January 2019 Wrap-Up

For the first time in a long time, this section in the beginning that is always dedicated to books, isn’t completely empty. I’ve gotten a bit of my reading groove back and had a blast with most of the reads I picked. Not gonna lie, I have become even more careful with the selection of stories I actually read, just because I don’t want to end up in the slump that was the previous year again.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea  Dumplin’ Movie Tie-in Edition  Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)  Echo North

Like in the olden days, click on the titles to get to my reviews and on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads!

January was a challenging month for me. I don’t want to get into the details as most of what happened was very private and took me a long time to come to terms with, so I’d rather not rehash it all. However, all of that made January feel like years and the blink of an eye at the same time. It was a strange one, so much so that I didn’t even hesitate for a second writing the date in the title. I am DEEP into 2019 already.

All that aside, I did actually post a couple new chapters in the Google Doc for the #witchyWIP that still roams my mind just … every single day. I haven’t had the time and energy to write the way I wanted to, but maybe going with the craze and switching to Comic Sans as a font did help a little bit. I have also decided to publish the existing chapters on wattpad in the near future. Any takers for that? (I hope so, because at least some people were interested in a little Twitter poll I did)

So, while I’ve been productive to a certain degree and able to balance some aspects of my life better than others, I am somewhat glad this month is over. It just wasn’t exactly a smooth start into 2019.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

Hands down, it just HAS to be a tie between Halt and Catch Fire and the Roswell reboot on the CW. Both of those shows have completely enthralled me for very different reasons, so don’t make me choose!

Halt and Catch Fire has complex characters that aren’t really likable … at all. They are so very flawed, but as you watch, they grow on you big time and you cannot help but love them regardless. Also, it’s set in the world of computer programming and engineering in the 80s with excellent female badasses. 10/10 would recommend if you are into slow character studies (and a better Mad Men).

Roswell, New Mexico on the other hand is everything CW represents and I am here for it. It has beautiful actors and actresses, most of whom will look very familiar from previous shows on the network. It feels very current, with them not holding back on making political statements and trying their best at integrating LGBTQ+ characters (I say try, because sometimes they are misguided, but I give them A for effort). Most importantly though, I like this reboot so, so, so, so, so much more than the Charmed one (They lost me when they butchered the whole whitelighter storyline). Roswell, NM is nothing like the show from the 90s, but you DEFINITELY have the chemistry between the characters. It works that they are all aged up to adults and I feel like they all got more pressing conflicts than their High School equivalents did. It’s still early days, but I am in love.

MY POSTS

2018 IN REVIEW

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

That was a short recap of my month of January! I hope you had a less turbulent start into the new year and I am looking forward to chatting with you!

November 2018 Wrap-Up

Can you believe it? I actually read something last month. It doesn’t really warrant a full round-up of books, as it was one singular novel, but I am still glad that books haven’t left my life entirely. I read Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby (click on the title to get to my review) but I also got halfway through A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. I am enjoying it a lot so far, but I was just super busy and didn’t get around to finishing it before the end of the month.

So, what else has been happening in November? It was a time of doing nothing and way too much at the same time. I still haven’t managed to make any friends outside of work. That fact leads to me really looking forward to the weekend and having a little bit of a break, while also dreading it endlessly because I will be all by myself. However, no one can tell me that I haven’t made an effort!

During the past month, I went to a number of events – some related to work, others completely on my own volition! I got to go to the opening of a new cinema, where they showed an exclusive advance screening of Fantastic Beasts 2. Also, the opening screening (with one of our films) of the French Film Week in Berlin, and two concerts. I was especially excited about the Hozier concert, because I’ve seen him live before and it was the best.

The concert turned out to be even better than I expected. I was seated (this was a surprise as the event wasn’t supposed to be seated) right behind the opening act (Saint Sister) and Andrew basically sang while looking our way the entire time. In a way, it felt a little like he was singing it all to me and I still felt free enough to sing my heart out in return.

And then, this week, Saint Sister was back in Berlin playing their own gig and I went to that concert too. Again, I was kind of on my own on this one, but Saint Sister (just like Hozier) and their opening act, Ciaran Lavery, are all from Ireland and there were a lot of Irish people around, I sort of felt at home. I honestly don’t really know what happened, but I was in this crowd of strangers and they were playing beautiful music and … I just started crying and didn’t even care? Afterwards, I had a really nice chat with Ciaran and I wasn’t even the one who approached him. He started talking to me and what has my life become?

I want to do more of those things. Maybe find more Irish acts who perform in Berlin? Because I have a feeling that the same people tend to visit those gigs and maybe that will mean I’ll finally find some likeminded folks and hopefully also friends here? Anyway, it was all a lot of fun and really exciting but at the same time massively exhausting. I am still surprised I didn’t get sick like 80% of my co-workers did.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

It simply has to be the fact that I actually got to meet Andrew (Hozier) after the concert. He is the kindest, tallest bean out there and he even signed my ticket. What a lovely bloke!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Again, I was terribly bad at keeping up with your posts, unless you tagged me in them. However, a couple of you took part in NaNoWriMo and I just want to say I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! No matter if you wrote 1 or 50,000+ words, you attempted something brave and deserve recognition for it. So, if you have a round-up on your NaNo experience or any other kind of post you’d like to share with me, don’t hesitate to leave a link in my comments!

MY POSTS

WRITING RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

This was my month! How was yours? Do you have any kind of favourite type of event where you like to meet new people? Let’s chat!

NaNoWriMo Update: Why I Stopped After a Week

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, know that I occasionally dabble in participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s a yearly event in which all writers out there are challenged to write at least 50K within the span of the month November. It’s a lot of fun, but also very stressful at times. My first year was actually the only year I traditionally “won” NaNoWriMo by completing my RomCom Break Up Buddy. After that I tried to work on Dreamer, Arcadia and now currently the #witchyWIP, but let’s get to that in a bit.

First off, I want to say that I in no way want to discourage anyone from participating in NaNoWriMo. I have made some great friends through it, been to cool meet ups and actually FINISHED writing a book. Those are all things I doubt I would have been able to achieve without the platform that NaNo offers. However, this year I also realised why it doesn’t work for me on the long run anymore and I’d like to go into detail about that a little in this post.

I want to talk to you a bit about process. Every book is different. Even authors with a certain writing routine sometimes face stories that just have different requirements. Sometimes people are pantsers, sometimes planners and sometimes a mix of the two. I usually prefer to just completely take my story as it comes, but again, this doesn’t work for all projects. From experience, however, I know that I cannot sit there and plan out a story, neither in detail nor in a rough outline. My mind wanders and I get terribly bored when I actually write the scenes because I know what is going to happen. When I write, I often feel like a reader, also experiencing and discovering the whole world for the first time with every new word. I don’t know if others feel the same, but the more I know in advance what I am supposed to write, the less fun and the more difficult it is for me to actually transfer it to the page.

So, what does that mean? I am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, which should be perfect for anyone participating in NaNoWriMo, but here is where life throws me a curve-ball: NaNoWriMo is on a tight schedule. Having a certain word goal every day, getting badges and that sweet satisfaction from reaching certain milestones is something I find terribly motivating. I am also a competitive person at heart (at least when the only person I am competing against is myself), so I REALLY want to reach those goals – at whatever price. And all too often that price is a suffering quality of my writing.

NaNo is not meant for creating a perfect first draft. It’s quite the opposite! It’s supposed to help you break free of the chains of an overthinking mind and to just get. things. done. It’s a tool to get a story on paper, not to send it to publishers right after, but rather to have a framework for the amazing tale you can shape out of it once you get to editing. Now, editing is the bane of my existence. I hate it with all my heart, probably for similar reasons I don’t like outlining.

All of the things I have mentioned above lead to a certain realisation. I am not claiming my #witchyWIP is perfect! I know it is not, but the first chapters that I wrote before NaNo started were of a certain quality. I was aware that it needed tidying up, but I didn’t despise the existence of entire chapters. With me getting into a competitive NaNo mindset and really wanting to hit those word count marks, I just wrote and wrote but overall, I wasn’t really happy with the content I put out there (you have to know that I always share my work with a couple people. Let me know if you want to read a writing insights post on sharing your unfinished work!) So, I made the decision to not participate in NaNo for this project anymore. For me personally, there was no joy in getting chapters done if I wasn’t ultimately happy with what they contained. There was simply no point for me and I don’t regret my choice.

So, to all the brave NaNo writers who are still going – I wish you the best of luck! I hope you have a great time during the event, but I am out.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How are things going for you? Have you participated before or do you want to in the future? Let’s chat!

October 2018 Wrap-Up

Once again, I am coming at you with a wrap-up when I have read absolutely zero books. I don’t know what exactly causes it, but I felt so busy with life and so uninspired to do anything else, that I basically didn’t pick up a book until a week or so ago. I am currently reading A Discovery of Witches, but I am only 30% into the book, so the review will have to wait a while (as for the show – GO WATCH IT!)

Generally, I do feel like I am becoming more myself again though. Not that Berlin changed me as a person THAT much, but overall, I just didn’t have time or energy or motivation to do a lot of things that I would typically consider to be me-things. However, I have managed to post a couple blog posts that weren’t just the usual Sunday trailer round-ups and I even got back into drawing again. I haven’t painted anything in such a long time, it was entirely strange to do it in a new setting with different lighting and materials. So, while this may not be the most perfect Teresa Palmer/Diana Bishop (yes, the only thing I managed to draw was a person from A Discovery of Witches), I am still very happy with the outcome! I think it’s some of my most detailed work with watercolors I have done so far.

Since it is already November, I also want to announce that I am taking part in NaNoWriMo! For those of you new to the subject, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is supposed to be a motivational event to get you to finish your work in progress or reach at least 50K words in the span of that one month. Feel free to add me on the website (click here for my profile info) and hold me accountable as I go along. I am not actually striving to hit 50K with my #witchyWIP, but I just want to make sure I do write a little bit every day or as often as possible this month.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I don’t know how to help you, because my favourite thing of the month is obviously A Discovery of Witches. It’s probably annoying how much I talk about it on here, but I am absolutely mesmerized by that show. It is beautifully shot, it has haunting performances of both Teresa and Matthew, as well as the remainder of the cast and the story is really interesting. There’s actual science or at least the need for science to explain the origin of all species and to prevent the supernatural creatures from dying out. If that’s not a great spin on star-crossed lovers then I don’t even know.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I know I have been absolutely, not-shockingly-at-all absent from your blogs. I am truly sorry for that, but keeping up with the things on my own platform were sometimes all I could handle. Still, I want to at least highlight a little of my friend’s work and especially Marie’s part in the Shattering Stigmas series of this year (although everyone who contributed did an amazing job and was so brave for opening up!). And since it’s the month of NaNoWriMo, I also want to mention a great post on Plotting and Planning your WIP by Beth! I am sure you can find some great ideas and approaches there or at the very least a good platform to discuss how you tackle your writing.

MY POSTS

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

How was your month? Did you read or watch something good? Let’s chat all about it – especially if you have watched A Discovery of Witches as well! 

September 2018 Wrap-Up

My first month in Berlin is over and we will see if this is going to be a super short or very rambly post about all the things that have happened since I got here. First off, let’s start with the books I’ve read. Even if it’s only two, that is a 200% improvement from last month, so I am quite happy with that accomplishment. I still might lower my Goodreads goal, just because I’d like for it to actually be achievable, but here’s what I read in September for now:

Parsnips, Buttered: How to win at modern life, one email at a time  The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

As always, click on the title to get to the review on the blog and on the cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

Where do I even start to tell you what all happened this month? My new job started in a sort of frenzy as we were preparing for the world premiere of Michael Bully Herbig’s new movie “Ballon” (watch the trailer here – it’s in German though). His name might not mean much to you, but the German speaking folks will know that he is one of the most successful directors and actors in the country. His movies are ranked among the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time in Germany, just that he usually does comedies and this is his first thriller based on real events none the less. You can see how that is all mighty exciting!

Seeing all of this unfold, getting to meet the actors and being part of publicity stunts and ultimately watching the movie in a theater with all kinds of celebrities (Tokio Hotel of all people was there!?) was so much fun! And I was really impressed by it, because you could basically cut the tension in the room – the suspense was real! It’s not that I haven’t done these kind of things before, but just like Germany has about ten times as many people as Austria, it also has events and premieres on a much bigger scale. 

My boss was also kind enough to take me with her to the First Steps Awards, which felt like a really exclusive and great event. It celebrated new talents in the film industry, and not just actors and actresses, but everything from camera, writers and directors to producers. Shopping for it was a tiny bit of a nightmare, because I at least wanted to look semi-fancy and my size seems to be not-available in most stores, but in the end I saw so many people I have admired for a long time. I don’t feel like I could have experienced anything like it back in Vienna. 

Overall, my mind is quite occupied with work. I am one of those people who eats, breaths and dreams about work (the latter leading to some really weird stuff as some of my close friends will know). Deep inside, I know that I need a healthier work-life-balance. That my life shouldn’t be all about the job, but meeting new people and making new friends. I like Berlin and I feel like the streets I am walking on are slowly becoming a part of me, but I haven’t really found my people yet. It takes time and maybe I am not taking the necessary measures (aside from that one time I totally got friend-rejected) to really be pro-active and be in the world. But I am not going to lie, I really enjoy just sleeping the days away on the weekend.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

My favourite thing this month was to just watch a whole lot of German movies. In my mind, I always thought that I was meant to work in more of an English-language kind of industry, but being where I am right now, I can honestly say that I like German movies. I know a lot of the names and faces. There is a real difference to Austrian ones in tone and vibe and, as mentioned before, scale. I don’t know how interested you’d be in reading a post about that one day, but I could talk about all the good and bad ones I’ve watched lately? I just have no clue how many of them would be available with subtitles or such …

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read any posts, except for the ones I was tagged in. I haven’t been on the laptop much and the first couple of weeks, I didn’t even have internet in my own room, but I am really trying to get back into it and engage more again. So, to help me with that, leave the link to one (or more) of your favourite posts by yourself and bloggers you like in the comments! I will try my best to check them all out! I also promise to check my spam comments more often, just to make sure none of you accidentally end up there.

MY POSTS

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

That’s all from me for now! I hope you enjoyed this very rambly summary of my month. What have you been up to? Let’s chat in the comments below!

August 2018 Wrap-Up

So, this Wrap-Up is going to look a little different than the previous posts. For one, I think I haven’t read a single book, which means my usual monthly read section is empty. I actually started three or so different ones, but I just didn’t make it through any of them before leaving for Berlin, which brings me to my second point – I AM IN BERLIN!

As I mentioned in my July wrap-up, I got an internship here for six months and I cannot wait to start working on Monday. I have been abroad several times, mostly for a longer duration and it’s always an adventure, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not easy!

There is always so much to do beforehand and I figure it will be fine, because I have done all of it in some shape or form many times before. Well, that’s just not how this works. The bureaucratic stuff that needs doing is always different and sometimes it is not even clear what exactly it is. Once you’ve figured that out, there’s still various hurdles of when and where you are able to actually do the registration or application or whatever. It’s a very annoying process that will forever frustrate me.

Aside from that, there are still so many other factors. I always feel strange coming into a new place, especially when I know I will stay there for a while. You cannot just make any place your immediate home, or at least I can’t. In this case, I know the language (even if I don’t understand everything. Let’s be real, they might not understand everything I say either) but I still feel like a little alien. Every place has this distinct vibe about it. You see it in the clothing, the way people talk, walk and behave, it’s littler mannerisms that only the locals know how to interpret and react to. Sometimes you click immediately with a place, sometimes it’s a slow burn romance and in worst case scenarios the city and you don’t warm up to each other at all. I can’t say which one Berlin will be just yet, but there’s going to be ups and downs. My flat doesn’t really feel like mine yet, but I am going to make it just that. And I am going to find the people and community that can make any place worthwhile. It all just takes time.

That’s really all I can tell you about Berlin so far. I haven’t blogged as much in the past month and I have no idea how the next month will be, but I am looking forward to finding out. I also haven’t blog-hopped as much, so I am sorry for not having the usual categories where I highlight other people’s posts. I hope to catch up and be more engaged once I have really settled a bit.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

It was without a doubt – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I have watched the movie several times by now and it is still so cute. There were quite a couple changes to the book and I am actually more than happy with most of them, to the point where I liked characters better in the movie than I did in the book. I hope the success of the movie (I think most of my bookish friends and everyone who is thirsty for Noah has watched it) will lead to sequels in the near future.

Now I cannot wait to hype Sierra Burgess is a Loser in a week!!!

MY POSTS

WRITING POSTS

MOVIE/TV RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

How was your month? I did a lot of things to distract me from my worries, like start learning Norwegian and start a new #witchyWIP (hope the ones of you who know how to access it keep enjoying it, more is to come!). Do you also start random things when you don’t want to focus on what’s making you anxious?

July 2018 Wrap-Up

I don’t know where my head was at during July, but it definitely wasn’t with reading. I have struggled for most of the month to be productive and I am just going to blame the heat on it, because … well, because I can. This heat wave is annoying! I am still my now very familiar 4 books behind on my Goodreads challenge, but here’s what I got to this month:

Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth  Deadly Class, Vol. 2: Kids of the Black Hole  Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood & Vine  Magritte : Dies ist keine Biografie  Save the Date

As always, click on the title to get to the review on the blog and on the cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

Prepare for actual BIG NEWS!!! I’ve already told a few people, but please don’t be offended if I haven’t told you in person. It’s all been happening really fast and I was a bit hesitant to believe it’s all real, but I am going to start a 6-month-long internship with a film distributor IN BERLIN come September. It’s all about deciding when I will move and trying to find an apartment. I am trying to get all things sorted here in Vienna as well (which unfortunately includes a wisdom tooth removal on my birthday this week), but I am really excited for this new adventure. A little panicked, but mostly excited!

With all of that going on, I really haven’t been up to par in terms of blogging, writing and drawing (and I am not sure what that’s going to look like once I am in Berlin either). I definitely haven’t forgotten about Arcadia, but my plan to write more didn’t exactly work during the month of July, which makes me all the more confident that it was the right move not to participate in Camp NaNo. I want to get a couple more chapters out and maybe create another writing tag for you all soon if I can find the time though.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

I was lucky enough to win tickets for a preview of Mamma Mia 2 and seen as I really loved the first one, I was absolutely psyched to go see the movie. From what I saw online, I was kind of alone in being disappointed in the movie, but if you watch the movies in a row THEY MAKE NO SENSE. There’s some serious plot holes that could swallow you whole. Nevertheless, some of the songs stuck with me and Lily James was my personal highlight of the movie. She IS Donna! So, the more time passed after watching the sequel, the more I kept thinking about it and I still love the cast to bits and think it was hilarious in parts. Maybe my expectations just were too high, but that movie had no plot. And yet … I did not not like it? Hope this rambly mess made sense and here have a drawing of Lily/Donna that I made! (Because people said I should include more of my art)

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I am sorry that I was pretty absent on everyone’s blog posts this past month! I was pretty lazy in all parts of life if it’s any consolation.

MY POSTS

ALL KINDS OF POSTS

MOVIE/TV RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

So, this was my month! How was yours? Are you up to date on Arcadia and waiting for more? Did you have a favourite post (of mine, yourself or other bloggers)? Let’s catch up!