Blog Archives

updating the blog, part 3 (or: oh, what will the future bring?)

I told you in the last two posts (part one and part two of today’s effort to update the blog) that I need you to answer a question. Actually, I need your help with a decision.

I started this blog as a writing blog, to have a place where I can put my word pictures and moan about not being able to finish any writing project. And that’s pretty much what we have here. Alright, sometimes I slip in something totally personal, like telling you of my dog’s lumbago or of how wonderful it is to meet friends. But all-in-all, this is mainly a writing-related blog.

However, I’m also very much into music, and a while ago, when I was still living in London, instead of in the middle of nowhere, as I do now, and was therefore in the position to experience a lot of live music, I started a music blog. It’s called Cresting the Sounds. Go and have a look if you want, but unfortunately, it’s not very lively. Not at all, actually.

That’s not because I don’t have anything to say about music – on the contrary, I have so much to say that I can talk about it the whole evening, no matter if the people I’m with are interested or not. I have no mercy in that respect. The problem is more… I don’t know. I feel I’m neglecting one when I look after the other. Does that make sense?

Well, I also like other things. Like photography. Like travelling. So, being the (sometimes) methodical person I am, I immeditely (read: one day when I was bored) rushed to install two more blogs, Cresting the Light and Cresting the Waves. Yep, I’m crazy, I know. And yes, the photography one only has two pictures and the other one is empty. I’m telling you, this was just an idea.

Maybe you can already tell where this is leading, but if you can’t, I’ll be more explicit. I have three options and I’d like your advice on what to do:

Option A: Continue with what I’m doing here and just forget about the others.

Option B: Try and build the others up (slowly, one by one) and try and juggle multiple blogs and hope they don’t interfere with one another.

Option C: Combine. Integrate travelling, phtography and music here.

So, what’s your opinion? Are blogs better when they are topical? Or does it add to them when they are about a multitude of topics? And what should I do?

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updating the blog, part 2 (or: blogs! more blogs! and still more blogs!)

I haven’t changed anything on my blogroll (see right side column, a bit further down) for months. Or maybe, for ever. I’m not sure. Anyway, it does not reflect the number of blogs I read. So, I’m updating it and so that you have some kind of gain from it (hopefully), I’m introducing them here in this post, on my day of updating my blog.

Part one of this day’s work dealt with two awards I received and features me, gushing about some of my favourite books, and some fabulous book-related blogs which you should totally go and check out. Part two is this one, where I introduce you to some cool blogs. Part three will ask you a question on which I need your advice.

And now, for the blogs! This is a list – completely non-hierarchical – of blogs that are awesome and well worth your time. Oh, and I should add that I’m only including blogs that are somewhat topical, all centering around writing and reading.

brainsnorts – a writer, sometimes funny, sometimes critical, always direct, always interesting

Coco J. Ginger says – the most amazing writing

I kissed my date goodnight – very interesting to read (even though I live a very, very different life)

wonderings & wanderings – one of my most-favourite blogs, beautiful writing, wonderful photos (and great title!)

For love or funny – a funny (obviously!) blog about being a romance writer, a dog owner and the mother of two teenage daughters

Almota Roses – I love, love, love the photos of this talented photographer!

coastal traveler – a travel and photography blog with wonderful pictures

photosteam – a beautiful photography blog with lots of photos from London (yeay!) and other places

retireediary – a travel blog with interesting, insightful posts and wonderful photos

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman – this is a classic, of course, but I just adore her blog

70 Degrees West – a travel blog with a twist, and stunning photos

Fevered mutterings – the blog of a professional traveler and writer and storyteller (check out his free e-book on storytelling, it’s funny and interesting and just cool)

Upgrading your life with less – interesting thoughts on de-cluttering your life

A literal girl – a wonderful blog with (often quite philosophical) writing on ideas like home, place and spaces

Alexandra Sokoloff – the professional blog of screenwriter and writer Alexandra Sokoloff, from whom I’ve learned so, so much and whose posts I LOVE reading and if you’re a writer, you should very definitely check this out

Always lost in stories – full of really interesting book reviews, most of them from the fantasy and YA fantasy area

Boomie Bol – a poet who is not afraid of baring her soul in her work

Emily’s Tea Leaves – a writer’s blog (who I nominated for two blog awards in part one of today’s posts)

Fabulous Realms – very informative posts on all things fantasy

Five Reflections – haikus – lots and lots of haikus, each a little polished gem

Gin & Lemonade – one of the earliest blogs I followed, almost always makes me laugh

Jane Austen’s World – a wonderful resource for all things Jane Austen and Regency – recommended for all Austen fans

Web Petals – the blog of writer Marjorie M. Liu

Nicolette Reed – a blog on writing, editing, publishing… everything about books

Novel ideas – another blog by a fellow writer, this one a courageous teenager

Obsessions of a Workaholic – on the struggles of being a writer and a grad student and working two jobs

Paperback Writer – a wonderful blog on writing from an experienced writer, one of my favourite blogs

Patricia Awapara – writer, painter, photographer… this woman is mulit-talented and also a on the road of self-publication and the one who kindly awarded me the One Lovely Blog award

Peggy Isaacs – funny and interesting blog with cool links and even cooler photos (and I nominated her for two blog awards here)

Pretentious Title – blog of writer Rachel Aaron, who has very interesting things to say on the writing life

Rachelle Gardner – this literary agent shares her insights into the literary world and has interesting guest bloggers

read wear write – a blog on reading, fashion and writing (duh!) by fellow NaNo camper Kate – she was also the wonderful person who awarded The Booker Award to me

Science and Story – always interesting blog on, as the name suggests, science and stories (aka books) and I nominated the woman behind it for two blog awards

sharing me myself and i – a poet with short, descriptive and to-the-point poems

storytelling nomad – a writing and travel blog with neat post ideas, always worth reading

succumbing – a poetry blog, which I nominated for two blog awards earlier today

The Author-in-training – I think the name says it all, doesn’t it? I also nominated this blog for the blog awards today

Maggie Stiefvater – blog of the author Maggie Stiefvater

Where landsquid fear to tread – rather quirky blog about landsquid, alpaca and ceiling turtles – oh, and about writing and editing

Word flows – chronicling the steps and successes of a very fast and efficient writer (yes, I’m envious!)

Writer in progress – another interesting blog of a writer and avid reader, featuring book reviews

Writing through the fog – wonderful blog with posts on home, spaces (digital and real) and writing, also beautiful photos

Zen Scribbles – another favourite blog on writing, chocolate and other things to do with being a writer – I also nominated Zen for the two blog awards, but I messed up a little because she’d already received both of them

That’s it for now, folks!

There’s more that I have bookmarked, but I’m not at a point where I can recommend any of those yet.

Oh, and part three is coming up in half an hour or so, and it will be short, I promise. But remember, I need you to answer a question in part three!

August

In our latitude, the four seasons supposedly all take roughly the same time, about three months, give or take a few weeks. Then why is it that summer always seems so very much shorter than any of the other three?

I long for summer every time and then I blink and it’s June, I blink again and July’s gone and suddenly it’s August and the air smells of harvested wheat and apples falling from the trees and there’s this familiar, tangy, not-quite-summery scent in the air.

Even though the sun is still hot and bright, the light has become just a hint more mellow – not as fierce as it was just two weeks ago. Even though everything is still green and there are summer flowers everywhere, the green is just a hint tired, and the golden browns are starting to slowly, slowly take over from the greens. And even though my daydreams are filled with summer pictures, the memories of picking up wild apples on Sunday walks, flying kites on stubbly fields and eating my grandma’s plum cake with plums picked off the tree the same day, are starting to infiltrate my summer dream.

Can it be that autumn is really that close already? Where did my glorious, the-smell-of-rain-on-a-dusty-road, eating-lemon-ice-cream-in-the-park, jumping-through-the-spray-of-the-garden-sprinkler, napping-through-a-heatwave, sitting-around-the-fire-until-midnight summer go?!?

oat field in August

fields and hillside in August

crows sitting in apple trees

straw bales on an August field

it’s all in the details

The sun was warm on my back this morning as I strolled through the garden, a mug of coffee in one hand, my camera in the other. I’ve been taking pictures in our garden for weeks now, some in the morning, some at dusk, whole series of photos of flowers, stones, trees, … What I’m saying is this: in a garden of normal and moderate size, I’ve found new things to take photos of every day and it never gets boring. This morning was a case in point.

I almost stepped on this in the grass (barefoot, too!).

Looking closer, this is what I saw.

A dead dragonfly, that had somehow managed to ground itself head first.

Isn’t that cool?!

P.S.: The morale of this story? Look closely.

everyday beauty

I didn’t do anything productive, useful or necessary all day today. I did take some photos though and they made me smile. They are a perfect example of the fact that there is beauty everywhere all around, if only you look closely enough.

roses

Roses – who can refuse them? I love all flowers (and taking photos of them), but this post is about roses. Because there is something quintessentially beautiful about them. Even their shape is beautiful.

And the way they seem to have more petals than is possible – there are just layers and layers and layers of velvety petals.

That smell… When they open up and you put your face close to them, there is that sweet, wild smell of hot summer and beauty, of longing and soft touches, of humidity and adventure.

And they grow in such an abundance. Reckless numbers of budding roses climb all over each other, each growing more beautiful than the other.

What do you call a group of roses? A bunch? A pride? A cluster? A flock of roses?

Whatever the correct term is, it’s an honour and a joy to have them growing like this in the garden.