Monthly Archives: August 2016

Using an Android tablet Google Keep and getting distracted from my blog

Using dictation from Google on an Android tablet I bought in America this summer. I wanted to use dictation and the portable format of an Android tablet makes it a lot easier to do so. The only disadvantage I see is that it has to be connected to the internet in order to allow Google to do the speech to text feature. I want to be more mobile than that so it’s a little frustrating  I can only use it in my home.
On the other hand I’m enjoying using the tablet as a writing tool. Dictation has definitely improved my word count. I’m using this in conjunction with Google Keep, a pretty useful program for taking notes. I find the color tabbing and category futures make it easy for me to create ideas on the Fly. In fact I’m using dictation right now to draft out this blog article. But the truth is I haven’t been able to do the typing and writing I would really like to do for my blog.
I am excited because it got me more connected with things like Twitter and using Facebook. This does not mean I use either more frequently, but it does mean I can access them more frequently if needed. Also Android tablets have a mini SD card slot which is easier for me to upload things like documents and pictures. In that way I feel I’m actually being more creative and productive on this device. But I don’t think I’m getting quality writing done like I had on my typing pad.
So I’m apologizing for the shiny new toy of dictation, while not being able to get out more blog articles which I should be doing as a writer. But I don’t apologize for being more creative, for getting the ideas down faster, which ultimately will produce more written works and that’s the whole goal. My target is to write as much as possible, get the ideas swimming around in my head, to come out on the printed page. Now that I can do it with dictation I feel the ideas racing faster and faster.
Everyone out there in the blogging world, keep writing!

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Ishikawa Insect Museum Summer 2016

Up in the hills above Tsurugi town is the Ishikawa Insect Museum.

I was really taken by this Australian rainbow beetle which has a very beautiful shell. My daughter even got a button to where it says Australian rainbow Beetle on it. Many many display cases of new insects that I had never seen before at the Museum. Here in Japan summer vacation is the time for students to go with their parents and see all of the insects and often many of the students in elementary school use this time as a research for some summer project. So the place is full of kids checking out all the insects.

Insect museum has a very large room filled with butterflies. Today it was very hot and the windows were open to the outside allowing the air to flow through. As you walk around a curved walkway you can stop and enjoy that are size as they drink syrup dispensers throughout the room. It was a great place to take the family on the weekend.

Ground Golf: A Japanese Institution

Ground golf is a sport played here in Japan. It was devised for elderly players to enjoy golf like sport without the long walks, high prices of golf courses and to inspire a sense of community. It is played all over the country in parks that have enough space for the 8 holes, although the pictures here show more, I believe I saw at least 14 holes. I do know there are many people playing this game in groups, each group with its own clip board for keeping score. Most of the players I would judge to be over 70, easily, and many over 80. Here they are playing in 34C temps in Wakamiya Park, Hakusan City, Ishikawa.

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hole 3
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players
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more players
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note the sumo ring they are playing around

Keep Writing!

An Excerpt: Gold River City 100 Chapter 83

Thought I would share this chapter to wet your appetites. With a hundred chapters to choose from I thought I would start out simple. Enjoy.

Chapter 83

“I can’t live here anymore-”

“Calm down Kat.”

“This place is so boring, we’ve been everywhere, seen everything there is to see.”

Her voice seemed a long way off, but it was in the room behind him. She had finished vacuuming the living room and was pulling her hair back. Tony looked back over the city from their balcony.

“I don’t think we’ve seen everything. The City has a lot more to see than meets the eye.”

“You’re just in love.”

“Love?”

“With this City!” She sat on the sofa, he walked in, sliding the screen back in place behind him.

“I’m in love with you. The City, she’s a diversion.”

“She’s a pain in the-”

“Let’s go for a walk.”

“We’ve been everywhere on foot.”

“What about from here to Purple.”

“Purple?”

“I asked someone about the love hotel with the Statue of Liberty on the top, the one by the river. It went bankrupt and another company bought it and changed the name to Purple.”

“Why do you want to go there?”

“Because we’ve never gone that way before.”

They left the apartment, in minutes they were walking the river path.

“The same guy told me a typhoon blew the statue off the top once. That must have been a sight.”

“Where did it land?”

“Good question, I don’t know.”

Ducks took flight. The trees swayed in the wind. A man pedaling very slowly fell over when he noticed the two foreigners walk by.

“There it is.”

The hotel sat along the river, with the main road in the background.

“They painted it purple, odd color for a love hotel.”

“I won’t go there.” He smirked.

A jet flew over, low against the sun, heading to the airport.

They turned, looking back at the city.

The sun was at its 6 o’clock angle, yellow as a lemon peal.

“Maybe it has something left to give us.” She looked into his eyes, but only saw the sun.

 

Keep writing!

Cicada Shells

Little known fact, Chinese herbal medicine has used cicada shells to reduce body temperature, such as fever, and as an anticonvulsant. You can check out more facts at this sight for Traditional Chinese Medicine Cicada Molting.

In Greek mythology they were seen as the spirits of musicians who were playing for the Muses and died. The Muses made them into cicadas that could sing from birth until death without eating or sleeping. Aristotle is credited with making cicadas into symbols of resurrection and immortality.

In the town of Tsurugi, here in Ishikawa Japan, people ate the little white threads in the cicada shells as a snack before the introduction of modern snacks 60 years ago.

Keep writing!

Aaaaaagggghhhhh!
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hand full of exuvia

 

Throw them in the air for fun and fright!

 

Pokemon Go! and Japanese in the Park

Pokemon Go!and Japanese in the park

This is the summer of Pokémon Go! Even here in the land where Pokémon was created, of course.

To be honest I am a bit of a video game iconoclast. I don’t think games are the Devil, just they are a waste of time. Oh, hush now, as my grandmother would have said, don’t make me out to be evil on this point. I know they can be a reasonable escape for entertainment purposes, but it all boils down to battery life.

What? Well games like Pokémon Go wouldn’t even exist without the advance of battery technology. When I was that kids age you needed AA’s baby!

A date? Well isn’t that cute…..

I will say this, even though it was hot and sunny out, people were out in it all because of a game. If that is what it takes then alright! Go! But keep writing.

Pratchett! I said Pratchett! (a Discworld review of the first two books)

 Reading is a great pass time. Let’s face it, writes are almost always readers themselves. Sometimes bibliophiles get in  a rut while reading, just as audiophiles get tired of the music they have been interested in. The solution? Find something new to read!

 So I wanted to switch up genre’s and had heard of the Disc world series while researching other sci-fi authors. I can tell you this much, Pratchett‘s books were a learning experience for the author’s mind. What would make him this way is his use of changing perspective, humor and first person voice to outright do what fiction writers are not to do-to describe things in an authoritative voice directly to a reader. And here is the thing, he does it so well it will impress anyone.

Another thing he does is his restraint in description. He gives you just enough to get the idea across and then lets you own imagination work. In The Color of Magic we are introduced to three interest in characters; Rincewind a failed wizard, Twoflower who is described as the Disc world’s first tourist and his luggage, simply referred to as the Luggage. These three set off on an unwitting journey the crux of which is to simply stay alive. He leaves us on a wonderful cliff hanger at the end of the book.

The second book, The Light Fantastic, continues where the last book leaves off and brings us to a nice conclusion that will give you the impression that yes there will be more to come.

I can not help but to read any book with a writer’s eye now that I have spent years writing my novels and doing my best to seek out helpful advice. Yet reading is as much a par of this as the advice often can be, Mr. Pratchett’s books prove that point that writing can be in any style within any genre and still show brilliance. With somewhere in the upwards of 29 Disc world books written I will have to read on to see how he developes his ideas, or how he just has fun. Because at the end of it he must have been having fun while writing, it comes through in the playfulness he shows even when talking about death! Especially when it is DEATH personified!

Everyone out there- keep writing!