My NaNoWriMo 2017 participation

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I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, it’s a contest in which writers from all over the world challenge themselves to write a 50,000 draft of a novel in the month of November. I wanted to write something new and the timing of that coincided with NaNo, so here we are. If I’m not as active on my blog this month, that will be why.

Last year I made a video about the pros and cons of this contest. I think my conclusion was that it was a great initiative, but for me the cons outweighed the pros. It’s too focused on word count, which does not work well for me personally. I had to scrap over 26,000 words of vomit that resulted in my previous attempt and was left with only the idea of a novel. And yet I’m doing it again this year.

I’m more laid-back with my participation this time though. I’m not as obsessed with reaching the word goal. Sure, 50,000 words would be nice to have at the end of the month, but I’m more concerned about the time I’m investing in my writing. NaNoWriMo has a nifty new feature where you can input personal goals, which can also be hours instead of words.

I’ve challenged myself to work on my novel for 82 hours this month. That’s 3 hours a day, with some wiggle room. Those hours include both planning/outlining facets of my novel and the writing of the novel itself. So far I’ve been doing very well with my hour-goals. Only last weekend I didn’t put in as many hours as I liked, but otherwise I’ve reached or surpassed the 3 hours a day. I’m behind on the general word goal, but I don’t care as much as I usually do.

I’m writing a new novel. Something brimming with a lot more promise than previous things I’ve written. I’m working on it every day. It’s taking concrete shape. This is how NaNoWriMo can be immensely valuable. Bend the rules, personalise it to fit your own goals and watch the magic unfold.

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The best thing about travelling

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There are a lot of nice things about travelling. You get to temporarily escape your daily, hopefully not so dreary, life, explore new, exciting places, meet new, inspiring people; just to name a couple. I enjoy all of these. But what I consider to be the best?

The necessity of living out of a suitcase, or backpack.

It sounds trivial compared to what I mentioned first. It probably sounds like one of the more irksome parts of travelling too. Hell, I used to hate being confined to a suitcase when I went on vacation as a kid. I always thought I needed ALL MY THINGS all the time, so I overpacked my battered suitcase within an inch of its life. I would have to jump on it with my full weight and beat it closed, while desperately battling the THINGS spilling out of all three open sides. Then of course I could barely lift the thing and it would be too heavy for the airplane and I had to take crap out and there would be arguments with my parents. Oh, these vacations never started well.

I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve become more critical about my values. I’ve gotten less materialistic, I hope. Now, whenever I pack for a trip I don’t start by piling all the convenient things in a suitcase. I start by considering how little I want to carry around. Over the years I’ve come to loathe carrying around too much crap. Have you ever gotten horribly lost on your way to a ho(s)tel with painfully heavy luggage in your hands? Nightmare.

When I pack for a trip, I think more critically about what I truly need. About what I truly value in my life. Do I really need a different outfit every other day? Both my laptop and my tablet? A whole grocery bag full of snacks in case I have trouble finding vegan food?

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My space is limited, my personal carrying capacity is limited. What I take with me has to be worth the space and the hassle. I’ve found that there are rather few things that are worth that.

The suitcase I have now is almost half the size of the suitcases I used to take with me on vacation. I once bought it for a short trip to London of about a week, because my regular suitcase was too big. I was hilarious, really. For a week-long trip I could now live out of my school backpack. The suitcase I once considered small is now my go-to suitcase for all longer airplane trips, and WGT. I usually have room left in it*.

It is unbelievably freeing to travel with as little as possible. When you’re not as weighed down with THINGS, an infinite amount of roads seem to be open to you. Your personal limitations seem to dissolve. You seem to have more space to breathe.

I wouldn’t trade that freedom for anything in the world. Not for my beloved gothic lolita wardrobe, not for dozens of my favourite books, not for any convenient gadgets. When I have to live out of a suitcase, or backpack, I realise again and again how little all those excess material things mean to me.

Sure, it’s nice that those things are waiting for me when I get back home, but it’s nicer to know that I could do without.

* The exception, of course, is for WGT. Goth vanity kills me.

Pictures by Luc Mercelis and Manto Prestipino

My #1 tool to instantly get myself into a good mood

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Lately I’ve been having a lot of bad days. Days when I feel completely unmotivated to do any of the things I have to do. From the moment my alarm goes off at the absurd hour of 4:30, I’ll be cranky. I won’t want to shower, dress in my boring jeans and shirt uniform, cycle the half hour to my shit job with the wind against me, and especially not spend the great majority of the day doing intense physical labour that does nothing to help me achieve my personal work goals.

I’ll get so frustrated before I even get out of bed. I’ll hate having obligations and so little time or energy to spend on the things I actually enjoy. I’ll hate being a slave to money and hate the whole capitalist system and hate my life in general.

When this happens, I know that I have a choice. I can choose to stay miserable and hate everything, or I can actively cheer myself up and transform my day into a nice one.

I tend to choose the latter. How I do this when it seems like there is no good in sight?

Pop punk.

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Yes, pop punk.

Specifically, the good old pop punk spawned in the 90s and early 2000s: Good Charlotte, Blink-182, Green Day, Avril Lavigne and so forth.

It sounds ridiculously easy, but for me it makes a world of difference. It’s impossible to stay in a sour mood when I hear something as fun and familiar like ‘The Anthem’ or ‘All the Small Things’. And I don’t ever wanna, I don’t ever wanna be you…

So in the morning I’ll put on my pop punk playlist at too loud a volume and inevitably sing along louder. (Both at home and while I cycle the long way. Singing while cycling makes the road infinitely more fun) Before long I’ll be happy to be alive again. Able to laugh at my misery. Completely capable of handling whatever the day will throw at me. With pop punk at my side, I’ll show up at my shit job grinning like an idiot.

Of course, I won’t want to listen to such cheerful music at first. When I’m in a sour mood I only want angry music to justify my anger. It’s always an effort to put on something that will make me happy instead. And always worth that effort a thousand times over.

Some of my favourites:

Long live pop punk!

Complacency

You know the feeling.

You think you have everything you want. You have a stable job, a stable relationship, a stable plan for your future. You go out and have fun often enough, at the same old places with the same old people. You’re comfortable and seemingly happy in your predictable life. It doesn’t even occur to you to do anything else than you’re doing right now.

Sure, you did have dreams about moving abroad and joining a band, but they have long faded into the dark corners of your mind. You still like the city where you’re currently living. You’re not that good at singing anyway. Why make any drastic changes?

You’re happy.

At least, that’s what you tell yourself.

You fail to notice how much you are limiting yourself and your experiences. You fail to notice how small your world has become. This is what’s necessary right now, this is what’s necessary right now. This is what it means to be a grown-up.

Jokes about committing suicide creep back in. Really, they’re just jokes. These are just tears of laughter.

This is starting to seem bleak and hopeless. But there is good news! You are not alone in this world. There are many people out there who refuse to settle for complacency. Unconventional, adventurous, loving, inspiring, ecstatic, encouraging, hilarious, creative, optimistic, free-spirited people. People committed to living life to its fullest. Like stars whizzing through space. And if their stardust touches you, you’ll never be the same.

My blog in 2017

To the one or two people who might still look at this blog, my apologies for not posting for so long. Between my bachelor’s thesis and another major writing project last year, I’m afraid I have completely forgotten about this blog. I mean to get more into blogging again this year.

I have just finished my study. I’m currently looking for a job. Ideally, I would like to do something with writing. “Specialist journalism” as our career officer called it. To write for something like a book or music or fashion magazine/blog. For that I would need to polish up my non-fiction writing skills. So now is the perfect time to get back into blogging!

I’m still figuring out what exactly I will post on this blog. Lifestyle and fashion related things I love writing about. I’m also trying to write more reviews about books I read, shows I go to, and other media I consume. Maybe some personal musings. We’ll see, we’ll see.

Layout and sidebar information I will overhaul at some point. The banner I have now was only supposed to be temporarily, but it’s been up for as long as I can remember. So much work ahead of me. Better get started.

2015 recap

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before we head into the new year, i thought i’d do a little recap of 2015 here. this has been a pretty big year for me. i think i have put down enough of a foundation down to make 2016 my biggest yet. so much that can, & is bound to, happen… but for now, 2015.

some goals i had for 2015 were to improve my singing, learn more about (making) music, learn to write lyrics, make more art in general, make more videos, read more & save money. i think, overall, i have done well. with a lot of hard work, my singing has greatly improved. i still wouldn’t call it ‘good’, but i have reached a point that it is not unpleasant to hear. you should know that i have no natural talent for melodic singing whatsoever. later in the year i have also been working on more aggressive vocals. i think that i am much better at that.

this year i also learned to play the guitar! something i never thought i could do. i had lessons in the first half of the year & then just kept practicing on my own, & with my brother. i also tried to learn some musical theory, but that ended up being a disaster, haha.

as for other arts, i did a bit of sewing, drawing, & painting. i ended up mostly writing. in november i spontaneously participated in nanowrimo again & succeeded in writing a novel of 50,000 words. i wrote some short stories too. & even some poems, which could also be lyrics.

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i didn’t make as many videos or read as many books as i planned, because i honestly wasn’t as interested in it as i expected to be. & my last goal of saving money…. hahahahaha. what a spectacular fail. it was an educative fail though.

but enough of the boring goal stuff. i also did a lot of fun things this past year. some of my biggest highlights were my trip to england to see frank iero & later the wgt festival in germany with one of my favourite people in the world. i went to a lot of parties & other events with people i adore. of course i also went to a lot of concerts. i saw quite a few amazing bands more than once. even sort of befriended some of them. big highlight there is every time i die, who i will see again, at least three times, next year.

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i traveled around a lot more than i had expected this year, which was fantastic. budapest, brighton, oxford, around germany & just new places in the netherlands. this year i have really come to realize how happy traveling can make me. compared to that, all the material shit that i usually spend my money on means nothing.

speaking of material shit, this year i have been put off materialism and capitalism like i never have before. while i have also become obsessed with lolita fashion. oh, the contradiction. but especially later in the year, i really have become less materialistic. while i did spend a hell of a lot of money this year, i don’t think i bought that much (compared to previous years). a major reason for this is music. i am listening to stray from the path’s black friday as i’m typing this. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard TOO MANY PEOPLE BUY TOO MANY THINGS THEY DON’T EVEN NEED in my head as i was contemplating some essentially useless purchase. stray from the path has been one of my biggest musical obsessions this year. along with bands like cancer bats, counterparts, letlive. & rolo tomassi. it’s like i’ve fallen in love with hardcore & hardcore-related music in general all over again. more than ever it felt like that is where i belong.

yes, this has been a good year. of course, there were also some less pleasant things, but they are so small compared to the rest. i am so grateful for the many nice experiences i’ve had & the things that i’ve learned. thank you to everyone who was a part of it!

some honourable mentions: ♥ growing my hair out & dying it green ♥ turning 25 ♥ that crazy weekend around my birthday ♥ confirming my eye surgery ♥ comic books ♥ gala darling providing endless inspiration ♥ getting back into games ♥ successfully finishing the second year of my study ♥ being secretary of my study association, with a wonderful team around me ♥ anime ♥ meeting so many fantastic new people ♥ including online friends & acquaintances ♥ wearing my same favourite clothes over & over again ♥ knitting ♥ the shows penny dreadful, vikings, & gilmore girls ♥ re-reading all the harry potter books ♥ scents ♥ the elf fantasy fair ♥ pop punk ♥ making a 2015 playlist on spotify ♥ minimalism ♥ having a decent hardcore festival in my old local town ♥ shamelessly indulging in my girliest side ♥ re-discovering old favourite things ♥ enjoying a subscription to rock sound ♥ visiting libraries for fun again ♥ wandering around new cities without any plan ♥ honesty ♥

rambles on blogging

i wanted to make a favourites video today, but then i failed with make-up & i had to scrub it all off, but i couldn’t get it all off & now i do not look fit for a camera at all. so i decided to revisit this blog. since i pay for a domain & all. i had such grand plans for this blog, but i’ve gotten so out of it. i never read blogs anymore. i have no idea what’s happening in the world of blogs. i almost never write anything myself anymore. there are other things i’d rather do now, i guess. nowadays whenever i want anyone’s advice or opinion on a subject, i go to youtube. now i have a list of youtubers i follow instead of old-fashioned bloggers. i also tend to prefer making videos to writing. although making videos has the big drawback of people having to see you. which means you have to make yourself look presentable. whereas i could write in my nightgown without so much as eyebrows on my face & no one would know or care. i have no idea where this post is going. but i thought i would write one anyway. i have to do something. & i think it would be a good idea to make more of an effort to keep this blog going. i need to get back into writing & creating things other than clothes. i could make this into a nice alternative crafting blog. or something. it could also be a nice place to collect all my personal inspiration. & be an incentive to keep track of my outfits. i think the picture from the elf fantasy fair is the only outfit picture i have of this year. but, enough with the rambling. next post will contain more content.

style musings

okay, making another attempt at this blog. wordpress just billed me for the domain again, so i might as well. i think it’s easier if i don’t stick to a specific theme or any sort of outline, just share whatever i feel like.

now i thought i’d write something about lolita. lately i’ve been having a renewed interest in it. an obsessive sort of renewed interest that makes me think: I WANT TO BE A LOLITA.

it started when i came across lovely lor‘s channel on youtube. the video where she transforms mo mo o’brien into a lolita was the first one i watched. then i watched many other of her videos, finding myself fascinated by her & her (life)style. i checked out related channels, then i found myself browsing through related things on tumblr & shops of lolita brands. oh, & ebay. goddamn ebay. yesterday i bought a really cute baby the stars shine bright jsk on an impulse. hopefully it arrives before the elf fantasy fair, then i can wear it there.

this obsession probably came out of boredom with my current ‘style’. whatever that is. i got tired of all my black, ‘gothic’, impractical clothes & have mostly been wearing three pants on rotation& big sweaters, maybe with an dress shirt underneath, & my new rocks. i’ve also bought a band hoodie again, which i’ve grown very fond of. all very simple & tomboyish. wannabe rockstarish. wanting to go into a new direction, but unsure of what. kind of reflects my life, haha. i think an easy summary would be that i’m sick of the tough & mysterious thing, i want to be CUTE. & have FUN.

i first discovered lolita when i was 16 or so. since then i’ve had periods where i took a lot of inspiration from it. but i’ve never gone full-on lolita. maybe now is the time. at least, for occasions. lolita is way expensive. & if i would build a new, entirely cute wardrobe… besides, i’d miss some of my very non-cute things. i’m looking forward to my jsk arriving in any case. yesterday i discovered that there is an actual lolita shop very close to where i live! i want to go there tomorrow. see if i can buy a petticoat & blouse to match. & just dream about possible coords. oh god, what am i getting myself into.

outfit of the day: 08/05/14

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one of my favourite dresses & sweaters. a lot of favourites in this outfit, actually.

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hat: some market in london
sweater: urban outfitters
dress: urban outfitters
tights: h&m, claire’s
boots: new rock (vegan collection)
spike necklace: vintage
rockstar necklace: bella lili
rings: gifts, market in lissabon
jesus handpiece: ivory jar
watch: national geographic

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i’ve had these necklaces for years & still wear them on most days. i barely have anything i can’t wear them with.

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my mother bought me this watch through national geographic. it’s way too big for my tiny wrist, but i don’t care. i love it. it’s a replica of the watches german pilots wore in the second world war. you have to wind it up & everything.

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i adore this handpiece. i bought it a couple of weeks ago & i’ve been wearing it practically every day since it arrived.

thanks for reading/looking!

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transforming this old blog

so, i’ve tried blogging about vegan food. not something i found very interesting in the long run. something i do find interesting in the long run is fashion. that is what this blog will be about from now on. think inspiration posts, daily outfits, reviews on relevant independent companies & such. in celebration of both art & consumerism. we’ll see how this goes.

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