December is a busy time in Japan as people rush to finish projects before the January New Year holiday slow down. Making Christmas Eve but a pleasant blip from that hectic schedule. See this post from 2008 for the routine.

statues-tokyoI will probably keep working until around 29th December, with a final winter clean up on the 30th, before downing tools to enjoy some time off.

In between the celebrations, I hope to get through a number of the many unread books on my Kindle. It would be nice to find one of my own among these digital goodies but that will have to wait until 2015.

“… have to wait” summarizes the story of my creative writing year in 2014 – so near, and yet so far lol.

Nanowrimo was a case in point. I didn’t get any traction until the middle of the month and so finished with just 17K words. To put a positive spin on failure, I suppose I could say that it was more important to take part than to win…nah, total b@ll@cks.

Winning words are all that matters ;-)

Well, those words will have their day of reckoning but only after I complete my ‘best of markmccluretoday’ ebook. (Nanowrimo was a diversion from my supposed focus on that project lol.) I’ve picked out a dozen or so posts and am now editing them in Scrivener. This will be a short ebook and, if all goes to plan, it will be a ‘prequel’ for the self-coaching book I’ve been talking about writing since 2012…

I really need to get my ar$e in gear.

How’s that for a New Year’s writing resolution!

Best wishes to you and yours for 2015.

Ritual and Routine

“He believed in ritual and routine.”
The prompt came from a weekly Wednesday writing challenge set by Lauren Shannon, organizer of the Tokyo Writers’ Salon group.


‘M’ is a character from my NaNoWriMo novel-in-progress-very-very-slowly lol!

Perhaps his discipline will get me in line to finish 50,000 words by 30 Nov. Not looking too hot at the moment.

He believed in ritual and routine. Why, his current position and every future advancement depended on strict adherence to this core belief. M had no doubt that nothing good came from tolerating unchecked freedom in a chaotic and troublesome world .

However, much to his disgust, a small nugget of doubt would sometimes take refuge in his thoughts and refuse to depart. Like a long forgotten song from the past resurrecting itself. Just this morning he’d broken out in a cold sweat right in the middle of the weekly conference call on subversive terminations across Corp C’s controlled regions. Important law and order statistics became mixed up with the rantings of cerebral narcissists. Round and round his mental ticker tape circled: 2,348 rounded up and terminated…absolute power…1,400 trapped in city L zone 6… corrupts…1 km block elimination authority granted… absolutely.

Fortunately, the inner turmoil was short-lived. Don’t worry, mes petits philosophers, I’ll take my time. M smiled at the innocent vulgarity of this delightful put down and dressed for dinner.

Sixty one minutes later he checked in his locational and biological marker IDs at the ambassador’s residence and took his place at the head of the table.

All was in order.

Dinner was a mere formality, an annoyance to dessert that was waiting, all hot and sumptuous, in the lithe form of the ambassador’s consort. He’d arranged for the old goat to be tied up for hours resolving multiple diplomatic and legal hurdles to an agreement he’d already brokered weeks earlier. Getting screwed over was all part of the fun. A thought that excited him no end.

“Bon appetit, my dear Ambassador. My aides will answer whatever questions you may have this evening. Alas, I cannot stay for long. An important cultural exchange awaits me.” M smiled politely and then emptied his glass in one long satisfying gulp.