Slave to the Grind

With my purse-strings cut I have found need of returning to full-time employment once more. While this is an unfortunate and frustrating turn of events it was not entirely unexpected. Much of my editing is (again) to take place upon subways and stairwells. I shall have to make the most of that time when I am free and whatever vacation time comes my way. The position that I have taken up is again within the teaching field although revolves around the use of stories rather than regular text books. This helps me somewhat although I am of course losing a great deal of time with which I could be concentrating upon my editing. However, the work does enable me to see how different stories are both accepted and rejected by my students. While they are not my target audience the experience is still of some use.

I have just had to make a visit to Hakata over in Japan in order to obtain a work visa for Korea. Having only just visited Hakata a few months ago it is a pleasant experience to return again so soon! The weather was seasonably wet and humid but that never seems to spoil the trip. I took some time to visit the “Moomin” coffee shop (located on the ground floor of Canal City) and have a beer along with one of the ‘Moomin’ characters. The Moomin Trolls are from Finland and I remember them from the TV show of my youth. It was a surreal experience having one of them come and join me at the table as I drank. A young child came in with her mother for tea and cake, a big smile upon her face at the prospect of being able to sit with one of the trolls. Unfortunately, they were all occupied with the other guests. I finished the last of my beer, thanked my troll for its company, and then told the waitress to take my troll over to where the little girl was sitting with her mum. Her face lit up as her guest sat alongside her!

I think that is what I enjoy about Japan. It doesn’t seem to have sold out its childhood. I’m sure others would argue, but what I mean by that is the dream-like quality that exists within the country. The number of shops that cater to childhood/adult dreams is everywhere to see, whether they be cartoons, anime, robots, or monsters. Childhood doesn’t seem to fade with age either as I saw many an adult and grandmother clapping their hands gleefully as they looked upon the stuffed toys of “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “My Neighbour Totoro”. I like that very much. It is often said that Childhood ends as soon as you know that you are going to die. That doesn’t have to be true. I leave the Land of the Rising Sun with hopes that its dreams never set…

With my return to employment it does mean that progress on my novel has again been thwarted. I am currently editing/reworking a chapter that no longer ‘fits’ with the earlier chapters. Therefore, I have had to make several changes regarding the direction of the story within those pages. It isn’t a problem but it does take time. While I cannot say overly much about the changes, some of them do involve a dragon… of a sort.

I also find myself ‘breaking up’ the earlier chapters that I wrote into smaller sections. I wrote them initially upon a small palmtop that didn’t give me much indication of the page count. Some of them were much bigger in size than I would have liked and so I have been looking for natural points where I can insert new breaks. This has been reasonably successful so far.

I have also revised the synopsis I have for two further possible books that would continue the current story, thus making it into a trilogy. Apparently, that is a more attractive proposition to some agents/publishers. I don’t know if this is always the case, but if so, I have the additional plans in place. It would be a lot of work but if I can get a foot in the door (so to speak) with this first novel then I should have confirmation to get on and do the others.

Dreams maybe… but that is the currency in which I deal.


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