A Belated Happy 2013!

Okay. So I’ve fallen off the wagon. At least you’re not followers of my Technical blog; that thing hasn’t been updated in ages (kind of reflecting my divergence from the technical world).

Still, I have started going into withdrawal from the attention that I get from posting here, so here I am again.

A few days ago I thought about waxing lyrical about the whole concept of New Year’s Resolutions, and how I barely even make them, let alone stick to them. In fact, I can’t remember a single resolution that I’ve ever made. I suppose that it is entirely possible that I’ve actually stuck to a fair few of them. With a few glaring exceptions, life has pretty much been tending upwards for the last decade and a half, so I can’t really complain.

However, there is something to which I have been paying a little more attention over the past couple of weeks. A while ago I posted a poll asking about what you guys, the people who actually find my writing interesting, would like to see in a travel blog/book kind of thing. “Cultural Issues” won by a country mile. So, in-between changing nappies and getting stung by a Blue Bottle (a.k.a. a Portuguese Man o’ War), I’ve actually been writing my (hopefully one day to be finished) guidebook to surviving Japan.

Yes, I realise that this may well be the ravings of a Japanophile. One thing that is blatantly clear to me is that I am, in fact, not Japanese. Still, I’ve been researching the topic for a good 6 years now, and I have some pretty good references, so I figured it is worth a shot.

However, that’s not really what I was thinking about when I started writing this post. What I started thinking about was my Bucket List.

Whenever I think of my "Bucket List," this sculpture comes to mind. It is near Shirakawa-go in Gifu, and it runs on a constantly-flowing Hot Spring.
Whenever I think of my “Bucket List,” this sculpture comes to mind. It is near Shirakawa-go in Gifu, and it runs on a constantly-flowing Hot Spring.

I don’t have a Bucket List, at least not one that is written down. Having written this, I may actually make one and put it up here somewhere. That way I’ll have my pride to push me forward. In my head, I’ve always had “Write a Book/Screenplay” on there. It’s what led me to write The BBQ and Arctic Gale, and what lit the fire that became the burning obsession with Katawa Shoujo.

So, at the very least, I’m hoping to do a few things this year. One of them is to release my Survival Guide in ebook form. The other is to finally live up to my promise, edit “A Runner’s Afternoon” and “Final Finale” and put them together into another ebook.

And I’d like to ask all of you to actually hold me to it!


Happy New Year!


5 thoughts on “A Belated Happy 2013!

  1. A survival guide for Japan makes more sense to be written by a non Japanese. After all if you are from there you are less likely to have run into the issues a foreigner would.

    Stung by a jellyfish. WHY WOULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN!

  2. The other day I was considering a drawing of Hanako, Hisao, and Lilly visiting Hanako’s parents’ grave (I’m probably coming off creepy, but I’m just a fanboy) and became at least vaguely familiar w/ how the Japanese deal w/ their dearly departed. I found things such as the bone picking and the red ink on the tombstones to be highly interesting. Perhaps if you make some part of your guide about what happens if you don’t survive, you could include a bit of that.

    Since I’m lurking anyway, I’ll be sure to pester you in a few months about Runner’s Afternoon and Final Finale. If I get on your nerves you can ask me how much weight I’ve lost since the New Year (my resolution – again) to shut me up.

    1. Actually, that’s not such a bad idea.
      Last year there was a death on both sides of my family, so we got to experience the whole process from both sides.
      Both my “Australian” and “Japanese” families were quite surprised at the differences that we take for granted…

      BTW if you want a nice movie about the Japanese funeral process, look up “The Departed” (送り人 - Okuribito). It’s quite good.

      I’ll put a note down about that. Cheers

      1. My condolences on your recent losses.

        Death is one of those things that unites us all but also makes us see just how different we are (and sometimes that divides us). I’ve been to Catholic funerals in centuries old churches, carried a casket up a hill to a family plot in the middle of a rural field, and joined in Hindu chants covered in sacred ash all in the name of mourning – and that’s without ever leaving the country.

        I watched the movie you recommended and even though you had nothing to do w/ the creation of it, I’m crediting you with extracting manly tears from me once again just b/c you told me about it. Definitely worth watching (It’s on Netflix streaming in the US – listed there as “Departures” for anyone interested) and very interesting w/ regard to the peek into the customs you get. A funny thing I found out is that the actor who plays the boss in this movie is in a 1984 movie called “The Funeral” which covers similar ground – but is a comedy.

        Anyway – TL:DR – glad you like the idea – looking forward to the ebooks.

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