The blog is going into vacation-mode while I’m in Japan. That’s not to say I won’t update here while I’m gone with what I’m doing, but it’s also not a promise I will! Lol. I plan to write in Evernote every night and catalog all the photos I take while in Japan, but sharing things may not happen until after I return on August 28. I do plan to upload photos and snippets of my trip to my Facebook author page and Instagram, though!
So if you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to there, you can follow me on those social networks.
There’s nothing like researching Christmas in Japan in the middle of summer! Lol. Though Christmas is a Christian holiday, and Japan’s Christian population is only one to two million people (about 1% of the Japanese population), it’s still a fairly popular holiday.
For weeks coming up to Christmas, Tokyo and other big cities really bring out the dazzle! Ginza, a popular high-end shopping district in Tokyo, is usually decorated with bright Christmas lights and displays. Glittering trees line the streets and famous actors and musicians are called upon for tree lighting ceremonies in popular areas of town. There’s no mistaking the economic wonderland of Christmas in Japan, much like Christmas in the United States. People shop for bargains and department stores offer special mystery bags you can buy to give to your loved ones.
Since this holiday is not a religious holiday in Japan, it’s not a national holiday. No one gets it off of work. If you want to celebrate Christmas, you must do it on your own time. Christmas is mostly about spreading love and good cheer, so the holiday is geared towards lovers or children. Christmas Eve is considered a romantic holiday, and restaurants for a cozy dinner on this special evening are usually booked months in advance. Presents are usually exchanged with a stroll down a Christmas lighted street. How romantic!
Christmas Day itself will be a bit strange to Americans! The day is for giving gifts to children, eating fried chicken (no joke), and strawberry cake. Kentucky Fried Chicken, a chain restaurant from the United States, has a wildly popular Christmas business in Japan. People will line up to get their bucket of fried chicken on this day and social media is often filled with photos of people eating fried chicken on Christmas! The traditional cake that’s eaten on this day is a layered vanilla sponge cake with white frosting and strawberries, usually both inside and on top. Bakeries battle it out for the best Christmas cake, but you can pick yours up from a 7-Eleven if you like.
When Christmas is over, the lights come down, and Japan moves on fairly quickly. While we in America may keep our lights and decorations up for a week or two more, Japan instead turns towards its most austere holiday, New Year’s Day, which has a richer, more diverse set of traditions to celebrate and enjoy. If you’re interested in learning more about New Year’s in Japan, check out this post!
That title totally deserves the ALL CAPS treatment! I haven’t done a cover reveal in a while because I stopped accepting them here on the blog. It seemed there was a new cover reveal every other day, or more, and I had to cut back because not many of them actually applied to my readers. But when I heard several of my scifi romance author friends had put together this anthology, I jumped on it because I just knew my readers would want this. After all, Carrie Fisher said we need more pets in space, so this is going to deliver on that!
Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have nine original, never-released stories that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
And here are the stories included in the set!
A MATE FOR MATRIX: CYBORG PROTECTION UNIT
By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Best Selling Author)
A genetically-engineered creature’s escape leads an elite Zion military warrior and his cyborg wolfhound partner to Earth, and to the warrior’s surprisingly feisty life-mate.
Matrix Roma is a member of the elite Zion military Cyborg Protection Unit. Matrix gets more than he bargains for when his cyborg partner, a hybrid Wolfhound named K-Nine, goes missing and ends up finding a mate for Matrix in the middle of a deadly mission on an unknown planet called Earth.
By Susan Grant (New York Times Best Selling, USA TODAY, and RITA Award Winning Author)
When the woman he loves goes missing, an Interplanetary Marine and the scrappy street dog that he saved must use all their skills to find her.
Interplanetary Marine Lt. Lukas Frank has a lot in common with a street dog named Bang-Bang; they both started off as scrappy orphans fighting to survive—and beat the odds. Things change when Bang-Bang leads Lukas to starpilot Capt. Carlynn Riga. The tough war hero learns what it means to surrender — his heart. Lukas’s struggles with PTSD threaten to tear the three of them apart, but nothing threatens them more than when Carlynn goes missing on a mission. Can a scarred marine and his unlikely canine partner find Carlynn and bring her home, or will he lose everything he’s finally found worth fighting for?
SPARK OF ATTRACTION
By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Best Selling Author)
When his emotions are erased, a cyborg military captain doesn’t think he’ll ever feel again – until he meets a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky.
Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased. After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.
THE REAL DRAGON
By Pauline Baird Jones
A woman’s day goes from bad to worse when her dragon returns talking and typing, and she discovers that if she can’t remember, it will be her fault if the Earth is destroyed.
Emma Standish didn’t think her day could get any worse. Her dad is marrying his boss, her dragon suddenly came back talking and typing, and it’s her fault the Earth, or at least ten square miles of Texas, is going to be destroyed. That’s what happens when you forget something very, very important. Luckily for her, she’s got the love of her life that she can’t remember and her dragon by her side. Who needs to worry when you’re having a day like this?
STAR CRUISE: STOWAWAY
By Veronica Scott
A ship’s cat and her alien sidekick lead a Cargo Master to a stowaway.
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
By Laurie A. Green
A navigator and a charming street vendor are pulled into a brewing insurrection thanks to an adorable StarDog.
Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.
By Alexis Glynn Latner
An unusual pet from space offers two young people a chance at love – and helps in solving a dangerous mission plagued by sabotage.
Young Roboticist Ten Jaxdown has to deploy, and possibly sacrifice, the swarm of investigative robots that he has invented and cares about more than anything else in the star system. It may be the only hope for those depending on him and his robots to save them. Yet, even as frantic preparations for the unprecedented deep-space rescue mission are set in motion, it could all be threatened by sabotage.
Anastasia Steed is an intrepid young mission designer. She steps forward with an idea that can improve the odds of the mission. Neither she nor Ten expect the assistance they receive from a very unusual pet. A pet that will bring together two alienated human beings who didn’t realize they needed each other. Can Ten and Anastasia discover who is behind the sabotage, save the mission, and discover what is evolving between them? With a little bit of unusual help, anything is possible.
By Lea Kirk
A commander discovers that not even a new assignment can keep him from longing for something more – the woman who has captured his heart.
Graig Roble is a Senior Commander with the Guardian Fleet security. His specialty as a weapons specialist and combat master is his world, what he was born to do – or so he thought until he finds his resolve and focus inexplicably wavering. His new position aboard the Atlantis can’t even save him; if anything, it has left him questioning his own motives. He never thought that could happen until he met Simone Campbell.
Simone’s focus is on her home world – Earth. She thought her life was full with her research as a botanist. After all, she always believed that helping the people of her world become self-sufficient should take all of her concentration – except it doesn’t. There is one man that keeps pulling her attention, and her heart, away from her job.
Graig’s gift of a puppy to keep her company does more than that, it keeps him in her dreams. How can such a simple gift bring her comfort and make her long for more? Graig and Simone are about to find out that sometimes love can blossom from the smallest, furriest ties.
By Carysa Locke
The fate of an entire population rests on a hunter and her psychically gifted fox, unfortunately the man who hired her might prove a fatal distraction if she can’t keep her focus.
Teegan’s job as a hunter is to track down the Talented, those driven insane by their gifts. She and Ember, her psychically gifted fox, have tracked dozens of people for Cole, the man who works to rehabilitate and recover these troubled souls. When one of Cole’s most dangerous patients escapes, Teegan and Ember are on a hunt that could prove fatal if she doesn’t keep her focus on her mission. Unfortunately, Cole is proving one distraction that might make this her last hunt if she can’t do that.
Can Teegan keep her heart and mind in the game long enough to save an entire planet’s population, or will her distraction lead to heartache – and possibly death for everyone?
I expect this to be on major retailers but no links yet! Release Date: October 11 2016
I don’t know how I went from one super stressful week straight into another one. The week before this one I dealt with kid sickness, website problems, and car trouble, and then this week it was all writing/career related stuff blowing up in my face, plus more car troubles.
I can barely remember what happened Monday and Tuesday. I know there was writing during the day and relaxing with Olympics at night. Our car got all fixed (we thought) so we picked it up from the dealer on Tuesday night. Then Thursday, the check engine light came on again and the car stopped working while I was taking the kids to camp. Like it literally stops working when this happens. The accelerator refuses to work and the car threatens to buck around. Luckily, we were only four blocks from home. I pulled over to the side, turned off the car, restarted it, drove home, and we all got into my husband’s car which was home because he took the bus. Now my car is back at the dealer and we have a loner car. Boo. I miss my car. I love it and love driving it, so this is another stress I don’t need.
Then on Wednesday, I found out that all the Look Insides for my books on Amazon are all screwed up.Go take a look for yourself. Text is randomly large or centered. They all look HORRIBLE, and they were FINE not but a week ago! Amazon did something to screw up the Look Insides, but the files themselves are fine and they look formatted on my Kindle, Kindle Cloud Reader, and in the KDP Dashboard. So I had to send off an email to Amazon to say W-T-actual-F did you guys do to the Look Insides for my books? Five emails later and they ask ME to send them screenshots of stuff, which I did for a few of my books, but I would’ve needed 50+ screenshots to capture everything wrong, so I just gave them examples and said FIX THIS. Ugh.
What’s going to happen next? I screwed up my mailing list! Isn’t that awesome?! (Sarcasm is my only defense at this point). It turns out that many people are on both my website mailing list and also on my Instafreebie mailing list. They’ve all been getting duplicates of my emails and probably they’re super annoyed with me right now. I found out the hard way that MailChimp doesn’t pop any errors when there are duplicate emails on more than one list. But honestly this is my fault. I should have read up more on it and known this could happen. It is one hundred percent my fault and now I have to fix it. The only way for me to fix it is to start over fresh on a new platform, unfortunately.
I spent all day Friday setting up an account at MailerLite and getting ready to move over there. The steps I have to do are complicated. Until December, I’ll be cleaning up MailChimp so no one on my existing lists gets duplicate emails, and new subscribers will be added over to MailerLite instead. I’ll maintain the two accounts until all my automation sequences are done on MailChimp, then I will be exclusively on MailerLite. MailerLite doesn’t allow duplicates! Which is going to save me. I’m just going to be doing twice the work on mailing lists until December and then I’ll go into 2017 fresh. At least MailerLite is cheaper. That’s the only bright side to this.
So I lost a lot of writing productivity this week and tried to make up for some of it yesterday. I wrote for 2 hours on the treadmill and pounded out over 3000 words. I hope to write more today.
What else happened this week?
I got my Japan Rail Pass! OMG THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!
Watching Olympics is one of my favorite things ever!
I did a lot of writing yesterday at the treadmill desk.
And I was the best mommy ever, taking the kids to the pool on a super hot day. It was SO HOT I could barely think.
I also had playdates at the house this week for my kids so that sucked up some time and energy as well.
This week on the blog: a cover reveal for a cool project, a post on Christmas in Japan (maybe it’ll cool us off), and then a reminder post that I will be off to Japan and won’t be updating the blog until I return!
I thought I’d share something about my writing life today. I’ve always had laptops, ever since I used my good ol’ second generation iMac to death. Now, I’m an Apple girl with all the iDevices, mainly because I grew up with Apple computers, from the Apple IIe to a Performa 450 with a 800 baud modem in high school. I briefly had a dalliance with a PC in college but got dumped it as soon as the iMac came out. I’ve gone through several Powerbooks and MacBooks, and now I have a MacBook Air. Having a portable computer is really important to me. We have a small house, a ranch, only one floor (I like it that way) but this means I do not have a writing space of my own. With two kids and a husband that works from home on occasion, I have to be flexible, so I’ve become a writing nomad. I take my computer wherever I can to get the words in.
The main place I write is at the dining room table. I keep it as clean as I can, which is much cleaner during the summer than during the school year, and start every day in this spot.
In the evenings, I move to the couch and write or work here. It’s a comfortable couch and I always sit in the same spot.
On the weekends when the house is full, I often write in my bedroom on the bed. This is not as comfortable as the couch, but it does the trick! Especially since I can lock the door.
When the weather is nice and the bugs aren’t biting, I like to write outside on the deck, either at the table, or I’ll bring out one of our zero gravity chairs and write in that.
This is a new spot for me to write at! The kitchen was just renovated in April and May, and now we have this awesome island I can sit at and write. If I’m feeling inspired, I’ll write while making dinner, in between tasks.
But this is where I get in most of my words lately, at the treadmill desk. I will usually write and walk, getting in some exercise while working is the best! I feel very focused when I’m at the treadmill desk and I can usually get a lot of words in.
Not only do I write at home, though, I write while out and about too! I write at Panera, tennis lessons, in the car, at the pool, at the play center for the kids, at the YMCA, at Starbucks… Really, I will write anywhere, which I feel is so important for my productivity. People ask me how I can write 3-4 books per year, and this is how. I will write anywhere, in just about any conditions. I also write on my iPhone, iPad, and AlphaSmart. Whatever it takes to get the words in.
I love the flexibility my laptop and mobile devices give me to get things done on the go. In the beginning, when I first started writing full-time, I only ever wrote in one spot. Once I started moving around and leaving the house to get things done, I figured out I could write anywhere! It’s a lot of fun to take my writing wherever I go.
If you live in Japan or are visiting Japan during the winter, you’re in for a treat. Pretty much every season in Japan is lovely except midsummer when it’s just hot and wet. Spring is hanami season, a time for enjoying the cherry blossoms in bloom. Summer, though hot and oppressive, is full of festivals and cool treats. Fall is perfect for watching the leaves change. And winter is all about the snow and hot springs, hot saké, and trips to tropical locations if skiing is not your thing. In THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER, Mei doesn’t get to vacation and she must indeed brave the winter at home. But still Yasahiro does promise her some time away at an onsen (hot springs resort). We can only hope they have a great time!
If you want to travel in Japan in the winter, here are my top five destinations!
1) Furano for skiing – Furano in Hokkaido boasts some of the best skiing in Japan, with lots of great resorts that are both accommodating of foreigners and families. If you’re looking to hit the slopes, either skiing or snowboarding, this is the place to do it. I scoured dozens of blog posts and travel websites and Furano was always at the top of the lists.
2) Sapporo for the Snow Festival – If you’re already in Hokkaido and skiing at Furano, then you’ll want to attend the Sapporo Snow Festival! This festival is known world-wide for the ice and snow sculptures, and the festival is popular both during the day and at night when they light everything up. One year, they even had this awesome Star Wars ice sculpture. It was really cool. While you’re in Sapporo be sure to try their Sapporo-style miso ramen. This is my favorite style of ramen and it includes corn. Yes, corn. http://www.snowfes.com/english/
3) Shirakawa-go for the UNESCO World Heritage houses and village – Shirakawa-go is a quaint and wonderful village at any time of the year, but it comes alive in the winter when the houses are covered with snow and you can see how the thatched roofs work to keep the houses warm and dry. The town also have illumination events every winter where they light up the houses and the surrounding area and there’s a mapped path you can walk to see everything. Supposedly, it’s breathtaking. I really want to see it for myself someday!
4) Beppu for the onsens – If you want to spend your winter holiday soaking in hot springs, Beppu is the place to go. Located on the southern island of Kyushu, Beppu has eight major geothermal hot springs, sometimes called the 8 Hells of Beppu (sounds enticing right?) With many resorts to choose from, from small intimate family-run hotels to larger, 5-star accommodations, there’s something for everyone here. But really, most people go to relax, to sit, to eat, and to sleep. That sounds heavenly to me!
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59802
5) Okinawa for warmth – But I wouldn’t blame you if winter is not your thing. I personally am not a fan of cold nights, snow, and no sun, so if you need warmth like I do, you’ll want to head to Okinawa. Mostly known for the US military bases and the battles that were fought there during WWII, Okinawa is a tropical island with a rich and diverse history. The more I learn about it, the more it reminds me of Hawaii, with its flowered shirts, surfing culture, white sand beaches and clear blue water. You can go, get a tan, swim in the warm waters, and eat awesome unique food until they need to roll you back onto the plane home.
Japan has so many places and things to see in the winter, you will never be bored!
Oh my god, what a week. It all started because I got paranoid about my website and blog and decided that I needed a back up plan for it if it ever got hacked. Really, everything I do depends on this website. I use this website to sell my books, to give information to my readers, and to advertise on Facebook. If it were to go down, I’d be screwed.
So two weeks ago, I started looking into backup plugins for WordPress. I decided on Backup Buddy, bought it, some of their online storage, and got to work installing it. Only it didn’t work. Of course. I had a feeling it wouldn’t because nothing works right out of the box for me anymore. This is also why I take forever to update my computer and phones. I wrote to Backup Buddy’s customer service and they got back to me and said I needed more PHP memory. Then I wrote to my hosting company to ask how to do this. TEN DAYS LATER, after going back and forth between my hosting company and Backup Buddy, my hosting company made a big change on my server and screwed up everything. I nearly cried. I had to get on the phone to them because email was too slow and have someone there fix it while I sat on the phone with them at 9:30pm. And even once they fixed all the problems, I still couldn’t schedule posts. You probably saw my post on the blog yesterday, right? That was a test that was supposed to go out on FRIDAY. It took me a whole day of troubleshooting to find the problem which was with another plugin, WP Super Cache, which needed its cache dumped.
Probably none of this means anything to most of you. Lol. But even when I know what I’m doing, and I’m able to talk the programming talk with my hosting company, it was still a VERY frustrating week dealing with all of that. Then on Friday, both my kids were home sick with a fever and stomach bug. Lots of puking into bowls and forcing medicine into them so they could be comfortable. And my car is in the shop. I was driving on Tuesday and the check engine light came on and the car stalled out. I managed to pull into a gas station, call my husband, and then restart the car. I took it to the dealership the next day and we’ve been making do with only one car. Thankfully almost everything that needs fixing will be covered under the powertrain warranty. Still it’s a lot of work and I’ll be without the car for most of this coming week.
In book news, I decided to put SUMMER HAIKUS on sale during the Olympics since it’s set during the Tokyo Olympics of 2020. The only advertising I’m doing for it is sending out to my mailing list, blog, and Facebook. I had a stressful Friday because of the kids home sick but add on top of that watching 40 people unsubscribe from my mailing list and two people complain that I was sending spam, and I was worried my MailChimp account would be shut down. I make sure never to spam! People are only on my mailing list because they opted-in to it. If you opt-in to a mailing list and they send you email, THAT IS NOT SPAM. Spam is when you get email you never signed up for. This drives me nuts. Don’t sign up to get my free books and then tell MailChimp I’m spamming you. *deep breath* And all of this stuff isn’t even writing related! I wasn’t able to write several days this week because of the car troubles, the kids being sick, and just overall fatigue from dealing with all of this.
But the good news is that I passed the 20k mark on the next Daydreamer book. I thought I’d be farther along by now, but I’ll take it. I went to bed last night not believing my idea for one of the conflicts in this book would work out but then I woke up this morning feeling better about them. I did some research on the Japanese equivalent of LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) and I think my ideas are solid. If you’re interested, here’s the wikipedia entry I found on gōdō gaisha (合同会社), abbreviated GK, which is the Japanese equivalent of LLC in the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gōdō_gaisha
What else happened this week?
My week was full of food photos because I was too stressed about other things to take photos of anything else. I made fire roasted salsa, ate a funnel cake at the pool (sorry, not sorry), and enjoyed some granola and yogurt.
When the Olympics are on, I’m watching! I’m a big Olympics fan and I look forward to the Summer Games every four years. I was watching Men’s Gymnastics in that photo and I’m watching Women’s Archery while I type up this post.
And yay! Crossed the 20k mark on this book! I’m not going to get as far as I would’ve wanted in this book before I leave for Japan, so I’ll probably work on it while I’m there. No big deal though. I’m sure I’ll be very inspired while I’m there!
This week on the blog: My Top 5 Japanese Winter Destinations and I’m not sure what else. I’ve been working on a blog post on Facebook advertising, but I think I need more data on that. And I want to write about Authorial Voice, but I haven’t nailed down what I want to say. Maybe it’ll be a quiet week on the blog or maybe I’ll be inspired to write something off the cuff!
This is a placeholder post that I’m making so that we can test the scheduling of WP. Silly thing has gone wonky and doesn’t want to work! Let’s make it get back to work.
If you’ve ever had this happen to you, please let me know! I’m working with my hosting company on fixing it because scheduling posts is my life blood. I need to have it working and suddenly it’s not.
I promise everything will be back to normal soon.
ETA: I FIXED IT!!! YAY!!! Omg, it’s been broken for days and I finally found that I had to go in and delete WP Super Cache’s cache and fix the htaccess rules. That probably means nothing to most of you, but I’m glad it’s fixed!
The Summer Olympics start today! And SUMMER HAIKUS is a year old tomorrow, so I thought, “Hmmmm, maybe I should put it on sale for the heck of it.” So I did! I didn’t even buy any ads for it this time around. I just figured I’d tell you all about it, tell my newsletter folks, and then advertise it on Facebook. Why not? Besides, when I wrote SUMMER HAIKUS it was to tell Isa’s story, but to also capture the wonder, the heartbreak, and the dedication of the Olympic games. That and to explore a sweet romance between Isa and Masa.
When I look back on writing SUMMER HAIKUS, I can remember how much I obsessed over it, how it caught me and wrapped me up in its themes and emotions. I hope that when you read it, you will feel the same way.
When the weather in Japan gets cold, it’s time to break out the hot pots! For the Japanese, there’s nothing better than a bubbling hot pot, pumped full of vegetables, fish, or meat, and sharing it with a bunch of friends around the table. This traditional winter dish, known as nabe (a name for both the food itself and the earthenware pot it’s cooked in), is something everyone looks forward to as the temperatures drop. Yasahiro in THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE and THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER loves a good hot pot dish! In fact, he helps his mother make one when he and Mei go to visit his parents (on a semi-disastrous trip, I might add.)
Nabe is usually comprised of a few basic ingredients: a broth, a protein (meat, fish, and or tofu), and vegetables. Sometimes noodles or rice can be added too for extra starch to fill you up. Items are added to the pot before any cooking begins. The ingredients at the bottom are the ones that need to cook the longest, and then everything else is layered on top. Stock is added, the heat is turned on, and the meal starts to cook. I’ve made a few hot pots and the most labor-intensive part is all the chopping. Once that’s complete, the actual cooking itself is easy and quick. Before you know it, dinner is served!
Many regions of Japan have different types of broth and ingredients that are signature for their area. In Hokkaido, their Ishikari nabe has a rich miso and dashi broth with potatoes, Napa cabbage, tofu, negi (a thick green onion), enoki mushrooms, and salmon. Tonyu nabe has a chicken stock and soy milk base that is much loved by people looking for something really different. But the most popular version of nabe is Chanko nabe, the biggest hot pot soup eaten by sumo wrestlers to aid in their weight gain. Chanko nabe is absolutely bursting with ingredients! Chicken, beef, seafood, tons of vegetables, and a savory broth. It’ll make you full in no time flat. Restaurants across the country specialize in sumo-themed Chanko nabe, with tiny sumo ring mockups in the middle of the dining area. They look like fun!
Nabe has a long rich history in Japan, harking back to a time when homes were heated by a fire pit in the center of the house. It was a good place to hang a stone or clay pot and keep food bubbling away all day. Nowadays, portable gas burners are a popular sight in both homes and restaurants. They sit in the middle of the table, with the nabe cooking on it, and people grab ingredients from the central pot with their chopsticks to their own bowls. Because everyone is using their own chopsticks to grab ingredients, nabe is usually enjoyed with good friends and family, people you like and trust. It can be a great way to spend an evening along with a cold beer or some sake! Give it a shot sometime soon!
"People don’t think of groping and sexual harassment as a big deal. The fact that groping cases are mostly dealt with under the Anti-Nuisance Ordinance shows that the harm done is viewed as insignificant." Ugh. The groping in Japan has always bothered me. :(
So I have some bad news. A typhoon has come to Japan and stopped me from getting out of the hotel today. I had a booking with アキバフクロウ -Akiba Fukurou- owl cafe for noon, but you have to wait outdoors for your appointment. I asked Viator.com if I could change the date and they said no. :( I'm super sad because I really wanted to hang out with owls (OWLS!) today. But it's safer for me to stay at the hotel. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have more photos from Japan for you all!
15-year-old Moeka on the street in Harajuku wearing a kimono jacket from ACDC RAG over a crop top, resale wide leg pants, Yosuke platform boots, HellcatPunks accessories, and a Glad News backpack. via @TokyoFashion
I'm off to Japan! And I'll be gone through August 28. Content will continue to publish here and the SUMMER HAIKUS sale is on until Aug 22. I'll post photos and snippets from my trip so if you want to follow along, set my FB Page to "See First" in your newsfeed and you'll get all the photos and videos. ☺️✌️🇯🇵
Omg. Can I buy it? Traditional Japanese house (kominka) for sale in Fushimi, Kyoto. Landscaped garden, 8 bedrooms, tea room, and more. Listing for ¥55 million ($539,000). More photos and floor plan here:
Braving the summer heat, hundreds of people playing Pokemon Go are seen through "omikuji," or strips of paper written with fortune telling oracles, tied on strings in front of Kaneiji Bentendo Buddhist Temple at Ueno Park in Tokyo, Thursday.
"Romance, strong friendships & family set in beautiful Japan, it’s the perfect summer romance." SUMMER HAIKUS is on sale during the Olympics! Run the marathon with Isa and Halley, and fall in love in Tokyo. Get SUMMER HAIKUS now for 99¢ ($3 off!)
❀ http://www.spajonas.com/summer-haikus/ ❀
Got another 1300 words in on Daydreamer 3! Between dictating on my treadmill and then sitting down to fix errors, copy in names, and do some basic editing, I can get a lot done in a short amount of time! :) One more scene to write for the first act, a little clean-up of what I've already written, and I can move onto Act II!
Rest assured that if you address your review to me personally, I will happily respond. This reader missed the sentence that takes place in the next day of the book,
“Help me bring my suitcase downstairs? Chiyo will be here in a moment. We’re going to pick up Mimoji-chan and go back to her place.”
The cat WAS NOT left to starve and die. He was just cold for one night. Perhaps we should consider reading a little slower?
“The people who rent me are just asking me to keep them company for an hour or two, mainly to listen to them,” he tells a reporter between sessions, giving the example of a woman in her 80s who would book him every week for a walk around the local park.
I'm super excited to report that THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE broke the 50 review mark today! 🎉✨🌟💥 Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this book. It means the world to me to know you're enjoying this book and series!
"Riveting. This surprising mix of Japanese culture and SciFi was a very satisfying read." Get REMOVED, the first book of the Nogiku Series, for FREE during the Nogiku Summer Sale! RELEASED and REVEALED are also on sale. Ends July 31!
❀ http://www.spajonas.com/removed/ ❀
"Summer Moon at Miyajima" (夏の月 宮島), 1936 Artist: Tsuchiya Kōitsu (土屋光逸, 1870-1949) The Shin hanga (新版画, "new prints" / an art movement for a new style of Japanese prints from around 1915 to the 1950s) artist specialized in landscape images.
Quick Note! This weekend I will be righting my Daydreamer Universe! THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE and THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER will both go back to full price. If you want them now at a discount, better get to it. (It might be a long, long time before THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE is free again, FYI.) Click on the Shop Now button on my FB Page to find them.
Want to know what my Top 5 Japanese Winter Destinations are? Check out this guest post on all the fun things to do in Japan during the winter, plus an excerpt from THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER!