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Riding in Vietnam

Sunset from SaigonSaigon bar on the rooftop of the Caravelle Hotel in District 1.

I'm no longer stuck in an office, I'm able to work in cafes, and I have the leisure to exercise more seriously than just walking to work. I'm in a much better place than I've been for a long while. And I'm feeling like, perhaps, Vietnam is the place I want to ride for the foreseeable future.

That said I'm considering a new direction for my social media presence. Most author pages consist of one of three things: writing tips, book reviews, or relevant news related to releases and tour dates. None of these appeal to me. I don't see the need for yet one more blog about how to write fiction and I don't read enough fiction to support a book review site. And news...well, I'm working on that, but until I sale a book I don't have much in the way of publication or tour news.

I could write about my own path towards personal growth and improvement, but I've done that and it's not terribly helpful for spreading the word about my site. I could write about neurodiversity or homosexual issues, both communities to which I belong. Last week I wrote about a music video made in Vietnam about depression. And as far as those issues relate to my intended theme I will probably pursue them.

But what is my intended theme?

Vietnam. In a previous incarnation of my blog I wrote several posts about Indochina and various elements of its history and culture. I enjoyed that. I enjoy Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for those unfamiliar with Southeast Asian history) and I am beginning to think that the last ten years is going to turn into ten more years. I don't see myself going back to the United States to live, not unless I'm actually accepted into an MFA program.

Me and a giant stuffed durian at Vua Sầu Riêng at the roundabout on my way home from work.

And though my novels largely take place in the United States and deal with minority issues there, I live in Vietnam. And my life experience here is something that influences who I am and what I do.

I suppose it is a form of author news, writing about life in Indochina, as that is my news. That may not necessarily relate to my fiction, but it relates to me and my choice is to reach out to those who are interested in me and the things I care about. True, I have a very disparate range of interests, which means I might discuss something that appeals to an equally wide range of readers.

Indochina, music history, African-American and Native American history, law. All of these things will be fodder for my writing. I am not going to try to force my star shaped peg into a square hole just because a consistent topic might lead to more advantageous ranking on Google. I'm going to write what interests me and let those who are also interested find their way to me.

And as I live in Vietnam, that will serve as somewhat of an underlying theme for my social media presence, especially Instagram and TikTok as I don't have anything else to make videos of.

At the start of the new year, then, I am embarking on a more diverse course, one that will take me many places and may not be of interest to everyone, but I suspect I will find a few individuals willing to take the journey.

Here's my bus ride this afternoon:

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