I was editing my writings at the cafe on the second floor in the mall. After I edited eight journal entries, I went to a crepe shop but the shop person never showed up, so I went to Starbucks on the first floor and got a Hojicha latte instead. I started to do my German homework. I was kind of worn out with my homework. The table was too low at Starbucks and the music wasn’t good. My eyes were tired, and I suddenly felt a sting on my hand but I didn’t pay attention to it. Later, I saw a spot on my right hand where I felt the sting got red and purplish. Was I stung by a bee? Maybe it was just a poisonous bug. I don’t want to go to the Starbucks on the first floor anymore!

Today I didn’t clean my home, but I did homework and editing. I worked on the blog post after dinner too. (I can hear 8 singing in the shower now. I love it when he sings. I can feel that he feels liberated by singing.) However, I need to start cleaning my place because S is coming soon. Where should I start? I think I should start with where they will sleep, which is the Japanese room. I just need to organize and clear out the room. 

I don’t know if I will be able to work on the translation tomorrow, because I feel I have to do grammar practice in the textbook too. I want to post on my blog. Tomorrow I have to go to English lesson too. I haven’t been to class for one month. Should I quit? I don’t go to the classes most of the time, but I feel insecure if I don’t go, because I won’t have a chance to practice my English if I quit. I guess I should go as much as I can, because I think the lessons help me with my English. Maybe I can do the practice in the textbook in the morning and dos the translation in the afternoon.

I think writing is really helping me. I feel I can focus better on my tasks. My mind is clear the next day when I write down my thoughts as much as possible before I sleep. I have a chance to know what has been bothering me and try to figure out how to solve my problems. For example, I practiced piano today when I was cooking soup with a small heat. I always wait and practice when I finish shower, but I realized it would be too late for practicing then. I changed my pattern today, I had more time to practice and it felt good.

I am not sure if I should write a story from my experiences, though. I guess I’ll know when the time comes. For now, I just need to produce 800 words daily.

Somehow, N’s always been writing.

Day 1
N turned off her iPad and went to sleep.

Day 2
Morning. N was preparing breakfast in the kitchen. She put two pieces of toast in the oven, turned on the oven, poured hot water from a boiler into a teapot and took out two plates from the upper shelf. Then she took out two red-checked mats from the shelf below, put the mats on the dining table, returned to the kitchen and took out the toast. After that she put them on the plates, put blueberry jam on the toast and poured tea into two cups. N was in her pajamas, with a light pink apron.

“Good morning! Breakfast is ready!” N shouted from the hallway. M and E came to the dining room 10 minutes later, looking sleepy.
“Good morning,” they said to N one by one.
“It’s raining today,” N looked at the sky from her window, “Don’t forget to take an umbrella.”

Evening. Piano lesson. N looked nervous, and started to play the grand piano poorly. C smiled bitterly. C patiently corrected N’s mistakes.

Later. N told E to do homework before dinner. “It’s almost dinner, so you’d better finish your homework, otherwise you won’t be able to eat!” N looked frustrated as she cooked miso soup in the kitchen. “What’s for dinner?” M asked. “Fish, vegetables, and soup. Does that sound OK to you?” N sounded impatient. “Yeah.” M answered quickly, and disappeared into his room. E disappeared into his room too.

Day 3
Evening. N, P, M, and E were in a restaurant, eating noodles. “I want to go to see a horror movie tonight — I told you about the movie this morning.” N suddenly said to P. “No way! The 9 o’clock show? It’s too late to go to the movies by yourself, and a horror movie? What are you thinking?” P was unhappy. “But I want to see that movie!” N looked furious. P looked at N with indifference. He worried about N being upset, but he didn’t want her to go, because “normal people don’t do that kind of thing.”

Night. N looked frustrated and uncomfortable, sitting in Starbucks by herself, typing on the iPad. Someone was sitting next to her and typing on his keyboard loudly. N looked annoyed, but didn’t make an effort to look at him. N stopped typing, and checked her phone. She texted a message in LINE, but then deleted it. Then she started to type on her iPad, “I am upset because P wouldn’t let me to go to the movies tonight.”

Day 4
Morning. English class. N sat with a group of women aged from 30 to 80. N listened to a young Caucasian in his early 30s, before a whiteboard. There were English sentences and words written on the board. The teacher’s name was F. He looked friendly and cheerful. “What did you do last weekend?” F asked the class.

Later. N sat at a small table at a coffee shop by herself, looking stressed. She was looking at the app: Story Planner. A tall Caucasian passed in front of N. N looked up from her phone, paused, took a sip of her coffee, then returned to her phone. Someone gave a like on N’s blog. N tapped on the blog of the person who gave her the like and started to read her blog. The writer’s blog was about spirits and rock climbing.

Later. N went grocery shopping at a supermarket. She bought a head of cabbage, some carrots, a bag of onions, some bread, tofu, meat, etc.

Night. N typed on the iPad. She looked sleepy. Word count: 523. N kept typing on the iPad, her eyes were almost closed. She paused. Word count: 801. N looked satisfied.

Day 5
Morning. N woke up and looked at the alarm clock: 7:15. N jumped out of the bed. “It’s 7:15!” she shouted. N tried to wake E up, but E didn’t get up.
“Goodbye,” N said to M, who carried a black school backpack as he walked out the door. “Take care,” N said to him.
N returned to the bedroom. E was still in bed. “You are not getting anything good out of this,” N said to him with tears in her eyes.

Later. N started to work on the translation of some German text at the dinning table. N sat at the dining table, with German text laying in front of her. There was a big, fat, black, German and English dictionary, and a notebook filled with tiny handwritings.

Night. N sat in bed with her iPad, typing: “I remember how the other day I made spaghetti because E said he wanted to eat spaghetti. E looked very happy when he was eating the spaghetti. Is unhappiness so bad? It’s only a part of the human condition.”

Day 6
Morning. Table lesson. N sat in front of T, a woman in her 70s. T talked, and talked, and talked. N listened with patience and nodded her head occasionally. Slowly, N’s smile grew weary. The clock rang once: 1pm.

Noon. N sat in a chair with her hair colored by a stylist in a salon. N was reading the book, “Beyond Good and Evil”.
“You have always had your hair done by Inada,” the young stylist said to N. “Yes, please tell her that I said hello!” N replied.

Later. N surfed on the net, and read about Nietzsche in Wikipedia.
N checked the news on the phone: Trump’s speech; some authorities apologizing in Japan; air pollution in Peking.

Day 7
“Why do you keep talking when I said I understand already?” E complained in his room.
“Because I need to make sure that you really understand!” N looked frustrated, but she tried to listen to E with patience. E finally became calm and started to pick up his notebook from the floor.

Noon. “You shouldn’t have done that!” P suddenly appeared at the door. E looked ashamed by P’s comment and became angry again. N looked more upset. “Why do you say something like that before you even have a clue of what’s been going on? We just got things figured out. Now I have to start all over again.” N couldn’t believe what just happened. After all the effort she took in communicating and listening to E, P destroyed E’s trust in 5 second.

Later. N took out the chocolate chips cookies from the oven, and placed them on a rack on the dining table. There were sounds of people laughing and talking in the living room. P was watching comedian talk shows on the TV. M and E were playing games on their machines at the dining table and sofa. N stood and watched the show for a second; she looked annoyed.

Day 8
Noon. N watched five DVDs.

Night. After showering, N was drying her hair in front of the mirror in the washroom. She noticed her back hair was not cut properly.

Later. N stared at the piano next to her at night for a long second. Then she got into bed.

Day 9
Evening. F’s place. F played a piece from a French movie in a melancholy mood. He played beautifully. “You really improved your skill, and you just began to take lessons a year ago at the age 70.
How did you do it?” N asked him in admiration.
“I practice at least 20 minutes a day, everyday,” F said modestly.

Day 10
Morning. “I didn’t study for the test this time,” P looked stressed.
“Oh. Well.” N looked indifferent. P left home.

Noon. M and E went out to play with friends. Now N was home alone. She checked on her phone about a celebrity. [Life should never be boring.] – She found the quote from an actor’s father. N felt touched. N went to the dining table, took out her iPad, and started to type.

Evening. N was reading a book about psychology. The book said, “Emotion is made comprehensive by reasoning.”

Day 11
Morning. N was sitting on the sofa, folding laundry.

(N and an older woman were arguing. Both of them looked upset , but N looked like she was misunderstood. N tried to not to cry.)

“I’m going, bye,” E’s voice rang out from the hallway. N quickly got up and rushed to the entrance.
“Have a nice day,” N said to E as he walked out the door. N looked relieved.

Later. N hung the washed clothes from a basket to a drying rack slowly in the living room. Then she served herself a cup of coffee with a piece of toast at the dining table. After that, she cleared the table, went to the washroom to brush her teeth, washed her face, put on lotion, went back to the kitchen, washed the piles of dishes in the sink, returned to the washroom, put on sunscreen on her face, got dressed, put on a tint of pink lipstick. Finally N came back to the dining table, and took a seat.

Then N opened her iPad.

write to understand


I feel I am finally making progress in understanding myself.  Today when I read my blog post, I realized that I have always been asking myself the same question: “Should I do it?”  I always wonder if I should do something, such as writing, or translation, or philosophy, before I do it.  It’s a pattern.

I ask myself if I should do it, because I am afraid of failure.  I fear failure, so I choose to do what I think makes sense.  Once I understand my old pattern, however, I can choose to make a different choice.    If I had stopped writing when the voice in my head told me “This is pointless.”,  I might never have realized this pattern of my behavior.  Thus I will do what I feel is right, even if it doesn’t seem to make any sense.

the 21:00 show

the 21:00 show


N repares breakfast.


M and 8 eat breakfast.


N does laundry.


N sits in a group and listens to a teacher.


N goes shopping. 


N tells 8 to do homework.


N, 8, and M eat dinner.


N dries her hair before a mirror.


N writes in bed with her iPad.


“I didn’t study for the test this time.” P says.  “Oh.  Well,” N looks indifferent.

M and 8 leave home.  N is home alone.

N checks on her iPhone and reads a quote: “Life should never be boring.”

N starts to type in her iPad at the dinning table.


N looks frustrated and unstable.  She types on the ipad:  It’s 19:53.

Someone sitting next to N is typing on the keyboard loudly.

N stops typing and checks LINE on iPhone.  She texts, but then deletes her text.

N starts to type on the iPad:  I am upset because P wouldn’t let me to go to the movies alone tonight.



N makes some chocolate chips cookies.  SOUND OF PEOPLE LAUGHING AND TALKING FROM TV.

8 and M are playing with their gauges.  P is watching comedian talk shows.

N takes cookies out from an oven, and transfers them to a rack on the table.

N watches the show for a second; she looks annoyed.


N and 8 are in the middle of an argument.  N tries to listen to 8 with patience.  8 becomes calm and starts to pick up his notebook from the floor.

“You shouldn’t have done that!” P suddenly appears at the door.  8 looks embarrassed and angry.  N looks more upset.  

“Why do you say something like that before you know what happened?  We just got things figured out!  Now I have to start all over agin.” N can’t believe what just happened.


N, P, M, and 8 are eating noodles at a table.  “I want to go to see the horror movie I told you about tonight,” N says to P.  “No way!  The 9 o’clock show?  It’s too late to go by yourself!” P sounds angry.  “But I want to see that movie!” N looks furious.  P looks at N with contempt.


N picks up and starts to read a book called “Learning is 99% output”.
N checks out her blog post; she looks exhausted.  N stares at the piano next to her bed for a second, then turns off the light.