Breathe In, Breathe Out

In Karate, I’ve learned the importance of breathing. Not only how to breathe while practicing basics or kata (and most recently, kumite – but that is a whole other story), but also to stop, re-focus and concentrate on your breath. Breathe in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Slow down and focus.

And that’s what I want to do with this monthly, personal column. Slow down and reflect on where I’ve been, what I am accomplishing as a writer, and where I intend on going in this writer’s journey. Join me on the 22nd of each and every month and I’ll fill you in with what I am writing, how much I am doing and where I’m appearing.

Since this is the first column, there’s a lot to talk about.

First, I am working on writing a story under contract (a pure epic fantasy story), editing a story for a local publication, writing a column for another local publication and outlining a novel I hope to have finished by years end. The novel will be a cross between cyberpunk and Princess Mononoke. Hopefully the thought of that concept makes a few of you excited. Plus, I have another story that is out there right now, and I’ve been waiting to hear from the publisher as to whether it is acceptable or not.

I know, I know. Not a lot of substance. I can’t say much until announcements are made, and then I’ll announce them here. But what I am trying to say is…I’ve got a lot on the go. I’m trying to increase my daily word count and get stories done. And that’s hard when you’re juggling a busy family, a nine-to-five job, Karate (also with family), and writing. It’s not easy. And it is also part of why I’m doing this column. Accountability (For instance, this week I’ve written 2500 words – pretty well all on the C-Train). I’m letting you all know what I’m doing and I hate disappointing people. So, if you like my stories, I’ll be putting more out this year and hope to have my third novel written by years end. You’ll know if I succeed just by watching this column.

Now, back to breathing…inhale…exhale…

Tsundoku or Die!

Tsundoku or Die! is a short column in which I will highlight a book or books that you may want to consider reading or purchasing for yourself. All books I introduce here will be Asian in theme. This month, I want to introduce you to my friend Brandy Ackerley whose debut novel, will Hunter’s Gambit, has just been released. Read more below:

Kuzunoha is running out of options. In just a month she’ll be an adult but as the illegitimate younger daughter of a rich noble she can only see two possible futures. Both leave her a pawn in her elder sister’s game as family matriarch, a future as unacceptable to Kuzunoha as it is unavoidable.

That changes when Kuzunoha saves the life of a stranger. In return for her help, the stranger offers her a way to have a future that doesn’t tie her to her family. He’s heard of a forgotten treasure nearby and needs a guide to help him search for it. Her family and friends don’t trust this dangerous man’s offer, but Kuzunoha accepts, knowing that she can’t live the life her sister wants for her anymore.

Will she succeed in proving she can have a life outside of her sister’s shadow? Or will it all fall to pieces around her?

Brandy Ackerly can be found at:

Twitter: @FoxyWriter