I’m getting worse and worse at keeping up with posting these updates, while I really do enjoy writing them. Last week was rather special since I got to see my idol. Of course there were the usual events as well.
Rebecca and I went to the muniment room once again on Tuesday. Things still aren’t speeding up for our assignment. We have to do some research about textileworkers from Tilburg, that lived there in 1900. We are currentely researching Peter de Kort and his offsprings. Some classmates of ours have had quite a success with their findings, but us… not so much. Although we did find that one of Peter’s daughters divorced, which was really rare in such a time. Couples were usually married for life, even when love had faded ages ago. It’s interesting to see what did move them to divorce. Especially because it was a big shame during those ages. Especially the wife much have been shunned by the community.
In preparation of a guest lecture on Wednesday I read the Dutch novel ‘Perfecte Stilte’ (meaning Perfect Silence). This was our first guest lecture for a fiction writer, which was a nice change. I went on to do this minor course called Creative Writing at my school that teaches solely Journalism, but sometimes I feel the focus relies more on Litary Journalism/New Journalism/Non-fiction. Which is technically not why I signed up for this half year course. I signed up because I missed a creative outlet in my Journalism classes and it seemed wonderful to focus on all sorts of writing assignments for a while. We ARE getting classes in which we have to write poems and get coached to help us with our fiction, but a huge part of the programme has to do with journalism. It’s not that I don’t like this, for I am majoring Journalism, it’s just that I was hoping to do something a little different for the past couple of months.
Perfecte Stilte is a novel by Thomas Verbogt. He is not a well-known author in The Netherlands, apart from the right circles. That has nothing to do with the amount of his work or the quality of it. I was really impressed by his novel. Verbogt doesn’t waste many words on events that have nothing to do with the story. He doesn’t spend pages of useless descriptions nor long dialogues. He uses exactly the right amount of words to capture the essence of the story. The way a character speaks changes from person to person. Verbogt told us that he dislikes writers that always write the same kind of dialogue. That’s not how people talk in real life, so that’s not how it should be in books. This was a fact that I’ve never noticed before, but he’s so right. I’ll definately remember this advice. For all the writers out there. He had a few other good tips: set a wordcount for each chapter and delete words when you’ve written too many (this will get rid of any unnecessary descriptions), create suspension by letting your character have a secret which you slowly unravel and try building your characters before writing the story. Thomas always works on the characters before deciding his plot. This way he actually knows the people he’ll be writing about and can decide exactly which choices they’ll be making. Genius!
His novel Perfecte Stilte deals with heavy subjects such as suicide and abuse. The content doesn’t feel as heavy, because he doesn’t spend a lot of words on the drama. This makes the book feel less judgemental and heavy. The lay-out also helps, since there are a lot of spaces in between the sentences. He specifically asked this of his publisher.
Wednesday was a good day. After this interesting guest lecture it was time for Maria Mena. I’ve written about it in this post, so I won’t go into full detail here. Maria is amazing. She wowed me with her lovely voice and honesty. I’ve grown up with her songs and can sympathize with most of them. Maria Mena is one of my biggest influences as a writer. I still strive to be as open with my feelings as she can be.
I wasn’t a huge fan of her new album Weapon in Mind. Not to say that I didn’t like it, but it weren’t the honest gutwrenching ballads she presented me with. Instead her new material has some beats that have more of a dance vibe. Some of the songs sound less like a cohesion, productionwise. However they were great live! The beats really brought a more intense dimension to the performance and had me slightly shaking my hips and nodding along to the music. I had such a great time that I am seriously considering going to her live concert in my hometown Tilburg in February 2014.
On Saturday my mom and I went to do some phone shopping. At the moment I was torn between the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini or the iPhone 4S 8GB. I couldn’t quite make the cut, so we postponed it to next Saturday. The deals really aren’t as good as two years ago when I got my Samsung Galaxy S Plus. Back then there used to be huge Christmas sales, but nowadays they don’t exist. Also, the subscriptionfees nearly aren’t as cheap as they were back then. Shucks. I’ve currentely decided on getting the iPhone, which will cost me 7 euros more than my current subscription. The poor student in me is not happy.
On Sunday Amy and I went to visit my dear friend Irene in Maastricht. We got into christmas spirits by visting Magisch Maastricht, which had a ‘christmas fair’ and ice skating facilities. After that we went to a bookstore in Maastricht, which is known as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. This branch of Polare is settled in a 700 year old church, complete with the beautiful windows and columns. If you’re ever in the area do pay a visit. All bookstores need to be treasured, but especially this beautiful example.
Irene, Amy and I spent the rest of the day catching up with some tea, hot chocolate and apple pie, eating Japanese curry and watching Wreck It Ralph. Unfortunately we had to catch the train home sooner than we hoped. I was a bit hesitant about traveling a total of 4,5 hours by train, but I’ve not regretted it one bit. I’m blessed to have such real friends. Whenever we get together it’s like no time has past. It always feels like the old days. Thanks for being there.
And with that December has begun. Which means it’s the last month of the year. It also means NaNoWriMo is over and I failed miserably. I did however push the boundaries and wrote an addition to the story that will make the hearts race of any fangirl
of some specific pairing that I will not mention because it’s unlike me and very embarrassing. I used it as comedic relief, but I’m still not exactly sure why I wrote it. I guess I’m just into trying things that I’ve always was so resistent to try as a writer. I’ve yet to figure out why this is exactly, but I am interested in learning about things that I I somewhat feel embarrassed about, dislike or cannot understand. That’s why I decided years ago that I would write about a boy that played with the hearts of girls.
December is very exciting, because it’s a month of festivities. And it’s my birthday. Have I mentioned my birthday? I’m turning 21 and for the past twenty years I’ve always gotten a little too excited about birthdays. I have to not so subtly mention it in front of my friends, so if you’re reading this, don’t say I didn’t warn you.