I’m taking a break, but Martin isn’t. You can still read about him in Cultivating a Fuji.

Just before I go, here’s the interesting result of the poll I’ve been running on Twitter this past week.

Poll Result

Look at that middle number: 0%.

In other words, of those who answered the poll, not one will have any difficulty imagining what he’s like. Either you’ll see yourself in him or he’ll remind you of someone you’ve met.

Think about it. If you’re one of the 18% and see yourself in Martin, you can compare your experience with his. If you’re one of the 82%, this is your chance to look inside his head and maybe gain an understanding of what’s behind the behaviour that you’ve witnessed.

Cultivating a Fuji - Front Cover

Have a great summer!

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Cherry Blossom

Cherry blossom in Jerusalem (not as colourful as in Japan, but still pretty)

The Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, Japan is renowned for the cherry blossom that adorns the cherry trees that line its route.

Martin and Fiona get to visit it towards the end of their story, but they have to imagine the blossom. It’s autumn, not spring.

My husband and I also enjoyed our walk along this path, five years ago, in autumn. We didn’t see the cherry blossom either, but we did get to taste a Fuji apple on our trip. Martin and Fiona also experience the sweet, juicy taste of a Fuji apple.

Why am I telling you all this? Read my novel to find out.

Cultivating a Fuji - Front Cover

May 15, 2019 is Launch Day.

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CULTIVATING A FUJI is released on 15th May, but there’s no need to wait.

I promised a post from Val Penny today. Unfortunately, some bad news meant that Val was unable to write the post. Unfortunately, you’ll have to put up with a post from me, instead. Fortunately, some good and very exciting news has given me the impetus for this post. And here is that news:

Cultivating a Fuji is going to be published by Crooked Cat Books in May 2019.

This is a novel I’ve been working on, on and off, for a long time. It involves a character who is very dear to me and a topic that is so important. But most of all, although I have to say it myself for now, it’s a delightful story, told with emotion and a lot of humour.

The premise of the novel, the piece of information that kicks off the story, is that Martin is being sent to Japan to represent his company. And if that hasn’t shocked you, it’s because you don’t know Martin. Oh, but you will know him. First, you’ll know him from the outside. Then you’ll keep watching through the lens as the camera zooms in and drills to the inside of his head.

Announcement Banner for Cultivating a Fuji

What happens in Japan is interesting. But that’s only the beginning, the catalyst for the rest of Martin’s life. Don’t worry; this isn’t a biography, told as a series of isolated events. There are just two short periods, seasoned with flashbacks and enveloped by the future. Keep reading (when the novel is available, that is) because even when you think there can be no more surprises, you’ll discover another.

There’s a woman, too, called Fiona. She and Martin meet late in life and she brings her own baggage to the relationship.

And one more thing: Martin isn’t me. Although social anxiety has touched both of us with its sorcerous sceptre, we had different genes and different experiences, and Martin was affected in different ways to me.

Cock-a-doodle doo!
I don’t know what to do.
Nano starts in just a week
And my brain is made of goo.

See what I mean?

Here’s the problem:

I want to tell you all about my trip to Japan, about the things we did, the people we saw, the food we ate. BUT my mind and my notes are all in a mess, my photos are all over the place. I have a lot of sorting out to do first. And I’m still in limbo – half there and half here.

And that’s not all.

NaNoWriMo is only a week away and I want to do it again. I have part of the plot, but there’s plenty more to plan and research.

So I think Japan will have to be put on hold for a while, although I can tell you some random facts.

The trip lasted for 3 weeks and we were kept busy all the time. We saw temples, shrines, museums. We made our own sushi and chopsticks, and were shown how they make sake, paint kimonos, etc. We travelled on trains and buses, and spent a night with families in a village, so we saw how people live. We spent a night in a Buddhist monastery. We saw children and adults perfoming traditional and other music, dance and plays.

We spent three weeks with a group of Israelis – a feat in itself – and our Japanese guide, who didn’t know how to relate to us at first, but was friendly by the end.

Certain sounds are still ringing in my ears. Cuckoos and other bird tweets every time the pedestrain light was green. Arigato gozaimas – thank you – spoken thousands of times a day. And our guide’s “and then” used to join sentences, whether it fitted what she was saying or not.

Please ask if there’s anything in particular you want to know, and I’ll try and answer in another post.