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New Changes: Book Update

Hello Groovy People.

Over the past few weeks, I have thought about what to do with my novel, Journey’s End.  I really want to publish it and have it be polished.  However, it has been a struggle to find a job, and hold on to the money I saved.  I am doing a second edit at this time to make it presentable.  I hope to find a real editor, but for now, these are my options.  I have also found a website that will publish my book.  I am also working with an artist to work on the cover.

For the past few weeks, I have gone through bouts of sadness.  I feel like my life is awful and lacking since I left Japan.  I am not as happy as I was then, and it has distracted me from what I truly want.  I came back to America to be an author.  I have now refocused and ready to make changes.  I also need to focus on the good things and accomplishments.  I am happy to say that I will make an effort to make this dream come true.

I will keep you posted!  Until then….

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The Convenience of Japan

Hello Groovy People.

This will be a multipart blog series about Japan and all things Japan related.  Since I lived there for a year, I have discovered many things that may help future travelers.  Each section is about different things one may encounter while living abroad in the land of the rising sun.

Trains

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Getting around in Japan can be easy depending on where you are.  If you were in a rural area, or countryside, going places requires a car.   If you live or vacation in Tokyo, then you are in luck.  All the hot spots are just a train stop away.  The best part is that it’s really cheap.  For example, my former town was Futako Tamagawa.  To go to Shibuya, Roppongi, or even Mitaka, cost less than or about 10USD roundtrip.  I guess I can compare traveling from Maplewood New Jersey to New York, which costs 15USD roundtrip.  The best thing about the trains in Tokyo, is that round trips are very cheap, even if the destination is 10 or 40 minutes away.  You basically get more for your money.

Time

The Japanese are known for their attention to detail and punctuality.  Most people in the world like to be one time.  The trains in Tokyo are always on time.  I mean always on time!  It is rare when they are late, and even so, they will apologize to make up for it.  There’s also no guess work about where you get on the train.  The doors always open in designated spots, which are marked, on the station floor.  If you are running late yourself, then there will always be another train ready to take you within minutes.  The massive system that is Japan Railways, is the most organized system around.  I would compare it to the Metro in Washington.

Convenience Stores

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Japan, like America, has many small stores such as 7eleven.  However, while most shops have candy bars and very limited food, Japan’s stores have an abundance of yummies that exceed any other in the states.

Japan has 3 convenience stores that I frequent during my stay.  There was 7eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson.  There are many more, but for now I’ll only speak about the ones I went to.  Each of those 3 stores had delicious, and healthy meals.  They served perfectly portioned bento boxes, which are lunch boxes.  Not the type your mom used to make with the cartoon characters on the side.  These are meals that can vary from rice, meat, and vegetables, or soup bowls, which can include noodles.  There are different types of noodles you can eat.  You can have udon (thick noodles), soba (which is normally eaten cold), or thinner noodles (like ramen).  These soup bowls come with vegetables and/or meat, such as seafood.  There’s normally a sauce or broth that can be heated up by the store clerk at the counter.  They will even ask you if you want your food heated up.  This will be in Japanese, but the sentence is “atame masu ka”.  If you are quick to eat it, then say “hai” which means yes.  Or if you don’t need it heated up, you can say “daijoubu” or that’s ok.

The best thing about convenience stores, is that they all sell similar foods, and many other different ones.  Rice balls are a great lunch or snack.  There are many kinds, like shrimp, salmon, salmon roe (fish eggs), natto (fermented soy beans), and much more.  The variety at these stores is endless, and I only mentioned 3 that I went to.  Trust me when I say there are many more that sell even more yummy options for food.  Did I mention they’re not that expensive?

Daiso

If you are lucky enough to find one of these, then you must go inside!  Daiso is what a dollar store should base their existence around.  They sell anything you need for the house.  You need a small garbage bin, Daiso has it.  You need garbage bags?  Daiso.  You need a belt?  Daiso.  You need picture frames and a yoga mat?  Daiso.  Markers and other stationary for work?  Daiso.  Cups, plates, mugs, bleach?  Daiso.

These are just some of the many things you can buy at Daiso.  The quality is very good, if not out of character for a dollar store.  While some items like a belt may be 2 or 5 dollars, most of the items I mentioned are only 1 dollar.  I bought many things for my apartment from Daiso.  Daiso is what you need for life and yes, you must go.

Wax Food

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Have you ever looked outside a restaurant and thought, can this be a good place to eat?  Then you get inside, sit down, and realize, you hate the food?  Don’t you wish you could see what they are selling like a display window for clothes?  Then Japan has you covered.  Japan has a great way of letting you know what you are getting even before you step inside a restaurant.  There are always wax replicas of the food, usually along with the price.  That way, you can see the portion size and cost, in case you are the frugal type.  Even if you aren’t, reading menus in Japanese can be difficult.  So seeing the food, will let you know what’s inside, and if it’s worth the money.


Japan is a wonderful country.  Not perfect, but the list of convenient things are just breathtaking.  Stay tuned for more information about Japan.  If you want specific blogs about certain things in Japan, please message your comment below.

Until next time…

Readjusting and the Struggle

Hello groovy people.  It has been a few weeks since I came back to New Jersey and I am busy!  Between working on personal things, I am also trying to find a job.  I started my Kickstarter project, but have very low expectations.  I have been looking at a few editors and places to work on my book.  However, things are at a weird standstill.  Nothing is set in stone, and I’m bored.  Life in New Jersey is very different from Tokyo.

In Tokyo, everything was accessible.  The train station was a five minute walk from my apartment, and it was very cheap to go to any of the other towns.  To get to New York cost $31!  There is literally nothing to do in my current town.  I find myself sleeping more, which is triggering old issues I’ve dealt with in the past.

Overall, I am trying to stay positive, but it is hard.  Although I am lucky to live with my family, and they are supportive, going from an independent woman, to a jobless mooch is hard.  The transition was not easy due to my last week in Japan being a perpetual hell.  Regardless, I will keep making myself get out of bed and complete all of my tasks.

Good news though.  I have recently started working on my fourth book.  It is more science fictiony.  A separate post will be about that book soon.

Until next time…

Kickstarter is Live!

Hello groovy people.  After a long year, my book is finally finished, edited, and ready to publish.  However, being a self published author is tough.  I made a kickstarter to raise funds so I can use Lulu.com to help me bring the book to the public.  Please go to the link to check it out.

 

 

There’s no pressure to pledge money.  However, if you’re feeling generous, or know someone else who has spare coins, please feel free to support.

 

Editing and Editing/ Fabulous Dreams!

Hello Groovy People!

So now that I have completed my book, 23 days ago, I am in the process of editing it.  It is a long process because I have to reread everything.  I must pay close attention to my grammar, and all the other stuff.  I am not the best at editing, but I will try really hard.  I am happy that it is finished, and I’m almost done working in Japan.  It has been a long year.

Once I finish editing, I have to copyright my book.  So many parts, and so little time.  As tired as I am after work, I continue to edit at night.  Hopefully I can get a proofreader to edit my book too.

I have this great idea, where I sell my book on iBooks and Amazon.  Then maybe I can save money on printing.  Once I save more money, I can make physical copies.  My dad gave me a great idea of selling them at a book fair.  I can maybe buy a small space and sell it like a vendor.  The exposure could be good for me.

There are many options, but for now, I have to edit.  Uh, the lovely process of editing.

Till then groovy people.

I am finally finished! Book 3 is done!

Hello groovy people, I am finally done with my third novel.  I am now in the process of proofreading it, then I will copyright it.  After that I will find an editor to do a full edit.  Finally, I will try to open a kickstarter page to gather funds to self publish.  I wish I could let you know more about the book, but details have to be secret until it is copywritten.  I can tell you the title, Journey’s End.

So this book started in 2005 as an idea, and the process for completing it was long.  I mean I would start writing, originally in a journal, then stop.  Years went by and I started writing it again in 2008 through early 2009.  Then I stopped until the summer of 2015.  Then I stopped again!  Realizing I didn’t like the story, I revamped it by the end of 2015 and during the early part of 2016.  I took another break and started it in the summer of 2016.  So 12 years!  To be honest, most of my books take years to complete.  My biggest issue is that I make excuses as to why I can’t write.  I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m not inspired.  It is best, for me, to just write.  Once I start, I can’t stop.  Pushing myself even when I’m lazy is hard, but worth it.

I am excited to tell you more about the story, but till then stay tuned.

Chapter 16, the end of a journey and beginning of a new one…

Hello my groovy people.  It’s been a long time since I posted anything.  As of now it is the end of February and my contract in Japan is almost up.  I am sad to leave my students in April, but so happy to start a new career and life for myself as an author.

For a very long time I had wanted to focus on writing.  I had two passions in life.  One was teaching, but the very first was writing.  I kept it on the back burner due to real life and yadda yadda.  However, I can’t keep it on the sidelines anymore.  I want to be an author and if I can put myself in college, graduate, move to Japan, and live on my own, then I can do this too.

I’ll have a separate posting about my journey of how I came to write and complete my current novel.  For now, I’ll just let you know that I am on the last chapter and looking forward to finishing it soon.  March is going to be fun, stressful, and the start of something awesome.  Stay tuned!