These prompts come from Moxie Books, a website from the UK that's devoted to helping out writers. There's a lot of fun stuff there to look at, so I hope you check it out. Anyway, these are meant to be daily prompts (and particularly used on Instagram) but I'm using them for a single blog post!
You're highly encouraged to follow the creator of these calendars, Vicky Quinn Fraser, on Instagram -- @tinybeetlesteps. You can do the posts daily on Instagram, too! Have fun with it!
1 - July goals
Well, these goals are more like a to-do list. I am still not done picking out the things I need to ship home, so I have to continue boxing and shipping. I need to continue packing things up. I need to clear out my closets. I need to throw stuff away. I need to take pictures of my furniture and appliances to see if the new ALT coming in wants them. I need to clean the house and the car. I just have so much to do and I am overwhelmed. Basically the goal this month is to CLEAR THE HOUSE.
2 - Your favorite body part
I've always been partial to hands. I think they can be beautiful, graceful, powerful, expressive...and they can make so many things!
3 - What do you like about yourself?
I like that I can make things, whether it's cosplay or music or art or books. I guess this means I like my creativity.
4 - Independence Day
I will not be celebrating. I am so angry with what's going on in America and we are definitely not the land of the free.
5 - What word do you like the feel of?
I have three: mausoleum, petrichor, and ambergris.
6 - UEFA Women's Euro 2022
Had to Google this. It's the women's football (soccer) championship. Since I don't care about this sport I won't watch or pay attention, but I wish the teams playing well.
7 - World Chocolate Day
The chocolate candy I miss the most (that they don't have in Japan) is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The combination of chocolate + peanut butter is not something they do here, and I miss the taste of Reese's so much! It'll probably be one of the first candies I eat once I get off the plane.
8 - A useful lesson via social media
Hmm...I think I'm really bad at social media, so this is hard for me to think about. I guess I learn lessons from Book Twitter/Publishing Twitter all the time...I"ve learned about how publishers are splitting payments into four and spreading them out over time; I've learned that it's very common for publishers to ask you to edit your book down by 10,000 words or more and that it can take at least two years to see your book on the shelves; I've also learned to keep my mouth shut on a lot of things because the discourse on Twitter can get crazy/be harmful. I'll just be a silent observer. Maybe silent observation is why my Twitter in particular is not doing very well, but I would rather stay silent than say something stupid, ignorant, or harmful.
9 - Where do you feel most peaceful?
Hiking in a forest alone. I find it to be quite peaceful and my mind doesn't really wander to bad places like it does everywhere and every other time. Forests at night, on the other hand, really freak me out. So many scary noises and giant spiders!!
10 - What do you do on a beach?
The last beach I went to was August 2019 and it was in Karatsu, Saga. The water was really, really warm, and I took my shoes off, rolled up my pants, and went for a walk in the water. This is something I will pretty much always do if I see a beach somewhere.
11 - Memorable birthdays
I can't remember what year I turned but I had a really nice birthday in Japan where my friends took me out to dinner and they bought me flowers and it was just a great evening. I think maybe it was my 36th? What's funny is I don't remember my milestone birthdays anymore, like 16, 18, or 21...I can remember having slumber parties when I was younger and those being a lot of fun, but I can't remember which years they were.
12 - Something you want to do...but haven't planned yet
I have certain foods I want to eat when I get back to the USA but I haven't planned when I'm going to eat them or how I'm going to eat them. I really miss American Chinese Buffet food.
13 - Teenage weekends
I remember going to the Richland Mall when it was popular to spend time at the mall, and then Kingsgate, which was closest to our house. Going to the mall was such a thing back in the day, and we would play games at Aladdin's Castle and go to the music store to buy cassettes, and then try on prom dresses at the department stores or go to Claire's for accessories.
14 - Your weekend rituals now
I become a lump on the weekends. I usually nap a lot and stream TV or read a book, and if I'm working on a project, I get most of my writing done on the weekends. I'll do laundry on Sunday if I go to the cleaners to use their dryer, or on Saturday if I'm hanging my clothes.
15 - Have you seen Stranger Things yet?
I know as I write this Season Four Part Two has dropped and that it supposedly crashed Netflix...I thought Season Four Part One was boring in several places and I did some fast-forwarding, so I'm not in a rush to see Part Two. Plus, I'm worried I'll stop working on the apartment just to stream shows all day. I don't have the time to do that now. I have to vacate my apartment in 29 day (at the time of writing this).
16 - What's your wifi network called?
Honestly, I don't know. I didn't get to name it anything special because I rented the router from Softbank and everything is in Japanese so I was afraid to mess with anything.
17 - World Emoji Day
I am guilty of using the 😅 (grinning sweat drop emoji) waaaay too much.
18 - Your work ethic
I think my work ethic is pretty crappy, to be honest, because if I don't care about what I'm doing, I do the bare minimum passable amount, but if I like what I'm doing, I get hyper-focused and work really hard. So I'm inconsistent. And a lot of it is based on mood, too. Hooray for having bipolar disorder!
19 - More money or more time?
If time doesn't change when I make the decision--like, things take the same time they always have--I would go with more money. Money buys leisure time, anyway.
20 - What did you last eat that delighted you?
I ate a BL (yaoi) cookie with one of my favorite manga couples on it, from Megaru Hinohara's Therapy Game...and the cookie tasted surprisingly good!
21 - How is your bedroom decorated?
I don't have a bedroom, actually. I have a living room with closets that doubles as a sleep area. My couch flips back to become a sort of mattress, and I sleep on futon mattresses stacked on top of it. Otherwise I have bookshelves, side tables, lamps, a coffee table (kotatsu), TV, etc. It looks like a normal living room...except now, it's a huge mess due to moving and sorting garbage.
22 - Your rest ethic
I seem to run by the adage that "if life is difficult, lie down and sleep." And I sleep frequently. Sometimes I feel rested and sometimes I don't, though, even when I do get a decent amount of sleep.
23 - Do you nap?
Well, this just continues on from the previous topic...yes, I nap all the time, and often for too long. And if I can't fall asleep, sometimes I will just lie still for an hour or two and read comics on my phone. But lying down is something I do frequently.
24 - Digital detox
In 2008 I got off all social media and stayed that way until 2013, when I graduated from Seton Hill University with my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. I felt pressure, as an author, to market myself, so I made profiles on ALLLLL the social media. I deleted Twitter when I found myself sucking at it, and deleted deviantArt when I wasn't making art anymore and hadn't logged on in a long time. Tumblr is barely alive, and I almost never use LinkedIn. I rejoined Twitter when I once again felt pressure as an author to get on there, and while I am on it everyday, I continue to bleed followers and get almost no engagement. I joined Instagram last year, I think, as a place to put my best photos of Japan, and I have that account locked, so I'm not using it for marketing, but maybe later I will. I'm on Facebook the most, but for personal reasons, not marketing. It's funny. I joined all this social media to protect and promote my author name...but I'm totally disastrous at it. I have thought about going on a social media diet again, and possibly quitting Twitter again, but...I'm not sure. I can't seem to stop myself from logging on daily.
25 - Are you ever bored?
Frequently, especially at parties and social gatherings.
26 - Fave Britney song
"Toxic." It reminds me of when I lived overseas in the UK (in Wales, but with trips to England and Ireland). They played "Toxic" at the clubs a lot and I still think the song holds up.
27 - Which Spice Girl are you?
When I was younger and more full of energy I kind of thought I was like a cross between Ginger Spice and Scary Spice.
28 - Bodily Autonomy
This is not something I have in the United States. The Supreme Court stripped it away, and then the State of Ohio enacted laws to further erode bodily autonomy. I am terrified to go back home to the States.
29 - What do you do Friday nights?
Friday nights in Japan are saved for Skyping with my mother regularly, and sometimes I'll Skype my brother in Korea, too.
30 - International Day of Friendship
I'm lucky to have the friends I have today, and am grateful I cut out the friends I used to have who did not have my best interests at heart. I'm in a better place.
31 - Celebrate your month
July 26 is my birthday and I'll be 39 years old. And I might even forget about it because I'll be too focused on leaving Japan and heading home. The 31st is my last day in my apartment and it needs to be cleared out! And I'm worried about being an American again! So I might not actually celebrate my month...I might be perpetually stressed through all of it. August is when I think I'll get to relax, but I hope I can calm down before then!