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”

So what’s this year’s NaNo?

Who else is subjecting themselves to the wonderful world of National Novel Writing Month this year?

Here I sit in a cafe, listening to progressively stranger music as the shadows lengthen outside. My trusty Alphasmart sits before me, patiently awaiting my abuse, but I have questions for myself first.

What on earth am I writing?

In a previous post, I mentioned the odd things that happen which seem very particular to Kyoto. The inflatable cake that appears by the river. Plaques dedicated to fallen samurai that never explain who the samurai actually was. Stamp rally madness (all right, that’s pretty prevalent throughout Japan).

There are lots of strange little things that happen around here- things a lot of people who live in the area take for granted, but can seem a bit funny to those who are not locals. With that in mind, I’ve started working on a series of little snippets about these odd things.

As I’ve been doing this, I’ve noticed one particular story emerging from the rest of them: a story that was born from a joke someone made while I wandered Fushimi Castle a few weeks back.

I’ll share more details if something comes of it, but for now, I’m eager to go with the flow and see what becomes of this little story. Maybe it’ll turn out to be nothing, or maybe there’ll be something worth salvaging in this mess come December. Either way, I look forward to finding out.