Archive for June, 2007

Master Knox’s Comment on a Young Writer’s Work

Friday, June 29th, 2007


Hi all,
Spent about a week at the tent camp where I’ll be the rest of the summer counting macaws. It’s a huge peninsula so I’ve run into a few difficulties but that’s the nature of research.
Everything is damp between the ocean and the jungle. The rains are coming. The other night, a rainstorm at 1:30am woke everyone at the tent camp up because it was so loud. I’ve never seen heavier rains. Hope I don’t get stranded at the camp by one of the rivers.
The cook likes me because I wash dishes for him, and I’m now his new apprentice, so I’ll come back knowing how to cook, I promise. Did my first dinner for the guests last night.
Lots of wildlife. I saw a black sea turtle laying eggs on the beach. Monkeys like to come into camp sometimes and throw coconuts, leaves and branches at our tents. A big hairy spider lives in one of the bathrooms at night and hangs out on the toilet roll, so I feel pretty bad for any unsuspecting guest who reaches for it bleary-eyed. The beach also glows on dark nights when you step on the plankton, and the stars are beautifully bright when the clouds part (rarely). Cool lightning storms, though.

Pura vida,


OH, is Isa’s Mom proud with that review!–as though her
baby has finally made her mark in the world with a
genius’ attention!

(But Knox Martin IS indeed a genius!)

The stoic Kate Lau seldom displays her feelings but one could still
divine that the old gal had jumped up and
down like a little bird in a bath connected to one pristine morning!

I remember years ago Little Isa confronted me with the
problem of how to write. A tricky question!– as y’all
know me to be a bloody semi-literate chinaman. I had
as much handle to that question as my grip on the ass
of an eel–and the poor gal had come to a baldy for a
comb! But in those fragile childhood days you could scarcely dismiss the
kid by saying go play Dad is busy.– The next
thing you know, the kid would give you no respect
and the Dad Almighty title could just vanish then and there !

Think Ben!–and it has to be quick!

Clearing his throat as though he had just been choked,
murmured Dad into his girl’s pretty head this piece of

1.Jump into the water and forget you are not a fish!

2.There is nothing new under the sun so don’t even go
there searching like a scrawny dog scavenging the
garbage… .

3. Write with the luminosity and purity of your soul,
that is all you have and that is all you do,–nothing
more, nothing less,– so others may find a path to

I emphasized those last words with one fist vehemently
circling the air,–helicopter-like… .
The daughter responded with a half moronic smile,–
mouth opened, teeth shown.

You never know how much a youngster can understand
you, all you need is tell her the truth, or tell her
something… .

Ben Lau