Happy Easter to one and all!

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I hope that you all have a nice, warm, safe and blessed spring.

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The 8th Anniversary of the East Japan Earthquake

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I deliberately avoid posting about politics on social media.  I’m not qualified to talk about climate change or global warming, or what impact humanity has upon the environment. I’ll leave that to the climatologists, meteorologists and scientists of the world. The city where I live in Japan has a good recycling program and I do my part. In this post, I’m not going to share my personal views on the topic of whether or not climate change is real. My opinions would be inappropriate and irrelevant.

What I do know, based on personal experience, is that on March 11, 2011, Mother Nature had her say, and had a lot to say, when she unleashed her fury upon the Eastern Tohoku region of Japan. I witnessed the fourth largest earthquake in recorded human history. I live thirty-six miles west of the site of one of the world’s largest nuclear meltdowns. I lived it. I was terrified by it. I am still haunted by it. I will probably never be free from the memory of it in some capacity.

The Earth doesn’t care how we feel about climate change. It does what it wants to do, when it wants to do it, and it doesn’t give a damn what we mere humans think of it. It makes the rules and we have to suffer the consequences; good or bad, instigated by us or not. We are at its mercy. It’s the price we pay to live on this wondrous ball of life rotating on its axis in space.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the events of March 11, 2011, and its impact on the environment and the people of southern Tohoku, from someone who was there, then I respectfully encourage you to read my book. It’s available through Amazon in most countries where Amazon operates. I recently decreased the price of the book rather significantly, but Amazon retains the right to fluctuate the pricing when necessary. Thank you for understanding. You can access the book directly through the link provided on the “My Books” page of this blog.  My humble thanks to all who have already purchased and read the book. Your kindness and consideration is truly appreciated and will not be forgotten.
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Happy New Year, an Important Notice and an Update!

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Happy New Year!  I hope that 2019 began well for everyone.

I’ll first get the formalities out of the way.

Officially, this blog, Brad’s Books, is no longer a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  All product links associated with the program have been removed from this blog.  Although, products that may be available for purchase on Amazon, that is, books and movies, etc. may still be mentioned in this blog.  However, no links or banners to, or images of, these products will be provided; only information about the products may be available in this blog in the form of recommendations, reviews, etc.

The images and links for the books that I have written, as they appear on the My Books page of this blog, will remain, since they are not affiliated with the Amazon Associates Program.  Thank you for your cooperation and for understanding.

O.k., with that out of the way, I would like to happily let everyone know that the prices for my non-fiction e-book and my fiction e-short story have dropped.  I feel that the new price adjustments are more appropriate and will hopefully make my books more appealing, and will encourage, not discourage, potential readers.  Amazon still reserves the right to fluctuate the pricing, but the new price points, in general, are quite lower than before.  Thank you for your consideration.  “Yoroshiku, onegaishimasu!” as the Japanese say.

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m closer than ever to finishing my first novel!  A pair of eyes, other than my own, are now reading the story and critiquing it.  I am getting very positive feedback from the source, who is also making some wonderful suggestions about how I can improve the overall readability and flow of the book, (chapter arrangement, etc.).  It’s valuable insight that is much appreciated.

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Year-End Update

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Well, it’s been a whirlwind end to the year here in Japan.

I haven’t been able to pay as much attention to finishing my novel as I had hoped, but I manage to chip away at it here and there when breaks in daily life and work allow.  Alas, my self-imposed year-end deadline for publication will not be met.  On the bright side, my school will be closed for the New Year’s holiday, so hopefully I’ll have a few days, at least, to fuss over the book.

I’m happy to announce that I have reduced the price of both my non-fiction e-book, and my fiction e-short story on Amazon.  Amazon still reserves the right to fluctuate the pricing, give or take, however.  You can access direct links for both books from this blog.

New Year’s is a big deal here in Japan.  Many businesses will be closed for several days on average, starting on or around New Year’s Eve.

My school is open today, Christmas day, because Christmas day is a regular business day here in Japan.  Less than 1% of the population of Japan is Christian.  Most are Shinto and Buddhist, so the Japanese celebrate Christmas differently than the west.  It’s strictly a secular celebration here with no religious meaning.

Please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy and peaceful 2019.

Brad

Almost There!

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Howdy!

I hope that everyone is doing fine.  It has been a wild year so far, in many ways.  I’ve been away from here for a while.  But it’s nice to have something positive to post after all this time.

First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with the millions around the world, and here in Japan, who have been struggling with the onslaught of natural disasters that have been, and still are, plaguing our planet.  Peace and love to all who are suffering.

Well, I’m happy to announce that my first novel has been written!  I’m currently editing and proofreading it, as well as working on the book cover.  The book cover idea has been conceived, and I am in the process of putting all the pieces together.  Once all of that is done, then I will be ready to self-publish.

I can tell you that this book will be the longest fiction story that I’ve published thus far; my first full-length novel (depending on your idea of how long a novel should be…info around the Net varies according to style and genre).  It will definitely be much longer than my short story that was published in 2016.

The book will initially be available through Amazon and in most countries where Amazon operates.  I may publish with other e-publishers at a later time depending upon how the book does.  I will post updates here if I decide to add more publishers to the availability list.

It’s a great relief to finally have the story finished and I very much look forward to sharing it with you in the not too distant future.

Thanks for reading…and for your continued patience.

Brad

Prayers for Osaka

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It’s been a while since I posted anything, but I felt compelled to do so today.

Osaka is my favorite big city in Japan.  I’ve been there many times over the years.  It was hit by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake this morning…lots of damage, injuries and three deaths so far.  The epicenter was on land, so the damage was severe.  The youngest victim was a nine-year-old girl who was crushed by a wall that fell while she was walking on a sidewalk on her way to school.  Horror beyond words.

People here are fearful that this quake was just a warning sign of what is yet to come. Their trepidation is based on the fact that a similar situation happened here, where I am, just a couple of days before the East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.  We got a big quake on Wednesday, and the ‘big one’ hit on the following Friday.  Many of you know the rest of that story.

We are hoping that the worst has already happened, and that Osaka will not experience an even deadlier quake in the wake of the one that happened today.

Despite the tragedy today, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that we were spared here in Tohoku.  I live very far away from Osaka and we didn’t feel any effects of the quake at all.

For those of us who write and dare to delve into the realm of horror fiction, we should always remember that true horror is not fictional, it happens to many people around the world every day.

I ask your prayers for the victims of the Osaka quake today, for their families and for the people of Osaka and the Kansei area of Japan.

Thank you.

 

March 11, 2011 (Reblogged from my Facebook page).

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Here in Japan we remember all those who lost their lives in the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami seven years ago today.

I ask your prayers for all of the victims and their families and friends who remain and mourn their loss. Some people lost their entire families on that day.

I was thankfully spared the horrors of the tsunami that day because I live farther inland in Fukushima prefecture. But, I remember the earthquake well (too well) and the subsequent radiation crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant which I live roughly 36 miles from.

Thankfully, radiation levels have dropped dramatically in the past seven years, but the threat of long-term radiation exposure continues to haunt me and plague my psyche.

I wrote a book about my personal experiences during the earthquake and nuclear crisis. It’s available in e-book form on Amazon in the U.S., Japan and Europe, etc.  You can access the link from the “My Books” section of this blog or search for it on Amazon in your country.

Koriyama (where I live) and Fukushima prefecture in general are recovering, slowly but surely. However, a lot of work still needs to be done. The courage and dignity of the Tohoku people is incredible to behold. We are all in this together and have been walking hand in hand on the path to recovery.

Please keep the people of Northeastern Japan in your thoughts and prayers today…and always.

The Paralympic Games: Emotional, Motivational and Inspirational!

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As many writers know, inspiration for writing can come from anywhere.  Of course, finding inspiration for new story ideas can be tough.  Maintaining motivation and inspiration for stories we may be currently writing isn’t easy either.  It can be a two-way street.  Writing is challenging.  Becoming a successful writer is even more challenging.

I encourage everyone to watch the 2018 Paralympic Games from Pyeongchang, South Korea from March 9th to the 18th if you can.

When we watch the Olympics, we all cheer and support the athletes from our respective countries, but with the Paralympics nationality doesn’t matter.  All of the Paralympic athletes are winners and heroes regardless of whether they win a medal or not.  They remind us of our common humanity, rather than our individual nationality.

The challenges they face on a daily basis, in other words the day-to-day tasks that many of us take for granted, are beyond comprehension.  Factor in the effort that it takes for them to make it to the Paralympics in spite of those daily challenges, and it is a truly remarkable achievement. Continue reading

Holiday Wishes…and an Update.

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Howdy!  Long time no…

Well, I won’t be meeting my self-imposed 2017 deadline for publishing my next book.  The last half of the year has been a roller-coaster ride with lots of twists and turns.  However, I look forward to working on my book, and to getting a little closer to finishing it during the upcoming holiday that I will have while my school is closed for the new year.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.  May 2018 be a safe, peaceful, healthy, enjoyable, prosperous and healing year for us all.

Time for a Little Shameless Self-Promotion!

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Happy Halloween!  I hope that everyone is doing well.  Thanks for reading.

If you need a little help getting into the spirit of Halloween, may I suggest my ghost short story, “The DiVacci Curse.” As always, you can access the direct link to the book from the My Books page of this blog.  Read it with the lights out…if you dare!