Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is the Western dead?

This subject often comes up when people find out I write western novels. "Oh, voice from the past, eh?" Well, yes, but if the numbers are to be believed, more people read and view westerns all the time. I mean, the audience for the genre is growing. True, there are more cop shows and comedies produced, but more people watch westerns than any other genre on TV. Finally, as you can see in this link, the powers that be are beginning to notice. Read about the Cowboy Comeback and smile.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Six Month Anniversary winds down

Borrowing again from friend Yuri Kageyama and the Associated Press. Here are some anniversary images posted tonight.

Minamisanriku, where a young woman kept broadcasting messages urging people to run for high ground until the surging tsunami waters swallowed her.

Another Minamisanriku.

Japan Earthquake September 11 World

Thank you, Yuri, for those images.

Please remember that all proceeds from Nik Morton's When the Flowers Are in Bloom and my own A Matter of Tea go directly to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Author and newswoman Yuri Kageyama on six months after

My good friend and colleague (we both do journalism, but she's far ahead of me) Yuri Kageyama sent me a link to her story written for the six-month anniversary of 3/11. Read it. Then help.

You can also help by buying Nik's and my books, published specifically to raise money to help the 3/11 victims.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Six months since 25,000 people died

On March 11, 2011, a quake registering 9.2 on the Richter Scale was caused by shifting of tectonic plates off eastern Japan. Unlike most earthquakes, which tend to center in one place, such as the one that hit ChristChurch New Zealand, this one spread for 200 kilometers along the edge of the Pacific Plate and was felt as far away as Alaska and Siberia. Devastation wracked Japan. Not just in the areas hit by massive tsunami, but in places hundreds of kilometers away -- Urayasu, for instance, where Disneyland is located, suffered immensely from liquifaction, which left holes beneath streets that only came to light when the heat of summer arrived.

Remember that more than 1,500 children lost their parents. Remember that 250,000 people were displaced. Remember that some people around the Fukushima Nuclear Plant may never see their homes again in their lifetimes.

I have picked up some scenes from Youtube that you who search in English would never find. The soundtracks are in Japanese. Turn off the sound if you wish, but look at the messages. Please.

Nik Morton and I have both published books for the disaster. All the proceeds, from the authors and from the publishers, go to help victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. At the end of this post, I'll give you tags where you can spend a little money to help many people.

Scenes not shown even on Japanese TV

More from the early days after the quake

The town of Ishinomaki in June

More than three million views of the tsunami at Ishinomaki

A 40-second drive along a beachside road

This is what was left of the Watari-Arahama Fishing Co-op building after the tsunami. Friend Conan Grames sent word that the LDS church donated an ice maker capable of making 3.3 tons of crushed ice to the Co-op. All 84 of the ships operated by fishermen belonging to the co-op were damaged. So far, 16 are back in operation and the ice maker allows them to get their catches to market. People still need help.

Nik Morton's blog is here. And his book, When The Flowers Are In Bloom is here.

My book, A Matter of Tea, is a selection of short stories about Japan, including the one that received first prize in the 2010 Oaxaca International Literature Competition.