Unexpectedly I was approached by my Chinese publisher who asked me whether I would be happy if he published another book of mine, this one intended just for the Chinese market. As readers of this blog know, I have been sending teaching videos recorded on my sofa at home to create various series of online seminars for Chinese five element acupuncturists. The latest, to be made available on subscription in a few months' time, describes my life as a five element acupuncturist from my earliest days as a student under JR Worsley to now, as the lead tutor for the five element programmes being run all over China. What I did not know until I received this request was that these recordings, which I thought simply had Mandarin subtitles added, have been translated in their entirety. It is this translation that the publisher wants to make available in book form with the title of "Learning five element acupuncture with Nora".
Of course I agreed to this unexpected offer, who would not? Perhaps at some point in the future somebody will want to publish an English version!
This will become my 8th book, and has prompted me to look at the other seven books I have written, and see what I think about them now. I have talked before about the need for each of us to leave behind a legacy of our life. It does not matter whether this is a private legacy, one known only to oneself and perhaps a few people close to us, or one on the public stage, known to a wider audience. I wonder where I would place myself on this scale. In the world of five element acupuncture I am quite a well-known figure, particularly now in China, but in the acupuncture world as a whole I think I only occupy a very peripheral role. And this does not worry me, for my greatest concern has always been to ensure that five element acupuncture survives, not to have my own contribution to its survival recognized
I don't often write about my books, thinking each one should promote itself on its own, but perhaps now is the time to grade them according to how I value them. Far ahead of the field, perhaps almost out of touch with the others, is what I call my magnum opus, my most favourite of all, my Keepers of the Soul. Funnily enough this was my first book, written in the full flush of the excitement of my discovery of five element acupuncture. I have been told that it is a difficult read, perhaps because, coming as I do from a rather literary background, I am very conscious of the need for my writing to reflect the beauty of words. In the pursuit of exactly the right cadence to what I wish to express, I make few concessions to my readers, for which I make no apologies. After all, if they don't like what I write, they only have to put the book aside.
My other books all express my thoughts about the practice of five element acupuncture in different ways, two, Blogging a Five Element Life and On Being a Five Element Acupuncturist, offering a selection of my blogs over the years. The Simple Guide to Five Element Acupuncture was originally intended for acupuncture patients, but has proved to be a useful introduction for anybody interested in learning more about the five element approach to life. The Handbook of Five Element Practice is a practice manual for acupuncture students and was the first of my books to be translated into Mandarin. It has proved so popular over there, with more than 45,000 (yes, thousand!) copies sold in the past 10 years that the publisher tells me that it is the highest selling book on acupuncture in China. Its popularity reflects the great interest in learning about a branch of acupuncture up till then almost completely unknown in China.
So on now to my 8th book. Will it be my last, or will more of what I talk about in the series of videos I continue to record prompt me or my Chinese publisher to propose a 9th book?