Noh theatre

 

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a short one-case story in my Onmyouji series, featuring a Noh or Kabuki play, two of Japan’s most well-known traditional theatre forms.

Noh originated from the combination of Shinto-related dance and mime, with influences of dance from other parts of Asia. It uses poetic language, monotonous tones and slow movements, and the costumes are rich and elaborate. Noh plays are usually drawn from legend, history, literature and contemporary events, with themes relating to dreams, the supernatural world, and ghosts and spirits.

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松岡明芳 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

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Baking and other disasters

Instead of writing, I decided baking would be a much better way to spend my day, especially since I was low on chocolatey eats.

I am an okay baker at best. I can follow recipes, 80% of the time they come out alright and they generally land somewhere between edible and good.

That being said, I don’t necessarily enjoy the baking process as I tend to stress if the yeast is working, if the dough is rising and if any of the flours have gone bad.

This time, tried a rice flour brownie recipe from https://www.theroastedroot.net/gluten-free-brown-rice-flour-brownies/ and happily it actually came out looking brownie-ish. (Insert tears of joy).

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Actually, it was probably more of a dense chocolate loaf because I cut back the butter and sugar, but I’m counting it as a win. Next time, I think I’ll try it with milk chocolate.

 

Start of a New Series aka Productive Procrastination

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Since I’ve been staying at home a lot, got really into some vintage fashion videos on Youtube about sewing and patterns and Regency era/Victorian designs. Which inevitably led to my next great brainstorm – seamstress heroine who makes amazing patterns and dresses and…stuff.

Problem no.1 – Regency era or Victorian? Maybe I’ll take a giant leap and go for the Qing Dynasty and embroidery.

Problem no.2 – MC has a job, which is great. But as for the actual story…

Problem no.3 – I really suck at sewing.

With enough research, can you write about what you don’t know? Probably not as well as you’d like.

I took some embroidery classes a while back, trying to adopt a hobby that would keep my hands busy and calm the anxiety, but I ditched it pretty quickly. Recently, I picked it up again to realise that a) I still suck, b) it’s still quite fun, and c) the hours really zip by when you’re sewing and listening to TV and generally not writing.

Conclusion: possible new series, definite new procrastination method but I get to poke things with needles so it’s all good.

Decisions and NaNoWriMo

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It’s been a few days since I launched my latest book (whee!), and now it’s time to figure out which way to proceed next.

It’s taken me a while to figure out my writing rhythm, but I’ve learned that for me, fresh eyes are required for quality editing or the words just become shapes. I find I work quite well jumping from one project to another, which allows me to approach an ongoing story with a renewed interest, sort of like a palate cleanser.

I have a basic plot for the sequel of The Mage just in time for NaNoWriMo and in between, I have a steampunk fantasy novella series lurking in the background that could use more editing. So that’s my schedule figured out!

Happy NaNoWriMo!

 

 

 

 

New Book Release!

 

It’s been over a year, but I’m happy to announce my new book release!

This is the first in the new Sera Kishao series called The Mage. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Being a Mage means a life of power and magick and prestige. It is not one that Sera Kishao asked for.

Sera’s reputation as a Mage in Eldrea is controversial at best. She doesn’t have the right background or the right attitude, and she’s partnered to the top Mage in the Coven, which mean she’s constantly in the spotlight. So that kind of sucks too. But Sera is good at squaring off against the Clowder, a group of cat shapeshifters who have risen up to become the Coven’s number one thorn-in-the-side, without disrupting their precarious balance. Only that seems to be blown out of the water when a dead Wiccan is discovered with claw marks.

Sera is immediately suspicious about the clumsiness of the situation and launches an investigation that sends her around Eldrea, gathering threads to come up with a noose that may end up tightening around the Coven instead.

Oops.