Friday, July 31, 2015

Burma Times

With all the drum beating since 2011 about so-called change in Burma--this publication Burma Times is highly recommended.

http://burmatimes.net/rohingyas-flee-floods-in-kyauktaw/

There is way too much official tainted slanted "news".

7-31-2015

When late U Aung Thaung was placed on US sanctons list last Nov 2014

From last Nov--why late U Aung Thaung placed on US sanctions list--from Irrawaddy News Magazine. 

http://www.irrawaddy.org/commentary/aung-thaung-now-whos-next.html

Burmese ex-military, politician U Aung Thaung's New York Times obit

U Aung Thaung--2 minutes of fame--hundreds if not thousands of abuses--millions of $$--

His NYTs obit--

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/24/world/asia/u-aung-thaung-burmese-politician-accused-of-abuses-dies-at-74.html?_r=0

Reading final proofs of my novel Wolf, about a 1988 Student Leader from Burma--

about a fictional 1988 student leader, born in the rainiest month of the year August, and so named Awegoke.

For some leading literary agents, they say they do not take a ms unless it grabs them and makes them cry 4 times.

I have cried about 4 times already reading Wolf, and though I did write it, beginning in 2004, in the interim when I have to do other things or my book developer is working on it

I tend to forget each scene or each sentence, and so when I read it again

it appears new and I cry again.

I am at about page 300+ out of a total of 400+ pages, and I do not know what will happen to the hero yet.

Nor to the women in his life.

P.S.  I have 2 covers, so can use one on the Burmese or Asian edition--The final cover is different and has more subdued colors and also has a woman on the cover (models from free images, found by the cover designer, not by me).  I like them both, one is more geared to Western taste, that is all, and I thought it wise to follow my book developer's ideas.

KMKaung
7-31-2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Opening of my novel Shaman, which also exists as an award- winning play and a screenplay--




by Kyi May Kaung--


Crinnerly McCrae did not really like Burma.
Like many Westerners who called themselves Burma experts, she closed her mind to the things she did not like about it. 
For instance, she did not like the military government, and she did not like the open pit toilets.
In her mind, she thought that a people with such a refined culture, so immaculate in their personal habits, however poor they were, would have discovered septic tanks on their own by now. 
After all, the true Burmans of Central Burma had built the great 11th century kingdom of Bagan, and they had been renowned for their hydraulic engineering. 
Just look at their canals. 
But no, they must have four feet deep open pits sprinkled with quick lime in the countryside.
She looked guiltily around her, as if she believed all the people sitting on the polished teak floor in the renowned spirit spouse or nat kadaw’s waiting room could really read her mind.
Outside, in the noonday heat, the crows cawed and the pariah dogs howled.
Another thing she did not like about Burmese was their concept of time—their elastic time.
She’d been sitting on the floor like this, the sweat dripping between her somewhat pendulous breasts, in her gauzy Madras print blue and white halter top dress, wishing she had depilated her armpits during the weekend, for forty five minutes already, and still the shaman woman who was supposed to be able to tell fortunes accurately had not come out from the small doorway with the beaded green curtains.
Crinnerly tried not to think of the time she wasted as an anthropologist in Southeast Asia. 
The traffic jams in Bangkok were some of the worse in the world.
The sky train had not been built yet.
But in Burma, cars were a luxury item, because only the military was in charge of car import permits, and they restricted the number of cars.
This was in 1975.
 There were no traffic jams.
*
Dr. McCrae was not rich enough to put herself up in swanky hotels like the Inya Lake, built by the Russians, so she mostly stayed with friends, who were on the whole quite reluctant to have her sleep over, because they were afraid of the government agents and the village council elders who needed to know everything and often made spot checks of the see sayin or cooking oil ratio cards, which kept a strict count on the number of members of each household. 
It was said to be so the government would know that there were no Karen or Kachin insurgents in town, being harbored in houses or huts.
But somehow, by giving gifts wherever she went and by dropping the name of the supreme leader Bright Sun, Chinnery, the daughter of a Scottish man and a Cambodian woman, had somehow managed to ingratiate herself with the few dozen families who formed the Rangoon or Burma elite, and she was able to travel freely inside the White Zones of Burma, where there were no ethnic insurgents, as there were at the periphery.
*
Chinnery stared at the three or four poorly dressed people sitting on the floor around her.
What personal problems brought them here, she wondered.
She decided she might as well use her time productively, so she flipped open her tape recorder, that she had bought for forty dollars in Bangkok, and recorded a few sentences, which she intended to use as a memory jogger for the semi-academic book on nat worship in Burma that she was drafting.
The fat woman and the thin man right next to her, who might have been her husband, looked at her curiously with an expression of their faces which said, These white people, do they have no sense of decorum?  How gauche to open and use a tape recorder in a place like this, especially when the shaman is working professionally for her livelihood, and needs to be paid a donation. 
What are these people going to do with the recordings? 
Sell them overseas for a profit?
Chinnery ignored the glares of the other people in the waiting area and intoned into her tape recorder—
“Um.  Animism is a subculture in Burma.  I haven’t been in this village long.  Um, it’s very hard to get a visa to come to study here.”
She did not realize that she was picking up the verbal habits of her American undergrad students, especially the young women, who “um-med” a lot and ended each of their sentences on an upward inflection, as if they were unsure of everything and were forever asking questions.
She re-started her tape noisily by pushing down a large rectangular button, and intoned:
“It’s very hard to get a visa.
“Twelve months my visa was in the works.”
At the word “visa” everyone turned around and looked at her silently.
At that time most Burmese could not travel anywhere outside Burma except with special permission from General Bright Sun.  Most barely knew the difference between a visa and a passport, into which visas were stamped on each page.
“All my books and stuff are stored in four different places in America.  Talk of academic gypsies.”
Her sound engineer boyfriend had told her to imagine someone when she was recording, so she tried to imagine herself giving a lecture at SOAS or the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.  She hoped her lecturing tone did not put people to sleep.
It was a little hard to do among all these poor Burmese looking for some spiritual comfort.
“I lost one full time job,” she winced, “and hopped from temp to temp, waiting to come here.  At last  .  .  .  ”she sighed, “Could only come finally because they wanted greenbacks, and now  .  .  .”
“Try as I might I cannot really understand these people.  But,” she became louder as she entered her familiar academic province, and its euphemisms, “this counter culture or subculture of spirit worship is so different from the prevailing Theravada Buddhism.  I just jumped at the chance to come here.  Ah, here she comes, the medium!”
*
Kaythee, the nat medium, rather ordinary looking and dressed in a white T-shirt with an ethnic jacket over it, and wearing a sarong or longyi, a wrapped long skirt sewn to form a tube, came in through the other door at the back, which led to the outdoor kitchen, Chinnery was sure.
Most Burmese kitchens were on verandas or set in small buildings a few yards away from the main house, to eliminate cooking odors of such things as balachaung, a sprinkling condiment made of fried onions, chillies, dried shrimp and fish sauce.
*
The medium was about age thirty, Chinnery estimated, though it was hard to estimate the age of Asian women.  But Chinnery had a lot of experience from guessing the ages of her mother’s friends and relatives.  Thirty, thirty five, that was about right.
 
Copyright KMKaung
7-30-2015
 Photos--mine and from Wikipedia, nats--public domain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Actress Angelina Jolie Pitt in Burma--but why is she not visting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

http://www.people.com/article/angelina-jolie-pitt-visits-myanmar

All links to my published novellas and short stories in UK pounds --

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Books-K-M-Kaung/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_27%3AK+M+Kaung

All the links that ever mattered--re-posting on request--



A.      My Amazon author page in British pounds

Accessed 5-31-2015


Home is Where
Kindle edition USA
Your summer reading--link to e edition of my stories--Home is Where?  Housewarming & My Potsdam--+ one review



New link for Kindle of The Lovers—new price
8.  Band of Flesh print edition--+ review
Band of Flesh e edition + one review They have different cover designs.


About the author:
K.M.Kaung started writing fiction as a teenager in Burma.

She comes from a family of story tellers in Myingyan in Upper Burma. Her paternal grandmother May May Gyi, saw the last king of Burma - Thibaw, taken away on a steamboat on the Irrawaddy River by the British in 1886.

Kyi May Kaung's father U Kaung was named after the King's first envoy to the West, Kinwun Mingyi U Kaung.

Her father was a well known educationist and the first chairman of the Burma Historical Commission.

As a child Kyi May was privileged to have noted scholars and artists come to visit the house.

Dr. Kaung holds a doctorate in Political Economy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Her work has been previously published in anthologies and literary journals, and she has read widely in universities and bookstores in N. America and Southeast Asia. From 1997-2001 she had a poetry and political commentary program on air, broadcast to Burma/Myanmar. Edward Albee praised her two act play, Shaman, and she has won Pew, Fulbright and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants.

This is her first CreateSpace publication.

Upcoming are a full length novel Wolf, and a novella, The Rider of Crocodiles.

You may find her on her blog
http://kyimaykaung.blogspot.com

on Facebook
www.facebook.com/kyi.m.kaung

and at Kyi Kaung@kyikaung on Twitter.

Her web site is
www.kmkaung.com

She divides her time between N. America, travel in Asia and on cyberspace. Links to my recent publications of novellas and short stories.

1.      Originally published in Wild River Review on line, The Lovers is the story of a ballet dancer from Chile, who has to leave her native land for political reasons, and emigrate to Philadelphia, in America.
Burmese-born author Kyi May Kaung lived many years in West Philadelphia while pursuing her doctorate in Political Science.
The Lovers has vivid local color while traversing the uneasy life of political asylees. The Lovers, print edition
https://www.createspace.com/4767856?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026
The Lovers, Kindle edition
http://www.amazon.com/The-Lovers-Novellas-K-M-Kaung-Kaung-ebook/dp/B00JX8NZRU
At Barnes and Noble--http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Lovers.html?id=yDABoQEACAAJ

2.   Black Rice is a Burmese man with very dark skin, almost purple, and almond eyes. What happens when he is captured in an ambush in Burma's delta in 1947, as ethnic strife rages, a year before Burma's Independence from Great Britain? Find out here as K.M. Kaung takes you on a heart stopping journey through life. An intensely flavored pill of a story in 48 pages. A view through oddly made eyes.

"You've got to be taught, to hate and fear, you've got to be taught, from year to year. . . ."

Song lyrics, Rogers and Hammerstein, South Pacific, the Broadway musical.
3.   The Rider of Crocodiles
Dr. Kaung was traveling in Thailand when a colleague told her his great great grandfather was not killed in Ayuthia in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, as he knew how to ride crocodiles.
print edition
Kindle edition
--




4.  Dancing like a Peacock and Koel Bird
My two stories, Dancing like a Peacock and Koel Bird are also available on Create Space, print edition. Published by Words Sounds and Images--
A seven year old girl is sent off across the border to earn a living and send money home to Burma. A computer expert finds--

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=K+Kaung+dancing+like+a+peacock&sitesearch_type=STORE

My short story collection-

Dancing like a Peacock & Koel Bird, also includes Little Transparent Fetus Buddha.

Print (soft cover) + Kindle editions

http://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Peacock-Bird-Border-Stories-ebook/dp/B00JWZSL3C
5.  FGM—Kindle edition
FGM: A Story about the Mutilation of Women.
Dr. Aset, a trained gynecologist with several post graduate American degrees, lets herself be drawn into an inappropriate
relationship.

My novella FGM is now available on Kindle--http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KJ3FUOE

there is also a print edition on the CreateSpace/Amazon store.

https://www.createspace.com/4738586
6.  Dealing with death and old age in the USA as immigrants--
No Crib for a Bed and Other Stories, Kindle Edition
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JW2ZD40
No Crib for a Bed, print edition
https://www.createspace.com/4768879?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026








"A river with such a lovely name, Irrawaddy"--video by Lisa DiLillo featuring poem by Kyi May Kaung

A video by Lisa diLillo featuring poetry by Kyi May Kaung--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMtDclAlGnQ

Thursday, July 23, 2015

In the summer I eat lobster--

Summer--the time for lobster salad in potato roll.
It is a better deal than whole lobster which I cannot crack, as this way one gets all flesh, about 1 to 1 1/2 lobsters, and no cracking and struggling
and whole dish without drink and tips is still under $20.
So in the summer I eat lobster.
KMKaung
7-23-2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

All the links to my fiction works--KMKaung

All the links that ever mattered--8 + links to my fiction works, in case you feel like publishing a review on Amazon, which you can do at any time, if you ever bought anything on Amazon.

A.     My Amazon author page in British pounds
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Books-K-M-Kaung/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_27%3AK%20M%20Kaung

Accessed 5-31-2015


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UC9WQ3I#reader_B00UC9WQ3I
Home is Where
Kindle edition USA
Your summer reading--link to e edition of my stories--Home is Where?  Housewarming & My Potsdam--+ one review

http://www.amazon.com/Home-Where-Housewarming-My-Potsdam-ebook/dp/B00UC9WQ3I

New link for Kindle of The Lovers—new price
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JX8NZRU
8.  Band of Flesh print edition--+ review
http://www.amazon.com/Band-Flesh-53-Red-Roses/dp/1507888627#reader_1507888627
Band of Flesh e edition + one review They have different cover designs.
http://www.amazon.com/Band-Flesh-53-Red-Roses-ebook/dp/B00TAG8SWC
About the author:
K.M.Kaung started writing fiction as a teenager in Burma.

She comes from a family of story tellers in Myingyan in Upper Burma. Her paternal grandmother May May Gyi, saw the last king of Burma - Thibaw, taken away on a steamboat on the Irrawaddy River by the British in 1886.

Kyi May Kaung's father U Kaung was named after the King's first envoy to the West, Kinwun Mingyi U Kaung.

Her father was a well known educationist and the first chairman of the Burma Historical Commission.

As a child Kyi May was privileged to have noted scholars and artists come to visit the house.

Dr. Kaung holds a doctorate in Political Economy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Her work has been previously published in anthologies and literary journals, and she has read widely in universities and bookstores in N. America and Southeast Asia. From 1997-2001 she had a poetry and political commentary program on air, broadcast to Burma/Myanmar. Edward Albee praised her two act play, Shaman, and she has won Pew, Fulbright and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants.

This is her first CreateSpace publication.

Upcoming are a full length novel Wolf, and a novella, The Rider of Crocodiles.

You may find her on her blog
http://kyimaykaung.blogspot.com
on Facebook
www.facebook.com/kyi.m.kaung

and at Kyi Kaung@kyikaung
on Twitter.

Her web site is
www.kmkaung.com

She divides her time between N. America, travel in Asia and on cyberspace. Links to my recent publications of novellas and short stories.

1.    Originally published in Wild River Review on line, The Lovers is the story of a ballet dancer from Chile, who has to leave her native land for political reasons, and emigrate to Philadelphia, in America.
Burmese-born author Kyi May Kaung lived many years in West Philadelphia while pursuing her doctorate in Political Science.
The Lovers has vivid local color while traversing the uneasy life of political asylees. The Lovers, print edition
https://www.createspace.com/4767856?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026
The Lovers, Kindle edition
http://www.amazon.com/The-Lovers-Novellas-K-M-Kaung-Kaung-ebook/dp/B00JX8NZRU

At Barnes and Noble--http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Lovers.html?id=yDABoQEACAAJ
2.   Black Rice is a Burmese man with very dark skin, almost purple, and almond eyes. What happens when he is captured in an ambush in Burma's delta in 1947, as ethnic strife rages, a year before Burma's Independence from Great Britain? Find out here as K.M. Kaung takes you on a heart stopping journey through life. An intensely flavored pill of a story in 48 pages. A view through oddly made eyes.

"You've got to be taught, to hate and fear, you've got to be taught, from year to year. . . ."

Song lyrics, Rogers and Hammerstein, South Pacific, the Broadway musical.
Black Rice, print edition
https://www.createspace.com/4232789?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026

Black Rice, Kindle Edition
http://www.amazon.com/Black-Rice-Novella-K-Kaung/dp/0615797520

3.   The Rider of Crocodiles
Dr. Kaung was traveling in Thailand when a colleague told her his great great grandfather was not killed in Ayuthia in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, as he knew how to ride crocodiles.
https://www.createspace.com/4738699?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026

print edition
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZ6W8I6
Kindle edition
--




4.  Dancing like a Peacock and Koel Bird
My two stories, Dancing like a Peacock and Koel Bird are also available on Create Space, print edition. Published by Words Sounds and Images--
A seven year old girl is sent off across the border to earn a living and send money home to Burma. A computer expert finds--

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=K+Kaung+dancing+like+a+peacock&sitesearch_type=STORE
My short story collection-

Dancing like a Peacock & Koel Bird, also includes Little Transparent Fetus Buddha.

Print (soft cover) + Kindle editions

http://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Peacock-Bird-Border-Stories-ebook/dp/B00JWZSL3C
5.  FGM—Kindle edition
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KJ3FUOE
FGM: A Story about the Mutilation of Women.
Dr. Aset, a trained gynecologist with several post graduate American degrees, lets herself be drawn into an inappropriate
relationship.

My novella FGM is now available on Kindle--http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KJ3FUOE
there is also a print edition on the CreateSpace/Amazon store.

https://www.createspace.com/4738586
6.  Dealing with death and old age in the USA as immigrants--
No Crib for a Bed and Other Stories, Kindle Edition
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JW2ZD40
No Crib for a Bed, print edition
https://www.createspace.com/4768879?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026








Your summer reading--a group of us remembers our Mentors at the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma--

http://www.amazon.com/Let-Fly-Flowers-Institute-Economics/dp/1514616378

Monday, July 20, 2015

The father of landscape architecture and his views on (the economic inefficiency of) slavery in the American South--

 A Southern mansion, Rose Hill Manor, just 20 miles south of the Mason-Dixon Line, which required 29 slaves to run.  (household and some farming slaves, I think.)  Photo KMKaung 2015  This was not a cotton growing plantation, as far as I know.



Quote of the day--the father of landscape architecture, Frederik Law Olmsted, who was also a very good investigative journalist--arguing that the slavery of the American South was not only cruel and inhumane, but also economically inefficient.

One could argue the same about Soviet or Chinese style central planning and economic monopolies (such as the most totalitarian of all--N. Korea) and now Burma.

note by KMKaung--7-20-2015

Excerpt from Frederik Law Olmsted wiki follows:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Law_Olmsted
'Journalism

Olmsted had a significant career in journalism. In 1850 he traveled to England to visit public gardens, where he was greatly impressed by Joseph Paxton's Birkenhead Park. He subsequently wrote and published Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England in 1852. This supported his getting additional work.

Interested in the slave economy, he was commissioned by the New York Daily Times (now The New York Times) to embark on an extensive research journey through the American South and Texas from 1852 to 1857. His dispatches to the Times were collected into three volumes (A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States (1856),A Journey Through Texas (1857), A Journey in the Back Country in the Winter of 1853-4 (1860)) which remain vivid first-person social documents of the pre-war South. A one-volume abridgment, Journeys and Explorations in the Cotton Kingdom (1861), was published during the first six months of the American Civil War at the suggestion of Olmsted's English publisher. .[8] To this he wrote a new introduction (on "The Present Crisis") in which he stated explicitly his views on the effect of slavery on the economy and social conditions of the southern states.

    My own observation of the real condition of the people of our Slave States, gave me ... an impression that the cotton monopoly in some way did them more harm than good; and although the written narration of what I saw was not intended to set this forth, upon reviewing it for the present publication, I find the impression has become a conviction.

He argued that slavery had made the slave states inefficient (a set amount of work took 4 times as long in Virginia as in the North) and backward both economically and socially. The profits of slavery fell to no more than 8,000 owners of large plantations; a somewhat larger group had about the standard of living of a New York City policeman, but the proportion of the free white men who were as well-off as a Northern working man was small. Slavery meant that 'the proportion of men improving their condition was much less than in any Northern community; and that the natural resources of the land were strangely unused, or were used with poor economy.'

Southern civilization was restricted to the wealthy plantation owners; the poverty of the rest of the Southern white population prevented the development of civil amenities taken for granted in the North, he said.

    The citizens of the cotton States, as a whole, are poor. They work little, and that little, badly; they earn little, they sell little; they buy little, and they have little – very little – of the common comforts and consolations of civilized life. Their destitution is not material only; it is intellectual and it is moral... They were neither generous nor hospitable and their talk was not that of evenly courageous men.[9]

In between his travels in Europe and the South, Olmsted served as an editor for Putnam's Magazine and an agent with Dix, Edwards and Co., prior to the company's insolvency during the Panic of 1857. In 1865 Olmsted co-founded the magazine The Nation.'

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer reading--Band of Flesh and 53 Red Roses by Kyi May Kaung



Your summer reading--What does it feel like to be joined to your twin for life?  How would you feel if your husband gave you 53 red roses on your birthday?

Find out here--

8.  Band of Flesh print edition--+ review


Band of Flesh e edition + one review They have different cover designs.
FB—7-16-2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Publish your book reviews on Amazon--

All of you, please get in the habit of reviewing books online at Amazon.

It is a good way to collect and share your thoughts on what you read.

So long as you have ever bought something from Amazon, not necessarily a book, you can post there.

My books are published on Amazon.

I would love it if you would review my books, even if you hated them.

You do not need to use your real name, you can call yourself Bronco Billy if you wish.

Of course, Amazon as the site owners will look at your post too--and may not post it if they think it is malign.

That is the usual convention.

KMKaung
7-15-2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Art page from my official Kyi May Kaung website--

http://www.kmkaung.com/art.html

Let it Fly with the Flowers: Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma --edited by KMKaung








Photos Copyright Anonymous, used with permission.

You can now buy Let it Fly with the Flowers:  Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, edited by me Kyi May Kaung​ www.kmkaung.com

http://kyimaykaung.blogspot.com

--here--in 2 forms with 2 different covers--

http://www.amazon.com/Let-Fly-Flowers-Institute-Political-ebook/dp/B0106CUA6K

See and realize that it is not a lack of first class educated minds that is holding that country back.

The contributors are, in order of appearance--

Daw Khin Khin Thein, with a Masters in Economics, from the London School of Economics,

Dr. Khin Saw Nyein, with a doctorate in Ecos. from Moscow Univ.

U Hla Phyu Chit, with a Masters from Rangoon Univ.

Daw Myo Nwe, who held many high domestic and international posts,

Daw Sintheingie, with a BA General Honors from Rangoon University,

Daw Yee May Kaung, with a BA in Commerce and also trained in Japan,

Daw Thynn Thynn Wynn, MA from Rangoon University--
Daw Khin Pwint Oo,
MA from Rangoon Univ + trained with an Australian degree also

Dr. Myo Nyunt with a Ph.D. from Univ of Wisconsin, Madison

and Dr. Kyi May Kaung (editor), with a doctorate from the Univ. of Pennsylvania in Political Economy.

This book does not go into the economics of contemporary Burma and some of its most dismal failures, as it is intended as a tribute to our brilliant Mentors, but you can easily read between the lines.

For a fictional treatment of the dismal Burmese economy, wait for my novel Wolf, now in the final stages of publication.

KMKaung
7-13-2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

1st or 2nd book by Harper Lee

This review of Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's 1st or 2nd book, is excellent.

And you can read the first chapter of Watchman on line.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/ng-interactive/2015/jul/10/go-set-a-watchman-read-the-first-chapter

One thing Harper Lee had, which is not replaceable for any writer--she had a unique and distinctive, and compelling authorial voice.

I did not like the interactive of the chugging train with animation and ambient sound at all, and it was some time before I found how to mute it.

I found it distracting.

I could not hear Harper Lee's voice in my head with that train chugging.

For all writers, don't write or talk to sound cool or modern or imitate others.

Say what you have to say and say it plainly.

And don't write if you have nothing to say.

That's all--as poet Maru said when he was waiting tables in Japan and I asked him to read his poem on the phone for my radio program Poems of Those who Love Their Country.

That's all.

Ciao for now.

It's getting late, and my day's work or chores still not completed, the trash sitting in a big plastic bag near the door.

The fish also needs to be cooked tonight.  Fish and time waits for no woman.

KMKaung
7-12-2015

Your summer reading--stories from the Burma-Thai Border by KMKaung



Images-1.  Kinnari Dancer, painting by KMKaung
2.  Cover of my book.


Your summer reading--stories from the Burma-Thai Border by KMKaung


4.  Dancing like a Peacock and Koel Bird
My two stories, Dancing like a Peacock and Koel Bird are also available on Create Space, print edition. Published by Words Sounds and Images--

A seven year old girl is sent off across the border to earn a living and send money home to Burma. A computer expert finds--

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=K+Kaung+dancing+like+a+peacock&sitesearch_type=STORE

My short story collection-

Dancing like a Peacock & Koel Bird, also includes Little Transparent Fetus Buddha.

Print (soft cover) + Kindle editions

http://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Peacock-Bird-Border-Stories-ebook/dp/B00JWZSL3C

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fine art is hard work--nothing serious just a thought by KMKaung

 My art studio--Photo by KMKaung

I am starting a new column called--Nothing Serious, Just a Thought.

For today--7-11-2015

If you think fine art is genteel and easy, take a look at the schedule of one successful artist--

1.  make the art
2.  Get it framed
3.  send in samples or slides to juried art shows
4.  Drive around in a truck
5.  Set up, take down, keep track of the money.

It involves a lot of back-breaking labor, and you have to consistently produce brilliant and original work.

Therefore never bargain for a piece of art--

you love it or you hate it

you take it or you leave it

you can live without it or you can't

it is like falling in love.

KMKaung
7-11-2015



Meeting Kinza Maw-Naing in Canada in c. 1994

Reading Daw Tinza Maw Naing's autobiography has reminded me that I met her daughter Kinza in Canada when I was just starting out on the Burma democracy circuit.
First we went to Toronto at the invitation of the Canadian Friends of Burma.  My mentor Dr. Josef Silverstein flew with me from Newark International Airport, while Dr. Findlay flew from New York.
At that time, there were two excellent people who had founded Canadian Friends of Burma--Penny Sanger and Murray Thompson.
Penny told me how they had discussed "hitting the junta where it hurts" in their pocketbooks with sanctions.  She said they had "looked all over the world for Burma experts."

At the Conference, we discussed the pros and cons of boycotting Burma as tourists.

Saya Findlay, as an economic theorist whose focus was free trade (international trade theory), seemed to swallow his life- long commitment to free trade, and said something like, "But this is a political move."

I said on the one hand it was good to have foreigners moving around inside Burma keeping a watchful eye (but are any of the hordes going now "watching"??)--butit was true, all the junta understood was money.  After the Conference, they started the boycott Burma campaign, which resulted in a decade of empty echoing hotels inside Burma.

I don't remember what the late Dr. Mya Maung said, but I knew he hated the junta, although he had taught economics at the Maymyo Military Academy, he said.  He made some small/large tech errors while explaining "bad money drives out good" with respect to the debasement of coins in earlier ages, and I suppose the inflation in modern times.

A few years later he died suddenly.

--

I think it was in Toronto that we all met Mr. and Mrs. Bush Gulati, Persian-Burmese.  Later in Boulder, Colorado I would meet his sister Prem and hear from her of their tumultous journey,  from Rangoon to Teheran and then as Khomeini came into power in 1978 in Iran, to the USA.

Anyone who thinks expatriates should "go back to help Burma" and there are Americans too who always ask me the god- damned question, should try that kind of journey for themselves.

One woman came through Vietnam! and another through an Isreali kibbutz or collective farm cum military camp. They told me their stories themselves, so there is no question that they are true stories.

In Toronto, reading in a darkened church where like the dying Goethe  I had to ask for more light, more light, I began to realize the power of poetry and my poetry's ability to connect with others.

The church held about 40-50 people, and they were all quiet.

Some people had their eyes closed, and it always makes me wonder if I put them to sleep.

But at the end, they would open their eyes and clap and ask me questions, such as "What are kumquats?" or give suggestions, "In your poem Eskimo Paradise," (later anthologized in the Norton Anthology Language for a New Century"  -- it should not be "Eskimo" it should be "Burmese."
I could not figure out how I could change things.
When my play Shaman then called Flashback, because suppressed memories of childhood sex abuse are said to come back in adulthood as brief flashbacks, I learned how to have my play critiqued.
During this particular critique session, the readers/actors all sat in a row on the stage and read their parts, aloud, of course.
The playwright sat behind the audience of about 40 people also.
She did not come onto the stage even for the discussion and we hardly saw her face.  People said all manner of things, some helpful, some stupid, as people will do.
At the end she said one sentence from the back.
"Thank you all for your suggestions."  She did not even say she would make changes and take the suggestions into account.

So I too from 25 years or so of sitting in writing classes and listening to sometimes hair brained comments, feel like Ogden Nash who said--"Listen very nicely then go out and do precisely what one wants."
Now my lovely acquaintance has lost her philandering husband, how left her a fortune, and she says, "Now, I do just what I want."
*
In Canada it was very cold.  We all came with long black wool coats, esp. Saya Findlay and me.  I bought my coat one size too large for over a hundred dollars and had to turn in the sleeves.
Saya Silverstein forgot his passport, but Canadian immigration let him through anyway.
We all met up at the arrival gate, in out big black coats and Penny or Murray drove us to the University.
In Toronto, I learned how to conduct myself at International Conferences.
I was at a very bad time in life, my marriage, my country and my papers all falling away from me simultaneously.  That's why I was writing poetry and then fiction and trying to rethink and reorder my life.
Now that it is "ordered" and everything is in place, I don't feel like making any drastic changes such as relocating.
I walked around campus with Dr. Silverstein, and I don't know why I did that.  Maybe to hear how he answered questions that were put to him.  My pre-diabetes which had not been diagnosed yet, was already starting to act up, and I would feel woozy about 10 or 11 AM if I did not eat small amounts at regular intervals.
When this happened on the 2nd day of the conference, we were walking past a coffee shop and I said, "I am sorry but I am hyper gleacemic.  I need to get something to eat," and I hurried in to the cafe to get a cup of coffee and a small muffin.
Prof. Silverstein looked at me with a look on his face, What a wimp.

But that same day we kept walking and walking, and people came up to him, some on a campus path when it was about 40 degrees and the wind quiet blustery, to ask him about Burma and he kept talking and talking, with a great deal of energy and also quite loud.
By about 5 PM as it got dark, I was ready to fold.
Someone came up and asked him the same question, which I had heard about 5-6 times that day already.
I thought for sure, Saya will lose his temper and blow that person to bits.  But he started right again, from the A B C's about Burma.
I was flabbergasted.
*
At dinner, Dr. Findlay teased Dr. Silverstein for forgetting his passport.  "It's still a different country"--though the phone numbers were exactly like USA numbers.
I had a great time talking to Bush G. about creative writing.  He spoke about the pakoras (baya kyaw) that he said were fried by a vendor outside the walls of the Red Fort in Old Dehli.
I said, "I am sure they were delicious.  I am taking a writing course and we talked about details making it come alive.  So I am sure about those pakoras."
On another evening, Penny took me to see Kinza.
She had cooked mohinga, and she lived in a big house which she said they were renting from her brother in law.
I had nothing to give her, but luckily I had brought along a new Thai silk purse the color of mauve lotuses, so I gave that to her.
K. took me downstairs to see her cold cellar.
In America, we have basements, but not cold cellars.
Because it was so cold, carrots, apples, potatoes and other foods were stored inside these cold cellars.  I was quite amazed.
After the food we sat down and talked, about what else?  Burma.
Kinza said she was so tired, she could not take it any more, everyone arrested.  She talked about her famous twin brothers, Ho Chi and Mao Tse.

I can't remember if she told me what happened to them, and I am anxious to find out in her mother's book.

In Toronto, I also re-met a couple who were former neighbors of mine, whom I did not know well, but recognized immediately.

They were both smiling and friendly and at one time lived on the hill opposite me in Rangoon.

My mother used to call them "those Ma Chit Suu mangoes as they were so sweet and plump and fair skinned, like Ma Chit Suu (Miss Sweet Collection) mangoes.

I do not know how they left Burma, but the young lady in Burma told me how her mother? had walked out of Burma to India as a child, just like Dr. Findlay said he did, at the start of World War II.

How the road was so rough, there was nothing to eat.

Saya Findlay once gave me a book that also described such a journey.  "Now it's written (by somebody else).  I don't need to write it any more."

I once asked Saya if he ever wished to write anything other than  economics, and he said, "No."

Miss Sweet Ma Chit Suu said I should have a business card that just said, "Kyi May Kaung, Writer."

In Rangoon she had told me her mother was pregnant when they walked out of Burma to India, and her father had to shoot monkeys to feed his wife monkey blood.

"When she got to Imphal she had the baby and the afterbirth was in shreds."

Ten or fifteen years later, I saw them at a democracy event in D.C.,so they must have come from Canada to America.

I am happy for them.

All those who have made such harrowing journeys to be free deserve some measure of happiness, not blame.

Copyright Kyi May Kaung
7-11-2015
Excerpt from Portfolios of Hot Air.





























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Friday, July 10, 2015

Your summer reading--The Rider of Crocodiles --by KMKaung

Your summer reading--go to Ayuthia and Ava--where are they?

The Rider of Crocodiles

Dr. Kaung was traveling in Thailand when a colleague told her his great great grandfather was not killed in Ayuthia in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, as he knew how to ride crocodiles.

https://www.createspace.com/4738699?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026
print edition

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZ6W8I6
Kindle edition
--

Quote of the day from myself--Blurbs and Burps--Kyi May Kaung



Quote of the day--from myself.
Getting another writer to write you a blurb
is almost as difficult as
getting the baby to
burp.
And sometimes it comes out smelly the other end and so
cannot be used to sell
books.
Kyi May Kaung7-11-2015
FB