My old Thesaurus had 300,000 alternative entries; this one has 600,000. I’m a little excited to give it a try.

Not that I often find the word I’m looking for in a thesaurus, but it is a kick to the memory and often I remember what I was looking for in the first place.

Hopefully this has alternatives for “staccato” and “susseration” as I use those entirely too much…

Editing Done – Proof Readers wanted



So I know I need to re-read the new and improved AG myself, however I’ve been thinking about the best way to get it out to the world.

I know that there isn’t a huge number of people reading this, but I know that those of you that have stuck around have generally been pretty helpful, so I’m grateful for that.

As with anything, I’m guessing that there will be a bunch of small things that I’ve missed, some flow issues and, because I’m me, about a hundred typos.

So, what I’ve been thinking for the last eight weeks is this:

  1. Give a PDF version of AG to everyone who contacts me either via Twitter DM or KS Forums Private Message
  2. Let you pick it apart, giving me feedback to help me get it better
  3. Also use this as a test to see if the book is actually good or not. It would be great to get a realistic “out-of-5-stars” review if possible.

So, I’m asking for volunteers. I’m not really sure what I can give in return, but I guess you can name your price, so long as that price is rock-bottom or not A Runners Afternoon 3 (because I’m saving that for the official release). I guess on the one hand there is about an extra chapter’s worth of text, even though I’ve pulled out a lot of things that didn’t add much to the story.

Thanks to those of you that have given me your comments so far. I’m guessing that I’ll probably make a few more tweaks anyway, but I’m hoping that the story elements are now a lot more aligned and make a lot more sense.

Anyway, if you’re keen please get in contact…



My daughter just got these as a gift from her grandparents. There is something satisfying about seeing pencils lined up in their right order…

Also the Japanese text looks amazing for some reason, as does the Mitsubishi mark…


The Fight Club Effect

Shirakawa-go in Spring. This is the setting for Higurashi - another story that gave you enough clues to work it out but you never did...

Okay, I’ve passed the half-way mark of the re-write of Arctic Gale. [Edit – and I’ve seen that a total of 6 people have now read the whole thing. Woot, I guess!]

I’ll admit that in some parts I feel like I should be going a little more “Aura” in the editing; that is, scrapping everything and re-writing it. It just seems a little more “pure” in that sense… but maybe I’m being too hard on myself.

However, there is one thing that I have noticed. When I did the read-through I noticed that with a few subtle changes I could make the whole “conspiracy” angle a little more detailed; really bringing out the motivations of the actors around Kate. (Side note: I have realised that there aren’t many females in AG. That is a bummer.)

When I was in High School/Uni I watched Fight Club to the point of excess. When I had nothing to do I would watch it again and again. I could probably close my eyes and re-direct the whole bloody film at this point….

I’ve always thought that I would be able to pull something like that off; being able to leave thousands of clues in the script/film that pretty much no-one would pick up on until the grand reveal.

But now, I’m not so sure. The area between “too vague” and “too blatant” is immeasurably small. And, sitting in the author’s chair, you already know what is going on, so you push yourself to be a little less vague, but then, upon re-reading, you feel like you’re waving the answer in front of people’s face…

Ah well. Such is life. I’m hoping that I’ll have this editing process done in a month or so and then a proofreading done and dusted by Christmas. There is a small chance that I’ll take some copies to the Winter Comiket in Japan for anyone that shows up…

Speaking of finishing, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but there are some things that I’d like to explore.

The main one would be Oscar Cole’s and Director Wingett’s “origin story,” A prequel that fills in a lot of the motivations of Arctic Gale.

I’d also like to look a little more into the E-type training; I think I will expand upon this with Kate. I was thinking yesterday that I have this whole history of actually training to be an officer in the military and yet I have only used a small fraction of it in the story so far.

Finally, of course, I’d like to have some kind of conclusion; either with Kate and Dani or without. I’ll admit it is tempting to go to a “no-Kate” sequel. I think that it could be interesting.

Anyway, if there is anything that you’d like to know in the interim please let me know. I’ll try to keep you informed as things come up.


Because I can, I’ve updated the new and (hopefully) improved Chapters 0 and 1 of Arctic Gale.

I’ve also put some thought into what I’d do next. Of course, I would write something like A Runner’s Afternoon 3 if I thought it would bring in a crowd and hope that enough stayed for the other things (it would, and they wouldn’t).

But I’ve been thinking about the story, and I think I’d like to do a prequel; one where Wingett and Cole have their origin stories. That would fill in a lot of the lead-up to Arctic Gale, and then also leave it possible to have a third act whereby Kate comes back…

Anyway, thanks to those of you that have been giving me feedback so far, including fans of this blog that have been sending tips via email or Private messages.

I’m up to Chapter 13 in the old storyline (it is now chapter 11) and I’ve only had one major part where I’ve struggled over the re-write. I think that this is about a third of the way through.

I’ll admit that there are a few things that I have tossed and turned over when it comes to their inclusion/exclusion, but I’m hoping that there will be a much better flow as we go on.

For today’s photo, I’d like to tell you a little story. In 2007 when I first came to Japan, it was semi-decided that Katawa Shoujo would be set in Sendai. I really can’t remember why.

Anyway, I made my friends go their as part of our trip around the country, and whilst in Sendai I took a lot of photos with the intent of using them as backgrounds.

One of them, attached, made it into the game, and featured heavily in Lilly’s path – so much so that when Suriko came here this year, he made the trip to Sendai himself, and got a photo of him in a “Lilly-sprite” pose in the exact same spot.

So, it looks like devs can even inspire devs to do crazy stuff. And it’s things like that that make me want to keep writing – hoping that I’ll get someone to experience the same inspiration that I have done when consuming things like Higurashi, Macross F, Tool’s music, Sherlock (the recent BBC version, of course) or similar.


My original, 2007 photo from Sendai that inspired Suriko to head there himself in 2015

My original, 2007 photo from Sendai that inspired Suriko to head there himself in 2015

First Halloween

First Halloween

First Halloween

This may come as a surprise to you, but in Australia there is no Halloween. The few times that kids came to our house were met with blank stares and no candy.

And you know, I’m okay with that.

But after moving here, where you have not-really-religious Buddhists and Shintoists following Christians following a probably Pagan ritual, it is hard to avoid the Halloween fever that seems to grip Japan.

This was my first attempt in 33 years to make a Jack o’ Lantern. And, to add difficulty, I had to do it in 20 minutes with the younger boy screaming at us…

Still, she likes it.

PS: I’ve done editing to about 25% of Arctic Gale. There are a few things that I am still vacillating over, but all in all I feel it is much better now…

Read-through done


So yeah.

Turns out there is pretty much something on every page that I want to change.
I kind of understand Aura’s eternal editing process now. He would go over things again and again, and it would drive me nuts.

I have found out so much about Kate and her friends from actually, critically reading the book. It’s kind of like watching Fight Club the second (or tenth) time over and going “Ah! I see!” – except I should really know better.

I can already tell that the edited version will be much better; to the point where I’m kind of embarrassed to leave the draft in public.. That’s very Aura as well; we didn’t see things until he was ready (and let’s face it – it worked for him).

Anyway, actually committing these edits will take longer than the read-through (although I am less likely to buy expensive stationary for this phase), but I am committed to getting it done this year.

I’ll likely turn the 39 “Pages” on the blog into a simple PDF or something, and then maybe give the editied edition away for free to the first 10 people (or something) before trying my luck on Kindle.

Anyway, I know that 4 of you have made your way to the end. I’d appreciate any feedback you have; although I’ll admit that time is running out, especially for the earlier parts (which will really get a work-over).

It’s also funny how much I don’t like my earlier writing style. I’m not sure how to describe it, but there is something about it….

Thanks to the 4 of you that have read the whole thing, and please feel free to spread it! Every time someone mentions A Runner’s Afternoon on Reddit a few hundred people flood the site, but then they all disappear. So if you’re one of those people maybe have a look at Arctic Gale, before I start disassembling it on here (or something).