Archive for October, 2016

2016, October 28

Six reasons to smile in October

At the beginning of the month, my boyfriend and I took a little one day trip to Jibou, where we had the most lovely walk in its Botanical Garden. I never knew it existed until a friend of my mom’s told us about it. The place is really beautiful, and our day together came very close to perfection.

During the enigmatic and spooky team building I took with my firm last week in the mountains at over 1100 meters altitude, we stayed at Hotel Castel Dracula. It was a nice weekend, even nicer for the people who love partying. But the view did bring smiles to my face and I was happy that it stopped raining just enough for a one hour walk to take it all in.

Here are the reasons I smiled in October:

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Did you smile a lot this month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

2016, October 24

The place to escape from the hustle and bustle of London

I loved it when I stayed a few days at my friend’s place near Finsbury Park, but I noticed that people are just as hurried and stressed in downtown London, as they are here in my city. So, it was nice to have stayed at a hotel in Kingston for the work days of that week and notice for comparison the slower pace of living there.

Come on over to Milliver’s Travels to read my travel article, Kingston Upon Thames: escape the hustle and bustle of London. and see some of the most beautiful sights of the town.

2016, October 21

The “I Am the Reader” book tag

There is a book tag floating around among YouTube channels, called “I Am the Reader” and people get all chatty answering the questions.
I’m not sure who started the tag, and I’m not going to go search for them either, but the questions did sound interesting when I happened upon a vlog this past weekend.

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Here are the “I Am the Reader” book tag questions and my answers:

  1. Choose one word that describes being a reader.
    – Magical.
  2. What’s the very first book you fell in love with?
    – For Christmas when I was in second grade my mom gifted me the book called “Me and My Sister Clara”, by Dimitar Inkiow, which is the only book I’ve read as many times as I’ve read the HP series. I recall that I even colored in the drawings in my Hungarian version of the little book.
  3. Hardcover or paperback?
    – I love a good hardcover, but usually I buy paperback books for the simple reason that they’re cheaper. And along those lines, I have a lot of e-books which I either won, found for free or bought when they were on sale.
    As long as the book is good though, it really doesn’t matter what form it comes in. I just want to read.
  4. How has reading shaped your identity?
    – Reading the Harry Potter series and a question from a friend prompted quite an interesting list of what my seven Horcruxes are, because, I now believe we all have horcruxes in real life.
  5. What book do you read when you need to be comforted?
    – Lately I don’t have a go-to book to read when in the need to be comforted so I just pick up a book from my TBR pile. But if I had all of my books living with me instead of in my old room at mom’s, it’d most likely be the HP books.
  6. Who taught you to be a reader? (Or did you do it all on your own?)
    – I read books since I learned how to read, but mostly off the Required Reading Lists for school. I usually didn’t like them.
    The reply to this question coincides more with what I call My Harry Potter Story:
    one of my friends hasn’t shut up for months and made me watch the first Harry Potter movie with her. I loved it and when I got home my first question to my mom was: when can we buy the book?
    This was right before the beginning of the 9th grade when I went to high school, and my new Hungarian literature teacher’s first request was for the class to read the first Harry Potter novel. So the next day, I got the book and read it in a heart beat. For Christmas and birthdays I got the rest of them as presents over the years, and I bought the last four myself.
    I started reading more and more while waiting for which ever happened to be the next book in the HP series to get written/published and haven’t stopped ever since. That is also when I started reading more in English.
  7. Describe your dream reading lounge.
    – One of these chairs in the corner of a quiet room, next to a fireplace, with a warm knitted blanket, an endless supply of Toblerone and tea, and my Pixel kitty purring in my lap.
  8. What book changed the way you act or see the world?
    – I loved the reality  “The Fault in Our Stars”, by John Green, presents. I’ve talked about it before, if you want to have a look.

That completes the tag. If you feel like sharing, go ahead and answer the questions in the comments below. Or if so inclined, write a blog post of your own and let me know where I can find it – I’d love to hear all about your reader’s experiences!

2016, October 14

Creativity Vitamin: Clean the Clutter

Cleaning clutter is one of my favorite things. Just a couple of months ago, I cleaned our closet, the kitchen cabinets and with my boyfriend tackled the balcony as well. We donated about six bags of clothes, some dishes, threw out seven or eight bags of trash overall and took an old, heavy printer to the recycling center.

I’ve talked about clearing the clutter before. So this time around, I’m calling my writer friend Janel Gradowski for backup to talk to us about clearing the clutter from our writing spaces.

Her article, “Creativity Vitamin: Clean the Clutter”, also appeared on FFDO when the #fridayflash community website was still up and running, but since it closed last year, I really wanted to share this article again, with as many people as possible.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

~~~

A messy work space leads to a messy mind. You have heard some version of that phrase, haven’t you? Clearing the clutter from my writing space is something I make a point to do on a regular basis. I am really not a neat freak, I can happily ignore stacks of mail on the kitchen table or precariously stacked video game boxes on the entertainment center. The reason I regularly clean up my writing space is simple. I’m more productive. That is good enough for me to spend some quality time doing clutter control on a regular basis. A clean work space leads to a less-cluttered mind.

Don’t believe me? Imagine this scenario.

You are in the middle of writing a scene. You pause for a few seconds to ponder the perfect detail to add to your villain’s appearance. Your gaze wanders from your computer screen to a stack of unopened mail. Yes, most of it is junk mail, but there are bills in the pile that could be overdue. You abandon your writing to sort through mail. Clutter has claimed more victims. You and your WIP.

Have you ever written down notes for a project and then lost them? However, in your search through the mountains of paper on your desk you did discover some notes for another story. Notes that would’ve made that story much better, but it’s too late because it has already been published. Now you’re frustrated about two stories.

Maybe you have a favorite pen that you like to edit hard copies with. What happens if you sit down with a stack of pages to edit and you can’t find the pen? You could grab another one, but there’s also a good chance you’ll waste time searching for the coveted pen. There went a nice chunk of editing time.

So how do you get your writing space clean? If your desk is a huge mess, you can tackle your clean up in stages.

  • Throughout the work day when you need to take a break, clean up a few things.
  • Sort through one pile or area at a time.
  • Set up files to keep necessary items and always have your garbage can nearby.
  • Maybe buy, or make, some nice pen holders or boxes to organize notepads, paperclips, sticky notes, etc.
  • If you tend to keep your space neat anyway, make sure to set aside some time each week to do a clutter control sweep.
  • Don’t view the process as a household chore…think of it as a benefit to your writing life.

Are you ready to start cleaning up your writing space, or do you always keep it clean?

~~~

janelMore about the author:

Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (women’s fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.

You can find her via her Website, sign up for her Newsletter, or follow her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Goodreads.

2016, October 7

#itsgonnabeokay

Lately, I find that I have less patience for things, situations and people. And I don’t like it, but can’t help it either. And I start feeling semi-depressed and just want to sit in bed and do only the bare minimum, to survive. It’s hard to stop crying. It’s hard to force oneself to get out and go for a run, or walk and not become a hermit. It’s hard to keep from falling apart.

On some days I think too much.
About how people now living abroad come home to visit and don’t have time to get together. How they’d expect a meet-up on a two hour notice. How something always comes up. It takes two months to schedule a meeting with someone. And it takes 18+ back and forth texts to finally meet up on a day and at a time which don’t really suit one of the parties involved, but they can’t bear the thought of putting it off again so they change their whole schedule around. People don’t call/or get back to someone when they say they will. They only reach out if they want something. And even when they want a favor, they make one jump through hoops to be able to help them, making one go out of their way for them. Everyone is way too busy at work, there is not enough time to discuss something as small as how they are doing instead of discussing only work – even during lunch breaks or after hours.
People just don’t have time for each other anymore. Every single plan made gets changed. I feel like I did when I was a little kid and was the last to get picked for things, which is more like stuck with than picked.
Somehow, everything else comes first…

Then on one of the above described days OKAY, by ThePianoGuys, popped into my YouTube feed. And let me tell you, it truly was exactly what I needed to hear that day. I immediately shared it on my social media. And wished the whole World would listen to it and share it, and especially, to think about it. “No matter what you’ve been through, here you are; no matter if you think you’re falling apart, it’s gonna be okay.”
Go ahead have a listen, and make sure to read the story behind the song, in the video’s description box. It’s so worth it!

As closing, I will leave you with the words of ThePianoGuys who summed it up nicely:
As Oscar Hammerstein once said, “It is a modern tragedy that despair has so many spokesmen, and hope so few.” Please share this song with someone you think might need it today. Thank you!

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