State of the writer


Swamped. Or ocean-ed, quite possibly.

Working on a new short in the Xuya continuity, involving spaceships and poets.

Made my first serious phở ersatz, mostly pre-prepared broth and paste, but with veggies and spices thrown in for a better taste. Yummy… Next up, I think, is using pre-prepared beef broth (instead of the pre-made phở broth, which is full of MSG). The full broth including beef is at least three hours’ simmering, too long to make for an evening dish, but I can live with cubes of beef broth and additional spice. Now to find some cloves, which my local supermarket doesn’t stock…

Vietnamese continues apace; we now have a book. Or rather, four books, out of which the first one is entirely dedicated to pronunciation. Arg. Still struggling with normal vowels and consonants, and then we move to diphtongs…
Fun stuff I’ve learnt: my default tone isn’t the level one (ngang), but rather the falling-rising one (hỏi). When I’m really tired, I default to this, with hilarious results…
Also, the day I can pronounce “Wednesday” in Vietnamese is going to be a red-letter one (“ngày thứ tư”, lit. “the fourth day”, regroups four sounds I can’t manage,, the “ng”, the “th” which should be somewhat harsh but distinct from the “t”, and the “ư”).


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