Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Tea Ceremony to Kendo

  I returned yesterday from my trip to Seattle and Sakura Con.  Sakura Con is an anime convention dedicated to all things Japanese.  One of the things that I was surprised at was how many men there were at the tea ceremony.  Almost all of the participants on stage were men. There was only one woman.  The Japanese women took their time, slowly preparing the leaves, holding the sleeves of their kimonos as they poured the water, and then turning the tea cups respectfully before allowing the participators to drink.  Of course, by this time, all the participants legs were asleep from kneeling.

  The kendo demonstration was amazing in the fact that the instructor wanted the audience to see exactly the monotony of their practice.  From how to hold the sword (or bamboo shinias) to foot placement to counting.  Then it occurred to me that the culture, from men to women, focuses on detail.  Every movement has beauty in it. The delicacy, the repetition,  the study that goes into being either a servant of tea, or a sword master, is amazing.

  It makes me think, if they can find the beauty in fighting or in serving a cup of tea, where am I missing the beauty around me?  What boring and plain thing can I add details to that would bring beauty to it?

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Filed under Japanese Tid-Bits

Absent

I do often feel absent-minded, but the title refers to my absence to the blog. One week ago my beloved computer caught a virus.  Well, 34 of them, in one click.  It took awhile to get her put back together, but she’s up and running like a champ again!

So I wanted to say sorry for the absence. I may not be a daily blogger, but I try to get at least one out a week.  So what have I accomplished without the use of a computer for an entire week?  I’ve been writing low-tech.  A new short story spin-off has come to me recently.  My poor little purse notebook is almost full. Which means I have stuff that needs to be transferred over. 

I also did a little gardening.  And when I say a “little” I mean it. Six pansies. That’s it. Maybe more later, when it stops snowing.

And I’ve been madly crafting little mini top hats. I originally wanted to make one for my up-coming Sakura Con trip, so I started experimenting.  before I knew it I had requests!  Which always brings joy to an artist XD  Though I’ve finished three, I’ve yet to finish my own.  And I only have two days left. Guess I better get on it!

I hope during your absences from the world you are productive!

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Filed under Flow of Life

The Spring Shows

  In Japan right now, the anime shows are starting new seasons.  Some are ending. Some are starting. And some are so long, like Bleach and Naruto, that they keep going.  I brood on weeks like this.  One of my favorite shows ended last week.  It was a romance called Kimi ni Tadoke.  The sexual tension for the two main characters had that tensile strength that was driving me mad.  Every week I would anxiously tune in to my 24 minute program dying to see if the two would realize their affections for each other. 

  And now there are all new shows.  Some are downright annoying. Some are crazy. And some are so pointless I have to turn them off.  But then there are those that leave me wondering, “What will happen next?”  And every once in a while there is one that has me hooked from the first episode.  I want to write like these rare episodes.  I want to grab my readers so quick and tight they can’t put that book down.  The one thing I’ve noticed about plots that grab me is the main characters all have secrets.  Only, they aren’t aware of them.  But because of it, their lives are completely turned up-side down.  Some of these secrets include a person being raised as someone they’re not, or a main character was born with a curse that makes others fearful, or another one has a parent that isn’t human. 

  But we never know this secret at the beginning.  We see their world completely changed by the end of the first episode (or chapter). Then we hold on to see how the character will handle the situation.  Along the way little hints are dropped about the secret that leaves you constantly guessing. And how will the love interest handle that secret?  There always has to be a touch or romance somewhere for me. 

  How about you?  What are your favorite books or shows?  Watch the first episode or read that first chapter again and find what it was that hooked you.  Then, write like that!

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Filed under Japanese Tid-Bits, The Writing World

Resting Body and Mind

  I just got a recharge on my imagination battery.  I went for a little get-away with my husband, who refused to let me talk about work.  But to me, work isn’t really work.  (well, maybe the editing part is)  But I love writing, so it never feels like work.  I found myself missing my computer, my office, and my writing music.  My imagination was only let loose at night while I wasn’t busy. 

  By the time I got back I had all this want to type away stored up.  And I’m enjoying it all the way.  I always have heard how good it is for you to take a break, but to completely remove yourself from your beloved computer will build up your drive like crazy! At least for me it did. 

  So if you’re stuck, take a break.  A real break.  Don’t allow yourself into your office or near your computer for a set time, or day, or days.  It’s the way the human mind works- you always want what  you can’t have!

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Filed under Flow of Life, The Writing World