Halloween thrills

Thousands of years ago, it all started in the Celtic countries now Ireland, United Kingdom and Northwest of France. The Celts lit their bonfire and celebrated a new year while the death would return to visit the earth.

All over the world people are now celebrating Halloween; dressing up, lit up their lights and go trick or treat, and telling each other ghost stories.

For the ones with a thirst for crawling under your blanket with a good horror book, there’s a big list to choose from. So what are five interesting stories to read freak out? I did some research and this is a short list of horror novels. In addition, they all have a movie/series. If you’re like me and you prefer books over movies, then by all means read these incredible stories. If you don’t have enough time but would still like to be in the Halloween spirit, then just watch the movie (and don’t tell anyone else, just kidding!).

5. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. It’s actually the second book about Hannibal Lector. It’s also one of the most important books for the history of horror movies.

4. Rosemary’s Baby, a novel from 1967 by Ira Levin. It makes it harder to trust your overly friendly neighbors.

3. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewksi. This novel is ‘newer’ than the rest of the list. It’s from 2000 and I’m intrigued by the story. I’ve never read this one but it sounds very interesting (and challenging to say the least) to read it. Reading upside down, have some footnotes here and there, what is this story all about?

2. The Haunting of Hill House is the oldest in this collection of horror stories. The novel is from 1959 and written by Shirley Jackson. It always goes wrong when someone wants to look into something haunting (why on earth would you do that?). This is now a series on Netflix and to be honest… I heard some good reviews about it. Might be worth to watch it as well.

And last but not least…
1. It by Stephen King. I was first doubting between The Shining and Carrie. Even though I read The Shining myself (very good, of course, it’s mister King), I have a phobia for clowns. Who doesn’t? And then a book with more than 1000 words about Pennywise the Dancing Clown to freak you out. Have a great Halloween y’all!

November planning

Besides Harry Potter there’s another reason why November is an important month. And no, it’s not because it’s almost Christmas (maybe just a bit). Basically November means: National Novel Writing Month or shortly NaNoWriMo. You will have 30 days to write your own novel. The first question popping to your mind will probably be “how are you going to do that?” It’s a good question because if you’re working/planning to do some fun things, how on earth would you be able to write 50,000 words? The answer: with a lot of struggles. Last year in October I had my first new job after two years in Dublin. That meant I was just working two weeks before November started. Then I had to tell my new colleagues I couldn’t do that much fun stuff (looked like I was their bored new colleague); I was writing every morning before going to work, every single break, and every evening. If I couldn’t write because well, you need to be out there as well you can’t sit at your computer for ten hours every day. It always meant I had to write the double amount of words in the weekend. It was tough but it was worth it. After this whole month of blood, sweat and tears, I finished what’s now called Olivia’s life.

So hence my decision to participate for the third time.

What am I going to write about? I have absolutely no idea. I’m still thinking about it. The problem is that I have too many ideas:

1. a psychological thriller
2. a story about four friends living in different parts of the world
3. a children’s book

My guess would be: I will go for number 1 and then probably switch after one week to number 2. That’s what I did last year as well (oh all the effort that got lost in that very first week).  I will keep you updated about it!

Oh and maybe you’re still wondering why I mentioned Harry Potter in the first sentence. Netflix is releasing all the Harry Potter movies. All of them! Of course I have all the books and all the dvd’s at home in the Netherlands. So that’s going to be Harry Potter movie nights! And that means… right, triple the amount of words in the weekends. It’s going to be a looong month.

Interested in participating as well (even if there will be struggles, remember it’ll be worth it)? Check the NaNoWriMo website and let me know as well! We can help each other through it.


PS I will create a special page dedicated to my NaNoWriMo adventure

And so it starts….

… the first rejection letter (well email I must say) came last Friday. Of course I knew this was going to happen. How many people got published right away? Is there actually someone who got published after the first attempt? If so, could that person tell us what we’re doing wrong? Probably nothing. It’s a tough world and there are many competitors. There’s a lot of us out there trying to get in. The rejection letter itself wasn’t that bad; a lovely story concept. Just something she wasn’t looking for right now. It’s a pity but kind of inevitable.

We all know how many times Harry Potter got rejected until one little girl read it and fell in love with it. However, with 12 times J.K. Rowling is by far not the only one. Gone with the wind was rejected 38 times, The Help had 60 rejections, Carrie had 30 rejections, and even Herman Melville and George Orwell got rejected. Imagine being without Moby-Dick and 1984? That would be a completely different world, wouldn’t it?

Image result for rejection quote jk rowling

I’m not pointing out these rejections for the sake of ‘hey look, that’s a crazy amount’. No, I am pointing this out because we’ll all get to this point. It’s a matter of not giving up. If you believe in your story, you should keep trying. There’s always someone who’s interested. It might not be the first person, not even the twentieth, it can be the 40th or perhaps the 50th. If you don’t try, you’ll never know where you could’ve been.

So get out there. Write your beautiful story, send it to all the publishers in your genre, and continue with the next story. Just never give up.

One day you will see it was all worth it.