Another book



:: this is the cover of my new book (that will release late Spring 2013). I love it.
:: the title is "Tegenstelling", that means "opposites" (as in 'opposites attract')
:: it's a sequel to Incognito and Dilemma (a trilogy, isn't that great?)
:: this is the first book that I got contracted for before I wrote it
:: even worse: the flyers were sent out into the world last week and I was still writing it
:: I thought I had six months to write this book
:: but life got in the way. In a big way.
:: that's the reason I have been stressed out these last weeks (months)
:: but now it's finished
:: well, almost. I'm having second thoughts about the ending. A romance novel that doesn't end with a kiss. Is that even possible? (it does suit the main characters, that's a fact)

Shadows


This morning, the winter sun painted a work of art on my wall...

Rotterdam






I love Rotterdam. I never lived there and it isn't really a beautiful city (though it does have it's charme - I should take some pictures of those places someday), but I still love it. I went there yesterday to shop for Sinterklaas and of course I visited the market. To look for Sinterklaas presents. Well, that was my story. But mostly because I like browsing there so much.
There was so much to see. It's a shame that I'm still camera shy. I don't feel comfortable taking pictures in places like that, not even with my small camera. So you have to take my word for it. There were vegetables and fruit, bread, nut and fishes. I even saw some big crabs, though I didn't like that at least one of them was still alive.
Some boys were dressed up as "Zwarte Piet" to collect some money for a cause that I forgot the name of. I gave the first of them some money and told the rest that I already did. The fourth time I said: "I keep running into you guys." He said that there were a hundred of them. But when I was looking for one of them after shopping to give them the rest of my small change they were all gone.
There were lots of booths selling covers for phones that I don't own and other booths that sold great cloths in sizes that I don't have (anymore). I decided that now I really want to loose some weight, but first I bought myself a bag of double salt liquorice (that didn't taste quite as salt as it used to do when I was a teenager).
Of course I had to check out the second hand stuff. Really, when you know you can't see all the booths, the logical part of the market to choose is the part that has the antiques and vintage stuff, isn't it? It's the good part. And the expensive part. At least it usually is. Yesterday I didn't buy anything. The only thing that appealed to me was a little cute box to hold incoming letters, but I have nowhere to hang it, so I left it behind.
There was a man buying a big vintage leather suitcase and someone said he should, because you can never have too many of them. I think she's wrong. In my house there isn't even room for one of them.
A woman asked for the price of a box of silverware and I thought it was her husband that broke out in spontaneous laughter when he heard it. But that was an other man. I have no idea what he thought was so funny, but it was the good kind of laughter. The kind that makes you smile.
And I think that's the reason I like the Rotterdam market.
There is always someone there to make me smile.

Getting into the spirit of Sinterklaas


2006

2007

2008

2008

2008

2009

2009

2009

2009

2010

2010

2011

2011


It's that time of the year again. While blogs from other parts of the world talk about "starting to plan" for Christmas, I'm rushing to get things together before Sinterklaas again. It always comes down to the last few days. But that's okay. I love it.
Traditionally in our family the big bag is filled with small gifts, each with a little rhyme about the gift and it's receiver. Good for hours of fun and laughter and togetherness.
To get into the spirit - and because I'm running out of time (I need to go shopping for it today, fun, but exhausting) - I'm (re)posting some pictures of Sinterklaas in earlier blogyears.
Yes, I'm looking forward to it!

Finally done





They say knitting is soothing. I think that's true, but I also find that for me, it doesn't work when I'm really stressed out. And that's why I stopped knitting that cowl that I was working on in September.
I was stressed out, sick and tired. But let's not go into that. I just wasn't able to relax and knit.
I am better now. So much better that I picked up my knitting this week and finished that cowl. I started on a matching hat (of course!) and finished that too. I'm ready for winter now!
From the leftover yarn I made a square for Knit-a-Square and then I started a new project, my mind buzzing with more ideas. I love that.

30 Days of Fall - 30



Back to normal






Now that all the excitement of new books and vacations is over, I can return to the normal of my days. Catching up on household chores, enjoying beautiful sunrises (isn't that the one advantage of these short days and long nights? I don't have to get up early to see stunning sunrises like this) and a bit of knitting. Oh my, how I missed knitting!
And there are some other things I need to do, but more on that later... ;-) (ha, cliffhanger!)

The other side of South Africa




South Africa is both beautiful and fascinating, so I loved writing about it in my book. The one thing I didn't expect was that I couldn't completely avoid mentioning some of the less happy aspects of that country to. Though apartheid offically ended a while ago there is still a large gap between black and white and it will take a lot of time to really close it. I tried not to write about it to much (it's a romance novel after all), but it did slip in every once in a while.
Another problem I learned about much later is that there are many, many aids orphans. Our guide mentioned aids once (she told us there was a politician that had been spreading the word that aids could be prevented by washing yourself afterwards. Uh no), but we were obviously steered away from how big that problem really is.

In June 2011 (over a year after our trip) I found Knit-a-Square. I loved it and knit many items for them these few years. Though their main goal is to gather lots and lots of squares to make blankets for those childeren, all other garments are welcome. I like that, it keeps knitting for them interesting. I like the squares for some knitting-in-between and I love that they need hats (my favorite thing to knit, don't know why, but it is) too.
Yesterday I sent out my latest package. Not that I knit all these things lately, they had been laying around since last summer. It was time to send them away.

So why am I telling you about this in my week of book promoting? Well, I hoped that among all those new followers (ha!) there would be some knitters or crocheters that were looking for a good cause to work for... Oh well, I'll just keep mentioning it, maybe the word will spread anyway ;-)

Backgrounds




If you wanna leave I won't beg you to stay
And if you gotta go darling maybe it's better that way
I'm gonna be strong, I'm gonna do fine
Don't worry about this heart of mine
Just walk out that door, see if I care
Go on and go now but

Don't turn around

Cause you're gonna see my heart breaking
Don't turn around
I don't want you seeing me cry
Just walk away
It's tearing me apart that you're leaving
I'm letting you go
But I won't let you know

I won't miss your arms around me holding me tight

If you ever think about me just know that I'll be alright
I'm gonna be strong, I'm gonna do fine
Don't worry about this heart of mine
I know I'll survive, sure i'll make it through
And I'll even learn to live without you

Don't turn around

Cause you're gonna see my heart breaking
Don't turn around
I don't want you seeing me cry
Just walk away
It's tearing me apart that you're leaving
I'm letting you go
But i won't let you know

I wish I could scream out loud that I love you

I wish I could say to you don't go, don't go, don't go

Don't turn around

Cause you're gonna see my heart breaking
Don't turn around
I don't want you seeing me cry
Just walk away
It's tearing me apart that you're leaving
I'm letting you go


(D. Warren, A. Hammond)

This song... I have loved it for years. The original is by Tina Turner, but I like Bonnie's version the best (love her voice).
This song also intrigued me. Not letting him know how much it hurts that he's going. Would I do that? Would I be able to keep it up? Would it have implications if you handled a break up like that? For working through the pain, for how you interact with your ex, for your own future?
When I keep thinking about something like that, it usually ends up in writing a story about it. That story became 'Goede hoop'. Though the end was quite different from what I imagined...

To confront Karlijn and her ex Tim with their past, I let them go on a trip together. A group trip in South Africa to be precise. Why there? Because I've been there myself. I don't think I could make up an entire story about a place I've never been. It was interesting to weave my own experiences into the story and when I was working on editing it, it brought back a lot of memories. My pictures could easily be the pictures Karlijn took. She didn't take any though - she said she'd rather wanted to use her eyes and her memory and there was no talking her out of it. ;-)

Revelations and giveaway troubles



One of the things I don't like about being a writer is the promotion. It just doesn't feel right to shout out to people to buy and read my books. I tried to get some attention by starting a give away for followers and facebookfriends, but that didn't quite work out. I still have just one follower on this blog.
Maybe some of you (E.?) remember my very first give-away. I had two similar hats and wanted to give one away. I got only four comments and ended up giving both hats, another one and a baby quilt away. Oh well. I like giving things away. ;-)
I'm almost done with this book-promotion-thing now. Tomorrow I'll tell something about the background and inspiration, and wednesday I want to tell you about a subject that is related to that. On Friday I'll wrap up the 30 days of Fall and next week I'll resume regular blogging (ha, what ever that means...). I may even have a finished knitting project to show. ;-)

30 Days of Fall - 29


Five!


Sometimes I have to pinch myself to check if I'm dreaming...

In the mail






When we came back from our holiday last Saturday I found two packages waiting for me. I love that! The first package came from a dear reader. She made me one of her cute banners. I've seen them at her blog before and I adore them. She added a lovely little card that says "to the writer of delicious books!". I'm blushing!
The other package contained the big print edition of my third book, Dilemma. It's available in libraries and at the webstore of the publisher.
And I'm waiting for another package today. My fifth book, Goede hoop (Good hope) will be printed and ready to go off to my readers this week!

30 Days of Fall - 28



Gran Canaria


It seems a bit unfair... posting all those fall pictures (three more to go, but I'll spread them out a bit more) while I was somewhere else where it's always summer. Well, most of the time. It hadn't rained on Gran Canaria since March 2011. Until we arrived. We drove to the hotel in the rain on Saturday, we had a rainy tour through Playa les Ingles on Sunday, we experienced that some restaurants are just terraces with sunscreens (very leaky!) and on Wednesday we even found parts of the beach had been washed away (but the next day all damage had been restored already). But between showers we had great weather and the second week was all sunny and dry again. The rain was warm by the way. It usually was warmer than water that came form the shower in the hotel. But I'm not going to complain about that part of our trip. I think you can imagine what our apartment was like when I say it was "all-exclusive".
We did have a great time. We hiked over the beach and through the dunes, we swam in the ocean, enjoyed some great food and some nice shows and we met some wonderful people.
That's about all I can tell about these two weeks. Maybe some stories will emerge later, but for now I think the pictures will do.