To write, one must research. For every word written, it takes one thousand of reading. Sometimes, one can escape that by writing what they know, and then the images, and words and details flow freely. Most stories, however, are not that easy.

I am in the process of writing something for Brian Poane’s anthology “A Contract of Words” and I am finding I wish I had started this activity a month ago. The story is an assassin in the Edo period of Japan’s Shogunate. While I have great love for the era and for the legendary concepts of bushido, I do not want to go into this unarmed, so to speak. Good details are the spice of the story, and so I have set out to learn what I can while still giving myself time enough to complete this short story.

At 7500 words at maximum, that would require only 7.5 millions words read. I wonder how much a 15-minute video would count as. Much of Minka is quiet, views of a beautiful house as told by the man who rescued it from destruction. It has no big bangs or great hurrahs, no Mifune growls, Uematso crescendos nor Kurosawa gouts, no killing or really anything truly exciting. Yet Minka has that quiet beauty that once pervaded in society, before the beeps and blips of social media and hand-held devices. While I hope that the quietly beautiful film inspires my vernacular of the period better, I am content in walking away with an image of minka perfection.

I will keep you all posted on the story as it unfolds.



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