David Chart's Japan Diary

November 7th 2004

From a personal perspective, this has been a fairly ordinary week. Wednesday was a national holiday here, so I was able to stay home and watch the depressing results come in from the US. On the up side, I was mentioned in the Guardian's election blog, after I wrote to them gloating about not having to stay up late to see the results.

The main thing I was trying to do on Wednesday was write the demonstration adventure for Ars Magica 5th Edition. I was making very little progress, and mid-afternoon or so I suddenly realised why. The plot I'd come up with was boring. Really dull. So dull I didn't want to write it. Brief further consideration convinced me that such a plot was unlikely to attract hordes of new players to the game.

So I threw it away and started again. This one was much better, so much so that I wrote over 4,000 words of it in under three hours on Thursday afternoon, and then finished it in an hour or so Saturday morning. It's out for playtest now, but I don't think I'll have to rewrite the whole plot again.

That has put me slightly behind with my next freelancing project, which was supposed to be started this weekend, but now it will get started on Tuesday instead, or possibly later today. Most likely Tuesday, though.

School has been ticking over as usual. There was a class test on Thursday, which seemed to go OK. No results yet, though, so I could be completely wrong. Other than that, the lessons are still good, and we've started watching a drama series for listening practice and to pick up conversational phrases. I like it so far. A high school girl and a mother in her, hmm, forties or fifties are hit by a truck and end up at the entrance to heaven. The girl survived, so she is supposed to go back, but the woman begs and pleads, and gets to use the girl's body for a week. The girl is sent back to advise her, invisible to everyone else. This is a good series because the girl is cute.

And it's funny. It looks like there's a major risk that it will be heart-warming, too, but since I actually like funny, heart-warming shows (woops, there goes the last of my street cred), I'm quite looking forward to how it all turns out.

I've also had a bit of social life this week. Last Sunday I helped out at a Hallowe'en party for small children; the same one as the one I helped out at last year, probably with some of the same children, although Yoshiki was the only one I recognised -- when he took off the Scream mask he was wearing. (Not quite true; I also recognised Anzu, the daughter of another teacher.) So that was fun. On Tuesday, I had dinner with Hang, which was nice, and on Friday I had lunch with Natasa, who's in a different class at school, so most of the time we just say 'hi' in the corridors.

Apart from that, I think I managed to catch a second cold before the first one was fully cleared up; I hope this one will go away quickly. So far it seems to be doing.