Category Archives: Uncategorized

The “Role” of the Dice

That isn’t a miss spell!

I wrote my short story book Gold River City 100 using a large collection of dice accumulated over the past 5 years. The idea of writing stories first occurred to me after getting a set of Rory’s story dice for use in my English classes. I saw their potential for making stories to be exciting and set about to collect more in order to make a set of short stories with a common theme-the background being Gold River City. A year later, and 100 short stories later, I published Gold River City 100.

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Rory’s Story Dice are the most well known recent imagination dice out there, but there are many others. I got # dice with up to 24, I found odd dice-like one from a Jumanji board game- and sets like Story Dice which I bought off Amazon. Another interesting one was a set by Kerplunk that has days of the week, months, compass directions and continents dice that have been fun to use.

Rolling dice and then thinking up a story was a challenge, but it also meant I could let go and just write. Don’t think about it, make a story and at the end most of the stories turned out pretty good. There was a subconscious thing going on and the dice only helped in giving me invitation to elaborate on what I didn’t even know I was thinking.

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I recommend if you want to try writing with dice you should get a set of either Rory’s original Story Cubes or Story Dice and see if they work for you. Limiting the number of dice you use also makes it easier for some, but you can experiment. The whole idea is to keep writing!

So, keep writing.

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Melatonin and Dreams

I am not a person who likes to take any artificial chemicals. My feeling is ibuprofen is a last resort. Yet one minor inconvenience rests on me daily insomnia. I know in part it is due to lower activity levels which mean getting to sleep in a state of awakeness is just harder, but it robs me of being completely at my best. So melatonin is in the cabinet.

I first tried this supplement about 15 years ago and found it worked well-with one interesting side effect. Now, to preface this, I have a vivid dream life that I often remember after waking. There are many dreams I could easily write about, they have stuck with me. When I take melatonin though I remember them very clearly. They are less fragments and more complete impressions. Chalking this up to the hormones properties seems the most likely answer, yet it is still pretty fascinating to me.

Sleep is very important. I am making a concerted effort to get more sleep. This means: no watching videos or surfing the internet at night, not listening to music (unless for the specific reason of sleeping) and making myself as comfortable as possible while going to bed.

I will do my best, for it all ties in with trying to get as much done each day as it possible. Busy bees make honey, so to type.

Keep writing.

Earthquake in Osaka

I felt it. I actually felt it this time. I was sitting at my computer working on lesson reports for my school, around 8 in the morning, when I thought I was moving my chair more than usual. Then I noticed the computer desk was swaying and stood up, turned on the TV 30 seconds later it was the big news. At 7:59 a magnitude 5.9 hit the Osaka area with a shaking intensity of 6-which translates to very shaky. Japan uses two ways to measure a quake, Magnitude and Shaking intensity. The later makes a big difference in the impact to buildings and roads.

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As of present I have seen reports of 3 dead and 61 injured. This number will probably rise as the true impact is made known. One street had a sink hole with water gushing out, another place an old building caught fire, a water aqueduct pipe on a bridge separated and gushed water. 170,000 homes were left without power.

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My wife seemed tired of the news. Earthquakes used to be very regular and their impact was just a local consequence. Now when there is a little quake the news dogs on with the same images over and over. To me it’s sensationalism on the media’s part. They want us to keep watching the TV.

Tragedies happen and I am sad to see Osaka have a quake at any time. I rather fancy the sassy people and fun atmosphere. I hope the impact will be low scale and recovery quick.

People are resilient beings, especially here where the earth had a habit of moving.

Keep writing.

Yellow Raspberries

A good 6 years ago my wife and I were looking for flowers at a spring festival when I found yellow raspberries for sale. We got them, and a fig tree too, and I planted them in a deep long pot. They grew like crazy and eventually we moved them to our new home where they are growing in a nook of my yard.

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Yellow raspberries you say? Well they are the best tasting raspberries I have ever had, especially when they get to about a peach pink color. I should know raspberries, I grew up eating them in New York, picking them in the abandoned fields and then also in the woods in Maine as a teenager. During the rainy season the humidity shows you just how sweet they are-they will start to mold almost immediately as the sugar content is so high.

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Here in Ishikawa we often see raspberries twice a year, around late May-early June then again when the weather cools in early November some appear. The stalks with bark on them will give you the berries as the green stalks will not produce flowers until they are mature. I am planning to propagate them into big pots and increase the yield next year so I can eat them more often. As raspberries don’t all come ripe at the same time the effect of picking a few every day for a month is what makes them so memorable.

In fact, I can’t wait for my next bite!

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Keep writing, and seeing the flavors of the world.

Bird Brain

My name is Nathan Emery and I did not write a book in German about birds. Just want to clear that up right now, because there is another Nathan Emery out there on Amazon and he did-good for him. However we do have something in common. I own a bird!

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Graey (yes that is how my daughter wanted it spelled and named) is a finch my wife bought for our daughters’ birthday this year. It is very tame and is sitting on my arm as I type this post out on my Neo Alphasmart.

This is particularly nostalgic because our last bird, a love bird named Leaf, sat on my arm and would fall asleep as I typed away on my first novel or on my first serious blog that I eventually turned into a book.

Birds are odd creatures. They molt, eat seeds and fly. They chirp instead of whatever rabbits do. Incredibly they are very trusting and interested in whatever you are doing. In sort they are rather smart or their size to the point of unbelievable annoyance, but still smart.

I think statues in the park are what muscular people would look like if birds pooped all over them. Demetri Martin

Good point, for usually a dog keeps his business on the roadside, or corner or where-ever. Birds usually, save for parrots and love birds, don’t care where they let if fly so that is a problem. Today I was pooped on 3 times and urinated on twice. Fun fun fun till your mama takes the bird cage away, right?

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Even though I’ve had birds now for about 14 years I do not think of myself as a bird person. There are cat people and dog people and bird people. Just like their are margarine families and butter families. Or biscuit families and hoecake families.

Birds are fun, but I have NOT written a book about birds. Oh, thanks Graey, you pooped on me again!

Keep writing.

2 Guitar or Not 2 Guitar

There is an age old problem with guitar players that is shared with many other hobbies: you can never have too many guitars. Let’s face it though, how many do you really need? I’ve been asking myself that question as I go through the bi-yearly mood of streamlining my entire life.

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I think my main guitar, a very well maintained Aria Pro II Thor Sound from around ’79, is a great guitar. 24 accessible frets, a 5 stage tone selector, in parallel and out of parallel for each of the two Dimarzio humbuckers, in-phase and out of phase switch, a brass nut AND a boost switch with boost volume control. In short it was the best guitar I could have ever gotten my hands on and I am not likely to give it up.

I have another guitar, an Ibanez Artcore f-hole electric jazz style guitar that was my first real electric and is a nice, but since I don’t use it that often I feel I might be selling it and getting a used (because I always buy used guitars) acoustic. It’s a shame, but I have a philosophy of use it or lose it and I would rather see someone else playing it than me so off it will go.

Guitars a strange animal really when you think about them. They don’t make music, but there is a connection for the guitarist that is very elemental. When you lose that connection it is just a piece of wood. Blacky, Lucile or Tiger are all great guitars, but Clapton, King and Garcia are the guitarists who made them sing.

So I am non of those famous guitarist, but I admit having two guitars would be my ideal: a good electric and a decent acoustic. I say decent because you can often pick up a good solid electric for little bootle. A good acoustic tends to be a lot more expensive because acoustics are a lot more sensitive to the vagaries of humidity, abuse and craftsmanship that their solid wood body cousins.

So I think I will keep two guitars, even if it means selling one to achieve my goal. Really what I am trying not to do is be a consumer. I would rather be an enjoy-er of what I have use, and I enjoy playing music and singing when the mood strikes me.

Keep playing guitar-I mean writing, yeah writing.