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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February in hindsight

2018_February

February flew by, of course it’s a shorter month than the rest of them but still it felt like we went from February first to the twenty eight in a heartbeat. I had plans and ideas but not much came together, I need to be better at this, I want to be better at this. I’m working on it, this post is going up tonight on March first no matter what happens! This is my February in Hindsight post and it is posted on the first day of the new month.

The Lion King

I had a blast this past weekend – the last weekend of February – on Saturday my mom came to visit me and I took her out to a restaurant in the city where we had a really nice meal. The ambiance in De Vooruitgang was just perfect, it looks gorgeous! Followed by a nice evening watching television and talking about stuff.

On Sunday we drove to Scheveningen to go see The Lion King – the musical at the Circus Theater. It was truly a beautiful musical. Definitely one of the best I’ve seen so far – with Wicked being my absolute number one. The musical is simply beautiful, the costumes and the way the different animals are presented. It’s really pretty! If you’re like me a musical lover you’ll definitively like this one!

Pinkpop 2018

The Pinkpop press conference has taken place and let me tell you the line-up is awesome! So much better than these last couple of years, especially last year was not my cup of tea.  I’m so looking forward to the show, of course there is always that nail biting moment when you’re trying to get the tickets but in the end it turned out to be a lot easier that I had expected it to me. The sale started at ten in the morning and at ten past ten I had paid online for my ticket. That means that I will be able to see Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, Editors, Miss Montreal en Jessie J! And that is just a small portion of the bands that I’ll be able to see. I’ve seen the Foo Fighters a couple of times before and they rock! They are so awesome! Pearl Jam is one of those bands which have always had this vibe around them. Probably because of their legendary 1992 performance, the last time they were at Pinkpop was in 2000! That was my first year at Pinkpop, but at the time I can’t remember if I’ve seen them. I probably did, but I can’t recall it. I always wanted to see Jessie J live! And now I have a chance to see her perform. There is so much more to see and hear. I need to check out the Pinkpop Spotify playlist.

Reading and writing

I’m still working on that second book in the Monkeewrench series, the book is so interesting! I am about half way through it and I literally have no idea where this story is going. The storyline is all over the place, and so far except for some of the same character there has barely been any connection to Monkeewrench. So I guess that once they become involved in the storyline things will become clearer. This storyline is different than any other book I’ve ever read. Interesting book though, a book like this makes me curious and I want to know where this is going.

This is only the first post I’ll be making in the month of March, I still have some stuff up my sleeve. Soon another post will follow, about an album which came out a couple of weeks ago.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop!!!! I didn’t go to Pinkpop last year and the year before that I only went one day. But this year I’m going for three whole days. I can’t wait!
  • I’m meeting my vacation friends again, up for another fun day the first weekend of March.

 

 

January in hindsight

2018_January

The first month of the year is over.
It all happened so fast! Of course there was New Years Eve which I spend with a couple of friends from my writer group. We had of course way too much food, since every one brought something with them. And we played ‘Cards Against Humanity’ which is really cool. We had a lot of fun. In fact we had to keep our eye on the time because chances were that we would miss the celebrating New Year and the fireworks since we were so immersed in our game.

It was fun celebrating it with our writers group through the years we’ve become a wonderful group of friends so much more than just a group that meets up because we have a passion for writing or because we all participate in Nanowrimo. In fact without these friends my life would be pretty empty, we meet up for writing appointments, we go to the movies and sometimes we meet up at each others homes or we go to a convention or fair together.

New car

Okay, so my old Mint Green Opel Corsa 1.2 is twenty three years old! That is very old for a car! In fact I think that a car is called a classic when it reaches twenty five years! Nah, I’m just kidding with a color like that a car never becomes a classic if you ask me. And it was getting noticeable, every time it’s harder to get the car through the annual car safety test. And I was paying a lot of money to keep the car on the road. It’s not really surprising – and while it wasn’t anything bad it’s was just typical car stuff – that’s just the way it is.

I kind of made up my mind about it and I knew that I had to get a new car before September since that is the month when I had to renew my old car safety test. However I was not really doing anything about it – not yet anyway I figured I had some time. But my parents apparently had the same conversation amongst each other and they even started looking for a different car for me. I mean, that is so sweet, let’s face it the only way I can look at a different car is by looking at the aesthetics of it. Does it look good? Does it have the right color? I honestly don’t know anything about cars, I have my dad for that. He’s been working with cars since he was a mere sixteen years old in a garage, he worked on cars in the army and ever since he’s been working he’s done different jobs at a car factory for the last forty or forty five years. So I don’t need to know my way around cars unless it is to drive them or tell my dad something is wrong. But anyway on a Sunday afternoon I was minding my own business, reading a book – when I received a phone call from my mom. She and my dad had been looking around the internet and they had seen a car for sale which according to them had my name on it. I really liked the car it’s bright red! And it drives like a dream! And from twenty three years old I made an upgrade to a car which is only eight years old! So that is a huge step forward!

Reading and writing

I’ve not really done any writing during January except for my book reviews for Nevermore and Monkeewrench. And that brings me to the next part of my January post, reading. I finally read Monkeewrench, a book which I had on my to read list for a while but I never really got around to it. I started reading it a couple of times but for some reason it didn’t continue. I can’t really explain why that is, especially not now that I’ve actually read the book because I really enjoyed reading it. I’m currently reading the next part in the Monkeewrench series, really curious where this is going.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop press conference and the sale of the tickets.
  • I’m going to see The Lion King Musical with my mom. I have a huge weak spot when it comes to musicals I love them and I’m finally going to see this one!

Book 10 – Nevermore by Nell Stark and Trinity Tam

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This is the second book in the Everafter series, so far there are four books. I don’t have the other books yet, but given how much I like these first two books I’m sure that the others will follow soon as well. I read this book literally on the last day of the year which is why I didn’t have the time to write a proper review before the year ended.

If you plan on reading these books do not continue reading, this contains spoilers!

Alexa has made the biggest sacrifice she can to make sure that Val can continue to be herself. The parasite that is changing Val into a bloodthirsty vampire in time will also change her soul unless she keeps her sanity by only taking blood from one donor – Alexa. In order to be able to give Val all the blood she needs, she’s made the decision to become a wereshifter. Wereshifters are able to regenerate their health if they shift and therefor they are also able to endure more trauma. On the other hand pain makes them shift, which imposes a danger to Val. Alexa needs to control her impulses and to do so she has to make a decision which keeps them apart for a while.

This is such an easy book to read, the story has a really good flow to it. Which makes it easy to read. The story has a couple of nice twists and turns especially that one at the very end was a huge surprise. Makes me wonder where that is going in the following books. There are at this point two more books in the series – there is Nightrise and Sunfall. I hope to be able to read them soon, at the moment I don’t own the books. I better go and make sure that I fix that!

 

 

Book 9 – Everafter by Nell Stark & Trinity Tam

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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.

Nanowrimo – The Ikea Meet

Nanowrimo-2017

Today is our yearly Ikea meeting, I don’t know it’s a thing we started to do a couple of years ago and in all honesty if we don’t have one it would feel strange. Like it isn’t really Nanowrimo – for me it’s part of the process. Just like the Kick off party the last Saturday before we start Nano and the Thank God It’s Over party (TGIO) in December and our weekly meets at the library.

Yesterday I had decided that I would go for a mountain bike ride in the morning hoping to clear my head and get ready for an afternoon of writing. Unfortunately it’s raining and I really dislike the rain and since I was sick with a fever only last week I think it’s best to not push it at the moment. So now I’m sitting here writing this instead. Jessica Jones is on the television – gotta love Netflix – which reminds me I just read the other day that Krystin Ritter (the actress who portrays Jessica Jones) is an author as well. She has recently released her first novel, Bonfire on November 7th. It sounds like the type of book I would love to read. I need to check that out later, she’s getting really good reviews but most of them are written by obvious fans although they all claim that is not the reason why they love the story so much. I read an interview with her and what she told was sounding very promising. She’s a very avid reader herself and now also a published author.

Outside my window the world looks gloomy – rainy weather makes it seem like it’s a lot earlier in the morning than it really is. Like dawn isn’t really here yet or just about to happen. For some people nine in the morning on a Sunday is very early. But I was awake so I decided to get up and start doing some things so I can at least claim that this has been a productive day despite all the writing I’ll be doing later. A day like this however is perfect when it comes to writing. You can sit down and not feel guilty for sitting inside and writing all day because it’s not like there is anything else you rather do.

The wash is in the washing machine and I’ll be doing a short training later on, something I’ve been doing these past couple of weeks. And then I might get some reading or writing done, depending on what I feel like. I know I’ll have to write more this afternoon so if I don’t have any strong ideas of what to write I might opt for reading. I’ve been reading ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers. A very lightly written book with huge implications – it’s a scary thought completely loosing your privacy. I’m curious to see where this story is going and once I’m done I will write a review about it. But that’ll be something I’ll be doing later, hopefully later this month – it should be this month because I’ve read about three fourth of the book so far.

Let’s do some stats, it’s day twelve and as I’m writing this its about 10 in the morning. Right now according to the Nanowrimo 1667 words a day I should have been at 20 000 words. But I’m only at 11 000 words. So in total I’m 9000 words behind. It should be doable – yeah, it is doable to catch up. Maybe not in a single day, but I’ll get there.

The Ikea Meet

We’re at the Ikea, I arrived around one in the afternoon. I first wanted to take a look at some things in the store which was why I was here earlier than expected. And I was join around one thirty by two other writers from our group. For a write-in I guess that we made pretty good word count. We did talk and we did get distracted by all the people who are shopping and eating in the Ikea restaurant. Because lets face it watching people is always a fun thing to do, especially since sometimes you might get an idea for a character or a situation which you can write about. But all in all we also did get a lot of writing done. My total at this moment is 2000 words! Which means that I have written more than the daily number of words for the second day in a row and even a little bit more than that. So I’m very content with the progress I’m making. Don’t get me wrong at this rate I will still finish on December 18th. But I’m working on bringing that date down to lets say … November 30th.

So once I go home I will continue writing for a bit longer and see if I can get a little bit more words in to close that gap a little bit more. Every word extra is a word more than I had previously and a step in the right direction.

 

Book 7 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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I was really looking forward to reading this book. Reason for it was that a lot of my friends from my writer’s group absolutely love it! Granted, a couple of them are huge Neil Gaiman fans, but still if you hear people talking about something with so much passion you’ll end up being curious about it. I heard them talking about it so many times that it really got me interested.

I liked the idea of the old Gods in today’s world and seeing how they would remain standing while new Gods try to take their place. I really like the concept and the idea of the story. In that regard it reminded me of ‘Once upon a time’ the HBO television show where fairytale characters live in our world. Little by little you’ll find out who is which fairytale character and how their story fits into the bigger whole.

American Gods is similar, the title tells you that it’s all about Gods but without telling you immediately who’s who. It sets for a very intriguing story line. But at the same time it’s also a very confusing story. Reading the book took me quite some time, it was a book which I really wanted to read however there were also times where I needed to process what I was reading. Confusing that is what it was at times. I honestly can’t say that I love the book, yet I don’t hate it either. The book had also parts which pulled me in and made me wanting more and more. I was determined to finish the book, sometimes when a story confuses me I get bored with it. This was different though, I wanted to finish it and despite it being difficult at times I really enjoyed reading it. Although I do think that this is one of those stories where you want to read it more than once and if you do you’ll probably see a lot of signs and connections you hadn’t seen before. So this book will surely go on the must-read-again list.

The book versus the television

As you might know there is also a television show. The book and the television show are very different in my opinion and while that is in some cases a shame and often causes an uproar among fans. In this case it works, probably mostly because Neil Gaiman is working on the television show as well so nothing happens without his approval and in complete Gaiman style he’s said before that he wanted to surprise the fans of the book as well as new fans. There were some things I’d expected to see in the television show but we haven’t seen them so far – yet it doesn’t feel wrong. With Gaiman involved in the whole process and it can’t be wrong. It’s his story after all – these are his characters and knowing that he approved it all makes it good.

So while it might be vastly different it’s still the same story, just in a different format. I really loved the portrayal of the characters, they certainly came across as the same characters in the book they represented. Seeing it all on screen cleared some things up for me personally – it made it easier to grasp certain connections. There where some scenes in the book where I wasn’t sure what they meant in the whole story while I was reading it, but seeing them on screen made it easier to give them a place and to understand it all.

American-Gods-posters.jpg

Visually the television show is absolutely stunning! It’s dirty and it’s grimy, shiny and radiant all at the same time. It all fits the characters as you can see in the posters above and the same goes for the story. I think that the tone of the television show is simply perfect.

I love how they choose to diverge from the story and give certain characters a bigger role, most importantly Mad Sweeney. His interaction with Laura Moon is so funny and the macabre humor really brings some fun to the show as well.

I’m looking forward to see more. I certainly recommend this book and the television show. Yes, I certainly do however I do recommend both of them. In my opinion the television show makes the story easier to understand.