It was one year ago today that three significant things happened.

  1. I celebrated this blog’s anniversary.
  2. I found out that my blog anni is also Irei no Hi, or Okinawa Memorial Day.
  3. I started writing my first novel, Inujini.

This blog is 13 years old today. I started out because I was finishing my first book and I wanted to have some sort of platform to share it on. I didn’t know the day was also Okinawa Memorial Day. Irei no Hi means “a day to console the dead,” a public holiday to remember all those who lost their lives during WWII.

Too significant to be a coincidence, I also started writing Inujini last year on this day. My first novel, the book follows three girls on the island during a fictional WWII as they come of age and connect with their own power. I wrote it on the heels of Black Cranes, Tortured Willows and Lee Murray and I were just finishing Unquiet Spirits. Researching my family for Tortured Willows broke everything open for me. I felt like I had found a missing part of myself. Inujini is my expression of that missing part.

I wrote Inujini through a month long COVID illness. On top of that, our old dog Dante got sick and passed, my husband was shot in the arm with a high powered pellet rifle, I was bitten by a brown recluse and there was a tragic death close to us. I wrote through it all and finished Inujini on August 4. That was all in a month. Then we decided to move to Brazil.

The book wasn’t forgotten but it did take a back seat while we moved. A year later finds me in a better spot. The dust is settling. I’m focused. My strength has returned. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of last year, but I’m lucky to have made it. I worried I would have to get a wheelchair going through the airports on the way here. I could barely walk.

This time next year I hope to find myself getting ready to head back to Brazil after a long visit in the states with friends and family. There will be a new grandchild to celebrate, old grandchildren to celebrate and new step-grandchildren to celebrate. I’ll have seven total.

I imagine I’ll still be doing my show (which is now Exorcise Your Writes on the HWA YouTube) so I’ll be looking for in-person interviews while I travel. I look forward to sampling many couches. I also hope to have Inujini published. Today I found a hajichi artist living in Brazil, so by next year I may have gotten my hands tattooed.

For reasons I will reveal at a later date I’ve decided to completely self-publish the book. No agent, no publisher. That’s my goal this next year. Edit the book. Publish the book. Share the story.

That’s enough for right now.

If you’re interested, here are some of the ways I celebrated my blog birthday in the past:

2010: Bye Bye Burnsie
2011: One Year Blogiversary
2012: Dandilyon Fluff is Two
2013: Dandilyon Fluff is Three!
2014: Celebrating Four Years
2015: Dandilyon Fluff is Five
2016: Dandifluff is Six
2017: Blog-iversary Number Seven
2018: Celebrating 8 Years of Blogging
2019: Blog Celebrates Year 9
2020: No celebration.
2021: CELEBRATING 11 YEARS OF THIS BLOG
2022: WRITING INUJINI

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at authortunities.substack.com.

One thought on “13 Years Blogging Here, Irei no Hi and Inujini”
  1. Most interesting to me, to catch up — like catching a breeze. I am so glad you’re well again. Wishing you were at StokerCon, it may be my last time attending in person. Not dying, just getting on, and my travel companion has memory issues and the start of Parkinson’s.

    Anyway — so we will continue to be in touch with you via the blog and emails!

    Marge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *