Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams: A Literary Collection
UPDATES: WE'VE MADE THE GOAL! Thank you for making it a reality! The journey to surpass and enable and empower more possibilities continues! To celebrate, SPECIAL EDITION COVER DESIGNS will be available to pledgers to choose! They will be unveiled soon! (See and follow updates for more details)
- Publish Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams and support a bigger print run and rewards and productions for more readers
- Enable and empower events, presentations, panels for writing and arts communities (i.e. upcoming Akihabara Expo in Anaheim, California, Dec 18-20)
- Contribute and build Inspiritus Press, a start up that will champion aspiring artists of all kinds and thought-provoking, unconventional, avant garde, culture-shaping work
"Opening a book is entering someone else's consciousness with your own." (67)
Book Cover Blurb:
“[His stories] have a timeless quality, little legends or fables that enlighten or explain a philosophy of life, a zen moment… [they] touch on an innate mystery of things that allow one to see.” – Patricia Keeney, York University Professor, Award-winning Poet, Critic, Author of One Man Dancing and Orpheus in our Time
From the author of Espresso Love and Secondhand Memories, the award-winning trailblazer of online literary fiction, English cell phone novels and transmedia storytelling, comes an unconventional collection of fragments, moments, imaginings containing thought-provoking and enigmatic short stories, poetry, essay, notes, drafts, excerpts, aphorisms, photography, and art.
His work explores surreal visions and philosophical themes of the self and identity, human condition and the soul, subjective perception and the nature of reality, criticism of the system and exploration of spirituality and the cosmos through strange conversations, umbrellas, a talking bird, grandfather clocks, a transfigured stone, white rice, bookstores, a man with twelve toes, and more.
"Writing is about reflecting the peripherals in order to perceive clearly." (116)
In 2008, when I was about 18, I ventured out of my grade school Word documents and secret journals and pioneered the cell phone novel in the English-speaking online world, a literary movement that originates from Japan since the early 2000s of a new form of writing that fused haiku-esque poetry, prose storytelling, youth culture, heightened emotions, inner thoughts, controversial social issues and technology featuring line breaks, omission, cliffhangers, white space, verticality and short sparse minimalist chapters for reading and writing on the go, on cell phones (or otherwise). The top 10 published bestsellers were dominated by cell phone novels which were adapted into anime, manga, movies, tv series and more. Through my first novel, Secondhand Memories, a young adult coming-of-age story, thousands of young writers and readers began to pick up the "pen" so to speak and discover their writing and sensibilities can transcend the common attributes of visceral pop culture storytelling and become artful, sophisticated, poetic, philosophical even, encouraged by such a form. It created a tight-knit warm and friendly network of teenagers to adults, who shared something in common - a love for Japan or Japanese entertainment, a love for poetry, a love for contemplation, a melancholy for life and the gift of introversion.
In 2011 I launched my Youtube channel where I started to produce music, vlogs and event coverage, and in 2012, I released my first original music EP as a message of inspiration to Japan after the tsunami and to my followers on the journey, full of Japanese and English pop rock songs, home-recorded and printed in sleeved packages by IndiePool. It has sold over 300 copies and on a trip to Japan given to the hands of many industry professionals and musicians.
Secondhand Memories Trailer
Onwards, I've written a few cell phone novels along with the many fellow friends and writers, and won several Textnovel awards such as the Reader's Choice Award and a literary agent contract. In February 2015, Secondhand Memories was published and released by Sakura Publishing as ebook and a beautiful 500-page 6"x9" stunningly illustrated (characters by Collateral Damage Studios Singapore), tactfully formatted, graphically designed print volume to the delight of many fans who have been following my work over the years. It's become a landmark and milestone for the publishing industry, a sentimental keepsake, and a fresh new approach on writing and reading.
Just prior to the publication, in 2014, upon returning from a hiatus and inspired by my professors of Creative Writing at York University, I started to write my latest novel, Espresso Love, which to me is my greatest accomplishment to date. It marks a departure from the cell phone novel form into full-fledged literary fiction and prose and my real debut onto Wattpad (65 million user reading-writing app, platform and community) where I am a featured author of 15,000 followers and guest speaker, a founder of networks such as local Toronto Meet Ups, Literary Fiction and others, and involved in various many more ways that I would never have dreamed of. The novel itself also tackled immense concepts and philosophical discourses with a magical-realistic and dystopian spin, such as criticism of the capitalist and socio-political system (or any system in general) and its effects on the human condition and the mind and heart and spirit, a look into the nature of fickle reality constructed by subjective perception and consciousness, the balance between emotion and intellect, the collective unconscious of humanity and inner spiritual awakening and more. Somehow, as if it was divinely inspired, each day was a flurry of 1000-5000 words until the finished length of the manuscript at over 160,000 words. To my surprise, as literary fiction is not common with the Wattpad demographics, it hit over 800,000 reads in eight months (now at 900,000 and counting), and gained critical acclaim from websites, professors, editors, writers, young readers alike. It won the Watty's Award 2014 in the Collector's Dream category for being most-added to readers' shelves/reading-lists and is featured on various sites or interviews such as IndieReader. Now it is undergoing edits and queries to agents in hopes of a traditional publishing route.
With Espresso Love and Wattpad championing me, and Secondhand Memories, the published novel, I embark on a lot of book launch and signing events, guest speaking and presentations about online literature, cell phone novels, literary fiction, transmedia/multimedia storytelling and technology in a new age. Most recently, this year, I led a workshop at Pages Unbound Toronto and was a VIP guest on panel hosted by Wattpad at Fan Expo convention.
However, after Espresso Love, not only had my life in general changed but my writing evolved and grew. I moved on to write many short stories, non-fiction pieces, the startings of new projects and more. Now, before Espresso Love endures its long publishing journey to become a milestone in my portfolio, I realized I am sometimes reluctant to "get out in the real world" as much as I should, as Secondhand Memories is my only published hardcopy full work and does not quite reflect my current way of thinking and writing. At this point in life, writing new material has been difficult and I've been searching for new themes and ideas that resonate with me. In a sense, this collection provides a finality, a closure to the aftermath, the looming shadow of an ambitious Espresso Love and its remnants of thought, a conclusion to this chapter of my life so i may move forward with my writing. I wanted to capture and crystallize my consciousness in this collection which not only includes an amalgam of my latest work and thoughts but will have innovative graphic design, layout, artwork and photography by myself, with my background in visual arts and design, in a post-modern experimental style.
Online writing and independent publishing (or even traditional Big Five publishing) is always difficult financially. The numbers seem huge online, but at the same time, monetizing or supporting oneself from it has not been very possible yet - for me and for many writers in our industry today. The market is saturated and inclined to look after commercial successes and quality work is often overlooked. Such a collection, especially with its complex content and experimental design, by a relatively new author, of course, would also be hard to be picked up by agents or publishers.
But I hope to not only present to the world this as a portfolio, a fragment or sample of myself and my perceptions, but I believe my calling has always been to communicate important messages about life and our world, and to ultimately, inspire you, dear reader, whether in insight or in picking up the pen or using technology in the way I have.
To do so and make Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams a reality, funding for the print runs, marketing and other services needed to polish the work, enable and empower events, presentations, panels and more for the writing community, as well as mark a start to a new project I will be involved in called Inspiritus Press that will support countless aspiring unconventional writers in the future, I would greatly appreciate your contributions and I would love for you to have this part of me. Please share the project if possible!
The book for the most part is complete in design and layout; I am currently finishing up the pieces of artwork. Overfunding will allow for a larger print run and more things to be offered - possibly hardcover editions!
I hope you'll join me in this journey.
Thank you and inspirations,
"When reality is formed by an infinite number of subjectivities, dreams are more revealing." (66)
Some Work In Progress Pages:
Some comments and reviews from other instances:
"Takatsu is a fascinating writer, musician and illustrator and is at the forefront of transmedia storytelling.” – Rowena Wiseman, Author of Searching for Von Honningsbergs, The Replacement Wife, Bequest, Silver.
"Amazing how well you implement the first-person point of view… Hackneyed and cliche, some have said, but there’s just something about good writers and first person novels. You are definitely in one of them. Your voice really comes through. Some people will disagree and say, ‘Well of course. He’s writing in first person. It’s suppose to engage you in such a way.’ But I would have to say that not all first-person novels come through as clean as yours does. Simply amazing.” comments Diogenes, a literary critic on Textnovel.
On Espresso Love:
“Offers acute, almost painful observations of the minutiae of life, if life took place in a Murakami snow-globe.” – Review on IndieReader Insiders
“Like a seven course meal full of spice and illumination… One does not listen to a classical piece to get to its ending. No. It is the ride, the moment by moment…a genuine Masamune among stories.” – Ghosty, Textnovel author
“An interesting ‘vapoury’ style that seems to hover off world at times. …shows assurance and poise. Also very promising in suggestions. …Author’s intent to invoke/evoke mystery is very effective…haunting and strange (which is good); intelligence present on page…sense of terror in the core here… You’re on to something different, striking.” – B.W. Powe, Associate Professor, Dept of English, York University and author of A Tremendous Canada of Light, A Climate Charged, Outage, The Unsaid Passing, Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye: Apocalypse and Alchemy and more
“Struck me to the very core of my being…”
“Very interesting concept of reality… Thought provoking..”
“This novel has moved me in ways that’s almost beyond expression…has definitely taught me alot about myself, and the world around me. That we are apart of something much greater than ourselves, that the possibilities in life are infinite and life is so much more than we think it is. By this work of art I am encouraged to ponder the journey of life much more, and truly discover what it all truly means. I’m looking at life from a new perspective, a brighter one.”
“I am awestruck at the philosophical stance of your writing. Your writing is akin to that of Murakami in its surrealist execution.”
“It’s not a regular thing to find a piece of work that oozes sophistication and embodies literature and art in Wattpad.”
“Breathtaking in measure, Takatsu weaves themes of systematization with love and self discovery into such delicate balance with literature that everything on a page cannot be digested without swooning over the beautiful diction and prose.”
“Surprisingly bittersweet, like a good cup of coffee. It really makes you think and question the reality around us.”
For more Espresso Love reviews: https://takatsu.wordpress.com/reviews/
Risks and challenges
Regarding any risks or challenges, I am a very determined and passionate individual and the project will, for sure, come to fruition and production. I have countless times, whether it is organizing large scale events or producing projects with my own hands as a personal challenge, made what seems impossible, possible. Friends would always ask how I can do what I do? The writing and layout phase has been completed for the most part, and I am finishing up artwork for it. After a polishing and editing process, it will be ready for pressing. The only complication subject to change is the delivery time, in case it requires a bit more time, or if the shipment will take weeks to arrive. However, December and January are very reasonable aims, in time for Christmas and New Year celebrations! Perhaps some rewards may be shipped earlier than that once the book is published.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)