First week…

The days are quickly passing by. It’s already the second week of November… which means it’s the second week of NaNoWriMo. How are you guys holding up? Did you create a planning and are you following it or are you already somewhere else than you imagined you would be? It’s never easy! And I guess it will never be easy.

So far I’m doing alright (still waiting for the moment it’s going horrendously wrong). I have more than 15,000 words and I finalized the storyline. From the beginning to the end I kind of know what I want to write down. ‘Kind of’ because I keep on surprising myself with the things I sometimes randomly invent along the way.

The novel was supposed to have two main themes: alcoholism and friendship. Now there’s a part about obsessive boyfriend material and almost a forbidden love. What is happening? My character is basically living her own life and she doesn’t need me to direct it. Well, good for her! Only not that great for my book. I thought I needed to do research about the two different locations and alcoholism and now there’s so much more! Did I tell you she has a degree for Geography? I don’t even know if that’s the right term and oh yes, she will get a job at a university because of this degree.

Do you have the same? I mean the good thing is: you will never ever get bored with writing your story!

Anyway, have to continue again! What will she do now? Who knew writing a book can be full of surprises?

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Is it too early?

No, it’s never too early. Or can it be? It’s already November, some people start even before. What what what?? Christmas of course! When do you start preparing for Christmas? This month I’m already getting in the mood. Slowly the beautiful Christmas markets start to appear in the city of Berlin. The official opening is around the 25th of November. It’s time for love, happiness & coziness: sitting with a hot chocolate in front of the fireplace with (of course) an incredible book. That’s what Christmas is about (and being together with your beloved ones, thinking about all the good things you can do in the world, there’s a lot more to Christmas… I admit!). I’m already thinking of all the books I can read. I really should make a list. Maybe I’ll do it right now. 

  1. It’s interesting how I choose books sometimes. It can be random because I liked the title. It can be a thorough research about a specific theme. Or I read an article and there they mention a book obsessed about ancient Greek. Oh but there’s more than that. There’s murder, there’s alcoholism, there’s too much to mention. Donna Tartt’s first novel The Secret History is definitely on my list.

  2. When I’m back in the Netherlands I have to buy ‘Persona’. This crime/thriller book is written by an old friend of mine (Soraya Vink). I’m so happy she was able to make her dream come true! It’s about a woman called Elvira Selas who had to end her career as an undercover agent. After one year of living in Spain she returns to the police force to work on a possible serial killer case. At the same time she’s not done with her undercover job just yet: she thinks her brother has still contact with the drug cartel. Will she be loyal to the police or to her brother? Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? For all the Dutch readers out there: check your local bookstore if they have Persona as well!
  3. This one is on the list of best books of 2018. It’s called If you leave me and is written by Crystal Hana Kim. The story takes place in a refugee camp in South-Korea. Haemi has to decide whether she marries for love or for her family. In such horrendous times there’s only one answer: for her family. But is this the right choice after all?
  4. Number four is a classic one that doesn’t need an introduction. And I have to admit something… I saw the movie before I read the book. I do have The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald at home in the Netherlands but I never read it.Good thing we’ll be back just after Christmas.
  5. As I said in the beginning: it’s almost Christmas. Shouldn’t there be a classic Christmas story on the list? I thought about it and realized I never really read a Christmas story. This year I need to change. Shame on me! So what’s on the list? It’s a book everyone knows (for sure) by Dr. Seuss. Yes! That’s right. It’s How the Grinch stole Christmas. Need I say more?

Anyway I guess you get the point: All I want for Christmas is… a book. Or two or maybe three! You can’t have too many books and if people say you can, then those are not your people.

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Stop dreaming, start writing

You have to start somewhere and as we say in Dutch “een goed begin is het halve werk”. Roughly it means if you have a great start with whatever you’re doing, it will increase your chances to succeed.

So what does this all mean? Why am I throwing random Dutch stuff in it? Well…. Last Thursday, as you all probably would know, was the start of NanoWriMo. Were you able to write a bit already? For now I’m doing alright; over 3000 words. And most importantly: the sentences do mean something. Not just random words on paper, for now! It’s going alright actually and that’s why I’m actually a bit afraid. What if it’s going alright now and I won’t be able to write anything useful today? For today I have a bigger planning and have to write more than 3000 words, I am scared!

I have still a lot of questions because I still need to do my research. Sometimes I just mention “according to the study XX this happens with alcoholics”. Or I have words that are probably not even English. And how on earth do we put Skype conversations in a book? I marked all the things I double triple check and will do that after I’ve hopefully finished.

Okay it’s almost ten o’clock Berlin time. It’s time to start!

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