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Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Monday, August 3, 2015


In the temple of the giant Buddha in Nara, Japan, stands a large post with a tiny square hole cut in the bottom of it. If you are able to squeeze through, it is said to bring good luck.

In our stories, our characters sometimes get themselves into tight places. Like real people, our characters can't grow without some challenges. And like people, it isn't believable to have a character without a trial they have to face.

What's the worst thing that could happen in the scene you're writing? Write it. How do your characters respond? This will show what they're made of. Of course, we can't have pages and pages of difficult things without a break, without a shimmer of silver lining, without a little bit of luck. Weave both challenging situations and a bit of good fortune into your story and as always, Write On my friends.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Journey of a Thousand Days

On our trip to Japan, we flew Hawaiian Airlines. (We love HA). The in-flight magazine, Hana-Hou, had an article titled Runner of a Thousand Days by Dave Choo.

It's an amazing tale of a Buddhist priest, Ryojun Shionuma, who lives in the mountains above Nara, Japan.

We meet him as a runner of the Honolulu Marathon. Although he has never run a marathon, he has completed the two most difficult tests of the Shugendo sect of Buddhism to which he belongs (Shugendo literally means, 'the path of training and testing'). The first--considered the hardest--is the Omine Sennichi Kaihogyo. It means, 'One Thousand Days trekking on Mount Omine.' It isn't a thousand continuous days as the trail is only open from May 3 to September 22. But it is continuous in that it is every single one of those days for the roughly nine years it takes to complete the thousand days. Completing this daily, thirty mile hike for this test of strength and endurance is equivalent to circling the earth one and a quarter times and only one other person has ever completed it. Wow. I was excited about the day we walked thirteen miles; I can't imagine going thirty. Daily.

Shionuma also completed another feat which I won't go into but will just say people have died trying to complete it. You can check out the complete article if you want to read about it. But for today, I just want to focus on the daily trek.

Writing is hard. Doing it daily for a thousand days. Harder. (For some of us it seems impossible). But we can accomplish difficult things. He didn't give up when he got to the middle and nothing made any sense anymore. He didn't give up when the scene didn't quite work out the way he wanted. He persevered and put one foot in front of the other until the journey was done.

Don't give up, keep writing, keep putting one word after the other--even if it seems like drivel. Keep at it, write good words, inspire greatness, and like Shionuma, there is an end to your journey (but it's just the beginning of the next one).

Write On my friends!

*I neglected to take the magazine which was the April/May issue of Hana Hou and the return flight was in June. You can check it out, but the article about Ryojun Shionuma didn't have a link at this posting (the link above is to another blog where the complete article is posted).

* Image from:

Monday, June 8, 2015

I'm Back!

So I took a little hiatus (two weeks is little, right?!). What did I do with that time? I traveled to Japan with my husband and oldest three children.

It. Was. Amazing.

Knowing we would be doing a lot of walking, we took backpacks rather than suitcases. It worked out really well because we did do a lot of walking (an average seven miles/day, our highest mileage was 13). We crammed as much as we possibly could into those two weeks traveling from Osaka south as far as Fukuoka, then to Tokyo and as far north as Lake Akan and back to Sapporo for our flight home.

We got to reconnect with friends from a few months ago, from twenty-five years ago, and with my cousin and her husband. We saw lots of shrines, ate lots of katsu curry and noodles (seafood is not our thing) and in the Hiroshima train station there's a place called Hearth Brown that has killer bread (a dash of almonds and powdered sugar on top and vanilla custard inside--to die for!)

Japan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I am very blessed to have been able to go back to some of the places I lived so long ago.

Part of a temple in Miyajima.
A statue in Yokohama.
One of the world's top three night views: Hakodate, Hokkaido.
The beautiful countryside of eastern Hokkaido.

Something New (I wish it was a book!)

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