December 2nd, 2007


Readers weigh in...

Every now and then I get requests to translate some of my stories into other languages, and I've always decided against it in the past. I'm very picky about word choice and often strive for a lyrical flow of language, and those are the first things to get lost in translation. Character's "voices" are another.

But I've gotten a request now to translate into Russian the "John visits the Vietnam Memorial" story I wrote about a year ago, Memento Mori. This time I'm actually considering it.

I thought when I wrote this that it was mainly about the Vietnam War, with all of the baggage and mixed emotions that contains for Americans of that era. That war defined the entire first part of my childhood, with the hopelessness of winning it, of getting out of it, and the political implications of realizing that your country's leaders are not listening to its citizens, and do not care to. As I said, a lot of baggage.

But it struck a chord with so many younger readers, and with people who live in different parts of the world, that I'm reconsidering now. Perhaps it is simply, at its core, more a story about war and loss and the grief of a soldier who has survived them. That war is such a highly personal topic to me that I lack perspective on it-- it still feels essentially a Vietnam story, with all of the details of the difficulty of fighting in that impossible war on that impossible terrain.

*throws up hands* What do you think, folks? Let this one be translated? Say No as always? Thoughts as to the reason for yes/no? Please use the comments' section freely!


In other news, Xmas lights are up now. We go a little nuts, so this is quite a production. My nemeses are the things that go in/around the crape myrtle trees, which shed bark into my eyes while I'm working and are kind of brittle (supporting twigs snap right off while you're working! Bleh). Have a few more lights that aren't finished-- a couple of utterly dead multi-colored strands, and a "profile-light" indoor Santa sculpture that also appears dead. Got some shopping to do, obviously.

Today's weather: windstorm. :0 Uh-oh.