I set myself a goal to begin on 1 July (after fully re-studying Book 1), and to finish by year-end. Although I did the first book in about 3 months, I decided not to get carried away this time.
The bad news: I'm already behind schedule.
I thought I would begin at about 10 characters a day, expecting to slow down as I needed more time to revise. As of last night (21 days in) I had learned just 170 characters. I have also done a lot less revision than I should have done by now. Damn.
The good news: I am 170 characters further than when I started 3 weeks ago. (Even slow progress is progress, right?)
Here are some of the things I've noticed along the way:
- It is definitely going more slowly that Book 1 - but that isn't a surprise, right?
- The average number of strokes in the first couple of hundred characters looks to be about 10, which is quite a bit more than the first book
- My retention in the early weeks of the first book was nearly flawless - it was easy enough to remember the stories because the images were clear & obvious
- I'm not suggesting that there is a massive step up from the first to the second book - it's all about progressing slowly from character 1 to character 3000
- I'm mainly behind schedule because of work-based time constraints, and not because of a lack of interest in completing book 2
- There are some really strange keywords (the preface even explains this was necessary in order to ensure each character has a unique keyword), like: "father's sister" (maybe it would be easier if my father had a sister :-), "smidgen" (OK, I can cope with this), "cinnabar red" (erm ...), "flouds" (you'll get there, don't worry), "paulownia" (uhm ...), "vermilion" (sheesh ...), "succor" (hello dictionary), "brick heated bed" (seriously?)
- I got a little confused by 1559 ("widowed") until I realised that the 'head' primitive is actually written in traditional (not simplified) style
- And I smiled when I saw their copy-and-paste screw-up in character 1663 ("sow" - verb)
- It's so nice to finally get to know characters intimately that I have only come across in sentences in my flashcard pack
- It's clear that the authors have learned from Book 1, and they are improving Book 2 with this. For example, certain sub-primitives are getting different images to what they were allocated in the first book - I like what they've done here with Eiffel Tower and Disneyland
- And finally, I have created a Harry Potter themed image in all my Heisig work ("snitch" - I know it's not the way the authors intended it to be interpreted, but it made the story/character very clear for me)