How About A Blogcast?

Hello!

It’s Friday again and with it comes another blog post. And a new idea. But first things first.

It’s not like we need an excuse to buy ourselves a present but, in need of one, Christmas seems a good a reason as any. If we can help charity while treating ourselves, it seems too perfect to be truth, right? It isn’t.

Humble Bundle has joined forces with Neil Gaiman, to present us with a bundle of rare and /or no longer edited books by the author, in a pay what you want approach. If you go to the link bellow you can get 8 books for as little as $1, 20 books for $8 or, – go wild! – 25 books for $15 or more, two of which are audio books and you get Gaiman himself reading for you. What’s best: the money goes to charity. So, not only are you getting e-books (PDF/Epub/Mobi) for your own entertainment, you’re actually doing a good deed to free your soul from sin – all at a bargain.

Here is the link to buy it:

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/neil-gaiman-book-bundle

Now, on to the blog. I’ve decided to change the blog format or, rather, add something different to it. From now on, alongside the writing, I’ll publish a blogcast. Basically, an audio version of this blog. That will allow me to have some fun, use my recorder and do two of the things I like the most: talking, and talking about things I love.

Here is the link to the first… hum, episode?

TRJ Blogcast #1 (Soundcloud)

TRJ Blogcast #1 (Youtube)

I hope you enjoy it and I’ll write again next Friday!

Carina.

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So, Where Was I?

December is already here!

November was quite a good month, bookly speaking. On top of the three books I bought at the fair in Eindhoven, I purchased three more books at Book Depository. Here they are:

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Since I read The Girl On The Train, I’ve been meaning to buy Gone Girl. I can’t really say it is comparable – The Girl On The Train got me a lot more anxious about knowing what was going on – but Gone Girl has screwed me over and over again, and its end really got me questioning life. It’s a great read, it took me about three days to finish the book but, as I posted on instagram, the book played me like a cheap pianola. Note to self: never trust narrators who speak in the first person. Bastards.

I started reading The Paris Bookshop which has a very nice rythm to it. I can sense the Paris spirit in it, as it should be. Good Omens and The Silent Wife were very good. Fortunately, The Milk is a nice, albeit short, story for kids.

I’ve found out Audible when I was searching for audiobooks and, since they offer the subscription for the first month, I got The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, read by him too. It’s really, really good. Gaiman is a fantastic storyteller, as well as a fantastic writer. Listening to The Graveyard Book on youtube made me certain of that, so when I had to choose a book on audible I didn’t even consider any other narrator.

I still don’t know which books I’ll buy in December. I want them to be special, because it’s my Christmas gift to myself, but I am also planning on buying a tablet that I can carry around with me, see if that makes me write more, so I really have to check my finances before I make any decision. I’m thinking about completing my Diary Of A Wimpy Kid collection – I’m missing the three last books – but I’ll keep you posted.

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On another note, I intent to make regular updates here, so I will start by posting once a week, every Friday. I think that having a day to post things, rather than doing it “whenever” might lead me to create a habit and, therefore, to actually write and update the blog instead of this ramble here, ramble there, followed by months of silence.

I’m a fan of radio comedy/drama and I’ve recently discovered the pleasure of listening to audiobooks, so I’ll be posting about my favourite podcasts.

This year i’m engaging again on a Christmas fic exchange, for the Cabin Pressure fandom. If all goes according to what I am planning, I’ll be writing my first Wooden Overcoats fic! I have a plot already, I just need to put it all to paper. If nothing goes according to plan, I’ll be writing this fic anyway, I’m not discarding my plot. (The exchange is for the Cabin Pressure fandom but other podcasts are accepted, we’re a very open fandom).

I’ve bought nearly all of my Christmas gifts for this year. Those I haven’t bought online, I already know what I want to offer so I’m taking care of most of them today. It’s not a lot of things, mostly just chocolates and sweets. I’m spending Christmas as it’s usual for these last fice years, at friends’ place.

I thought I was going to have a bit of a pickle over New Year. I usually spend it with the same friends from Christmas but my ex is going to be around for New Year and he is going to spend it with them. I didn’t want to start my year with him – the past is in the past, don’t mingle it, and all that jazz – so I had two options: ask around to see if any friends would be here for New Year (most of my friends come from abroad), or spend it by myself which is not as bad as it may sound. Luckily, a friend of mine is having a party at her place, so I’ll have dinner with them and then I’ll stay the night. I’m actually looking forward to it, I think it’s going to be fun!

So, now I’m heading off to the stores and I’ll see you next Friday!

Update On Life

I haven’t been very productive lately, especially in what concerns to updating this blog. There’s still a lot of things I want to finish – stories, reviews – but I’m in a place in life where I don’t seem to have the motivation to finish things which ask a lot of concentration out of me. One step at a time, I’ll get there. It’s been a year – on November 1st to be more exact – that I moved to this small flat and that I’ve been living on my own, which I still love. I love it here, I’m really happy in this place, both physical and emotionally.

I started meditating on a regular basis – as in everyday – first with the app Calm, which is really helpful but, unfortunately, the free sample ends after the seven days try out and I really can’t be paying monthly for this sort of thing. So, I moved on to another app called Headspace, which fits me better than Calm, and I won’t deny that having been reviewd by Emma Watson might have led me to download it first and foremost.

Calm was really good but it won’t allow your mind to wander. Headspace is a bit more flexible about that, which makes it all easy, specially for someone who can be a bit restless, like me. It isn’t easy to shut my mind completely off.

In other news, and since we are talking about life changes – however small – I also tried out a new app in order to be able to work out often, since I can’t get a gym subscription for now. It’s called c25k and it promises to turn you from a couch potato into an active 5-miles-runner after a few months. Today I did the first half hour and it was not bad: you get a 5 minute warm up, then you alternate between a 60 seconds’ run and a 60 seconds’ walk for 20 minutes, and at the end you get another 5 minute walk to cool off. It’s not heavy and I guess it will help me build up a constant workout pace. I’ve downloaded a yoga app, see if I can go back to practise it on a daily basis. We’ll see how it goes.

(If you haven’t noticed yet, I bought a new phone which has allowed me to download all these apps, my old one wouldn’t. I’m quite content with it, I’ve been using it in helpful ways to make my life easier.)

Yesterday I went to a book fair in Eindhoven. Mostly the books were in Dutch and my Dutch isn’t fluent enough to be able to enjoy a book in that language – a shame, there were some wonderful Agatha Christie collections there – but the Engish section was quite decent. I didn’t feel too attracted to most of the books though, because I didn’t recognise the authors or the titles, but I did find a Neil Gaiman’s book, Fortunately The Milk, which was more than I could have expected. I also bought one book because it contained a review by Erin Morgenstern – who wrote The Night Circus – on the back. This book has a sequel, though, so I’ll have to buy the sequel before reading this one, as they advise on Goodreads. The other book was The Silent Wife, which I recall hearing about somewhere, and seemed promising.

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I just finished reading Saramago’s Blindness – which was raw and cruel but, altogether, it is a fantastic piece of literature – and I have started reading Good Omens, by Gaiman. I’ve been longing to read it since I’ve heard its BBCRadio4 dramatization, which is spectacular and I’ve listened to four times already.

I set a goal for myself of buying at least three books a month, and I do have an ever-growing wish list at The Book Depository. Last month – the month I actually set this goal – I bought Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Graveyard Book – I have read both books before but I didn’t own them; now I do – and Good Omens. I still don’t know for sure which books I’ll buy this month, but I’ll keep you posted. I did create a bullet journal for my books because of that.

Now it’s time to get some headspace, read a bit, and get some rest. Tomorrow I’ll have a free afternoon so I’ll be grocery shopping and, hopefully, running as well. Friday is a holiday so I am really looking forward to the end of this week.

Also, if you want to follow me on instagram or/and goodreads, just click on the links!

tvgj.

Returned From The Dead

Well, not quite.

I was away from Belgium – and from the interweb – for most of September. As it’s already usual every year, I take two and a half weeks off work to visit my family in Portugal. I can’t really call it vacations, because I am busier then than the rest of the year, running from one place to the other to see the friends and family I missed for a whole year, so I always take a few days after my return home to be able to actually relax, with no commitments to go anywhere. This is to say that I am back and, hopefully, I will be able to update the blog more often.

I suppose the upside of having no internet connection at my parents place – where I crash on my old bed for the whole of the vacation – is that I end up using my free time to read more. I also visited Lisbon for two days (I used to live up North) and met some friends I only spoke to online.

Now, I came across the term bulletin journal on one of the blogs I follow, here and the idea seems quite intersting and neat. I’ve been keeping diaries since I was nine and the only resolution I made for New Year was to go back to riting journals on a regular basis, a whim I have obliged so far. I am now on my third journal.

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Now I still have the weekend to enjoy – going out with friends tonight – and Monday it’s back to work. I still feel quite content. After almost a month away from home it’s good to be back and to spend some time on my own.

Oh, speaking of diaries: I watched Bridget Jone’s Baby and it’s so good old Bridget, it felt like I went back fifteen years. Can’t wait for it to be realeased on DVD.

Also, I dyed the tips of my hair blue – it ended up fading to green after a few days. I still like how it looks. 🙂

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tvgj.

Sundays

After spending the whole of yesterday’s afternoon moving furniture around, I finally managed to change my room into a cosier place. The desk is now by the window, where there is plenty of sunlight, the shelf has everything I need to write and do some crafting at hand, and the rest seems to fit pretty well the way it is placed now. Even my reading nook.

Today, as any Sunday, is one of those lazy days: no schedules, a good book, home-baked pumpkin cake and lemon tea.

I hope you’re having a good Sunday. Now, I’m going back to my book.

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Chaotic Good

I am constantly trying to find ways to make my flat more comfortable. Since the apartment is on the roof, some walls are inclined and it makes it hard to change things around. Most of the time I just move things to put them back in place again because it doesn’t work.

Like this morning.

I was planning to place a tall shelf in my bedroom with my owls and some craft material, but it turns out that the one taller and wider shelf is still not big enough to fit in the contents of two shelves. Basically, I WILL change a few things around, but the furniture will stay just at it is, both in my room and in the living room.

Meanwhile, of course, I had to move all my books onto the nearest table in order to try this out.

I do like to see them like this. Even in a chaotic manner, books have this wonderful peculiarity which makes me feel like they belong everywhere: in a very neat shelf or spread about in a table, with no order.

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tvgj.

Daily Routine

This week I have been sleeping better than any night from the previous months. I have no idea why my sleep has been so so erratic lately, as there is nothing worrying me at the moment, so I hope I am back to my old self,  who enjoyed long hours in bed and had restful nights.

Tomorrow I have a free Friday, it happens every fifteen days – I have a part-time job – and Monday is a holiday. Basically, I worked four days this week, will have a four-day weekend, and then I am back to working four days next week. I could get used to this.

I have no plans for the weekend. Well, I say that, but there are books to be read, movies to be seen and stories to be written. At work today I was listening to a podcast – I will talk about it with more detail in another post – and my mind wandered back to a comedy radio script I was writing a while ago, and that I completely abandonned. Writer’s block, maybe. Probably just laziness. I do intend to get back to it soon.

Also, I am determined to make some changes in the house. Rearrange my bookshelves and my room a bit. I get easily bored at the way things are displayed here at home and I am always looking for something new to rearrange, to improve. This all means I will probably spend all afternon rearranging forniture just to realise it doesn’t work and put everything back the way it was. Fun,though.

Now, The Cursed Child awaits me.

Night, night.

 

Romantic Whims

As a child, I used to spend many Saturday afternoons in the attic of my mum’s friend, as my mum helped her preparing things for the weddings she was in charge of. On one of those long, cosy afternoons, a typewriter was put in my hands and a long-last love affair began.

Obviously, there is no logical reason to buy a typewriter these days, except for the romantic idea we so often associate with vintage things, the sweet utopia that we can travel through time and lead a different life, in Paris or London, surrounded by ingenius minds, where typewriters make sense. As if the clack-clack of the keys, by itself, could create a piece of written art.

Well, I do believe we must disregard logic sometimes and do things on a whim. For the sake of romantism and childhood memories.

Here is my Olympia Regina de Luxe, which I bought second-hand, and I plan to fill with first-hand dreams.

It’s not practical, it’s not compact, and it’s loud. I love it.

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tvgj.