19 for 2019

Happy Monday!

I’m a bit late to the resolution & goal making party online, but I finally made a list ( I like lists). Inspired by the Happier Podcast of Liz Craft and Gretchen Rubin I picked 19 goals/ideas for 2019 and I picked a one word theme for the year.

My one word theme for the year is: Imagine ! Inspired of course by the question of all questions: what if? Just imagine… What if this year I …..( insert thing that makes you incredibly happy)

And, as one does, I gave it a prominent place in my shiny new bullet journal:

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Without further ado I give you my 19 for 2019. (Note to self and everybody like me: this list is not mandatory, it is supposed to bring joy and make you happier not miserable).

  1. Teach 8 year old to confidently ride the ‘BIG’ bike. (totally do-able)
  2. Make a new friend (scary thingy this one, but friends are fun, so I should give it a try)
  3. Get both my bikes fixed (easy one, just bring the things to the person who knows how they work, they fix them up, I’ll pay them for the effort).
  4. Add 3k to savings account and do not touch it (tricky, but worth a try).
  5. Make ALL the photo-albums
  6. Up Up social media game ( think twitter, insta, pinterest and website)
  7. Form a healthier drinking habit (maybe even not drink at all, don’t know yet.. have to figure this one out)
  8. FINISH NOVEL (type The End, imagine that)
  9. QUERY NOVEL (big ones these two)
  10. Start a tiny side hustle (because it sounds like a fun thing to do, and see goal number 3..)
  11. Able to gallop a horse (I started to learn horse riding last year, but fell a couple of times. I ride without saddle, so extra scary to gallop. But I really want to learn).
  12. Be a tourist in my home town. (the city I live in, Haarlem, is stunning and I should appreciate it more.)
  13. Go on adventures with son every other Wednesday (I’d love to have a tradition/ and who needs an excuse for adventures).
  14. Try to avoid talking ‘bad’ about people (well, because it’s not nice and I should stop it.)
  15. Tap more into love of music, go dancing, to festivals, sing, create Spotify albums.
  16. Start folding 1000 paper cranes (fascinating this one, isn’t it?)
  17. Pretty nails (my nails do not look pretty and they feel sad about it).
  18. Be confident in a bikini. (this does not mean losing weight, but just put the thing on and parade and whatever. Going to the beach should be fun, not stressful).
  19. Create a new family tradition (no clue yet, but the year’s still fresh).

I’ll check in with myself in a couple of months to see how I’m doing, but am really looking forward to these things 🙂

Now I’m going to browse the internet and look at other people’s list, because that’s fun.

Ciao!

Eat Dessert First

I started writing my Draft That Must Not Be Named with this quote by Ernestine Ulmer in mind.

“Life’s uncertain …

eat dessert first.”

It hits the core of my story because:

  1. My MC has an uncertain life
  2. Her family has a restaurant that only serves desserts
  3. It tells me what I need to hear (over and over again)

I’ve always known I was a writer. I have been writing stories since I was four and never really stopped. I strayed away sometimes but always returned to putting words on paper.

So Irene (yes talking to myself here) why am I waiting to really pursue this goal?

To be honest: a part of me is afraid to fail. More honest: I’m trying to trick myself to not be me.

Which is stupid and crazy, but true. Maybe I’m trying to protect myself, or others, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t outrun myself.

So where am I?

I’m at a point in my life where I can face myself and no longer pursue time-consuming things that prevent me from writing. I have a job I like, a job that gives me the freedom to balance my life. Writing is going well. Editing is going well, my draft is turning into a story, it’s fast paced, surprises me at times and is really NOT BAD.

I guess it’s time to stand still, examine my surroundings with a fresh eye and eat dessert.

Note To Self

It’s been a while since I wrote an entry for my blog. I was off to a flying start in January with the things I like doing. Studying/getting fit & healthy/reading/positive attitude/writing (blog post)/bullet journaling.

And then: not so much anymore. I struggle to exercise enough. I didn’t write. Some days I drink plenty of water, other days I barely manage to drink one tiny bottle. Why is it so hard to do more of what makes you happy?

Maybe it’s too much. Maybe I ask too much of myself. Maybe we all do.

I like my house to be clean and tidy. I like my kids to be happy and learn them how to deal with life. I want a healthy relationship with my partner. Spend time with family and friends. I have to work 4 days, and want to like what I do.. I want to feel comfortable in a bikini and feel fit and healthy. I want to be a writer. I want to travel. I want to learn Russian.

So here’s a little note to myself and all others who struggle with the same things.

IT IS OKAY.

if you eat a Snickers because you had a crappy day

IT IS OKAY

if you don’t vacuum your living room every single day

IT IS OKAY

To feel overwhelmed with all the things you want/have to do.

IT IS OKAY

If your kids walk in pyjamas on Saturday. They don’t care, so shouldn’t you.

IT IS OKAY

That you didn’t write a story. You’ll always come back to writing, or it to you.

IT IS OKAY

(…)

It really is. Just breathe and keep on keeping on.

Back Home

My thirty day holiday flew by, leaving me with memories of sandy beaches, roaring waves and happy times. (Next post will contain pictures!)  I’ll try to cling to them while I’m being wrapped up in my day tot day life.

I often write about memories, not only actual ones but also the mechanism.

How memories are triggered by smell. How they get mixed up. How they blur, why they are forgotten and why they sometimes come back. It fascinates me.  I’m blessed with a decent memory, although I have a thing for remembering non-important facts: the striped socks I wore on my seventh birthday/phonenumbers from my childhood friends/ the shape of an island when I was on a holiday years ago (it was shaped like a turtle) .

Anyway I’m back home, getting back  in ‘normal’ mode. I’m starting a new job next month,  school starts again next week. I’ve got loads of writing to get back to. But I’m not going to push myself or put pressure on it. I’m going to (try to) enjoy it.

Because happy isn’t a goal to be reached, it’s a moment. And if you’re lucky it will become a long-lasting memory.

In which I Overuse Caps Lock and Repeat Myself

Two more days at work and then I AM FREE.

Yes I know, I have to get back to work eventually but for THIRTY days I AM FREE.

THIRTY FREE DAYS.

I imagine you’re wondering if it’s really necessary to use the caps lock this much but I can assure you: IT IS. Same goes for repeating myself.

Very necessary. (because thirty days).

Sunday we’re leaving for Bretagne and I fully intend to capture the surroundings on my Instagram account. Of course I’m also planning to read books (two of them being: Strange the Dreamer & A Gathering of Shadows) and I’m bringing my laptop and notebook for some writing.

But mostly I’m going to relax, ponder ridiculous story ideas and enjoy time with my family

(Read: try not to worry too much about the kids eating/drinking/sleeping enough and make sure they don’t get stung by creepy insects or jelly fish. I’m probably also going to apply gallons of sunscreen on them).

And after the French break, comes the Spanish one.

Because I’m also going to Fuerteventura for a week of reading books, pondering ideas, writing stuff. And to learn how to surf.

Not bringing the kids, just us.

I hope your summer is radiant like mine.

In which I become friends with my Muse (his name is Kip)

It’s July! And like I said in my post about Summer, I intend to write a lot this month.

But I’m slacking on the writing-blog-posts-part, so here it is: a July post 🙂

It’s nothing more than a short update on what I’m doing but still. I wrote it. (Maybe I can add the words to my daily nano count #cheaterthatIam)

I’m doing Campnano again. And having fun with a new story about a telepathic connection between a brother (who paints in only one color, either blue or red) and sister ( a barista who can make awesome Latte art but HATES milk, because the memory that clings to it rips her soul apart).

I guess the new story is also about coffee. Because I like coffee.

AND I am editing the previous story, which is turning into something that might actually be worth reading. I stumble upon sentences I don’t really remember writing and some are actually quite suprising. In a good way. Sometimes I feel almost proud of what I’ve written. And I’m not a person who finds it easy to be proud of her achievements. I’m terrible at writing descriptions, but some of them might work. Like this one:

The rain was washing away the remains of the day, clearing the city like an etch and sketch. The streets were shimmering and the air smelled like earth. Jenya loved this hour of night. Tourists were nowhere to be seen, the streets almost empty. The rain turned into a soft drizzle, making soft thudding sounds, indifferent of the surfaces it fell on. A couple hurried by, giggling and trying to balance an umbrella between the two of them. Jenya thought about rain, how it had made her feel warm and safe when she was younger, lying on her bed listening to it tapping the windows

The last six years she hadn’t felt safe at all, and when her window was tapped upon it was normally something that came straight from a nightmare.

I’m still really (really , really, really)  insecure. And a lot of times I tell myself not so optimistic things (why are you doing this/ this is not going to work/ why?/ all that time typing and stringing words together/ nobody is going to read or like your work/ etcetera). My inner editor (Pie is her name) still points out why things are not working, but hours go by where she’s just quiet. Maybe there is a muse and maybe he’s holding her hostage. Who knows?

I’m calling my muse Kip, because Kip is a cool name and sounds like a person who likes coffee. Kip and I are going to be friends.

 

 

 

When I think of Summer

Once upon a time, in a practically underwater country, not so very far away, a person named Irene was feeling rather bored.

And wrote a blog post about Summer, because Summer is cool.

*

June’s already halfway gone! How did that happen so fast??

The good thing is that it’s almost July and July means GOOD THINGS.

In case you’re wondering what these good things are, behold a list!

  • Summer (for details of my thoughts on things to do in Summer, see below)
  • Summer vacation part 1: Bretagne
  • (a ten day break at a wonderful piece of coast in France with four happy kids and one very handsome man, starting July 31st ).
  • Campnano is coming again!
  • (in which I intend to work on my writing goals like there is no tomorrow (Ha! As you may know I find “tomorrow “ an elusive concept).

These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of summer:

get a tan/eat a coconut/have weekly BBQ’s/swimming&beach/read books/drink champagne/have picknicks in the park/ go to a festival of sorts/ attend a wedding/buy a bikini/write an entry for a YA contest/edit Draft that Must not be Named until it’s worthy of a name/ dabble in contemporary YA because the idea won’t go away/ finally make that Polaroid branch I was supposed to make in May/make my own icecreams/figure out how to make Mango juice.

Ahh Mango Juice.

And she lived happily ever after.

(Back to work).