Wednesday, November 4, 2009


...drumroll, please...

I passed 12,000 words on my NaNoWriMo project today on the ferry coming back from Rishiri! I am currently somewhere around 12,566 words. This cracks me up, because I can still remember when it was utter agony to produce 500 words. Now, these 12,566 words aren't necessarily great literature, mind you. But I'm having a good time! Unfortunately, my novel has been thoroughly hijacked, so I'm not exactly sure what in the world is going on. Please ask my characters if you see them around town. They are making me research finance, Ponzi schemes, and Bernie Madoff. Do you know how much I care about these things? A BIG ZERO! Maybe even in the negatives.

You would not believe how strong the wind was today! As a tribute, I'm thinking of naming my new novel Gone with the Wind. What's that you say? It's already taken? Oh, well. It was a good thought, I suppose. Today we were actually 25 minutes late getting off the ferry, and a big part of that was because they were having a really hard time parking the ferry. I am pretty sure it was due too the strong wind. Either that, or the captain forgot his glasses. The wind is actually rattling the mail slot in my door tonight. My door is inside a building. The entrance to the building is closed. Please explain this to me.

By the way, here are some responses to some of the questions on the Winter Wonderland post. I was going to respond in the comments section, but it was beginning to rival my NaNoWriMo project, so here they are:

Question about boots: The boots are actually my rain boots. My snow boots are so huge and heavy that I've decided to wait for deep snow before wearing them. It was really cold! The weird thing is that today felt colder, because I was all like, "Hey, no snow! Who needs a thick coat or a scarf and gloves?" This was poor thinking on my part.

Question about the amount of snow: I think somewhere between 1.5 - 2 inches of snow fell. It may have been a little more since some of it melted and turned into slush, which then turned into ice. When I stuck my finger in the snow outside my house, it appeared to be over an inch.

I don't know about this part: Most of the snow is now melted, except for some random spots with concentrations of snow/lack of sunlight. I am looking forward to it coming back, but boy do things get slick! Some of the roads were so incredibly slippery!

Question about everything not being a sidewalk: The part where my boot went deep is where I went off-roading. Everything kind of looks the same when it's covered with snow, but sometimes the snow is disguising things, like deep grass, or a curb.

Not really a question, just a response: I think everything looks beautiful when it's covered in some snow, too! And it is so weird to have snow and sea together. They just don't seem like they belong that way. I bet it would be ever weirder with sand! Snow and sand would just be completely bizarre!

Another interesting thing about the sea here is that it's not really a tourist thing, but it's a place for people to make their livelihoods. And it's equal opportunity for oceanfront housing. There aren't miles and miles of condos blocking the view. All kinds of houses have a front-row ocean view, from rickety old buildings to nicer houses. There are actually more of the old buildings than anything else. It's very real.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland!

So, today being a national holiday, I decided to go out and enjoy the snow. It is sooo beautiful, but soooo cold! Eeep!
I was going to take the bus down to Noshappu, but I saw something that looked pretty, so I hopped off at Wakkanai Junior High instead and walked down to the sea. The curve of the hills on the other side of the bay (?) looked like something out of a dream. I tried to take a picture, but the picture does not do justice to what it looked like in real life.

As I was walking along the coast, I realized that all this snow kind of made the shore look like
Pensacola. A cold, cold Pensacola, but whatever! ;-). The photo looks cold to me because I was there, but maybe if you
haven't stood there, it won't look so cold and you can pretend like it's Pensacola.

Then, it got creepily dark over the water, even though the
sun was shining where I was standing (as evidenced by the shadow of what I think is my head in the shot).

I learned an important lesson about the snow...well, I knew it, but application is difficult. When
you are out in the snow, not everything covered in white is a sidewalk.

Well, I'm off to a school festival! See you later!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

First Day

Ahhhhh, first day of NaNoWriMo down and 2054 words written. I'm pretty happy, but now I really have to go to sleep! I have been up way too late the past several nights, and it would be really nice not to have to blast off to work tomorrow, especially since there is snow and slush on the ground and the temperature is going to drop steadily for the next day or so.

I'm still loving the snow, though. It hung around for most of the day, though a good bit of it melted. Around 4:30, we had some fake snow (I don't really know what it was, but my Massachusetts informant told me that it wasn't snow). It was still really pretty, whatever it was. After that, the fake snow changed to real snow. It snowed for a few hours and re-covered the ground. It has stopped now, but I think it is supposed to start again sometime in the near future. I feel like I'm in a Christmas card!