Thursday, August 16, 2018

Adventures in Japan

In July, I had the lucky opportunity to go back to Japan with my husband and sisters.

Flower of Unoma Koen
Did I do any writing? Not a bit! I used to mentally berate myself and feel worthless if I didn't meet an imaginary daily ink quota. This time, I let myself . . . enjoy . . . just being alive.

I ate tofu ice cream (best stuff ever!) and uni (sea urchin) sushi whenever I could, washed my hands in the cool cleansing waters of many sacred shrines, rode the Hakodate Ropeway over a glittering evening cityscape:

Traveled deep into Hokkaido to take a cruise on Lake Akan

All to see the mysterious Marimo ball!


Caught hordes of chanseys and other Pokemon in Sapporo at night

Oh, and very nearly perished from sheer exhaustion on the mountainous climb up to Yamadera Temple in Sendai!

Sure, I got sunburned, sweat rivulets in the super humidity, was glutened several times, not to mention suffered major jet lag from the time difference, but even with all the physical exhaustion I ended up ultimately feeling rejuvenated.

Now, I am tackling chapters of Iffy Magic with my audibook narrator, getting my novel A Fair Account of the Traitors Snow White and Rose Red ready for (hopefully) October publication, as well as working on waaaaay too many other writing projects.

Sometimes, I have to let go of my almighty lists and starry goals and precise measuring sticks. It is good to give yourself permission to be a human, with all the failures and wonder that entails.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Writing Experiment: Agent Regalia

Breaking my arm really messed with my writing plans this year, but I suddenly find myself at that point when I am out of valid excuses for why I have not started my next story. While I am finishing last revisions of my Snow White Rose Red tale, I can finally tackle my new scifi project! Calling it "Cyborg" for short.

Starting a new story is like standing on the edge of a pier staring into a wide harbor and trembling at the might of the breakers, and the wideness of the churning waters, and how far the journey will take me from firm ground. But there is also nothing better than that first breath of freedom!

I have decided to approach my writing projects a little differently this time. While I will diligently plan my main Cyborg story down to the nitty gritty details, I am going to allow myself one hour of free-writing a day for another scifi fantasy project: Agent Regalia.

I don't want to give any hints on the plot yet, but I will say Regalia's story arose from watching way too much Say Yes to the Dress while I was dosed up on pain killers after breaking my arm. Here's hoping I can turn this year's misfortune into a lucky break (Not apologizing for the pun, I earned it!).

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lessons from Spring

Spring is my teacher. Each year, this brief season unfurls wild banners of fragile petal and new leaf that remind me I know nothing but surface secrets. The diadem or end beauty of every living thing is hidden in the bulb and root long before time shapes color into a blushing bud.

How many trees have I passed by, oblivious to the gem cloud that was always a part of their being, but unseen except for a transitory primaveral window?

For my irises, I mulch them before winter, I trim their leaves back, I remove the mulch in the spring and give them a thin layer of garden soil. I apply Miracle-Gro pellets for extra nourishment and water them every few days (Sometimes I weed, though not as much as I should!).

The end result? An instance of ephemeral, rainbow-robbing beauty.

Plants teach me humility and patience as a writer. The story must start in the deep and dirt, germinating out of the nourishing detritus of hard work and old dreams passed on. And like my irises, I hope to bear a bright coronet of ink one day.