March in hindsight

2018_March

Dutch Comic Con

I went to Dutch Comic Con and I had a blast! I can really recommend it to anyone, it’s a fun day out especially if you look at different things you can do and experience on DCC. Whether you’re into games, books, movies, television show or comics there is certainly something for everyone out there.

Reading and writing

March was the month in which I’ve finished reading the second book in the Monkeewrench series – Live Bait. I really enjoyed reading it. From the moment I started reading it I was wondering what was going on and I really couldn’t figure it out. Which makes it a good crime novel in my opinion.

Music and songs

I decided to add a new part to my monthly posts. One thing I can say for certain is that I’ve been loving Beth Hart latest album, her collaboration with Joe Bonamassa ‘Black Coffee’! It’s been one of the full albums which has been in my favorite Spotify list ever since the album came out back in January.

However my absolute favorite songs of the past month has been ‘This is me’ both versions of the song are on my Spotify list – the original movie version from The Greatest Showman’ as well as Kesha’s version. Both are beautiful, however I think that the the movie version is much stronger. Keala Settle has a powerful voice and she delivers the song with so much passion. I haven’t seen the movie yet – I really want to see it but I haven’t had the chance – however it is definitely on my to watch list.

Fitness

For a while I have been thinking about changing things around. Part of me was thinking about getting back to running, something which I did a couple of years ago however I the problem was that I had shin splints. A very painful injury which is really hard to get rid off. It comes back and that was what was happening to me. I know that my pain level is pretty high but this was so painful that in the end it made me give up. That was part of the reason why I started doing yoga, I wanted to do a sport and it helped with stress relief of course.

But lately I was feeling restless,  wanted to so something more active. So I decided to sign myself up for the gym. And so far so good, I’ve been going for a couple of weeks now about two or three times a week and things are going really well.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop of course!
  • My birthday is coming up – thirty-six! Ouch!
  • Vacation planning!
  • Camp Nanowrimo has started, I’m not participating but I do love going to those weekly meetings in the Library, it’s so good to see everyone. Even if it is just to talk and have a laugh.
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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.

November 23th – One week left

Nanowrimo-2017

There is only one more week left in November, one more week of Nanowrimo. And well I think it’s not really going that well. At least according to the numbers it isn’t going too well. Like I said before I didn’t really believe that I would get anywhere near the word count. However I must admit that I’ve gotten a whole lot further than I had expected before the month started. There is no way to make an accurate estimate when you have no idea what you’ll be writing. The only thing I was sure of was that I would be writing blog posts but even those I hadn’t thought of before the month started. I could have done that prepared myself in some way, but I honestly didn’t know what to do. It was as if I had literally no inspiration at all.

I knew I would be doing a ‘Oktober in Hindsight’ post and I hoped that there would be a book review before the end of the month – which I’m still working on, there is a little bit more I to read to finish the book and the review. And I was going to write some updates on Nano of course, because I wanted to log the progress I’m making and I just have to tell you all about our wonderful meetings with our writers group at the Library or the Ikea or whatever other place we can come up with. But other than that I had no real ideas. I was just hoping that I would get some inspiration for other posts as the month continued on.

And I obviously did because I managed to write quite a lot of words, 27 500 words so far. Which is certainly a number that I didn’t expect to reach. And I’m happy with what I did so far and I’m not done. I am never giving up, but the end is still very far away.

Stats_nov23th

Nanowrimo the halfway point

Nanowrimo-2017

It’s hard to believe, we’re already at the halfway point of the month. Time flies when you’re having fun I guess … a little bit too hard however if you ask me. The weeks have been flying by faster and faster and I feel like I’m missing out on so much. Maybe that’s just me or maybe more people have been affected by it. I constantly feel like there aren’t quite enough hours in a day. And with working full time and writing in the evenings my day seems so packed.

Writing-wise I can say that I am way behind on the schedule but I’ve been doing better. Anyway there is a schedule provided by Nanowrimo and there is my schedule and those two have never been quite the same in all of these years that I’ve been participating. So at this point I can still say that I’m not worried but I guess that’s not all that surprising. I mean why would I be worried. If I don’t make it to 50 000 words by the end of this month there is no man overboard, it doesn’t really matter.

I guess that it’s more difficult for me to reach 50 000 words because I’m not writing a new novel or one big story but rather short stories and blog posts. Therefor the writing process is different, since you write shorter pieces and then you have to come up with your next idea to write about. But I think that I’ve been doing pretty good especially considering how little I’ve been writing these last couple of months. And creative writing was really something that I’ve not been doing at all. So the fact that I have been writing a couple of short stories has been a huge relief for me. Creative writing has always been a huge part of my life but since I’ve been struggling so much I have also been feeling extremely blocked at the same time and that doesn’t help at all.

These past couple of days I’ve written a couple of short stories based on different prompts ranging from 300 words to 1500 and the one with 1500 words is still a work in progress so that’ll be longer. I guess around 5000 words in total – we’ll see where it ends. Right now every word written is a word more than I had at the beginning of this month and that surely makes me happy.

So what have I been writing this past half of the month?

First of all there are my blog posts related to Nanowrimo. Nanowrimo 2017 – a little look ahead to November. Nanowrimo kick-off write in – our writer’s groups first write in of this years November and of course my review of the first week. Of course I wrote a review on how my first week of Nanowrimo went, and I told you all how I tell stories.  There was another Nanowrimo update and my post about our yearly Nanowrimo the Ikea meet.

And I’ve written some other posts which I felt like sharing with you all. Of course there is my monthly review October in hindsight. This time it was followed by 300 times Grey’s Anatomy about one of my favorite television shows and the amazing way these episodes – all three hundred of them – have been written. Furthermore I’ve written two posts about Glow, this one – explaining what it is and the history behind it. Followed a second post about the actual Glow review.

I wrote a short story called ‘Death Day’ – based on a prompt I’d read a while ago which I really liked. At birth everyone has the date they will die tattooed on their arm. You were supposed to die yesterday. I now wrote one story, but I’m thinking of writing a few more based on this prompt because it has potential for more. The story that I wrote so far is one way to look at the situation.

The second story is a funny story about taking ‘A Hike’, where nothing is what it seems. It’s a really short story but it was fun to write.

The third short story is called ‘The argument’ and I started writing the story purely based on dialog. I let it rest for a day or so and then rewrote the same story but added in all the details without adapting the dialog I already wrote and I think I succeeded. That was a fun exercise to do! I think I might do that more often. In fact I wrote that after I wrote blog about Grey’s Anatomy. I definitely tried to write a strong dialog scene – like the scenes I admire so much on Grey’s.

At this moment I’m working on two new blog posts, one is the first part of a book review but I’m still reading the book and that is also the reason why I haven’t finished it yet. And I wrote a blog about #MeToo, but I’m unsure whether I will ever post it.

There are a couple of other things I’m working on. But those aren’t done yet.

 

Nanowrimo update

Nanowrimo-2017

It’s the second weekend of Nanowrimo and I am trying to catch up on my backlog. I’ve been behind this whole time and I have no idea if I will catch up in time for the end of the month. I guess we’ll see what happens on November 30th, there are still 20 days left in this month and I’m going to make the best of it. I’ve had some good days and some bad days writing wise, yet so far I have not exceeded the daily word count in fact my daily word count as of this moment is at 850 words. And if I don’t start doing better soon, there is no way I will ever catch up on my back log. Especially knowing that I probably miss out on writing time in the last weekend completely.

Yesterday we had our second library meeting and it was fun, especially good to see that three people who were new last week joined us again for this meeting. And two others had told me beforehand that they couldn’t come but they’ll be back next week. It’s good to see people come back for more meetings, it means we must be doing something right. I guess we are doing good as a group. We, the ‘Epic Blue Unicorns’ have been going strong for five years now every year we have a couple of people who stay with the group.

This morning I decided that I was going to the movie theater first, I wanted to see Thor Ragnarok. I actually had wanted to go last week on Sunday, but I became ill on Saturday night and I was forced to stay at home. This morning I decided that I was not going to take any chances. I wanted to go see that movie today. I loved it! There is much humor in the movie – I really like those Marvel movies. When the movie ended I had some shopping to do and when I came home I started writing.

Will today be the day that I will catch up? Even if it’s just a little bit. Right now it’s close to seven in the evening. It’s Saturday night, so I still have some time left before I have to go to bed. I’m sitting on the couch probably not the most productive way to write but it’s what feels good at the moment. I don’t feel like sitting at my desk. I have the television on, which probably for most people doesn’t help either but to me it feels good. I live alone and I struggle with that fact. When I get home there is no one waiting for me, no one to talk to and if the television isn’t on there is no sound and no movement. So I’m used to the television being on like all the time when I’m at home. Lets face it I’ve been falling asleep with ASMR for the last couple of years. I need sounds around me. I can’t stand the silence, even when I’m going to sleep. I get that there are a lot of people who like to write in silence but to me it feels comfortable when I hear sounds around me. And it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me whether it’s music, a television show or a documentary or if it’s the sounds of people around me when I’m at the library or in a cafeteria. Right now I have Guardians of the Galaxy playing on the television. While I’m writing this post. And right about now I’m doing pretty well. I am almost at the daily word count and I have almost reached ten thousand words. Granted I should have been a hell of a lot closer to twenty thousand words but that is only a number.

For tomorrow we have another write-in planned, this time at the Ikea. We always do that during the month of November. On one Sunday we go to the local Ikea and we sit there for hours to work on our stories. It’s easy, there are drinks and food for a pretty low price and they have enough tables and chairs with electricity outlets for us to make good use of. Expect another update tomorrow.

Nanowrimo kick-off write in

Nanowrimo-2017

Our first Nanowrimo meeting of the year is a huge success, next to the usual suspects their are currently five new people who joined us at ‘our table’ in the local library. The first of our group arrived around four in the afternoon but most of us joined in around five or six – with work and all that other grown up stuff earlier isn’t an option for most of us. We completely took over one of the tables, even sent someone away who was already sitting there away – sorry! There just wasn’t enough space! It’s fun so much fun – everyone is talking about their novels and stories. As usual, all of the people in our group are so divers but when it comes down to it we all have the same passion and that is what makes it so much fun.

It’s in my opinion the best thing about a write-in, to hear all the different ideas everyone is working on. I’ve heard so many different story ideas from across the table its amazing. I feel a bit left out because I don’t have a story nor do I have an idea of what I shall be writing about. I’ve heard all about aliens and zombies, super heroes, a story with a historical aspect and a storyline set in the Harry Potter verse but set at a different and new school. There is so much creativity flowing around me.

I really need to get my shit together. Let’s be honest here I used to love creative writing – don’t get me wrong I still love it but I’ve been struggling for so long now that I sometimes wonder if I ever get that creativity back. Sometimes I wonder if it’s an age thing. I mean I’ve been changing so much I like different things now. However I still feel like writing is part of my life. But I really haven’t done it in a long, long time. It’s itching … I want to write but I feel empty. It’s strange how you can be so blocked, so closed off. That really is my goal this month. I want to get back into creative writing – will it get me to 50 000 words. I’m not sure, maybe with a combination of different things. There must be some writing exercises I can do.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Once upon a Time on Netflix, I’ve been catching up on the show. I stopped watching it when they decided to no longer air it in the Netherlands. The only way to see it would have been if I had gotten HBO. And now that I’m catching up on it I realize how much I love the show. Right now I’m thinking of writing fanfiction again, I’ve been doing that for years and it has always given me a lot of joy to write. So maybe I should just start out with some easy add ons to the show. Or search for some ‘Once upon a Time’ story prompts. I’m sure there should be enough to go around. That is what I’m going to do. I’ll search for some prompts and see if that’ll get me writing again.

Anyway during our first official Nanowrimo 2017 meeting we had homemade blue unicorn cupcakes and brownie cookies. And we talked and talked a lot. Of course that doesn’t really help your word count when it comes down to it but that doesn’t matter we talked about writing and in the end you feel rally inspired to continue once you get home. I for one continued writing this blog post with a smile on my face. I’m already thinking ahead of the next blog I’m going to write.

If you have a chance to join a write-in in your area if you’re participating in Nanowrimo I can only tell you to do one thing and that is to join them. It might not be the thing for you, but join them just to see if it might inspire you. I once didn’t have a very good experience with a write-in in a different city but I’m glad that I didn’t let that stop me from trying again a couple of years ago. When we initially started this group there were a few of us that stuck to it, the main group has been going strong for five years now and every year people have joined us. Some stay and some leave again but all in all our group has been growing and right now I can assure you that I have gained some amazing friends through my writing adventure. We’re not only just meeting up for writing during November but all throughout the year. And also for trips to different Cons – we’re all nerds – the movie theater and workshops or courses. And it looks like we’re meeting up for New Years Eve as well. A whole new world can open to you if you join a writers group. So do it, give yourself that chance to meet like-minded people.

The end is near

nanowrimo-2016

Wow, that sounds really depressing! And that was certainly not what I wanted to say or what I was going for.  I was actually referring to the end of the month, the end of November and as we all know that also means the end of this years Nanowrimo.

As expected I didn’t make it and that is not really a surprise. However what is kind of surprising to me is the fact that I don’t mind that I didn’t make it. I expected that it would be harder on me, I mean I’ve been doing this since 2009 and this is the first time that I am not going to make it.  I expected it to be harder on me especially since I’ve been beating myself up for all types of things which have been going on often things I don’t have any control over – but this is not one of them. I am fine. And it feels good, I choose to focus on what’s important to me at this moment. And this month that was writing and getting some of these things that have been bothering me off my chest. And that in the end  it only accumulated to 10 000 words during Nanowrimo that’s fine.

I know that I did what I could and I finally am back to writing something even if it isn’t a story per say. After all most of the things I’ve written this month have been current and future blog posts (posts which still need some work or which I can’t upload just yet). But I’m happy and that’s all that matters right now.

A couple of our writer’s group members had already validated their word count last week and we decided that we would have a small party during our last write-in of the month which was this past Friday. One member baked a cake with rainbow colored frosting and another member made chocolate cupcakes. We had a blast at the library and the treats were delicious. We really have gathered a great group of writers in our Nanowrimo group and I am happy to be a part of that group.

The month is almost over and I have almost reached the goal of 10 000 words which I have set for myself. So even though I can’t validate I am a winner in my own eyes and with a competition like Nanowrimo that is all that counts.

This years Nanowrimo will be concluded in one more post which I will write once I visited the thank God it’s over party next Saturday.