• General,  Language Learning,  Writing

    Health, wellness, and ink, oh man

    (scroll down if you just want to see the earliest publication schedule for 2024)

    I’m trying to give myself more credit, especially when it feels like I’ve accomplished nothing for long stretches of time, and then I look back and it turns out I actually have been doing and working on a whole lot. That feels like my life right now. I got back on asthma medication for the first time since I was 17, and lo and behold, a lot of the fatigue issues that I thought were just an intrinsic part of me lifted, and I was suddenly very excited to try and do every single physical activity possible. I went wild with that for about a month or so, to some hilarious (and sometimes injurious) results.

    The shortest possible TL;DR of that entire state of affairs is that I’m now back in physical therapy for my knees and just had an occupational therapy appointment for my hands. Since I was in my early 20s, I’ve had issues with my joints. Current best guess is hypermobility, so I’m very tentatively and very carefully trying to strengthen my body enough that it can do the things I want it to do. It takes time, but I think I’m more patient now than I have been ever before.

    I’ve also been studying Korean, which takes up my entire brain for days at a time. Learning languages seems like a good way to learn more about yourself—what your brain likes, what you love about the entire endeavor of words and collecting them. Writing my Korean notes out by hand in pencil has been very satisfying. I think my handwriting is getting a bit better, too.

    Ask me how much time I’ve spent with the word 행복 stuck in my head.

    I got a covid shot yesterday and have spent the majority of today feeling achy and sick but overall pretty satisfied about my body’s fomenting immunity and the whole doing my civic duty thing. I’ve been trying to take good care of myself lately. I’ll get my flu shot in a couple weeks and do the achy sickness thing all over again.

    I did A Project and hilariously started fighting with my printer for like three hours yesterday as the delirium set in.

    All of these new things have been taking up space that used to be solely inhabited by my writing. I didn’t write very much at all for a month or so, but I’m finding my way back to my former pace. It takes more willpower than it used to, but I don’t love it any less.

    And a writing update

    I wrote out a tentative publication schedule for 2024 that I’ll share once I have a few more things nailed down. I’d like to publish the fourth Fragile Tender book on Valentine’s Day, February 2024. I’d also like to do a big Kickstarter with fun merch for The Witchblood Heir series in the summer, and I have a new standalone book for the spring and something special for the fall. I hope you’re excited. I plan to work really hard in 2024, maybe harder than I ever have before. The prospects are really exciting to me, and I hope you’ll enjoy the results.

  • General,  Language Learning

    Back from the dead

    And a bit sick, so this blog is probably going to be short. I’ve been so busy lately. I started taking qi gong classes, which I’ve been loving a lot. I went STRAIGHT off the fucking deep end for the entirety of October. I got really, really into Kpop. Stray Kids, specifically.

    Stray Kids, the rabbit that led me down the rabbit hole

    There is a truly terrifying amount of content in Kpop land. I’m enjoying it a lot. I also started learning Korean, which is a real “don’t look at me, let’s not acknowledge how far I’ve gotten down this rabbit hole” kind of vibe. 재밌어요!

    I’ve been working on a new story and also had to pull back for a second to kind of take inventory of all my WIPs. I hit a real wall with writing this month, partially because of some life changes that have been going on, partially because I’d adopted a kind of workflow that really didn’t work for me.

    We’re working it out, working out the kinks.

    Anyway, maybe that’s all for now. I’ll probably elaborate on some of this… later.

    For now, I’ve been continuing to serialize stuff on Wattpad, including the new story. Time will tell if this is a mistake or not. Sometimes it feels like it is, sometimes it feels like it isn’t. For better or worse, I’m currently too sick to agonize about it.

    I’m going to go… be sick and try not to do things that are too labor-intensive. Maybe I’ll finally watch the survival show that made Stray Kids. I keep putting it off because Felix is my bias, and I don’t know if I can handle seeing him be sad.

  • General,  Language Learning

    Japanese Language Learning & A Workbook Score

    So I’m learning Japanese. Have been learning Japanese? I took a few years of Japanese in high school and have been dusting it off in recent years as I’ve gotten more into Japanese media. It’s going okay! (Except for my ability to write, which is very bad after 15 or so years of disuse!) I know enough to hear some nuance that gets missed in English subtitles sometimes, and I can sometimes struggle bus my way through JP-only games (Clean Dishes, my love…)

    Anyway, after doing some research, everyone seemed to recommend the Genki Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (textbooks). I visit a local thrift store with my dad every week and have been lowkey on the lookout for these books for years, and I finally scored one! A couple weeks later, I got the workbook, too.

    A photo of a Genki I Japanese language workbook

    Actually, I ended up with two because I fucked up the first time and bought a workbook with ~50 pages torn out, whoops. There’s some writing in the new one, but between this one (whose writing I can erase) and the blank one (with 60 pages missing), I think I’ll be alright.

    Anyway, I got all of these for around $9 total, which is still miles better than the $60ish it costs on Amazon. Sweet.

    Today I fell down a rabbit hole of learning the kanji 触 after hearing 触れたい over and over again while playing Dramatical Murder. Preserved for posterity, my very bad handwriting:

    A photo of a sketchbook page with kanji practice and Japanese-English word definitions on it

    I mean to buy a genkouyoushi paper notebook to practice my kanji, but for now it’s getting shoved in my sketchbook.

    Did you know that the intransitive verb for “to touch” (fureru) is a homophone for the intransitive verb “to go mad” (fureru). I thought that was neat. I keep thinking about it.

    Also, in Mandarin, 触 is pronounced chu. I would like to learn to read Chinese at some point, considering how far down the danmei rabbit hole I’ve fallen. My friend told me it might not be such a bad idea to learn both languages concurrently, since at least it’ll stop me from getting locked into any one reading for kanji/hanzi. Either way, I’m enjoying myself.

    A surprising number of people have had the reaction, “No you won’t!” when I tell them I’d like to learn Chinese, but one of my friends reminded me of this very great meme. The time will pass anyway! Why not! At worst, you’ll end up knowing a few more things that you didn’t know before. It’s not like I’m in a hurry.