A New Year is Upon Us

Well, a new year is upon us. Here’s hoping it will be better than the past one has been. As most of you who follow me are aware, I currently live in Beijing. In fact, I am composing today’s update on my computer at work as I wait for my first period class to convene. Anyway, while my time here has been considerably less straightened in circumstance than it would have been back home (as I gather from the news reports), I am still weary of this bugger of a year.

Most recently, a new outbreak of the CoVID-19 SARS II has been detected in Chaoyang, a neighboring district to the one in which I live. I am in Dongcheng, which has most of Beijing’s tourist attractions. I believe Chaoyang is the embassy district. In any case, the new outbreak is serious enough that we are tightening protocols on mask-wearing, temperature checks, and health tracking. Furthermore, travel in and out of Beijing has been restricted.

I was unable to visit home this past year. I am desperately hoping that with the oncoming change in American presidential administrations, and the development of a vaccine, that I will be able to return for the summer of 2021. Of course, there are no guarantees. But I do have a lot of things I need to take care of back home in terms of my own, newly established publishing imprint. Also, I have family and friends whom I miss and would like to see, mother’s grave to visit, and so on. And because I live in my school’s teacher’s dormitory, I will need to find accommodations for myself from July until September at any rate.

In this new year, I am re-editing the books I have already published through Amazon so that I can re-issue them under my own imprint, and get them into local brick-and-mortar shops. As compared to using CreateSpace (now Amazon KDP), it is quite expensive, so the process is going a lot more slowly than I had hoped it would. All of the services that KDP would have handled, I am doing on my own. (I have a button on my website that will allow contributions, should anyone in these dire times feel that their money would be better spent helping me publish my work instead of paying for rent, food, or medical care. I also began to set up a Patreon page; but although I myself support several artist/writers who are putting out web comics, I have no idea what I could offer as a slightly more traditional writer with no talent for artwork. What kind of rewards could I offer? I’m not sure I am prolific enough.) So, the upshot is that my books will be coming out, as well as new work, but it will not be anytime soon– by which I mean, anywhere from six to eighteen months. Part of the problem is that I am financing everything myself out of my own paychecks.

But, enough whining.

Next post, I will bore you with my diet and exercise program (not merely an exercise -heh- in vanity; I am trying to control my diabetes and blood pressure), and tell you of my recent rekindled interest in Stoicism and Epicureanism.

About Michael Butchin

I was born, according to the official records, in the Year of the Ram, under the Element of Fire, when Johnson ruled the land with a heavy heart; in the Cradle of Liberty, to a family of bohemians. I studied Chinese language and literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I spent some years in Taiwan teaching kindergarten during the day, and ESOL during the evenings. I currently work as a high school ESOL teacher, and am an unlikely martial artist. I have spent much of my life amongst actors, singers, movie stars, beautiful cultists, Taoist immortals, renegade monks, and at least one martial arts tzaddik. I currently reside in Beijing's Dongcheng district
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