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.

New Year’s in Japan: Practical Tips

New Year’s means a lot of things to lots of different people. For some, it means going out with friends and seeking out a party. For others, it’s relaxing at home and watching the countdown/fireworks on the television. For yet others, it means a chance to go to bed early and sleep in the next day.

Japanese New Year’s is similarly flexible- to an extent. You’ll find any number of posts floating around about which shrine or temple to visit at midnight January 1st; what kind of soba to eat; whether you should shell out for KFC’s Christmas chicken or not. (Spoiler: Family Mart Chicken is cheaper and a great alternative.) But there’s something I’ve noticed missing: the practicalities.

Continue reading “New Year’s in Japan: Practical Tips”