March-ing — to Kyoto Cryptids and beyond!

Plum blossoms are already a thing of the past this year, and cherry blossoms are hurrying on by without a backwards glance, too. People are telling me that certain places are already past their peak in Kyoto, to hurry to such-and-such a place to see them NOW while one still can.

And I look at the surging number of students on spring vacation out with their friends; at the retirement parties that aren’t supposed to be happening, yet still are; and at the droves of people determined to get spring shopping in, at any cost.

And smile and say, “I’ll try to get there before they leave.”

March continues to be my least favorite part of the year. It’s always a bittersweet moment in terms of the school year here in Japan, because you know that there are certain people you will never see again in your lifetime. Others, whether you like it or not, will be back a few weeks later to continue attending your classes. Staff at schools get shuffled around, doing duties at different desks than before. And every day you’re stuck with the question of, “Is it allergies? Or a cold? Or something else?”

More so this year than in previous ones.

So, how does one get through the humdrum of the longest March we’ve ever dealt with?

Well, how about with a new project?

I’d like to introduce an idea to you all that has been on the backburner of my and my friends’ minds for well over a year now. One among many, that we would talk about, sigh wistfully for, then dismiss as nobody had time or energy to spare. We have now dredged up the energy, drummed up enthusiasm, and are very excited to share this with you all.

Kyoto Cryptids is a literary magazine with a whimsical horror bent, focused on experiences of folks who have or currently are living in the old capital of Japan. Prose, poetry, photos–anything that appeals to the mind as having more to it than meets the eye is welcome here.

This is not an excuse for anybody to go “lolwackyJapan”, here. What it is, is a celebration of how this old, beautiful, mysterious place in the world also has a delightful character to it that makes you stop and blink quizzically at statues for longer than you otherwise normally might. It is a place to share times where you wondered if getting turned around on a mountain was because you’re bad at directions, or because something was perhaps stopping you from finding your way. And it is a tangible documentation of memories that we would like to extend to you, not only to share in our experiences, but to offer your own as well.

We are currently setting up the appropriate social media to communicate with everyone, but in the meantime I will be using my platform here on StefanieWhat (both on wordpress and on twitter) to talk about what we hope to achieve with this project.

If you are interested, please watch this space for more details. We’ll have more for you very, very soon.

In the meantime, keep an ear to the ground for distant thunder.

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