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.

Recovering from your harrowing JLPT experience

Was it the first time you took it, or your tenth? Are you struggling through N5, or did you face down the terror that is N1? Whatever the case, I take off my hat to you and say, お疲れ様でした!Regardless of whether you’re taking it again this December, now is the perfect chance to reflect on your studies, go over questions you think you got wrong, consult with a teacher or a Japanese friend on grammar points…

…If you’re a studying wizard, maybe. While several of you out there indeed go that route, and I applaud you for it, I feel several of us out there are just as keen on going, “Oh thank goodness that’s over!” and avoiding anything to do with Japanese for at least a month, if not more.

Which, admittedly, is not very helpful if you’re looking to improve further.

Still, I get it. You’re sick of studying, and if you look at a practice test one more time you’re going to start wailing, “Not the reading section!” at random in front of startled strangers in public. So what can you do? Is there a happy medium between hitting the books even harder and not touching them at all?

Well, yes.

Here’s what I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to do:

Continue reading “Recovering from your harrowing JLPT experience”

Long time no see!

Hello, blog! It’s been quite a long time- a couple of months in fact. How time flies when you’re scrambling to get everything done, eh? Well, things are much calmer in my life now, so I’m back to give this another go.

What’s been going on? Well, as I mentioned before, I was attempting two very large things in November 2015: completing NaNoWriMo, and studying for the JLPT. I have done both before, and succeeded at both before. However, trying to do both at the same time? 0/10 not recommended!

Still, somehow I managed to pull through, and what happened immediately afterward? The holidays. *dun dun duuun*

Present-shopping, party-going, food-eating, plane-riding, family-meeting, picture-taking holidays. And here I thought once December hit I’d be good as gold and able to get back into the swing of things. But! Now it’s January, and things really have calmed down. For now. So! I will be getting back into the swing of posting weekly if possible.

My goal for this year is to be as consistent as possible with Stefanie, What?! A secondary but also important goal is I’d like to reach out to some bloggers that I’ve followed over the past few years and show a little more appreciation for their efforts in keeping the rest of us entertained and informed with whatever they choose to share with us. This starts now.

Hope you all had great holidays, and see you next week!