Archive for the Tokyo Category

Dirty Laundry and the Writing Routine

Posted in lifehacking, Tokyo, writing with tags , , , on December 4, 2010 by katekanno

If you’d have asked me five years ago, whether I could be happy back in Japan, I would have laughed. When I returned to the U.S. after thirteen years here, I’d had it with the crowds, and a school system that liked to treat foreign teachers like talking dogs rather than professionals. Well, other than the talking dog part — I’m  now at a university where I am treated as an adult — I’ve discovered there’s a lot less harm in a few grouchy, hung over salarymen than some hopped up douchebag in a BMW trying to cut me off on the 405.

There’s also something about living in a big, abrasive city that perks up the synapses. Having to jostle through crowds and hang up my own laundry rather than throwing it in a dryer, and separating garbage under a Byzantine recycling system, has had some positive side effects on my motivation to write.

I’ve even been alternating chores with writing.  One becomes a reward for the other, but I don’t ever try to do either  all at once.  I’ll write for an hour, then fold the laundry, and so far both are getting done.

I was wondering how others might balance their household chores and other errands with their writing routines.  Any tricks to psyche yourself out and remove the guilt for having left the dishes in the sink?

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Rejection! Hoorah!

Posted in genre fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, shyness, Tokyo, writing with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by katekanno

Came home from Japan Writer’s Conference to a rejection email today.

Why am I happy about it?

I had little hope for this story after I’d sent it out. The high and confidence that came with completing it dissipated the second I hit submit and saw the typo on the first page.

I’ve been rejected by this publication before, but usually it’s a form letter. In fact, on their blog they posted an email defending their use of the form letter.

This was not a form letter. It was a brief, but friendly personal note telling me that their decision had been difficult, before proceeding to complement specific parts of the story and encouraging me to submit again.

So…yay!

The conference was a lot of fun. One thing that is good about being part of an expat writing community is that you’re more accepting of others’ differences, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to open up to people.

Posted in Tokyo, writing with tags , on July 26, 2010 by katekanno

Sunday was a busy writing day.  Finished the middle draft of a 7,000 word story, and helped my partner edit a research article on Asian American art.  Now, I’ll let the story sit for a few days before peeking at it and probably running from the apartment screaming.

I’m working at being more prolific, which doesn’t mean I’m allowing myself to write crap. I’m trying to focus in short bursts, get more on the page.

Got 3,000 words down today. Gibberish, but gibberish that knows where it’s going, kind of like a determined drunk, I imagine.

Am now heading to the Tokyo Hacker Space to try out a new writer’s workshop. The one I usually attend is on summer hiatus.

There’s hope after all

Posted in genre fiction, science fiction, Tokyo, writing with tags , , , , , , , on July 17, 2010 by katekanno

A blurry sign of encouragement.  I submitted two pieces to the Escape Pod flash fiction contest.

One of them made it through the first round. The other, at this moment, is in fourth place.  Regardless of whether I make it into the next one, it was a nice thing to wake up to. Even more impressive were the comments from members of the Escape Artists forum.  As a long-term participant of writers workshops, they are among the most insightful, focused critiques I’ve been lucky enough to receive.

I also got another rejection.  I’m getting tougher.

Tomorrow, I go to the Tokyo Writer’s workshop for one last meet up before the summer starts.

To be nitpicked is to be alive.

Hibernation over, hopefully…

Posted in blogging, lifehacking, Tokyo, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2010 by katekanno

It’s been a long three months since I’ve posted. Getting re-acquainted with Tokyo a new job, as well as a few writing projects, have been part of it.  The other has been our new internet situation.

When we moved into our apartment, we had trouble accessing our WiFi. We fussed and moaned for a few days, and then realized —  wow! — We were so much happier without it.

I’ve been more focused than I’ve been in years, and have not only completed two drafts of my first professional script, but three short stories of which I’m truly proud. I’ve sent them off, received one very hopeful rejection email, and am happily waiting for the rest to circulate back through the ether.

I’ve finally, finally reached that point where writing is a happy compulsion. I knew it was there; it just needed one tiny inconvenience to nudge it awake — in this case it meant having to carry my laptop to the kitchen and hook it up to a LAN cable.  The old stand and surf also has an added benefit of making me more focused about what I’m looking for online.

Other people have more control over their online life. I didn’t.  And when you don’t have control, particularly in cases of technology, it’s sometimes best to downgrade. Throw a shoe in the loom, replace that microwave with a conventional oven. The food’s still there. It’s just better.