Tag Archives: strategy

A Strategy for Reading and Writing

I’ve never really thought about having a strategy for reading and writing before. But with the kind of work schedule I have, I really need to think about it. 

First of all, for reading, I tend to only read while I’m taking the bus to and from work. I don’t always take the bus, though. I never get any reading done on my days off. So, I need to set aside time to read every day. I’m thinking 15 to 30 minutes is good. With that amount of time, I should be able to finish books faster than I have been. 

As for writing, any time I have alone could be a good time to write. But that’s not often. So, I’ll try squeeze in 15 minutes to write every day. That’s far better than I’ve done in recent months. 

Do you have a strategy for reading and writing? Share it in the comments below. 

Reading Strategy for July

After months of failure to read books, I need to make an effort to read every day in July. I need to finish some books!

When I lived in Japan, my reading time was also limited, but I made sure I read during my commute to and from work. I could easily sit down in the train and read for a few minutes. But I don’t get around by train now, and if I go by bus, the rides are usually too short to really concentrate on a book. If I go by car, I can’t read at all. So, I need to figure out how to read at home with so many people around.

I need to think of a strategy for reading. Here are my ideas:

  • Read in the bathroom. I can lock the door.
  • Read after everyone’s gone to bed. Best place for this is in the kitchen at the moment. Once the living room is finished and the den is tidied up, I can read in either room.
  • Read in my future office. Well, there is room on the floor to sit down at the moment… but not so comfortable. I need to wait for that to be fixed and cleaned up.
  • Go to the park. That’s fine for warm days, but I can’t do it on stormy days or winter. And I should stay away from ponds. Too many mosquitoes!
  • Read in the back yard. But there’s nothing to sit on.
  • Go to the library. Fifteen minutes of walking and I can read in the library. That’s right, bring my own book to the library.

I need to get some reading done! Any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.

My Master Plan for the Year

With February coming to a close soon, our last month in Japan is fast approaching. Things are changing rapidly. I need to plot a course of action for the future. There are many things to consider, and not everything will be set in stone. But I do have a plan for the rest of the year.  This is it.

Our Move to Canada

Until March 22nd, I’ll be working still, but also packing and cleaning at the same time. Everything must be completely packed and everything must be ready to be taken out of the apartment by March 23rd. That’s the day we move out. We will spend the next couple days cleaning the apartment from top to bottom while our daughter stays with her grandparents. From the 26th to 29th, we have some free time to meet friends, go places we want to see for the last time while living in Japan, and restaurants we want to eat at once more. March 30th is the day we leave Japan. We’ll arrive in Vancouver the same day, although it will be at an earlier time (time travel!). And then it’s on to Vancouver Island for a week visiting family and sightseeing. We’ll then arrive in Edmonton and move in to my sister’s house.

The First Week in Edmonton

There will be a lot to do while my sister has a week off to help us run around and get things done. First order of business is to get my Japanese driver’s license and driving record translated at the Consul-General in Calgary. I need photo ID as soon as possible. I’ll then get my license changed to an Alberta license. During the rest of the week, I need to arrange health insurance for myself and my daughter, as well as change address at my bank, get my daughter’s social insurance number set up, and get her registered for kindergarten. My wife’s permanent residency will come, but not sure when. Once it does arrive, she’ll also need to have her health insurance and social insurance number set up.

Employment and Education

I already mentioned in yesterday’s video (see this post) about what I’d like to do for a job. I’m interested in working at a travel agency, bank, book store, or teaching English. To teach English, I need to get my CELTA, which is an ESL teaching certificate through Oxford University. It’s a six week course that I can do on the weekends.


April will be busy, but I think I’ll be able to get back into writing by May. I’m going to focus on writing every day at that point. I want to finish Journey to Ariadne this year and start outlining the first novel of Ariadne. I’ll also be working a lot on planning a nine part science fiction series, which consists of novellas, rather than full novels.


I will be setting up my account at YouTube for monetization, which means I’d get paid by YouTube for advertising on my videos. I’ll get that done after I set up a US dollar account for YouTube and Amazon. Best to keep that separate from my regular account, because I’d need to keep track of American income for tax purposes. I don’t expect it to amount to much this year, though.

I will continue working on videos chronicling our move to Canada and our adjustment to life there. I will also do all 30+ videos about Japanese sightseeing, as well as a new series on what it was like to live in Japan. That will be based on questions that have been asked to me on this blog. I also plan to focus on writing and book videos.


Pretty much everything will continue as usual on this blog. However, I do have the planned weekly flash fiction series to start up, hopefully in May. I’ve seen some interest in it, so that’s great. I also have plans to get guests for Authors Answer. We will see who will be guests.

Official Author Website

I should consider getting a domain name. Also, I plan on getting a lot of reference material up on the official website as I write Journey to Ariadne. I’m hoping to also do up some concept sketches and have them on the website.

Language Studying

This is more of a personal thing, rather than anything related to business. I hope to completely finish the Esperanto course on Duolingo, then get back to French, then Spanish. It would be nice to get those done this year. After those languages, probably going into 2017 and beyond, I’ll work on German, Norwegian, and Russian. But I also want to learn Greek, Dutch, and Italian.

There’s a lot to do this year. I don’t think this plan is particularly ambitious. It’s realistic and achievable. My goal is to complete every aspect of it. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

More Effective Language Study

As a language teacher, I know how people can study more effectively. However, sometimes teachers don’t take their own advice. Well, I’m going to take my own advice, as well as that of others.

On Duolingo, I’ve tended to keep doing new lessons. Well, unfortunately, that means I keep forgetting the old lessons. For each new lesson, I’m going to use the Strengthen Skills feature twice. That will allow me to review what I’ve already done and keep the words fresh in my mind. And repetition like that will help me remember more quickly.

I’m also going to start keeping notebooks. I’ll write down new vocabulary, verb conjugations, and more. I’ll practice by writing sentences, as well.

I’m also going to start using Memrise, which I haven’t really explored much, but I have been told it’s great for vocabulary. It even has Japanese, which would be nice to use.

Another thing is to try reading websites in the languages I study. However, I’m at such a low level at the moment that it wouldn’t be very practical. I’ll leave that until later.

Do you have any language learning strategies that work for you?