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Mizuki Beautiful Moon

In 2011…

 I wrote my first novel that I EVER finished. For a long time, it didn’t have a name. It wasn’t until I had finished the book that I decided to call it Mizuki Beautiful Moon.

How I got the idea for the book…

2009: Before I went to Japan, I was watching some Japanese dramas, one of them was called Samurai High School. I thought it was really funny, though sometimes cheesy. After that, I forgot about the show as Hana Yori Dango took over my life. I was also writing a story about figure skating that also took up most of my time, but I stopped writing as I lost inspiration for the  book.

After I got back from Japan in 2010, I watched even more Japanese dramas, one of them was Ryoma Den. I was immediately sucked into the world and the rich history that surrounded Japanese legend, Sakamoto Ryoma. I had already heard about the Shinsengumi (from Rurouni Kenshin), and I stumbled across a music video called Kagen no Tsuki  (下弦の月) by Domoto Koichi. In it, he dressed up like Rurouni Kenshin and the music video had a fight scene that sparked the idea of the story. I wrote out some of the plot, but didn’t get around to writing it yet.

University, 2011…

I was taking a lot of Japanese history courses as well as Japanese language courses in university and I was doing a lot of research on samurai. That’s when I learned a lot about the way of samurai (Bushido) as well as learning more about the Shinsengumi. It’s from all that research that I was able to start writing my story in the spring of 2011 after I finished all my final exams.

Problems…

I always find a picture of someone that helps inspire me and use that picture as my “muse.” I had originally chosen Sato Takeru as my lead character, but I tried to write the first two chapters and they never seemed quite right. That’s when I kept searching and found a picture of one of my favorite actors, Miura Haruma, dressed up as a samurai and I remembered the drama Samaurai High School. I knew he was the perfect fit for my character. Immediately, I snagged all the photos I could find of him playing his character and printed them, pinning them up on my bulletin board next to my computer so I could look at them every day and find inspiration. Thanks to the change in muse, I was able to pour my heart out, spending all my free time writing the novel from early in the morning, to late at night.

September 2011…

I think I finally finished the first draft in September, but because I was starting my fall semester at university, I didn’t have time to look at it again. I became so busy with school that I forgot about my novel.

January 2017

I was laid off from work for a month and had a lot of thinking to do. One of the things that I wanted to try was to publish my writing for the first time. I decided to try out self-publishing first and so, I opened up Mizuki Beautiful Moon and started editing my own novel. It took months for me to finish editing because I eventually went back to work, and I edited through once. Then I went back and reviewed all my notes and finally, I edited it again, but this time I made some changes. When that didn’t work out, I edited it again, and then one more time.

April 9th

I finally finished editing the book on my own birthday and published it the same day. Of course, considering I have a lot of bills to pay now, I can’t afford to pay someone to make a cover for me, so I had to make my own. I know that it’s not the best cover, but I’m hoping one day to either get published by an actual publishing company, or save enough money to splurge and get someone to make me a nice cover.

Synopsis of Mizuki Beautiful Moon

Sadayuki is a samurai and member of the Shinsengumi. On his way back to headquarters, his life changes forever. He is catapulted into the year 2017 where he meets a descendant of his and Elena. Sadayuki and Elena accidentally get transported back to the dangerous Keio era. Can Elena get back to her own time or is she stuck in 1867 forever?

Want to buy Mizuki Beautiful Moon? It’s available on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com!

From the UK? It’s also available at Amazon.co.uk

Want to read the first chapter before deciding? Check out the first chapter of Mizuki Beautiful Moon FREE. (Coming soon).

Nimbus 9 weeks

How I Adopted a Puppy Named Nimbus

How I Adopted a Puppy Named Nimbus

Five years ago, my dog passed away in my arms. The heartbreak it caused me was so much that I couldn’t even think of getting another dog for four years. Of course, I always wanted another dog, eventually, but the thought of actually getting one was far from my mind. Even to this day I still cry over Pepper when I come across her old things or see her picture on Facebook (no thanks to the memories of things I shared in the past). However, the last little while I just felt like something was missing. I knew deep in my heart that what was missing was a home with a dog in it. I grew up with a dog (Shih-Tzu) and then I adopted my first dog, Pepper, when she was six years old. To have a house without a dog is really strange for me and, even though I have a rabbit, it’s not quite the same.

I missed taking my dog for a walk and playing with them. I missed camping and hiking with a dog, missed all the funny moments, and I especially missed waking up to a sweet pair of loving brown eyes looking up at me every morning from the spot on the floor next to my bed. For a while, I wanted a dog that looked like a wolf, so I found a breed called “Tamaskan.” They are not wolf-dogs, but they do look a lot like one and they are stunning. However, the wait list for them was years in advance and one of the breeders we were talking to had to spay their female due to a positive result in her test. So, I looked online at the humane society, but of course, they had much older dogs and I can’t bear to part with a senior dog so soon after adoption.

That’s when someone mentioned that they adopted their pup from an organization called Pawsitive Match. I filled out the application and received a phone call a few days later! After that, we looked at some pups we liked the looks of online and set up an appointment with the foster to meet the dogs. They really aren’t kidding when they say the dog chooses you. When we arrived, all six of the puppies came towards us, licking and biting our shoes. We sat on the couch and the dog we originally went to visit, Morgan, plopped on the couch next to me, but we had a small surprise. The other puppy that we mentioned we wanted to add to our list to meet, Nimbus, happened to be there and he hopped up on the couch next to us too. He nibbled my ears gently and gave me lots of wet puppy kisses.

After a while, the others pups grew tired of us and scampered off, but Nimbus stayed with us. He stayed on my lap for some time, then went over to my boyfriend’s lap. He stayed there for a bit, then went off to eat. He came back and plopped in my lap again and fell asleep. It was like he was telling us “Hey! Look at me! I’m not adopted yet and I like you!” Obviously, he was set on us and he melted our hearts with his calm demeanor, gentle kisses, and lack of interest in our hair (the other puppies attacked my hair like nobody’s business). The foster mom mentioned how he chose us and we set up a time for him to come to our house to look around and meet my rabbit, Piko.

Nimbus and Piko danced around each other a bit, but by the end of the meeting, they both went up to the x-pen and touched noses. It was a moment that I won’t soon forget. The moment they finally touched noses was mesmerizing and one of the happiest moments in my life. I had been so worried the night before that they weren’t going to get along and I really wanted to adopt Nimbus. The foster mom was happy with how Nimbus was in our house as well as how Piko and Nimbus reacted to each other, especially at the end of the evening.

The next day, I anxiously awaited for Nimbus’ paperwork to get sent to me so I could fill it out and officially adopt him. By seven p.m that same night, he was in the kennel in the car and on the way to his new furever home. We adopted Nimbus on June 17th, the day before Father’s Day.

Coincidences:

When I first saw Nimbus’ name on the website, I nearly shrieked with laughter.  The first thing I thought of was Harry Potter’s first broomstick, the Nimbus 2000. The next thing I pictured was me telling people that my rabbit was riding his Nimbus 2000. The fact that I love Harry Potter and that one of the volunteers named him Nimbus was a huge coincidence, but I will take it.

The next thing that was a coincidence is that before our appointment, we were discussing how we wanted a calm dog that would have enough energy to go on hikes. The coincidence, Nimbus was calm and he has this strange way of flexing his paws (and climbing over his x-pen) that makes us believe he’ll be good at hiking when he’s older.

The other coincidence was when I was signing the adoption papers. His date of birth was listed as the exact same day as my dad and me.

What I’ve Learned So Far:
  • Nimbus is a mommy’s boy and follows me EVERYWHERE, including the bathroom even when I do my business and shower.
  • He’s a ninja dog. He can climb his x-pen and I’ve even witnessed him climbing.
  • He loves to fall asleep in my arms when he’s on his back.
  • He loves sleeping on his back in general
  • Daddy’s dirty socks and Mommy’s dirty underwear are no longer safe from his sharp teeth.
  • He’d rather eat paper, cardboard, and wood than play with the nice toys Mommy and Daddy bought him.
  • He likes to “attack” Mommy and Daddy’s knees and ankles when they are least expecting it.
  • He eats like he’s starving all the time and would probably eat my fingers and arms (oh, wait. He already tries!)
  • His fur is shorter than the purebred German Shepherd because he’s mixed.
  • He likes to grab the tags on his collar and “walk himself” around the house.
  • He’s not as calm as he had us believe…he’s a tornado of energy (especially at 5 in the morning).
  • He loves to sleep on the couch’s end pillows.
  • He’s growing like a weed.
  • He likes to chew my hair and bite my ears.
  • He learns VERY quickly (except where NOT to pee, to leave shoes, undies, socks, and the like ALONE, and to stop chewing Mommy and Daddy).
  • He’s too adorable.
  • Sometimes when he looks at me with his little puppy eyes, I see a glimmer of Pepper looking back at me.
  • He sometimes has a tiny bit of his tongue poking out of his mouth, like he’s sticking his tongue out at me and I have to catch my breath every time because Pepper used to do that all the time.
  • He’s slowly getting better and better at being left alone or in his x-pen when I can’t watch him (showers and sleeping).
  • He’s slowly learning to use the pee pad for #1 and #2, though he sometimes misses. He’s getting there!
  • The word NO means nothing to him, but he’s getting better with the word “STOP,” albeit SLOWLY.
  • I love him to pieces.
  • Piko thinks Nimbus is a weird looking bunny and Nimbus thinks Piko is a strange looking dog.
  • Not to let him run around too much because he’s still building muscle and running or walking for too long/too hard can give him huge problems when he’s an adult due to the stress on his underdeveloped joints and muscles.
  • He doesn’t like to walk much (what?!!!) He’d rather plop down on the grass and chill than walk even five steps.
  • He likes Mommy carrying him around instead of walking (though, when we first got him he was about 10 pounds and now he’s 12…
  • He walks like a wolf pup with his big clownish paws.

How I Adopted A Puppy Named Nimbus…it’s more like, “How A Puppy Named Nimbus Chose Me and Stole My Heart.”

 

How to Make Time to Write

How to Make Time to Write

We all have busy lives because of work, extra curricular activities, or raising children and taking them to their extra curricular activities, so how do we mange out time efficiently enough to find time to write? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer, if there were, we’d all be writing right now instead of reading this post! However, I’ve put together some tips on how to make time to write, which are ones that I implement almost every day.

How to Make Time to Write:

  1. Commuting to work by bus/train.

    If you commute to work and find yourself with some free time, even if it’s only ten minutes, use that time to your advantage! You can brainstorm ideas, find music to inspire you, heck, you can even write your story on your cellphone! Search for places, information, or books that might help you with your own book (research, etc).

  2. Arrive early to work.

    Most of the time I get to work early enough to spare ten to fifteen minutes of writing or brainstorming. If you arrive early and find that you have some free time, why not use that time to write or brainstorm or search for things to inspire you?

  3. Write as soon as you have some alone time.

    Do you come home before your spouse/children? If yes, WRITE! Are your children young enough that they need naps? Write when they are asleep! Even if you only write for fifteen minutes or half an hour, every little bit counts and gets you further.

  4. Write down new ideas before bed.

    If you’re like me, my head is always spinning with ideas for plot, characters, etc. I have trouble sleeping if my mind is too full, especially since I’m worried I’ll forget them in the morning. I’ve learned to keep some paper and pens near my bed so I can write down ideas as they come to me. That way, I have a much better sleep, or if I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, I can write it down and go back to sleep. I also use paper and pen because using my cellphone makes it harder for me to sleep (even with the blue light filter on.

  5. Too crowded/noisy at home?

    Take your laptop, iPad, cellphone, paper, whatever you use and take it to a nearby park. I find that I’m inspired by the new smells and sounds, I’m also a lot calmer.

  6. Get distracted with other things at home? For example: laundry, cleaning, etc?

    Take your laptop, or whatever it is that you use, and go somewhere else. You can even go to a coffee shop.

  7. Can’t decide between going to the gym and writing? Why not do both?

    I’ve been known to go to the gym and do my cardio while working on a story. I use my cellphone to write when I’m on the elliptical. If you can’t do that, then just brainstorm some ideas for the next part of your story.

  8.  Set aside a certain time every day to write (even if it’s only once a week).

    The most important thing that I’ve learned about writing is this: if you want to write, you have to find time to write. I have three jobs, so I know how difficult it can be to write, but I make sure that I put aside some time to do just that, write. No one is allowed to bother me when my door is closed and I even turn my cellphone to silent so I can get work done. If you want something badly enough, you will find time to do it,

 

I hope these tips on how to make time to write is helpful for you and I wish you the best of luck with your writing! You can find my first self-published book on Amazon : Mizuki Beautiful Moon.

How to Writea Bookin 10Steps

How to Write a Book in 10 Steps

How to Write a Book in 10 Steps

  1. Get a story idea

Everyone gets their story ideas from different places, all it takes is a little inspiration to spark an idea and from there it takes off. I usually get my ideas from music, situations, or even stories I hear from other people (in this case, one small scenario causes my brain to come up with something completely different based on one small detail).

  1. Brainstorm the basic plot and characters

For a book to be good, you need to have an engaging plot to keep readers turning the pages as well as believable characters. Readers need to be able to relate to the main characters as well as hate the antagonists.

  1. Research (if needed).

This includes finding the perfect names for your characters, where they live, the surroundings, their world (especially if it’s fantasy), historical references, etc. This part is important if you want the world you are creating to be believable.

  1. Make your characters come to life

Making copious notes on your characters from simple things to their characteristics like personality, looks, and other background information that might not even get mentioned in your book. All this extra information lets your character become believable, just like a real person.

  1. Flesh out more ideas for your plot especially the crisis and the solution.

It’s important to flesh out the details before you start writing because you can run into problems in the plot later on. There may even be some key details that need to be strategically placed throughout the book, which you cannot do if you don’t plan things out.

  1. Decide how you’re going to write

Are you going to write a prologue? Is the prologue essential? Are you going to write in first person or in third (omniscient) person? It all depends on what you want your readers to know and not know. It also depends on whether or not you are going to be writing from one perspective or more than one.

  1. Start writing.

Enough said. Write to your heart’s content and don’t stop (by “don’t stop” I don’t mean write for days on end without eating, drinking, etc. Please do the necessary things you need to do in order to stay alive. If you die, who’s going to finish your book?!)

  1. Keep detailed notes

As you write, it’s a good idea to make notes as you go along. Perhaps while you are writing, you come up with some good ideas as you flesh out the story. Write those down so you can easily access them, especially what you were thinking. It’s also a good idea to write down when you want certain things to happen or appear in your book. For example, perhaps one character has something special about them that you don’t want the readers to know until just before a pivotal moment or not at all.  For example, I have one character give another something, the importance behind the gift isn’t what the gift is but the reason behind giving it and what it means for the character that gave it. This idea popped in my head when I was still in the early stages of writing and planning my story.

  1. Check your notes/timelines (make sure you’re still headed in the right direction).

When you’re writing, it’s useful to constantly check your notes and timelines to make sure that you are still writing what you originally planned. There are many times that I wrote something that trailed off course that had nothing to do with where I needed the characters to go, so I got rid of that extra stuff. It’s important to keep the stuff that the readers need to know in order for the plot to work, anything extra isn’t going to help your plot much and is unnecessary.

  1. Finish writing and edit, edit, edit.

When you’re finished, I recommend taking a break from the book. Take a week off or longer or even start working on something else! When you go back to it, you can look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. I wrote a book in 2011 and didn’t look at it again until 2017 (not the BEST idea of a “break”, but I had my reasons). When I delved into the book again, I was able to see my characters from a completely new perspective and see the things that were unnecessary as well as add in more details of the characters’ interactions together to make them have a better and stronger relationship with each other.

 

My first self-published book Mizuki Beautiful Moon is available on Amazon for purchase!

 

10 ThingsWriters Do

Ten Things Writers Do

Ten Things Writers Do

  1. We always carry around something to jot our notes, ideas, and inspiration in (cellphone, notebook, post-its, etc).
  2. We always observe people when we are out. What they are doing, what they are wearing, how they are behaving, etc.
  3. We have a hard time finding the perfect name and often won’t use names of people we know in real life that we associate with negatively.
  4. We spend hours on baby name websites searching for the perfect name with the perfect meaning behind it.
  5. We write something and think it’s genius only to have that particular scene bother us for the next twenty four hours. We lose sleep over it until we finally change it.
  6. We often get angry when people interrupt our creative thought process, especially when we are brainstorming, on a roll writing, or imagining a scene in our head.
  7. We like to lock ourselves in our offices/rooms to write and turn off our cellphones/phones.
  8. Our rooms/offices are full of notes, outlines, timelines, character information, pictures, etc. either on the walls, floors, desk, or all the above.
  9. Some of us keep notebooks full of all our old stories ideas, even if we scrapped them.
  10. We often decline social invitations because we need to write, even if that means staring at a blank page for three hours without inspiration.
WhyHathaYogaisGoodforBeginners

Why Hatha Yoga is Good for Beginners

Why Hatha Yoga is Good for Beginners

There are many different types of yoga out there and if you are new, all the different kinds can make you go cross-eyed! So where do you begin? In my opinion, the best yoga for beginners is Hatha Yoga.

Posture:

The first reason why I believe Hatha Yoga is the best for beginners is that it focuses on posture. If you’re brand new to yoga, you probably don’t know a lot about the different forms that you do in yoga. Hatha Yoga focuses a lot on your posture in certain positions. You maintain the same position for a good number of counts before you move into the next position, which allows you to get a feel for the position before moving into the next.

The nice thing about having that extra time in the position means that you can play around. If it feels strange, you can roll your hips or tilt more to one side, or even lunge deeper. It’s all up to you and your body with what feels good as long as you maintain the basic shape of the position.

Breathing:

The second reason why I think Hatha Yoga is great for beginners is that it also focuses on breathing. One of the most important things in yoga is your breathing. It’s important to breathe in and breathe out during certain movements and at certain times to help ease into the positions naturally. The great thing about Hatha Yoga is that the instructors count the breaths or instruct when to breathe in and when to breathe out. Perfect for beginners.

Easy Positions:

The other reason why Hatha Yoga is great is that most of the positions are great for beginners. Downward facing dog, warrior poses, etc. those are all positions that anyone can do, even if they aren’t as flexible as the instructors. They are basic enough for anyone to do it, which is the perfect place for beginners to start. Over time, you learn new positions as well as become familiar with how your body should feel during each position.

sailormooncrystalweed

Races and Themes in Sailor Moon

Races and Themes in Sailor Moon:
Good vs. Evil or Judgement vs. Acceptance?

 

One of my favorite TV shows that I watched as a kid was Sailor Moon. With the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon, a reboot released called Sailor Moon Crystal that followed the manga closer than the Sailor Moon I grew up with. Either way, both Sailor Moon adaptations show a variety of different “races” that are good and bad. This post is going to look at a few of the different races that are mentioned in both versions (or will be mentioned in the future).

 Humans: Good

There are many characters that are just normal humans, this includes the reincarnations of the Sailor Senshi and Princess Serenity. Since all the Sailor Senshi are reborn on earth, I’ll assume that in their previous lives there were another race completely.

The people of the Moon Kingdom had long lives because it was their mission to guard the Legendary Silver Crystal (a.k.a Imperium Silver Crystal). So it’s possible that they are some other kind of race, or perhaps they are actually humans that have long life because of the power of the crystal.

The people of the Earth Kingdom were all regular humans, including Prince Endymion, whom Princess Serenity falls in love with despite the fact that they’re not supposed to for whatever reason. The humans turned against the Moon Kingdom and a war broke out, resulting in the death of Prince Endymion and the destruction of the Moon Kindgom.

Tau Ceti Star System: Evil

The next race are those from the Tau Ceti Star System, which includes Mistress 9 and Master Pharaoh 90. Mistress 9 comes in the form of some sort of mass-like monster who takes over Hotaru’s body, turning into a woman with long black hair. The other is Master Pharaoh 90, an alien that needs a connection between the worlds so he can merge with the world and take over it. Actually, Pharaoh 90 is an incarnation of Chaos, the source of all the Sailor Senshi’s problems from the very beginning as we later find out.

Alien or Human?: Good, Evil, or Just Corrupted?

The next is Sailor Galaxia. I’m not 100% sure if she’s human or a type of alien from another planet, but she is known as the Soldier of Solitude. She ended the Sailor Wars by sealing Chaos into her own body, but not before she sent her Star Seed out into the universe so that it didn’t become corrupted by Chaos. It’s because of Chaos and her hunger for power that she became hostile towards the Sailor Senshi, seeking out their Star Seeds so she could gain ultimate power.

The Unknown 

Lastly, there’s Chaos. I’m not certain what Chaos is exactly, but we learn that Chaos is able to incarnate into the forms of Wiseman, Queen Nehelenia, Pharaoh 90, and Queen Metalia. A never-ending cycle of viciousness reborn repeatedly to seek out and destroy the Sailor Senshi. A darkness that wants nothing more than to have ultimate control of the galaxy and all the planets in it.

Good vs. Evil or Judgement vs. Acceptance

Overall, many different races in Sailor Moon are good and evil. Just because one may be considered different or alien, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are evil. In the case of Sailor Galaxia, all she really wanted deep down was love. In the end, Sailor Moon offered her friendship, and it was because of that friendship that they were able to defeat Chaos and finally have peace. The people of the Moon Kingdom were probably a different race, and they were a peaceful people, watching over the Earth Kingdom and guarding the galaxy from outside threats. The main theme in Sailor Moon is that people shouldn’t judge people by what they look like or where they’re from. All people are different and unique, with their own personalities and quirks and we all need to take a lesson from Usagi and learn to accept people for who they are, regardless of their differences, skin color, or nationality. Peace can only ever be achieved by understanding, we just haven’t learned to be as open as Usagi yet.