There’s a bunch of websites I find myself going back to again and again when I’m writing about medieval Japan.

I have a degree in Japanese Studies, but that was Lo These Many Years ago and I when I find myself typing something like “She put rice balls in lacquered boxes” I then have to go research if Lily, as a peasant, would have eaten rice and if the lacquered boxes were in use back in the Ashikaga period of Japanese medieval history, etc.

Not to mention some other writerly tools.

#1. Youtube

For getting in the mood to write! For the Tiger Lily sequel, Straw Doll Cries at Midnight, I’ve got a playlist with Rin (a now disbanded lovely group of japanese girls who play traditional instruments), Chitose Hajime (Okinawan popular singer,) Phillip Phillips, Jason Mraz, and a choir singing Lauridson’s Lux Aeterna.

I can’t tell you how useful it is for someone, like me, who has random bits of time during the day to write to instantly get myself in the mood.

#2 Thesaurus

I have a paucity of vocbulary I’m able to use actively. I’m much more of a passive vocabulary type person. So when I find myself using “dark” for the hundredth time in three minutes…..

#3 The Samurai Archives>

For character names and confirming certain historical alliances.

#4 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Visual Inspiration

#5 The Emotion Thesaurus

Because I tend to use “His dark eyes looked” waaaaaaaaay too much

#6 On the Art of No Theater: the Major Treatises of Zeami, translated by J Thomas Rimer and Yamazaki Masakazu

Because one of my characters is Zeami himself 🙂