Wuxia Novelist: A Writer's Blog

Wuxia Novelist: A Writer's Blog looks at the broad range of issues encountered by me as a novelist working in the Chinese wuxia (heroic fiction) genre. I have, however, a very broad background and this blog will not narrowly focus on one genre of literature, rather I will consider books, movies, and ideas that relate to my life as a writer. For more information about my background please visit my author's website: www.thedragongateinn.com or www.facebook.com/WuxiaNovelist

Location: United States

Check out my author's website: www.thedragongateinn.com for everything you could ever want to know about me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Rain Dragons at Noon

The rain dragons are back. They arrived at noon and made short order of the daylight. The “book” dragon, however, continues on the rise with the nice news that my novel, Dream of the Dragon Pool – A Daoist Quest, has now become a textbook at Pennsylvania State University.

Actually, two times over, since it’s now being used in two courses. Seems that after reading the novel, a couple of professors decided it might prove to be a more entertaining way of introducing their students to the study of traditional East Asian religion and philosophy. Naturally, fingers are crossed that this “experiment” works.

I also appreciated your correspondence regarding my remarks on Russell Crowe’s Ben Wade character in the movie 3:10 to Yuma.

And I greatly appreciate the remarks of a Chinese woman when she asked me to sign her son’s copy of my novel. Besides telling me how much he was enjoying it, she said something that deeply moved me. She said her son had been asking her about the Yangtze River, the story’s main location, and Li Bo, the great Chinese poet and main character of the novel.

An author takes great satisfaction in writing a good story and even more when the story can help others appreciate their fellow voyagers. To pay my respects to Li Bo for his inspiration in the writing of my novel, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a sampling of some of his poems. Although in my novel I translated all the poetry attributed to Li Bo, in this blog I will use the translations of others and give them credit for their skill.

I think this time – if you like this, I will put up more of Li Bo’s poetry – I will pick poems that “paint” a picture of the Dragon Gate Inn countryside.

Calling on a Taoist Priest in Tai-t’ien Mountain but Falling to See Him

A dog barks amid the sound of water;
Peach blossoms tinged by dew take on a deeper tone.
In the dense woods at times I see deer;
By the brook I hear no bells at noon.
Wild bamboos divide the blue haze;
Tumbling waterfalls hang from the green cliff.
No one can tell me where you are,
Saddened, I lean against the pines.

Listening to a Monk from Shu Playing the Lute

A monk from Shu, carrying a precious lute,
Comes down from the western peak of Omei Mountain.
I seem to hear the sound of pines from a thousand glens.
The flowing stream cleanses a traveler’s heart,
Its dying strains fade into the first bells of frost.
Dusk comes unnoticed over the green hills,
And autumn clouds begin to darken layer after layer.

(translator, Joseph J. Lee)

Sitting Along in Ching-t’ing Mountain

Flocks of birds fly high and vanish;
A single cloud, alone, calmly drifts on.
Never tired of looking at each other –
Only the Ching-t’ing Mountain and me.

(translator, Irving Y. Lo)


The Innkeeper


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