Our Annual Christmas Movie, and Don’t Argue With Me.

English: Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna...

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly every year of my life, my immediate family has gathered on Christmas Eve, invited friends and pseudo-adopted family, eaten ourselves silly on shrimp and brownies and cheese balls and red and green M&Ms, and watched It’s a Wonderful Life.

“That old hack of a film? Really?” you ask.

If you asked it silently to yourself, read on, and I’ll explain. If you asked aloud, there’s the door over there. We don’t argue about It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading

The Eighth Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 2

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
Anime Central 2012

flyer for Anime Central 2012

In recent years, kitsune and other folklore creatures have been making a striking comeback, it seems. Yes, they were always there, but now they’re everywhere, from fashion (French clothing line Maison Kitsune) to music (several music groups go by the name Kitsune).

Here’s a very brief collage of modern media in which you might spy a kitsune — and one of my favorite kitsune scenes in which there is no kitsune at all. Continue reading

The Sixth Day of Kitsune — On Kimono & Japanese Clothing

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

Today we feature a guest post by my friend Emilia Blaser, a collector of kimono. Because there’s a lot of misinformation and false assumptions regarding kimono, Emilia is graciously allowing me to repost her convenient guide to kimono for beginners. Continue reading

The Third Day of Kitsune – Wordless Wednesday kitsune images

This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

I don’t usually do a Wordless Wednesday post — for one thing, I’m pretty bad at “wordless” — but here are some fantastic pictures I collected for research and inspiration while working on Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.

If you like these, be sure to check out the Kitsune-Tsuki/Kitsune-Mochi Pinterest board! Continue reading

Twelve Days of Kitsune!

VA Tag: KITSUNE

VA Tag: KITSUNE (Photo credit: shawnblog)

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays — but it wasn’t exactly popular during Heian and Kamakura eras in Japan, for obvious reasons. So here on the blog we’re going to celebrate Twelve Days of Kitsune, and each post we’ll discover a new folk tale, period foods, or other fun surprises related to Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.

Watch for the first post in the series on Monday!

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Things To Do While Waiting To Hear Back From an Agent

In Richard Westall's Sword of Damocles, 1812, ...

Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one point in Shard & Shield, a character is waiting for his treason to be discovered. He knows it is only a matter of time before he is identified, seized, tortured, and executed, but in the meantime he must go about his daily business as if nothing is wrong, as if he fears nothing, as if his entire world does not hang by a Damoclean thread.

I might have researched and prepared for writing such a state by sending off a manuscript for consideration.

Continue reading

Pep Talk from Hell.

Anger Controlls Him

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone on the NaNoWriMo chat group mentioned a technique in which a writer writes a pep talk from his or her characters. She said she had found it helpful.

I hadn’t heard of the technique, but just the thought of it scared the snot out of me. Continue reading

Foxes. Don’t mess with them.

Punishment of a Hunter

Punishment of a Hunter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my fox research for Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi, I came across this clipping of a hunting trip gone wrong.

I understand that people hunt, some for pleasure and some by necessity. (My husband grew up in an area where hunting provided much of some families’ diet.) But hunting should be quick and clean and respectful.

A hunter in Belarus apparently opted to save a bullet by bludgeoning a wounded fox to death, instead of shooting it cleanly. The fox fought back. Continue reading