Laughter and books make life a little easier

Posts tagged “holidays

The night before Christmas

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With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore. (more…)


Disillusionment and perspective

Summer holidays

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So this is the promised status update

I’m home now. Back from holiday, perhaps a little more cynical (just like I always feel after a holiday) and hopefully a little more rested. I hope that I will be able to say that I am also now a little more psychologically stable. But let me start at the beginning. I’ve been very quiet for a while, so I feel that I owe this blog a proper update.

To break up this extremely text-heavy post, I will add some of my photos. Not all of them recent, but all of them mine. 🙂

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How I spend time while on holiday

Before I post any more Shakespeare adaptations (which sound suspiciously like work at the moment), I decided to demonstrate how I am spending my time at the moment while I am on holiday.

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Capturing December Days 21-31 and 2012 in review

Here follows the final batch from the “Capturing December” challenge and then some reminiscence about the year 2012.

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Capturing December: Days 11-20

And… here is the follow-up to my first set of pictures of December! Enjoy!

 

 

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Books, books, books, books.

Yes, we are starting this new series right now!

Introducing…

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Yay!

So, what does this book challenge consist of? Here are the list of posts:

The 30 Day Book Challenge

Day 01 – Best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favourite series
Day 04 – Favourite book of your favourite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favourite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favourite writer
Day 14 – Favourite book of your favourite writer
Day 15 – Favourite male character
Day 16 – Favourite female character
Day 17 – Favourite quote from your favourite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favourite romance book
Day 21 – Favourite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favourite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Day 25 – A character whom you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favourite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favourite book of all time

Doesn’t it look exciting? Open-mouthed smile

 

You can expect the first post tomorrow. I know I said last week that I will stagger the posts a little further apart until I actually leave, but now I’ve noticed that I’ve so many posts that I can let them post every day, even now when I am not gone yet. Yes, I’ve written way too much for some of them. For some of them, I was not sure what on earth I should write. But it was great fun (I’ve been working on this for months).

 

Anyway, what can you expect from me in this challenge? Well, maybe the easiest thing would be to tell you the kind of things that I read. Then you can decide for yourself whether you would be interested in following along with me in this challenge.

These days the largest part of my reading consists of everything that I have to read for class. I am not too happy about this. I am not crazy about many of the books that I have read or still have to read, but so far I have been lucky. There were very few books that I hated and couldn’t get through. I have read colonial and postcolonial, modernism, classics, renaissance and am now facing a term of the Romantics. I’m not looking forward to many of the books staring at me from my university shelf right now. One of them is Wuthering Heights. I tried to read it once and I was nearly bored to death. Another one is A Portrait of a Lady. I watched the movie once and Nicole Kidman annoyed me so much I nearly threw a cushion at the screen. I can only hope the novel is better. But I haven’t got much hope. Winking smile

I’m digressing again! What I meant to say was that while I usually spend my time on these genres listed, what I prefer to read is fantasy. I’m hesitant to call myself a fantasy buff (because I haven’t read many of the titles that are considered the staples of fantasy reading these days), but it is still my favourite genre. I also love historical fiction (but not the romantic kind), I like science fiction and I read the occasional classics. I can’t stand romances and I’m none too fond of fluffy reads. People always tell you to switch off your mind whilst reading. If I have to do that to like a book, I’d rather not read it.

So, I like fantasy. But which fantasy? Lord of the Rings! I also love Harry Potter, though I haven’t read it in years – it is true that it does always stay with you. And then a series that you will meet far too often in this challenge… the Discworld-series by Terry Pratchett. It’s just so much fun: I love all of it!

 

Don’t worry, these are not the only books that I can talk about and will be writing about! I read wider than that!

 

The other thing is… about comments whilst I am gone. Of course comments are always welcome, but I will not be taking comment moderation off. This means that if you have commented two or three times here before, your comments will still be approved automatically. However, if you have not commented before, or if you are suddenly using a different account to comment, your comments will go into the moderation queue. All of them will be saved, they will simply not show up on the posts until I get back to approve them. (I might pop by when I am supposed to be on holiday, if the world starts to annoy me too much and do a little comment moderation. But don’t count on it. Smile with tongue out) I could have taken this moderation off, but this blog receives too much spam and I don’t want to chance it. I just wanted you to be aware of this.

 

Lastly, I thought all of you interested parties might be interested in a peek at the books that I will be taking away with me. All of them are books that I have not read before. Half of them are from second-hand bookstores.

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Oh, the choices about which ones to take and which ones to leave! The English title of that Dutch book is They Came to Baghdad, in case anyone was wondering. Yes, I have read the English one. Winking smile The two at the bottom are part of my reading list for next semester. I should probably get started on them, before I get as pressurised as I was this semester again! Also, my father is probably going to complain about the amount of books that I want to drag along. He always complains. And then he finds space for them anyway. Look:

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Like most rulers, that ruler is 30cm (a.k.a. 1 foot) long. Yep, that’s how high my stack of books are! Rolling on the floor laughing

 

And that’s it! I suppose this is goodbye for now! I’ll be back in a month or so. Except, you know, if I’m in an accident. Or my laptop gets stolen. Or I die. Or someone else dies… Except for all those “excepts”, I’ll be back. And I probably shouldn’t joke about death. Also, I promise faithfully to get my bum into gear again and to return with cartoons to place this blog back on its original path.

 

If anyone misses me (hah!) come visit me on my Tumblr. The queue is well-stocked with Discworld stuff! And the other places you can find me is, as always, listed in the sidebar.

 

Love,

Sig2

PS. I actually don’t wear glasses, but I wanted to do one of those stereotypical “reader” images for my header, so I played about with an old pair of my mother’s glasses. I was struggling to see the camera! Winking smile


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It’s Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday quote


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To all those of you who celebrate Easter…

Good Friday quote


The Well of Creative Writing

Well, hello everyone and welcome to 2012 with Cartoons and Creative Writing! Is this going to be the best year yet? Well, certainly, but it still would not be possible without you – the readers. So, this is a very appropriate time, I think, for a Thank You For Reading!

 

Thank you

 

Further, on the topic of thank yous, I’d also like to thank those of you who downloaded my 2012 Discworld calendar. If you are a procrastinator like me and you haven’t downloaded it yet, but would still like to do so, you still have time! I’ll leave it up for download a while longer – probably until the end of January, at which point, I suspect, it will become a bit obsolete. To download, check for the widget in the sidebar, with the name “Cartoondramas downloads” and click the .PDF icon of the calendar.

 

I received my annual report for this blog this week. Actually, I’d like to ask, is this a new feature? I’ve been blogging with WordPress for longer than this blog is old, but I have never received an annual report before. Anyway, according to this report, by leaps-and-bounds-far the most popular search term that people have reached my blog in 2011 was “library cartoon”. Which was, incidentally, how I tagged the very first post that I ever posted on here. Well, well, well. That the first little post would turn out one of the most popular…

Fun fact: I got the idea and started this blog while procrastinating on studying for a test. That was at the end of May; thus, just over 7 months ago. And it is, probably, also the reason why procrastination is such a popular topic on this blog!

Aside fun fact: I failed that test mentioned in the previous fact. Semantics and I are just not friends.

 

Now… my dilemma is whether I should just continue on with this reminiscencing post on how this blog developed and so on, or whether I should show you a cartoon. On second thoughts, a bloggyversary would probably be a more appropriate place for the reminiscences and this-time-last-years. Bring on the cartoon!

 

Right. There has been a very specific reason for my silence as of late. There were very few cartoons and no creative writing. The fault lies, you see, with the Well of Creative Writing.

Well of creative writing

I once heard (I think it was on the NaNoWriMo forums) someone say that creative writing comes out of a well, and that this well needs to be constantly refilled, or it could run out, just like a regular well containing water.

That set me thinking… never mind all the other analogies and connections with wells that I could come up with… I thought of this story that I read as a kid. It was, amongst other things, an explanation of where snow came from. It made a fascinating story for someone like me who has never seen a snowfall and thus it stuck with me. It went something like this:

At the very bottom of a deep well in the ground lived an old woman. She employed a young girl as maid. This girl had at some stage fallen down the well, but this is besides the point, at the moment. The girl had to shake out all the mattresses and pillows in the house every day, until the feathers flew about her head. Obviously she didn’t like the job and thought it unnecessary to do it everyday. Then she refused to do it. After a while, the old woman showed her how the people of the earth were complaining, because no snow was falling and they wanted snow. Thus, the snow was made at the bottom of this well, by shaking out feather mattresses. I don’t know how the story explained how snow came from up in the air, but was made at the bottom of a well…

The point is, if snow was made at the bottom of a well, designed to go upwards, then what would it look like if inspiration was also manufactured at the bottom of a well that had to be refilled all the time? Well, I have no idea, but I do know what it must look like at the bottom of my well:

Well of creative writing2

Definitely a strike. That is why my well is not getting filled up!

The NaNoWriMo pipe definitely drained it during November and sucked it dry beyond the reach of other writings, but it is now January and I am still so uninspired… I actually have two ideas at the moment, but I am mostly just looking at them. I have so many half-drawn cartoons, but I don’t know how to make them funny so that I can finish them. Someone help me tell those inspiration workers to get up and go back to work, please!

 

Bingo! I am uninspired to make a post, so I just made one about being uninspired to make one! And now I’m just rambling… I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. When I did my 750 words’ journaling today, I started off about Angry Birds, ended up on a rant about Disney princesses, and had an afterthought about when did I become so cynical. So that is rather wide apart.

 

Now, I’m breaking my own New Year’s Resolutions (or as I refer to them: New Year’s Revolutions) already, which is no surprise, by staying up half the night again. I really don’t want to go through another year like I went through 2011. The most sleep I got a night was 5 hours… Only now in the holidays when I am getting rested, I am realising that I went through life with a permanent haze of tiredness behind my eyes and that I got so used to it that I didn’t notice it anymore. I really want to try a healthier sleeping, exercising and eating lifestyle this year. I can’t live so haphazardly.

Speaking of which? Have you made your New Year’s Revolutions yet?
Tell me in the comments!

 

Hoping to become more inspired and less rambling,


Oh, and a Merry New Year! Of course.

I had a post all planned out for today, complete with a summary of things that happened during the year, achievements and low points. That was so that I could close off the year neatly and… and yeah. But… then I got sick and spent most of the day on the couch watching TV. That is not something that I have done in years – I hardly ever watch TV.

So, that post will just have to wait, or I’ll just leave it and do a post for the future instead.

 

Here is a picture of some fireworks:

New years

 

And a quote…

New year's wishes

 

Now, I cannot believe that there is less than 2 and a half hours left of this year. Welcome 2012! 2011 was a nasty year in many respects – let’s hope you will be a better one. Although it does not look like it at the moment – it looks as though it will be a hard year financially and politically in many parts of the world – we can never know what the future may hold. Much of how you experience the year will be brought about by your manner of looking at things and how you choose to make it. So – choose to make it a great year. Choose to give it your all. Choose to not be brought down by your circumstances. That is my New Year’s resolution and my wish to everybody reading this right now.

 

Right. Signing off till next year ~

Sig2