Greetings from the kotatsu

Hello, and a happy 2020 to you all! I hope this new month/year/decade finds you well.

It’s certainly been a while since I last logged onto this blog. I was shocked when I checked in and realized the last post I made was waaaay back in July. Whoops.

That’s not to say I haven’t been busy elsewhere. I have been more active on my Instagram and Twitter, trying to reach out to new folks, but I have missed using this platform to talk about what’s happening in my life and in Japan.

This post is mostly to reassure those who might want to know that this blog isn’t dead–far from it! But please do bear with me as I contemplate what I want to do with it from here on out.

There are so many things I want to accomplish, and if possible, I would like some of them to happen in 2020. That means I can’t write and send off posts as often as I would like. That said, I do want to revamp and begin posting here more regularly once again.

The year of the Rat is upon us. What does that mean? Well, the rat was the first to win the race in the old legend, so “aggressive success” comes to mind when contemplating this upcoming year. It’s funny, as I remember the Year of the Boar being considered a good year for us to be charging forward, too. What’s with all this aggression?

That said, it’s apparently the time to get into the entrepreneurial spirit, try new things in business, and put yourself out there.  So if you want to change jobs, start a business, or what-have-you, now is the time to do it.

What are your goals?

For me, I’m editing stories in hopes of one day getting them published. I’m especially fond of the developing collection of Kyoto-based cryptid stories my friends and I have developed over the years, and which I think deserve to be preserved in written form. I’m also developing what I hope might be a series in the future for urban fantasy, focusing on one continuing theme explored in multiple ways.

But right now, it’s January 1st and I just had a late lunch. I’m curled up under the kotatsu, belly full, feet warm, comfortably sleepy, with a book in my hand. (火狩りの王, great fun, every character’s name involves a fire pun.)

Enjoy your New Years’ holidays, and talk to you all very, very soon.

Requisite awkward “It’s been a while!” post

Boy howdy, it’s been a hot minute since I last wrote anything on here.

How’s everybody been doing? I can’t say that I’ve been hit with writer’s block entirely, but it sure did focus on this blog for a while. Which is a shame, because a bunch of neat things happened over the past few months. Thankfully, time is relative and just because I’m not writing about it the very second it happened doesn’t mean I can never mention those things, right? Right.

So! Here we are, on the requisite “What I’ve been up to so you can look forward to reading the deets” blog post. Once we get over this hump, everybody, we can get back to our regularly scheduled “Stefanie, WHAT?” and “Stefanie, WHY?” posts.

Let’s sum it up in bullet points:

  • I went through my annual “Ugh, March” slog
  • I’ve been slowly but steadily pushing through “The Demon of Lonely Isle” by Edogawa Ranpo in Japanese. Very slowly. You don’t want to know what my Kindle is estimating my “finish” time to be.
  • I hiked Fushimi Inari for the first time in ages
  • I went through a bonus “Ugh, April” slog
  • I played some drums at a temple!
  • I found out a thing I wrote will be put into a printed copy of an anthology, and
  • I went to New Zealand

I’m especially excited to share my New Zealand experiences with you, so over the next couple of weeks look forward to posts about things like Hobbiton, the cities I visited, the tours I partook in, and the differences in language I couldn’t help but notice.

Meanwhile, here in Japan it’s already 28 degrees Celsius on a given day (it’s May), and I’m already hearing people begin to practice the Gion Festival music. I suppose now that the Aoi Festival is over with (as of May 15), everyone is gearing up for the next big thing.

For now, I shall leave you with a picture from my hike up and around Fushimi Inari Taisha. Talk soon!

Radio Silence: NaNo, JLPT, and the 100th post

Sticking to things is hard. Stuff can be super interesting when you first begin with them but it’s so easy to lose steam. Whether you’re studying for a test, setting a new personal record at the gym, or just trying to roll out of bed at a reasonable hour, everyone has their one thing they wished they were better at.

For me, blogging has always been one of those things.

Which is why I’m very excited to announce that this is my 100th post on WordPress!

Continue reading “Radio Silence: NaNo, JLPT, and the 100th post”