Friday, August 5, 2011

Ku:nel vol 51 part 1

The latest issue of Ku:nel is so good it deserves not one but two posts! Part two up in the next few days. In other exciting news an article I wrote got published in Metropolis. You can read it here. Shameless self promotion I know.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Take me out to the ball game

I'm horrible at sports. It's a fact my parents chose to ignore. As a result I was a victim of tennis lessons, awkward games of hockey, swimming and even the odd triathlon. My Dad is sports mad with funny fluoro running shorts, mesh singlets and an exercycle (a bike that goes nowhere). I think my lack of sportiness was a bit of a surprise for him but now he has come to terms with it. Any kind of physical feat has been well and truly banished from my life.  Until my birthday. One of my friends bought me a ticket to a baseball game. In Japan, people are crazy about baseball. Passionate beyond passionate. And so, I reentered the realm of sports, this time as a spectator. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed myself. The atmosphere was really infection and the entire stadium released balloons into the sky at the same time. FUN.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rules for writing

  1. The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
  2. Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money.
  3. Never use the word "then" as a ­conjunction – we have "and" for this purpose. Substituting "then" is the lazy or tone-deaf writer's non-solution to the problem of too many "ands" on the page.
  4. Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly.
  5. When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it.
  6. The most purely autobiographical ­fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto­biographical story than "The Metamorphosis".
  7. You see more sitting still than chasing after.
  8. It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction (the TIME magazine cover story detailed how Franzen physically disables the Net portal on his writing laptop).
  9. Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
  10. You have to love before you can be relentless.

Jonathan Franzens rules for aspirational writers, as told to the Guardian. You can find rules from other authors such as Margarets Atwood and Richard Ford here and here.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My first ゆかた!  

Yesterday I went out and bought my first yukata, a Japanese summer kimono. It's festival season at the moment so there will be plenty of opportunities to wear it. I'm not very good at putting it on at the moment (there's a few steps) so one of my Japanese friends kindly assisted. 

Last night was super balmy and my friends and I biked down to the river to have a picnic and watch fireworks. It was an amazing summer evening and great to see everyone so dressed up. I definitely felt like a bit of a lady wearing yukata!