researching and compiling data and then on his experience with publishing.
Toxic Capitalism – The orgy of consumerism and waste: Are we the last generation on earth?
Gilbert elaborated on the theme by shedding light on consumerism and the consequences of too much waste.
Living in China since 1980 Gilbert became alarmed by the dramatic pollution levels in Beijing and the trends of overconsumption and waste around the world.
As an engineer he delved into the data to better understand the seriousness of the situation, the reasons why it had come to all that and what we can do about it.

The Economics of Air Pollution in China

Ma Jun: his new book

See here the intro by Amazon
The Economics of Air Pollution in China: Achieving Better and Cleaner Growth Kindle Edition
by Ma Jun
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4MU0CF/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_YOPiybXAQ16HJ

About the Author
Ma Jun is chief economist at the research bureau of the People’s Bank of China. He spent thirteen years at Deutsche Bank and has worked as an economist and senior economist at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Suffocating smog regularly envelops Chinese metropolises from Beijing to Shanghai, clouding the future prospect of China’s growth sustainability. Air pollutants do not discriminate between the rich and the poor, the politician and the “average Joe.” They put everyone’s health and economic prosperity at risk, creating future costs that are difficult to calculate. Yet many people, including some in China, are concerned that addressing environmental challenges will jeopardize economic growth.
In The Economics of Air Pollution in China, leading Chinese economist Ma Jun makes the case that the trade-off between growth and environment is not inevitable. In his ambitious proposal to tackle severe air pollution and drastically reduce the level of so-called PM 2.5 particles—microscopic pollutants that lodge deeply in lungs—Ma Jun argues that in targeting pollution, China has a real opportunity to undertake significant structural economic reforms that would support long-term growth. Rooted in rigorous analyses and evidence-based projections, Ma Jun’s “big bang” proposal aims to mitigate pollution and facilitate a transition to a greener and more sustainable growth model.

My comment on The Economics of Air Pollution in China

I met Ma Jun a couple of times and he is a real authority on pollution issues.
I only think the book is expensive:
Kindle $61.75
Hardcover $65.00
In particular the price of Kindle version is unrealistic. Compare that with my book. Still many people feel my printed book is “a bit expensive”…

Special deals for ebooks are easy to find

BookBub’s free service

See this interesting article about special deals for ebooks.
29 January 2016 – The Secret You Need to Know About Ebooks
http://booktalk.bookbub.com/private/138288949644/tumblr_o1q774MPPC1threvm

Excerpt:

Earlier this year, the price on the blockbuster book, The Girl on the Train, was slashed from $11.99 to $1.99 for one day only.
Previously, Gone Girl was discounted from $9.99 to $2.99, and The Da Vinci Code was given away for free for one week. In all three cases, the discounts were only available for the ebook version.
Most people were completely unaware of these huge deals.
A select group of readers, however, had the inside scoop on all these deals and more. They were using our service here at BookBub: a daily email that alerts readers to free and deeply discounted ebooks that are available for a limited time.

Read more in the article.

Or simply get free ebooks

Search Google for “free ebooks” and you will get a wide choice.
Here are two examples of websites to explore:

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/ebooks

and

“Great Websites to Download Ebooks”
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/20-best-websites-to-download-free-e-books/

See also:
“The Secret to Getting Bestselling Ebooks for Free”
20 October 2015
http://booktalk.bookbub.com/post/135001631054/the-secret-to-getting-bestselling-ebooks-for-free

Excerpt:

Bestselling ebooks are being given away for free every single day. Acclaimed novels from the most talented authors in the world can be at your fingertips for little to no cost.
How is this possible? It’s because publishers and authors are giving ebooks away on purpose.