More than Japan

blur{A row of lifeguards-in-training at Ohama Beach, Shimoda.}

A thing that is a blessing at one point in your life can end up holding you back.

In March of 2012, I was Freshly Pressed for the first time. This is a very big deal among WordPress users as it means that an editor digs your work and wants to share it with the WordPress community. Suddenly, my little blog, which I have tended with love since 2006 was flooded with thousands of visitors who wrote lovely comments and left my blog-world forever altered.

The post was called How to be a Japanographer and so I thought, “Aha! This is what people like… so I’ll write more of that.” And it worked. Which is to say that I was Freshly Pressed again (twice, more) for The Problem with Foreigners (May 2012) and When a Place becomes Home (February 2014).

If you know me or if you have read my blog for a while, you’ll know that it’s no hardship for me to write about Japan. I feel so fortunate to live here. I receive all the gorgeous benefits of living in an efficient, well-organized and harmonious country without the rigorous expectations and obligations that I would experience were I  Japanese. We foreigners call this relative freedom the “Gaijin license” which means that we have permission to screw up from time to time.

I love Japan.

None of us, however, should be defined by one interest. We don’t love only one thing. Humans are, by and large, multi-passionate creatures.

Here’s my Twitter profile:
twitter me

A short list of what most rocks my world:
1. Loving your life @ home. Being an explorer in your own back yard whether you live in Ottawa or Yokohama.
2. Creativity: writing, photography, visual-storytelling and interior design.
3. Thriving emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being + becoming truly well and healthy. Yup… I am a Counselor. 🙂
4. Travel. Choose your adventure… from little trips to Shimoda to close-to-perfect weeks in Paris.

To honour and further explore these passions, I have created a new set of categories for my site: At home, Create, Thrive and Wander. These four words are like a road map for my site, life and future business. My own personal constellation of yummy goodness.

I’ll be writing more about all of these passions and plan, in particular, to spend more time writing about writing. As Austin Kleon would say, I’m going to “show my work”. I am also going to play with formats… skinny prose for some posts and prose for others.

My plan is to publish new posts three times a week including a new photography project that I’ll be sharing here. This makes me VERY happy!

The lovely DP even made a new header (on his birthday, no less) to help celebrate the changes on my website.

I’m also jumping into the deep end of the pool with the creation of an online course, The Geography of Now. The six week course begins on Monday 15 September and includes lessons on basic photography and the writing of skinny prose (my nickname for my blogging style). Two important themes that run throughout the course are noticing and gratitude. There are lots of fun activities and exercises; these are opportunities for you to practice your photography and writing in a very safe and supportive environment.

If this course sounds interesting to you and you would like more information about signing up, please subscribe to my newsletter here. {You simply fill in your name and email address in the little box. You will then be directed to check your email account for a message that asks you to confirm this subscription.} The newsletter will arrive in your inbox every two weeks.

So this is my gentle way of saying that the blog-house is going to change a bit over the next few weeks. If it’s not your thing, I will totally understand. Really! I’m not just saying that. A blog house, like an actual house, should be filled with people who really want to be there.


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