Saturday, July 25, 2015

Short Story

Hey All,

I've submitted a story to Inkitt.com so if you would like to read it, check it out.

A Candid Look at Life

If I get enough votes, I can get a free mug, YAY!

So click link above and if you can vote by clicking on the HEART at the bottom of my page, I may be one vote closer to getting a mug <3

Thank you everyone for your support!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Interview

Question 1: What is your name?
Danielle A. M. Takeshita


When did you decide to be a writer?
I think the first time I considered being a writer was in intermediate school.  A lot of my friends were artsy and loved to draw and write back then but I wrote my first short story in high school for an assignment and absolutely loved it.  During college, I'd procrastinate writing actual papers and doing homework by writing and knew I wanted to be a writer but I also had a realistic view on how hard it is to get by as a writer so I pursed Japanese Studies to get into tourism.  It wasn't really my cup of tea so I decided to do other things and still write on my spare time.

What did you most recently publish (title and genre)?
I just published a Young Adult/Supernatural Thriller called '5 Senses' on July 17.  It's my first book and I'm very excited about it!

What is your next project?
I'm working on a short story called, 'Beat' and mulling around the idea of writing play.  

Which path(s) have you taken: traditional publishing, self-publishing, or both?
I published through Word Branch Publishing (WBP), an indie publishing company.  This company seems to have traits of both traditional publishing and self publishing where they offered me the help I need to get started but I do most of my promotions and advertising. I like working with WBP and wouldn't mind doing it again.

Why should people consider reading your work?
The one thing I tell people as a plus is it's really short. One of my greatest excuses about not reading enough is that I don't have as much time as I would like to read.  At least with this book, it's short enough to provide entertainment and if you put it down for an extended period of time (which I do ALL THE TIME), I'll either be able to catch up easily if I have to skim through it or it's just short enough to remember what happened last.
It's something I would have loved to read when I was in my teens.  I don't remember too many YA books that had a bit of supernatural/fantasy themes as much as books about growing pains and dealing with puberty.  I remember there were many books geared for grade school and adults, but not many for the in between years and definitely a lot less with having to do with fantasy and supernatural themes.  

Thankfully, that has YA has expanded with the popularity of Harry Potter & Twilight and the demand for YA books have really expanded.

How do you describe your writing style?
Fanciful...? That's how I'll describe it for the sake of this interview because I don't think I have much of a style for my writing other than write what comes to mind.  And it varies depending on my mood or influences.

Where and when do you like to write?
I like to write in total silence and apparently, I have knack for writing when I'm under pressure for something completely unrelated.  I think it's referred to as procrastination, but honestly, when I'm supposed to be thinking about deadlines and other things, the BEST ideas pop into my head.  Procrastination + early hours in the morning as I fight insomnia and total silence = the equivalent of the goldilocks zone for my imagination.

At what time, day or night, do you feel the most creative?
As I've mentioned above, my favorite time to write is after 10 pm when everyone in my household is asleep. The quiet helps me think without interruption.

 Which authors inspire you the most, and how?
I know this is going to sound cliche but what author doesn't?  I sometimes read a certain passage in a book and think, 'wow!  I love how they wrote that. I need to try that next time I write'.  Overall, Rumiko Takahashi is one of my most influential writers out there.  Technically she's not a writer but a mangaka but her writing and timing for comedy is impeccable and the fact that she draws it all out is inspiring as well! I can always pick up on of her books and laugh at the same jokes, even if I'm anticipating it.

How do you overcome the writer's demons: Procrastination and Self-Doubt?
I'm a habitual procrastinator as I've mentioned above but I also tend to curve my procrastination by working on another writing project or draw to see if it sparks any ideas for my current project.  As for the self-doubt, I'm only human and there's no way to really stop from hearing that voice of self-doubt in your head. I try to take advantage of my good days and write with gusto but on my bad days, I probably don't get much done. I'm still working on that though.

What aspect of your writing do you feel is strongest, and what needs the most improvement?
I can't really say what I'm strongest at but I do prefer to write from a girl's or woman's perspective.  That being said, I do need to work on writing from a boy's or man's perspective and even experimenting with different styles of writing.

What was the best part of the worst thing you've ever written?
Having a good laugh when I read some of my worst work.  In that respect, maybe it's not too bad and has a purpose.

What advice do you have for others who want to be writers?
I know it sounds a bit redundant, but there is some merit to it:
KEEP WRITING.

It's taken me about a decade to complete something and actually have the courage to turn it in to someone for edit.  After I had it edited, I had more confidence to query WBP and I was fortunate enough to be published.  I would also suggest researching what type of publishing you would like to use. I went with an indie company because they are more likely to accept manuscripts without agent representation and help out first time authors a lot.

What form of marketing works best for promoting your work(s)?
I've been finding that social media, mainly Facebook works really well for me so far.  Granted, it's mainly getting the word out to those that I know but it's been really successful so far.

If life is a bowl of cherries, what does your life as a bowl of cherries look like?
A surprise mix with Rainier and Yellow and topped with Bing. Nom Nom Nom!  I have a lot of opportunities before me at the moment and I can pick and choose what I want before me.

Who is your rock, the one who encourages you the most to keep writing, and why?
My husband, Rico. He's been encouraging me from the very beginning and has been my greatest fan and critic.  I can't put into words how much he has helped me through this whole process.

What do you do apart from writing?
I study acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and should be graduating by the spring. I'll also be moving to Thailand at the end of the year, hopefully to practice there.

Where can people find more about you and your work(s)?
I'm mainly on Facebook and Blogger and I regularly update both of those sites. 

https://www.facebook.com/5sensesbook

http://peregrinaria.blogspot.com/

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Hopefully, I'll have traveled to 5 different countries I've never been to and have at least 3 more books under my belt.


Thank you very much for this interview!  I had a great time answering your questions.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Google Deep Dream

Have you heard of Google Deep Dream?

Actually, GIZMODO does a better job of explaining what it is in their article,

Artificial Neural Networks Can Day Dream–Here's What They See

Just to give you a hint of what kind of things were created:


Some Genius Finally Turned Google's DeepDream Code Into a Web App
Apparently, this is what happens when the Mona Lisa is caught in a network dream

There are a few other really cool ones as well:

These are great pictures that can inspire art

So we tried it starting with this:

our picture


...and then you have crazy pictures that just look straight up creepy!


Our Picture "Inceptionified" Deep Dream version
Hahaha, the extra eyes and ears are what makes it creepy as shit.

If you want to give it whirl, go here to Deep Dream.  Keep it mind, it can take a long time to render...like a week.

To read more about it from the creators themselves, check out their BLOG.
Oh, and some one created an App that can do the same thing called Dreamscape

It's fun but know that your picture will be public for all to see.
Just a warning about going on that page, if you scroll down to see what was generated, you'll see that someone decided it would be fun to post pics from porn.

You've been warned and have fun!

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Senses (Promo: FIVE)

It's Official!  I'm PUBLISHED!  I'm so excited!

If you do decide to purchase a book, don't forget Promo CODE: FIVE

Press Release by Word Branch Publishing:

WatercolorLogoWords
Independent Publishing for Independent Readers
Dear Readers,
Word Branch Publishing is happy to introduce another new author: Danielle Takeshita. Danielle's first book is now available, and we are offering what I believe is the best deal we have ever given--$5 off the retail price of $14.99! This is a limited time offer so don't wait to start reading the amazing book. Enter the code FIVE at checkout.
Please feel free to share, print and post this press release, and if you would like a PDF version, reply to this email, and I will send you one. All of our press releases can also be found by clicking here.
Wholesalers can find details about all of our current titles in our print or electronic catalogsavailable here.
Sincerely,
Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh
President: Word Branch Publishing
***
5senses  2
In paperback and e-book editions.

Word Branch Publishing Releasing Danielle Takeshita’s 5 Senses

Author’s first novel is predicted to be a runaway success.

Sight. Smell. Taste. Sound. Touch.
These senses are our first interactions that leave a lasting impression of the world around us. Jamie had a normal life until the day a new neighbor moved in, an unusual girl named Iris with a notable disability. Iris was no ordinary girl and through years of inseparable friendship, his world was forever changed.
Danielle Takeshita’s haunting new novel masterfully blends the best of the young adult, thriller and the supernatural genres into a tightly written novel with compelling characters. The plot, both action-packed and insightful, will appeal to readers of all ages while the balanced interaction between the characters makes this book a delightful and entertaining read.
“Danielle’s talent is apparent it the book’s first paragraphs; she know instinctively how to capture the reader’s attention,” says Word Branch Publishing’s president, Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh. “I hope we will see more of her work in the future, and we couldn’t be happier to launch her career.”
Word Branch is an independent publishing company located in the mountains of North Carolina. WWBP represents talented new and emerging authors who need a venue to make their voices heard. Written by some of the finest rising stars in the book world, Word BranchPublishing offers a diverse selection of drama, science fiction, personal growth, young adult, indigenous titles, and more. https://www.wordbranch.com/
Excerpt:
Sight
There are some things in life that are so sure: the smell of vanilla, the round, melancholic base of a well-tuned cello, the blue of the sky on its clearest days, the feel of the wind as it brushes against you, a slight chill, or even the creamy flavor of your favorite tomato and basil soup on the tip of your tongue on such a day. The body innately knows these sensations or recognizes it like a long-­lost friend each time you encounter it, forming its own memory with each of our senses. As humans, we are exceedingly fortunate to not only have these senses, but with our kinesthesia. We can recollect a treasure trove of many different memories that accompanied these tangible impressions.
It’s strange how one of my most vivid memories touched upon all of my senses at the tender age of nine after meeting a particular neighbor. I didn’t know it at the time, but that neighbor would be my best friend, and we would be inseparable. She had one thing that distinguished her from everyone else I knew. She was born with something extra.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tentative Launch Date

Well, I've mentioned that I'll be published pretty soon but my launch dates have from June 1 to July 3 to July 23 due to technical difficulties.

So, July 23! 

Wow, that's next week!

I honestly wasn't ready by June 1 and I was lucky enough to have an editor with a critical eye to help me really spruce up my story so I welcomed the delay.

Heck, I made a small addition even two weeks ago!

My husband and I started Facebook pages for the book but now we're trying to get some promotion going and see how well it spreads.

I don't think I've ever really talked about my book, 5 Senses but I don't really know where to start.

I started it when I was in college back in 2005 or 2006 and kept on adding to it over the years.  Finally, last year, I decided it was time to end it and I spent most of my free time just trying to complete it.  I set my goal for my birthday in October but I still didn't finish it.  Missed my deadline by two weeks but I got it done.

I sent my manuscript to Mary Strong to edit.  It needed it badly and I was confident enough to send it into Word Branch Publishing.  From there, my manuscript was accepted and went through editing....lots of editing!

My publisher sent me some good new today and said that everything is on track and tomorrow it should be sent to print.

I'm so excited!

I was also sent what my book would roughly look like and I couldn't help but jump for joy!

I'll keep you updated!

Oh, and please check out my Facebook pages and be sure to "Like" and "Share" them, too:
5 Senses

My Author Page

and My Word Branch Page

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Learned about ";"

I read something interesting today on Upworthy.

Have you seen these tattoos before?


As per the Upworthy article, this tattoo signifies having emotional or mental health struggles, and the importance of suicide prevention.

The meaning of having a semicolon in a sentence is:

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life." 


I like this a lot because its bringing awareness about something that we don't want to talk about because it makes us look like weak or whatever you want to call them.  

I beg to differ because it takes a lot to come out and say that you deal with things like stress, depression, anxiety, or to say you're bipolar etc.  There is a lot of negative stigma against having these "disorders" but the reality is more people have them than not.

Check out the stats on National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI:

1 out of 5 adults in America experience mental illness in a given year....

1 in 5 children from ages 13-18 have or will have a serious mental illness...

We take for granted how often we repress or our society encourage us to repress anything that may not seem so honky-dory.

How are we supposed to address this silence if it's considered to be taboo?  Are people going to have to suffer quietly until the point where they have to consider taking their own lives?

It's naive of me to say that more awareness and education will help this stigma but it honestly isn't enough.

I don't have an answer on how to fix this overnight and maybe these people that are taking a quiet stance with the semicolon may not either but they are doing something right.

They are bringing awareness and opening up conversation and honestly, that's a great place to start.











Wednesday, July 08, 2015

10 Things I like about Nara



Not in any particular order:

1. The art on their train







2. This particular Deer!




We call it the Appa Rardy Deer because it reminded us of our dog at the time - old and arthritic but super cute!




3. Their epic signages





4. This lane of lanterns and walk through the forest







Although Nara is a very urbanized city, there are some really beautiful reserves and walks that you can enjoy in the heart of the city.  Every now and again, you'll find you that you have company.



5. The various beautiful temples scattered around every turn.











Don't even ask me what temples we visited because I have NO IDEA.  There were just too many to keep track of!  Each one was unique and breath taking to behold.

6. This old ass tree!
It's older than America by 4 or 5 fold!

 


7.  This Giant Buddha or Daibutsu!  It's just massive!

 



8. Making a mark on the temple...literally.
There were lots of renovations happening during the time we were there.  One of the ways they fundraised the projects was by selling tiles that we can buy and will be used on the new roof or whatever they needed repair.  Genius if you ask me and I can personally claim that I helped endevour.



9. Getting accosted by school children wanting to interview you for an English assignment
I know it sounds weird but it was the funniest thing walking around and having all these grade schoolers prowling the temples looking for foreigners.
No joke.
We'd walk and hear whispers of kids saying "Gaijin" and point at us excitedly before running up to us for an interview.
It was absolutely cute, but after a while, we had to dodge them just so we could make our bus and train ride on time.

10.  Deer Everywhere...and they BOW!
 

 


I LOVE NARA!!!