Thursday, May 30, 2013

The whole publication experience -

The whole publishing experience -

in the last 10-15 years I heard so many scare stories -- a UK publisher who at probable instigation of junta, printed the book with no space between the words and the author had to sue in court for her own rights back, a stealing NGO, NGOs who pay only $2000 flat

crooked pages etc -

that I am relieved my experience so far has been good.



A writer I respect immensely, Kanlaon, reviews my novella Black Rice -

New reviews - K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice - on Kindle and Create Space - Amazon

My novella Black Rice set in 1947 Burma during a time of racial strife is now available in print and Kindle editions on

I  am also open to a reading and book signing, also for my poetry chapbooks Pelted with Petals:  The Burmese Poems and Tibetan Tanka -

Print edition of Black Rice -

on Create Space

and Kindle

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thank you Readers - this Kyi May Kaung blog has hit a new high --

New high daily blog hits 868 yesterday - all time total hits 212,725 

NEW!!! :( racial strife in NE Burma -

you have to give it to these regime thugs - they are so inventive

there has never been Burman-Muslim strife in Lashio  in human memory.


The math problem in K.M. Kaung's novella Black Rice - by Math Poet JoAnne Growney - posted with permission -


I have just posted a review of BLACK RICE on
During the next few days  I will make a posting about the novella in my blog
--  and talk a bit about the bathtub math problem you include.  And in the
blog I will link to the review.
The problem you pose (on page 26) falls into a category of calculus
problems  -- problems about "related rates."  The information given in your
book is enough to identify a type of problem but more detail needs to be
given to actually solve it. Something about the size of the tub and the
amount of water in it at the start.    It appears, though, that unless the
tub is very very very large, that after eight hours the tub will be full and
water will be overflowing out of it.
(Probably when I post I also will mention that writers seem often to tell of
a character's difficulty with math -- apparently this is a way of making
many readers offer empathy with the character.)
Hope you are well and enjoying writing and painting and other good activity.

You can review it on line at Amazon site here - the interior of the book
(parts of it) are available to review - it is only 48 pages.

My novella Black Rice is now $3.10 - be first to review on line.

Mother eats too much, father is a drunkard - what chance has a dark-skinned
man in a country and culture that prizes pale skin?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Burma - children's drawings reveal ethnic trauma

The Flag - by K.M.Kaung

The Flag

Thanks KZ for gift of American Flag 15 years ago - I flew it on my front porch on Memorial Day -

had not yet bought a proper flag pole with a socket, as difficult to get around, but I scavenged a pole or stick of the right height from my neighbor's heavy trash - and also picked up pieces of odd-shaped plywood to make into found art.

Kyi May

K.M.Kaung's Black Rice now $3.10 - quality story with 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating -

Shout out from Kanlaon about my novella Black Rice -

Shout out about my novella Black Rice from Kanlaon - Thank you!!

Kyi-May Kaung has published a new book, Black Rice, about Burma during World War II. You can order here, or, if you have Kindle, here. Kyi is a very powerful writer.

Burma needs a new paradigm - (agreeing with Maung Zarni)

Need for a paradigm shift (shit??  :)

in Burma - (agreeing with Maung Zarni)

But yes, Burma needs a new paradigm, new way of seeing things, not enough to PRETEND to see things differently and give great hoo ha like Th S doing now -

Kyi May Kaung  (painting - Sha Sha "Kill Kill" based on war cry of the Boxers during the Boxer Rebellion in China

-- is it a Rorschach diagram - is it just a blot of ink?  Is it the way Burma is going or the way to go forward.

I have an interesting/amusing episode when Prof Josef Silverstein and Mrs Lynn Silverstein came to a private viewing of my art show Flux at the Foundry Gallery in Washington DC in 2002.

Saya kept looking at each painting and trying to "see" something - but of course some of my paintings are (pure) abstracts and not Rorschach diagrams.

Painting Sha Sha and note copyright Kyi May Kaung

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions at age 50

Official 2 child policy for Rohingya in Burma - unlikely to be last injustice & oppression

Visit me on Facebook -

Average customer review 4 1/2 stars out of five for K.M. Kaung's novella Black Rice

Brian Turner - Here, Bullet - poems written in Iraq -

Excellent interview of "Burmese democracy's - second most respected leader -

Min Ko Naing - in Burmese - by Thar Nyunt Oo (VOA)

K.M.Kaung's Linked In page -

Aung San Suu Kyi slams Thein Sein so-called reforms - condemns offical 2 child policy for Rohingya

Aung San Suu Kyi slams Thein Sein so called reforms -

condemns Rohingya 2 child offcl policy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Praise for my novella Black Rice received today -

"Congratulations!  Your novella 'Black Rice' moved me deeply.
I read it today.  I am impressed by the way you use words and by
the unusual ways in which you weave symbols and history into
the text."


K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice now out in Kindle edition -

Thank you everyone who bought it, liked it, sent me kind words -

you make the hours of sitting alone typing worth while -


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Announcing - first Kaung Most Interesting and Versatile Blogger Award -

I checked my friend Kanlaon's Blog, and was just blown away by her travel photos and insights.

Kanlaon definitely gets the Kaung Most Interesting and Versatile Blogger Award -

nothing can beat her photo of the scarf-draped pilgrim at the Golden Temple of Amritsar - or the Bastille close to Bastille Day -

Thank you Kanlaon for allowing me to travel along with you without any luggage and without spending a dime -

maybe some arthritic fingers - but it's under control with joint supplement pills.


Yeah yeah yeah - status for Today - K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice soon on KDP

Hi All,

I successfully uploaded Black Rice file and cover to KDP

and it is under review and will be available in 12 hours at Kindle Store.

Only KDP Select can be sold in India, Japan and Brazil -

but I did not get this, as so far my readers (according to my blog stats) are in none of these countries

and initially I also want it to be on Barnes and Noble etc.

The online preview looked very good.

Thanks for All,

Kyi May Kaung
Small custard on red and gold plate - Photo copyright K.M.Kaung

Recent Anonymous review of K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice -- From water convolulus to consumption --

A recent review of K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice:

I just read Black Rice in one sitting, after dropping the other tome . .  .  I found it riveting.

Your style is very colonial British and it really suits the period. 

Your details of the two boys cracking almonds with broken bricks refresh the memory of my primary schooldays  .  .  .   I noticed there were less almond trees these days even though the country would do well even as an almond exporter.

Also noted the horror of multiple miscarriages to a woman .  .  .


(personal details have been removed)


Today -- Excerpt from request for review of K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice --

An excerpt for a request for a review of Black Rice -

Dear Professor --

I know of your literary interests and wondered if you would be so kind as to review Black Rice.

It is only 48 pages long or short and a recent reviewer called it "riveting".

Also I know of you as a close friend and long time supporter  of Burma -

I hope you will agree to kindly review my work -

It can then be posted on the Amazon site

or anywhere you please.

The other recent reviewer said he would write a full review and submit it with a literary magazine.

If you agree, I would like to send you a review copy.  It is also available now in print form on Create Space and Amazon, and shortly will also be out on various platforms as an e book.

I do hope you will read it -

As you probably know, there are so few of us who think that the "change" in Burma is so far only cosmetic -

Black Rice could have been about yesterday.

Kyi May Kaung

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mars review of K.M. Kaung's novella Black Rice - Amazon link

Mars' review of my novella Black Rice on Amazon site

This review is from: Black Rice: A Novella (Paperback)
A quick read regarding the Burmese struggle to rid themselves of Japanese occupation and the brutal infighting that resulted after their departure. Many sensorial images told through the eyes of a soldier bring Burma to life. History buffs may want more. This story is just a taste of the terror suffered by the Burmese in the 1940's..

US to help Burma's energy sector be more transparent -

David Law and K.M.Kaung talk calmly about vitriolic attacks on Dr. Maung Zarni -

  • David Law -What would you remark about this young Metaphysics doctorate who condemned him on video, the one who calls himself a Sit Khway, a faithful army dog which is very crazy by Burmese standards. He claims to have read Dr. Z's Ph.D. thesis and scornfully criticized it, accusing him of plagiarism. We are supposed to quote and reveal the sources of these quotes and that is not plagiarism. But this army dog says it in Burmese, without explaining about references, takes it all out of context, to a Burmese audience not familiar with thesis writing and thus creates a lot of misunderstanding. Why is he so bursting with vitriol? Is this thesis on line?
  • Kyi May Kaung I saw the vitriolic attacks - The thesis is not yet on line, to my knowledge, as Zarni kept it off the public domain in the years when he was doing Free Burma Coalition activism - However, I have seen it and read parts of it. If it weren't properly cited, Univ of Wisc. Madison would never have granted him a Ph.D. -- FYI - I have seen "dissertations" that did not make the final cut - and it is just not citation - some cannot write a single straight sentence and make their meaning clear - It is also true of some "translations" and also some "journalism" or "news" pieces, even come "diplomatic" pieces - A Ph.D. dissertation is supposed to make a new contribution to human knowledge - It's not like writing a 3 minute radio piece - I have known people in graduate school who were not taught how to cite, or given a reference book on how to cite - In this case I looked around someone else's house to show an e.g. but as there was not a single academic book in English (no books in English at all), I could not do it. Burmese in general are slap dash writers - In 1988, the military attache at Burmese embassy told us to read Cliff Notes and write our disttns. fast - go figure - The military attache with less than 5th grade education was in charge of the state scholars - I do not think Burmese should spend their time attacking their own countrymen and women who have made it in the international sphere. I don't know why the sit khwe is angry - only he would know.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Congratulatory messages on K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice -

Kind words on my novella Black Rice - from Dr. Myint in Burma - (posted with permission)

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 5:54 AM

Thanks Kyi May,

This is wonderful.

Warm wishes,
U Myint

Conversation with Dr Myo Nyunt on my novella Black Rice - from Facebook

  • Kyi May, congratulations. A struggle in the struggles. With Metta Sayar
  • Kyi May Kaung Thank you, Saya and Khin Myo - I wrote it long ago, about 1994, when my cousin was still alive. Re-reading it made me remember all the strange Burmese politics my cousins talked about all the time, when I was just a child and coming home from UK, where my father told me on my first day of school that I could ask "the Bobbies" -- the policemen for help if I needed anything. In Burma he bolted the doors carefully at night and told us not to go along with strangers as so many kidnappings of children happened in the 50s. I am glad this story Black Rice is published, as it makes it easier for me to write about Burma in the 50s. Actually, I have written a good deal already, but it all needs more work to be ready for publication, as written on my old Apple computer, in the Rittenhouse Writers Group in Philadelphia.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

K.M. Kaung's review of Anna Karenina - the movie -

I saw Anna Karenina - the movie - on pay per view with my friend Adrienne - neither of us liked it.

It started in a very strange theatrical way, with "tick tock" music and a metaphor for the rubber stamp bureaucracy of Russia before 1917.  (This was a bit like the circumlocution office in Dickens' Little Dorrit).

I am used to seeing movies that don't live up to the book, and Tolstoy is surely hard to live up to.

The screenplay is by Tom Stoppard.

I was gratified to see that the count had the "front teeth like spades" that Tolstoy described,

and the scene with the letter blocks in which the minor characters (said to be based on Tolstoy and his wife's courtship) - was sweet enough -

however, I never saw Anna in the dress with the white lace around her throat that Tolstoy described, and even though Keira Knightly looked gorgeous,

her pain did not come through so well - and I think it is because of the "devicey" presentation

everything on a stage - and choppy movements.

The train theme was handled OK, I thought.

Maybe we will have better luck with the Greta Garbo old version.

Kyi May Kaung

Review of K.M.Kaung's novella from a reader inside Burma -

·       I have just finished reading your two short stories, non-stop, sitting in a not so comfortable chair, forgetting to stretch my back.  To be totally honest I never imagined you could write this well.
Black Rice describes another true and painful episode coming out of decades of unending armed struggle in Burma.   

All cannot be all bad all the time, is the only tiny silver lining of exceptional hope.
A non-active, quiet Myanmar reader.

K.M.Kaung's novella Black Rice - now $3.79 - be first to review on line -

Mother eats too much, father is a drunkard - what chance has a dark-skinned man in a country and culture that prizes pale skin?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Big excitement for today -- novella Black Rice by K.M.Kaung

Big excitement for today - my novella Black Rice, print version is now listed on Amazon - happy happy happy - and has the "look inside feature"

so you can read first pages -

This is the Mother's Day gift I gave myself.

Dr. Maung Zarni knows whereof he speaks -

Burmese education system -

Dr. Maung Zarni knows whereof he speaks - his Ph.D. is in Education and he focused on the Burmese education system 1962-1988, at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison Wisc.  Dr. Michael Apple was his supervisor.


Dr Maung Zarni comments etc on Burmese education system -

Maung Zarni Education Seminars launched by Ne Win's deputies - the likes of Dr/Colonel Hla Han, and rock specialist Dr Nyi Nyi (Yin Yin Nwe's professor in geology) - led to the destruction of higher and basic education systems in Burma, beyond repair.
Kyi May Kaung I totally agree - I was lucky I was educated before they started messing with the system.

Dr Daw Myint Myint Khin suggests totallly upturned revolution (Burmese education system) + K.M.Kaung's comment

Dr. Daw Myint Myint Khin urges a total revolution of the Burmese education system, which she says is the root cause of the poor quality of current writing.

K.M.Kaung -- Frankly speaking, I am rather tired of these "how to fix this, how to fix that" conferences, as I have seen them up close since 1962, and the military govt. just keeps doing what it does best - i.e. destroy everything so their own power is perpetuated.

No amount of talk talk talk and conferences will fix anything without real action.

Say, for example, Rangoon University were "fixed" tomorrow  -- who do you think would go and teach there?

Who do you think would send their children there?

We all know some big shots' kids study in places like Beijing Normal University and Geneva.

It is like U Ne Win allegedly taking a box of gems to sell in Europe - if he did not trust his own currency, then who would?

Kyi May Kaung

(video on my Facebook page)

Dr. U Thaw Kaung's short video address on Burmese literature and translation etc

Dr. U Thaw Kaung's short speech at Sarpay Lawka (Literary World Conference)

Summary:  Although I cannot come myself due to health reasons, I am thankful for this chance to speak via video.  I wish first to urge all to read more widely, not just literature, but all kinds of writing.  (People) need to know how fine literature is written and other sorts of writing.  Also, through Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, we are setting up mobile libraries so that everyone, even in remote villages can read.

Many books are in English and so we urge you to translate more -

There is a lot I wish to say, but as time is short also, please let me stop here.

informal translation - kmk

Video in Burmese is on my Facebook page -

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Novella - Black Rice by K.M.Kaung -

Novella Black Rice by K.M.Kaung - Burma 1947, skin color, love, war - out on CreateSpace

Oh, the proof copy of my novella Black Rice came in the mail, and the box at the Writing Residency was too high for me to reach, so I found someone with long arms -  :)  and it is now available on Create Space and will be on Amazon USA and Amazon Europe in 5-7 business days.

I am open to book signings and readings and so message me -

Questions I might ask if I were there?

Some questions I might ask if I were there:

What did you promise Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD with reference to 2015?

Were you behind the racial targeting of Rohingya and other Muslims?

Why do you and your government insist on calling them "Bengali Muslims"?

If you say "Peace" why are you still bombing the Kachin?

What oil and gas and other projects do you have on the table with US firms?

How have you explained your so-called reforms to President Obama?

People say after your USA visit (2nd or 3rd time here) you will get another award.  Is that true?

Do you like Starbucks coffee?

Do you think people can say anything they want when they are sitting in a coffee shop? 

How many political prisoners are there still in Burma - who are they and where are they?

Do you think Rohingya in Arakan in refugee camps are political prisoners?  When will you decide on that?

When will you give farmers back their land?

What is your government's connection to 969?

Why aren't the laborers given a living wage?

Why is the date and time of your town hall meeting in DC not publicized.

What is your favorite food?

If you understand English, why don't answer in English?

Are you nervous when you have to face the western press?

They say your military history is both very"distinguished" and full of oppression - is that true?

How many times a month or how often do you have to report to the one more senior than you?

Why did you resign or was resigned from USDP?

How many people in USDA are still in USDP - how many total number of people.

"Ask South - answer North" - amazing interview BBC Hardtalk with POT RUM

BBC Hardtalk interview with President of the Republic of the Union on Myanmar

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rangoon University - glory days clouded - from WSJ

A conversation about food - Ma Su Mun and Kyi May Kaung - from Facebook -

  • Aung Ko Please kindly do me a favour ေကာ္မွဳန္. How it is called or what is its name in English, please. Many thanks in advance, AK(BR)
  • Ma Su Mon Corn starch, cornstarch, cornflour or maize starch is the starch derived from the corn (maize) grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel. Corn starch is a popular food ingredient used in thickening sauces or soups, and is used in making corn syrup and other sugars.
  • Ma Su Mon ဆုမြန္လည္း စမ္းၿပီး လုပ္စားပါ့မယ္
  • Kyi May Kaung Have not cooked this for ages - your picture and recipe reminded me - yum yum -
  • Ma Su Mon ပဲပင္ေပါက္နဲ႔ စိမ္းစားငါးပိရရင္ စမ္းၿပီး လုပ္စားမလို႔ အန္တီၾကည္ေမ :):)
  • Ma Su Mon ပဲပင္ေပါက္ေလးရရင္ ေကာ္ရည္ေခါက္ဆြဲက စားေကာင္းတယ္ ဆိုတယ္. :0
  • Kyi May Kaung That's one of the problems - I only shop sometimes and forget the bean sprouts, or they go bad before I can use them - nice with RAW bean sprouts like pad Thai and with lime squeezed in ngapi - anyway, can't eat gnapi now as too salty - nice with green chillies in the ngapi -
  • Ma Su Mon ဆန္ေဆးေရကို ဆားေလးနဲ႔ ထည့္ အခ်ဥ္ေပါက္ေအာင္ တည္ထားၿပီးေတာ့ ပဲပင္ေပါက္ေလးေတြ ႏြမ္းသြားရင္ ပဲတီခ်ဥ္ေလး လုပ္လိုက္ေလ အန္တီ။
  • Kyi May Kaung Yes, these days everything is going bad - I tried green mangoes for pickle and it rained 2 days, so no sun - and now I think the mangoes are rotted too - Sometimes I secretly throw out food that are my failed cooking experiments - like the cake I tried without butter -
  • Ma Su Mon ဆုမြန္ ကူစားေပးမယ္
  • Kyi May Kaung Yes, my dear, welcome to visit any time - now out of town - I bought so much oranges in big bag on sale, glad I gave 1/2 to housekeeper - today saw grapefruit I bought to make fake shauk thee thoke also rotten - so threw behind the roses for the birds.
  • Kyi May Kaung Maybe you and I should publish a funny cook book in Burmese and English of our conversations - Sometimes I just LOOK at the cookbooks for fun like reading fiction.
  • Kyi May Kaung As my aunt said, "It is no fun growing old" so do everything you wish to do NOW.
  • Ma Su Mon I totally agree
  • Kyi May Kaung This same aunt (now gone too) said to me when she was saying good bye to me at Bkk airport - "KK, when you get there (to USA) go everywhere" and I did.
  • Kyi May Kaung Have to run now - lovely conversation.
  • Ma Su Mon have a good day Aunty.

Burl Ives-Ave Maria