Here’s my Life Rambles post for 11/14/2023, where I talk about various topics in my daily and creative life. For 11/14/2023, that is. As you know from my last post, I’m still trying to figure out what this thing might actually end up being.

I’ve been emotionally kind of down the last couple days. In a real self-pity mood, which is the worst kind of mood for me to act irrationally. So I’m just keeping it down-low until pay day when I can blow all my money on, uh, paying bills I guess. Hopefully Christmas season will lift my spirits.

Pecan Breakfast Backfire

This morning I ate 100 grams of pecans, boiled a bit and with some honey and green vegetables on the side. This sounds ridiculous but I was trying to get some nutrition stuff up… Turns out, 100 grams of pecans is like 700 calories! That’s way too big for breakfast on my current diet! It’s almost entirely fat, and a lot of it’s saturated fat, which is supposedly good and will keep me full for a while, or something. Except it didn’t work whatsoever! I was starving by lunch time, holy crap! It felt like 100 grams of pecans gave me 100 calories. Did boiling them burn off the calories, or do pecans just not fill you up? The internet has been entirely unhelpful in answering my question.

New Giant Blog Post

Did you see my new blog post? What if Nintendo Bought Rare in 2002?

I spent legitimately about 20 hours working on this thing. Research, planning, and writing it all at once. It’s mostly improvised which might work against it in places, but I’m totally enamored with the end result. Just because it’s got so many little jokes and references littered through every section. Is there anyone nerdy enough to get all of them?

Read this!

Note Taking Workflow

For YEARS I’ve been experimenting with taking notes, for creative and professional and life purposes. It’s been a big hodgepodge of nonsense and a lot of notes get lost in the shuffle. While I’ve moved away from to-do lists and trying desperately to cut back on endless bookmark memory hole behavior, notes are still very important. Which is why I’m trying to figure out this workflow as best as I can.

I’ve got it down to this:

  • Hobonichi Techo (paper notebook): Life reflections, weekly/monthly scheduling, early fiction planning, job planning. Fiction planning notes are eventually moved to (some app).
  • Google Keep: Shopping lists, digital reminders.
  • Vivaldi Note: Capturing quotes and links from my browser and quick random thoughts, eventually moved to (some app).
  • Feedly: organizing most of my links… Eventually moved to (some app).
  • (some app): Organizing my notes, research, and fiction planning. Keeping track of projects.
  • Scrivener or Google Docs: Writing, formatting, editing.

This is probably too many sources, but I’m still working on it. If I can cut out Google Keep and Feedly, I’ll be very happy to reduce them. But it all depends on (some app) being great!

And I haven’t been able to find that app just yet. Something that syncs between devices. Has powerful writing and organizing tools. Folder-based organization. Easy link sharing. And… reminders…. The last one might be impossible.

Obsidian could be the answer. I’m working with it now. But I’m not sure how well or not it’ll pan out. Actually, this section is way too long so I’ll spin it off into a new article soon.

Sub Project Pivot

In addition to these Life Rambles things, I’ve been collecting links across the internet for a sort of general internet sharing newsletter type thing. It might be separate from this, or I might combine them later. I’m still working on it. A newsletter that isn’t timely and isn’t delivered via e-mail… It’s a truly special thing.

Look forward to the first installment in a few days. Let it be known that the 11/14/2023 Life Rambles predicted the rise of my multi-million-subscriber silly newsletter.

New Book Outline 11/14/2023

As of a few days ago, my next book has an entire loose outline. Arc by arc, instead of chapter-by-chapter, but it captures the overall flow well. I’m taking a break from Discord and too much social loitering, at least until I can prove I can still write stories–too many failed projects and broken collabs in 2023 and it hurt my heart because I felt like I failed readers or failed my friends. So this is the next step. Once I have enough to show people, I’ll definitely jump on to share it.

But, it might not come soon. I’ve got to study the hell out of the JLPT first. That’s on 12/3!

JLPT Coming Soon…


Bad Book Ratings

It’s brutal getting bad ratings and nothing good on Amazon. Not even for the criticisms… I’ve got thick enough skin to deal with that. No, I mean how it obliterates sales, just eviscerates them. For my Madoka Magica Memories book, I got plenty of preorders up-front, and people who read gave me nice words in messages and chats–but the only rating is a single anonymous 2-star rating. Since that rating came, the book hasn’t sold a single copy. It’s gotten less than 100 Kindle Unlimited page reads, too. Nobody will bother to read something that’s 2/5, especially if it’s just one rating.

It’s even worse for the Systemless series. Volume 1 got a bunch of bad ratings from trolls at release, but it was eventually balanced out by good ones too. But Volume 2, as of 11/14/2023, has three ratings… all of them 1-star. No reviews, no content why it’s bad. Just anonymous ratings. This has effectively killed the series dead.

For brutal transparency, here’s the totals these books have earned as of 11/14/2023:

  • Volume 1: $216.26
  • Volume 2: $56.68
  • Volume 3: $16.58

Obviously, a decline is natural for any series. But the decline is so sharp it cuts. Because Volume 2 has such bad ratings, it’s kneecapped Volume 3 as well. Do people actually generally hate the book? No, I don’t think so. Remember, this series already ran as a web serial… And Volume 2 didn’t get this kind of hate back then.

It sucks. There’s not much I can do, except pray for more reviews from literally anybody. Paying for ads is beyond stupid when it’s for a 1-star book, and I already sunk costed this series into losing me a lot of money. The Madoka Magica one is low-priority, too, so I can’t justify it. If there’s evidence these books will negatively affect all my future releases, I’ll honestly probably delete them. I hate the idea of it but I’m worried it’ll be necessary someday.

But until then, I’ll just quietly vent about it every now and then.

Read some other blogs:

Remember, read my books, on 11/14/2023 and all other days:

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3 thoughts on “Life Rambles – 11/14/2023

  1. – I wonder if your pecan breakfast would have been more filling if it included rice instead of quite so many pecans. At the same time, even though I routinely have oatmeal with mixed nuts for breakfast, it’s not a very filling meal…it’s really just an easy meal that I have little trouble eating on mornings when my stomach is not vigorous and fast-acting. Do note, though, that I am no nutrition scientist, and if this destroys your organs please ban me

    – I read about what would have happened if Nintendo bought Rare but I didn’t get many the refrance >_<

    – I continue to find it interesting that you work best with many notes, while I tend to make and abandon notes sometimes and other times go for a long time with none. Ultimately, I don't think I benefit from adding more than a legal pad to occasionally jot down daily goals on and a phone alarm to remind me of scheduled things, because when I outline either stories or my life too thoroughly, I feel stifled, intimidated, and even just bored, as if I can "foresee" what will happen way too clearly. However! One addition I've made very recently that I really enjoy is keeping a shopping list on the refrigerator and storing an easy-access pen nearby in the kitchen. Going from my mom's disorganized shopping expeditions to this is such a sigh of relief for me that it isn't funny.

    – No clue what kind of newsletter you're thinking of, but you reminded me of this one that was around for a while. I assume most readers clicked solely to look at the job opportunities for two seconds, and the lack of comments and feedback shows that it was a lonely road to hoe. All the same, it's an example of a newsletter-esque blog that was useful and spread around for quite a while, and if it had gone for more of its own personal identity and quirkiness, maybe engagement would've been different.

    – Hang out non-creepily in places where interesting people talk!! And make sure to get frequent doses of Japanese-language documentaries and nonfiction books!!!!!

    – I have a feeling that if one can get websites where ratings aren't the first thing everyone sees about your project to work in their favor, the world may be their oyster. Amazon may be the hot market for ebooks, but YouTube,, personal-site marketplaces, crowdfunding websites, and Maybe Something Else have got to be wrangle-able somehow. But the workload is fierce and the barrier for entry continues to be so damn high.

    1. You’re right, I needed a carb and probably more protein too in order not to be empty as hell with just pecans and some green veggies. I ate a peanut butter sandwich (and green side) this morning to better results.

      I love a place to jot down easy notes on paper, although I don’t like legal pads and sticky notes… which is why my Hobonichi Techo has been great for me. Although it’s too big to carry in smaller bags, next year I think I’ll go back to the smaller A6 size book which I haven’t done since 2019. For other notes, my problem is I just forget the notes exist and they linger in the background for 5 years and by the time I find them again they aren’t useful anymore, either time-sensitive or made redundant because I did the exact same research or brainstorming over again. I guess sometimes the act of writing a note down at all, not even looking at it again, is an important act of itself… although not for my more heavily researched work! The Nintendo/Rare article took much longer than it should have because I didn’t do any research ahead of time or compile any notes, I just kept open tabs on my browser to remind me of ideas I wanted to use later. That was fine when the article was supposed to be a cute 1,500 words long, but not when it was a 13,000 word mini-novella…

      You’re right that Amazon might just not be right for me at this stage in my creative endeavors. I don’t have a big enough audience to have a baseline of support and my projects are too esoteric to catch on on their own. So just a single troll–let’s be real it’s almost certainly the LGBT content that led to these anonymous ratings–can tank things. Hell, even for Gay Gatsby which came out 3 years ago, it only has 14 ratings; just two 1-star ratings on Amazon would tank it too, and thankfully that hasn’t come about.

      My next book project is going to be a much more straightforward approach, but since I’m not seeking out a career or actual money right now, I’m also going to experiment with weird stuff. Maybe other platforms can work… as long as they actually reach people.

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