In other Lola news, I’m zipping off to Seoul for a long weekend. I’ll be spending this time pawing through Tonymoly stores, getting some culture, and then mostly hermiting away to write at cute cafes.
My travel priorities are different than the average bear’s, but I’m pretty excited about it, and I know exactly the story that needs some attention!
After my little Korea jaunt, my time in Taiwan is coming to a close, and Hong Kong, Bali, and Singapore are next on my travel agenda. My goal is always getting a mix of touristy fun and quiet writing time. This digital nomad thing is kind of a blast, eh?
More updates soon as I shuck the chains of my day job. I cannot wait to have TIME for writing and networking and doing all the fun book-ish things that have fallen by the wayside lately.
I’m back to Taiwan, and living in the big city. Taipei is great. I flew in on a Thursday night, got my apartment on Friday, moved in and furnished it on Saturday, and started work on Monday. A little bit hectic!
Work is intense. I’ve never been in such a quiet office, and it needs to be quiet with the workload that everyone has. I’m going to be busy. Luckily I’m living and working in a great area right in the center of Taipei. It’s nice to have access to all of my favorite Taiwanese things again. Breads in particular : )
Version of pineapple bread from Saison du Soleil/Yamizake @ Q Square…how I missed you, pineapple bread!
I’m finishing up Manhattan Ten #3, and Ivory releases at the end of the month—about a week and a half!
I’ll put up a giveaway next week. Maybe something practical like a bookish gift card, or maybe something fun like a box of treats from Asia? Check back later!
And for stopping by, some more gratuitous bread shots:
Curry bun. It had meat inside, so I didn’t eat most of the filling, but what I had was delish!
Egg bun w/ almond milk. It had a lovely egg salad mixture with tangy/sweet Taiwanese-style mayonaise. Recommended!
I’ve been keeping this one close, but now that the contracts are signed, it’s safe to announce. I’m moving back to Taiwan to start a 9-5 editorial position in Taipei.
This is exciting. I’ll be happy to see all my friends in Taiwan, and Taipei is an awesome place to be. It’s as cosmopolitan as New York, but I can get a nice apartment in central Taipei for 1/3 the price of a shoebox in Brooklyn. The job will be mentally challenging—editing technical ESL documents—and will probably melt my brain on a daily basis, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Between pineapple bread and bubble tea, I’ll survive : )
The next few weeks will be hectic. I have to settle my visa, pack, and get loose ends tied up on the home front. Plus, I’ve got Dreamin’ in Dallas coming up this week.
If all goes well, I’ll be settled in Taipei by mid April.
I will spend my remaining time in the U.S. hoarding Cadbury eggs and gaining 20lbs. in Mexican food weight.
Belated congrats to the winners of my giveaway for the Shameless Summer Blog Hop: @Foretta@PandoraSWolf and @BookAttict! Since I slacked on announcing, there are three winners instead of one. Y’all get free copies of Temptress : )
I’m also slacking on the writing front, with a crazy summer well underway. Summer camps are insane here in ESL world, but I’ve snuck out of town a time or two to do some exploring.
Here are some highlights from my recent travels : )
The sunrise over the mountains in Central Taiwan. The morning after a heavy rain, the sun rises onto a sea of clouds!
Sun Moon Lake is gorgeous in the morning. It’s an amazingly peaceful place…just wake up early and see the sights before the rest of the tourists come out!
You read right. It’s a pancake ice-cream sandwich. Isn’t Taiwan great?
I’m always Googling “best jobs for writers.” I dislike the idea of technical writing—what if my day job bled into my fiction? The next best search results suggest working in security or as night auditor at a hotel, where down time equals writing time.
I propose something better: TEFL. Or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The job description varies by country and school, but I can’t imagine a better situation than the one I have at my job here in Taiwan. I don’t teach more than 20 hours a week, but I’m provided with national healthcare and housing, so my salary goes a long way, especially since the cost of living is so low.
My go-to teppanyaki meal costs NT$60 or US $2.00.
Money aside, I have time, time, time! My school is an English “buxiban” or cram school, so I teach after school hours, mostly 5pm to 9pm. Sure, I have lesson planning and grading, but not much, and foreign teachers at my school aren’t required to sit office hours.
I have all day to write. I also get a good chunk of vacation time, and there’s nothing better for my creativity than travel!
Obviously there’s a downside. I miss out on writing conferences, and local writing groups. My only contact with the community is online. There’s also the distance from friends and family to deal with, so TEFL isn’t for everyone.
If you’re an aspiring writer and you’re not happy with where you are, think about it. It’s particularly easy to get jobs in Asia, and you can seek out a situation that will let you balance work and writing. There’s always Skype for keeping in touch with the folks at home.
I’m happy to chat if anyone is interested in the TEFL/writing life!