Chiaki Creates

The human mind, old films, literature and podcasts.


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Taking stock

Taking Stock | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEnjoying: spending Sunday mornings in bed reading.
Listening: to Quentin Tarantino talk about his soundtracks on Screen 6 Special.
Wearing: my new navy kimono wrap pencil dress next time I go out for dinner.
Making: banana raspberry almond milk smoothies.
Cooking: sautéed garlic and ginger kale with toasted sesame seeds.
Drinking: Cawston Press apple and ginger juice.
Feeling: content but a bit bored.
Reading: A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup.
Looking: into places to go for a weekend writing retreat.
Wishing: for snow, to no avail.
Liking: not worrying about money.
Waiting: for season 3 of Inside No. 9.
Snacking: on Clearspring organic whole sesame brown rice crackers.
Coveting: the David Bowie Sound and Vision picture disc.
Hearing: a new true crime podcast.
Learning: to allow things to be good.
Loving: my Apple EarPods.
Watching: mind-bending films.
Getting: myself some treats like an expensive box of truffles and a scented candle.
Noticing: that I no longer have any patience for superficial things that add nothing to life.
Bookmarking: The Pep Talk Generator.
Deciding: to get up earlier in the morning.
Contemplating: when to visit my friends and family in Sweden.
Wanting: to spend more time writing.
Knowing: that I’m on the right path.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.


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February goals

February Goals | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.com○ Re-read David Bowie Is.

○ Start a Happiness Club with my colleagues.

○ Get dolled up and go out for dinner.

○ Use my self empowerment notebook every day.

○ Call my dad and my brother.

○ Spend less time inside my head.

○ Get out of the habit of wearing skinny jeans to work.

○ Find a new challenge.

○ Make sure that I have something to look forward to every day.

○ Throw a dinner party.


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How we can carry on David Bowie’s legacy

How We Can Carry On David Bowie's Legacy | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’ve felt lost since I found out that the Starman has left our planet. I’ve cried and cried, and I feel exhausted no matter how much I sleep. I’ve been lacking in motivation and I’ve been lying awake at night in numb disbelief. I’m shocked by how strongly his death is affecting me. Even more shocking is that it took me almost a week before I even realised that I’m grieving. I always thought that he would somehow live forever. It never occurred to me that I would at some point in my life have to accept being in a world without Bowie in it, without his guidance.

I’m lucky enough to have a few wonderful people in my life who understand the pain. My dear Geenie deserves a huge thank you for the telepathic love she’s been sending. It’s so comforting talking to someone who is just as devastated as I am. She wrote this beautiful piece that moved me to tears after the departure of our mutual hero.

Bowie’s music has always and will always be coursing through my veins. My mum did a fabulous job instilling her love for him into me. Mimicking Bowie’s work, I grew up shapeshifting from one extreme to the other. Reinventing myself over and over. Ending up even legally changing my first name. No person has meant as much to me when it comes to connecting with myself and learning to love myself as Bowie has.

He really was a hero. He challenged the world’s outdated gender definitions and insistently pushed boundaries. He taught us that identity is fluid and that we can find happiness by truly knowing ourselves. Let’s carry his legacy on by being true to ourselves and embracing our flaws. By being proud of our unique weirdness and by challenging definitions of everything. By playing with aspects of our personalities and shapeshift. By nurturing our creativity and believing in our work without censoring ourselves. We can do and be whatever we want.How We Can Carry On David Bowie's Legacy | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comNow I want to let you in on a little secret. My favourite tool for living my life to its fullest and staying true to myself Bowie-style, is a self empowerment notebook. It’s a tool inspired by Bowie that I started using when I was 12 for my first shapeshift. I’ve used it ever since to improve my life and to create all my different personae. It’s simple but potent. Buy yourself a pretty notebook and fill it with powerful words. Be radically honest in this notebook. It’s for your eyes only. Use it every day as instructions to creating the life that you want to live and the person that you want to be. Here are some suggestions of things to fill it with:

A list of what to focus on, to be read every morning
Monthly goals
Yearly goals
Things that would contribute to your happiness
Your vision
25 things that you want in your life, including things that you already have
Self care activities
Life goals
Things that you’re proud of yourself for

Bowie was a true artist who happened to use music as a medium, but the world was his canvas. Always one step ahead, he made the act of dying his final piece of art. The greatest tribute we can give the man is to proudly be our freaky selves and to do our best to make this world a more accepting and loving place full of art.

How about you? Has Bowie’s death affected you? Did you grow up with his music?


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Book courtship

Book Courtship | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m devastated about the tremendous loss of David Bowie; my hero, mentor, muse and inexhaustible source of inspiration. It’s so hard to accept that I’m now living in a world that doesn’t have Bowie in it. I’m not ready to share it yet but I’ve started writing about how we can carry on his legacy. So, today I’m sharing something else entirely. I came across this lovely post over on Beached Librarian. It’s such a wonderful take on book love that I simply had to give it a go.

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?
Crime by Irvine Welsh. A Scottish Detective Inspector suffers a stress and cocaine fuelled mental breakdown after a child sex murder case, and flees to America with his fiancée who’s completely absorbed in planning their wedding. There, he meets a ten-year-old girl who is a child abuse victim and he becomes obsessed with saving her. Welsh interviewed victims of child abuse as research for this book, and he almost abandoned the first draft after Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. If you want to lose your faith in humanity, read this book.

Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary?
Molecules of Murder: Criminal Molecules and Classic Murders by John Emsley. Chemistry and true crime meet in this fascinating book. It’s become one of the books that I can’t bear parting with. Emsley’s other books sound really interesting too.
“Molecules of Murder is about infamous murderers and famous victims; about people like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko, Adelaide Bartlett, and Georgi Markov. Few books on poisons analyse these crimes from the viewpoint of the poison itself, doing so throws a new light on how the murders or attempted murders were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice.”

Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse. He had such a witty way with words. Also, anything by Lewis Carroll. I love that he as a mathematician had a penchant for playing with logic in his books.

Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series that made you want to pick up the rest of the series?
The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. A single mother lives a quiet life with her teenage daughter. One day, her abusive ex husband shows up and starts threatening them. Things escalate quickly and he ends up dead on the floor. Their neighbour, a mathematical genius, who has heard the commotion offers to help them cover the murder up using his logical thinking. His devotion to them and what he’s prepared to do for them is what drives the plot. When Inspector Kusanagi is assigned to the case, he instinctively knows that things aren’t adding up despite the mother’s seemingly perfect alibi. With the help of his friend Yukawa, a brilliant physics professor, will he be able to crack the case?
If I’ve understood this correctly, this is the third book in Higashino’s Detective Galileo series but the first to be translated. It’s a shame that it has been badly translated because it’s such a wonderful, clever mystery novel full of twists. Only two books of the series have been translated so far, but another one will be published this year.Book Courtship | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comPhase 5 – Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?
The Summer of the Ubume by Natsuhiko Kyogoku. According to Japanese folklore, an ubume is the ghost that arises from the burial of a pregnant woman. Kyogokudo is an exorcist who doesn’t believe in ghosts. To help people get rid of their problems that they believe are caused by ghosts, he stages fake exorcisms. We follow Kyogokudo as he tries to find a pregnant woman’s husband who disappeared 18 months ago. The bizarre thing is that she has been pregnant for 20 months. It’s compelling reading!

Phase 6 – Always On My Mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. An incredibly well-written novel in which a mother tries to process her son’s mass murder through letters to her ex husband. It’s a disturbing and believable story. I still find myself thinking about it. I can relate to her conflicting feelings towards motherhood, having myself gone from firmly not wanting to have children ever, to completely changing my mind about a year and a half ago. I highly recommend that you read this one, but don’t bother with the film.

Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book which you love the way it feels?
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. It’s been one of my favourite books since I was little. The atmosphere in the book (and in the film) is deliciously eerie. I have to admit that I’m biased because I’ve always identified with Rosemary, even as a little girl. Psycho by Robert Bloch is another book that I love the creepy feel of. Using a false narrative which turns into a “split” narrative is a very unusual technique, and one that I greatly admire. I’ve never read anything quite like it. I also love the feel of Agatha Christie’s books because she’s the queen of cosy murder mysteries. I grew up reading my mum’s old Christie books so they take me back to my childhood, and make me feel safe.

Phase 8 – Meeting the Parents: A book that you would recommend to your family and friends?
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It’s a masterpiece that has everything. Satire. Good versus evil. A book within a book. A huge, fast-talking, mischievous black cat who walks on his hind legs. The devil in the disguise of a foreign professor. A red headed succubus. Everything!

Phase 9 – Thinking About the Future: A book or series you know that you will re-read many times in the future?
Wilderness and The American Night, both by Jim Morrison. I immerse myself in his poetry. Lament for the Death of My Cock is one of my favourites of his poems.

Phase 10 – Share the Love: Who do you tag?
Anyone who wants to play!


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20 questions that will change your life

20 Questions That Will Change Your Life | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m a firm believer in self empowerment. All too often, we disempower ourselves when in reality, we have a lot more control over our lives and our feelings than we think. The way you’re feeling about your life right now, you at some point chose to feel. We have a choice. Perception is not a passive process. When our circumstances aren’t ideal, we can intentionally change how we perceive the world. Asking yourself the right things is a great place to start. It may be a bold statement that these questions will change your life, but I promise you that they will if you ask them often and answer them honestly.

1. What can you do today to make yourself feel better about your life?

2. What can you do to make today an amazing day?

3. What are your top 10 life goals and what can you do today to work towards them?

4. What’s preventing you from being happy with your life?

5. How can you put your life in perspective?

6. What can you do to have a good laugh today?

7. What can you do to take better care of yourself?

8. Who in your life deserve a big heartfelt thank you?

9. What in your life is draining you of energy and what can you do to fix it?

10. What are 10 things that you are thankful for today?

11. What makes you happy and how can you have more of that on a daily basis?

12. What can you do that will push you outside of your comfort zone today?

13. What can you do to support and encourage the people you love?

14. What are your top 5 values and are you living your life according to them?

15. What can you do to relax today?

16. What can you do to live more in the moment?

17. What can you read, watch and listen to that will inspire you today?

18. How can you become more connected with yourself?

19. What can you do to nurture your important relationships?

20. What would make you feel fulfilled and how can you work towards that today?


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January goals

January Goals | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.com○ Make more time for reading.

○ Practise self care every day.

○ Take lots of essential oil baths in candlelight.

○ Make healthy lunches to bring to work.

○ Go see The Hateful Eight at the pictures.

○ Maintain my daily gratitude habit.

○ Cut refined sugar out of my diet.

○ Get back into the habit of getting dolled up more often.

○ Make smoothies and detox water.

○ Register with a new surgery.

○ Keep making time for writing every day.


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Intentions for 2016

Intentions For 2016 | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comFor me 2015 was a year of creating the life that I want to live and learning how to make myself happy. For years it seemed like no matter what I did, things just wouldn’t fall into place. In August, something happened inside of me. I decided to start forcing my life to happen the way I wanted it to. From that point on, I refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.

It was a year of letting go of everything that wasn’t right for me anymore. I stepped away from crafting and designing to focus on writing. In June, I left London behind and moved to Brighton. I quit the magazine and a job that wasn’t for me at all. I ended unhealthy friendships and limited the time I spend online.

It was a year of doing what I needed to do for myself. I found an amazing job and fabulous colleagues at an organic essential oil company. I went to Sweden for a month to be with my friends and family. I found the perfect flatmate and moved into her beautiful flat by Brighton Pier. I strengthened my bond with the people I love and I reconnected with myself.

This year I choose to focus on continuing to create the life that I want to live.

I will invest in myself.

I will set healthy boundaries.

I will work towards my life goals.

I will do only things that I genuinely want to do.

I will trust my journey.

This year I choose to make my future a priority. This year I will keep making things happen.

Happy New Year, my lovelies! May 2016 bring us clarity, fulfilment and serenity!

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