Sunday, April 13, 2014

In the China Groove

It has officially been four weeks that I am here in China; in Shanghai.  I am happy and proud to say that I am over any homesickness/culture shock/etc AND over my sickness!  I had the worst flu last week, and it distorted my entire outlook on my new life here.  That's all in the past now, and I'm moving forward to the future!
First, I am in the groove at work.  I teach six classes a day.  All adults, but all different.  Some classes are small with 4 students; then there are the larger 8-student classes; and finally the 12-person social clubs and the 30+ people English Corners.  The English Corners are the most fun: I get to create my own topics!  So I have been teaching the students: "Entertainment Law", "How to Write a Screenplay", "How to Write a Non-Fiction Book", etc.  It's awesome to be able to be doing my motivational speaking halfway around the globe!  A very interesting bunch of students too.  Yesterday, I had a liver surgeon who is learning English because he is moving to Boston in a year to work there in a hospital.  Last week, I had a local police officer.  I have many businessmen and women too.  And all of them pick their own English names.  Some are normal: John, Frank, Mary, Lexia, David.  Some are nature-related: Sunny, Moon, Winter, River, Star.  Some are just silly and absurd: Brunk and Bacon for example. 
I'm also in the groove in general: I am glad I am here.  I love my Chinese lessons, and I love speaking Chinese every day out in the city.  I am really excited that in a year's time, my chinese will be very good.  I can't believe it: in eleven months, I will finally (after twenty years of dreaming about it) be able to say, "Yes, I speak FOUR languages.  English, French, Italian, and Chinese.  Plus a little bit of German."  How cool is that?  And all it took was desire and discipline :)  Desire and discipline: ain't that the recipe for success in almost any endeavor?  I like it.  I like that phrase.  My new phrase: Desire and Discipline.
I might be joining a Brazilian Zouk dance class.  And also a martial arts class.  Will have to see.  My hamstring seems to be improving, getting better and better each day with my continued exercises.  That's a relief.  Even though it's feeling good now, I'm not going to stop the exercises. 
My to-do list for today?  Actually, my strive list (for those who have read my book, "Time Zen"):
[] Turbotax work  (I get an automatic 2-month extension without having to file paperwork because I am out of the country)
[] Find last year's tax forms for MHF (Maine Horror Film)
[] TRUST book proposal--complete it
[] Chapter 1 of my PhD dissertation
[] Yabla, FSI, Babbel, and LL (languages)
[] Chinese character writing homework
[] Write another 1000 words in my novel Soul STASIS
[] Continue researching the history of Shanghai for another new novel
[] Take my Penn Foster 'Drawing' and 'Auto Repair' online exams
[] Buy SDHC cards (for my next music video shoot).  Or find a place to rent a camera.  Canon 5D
[] Dancing?  Find online hiphop and swing lessons
[] Send motivation email to my email list. (If you want to join, visit
[] And new blog post.  (CHECK!  haha)
And all that on top of a full time work schedule, and a half-time Chinese language school schedule.  Yes, people, it can be done!  Want to learn more?  Check out my book on time management and success called, "Time Zen".
About where I live and work.  I live in People's Square, right on the river.  The closest metro is Xizang Lu (Xizand Road) and I discovered that by going through a back street, it's only a 5-minute walk from my apartment.  Then, I jump on the 1 line six stops, getting off at XuJiaHui.  My job is but another short 3 minute walk away from the subway stop.  So it's a really easy and simple commute.  The subway ride itself is about 17 minutes, and I usually wait about 5 minutes for a train.  Altogether, my commute is 30 minutes, which is just enough time to listen to another 30-minute Pimsleur lesson for Chinese (and sometimes I change it up with Korean, German, or Italian).  Yeah, I'm also learning Korean: right now, I am focusing on learning the alphabet.  Once you learn the alphabet, you can read/pronounce any Korean writing.  I won't be able to understand it, but I will be able to read it, and that's a great first step.  I can read 9 letters so far.  There are about 30 of them (not sure the exact number yet). 
I'm stoked about the movie: we have found a new agent in Los Angeles who is assuring us that they will easily be able to get us distribution in the US and Canada, because they have distribution channels already in place.  We are negotiating the contract now: we want to make sure that we don't have to incur any additional costs, and that we have final say on where and when and through whom the film is released.  All in all, they seem great, and most important of all, confident.  Time will tell.  Once the contract is signed, I can update you more on this.
Regarding my novel, Soul STASIS: I passed the 50% mark.  I have 25,000 words written and the average novel has about 50,000.  So i'm getting there.  My hope is to have the final draft completed and submitted to literary agents before I leave for the United States again.
I could write more, but (haha) I have a lot to get done!  Can't spend all day writing on the blog ya know---didn't you see that crazy to-do list up there?! 
Thanks for reading!

Monroe Mann, Esq, MBA <--my consulting and coaching firm <--my travel blog

Check out my new books "Battle Cries for the Hollywood Underdog" & "Romantic Suicide" on Amazon and  Read also my bestselling books, "Guerrilla Networking", "Time Zen", and "The Theatrical Juggernaut"!
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