Sunday, November 27, 2011

AJATT - The art of throwing away everything to gain everything

(Part 1 was back here somewhere)
There's a site out there called AJATT, which I'm sure most other Japanese speakers & language enthusiasts found much faster than I did. It is a really fascinating site, not just for the webmaster's approach or his success but for his overall viewpoint. A lot of what he says can be applied to life in general, not just language studies.

AJATT means All Japanese, All The Time.


No, really. It is what it says. Nothing more, nothing less. All Japanese all the time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

すべて抱きしめて 届けたい未来へ この願いを信じて 歩いてゆくだけ

+ What's On: Gather, Ao to Bin to Kan

I've talked before about my fondness for Japan, but I don't think I've really touched on my love-hate relationship with Japanese language itself. This seems the perfect time to bring it up, since I've rebooted my studies from scratch.

Not counting my college education fees, I have easily spent at least $3000 on Japanese study aids. I have software, textbooks, dictionaries, workbooks, books dedicated solely to particles, books on Japanese slang, business Japanese, novels and children's stories in Japanese, so on and so forth. It's actually pretty pathetic, when you look at everything I've bought, every method and restart I've tried, and realize none of it's done me any good. Two years in Japan and four semesters at university, and I'm still at best an upper beginner.

Why? Couple reasons. First and foremost: I've always been a horrible student. I never learned good study habits. I was always the "Procrastinate, then cram cram cram" kind of child. I did just enough to get by. I don't recommend this to anyone. As time-consuming and aggravating as studying is, imagine graduating from university and realizing you've learned almost nothing. Awesome!

Japanese should have been the exception, right?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

夢の中で広がる世界はthe last secret garden

+ What's On: Secret Garden, by Gackt

Let me tell you about one of the greatest weekends of my life.

Years and years ago, when my obsession with Japan was in its earlier stages, when Japan was nothing more than anime and JPOP and "where I was born", I learned of a singer named Gackt, a beautiful man with a god's voice. I listened to his music, understanding not a single word, and loved him. My sister and I talked about learning Japanese, talked about running away to Japan, talked about a perfect life in a perfect place. We would know we were living the dream the day we saw Gackt in concert in Japan.

We were kids; forgive us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

even a blueprint is a gift and a curse

+ What's On: When They Come For Me, Linkin Park

Dudes, I'm not so good at this blogging thing. Twitter's more my style, I guess, since I can fire off random things throughout the day that have no substance whatsoever.

Real-life update:
- Quit the laundromat. (YES) Haven't quit the cafe yet. (Noooo) Now work part-time at a kitchen in a bar a couple nights a week (Yes!)
 - I am also attempting to do p90x. IT HURTS US

On a writing front, things aren't going anywhere fast, but hey, that's life in the publishing industry, right? I'm running out of ideas on who to query with my urban fantasy. Most of my energy these days goes to a new project, a YA urban fantasy set in San Francisco. The story has potential, I think, but it's fighting me every single step of the way. This is a good thing, I think, since it hopefully means less serious issues when I'm revising.

Also, last time I posted (in January!), I said I was trying to overhaul a project. I killed that idea. Here's the thing: I have a love-hate relationship with all my stories, but there's one that means the absolute world to me. Unfortunately it's also the one with the least chance of success. This January I thought I'd do anything to better the odds. I stole the characters from that book and put them in a new one.


I made it only three or four chapters in and then I couldn't stand it anymore. It absolutely broke my heart. If the story ever succeeded and I got The Call from an agent, I think I'd bawl my eyes out knowing I killed a story's soul for the sake of getting published. I'd rather trunk the entire thing as-is than do that. So I put my story back together again piece by piece.

Common sense says to give up on the book, to put it online for friends and anyone to read, to be happy that anyone's reading it at all. But I can't, not yet. If I don't believe in this story, who will?

Anyway, I'm off to finish laundry and get some sleep. 3AM comes way too fast.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

would you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain

+ What's on: Gravedigger, by Dave Matthews Band

Oh, lovelies, it's been a while. How have you been?

Life's been kind of crazy here. Still writing, still submitting, still revising and rewriting. Have recently committed to overhauling a very old, very precious story. It's going to be a brutal process and I'm probably going to hate every second, but it will be worth it in the end.

On the RL side of things, I have gone from lots of free time to hardly any at all. Still have my job at the cafe, and I picked up a part-time job at a cafe-laundromat three days a week. 60-70 workweeks are not my friends. In another month or so I'm going to get a third job, and that's when my schedule's going to really get complicated. But, like revisions, it's worth it. I'm determined to pay off my credit cards this year and save up for some future traveling.

Speaking of traveling, K.M. and I are going to Vegas in February. Closest I've been to Vegas is the airport, and that was when I was too young to even play slots on my layover. We're definitely looking forward to getting out of town for a weekend. (Now we just have to figure out who's going to watch our cats while we're gone...)

Ah, the coffee's done brewing. Time to buckle down and figure this story out. See ya~