It's done! I just finished writing a preliminary draft of the biography which encompasses research from interviews that I've done with Su Beng over the span of three years. What I have now is still far from what I consider publishable since there's still a lot of work and research to be done, but it is quite rewarding to finally have some sort of a product.
I've been holed up for the last three weeks, working to get the draft into a readable format. And it's been quite a marathon to say the least. I've never liked deadlines, but deadlines are a good thing, so I've been told.
A few weeks ago, I was forced to take a long, hard look at how I was going to utilize my time here in the most efficient way in order to get what I need done. So I made a plan to arrange weekly interviews with Su Beng during the month of April- the first of which was April 3rd. At our last meeting in March I gave him a third of what I've written and promised to give him the remainder by April 3rd. I wanted to give him a copy of the draft so that he can give me feedback on it. Having the draft also helps me to figure out what details I need and what periods of his life we still need to discuss in order to round out the biography.
The "ultimate" deadline, i.e. the date I will be leaving Taiwan to return to New York is the end of May. In the meantime I will do what I can to continue my research and to collect other documents needed.
I've compiled loads of questions for Su Beng at our next meeting. And I'm going to talk to him about how we can continue communicating and collaborating on the biography when I'm back in New York. Su Beng's assistant had mentioned using Skype. Yes, Su Beng actually has a Skype ID!