December in hindsight

December_2017

December, the conclusion to another year! The year has been good, all in all very positive year but you can read more about that in a ‘Year in hindsight’ post which will be posted on my blog right before midnight tonight.

December is always a busy month, effectively you have only three weeks of work but you are expected to do the same amount of work you need to do when you work every workday of the month. Intertwined in between those workdays we had Sinterklaas which was really fun. I celebrated it with my friends, we had a blast. I got a gorgeous present made by my best friends son and his dad.

And we had Christmas of course, which I celebrated with my family. For the first time in years my sister and brother in law were with us as well. So that was fun! And we also celebrated it with my grandmother and the extended family.

This past week has been a week off and I took some well deserved rest. I chilled at home with my parents. I went to the movies, I had to go see that last Pitch Perfect movie, I loved it! And there was time to read some books, watch some Netflix shows.

And tonight we’re going to celebrate New Years Eve with a couple of people from our writing group, how cool is that! Who could have guessed that we would now be a group of close friends who celebrate days like this together? Honestly when I started the group I was simply looking for some people who understood what Nanowrimo was about. Today however they’ve become true friends who I can count on when I need them.

Reading and writing

I read a couple of books this month, I finished reading The Circle. A book which gets you thinking about privacy and about what we do in the internet. But the book isn’t all that interesting unfortunately. And to be honest coincidentally a friend of mine borrowed me her blu-ray disk containing the movie. Honestly with a cast that includes Tom Hanks and Emma Watson I had high hopes that they could have made it worth my time. But the movie is definitely wasn’t worth my time. It could have been so much more. A true shame!

The other books I read are Everafter and Nevermore, a supernatural love story about vampires and wereshifters including two awesome women. I really enjoyed reading these books. They are easy to read, not too long and there is a really cool story intertwined. I really want to recommend these books.

Looking ahead:

  • 2018 is about to start, let’s take a look ahead.
  • I want to take another trip, right now I would say Croatia is high on the list but it might also be somewhere else. We’ll see what happens.
  • Pinkpop has some awesome names for this coming edition, though with those awesome names also comes a smaller chance of actually getting tickets. I have to try to get them though – Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters are among them.
  • There are many books which need to read – I want to make sure that the all of those unread books in my apartment get read.
  • I would also like to go to Disneyland Paris, I have been there once before when I was about twelve years old and I think I’m due for another trip to Disneyland. It’s been something that has been on my mind for a while.
  • We’re planning another reunion with the vacation group, Groningen is the plan – like it was in November the one we unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute.

 

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Book 9 – Everafter by Nell Stark & Trinity Tam

2017_Everafter

The reason why I picked up this book was simple. I wanted to read a love story – preferably between two women. There aren’t enough stories involving lesbian or bisexual love stories if you ask me. This book is one of the first I came across. Looking at it now I can’t imagine how I didn’t see the mention of ‘a paranormal romance’. Somehow I didn’t though and I was surprised by the paranormal side of the story.

A very nice surprise if you ask me. It certainly made for a very good story, I really enjoyed reading this. Reason why I probably didn’t make the connection is because I never really use the word paranormal, I’d rather use supernatural or call it what it is – a story about vampires and were’s. But not the kind of sparkly vampires we’ve seen in that other book series which shall not be named.  This is a story about becoming a vampire and about a lover who wants to do everything in her power to keep your soul save.

Valentine Darrow is ready to spend the rest of her life with her lover – Alexa Newland, little does she know that the rest of her life is going to be a lot longer than she ever could have imagined when she becomes the victim of a brutal attack. At first it seems to be a simple mugging but soon Valentine starts to experience an extreme thirst which can’t be stilled. Her own medical knowledge as a med student can’t explain the thirst. However with the help of a doctor she finally gets some answers. She’s slowly becoming a vampire.

Immediately after I finished reading this book I started on the second book, Nevermore. Which I hope to finish later today so I can add it to my 2017 Reading List. Which would mean that I have finished my challenge of reading ten books during this past year.

The Post-Nano blues

Nanowrimo-2017

I originally started writing this post this past week but somehow it got deleted – lost, whatever somehow it didn’t get saved. So I’m rewriting it.

I certainly don’t have the post-nano blues. In fact I wanted to write but time just simply slipped away from me the first week of December. Work was busy and my personal life was jam-packed with all different appointments as well.

On Thursday (the official last day of Nano) and on this past Monday I worked overtime at work. We had a really big assignment, one that yearly returns and is for a huge charity event. So on Thursday I arrived at work around 7.30 in the morning and I was back home at 11 in the evening and on Monday I was home around 10 in the evening.  So there was no time to writ on those days.

On Saturday we had our yearly TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party, we always have it on the first or second Saturday of December to celebrate that we made it through another November filled with writing. Despite the fact that I didn’t make it, I am content with what I did during November. In fact I’m super happy with it! So how could I not go to the TGIO. We talked, had fun and shared a perfect meal – I love that Florin Burger!

Sunday was the day I had planned for purchasing presents and making my surprise gift for our yearly Sinterklaas Surprise (which is kind of like Secret Santa). On Tuesday we actually celebrated Sinterklaas. It was such a fun thing! I got a great gift, the first part of The Mockingjay on a blue ray disk and a powerbank! And the packaging was simply amazing! My best friend’s son had me, so with help from his dad they made a complete stage out of cardboard boxes and they put Beth Hart and her complete band on the stage! So cool! It’s the best Surprise I ever got.

Surprise

The present was hidden underneath the stage. It’s really a beautiful present to receive and so perfectly catered to me! I love it!

Anyway the rest of the week was busy, busy, busy and the weekend I spend at my parents place. I hadn’t been there in a long time, and I also visited my grandmother. She’s such a sweet lady, I called her up in the morning and I went by we had a meal together.  It had been a long time since my grandmother and I had a meal together at her place. I should really do that more often.

And now it’s Friday again! How the hell did that happen? One more week until the Christmas break, wow the year is almost over! It’s almost unbelievable how fast the year flew by. And it is even more incredible how fast these past couple of weeks have flown by since November ended and not much writing has happened. Hopefully I can change that this weekend, but seeing how much I still have to do before Christmas I’m not sure if that will happen. We’ll see!

 

November in hindsight

November2017

All throughout this month I’ve been thinking about my ‘November in hindsight’ post and I decided that I wanted to post this on my blog on November 30th. To literally finish the month off in the only right way, especially since I’ve been posting these hindsight post quite late these last couple of months. So half way through the month I started to write the first couple of things for this particular post. So that I would be able to just add some last minute changes to in on the 30th before publishing it.

Nanowrimo

My November has been all about Nanowrimo and it was a good month. We’re now literally at the end of the month and I can tell you that I have a accumulated a grand total of 33 516 words. A word count which I’m really happy about. This is way, way better than I expected to do and I’ve written way more creative stories than I ever could have imagined. And even though I haven’t reached the 50 000 words which were our goal for Nanowrimo I am content with what I did. It was hard – I’m not going to lie about it – I struggled but in the end I was able to get to a really nice word count. A word count which is much higher than I expected to reach, so nothing to be ashamed about. Maybe I’ll reach the 50 000 words next year. We’ll see.

Our Epic Blue Unicorn group had four meetings at the Library on Friday afternoon, around five we would gather and sit at ‘our table’. The only thing missing is the fact that they don’t put up one of those plates with reserved on the table for us. But other than that we can easily call it our table. Next to our Library meetings we also had one Ikea meeting. We had so much fun, we’ve invited some new people to our group and I sure hope some of them will stick around for the future. This was the fifth year our group was active and during those five years I’ve made some wonderful friends who are really dear to me.

Reunion

I was supposed to go to Groningen for another meeting with some of my vacation friends but that didn’t happen. For several different reasons we had to decide to move the weekend to February or March of next year. Because December and January are just going to be too busy to make it work. Hopefully I can tell you all about my city trip to Groningen in the first couple of months in the beginning of 2018. I’m looking forward to it.

Efteling

Since Groningen wasn’t going to happen I was free to make some last minute new plans for the last weekend of the month. My parents were going to the Efteling – it was a day out to the park provided by my dads work – and my mom asked me if I wanted to join them. The Efteling is a beautiful theme park in the Netherlands, and during the winter months they turn the park into a winter wonderland of sorts. It always has a special atmosphere which is vastly different if you go there in the summertime.

If you ever have a chance to go to the Efteling you should really do so it is a really beautiful theme park, whether you go there in the summer or in the winter. The theme park is different from any other theme park I’ve been too. They have their very own style which appeals to young and old people alike. Most people in the Netherlands have been there at least once and the park has been voted best theme park many times over. This year the park has even been voted the most beautiful theme park in the world by the Americans. And the park has been scoring well on all types of theme parks lists. It’s an original park by which I mean that it is not based on Disney for example so it has a very unique style.

I’ve been to the park so many times and I still love it each and every time. From an early age on I’ve been going there, with my parents, with our school on a school trip and nowadays I often go there with a group of friends. It is always fun to see that people from a young age all the way up until the elderly enjoy themselves.

Reading and writing

Since November is all about Nanowrimo you have already been able to read all about my word count and writing for the month in the beginning of this post and in all the other posts I made about Nanowrimo. So it would be a little redundant if I repeated it all again. So for now this is all going to be about my reading.

I’ve finished up my latest book in the last couple of days of this month, it was The Circle. A book which really got me thinking about all the things we’re giving up when we aren’t careful with our privacy. I learned one thing, I don’t ever want to give my privacy up. Not because I have a lot to hide yet simply because we should be able to keep some things to ourselves if we want to. And everything – every single detail certainly isn’t a good thing.

Music and television

I decided to write some posts I haven’t previously added to my blog, the first one was about the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy. One of my favorite shows of all time. Another post I wrote about a television show was the one about the Once Upon A Time season six finale.

I also managed to wrote two cd reviews from albums I’ve been listening to these last couple of weeks. The first one was about The Corrs’ new studio album, named Jupiter Calling. I’ve loved the Corrs for at least the last twenty years and I was really surprised when this album came out. The second one was about Pink. A singer / songwriter who I really admire. She has been at the top for so many years and each and every time she comes up with a new song or a new album which tops the charts. Beautiful Trauma is a great new album – with a wide variety of songs.

Looking ahead:

  • December is right around the corner, everyone in the world knows what that means, the holidays are coming!
  • December also means lots of extra time at work! The busy December month, probably goes for a lot of people at work.
  • We in the Netherlands have Sinterklaas, which we celebrate on December 5th. We do a Secret Santa type of thing which is always a lot of fun!
  • Of course there is the TGIO party (Thank God It’s Over) and that refers to the party to celebrate that we’ve survived another November full of writing. I’m going to Utrecht to meet up with my fellow Dutch Nano’s.
  • Christmas! Who doesn’t love Christmas? I know I do, it means I’ll get some
  • New Years Eve still sounds so far away but it is right around the corner! And this year I hope to celebrate it in a different way than I did previously.