Well It Isn't The Polar Express...

But it was a great train all the same. The Holiday Train travels across Canada every year around this time, so this year we decided to brave the cold and the rain and check it out. Quite convenient when the tracks are literally right behind your house! Enjoy!

Review Monday: Bunraku

I'm still working on reviews for two other writing stuff, Yarny and Liquid Story Binder, so they'll have to wait until next week. So instead I thought I'd review a movie :) I'll try not to spoil too much, because you really should see it :)

Starring: Josh Hartnett, GACKT, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman, Kevin McKidd. Also features Demi Moore.

Rating: R

Summary: In a world without guns, a mysterious drifter (Hartnett), a young samurai (GACKT) and a bartender (Harrelson) find themselves working together to overthrow the ruthless leader who controls the town (Perlman) and his Red Suit army.

My Thoughts:
First, for all the hype the company behind this movie gave it, it was completely underpromoted. Not a lot of effort was put into trying to promote this to the public which I think did the movie a huge disservice.

Bunraku's not your typical movie. Set in similar style to movies like Sin City and Kill Bill, it's a very different ride. Director Guy Moshe draws heavy inspiration from origami and bunraku, which is an old Japanese style of puppetry. It's bright and colourful and doesn't always takes itself seriously, which makes it rather fun. The storyline is rather good, the fight scenes are spectacular and the acting's superb. I've never been a fan of Josh Hartnett and I don't tend to go out of my way to see his movies but I really enjoyed him in this one. Ron Perlman is not your typical bad guy, doesn't encompass the "evil" archtype as much as you might expect. Woody Harrelson's character in the bartender is the wise guide helping the two protagonists along and sometimes is very much a father figure. Kevin McKidd, as Killer No. 2, IS your typical bad ass and embodies it well. With a rather stylish form of fighting more reminiscent of dancing than combat. And GACKT, even if you've never heard of him or think him just a singer, he's going to surprise you. For these guys alone, the movie's worth checking out.

Demi Moore's character of Alexandra is unfortunately kind of a useless character. Moshe, who also wrote the script, could have easily written the same story without her character. She plays her part well, it's just a shame that Alexandra doesn't have a more firm anchor in this story as she could have.

Yes, it does have a few shortcomings. In many ways the story showed a lot of potential that Moshe didn't quite reach. For example Alexandra's relation to the bartender could have been better developed. Their whole time in this movie especially at the end seemed kind of anti-climatic. The movie is also a little over-narrated; I'm not opposed to movies with narrators, unfortunately Moshe used the narrator to tell just a little too much of the story, instead of the characters. I would have eliminated it entirely, or at least kept it to the beginning and the end. But despite those things I really loved this movie. Visually the movie is stunning and unique like a blend of stage and movie. The fight scenes are well choreographed and entertaining to watch. There are no slow or dull moments in this movie, no lulls in action or dialogue as Moshe has set a very good pace between action and acting. And everyone's acting in this movie is supurb. It's hard to go into much more description without spoiling the movie itself, but please definitely pick this up and check it out. You won't be disappointed!

Bunraku can be ordered from Amazon.com, or buy it at Wal-Mart. Bunraku hits theatres in Japan January 2012.


It's winding down now, only about nine more days left. I'm so woefully behind, but this year for me's been rather different. I'm accustomed to having loads of free time around this time of year which meant I could pretty much write whenever I want. This year, very different. Having the nephew with me during the day for nine hours takes about thirteen hours out of my day when you factor in traveling and getting ready. He's nine months now, so he's at that stage where he's on the move a lot and constantly getting on his feet. So far he can only stand on his own for about seven seconds so he uses furniture to help him walk around and that really divides your attention. Plus all the other fun stuff that comes with babysitting and his fascination with my laptop - fun times. It doesn't bother me to have him, but boy does it turn your schedule upside down! Everyone doing NaNo this year with kids, I salute you. Seriously, because it's hard work! And it really draws on one's energy when you're not in the greatest of health, and trying to fix that is a job within itself. Throw in a dog amongst all that...you learn a few things about good time management, opportunity and being flexible.

I actually ended up changing my NaNo story about a week in. My original story (which I'll probably continue after this story is finished) was The Bone Witch, a fantasy with Norse, viking, barbarian inspirations. I temporarily petered out on it because of lack of clarity about how the world works. I'm not much of a pantser, I have to at least have a basic idea of how my world functions before I dive right in and this one kept shifting on me. At least enough to affect story outcome. It's bubbling just under the surface right now and when I can get back to it I'll work it all out. So this year's story switched to another fantasy called Dragon Eggs. It's coming about in a much different format than I'm accustomed to writing; each chapter alternates between current events in the story and past events that led up to it. I'm not quite sure how well this is going to work out, but we'll see how it goes. It's certainly fun to write, and for the first time I overwrote a chapter by about three thousand words. I usually manage to keep them around the five thousand mark, give or take a few hundred words, because it helps me keep a tab on my overall word count. Plus it seems like a good length, not too long and not too short. Well see how it fares in the rewrite. New territory is always fun to explore.

Word count unfortunately is sitting at a sad 13000 words (though I'm kind of proud at landing on such an even number). I'll post tomorrow how much that's changed.

Review Monday: PangurPad

I think this will become a regular feature on the blog. I'll review all sorts of stuff, but for now I think I'll start with writing programs. I got the idea a few weeks ago to use NaNo as a time to test drive some new ones I found, and see how they shape up to what I use now (Liquid Story Binder, which I'll also be reviewing). If you have any suggestions for future reviews, feel free to let me know in the comments. So this week, I'll start with PangurPad.

What is it?
PangurPad is web-based writing software created by Pangur Pty, Ltd., so you don't have to download anything to your computer. Built on open source software it's a writing program designed to be sleek and clean with functional tools and an uncluttered interface. But PangurPad isn't just writing software; there is also a large community where you can find writers who share your genre and it also acts as a self-publishing platform.

How It Works?
All your writing is done in the browser. PangurPad backs up all your work on their servers as you write, so you will always have the most current version of your work everytime you log in. There is a feature that allows you to go back through all the versions that have been saved, so if there was something you wrote three days ago, deleted but decided you wanted to bring it back, it's retrievable. There is a word count feature, a timeline feature and a notes feature. The notes have their own subsections for characters, places, things and general. You can also download your work to your computer, and there is an offline mode which allows you to continue writing if for whatever reason you're unable to connect to the internet and PangurPad's servers. At the top right of the interface is a button with an eye on it, and this button hides all the features so all you have is your writing space. Pressing it again brings up all your tools.

The Basics:
It should be noted that PangurPad ONLY works in Firefox or Chrome. It does not work in Internet Explorer whatsoever, so if you're stubborn like me and still use IE as your primary browser you will have to download either of the others. I personally like Firefox. When you sign up you're given a free trial account, with space for 1 work with a 10k word limit. All the features are avaliable to you including the secure online backup. Right now, if you are a NaNoWriMo participant you can sign up and get a trial account with a 1 work, 100k word limit by proving you're a participant. All that really involves is showing them the link to your NaNo profile. The third account is the paid account. This gives you unlimited works and unlimited word count. There are many features and details about Communities, Publishing etc, but that would be pretty lengthy to go through so please visit here to see the rest. The paid account has two options: $20.00AUD yearly subscription or a once off payment of $45.00AUD.

The Pros:
So far I'm really enjoying this site and program. The backup is pretty seamless, it doesn't give my computer any hiccups or issues while saving. I like that since it is online as opposed to a downloaded program I can bounce between computers and just pick up where I left off writing. The word count feature seems quite accurate, only a hundred or so words off from Microsoft Word. The interface is very clean, and I enjoy having the option of having the tools all easily displayed or hidden as I feel the need. It has a very small learning curve, if any, so if you're taking the plunge from Word you'll have little trouble getting accustomed to the format. Anyone who uses different writing programs should have no trouble at all with this. The site itself is very clean, very easy to nagivate and appealing. No crazy animations, nothing to slow the computer down, enough graphics to make it interesting but without the overkill. Nothing puts me off more than a website that looks like it was created in five minutes in a web editor.

The Cons:
There is no FAQ, which I would have liked to see. They're sort of a prerequisite in my books. There's also next to no information on the people behind PangurPad - not that that's a con per se, but it would be nice to at least know something, what brought about the idea. There does seem to be a few bugs, I can't seem to get the word count goals to stay when I log off, but it's unclear whether they're meant to only be present during your session or permanent until they're deleted. Again, a FAQ would have helped here, the small note they give you when you first start with PangurPad is not as informative as I would have liked it to be. I can't seem to get the section break or page break to work properly so I don't use them. With regard to the publishing, there's little info on that as well. You have to actually click on the publishing link beside your story to find anything out with that. It does bother me some that there is no information on the publishing experience of the people behind this format, and as of right now the epublishing option and the print publishing options are not avaliable. You can publish on the web, but it also kind of bothers me how they don't stipulate that should you choose to post most or all of your story this way, you lose your first publish rights. Though this only matters if you plan on going the regular publishing route, but if the idea is to be helpful to writers this info would help. At least those newer writers who may not know this, I know I sure didn't at first.

My Thoughts:
As a writing program, I really enjoy it. Despite the cons this is still a program worth checking out, at the very least. This year they're sponsoring NaNoWriMo and donating part of the proceeds from paid accounts to NaNo. I do like that they give you all of the program features and some of the access to the community, that for me gives me more incentive to want to buy a full account. It's a very fine line you got to walk to offer people enough of a preview to get their interest, but not so much that there's no incentive to upgrade to paid account. I feel PangurPad gives a nice even balance. Even being in beta it's pretty bug-free for the most part, and it's such a huge bonus that you can access your story anywhere you go, on any computer. For someone like me who bounces between two comps, this is fantastic for me.

As a publishing platform, I'm undecided. It could show lots of promise, depending on the experience of the folks behind it. It's not the first site I've seen that claims it'll be a place for authors to expose their work to a large scale audience, and as of right now the community is all writers. If the site is promoted well, it could in fact become a good platform. Simply making a website thinking that it'll expose you/its members to the global audience is not one that's panned out so far as I've seen, and I hope PangurPad doesn't fall into that pitfall. Though new it does have potential, only time will tell how it pans out for self-published writers, and it is still in its early development. I'll be watching it.

Life: That pesky thing that gets in the way

I'm too scared to even look at my last entry. I'm sure the dates between today and then are very far apart.

Well life, as it's prone to, got in the way. Again. My mother's health took a bad turn and I spent about half the summer caring for her. She's gotten much better since then, but she will still need surgery next March. Spinal conditions are terrible things. And I have a baby nephew now, he's nine months and I've been helping my sister out by watching him while she settles into a new job. So busy busy busy! But all that coupled with my own illness and issues...it's been a lot to try and sort through. Just have to keep at it.

So my plan for this blog. To keep it, obviously. I have preplanned entries which should help me stay on top of things. I'm also thinking of doing a serial story for the fun of it. I won't post the whole thing here for anyone who might not be interested in reading it, but I'll link it here definitely. Should be a weekly post. Aside from trying to keep things interesting around here, I'll make my rounds again. I missed so much, I have a lot of catching up to do! So please stay tuned :)

Not Sure I Buy It Yet

It’s an old argument by now. Publisher gatekeepers are keeping good writers out of the game, dictating to the public what they should and shouldn’t like. We need ways around them to reach readers and let them decide for themselves. On the surface it sounds appealing, both to readers and writers. Not every publisher book is a hit, and every once in a blue moon a good writer strikes out on their own and is very successful (I want to highlight the ‘once in a blue moon’ part because though there are those who DO make a success of self-publishing, there are thousands who don’t) doing it that way. But are gatekeepers really all that evil? Are they really keeping out good talent because the writing world is a snobbish elitist place full of big time writers who don’t want the new guys to come and play? Okay that’s probably a bit of an overexaggeration, but you get my drift. I don’t want to get too much into the topic because I think for the most part we’re pretty familiar about how valid the anti-gatekeeper arguments are and how unrealistic it really is right now to expect readers to take the place of gatekeeping. Not many have that kind of patience, and until self-published writers overall raise the standard of how much work they put into their books people are always going to have a negative view of self-pubbed books. Anyway, there have been some interesting attempts to try and bridge the gap between readers and writers but this one that Writer Beware posted about seems almost plausible to the right set of conditions. I still have questions about it though.

It’s called Unbound, and it’s an initiative called crowdfunded publishing. You can read the full article here. Basically, the initiative is a website where writers pitch their ideas on the website and if readers like the idea, they contribute money and when the set amount is reached the book is written and published. Initiatives vary, and seems to follow the same sort of thing you find when you fundraise for a charity and the amount you raise earns you certain rewards. If the author fails to raise the set amount for one project before the deadline, the money will either be refunded to the donators or set for them to be used on another investment. Now in certain circumstances this could work. For example, authors with a substantial following, or someone writing in a niche market. But to a new writer? I still have my doubts. For one, just because a pitch sounds good doesn’t guarantee that the book will be. People take a huge risk investing into a new writer, it could pay off or it could be a complete waste of money. And if you’re a new writer who blows it on the first attempt, I don’t think you’d get a second shot. People seem to forget that publishers risk a whole hell of a lot as well. Another thing that makes me hesitant is that this is a venture by writers for writers and supported by a publisher who sounds like they’ll soon get into selecting and publishing ideas that get enough pledges and are moved from a soon-to-be new area onto the main site. That opens up all sorts of potential for skewed results, because it’s not always the best-sounding idea that gets the most votes, but the most popular. And really, your odds probably won’t be any different than if you were to query the publisher directly, so it also has the potential to give writers false hopes. A comment near the end of the article by Amy Jenkins also bothers me. She says that what she didn’t like about her commercial publisher was all the publicity she had to do and that by being on Unbound she’s in charge. It, kind of didn’t make sense to me the way it was said, but that’s not what bothers me. Publicity is par and parcel of the writing game and it’s something us writers have to expect to do. And without publisher support, you should probably expect to do more than a writer with a publisher. The way it was all put together kind of gives the impression that going with Unbound makes it sound like it makes all that easier, but it’s not yet demonstrated that it can actually do that.

Publishing is especially tricky for us unpublished ones to try and navigate. We all know publishing is shifting and that things are changing, but sometimes I think those changes are more talk than actual change. I think some things could probably stand to change, but I don’t think we’re ready to actually go for the readers-as-gatekeepers initiative. Not at least until self-publishing improves.

Don't Limit Yourself

Being crafty lately got me thinking.

I remember when I watched the movie “Miss Potter”, Beatrix not only wrote but she painted also. I wonder at what point we started focusing on one thing and one thing only, especially us creative types. It just seems very natural to dabble in more than one venture. We hear all the time that most writers (usually the midlist) don’t make a living exclusively on their books alone and need something to supplement an income. Maybe it’s just the ones I’m seeing but that tends to be another creative pursuit. Photography is one, painting is another. I enjoy making jewellry personally. I wonder if by limiting ourselves to just one pursuit we’re kind of stunting our own creativity in a way. If you’re capable of creating one form of art who knows what else you’re capable of, and you’ll never know unless you explore and try. It’s not just about alternate sources of income, but satisfying the creative spark inside.

I have a few favourite examples, like GACKT’s guitarist, YOU. Everyone knows him as a guitarist and he’s a very good one. He’s been playing professionally for like, eleven years, he’d have to be pretty good to pull that off :) What a lot of people haven’t realized until recently is that he’s also an incredible photographer! He recently took part in a photography gallery and by the looks of things he did really well there. You can see here and here. GACKT is another (obvious to those that know me :D) example. Aside from music (which he’s quite accomplished in on its own – writing, composing and playing) he’s also written a novel Moon Child Requiem (still trying to find a copy, it’s long since sold out), wrote and acted in Moon Child, acted in the taiga drama Fuurin Kazan and is one of the lead actors in the upcoming Bunraku. Maya Angelou is another – novelist, poet, actress and singer amongst many other things. She has a great quote I keep amongst my faves: “We've done ourselves a disfavor to say, "You can be a jack of all things and a master of none." You can be a master of everything you do. Everything you do may not be a masterpiece, understand that then do the best you can with what you've got.” I think it really illustrates the point of my entry rather well, so thank you Ms. Angelou!

Long Post is Long

I should really update this more. So much to say and I keep forgetting to note it down. Not sure where to start, so I'll just go randomly I guess.

YFC Europe DVD
I love it I love it I love it! I love seeing so much downtime and all of them all relaxed and having fun. It's a nice balance to the constant exhausted reports and seeing GACKT collapsed after a show. Some great moments there - like the one lady in France who was checking him out (or his backside, rather XD), Taya trying to hitchhike (knew that wouldn't work) and him getting admonished by G afterwards, girl-seeing in Spain, eating in Spain, both times Taya and CRAZY D were forced to eat spicy stuff, getting stopped by police in Munich, and of course G's english. Compared to the TIFF event it was a far better example of his skill, though to be fair he was pretty nervous at TIFF (still pissed that NO ONE aired any of the interviews he did!!!!). YOU's french was pretty good too, and I still chuckle over the idiot translator's french fail. He's not saying "jutem" even though it kinds of sound like it - he's saying "je t'aime". Translator, google basic french phrases next time.

I got my 2011 diary from shinimegami21 awhile ago! I made a booboo and realized I gave her my old addy by mistake, but the post office misplaced the package. Wasn't worried about getting it but the lady at the post office was just as perplexed that it wasn't where it was supposed to be, especially as the computer acknowledged that it was in the office and filed where it was supposed to be. She found it later that night, and I picked it up the next day, but I was worried for a bit. But now it's in my possession where it belongs :) I am using it, but very carefully. I put it on my keyboard drawer which is slid under the desk to protect it from getting wet (my desk faces the kitchen counter, so I sometimes get sprinkled by water). And instead of writing in it, I got little stickynote pads which I use instead. I use the week by week section, so there's enough space for them. I make it work :) And when the year's up it will go on my GACKT shelf with everything else ^_^

Broke it
I broke two toes last Sunday. OMG it was the stupidest thing in the world XD My mom had JUST left to go visit her sister, so I was home alone. One of Dalila's toys was beside my desk and I thought I would kick the toy away to start a game of fetch. Well my aim was more than terrible, because I caught the desk with my right foot, specifically the two last toes. And I really put a lot of power in that kick. Now, I usually have a pretty good pain tolerance - not that I don't feel pain, but I get over it pretty quickly and can tolerate it without much obvious discomfort. This had me doubled over in pain on the chair for five minutes. It just would not subside. Swelled up really fast, and throughout last week changed all sorts of interesting colours. And walking? Oh fun times XD Just taking Dalila for a pee saw me hobbling along behind her. I think though if Mom had been home, we would have been laughing ourselves silly because it really was that stupid. She's pretty sure both those toes are broken now, but they don't look it so I'm not too concerned. Right now only the little toe sort of hurts, and it pops funny when I try and flex it. Otherwise I'm pretty much back to normal state now. Note to self though, no more toy kicking unless I am away from stationary objects.

en francais?
I started my new project! Inspired some by the YFC DVD, I decided to pick up french again. We had to learn it in school but I stopped after it was no longer mandatory and now I wish I hadn't. So I thought hey, why not translate G stuff into french and learn that way? So I did: gacktenfrancais. I have so much stuff planned to translate I think I'm good for the next five years lol. I'm going to tackle all of his blogs and the GACKTionary, and possibly song lyrics as well. I have to finish translating the profile into french too. And add some tags. hanachan007 has graciously offered to check my french for me until I start improving my skill. So far my writing skill is about 50%, which is better than I thought it would be. Grammar was always my demon.

Gakupo Cosplay
I'm really digging the new pic of GACKT for the new singles! I love that the wig is subtle and the whole outfit is more subtle than the actual Gakupo, I just feel it suits more. Like it's Gakupo 2.0. I'll be a little honest though, I kind of get and don't get the disappointment over it. One, it's not the first song he's done that wasn't one he wrote and composed himself and I can understand that taking some of the wind out of the sales, but he's never been the type of artist to bow to any sort of commercial pressure when it comes to music. And really there's nothing wrong with an artist covering a song they like - many of them do it. So I don't really see why some fans treat it as a huge terrible event that he's covering someone else's song - and yes I realize not everyone's seeing it that way :). I can see the disappointment though. I was and still kind of am bummed that the english version of Mind Forest was done by a translator and not him. Though now I wonder how much was the translator and how much was him to be honest, if it was like 50/50 or if it was just a matter of him coming up with attempts and the translator sort of checked it over. I don't know, maybe it's because I love that song so much the idea that he translated the whole thing into english himself really touched my heart and I truly believe his english skills are good enough that he coud have pulled it off. But maybe there wasn't enough time. Maybe he wanted to be sure it was absolutely perfect and brought in a second pair of eyes to ensure that. I don't know and I'm not judging. It's still beautiful and he still sounds amazing singing it, and I pray that he'll keep it in the setlist when he comes to Canada. I'm still very much looking forward to this though, new music is new music :) I'm going to soon need more shelves... And I still find it hilarious that he's essentially cosplaying himself ^_^ That would almost be like Steve Burton cosplaying as Cloud, or Steve Blum cosplaying as Vincent Valentine.

Overachieving Nephew
The little one is 3 and a half months old now, and either is too long for some clothes or too short for others. Baggy looks cuter on him :) His monkey sweater sill fits, and I'm going to try and get a picture of him in it before he outgrows it. It has monkey ears on the hood and a little monkey in the front pocket ^_^ He's still trying to sit up on his own (been trying for a month) and get this: he's walking. Not on his own mind you, but that little turkey is actually taking steps! Already! If you hold him around his torso facing you but at your arm's length, he'll slowly put one foot in front of the other and actually move toward you! Mom and my sis are like 'you're not supposed to be doing that!' but I encourage him. Hey if he wants to walk at five months, Auntie's going to let him! We had an almost fun outing on Saturday with him too. We picked him and my sis up, then went up to my friend's store which I haven't been to in so long. It was nice seeing her again :) Nephew just stared at everything with the biggest eyes possible, and smiled when my friend fussed over him. Sis says he'll always smile at a girl, but guys he just kind of stares at haha. And he does plenty of smiling now. The store is so amazing, and she had all sorts of new goodies to oogle over and wish I had money for. Afterwards we went to William's Cafe by the pier for lunch but that was nephew's limit and after he woke up all he did was fuss and cry. And I laughed at my sister, because I'm sympathetic like that ;) Next time we'll throw a nap inbetween though, he's happier after a sleep and a bottle. Still love being an auntie, and he's not growing up too fast yet. I'm sure in a year I'll be like 'where did the baby go?!'. Enjoy the time while it lasts.

Always Remember

Obviously the situation in Japan right now isn't news really to anyone. The devestation is enormous and worse yet, the catastrophe is ongoing. Crisis at the reactors, powerful aftershocks and the threat of another earthquake looming is all still present. I've been constantly following it since last Friday because I do have friends there, some of my favourite artists are from there and it's a place I've wanted to visit for years. But all that aside people are suffering and they've lost so much, and I'll be honest it bothers me that people here seem to have no reaction to it. Their lives go on while the deathtoll somewhere else rises. It's not to say we should completely stop our lives and mourn but people seem to have a certain detached sympathy when it comes to tragedies around the world away from us. We should never forget any tragedy that happens anywhere, and we should try and do all we can to help even if it's only a little thing. We should move past our old habit of only caring for our own and open ourselves up to helping each other. We're all on this planet together. I don't buy into the notion of 'I can't do anything'. Even just spreading information for donating is doing something - every person had the potential to spread the information to someone who could use it. Not even a day after the quake GACKT blogged and announced he was starting a charity called Show Your Heart to help with relief efforts. In the time between then and now he's not only started the charity, established a charity account with the help of NHN Japan (an online game and internet company who worked with him on DRAGONEST), raised 101,100,893円 ($1.25 million US) and gathered a list of support from fellow Asian artists. He's not the only one - various idol groups and talent agencies have also donated substantial amounts of money for relief efforts, and many Japanese artists have turned their personal twitter accounts into information sources and constant well-wishes. It's really admirable how the whole country is coming together.

So what am I doing, you might be wondering. I started a charity effort awhile ago called A Dream We Chase which right now I'm tring to get the word about and drum up support so I can support various charity efforts any way I can. Right now, obviously, we're aiming to help support Show Your Heart. I've linked up my ArtFire store which has several bracelets for charity efforts and most specifically this one - My Heart for Japan. I'm also looking to do online auctions in the near future and aid and donations are always welcome there :) I also gave a small hand to Dog Bless You who are sending search and rescue dogs to Japan to help find survivors. And lastly, a list of links I hope people will check out, pass on and contribute to:

Japan Earthquake Animal Relief
Animal Refuge Kansai
Animal Miracle Foundation Network
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


I went to bed last night/this morning with a much different post I was going to put up here when I woke up today. I don't feel quite right posting that right now, so I'll save it for another day. It just doesn't feel quite appropriate with what's going on in Japan right now. I woke up to the aftermath of the whole earthquate and tsunami and GACKT having just blogged and fans could stop fretting. The whole situation is just devestating, it's awful. I've had BBC UK streaming on my comp since I woke up and it's just mind-boggling what's happened. Sendai looks so devestated, and the whole reactor issues, it's scary. I'm thankful that a lot of the tsunami warnings around the world are going down and one streaming camera I was watching went offline, probably because nothing was going to happen. Someone had set up a camera so people could see the effects of the coming tsunami on the Cali coast. So much going on in the world, seems like it's slowly but surely rippling all around. Everyone was counting on this year being a good year, I hope it's just a really late starter.

It makes me happy though that one of the first things a lot of jrockers and idols and such seemed to do was find a way to let their fans know they were all right. Jpopasia has a list of all JRockers accounted for, and Arama has a list of other artists accounted for. That's quite a list. I sometimes wonder if something like that happened in North America if celebrities here would be as eager or quick acting to let fans know they were okay, or if they'd be more focused on themselves. Probably not a fair assessment, but it just seems like a lot of artists here maintain that gap between fans and themselves and keep themselves at a distance. Meanwhile Asian celebs seem to make more of an effort to reach out and shrink that gap some. This isn't the time for that though, I'm just glad that a lot of them are okay and alive.

I hope the earth settles soon, so the people can really start recovery and rebuilding efforts without worrying about the ground shaking beneath their feet. My heart goes out to them, especially to fellow Dears in Sendai.

Return of the Writer

Wow, what happened :)

Too much would be the answer. A bit of a nosedive in health, a spike in stress, a move on Hallowe'en...it's been something these past few months. I almost expected to find no followers when I came back (wouldn't have blamed anyone, to be honest!) but it's nice to see you still around. So thank you guys for sticking around.

So, where do things stand now. Well I'm getting back into a continuous writing habit so I can finish off the stories I've already started, and write the ones I want to start. I'm also working on my own health so I can finally have some sort of semblance of a normal life again. I miss being 'normal'. I've also hit the reset button on my 1 million words challenge and am going to attempt it again this year. I did a lot of thinking on it, and came to the conclusion that things that happened last year just made it too difficult. I kind of knew it, but I thought I could manage anyway. I know I can do it, and I am going to do it so I'll be adjusting the sidebars in the very near future. Next month I'm going to kick it off into high gear with a 150k words month next month! Which gives me...one day to prepare. Fun. I must be nuts :) You can track me on Twitter, if you'd like. I finally caved and got one. And I have to admit it's pretty fun. You can also find me on Formspring and WeHeartIt.

It's good to be back again!

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