Hope everyone’s doing well, especially with the intense weather all over the world lately. In any case, it looks like these “findings” will be a monthly affair. Be safe, wherever you are!
Fiction from others
I was first introduced to the manga “Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san” or “Kiyo in Kyoto” through the anime on NHK World Japan. I’ve always been a fan of slice of life manga (ex. Aria, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou), and this manga is firmly in that genre. Each chapter always brings a smile to my face and often makes me hungry because of how intricately detailed all the food is drawn! It’s also quite educational, from maiko, to regional Japanese food, to general cooking tips. Sometimes folks think slice of life means there’s a lack of story, but just because it’s a quiet, slow pace doesn’t mean the characters don’t grow – which is certainly the case here. It’s lovely to watch all the characters go through their lives, each chapter building on each other, like the layers of a watercolor painting slowly taking shape.
I always knew location was important, but I hadn’t really put a focus on it before. Recently, I happened upon this episode of Writing Excuses, which introduced me to the concept of Orson Scott Card’s “M.I.C.E. quotient.” After going through the exercise mentioned in the podcast, I’ve found myself using this concept as a warm up or whenever I’m stuck. (This also introduced me to the Writing Excuses podcast, which has a ton of episodes. One of the reasons why I never picked up podcasts was because the episodes tend to be too long. Episodes of Writing Excuses, however, tend to be around 15 minutes, making them easy to integrate into my schedule.)
Health and wellbeing
I made a belated realization recently: Exercise is important! I know, it’s quite an elementary realization, but I didn’t quite understand just how active my lifestyle had been before I became near completely sedentary due to the pandemic. I finally started to take things seriously and have been relieved to see differences in both my creativity and general health. I’ve been keeping things simple but will occasionally follow along to a bodyweight routine by THENX, which I’ve found to be a fairly straightforward channel and fits my simplistic needs.
Fiction of mine
June’s fiction post was born of two fascinations: Video game guidebooks and the Little Red Riding Hood. To be honest, I didn’t do a good job with it – halfway through writing it, I had a new idea for a story so I was really just rushing to finish so I could get to that new idea. That said, I do want to explore the idea of video game guidebooks as fiction again. Even though I don’t play them often, video games have a soft spot in my heart. Before discovering internet tutorials, I remember going to GameStop and buying physical guidebooks and sometimes spending more time reading the guidebook than playing the actual game! Anyway, not sure how well I did in capturing the joy and grind that comes with video games, but I’m glad I tried nonetheless.