#Poem on Friday ~ Take Life in Your Hands

Hello out there, how are you? I hope life is treating you well and if not that you have a mug or glass of your favourite beverage and lots of ice cream and chocolate. Yes, I know that is not the most healthy option to cheer oneself up but sometimes it is the only way… 🙂

It’s Friday and my time to post a poem so let’s not talk the day away just go for it 🙂

take life in your hands

choose what encourages you

see the sun rising

Happy Friday to you all despite everything 🙂

#Poem on Friday: Bow in Gratitude

Happy Friday to you all. Let your day rock no matter the challenges. I believe you can manage anything thrown at you.

Sowing and planting

These hopes grow every day

Bow in gratitude

Just a short note to everybody. I could start chemotherapy on Monday. Thankfully, I am not bothered with many side-effects (yet) but am really really tired so everything is going on a slow burner.

Thank you so much for all your kind messages on social media and here in the comments. I appreciate them a lot and they help me keep up on everything. Yesterday I wrote a little about my experience on Carol Anne’s “Therapy Bits”: “Bee’s Poem of the Day: Breathe” Please pay her blog a visit. Thanks.

Happy Friday despite everything!

Book Review: Bump Time Meridian by Doug J Cooper

Bump Time MeridianBump Time Meridian by Doug J Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was kindly given a free ARC version of “Bump Time Meridian” in exchange for an honest review.

I was so looking forward to reading this book. Last year I stumbled over Doug J Cooper on Goodreads. He invited readers and bloggers to review the first book of his “Bump Time” trilogy, and on a whim, I signed up.

That was one of my best reading decisions ever. I so loved the first book. It ended with a huge cliff hanger, and I was so curious how it would go on. When I got Doug’s email asking for reviewers of the second book “Bump Time Meridian”, I could not resist. And again I was not disappointed.

I think the first book put more emphasis on the superpower AI that acts in the background, Diesels development and the relationship between Diesel and Leilah. This second book shows more about their daughter Rose and how a mission to save Leilah can go horribly wrong. It again ends with a great cliff hanger, and I can’t wait to read the last book in the series. It left me with so many questions that I can’t wait to have answered in the last book.

Admittedly, I needed a little to get back into the story and remember who was who and what exactly was going on. The chapter which gives a summary of book one plus an extra introduction to Rose and @Ciopova the AI helped a lot. It was great to see how the Leilahs and Roses of several timelines worked together to create a solution to Leilah’s future death. Like in the first book, I felt the female characters have as much importance as the male, which kept me reading the first book.

The new “badie” character Sparky Fontaine felt a little flat. But I might have missed some parts of his backstory as I was skipping some to get to the end faster. However, the idea that someone else picks up the advanced technology was subconsciously on my mind while reading the first book. So it was great to see it incorporated in the second.

It was also interesting to see that I wasn’t so much bothered about the power of AI in our lives as I was while reading the last book. Maybe I got more used to the idea of AI taking tasks in our lives over. I have to admit that I found the concept of household AI doing tasks for me very attractive.

The question that bothered me this time was the changing of the past. Most science fiction that worked with time travel warned its characters not to change anything as it would change the future in unforeseen ways. This series, however, plays with the idea of multiple timelines that have no impact on each other. So many more possibilities are there for the author to play with.

Dough J Cooper’s writing style doesn’t work with too many technical expressions. So it was easy to understand this fiction world full of AI and self-driving or -flying vehicles. The worlds in this series are also close enough to today’s reality.

Anybody who loves science fiction in connection with time travel will love this series as it plays with a different concept of time travel. I believe it is also an excellent entry book for someone who wants to find out if he or she likes science fiction

View all my reviews

#ThrowbackThursday: Fuchsia by Mahtem Shifferaw

Fuchsia May 2020

This was first posted in August 2017:

Fuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn’t a poetry book that I can just put away after reading it. Mahtem Shifferaw’s use of language is exotic, full of colour and full of life. But life in all its glory and gory.

She explores questions of identity, of experiences of trauma and how to heal from it. These are rich poems that are sometimes not easy to access but sometimes too easy to access and their pain is written on my heart.

It was hard for me at first to get into her use of language and I had to look up several places she refers too as well as several words she used I have never heard of. However, that made the reading experience for me even better. I could learn something!

These poems made my mind work like a thunderstorm to make sense of them but now after a couple of days of reading them, I think it would be better to just experience them and not ask too many questions. Just to enjoy the images conjured, the flow of the language and the feelings her words create in you.

I most certainly will come back to them time and time again.

If you are interested in poetry and like to read authors from other continents than Europe and America than this book is for you.

View all my reviews

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I read this book as part of my Goodreads reading group #supporttranslatedfiction. If you are interested in reading translated fiction then please come along and have a look. We read a book a month and there is a great variety of genres, countries and languages that we explore. This month’s (August 2017) book is “The Rabbit Back Literature Society” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. I am looking forward to seeing you at #supporttranslatedfiction!

Mir ist nicht bekannt, ob es eine deutsche Uebersetzung fuer dieses Buch gibt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FuchsiaFuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dies ist kein Buch, das ich einfach weglegen kann, nachdem ich es gelesen habe. Die Art und Weise, wie Mahtem Shifferaw Sprache nutzt, ist exotisch, voller Farbe und voller Leben. Aber Leben in all seiner Schoenheit und Grausamkeit.

Sie erforscht Fragen nach Identitaet, Erfahrungen von Traumata und wie man davon heilen kann. Dies sind reiche Gedichte, zu denen der Zugang manchmal nicht einfach aber ein anderes Mal zu einfach ist und deren Schmerz mir aufs Herz geschrieben ist.

Zu Beginn war es fuer mich schwer, ihre Nutzung von Sprache, zu verstehen und ich musste mehrere Male Orte nachlesen, die sie erwaehnt aber auch Worte, die sie nutzt und die ich nicht kannte. Das machte die Leseerfahrung fuer mich aber besser. Ich konnte etwas lernen!

Diese Gedichte haben mein Gehirn zum Arbeiten gebracht wie ein Gewitter, um Sinn in ihnen zu erkennen aber nach ein paar Tagen nachdem ich sie gelesen habe, denke ich, es waere besser, sie nur zu erfahren und nicht zuviel zu fragen. Einfach nur die Bilder, die hervorgerufen werden, den Fluss der Sprache und die Gefuehle, die ihre Worte in Dir hervorrufen, wirken zu lassen.

Ich werde zu diesem Buch sicherlich immer wieder zurueckkehren.

Wenn Du in anderssprachiger Lyrik interessiert bist und an Autoren, die nicht nur von Europa und Amerika stammen, dann ist dieses Buch richtig fuer Dich.

(Dieser Link ist in englischer Sprache) View all my reviews  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Es ist in englisch sprachigen Laendern nicht so hoch angesehen, uebersetzte Literatur zu lesen. Deshalb habe ich ein Lesegruppe gegruendet, die speziell Buecher liest, die von anderen Sprachen uebersetzt wurden. Das ist in deutschsprachigen Laendern nicht so notwendig, da Uebersetzungen besser angesehen sind als hier.

Ich habe diese Buch als Teil meiner Goodreads Lesegruppe  #supporttranslatedfiction  (englisch sprachig) gelesen. Falls Du an uebersetzter Literatur interessiert bist, dann schau mal vorbei. Wir lesen jeden Monat ein uebersetztes Buch und es gibt eine grosse Auswahl an Genres, Laendern und Sprachen, die wir entdecken. Diesen Monat (August 2017) lesen wir  “The Rabbit Back Literature Society” von Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (Ich konnte bisher keine deutsche Uebersetzung finden). Ich wuerde mich freuen, Dich bei  #supporttranslatedfiction zu sehen!

#Poem on Friday ~ Human Being

Hello out there, how are you? I hope you and yours are well and safe. Please take a moment and breathe and remember you rock. Might there be a hidden blessing in these difficult times? My blessings are with you.

Human Being

Human being not doing

Remember your roots

Remember peace

Remember harmony

Remember….

Human being

Happy Friday to you all despite everything!

#ThrowbackThursday: Randy Ingermanson on Organising your Writing Day

This post was first published in August 2017:
Today I share an article with you that I found rather interesting in Randy Ingermanson’s Newsletter, that I receive every month:
  
This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
 
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, “the Snowflake Guy,” publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 16,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visitwww.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.

Organisation: Attacking your Day!

Getting stuff done is a matter of attacking each day like it’s an obstacle course in a mud run. Because that’s pretty much what it is.

You can attack your day any way you like, based on the way your brain is wired and your own personal style of getting stuff done.

Today I’ll toss out for your consideration the way I attack each day. If you see some ideas that might work for you, feel free to use them or adapt them to your own way of doing things.

As I’ve noted in previous columns, I manage my tasks and projects in Evernote. (A “task” is something you can do in one sitting. A “project” is a collection of related tasks that may take days, months, or even years to complete.)

Evernote is great for keeping track of all my pending tasks and projects. Each task or project can be in its own “note” that can be assigned to a “notebook” of pending tasks or projects. When they’re completed, they can be moved to a new notebook of completed items.

However, for keeping track of what I actually did in my life, I keep a work journal in Scrivener. Scrivener is a word-processing tool in which you can work on many text files, folders of text files, and folders of folders, as a single project.

I have a 2017 folder at the top level which contains a folder for each month. Each month’s folder has a text file for each date, and in that text file, I track what I planned for the day and what I actually did.

Scrivener has a very nice template feature. You can create text file templates that are structured exactly the way you want them. I have a template named “Daily Plan”. Every day when I sit down at my computer, the very first thing I do is open my work journal and add a new text file to the current month, using the “Daily Plan” template. Then I fill it in, based on what current tasks and projects I have pending in Evernote.

My thinking is that a Daily Plan needs to give you context on the big picture of your life. So my Daily Plan has some standard things to remind me of exactly what my big picture is. Here are the five items that show up in my Daily Plan:

  1. My Life Theme
  2. My Learning Project
  3. My Monthly Habit to Build
  4. My Plan for This Quarter
  5. To Do List

Let’s talk about each of those in turn.

My Life Theme

You should know what it is you want in life. When you die, what do you want people to say you achieved?

You need to spell this out in words. A simple statement that reminds you every day why you’re here.

My preferred way to do this is with a sentence that goes like this:  “I want to be the best ____________ on the planet.”

Fill in the blank with whatever’s appropriate. If you want to be the best writer of Amish vampire science fiction novels on the planet, then fill that in. That’s a nice tight niche. (A friend of mine seems to already owns that niche, so find your own.)

My Learning Project

I’m a strong believer in continuous improvement. In constantly learning some new topic to the level of mastery or at least a high-intermediate skill level. Every month, I choose a new learning project. Sometimes this carries over to the next month.

I like to have a reminder of my current learning project in my Daily Plan. Just to remind me of What This Month Is All About.

Some months, I abandon the learning project if it seems to be going nowhere. But other months, I keep at it the whole month.

Your learning project can be anything you want. This month, I’m studying a book on nonlinear dynamics. Yes, really. No particular reason, other than it explains lots of things about the way the world is, and because it’s math and I like math.

I suspect you’re not so interested in nonlinear dynamics. No worries. Find something you are interested in and GO GET REALLY GOOD AT IT.

My Monthly Habit to Build

There’s a sense in which you are the sum of your habits. The truly exceptional people I’ve met all seem to be people who work hard at creating habits that make them better people.

They don’t rely on motivation, which is nothing but a damned fickle emotion that will only carry you for about three days, if you’re lucky.

They rely on habits. When your motivation is dead, your good habits will carry you through without effort, because a habit is by definition something you do routinely, without thought or effort.

Every month, I choose a new habit to build. This may be a new exercise habit or a new work habit or a new leisure habit. Whatever. It’s something that I want to do every day that will make me a better person.

In the best case, it takes about a month to build a new habit. So ideally, you can build twelve new habits in a year. In theory, that would be incredibly amazing.

In practice, it can take longer than a month to really get a habit rooted in place. But it’s worth it. If you were to create even six new habits each year, in five years you would be an amazingly different person.

My Plan For This Quarter

I wrote about the value of creating a quarterly plan in this e-zine in October, 2016. The title of the column was “How to Keep Focused”.

I strongly believe this is a powerful way to keep you on track. Every quarter I make a new list of a few projects that I want to achieve in the coming quarter. I’ve learned not to get too aggressive in this plan, because that gets discouraging.

Once you make a quarterly plan, you need to keep that in front of you. I do this by writing it up as a text file in Scrivener. Then I embed it in my daily plan using a Scrivener Link.

Every day when I fill in my daily plan, I see a link to my quarterly plan. I can click on that and a small document pops up to remind me what I’m trying to get done this quarter.

That serves as a constant reminder that I need to keep making progress. Small steps every day, or at least most days, will get you there.

To Do List

The very last item in my Daily Plan is a skeleton To Do List. This is actually not a list of tasks, but a list of projects, and it’s normally filled in with the three big things in my life.

The first of these is writing. My Daily Plan tells me I need to be writing two hours every day. That’s my quota. Once in a while I miss the quota. Most days I make it. Some days I exceed it. Writing every day is a good habit to build. In my journal, I track how many hours I worked and what my current total word count is on my project.

The second project I work on (almost) every day is my day job. Most writers I know have a day job. Mine is demanding and intellectually challenging, and I like it that way. It also puts bread on the table, and I like that too.

The third project is labeled “Total World Domination” which has the coolest label because it has all the things I have a hard time getting done. Administrative stuff and web stuff and marketing stuff and yard stuff.

It’s not that I can’t do these or I dislike doing them, once I’ve got started on them. What I don’t like is starting them. I have a high “activation energy” as one of my biochemistry friends puts it.

I usually write in several subtasks under Total World Domination to let me know the things I’m going to work on today. Usually this is not a long list, but I want to know the high points.

The Automatic Journal

It can be useful to know what you did on any particular day in the past. The way to know what you did is to keep a journal. My Daily Plan is not just a planning tool—it also gives me a pretty good idea of what I did on every single day since I started keeping it, which was in 2013.

There’s no extra work involved here to keep a journal. I just keep the Daily Plan, labeled by its date, and I automatically have a journal.

Homework

  • Do you have a daily habit of making a Daily Plan?
  • If not, do you want to make a daily habit of making a Daily Plan?
  • What tool would you use to make your Daily Plan? (I use Scrivener, which is cheap and very powerful, but you can use anything you want. A paper notebook would work just fine.)
  • What time of the day would you create your Daily Plan? (Yes, in the morning, obviously, but what exact time in the morning, and what will prompt you to create it?)

That’s it. Don’t just seize the day. Attack the day.

Poem on Friday: Cassandra is Calling ~ Bi-lingual

April 2020

She definitely screams and shouts now 😔

Sometime in 2012

…. maybe even louder now!

Cassandra is calling

Cassandra is calling
but Europa again
falls for the bull.There is no
new kingdom
awaiting her though!

Even lugubrious storm clouds
are fleeing
her countries!

There is no
hope for her
ancient cities!

But the
wise and brave
try anyhow!

There is no
care or reason
with the powerful!

Will they
listen to
her people?

Will they
listen and learn
or lose forever?

Cassandra is calling
calling and calling

but there is no
consumer
for her calls!

April 2020

Sie schreit jetzt definitiv so laut sie kann

Irgendwann in 2012

….. vielleicht jetzt sogar noch lauter!

Cassandra Ruft

Cassandra ruft
aber Europa ist wieder
dem Bullen verfallen!

Doch da wartet
kein neues Koenigreich
auf sie!

Sogar drohende
Sturmwolken entfliehen
ihren Laendern!

Da gibt es
keine Hoffnung mehr
fuer Ihre alten Staedte!

Aber die
Weisen und Mutigen
versuchen es trotzdem!

Da ist keine
Sorgfalt oder Verstand
mit den Maechtigen!

Werden sie
ihren Menschen
zuhoeren?

Werden sie
zuhoeren und lernen
oder fuer immer verlieren?

Cassandra ruft
und ruft und ruft!

Aber da gibt es
keinen Konsumenten
fuer ihre Rufe!

We Can Do It… but What Day Is It Anyway? (23.4.2020)

Hello dear readers, how are you doing? I hope you and yours are well physically and mentally. We are living in extraordinary times and will see incredible changes in the future. Rather scary stuff that. I also hope you can face these with optimism. No matter what is the case with you, my thoughts and prayers go for you and yours.

Let’s start with something positive, shall we? British artists are coming together to paint and draw NHS workers portraits to say thank you. What a wonderful way to immortalise these heroes:

video credit: sky news via youtube

It is Wednesday morning at 3am when I am writing this. I woke up at twelve to go to the toilet and take another painkiller. Then I went back to bed but couldn’t get back to sleep. Never mind. I felt the best way to get about this was to use the time for something I enjoy. So I got up; made a cup of tea, and played a little with the tv on. That is where I saw the report about the artists drawing portraits.

It’s strange how the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world and my sleeping patterns seem to have reversed. Usually, it is him staying up half of the night, and I am asleep. But he is working full time, still recovering from a severe operation and basically does all the housework now, and it takes its toll. I am in awe how he manages it all and deeply grateful for his love and support.

I don’t worry too much about not sleeping. I am basically bound to the house for the next four and a half months so I can write and read whenever it fits. Plus my sleeping pattern seems to be one night up one night sleeping. I can live with that.

Of course, I have a reason for being worried and not sleeping. I start chemotherapy on Monday, and in COVID-19 times nothing is straight forward. I need to have blood tests done before every session. Usually, I would just get an appointment with the surgery and go. I wasn’t sure though if they still do these. Luckily our surgery has a brilliant homepage. You can basically do everything online. So I asked and they told me they do, but they could also ask the community nurse to come around because I am now classed as vulnerable. At first, I wasn’t sure which I’d prefer but decided to ask for the services of the community nurses.

Image of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals

The hospital I am attending has lots of information as leaflets and online about their cancer treatments. Usually, they do an information evening in the radiology department and for chemotherapy but that’s not on right now. Also, chemotherapy is moved to a private hospital close by to keep vulnerable patients safe. The appointment letter I got told me though to go to my regular hospital. Confusing. So I called my oncology specialist nurse to find out. They are only in their office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I didn’t expect a call back when I called on Tuesday. But a co-worker of theirs picked up the call and reassured me I had to go to the private hospital and they would call me closer to the appointment. I feel I can start working as a PA after all this with this much organising and finding information.

And then there is this little thing with shielding. I should hide in one room in the house once I start chemotherapy, not seeing the husband and only use bathroom and kitchen on my own. Our home is small. We have no en suits. I can’t fully shield and also start to realise how much close contact with my husband helps me to get through this. We cannot afford to both stay home as our employer wouldn’t pay him. ( Government advice is that family members can still work but need to stay away from the person who is shielding and as a groundskeeper, he can’t work from home.). We sill figure out how to deal with this. So what day is it anyway?????

image of blue purple mountain cornflower and dark green leaves

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks Linda, your rock!

I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is a list of her #WDIIA posts.

Now to something different. A blast from the past

I posted this first in 2017 and it is still so cool:

YouTube Tuesday was a blog meme back in 2012 that I took part in. It has stopped or the blog has moved or whatever, the thing is I can’t find it anymore but I love the video’s I had posted then and so repost them and just take over the YouTube Tuesday meme. If you like it, feel free to share your own choice of video and link to this post so that I can visit yours. Have fun!

thanks for the video to via http://www.youtube.com

Find out more here:
http://www.blublu.org/

A short film by Blu: an ambiguous animation painted on public walls.
Made in Buenos Aires and in Baden (fantoche)

http://www.blublu.org/

music by Andrea Martignoni
assistant: Sibe

And that is it for today.

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com

We Can Do It …but What Day Is It Anyway? A little bit of everything version (21.4.2020)

Hello out there, how are you doing? Are you a little like me not wanting to know the answer? It feels so much easier not to ponder the feelings of grief, fear and anger that seem to go around a lot. But I think it is essential not to ignore them. That is why I ask you and myself anyway.

video credit: Swedish House Mafia via YouTube ~ This is a song that always gives me hope

So how are you? I am more anxious now that I have a date for the beginning of chemotherapy next Monday. The oncologist nurse suggested not to look too closely into side effects before treatment started, but I feel I need to prepare myself somehow.

From what I gather, feeling and being sick is one of the most experienced side effects. The doctor will prescribe tablets against it, but I will also work with mindful breathing and herbal teas. Supposedly ginger helps too. I will find out.

A friend in Germany has cancer too and goes through chemo at the moment. Hers are tablets though that can be taken at home, so she does not need to shield. I asked her if she has any advice for me. She was frank with me, which I appreciate, but she told me about some side effects I hadn’t heard yet: Losing teeth and incontinence. REALLY?! Well, really… Sigh!

She suggested to be gentle with my loved ones and myself; not to allow the illness to take over my life and to believe in full healing. That just increased my guess that my mental state is my most important weapon for the next steps of my journey. That is why I prepare next weeks posts and practice mindful breathing even more than usual. The more relaxed I am, the better I get through it, I assume.

image of a mug that looks like a fox on a stone slate table in front of a garden and houses
The small joys in lock down times

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks Linda, your rock!

I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is a list of her #WDIIA posts.

Sherky the black greyhound looking rather indignant
Sherky misses her second walks and meeting other dogs

But now to something different:
It’s Good News Tuesday so I can’t keep some good news from you:
What makes you happy? We probably all have different answers to this question, and it has been a topic for philosophical ponderings for centuries. However, in recent years science has found some baselines hat help, and the University of Berkeley offers its ” The Science of Happiness” course for free for the time being. What better way of using forced isolation to figure our happiness out?

Find the story here on the Good News Network.

video credit: Universiy of Berkeley and Edx via YouTube

I haven’t written a poem in two months. Sunday night when I couldn’t sleep I realised it. And I wanted to write one again. So I started this post and pondered: What could I verse about… but there is only emptiness in my poetic mind. I appologize and send you over to the Academy of American Poets which has a wonderful newsletter called “A Poem a Day”.

It’s what its called: They send you a poem a day and often challenge your ideas of what a poem should look like. You can discover creative upcoming poets as well as classics. It is a beautiful present in these dark times when many of us might get deeply speechless.

Video credit: Academy of American Poets via YouTube

Please head over to poets.org and find out more about this poem and sign up for their newsletter.

And that is it for today.

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com

What makes me read a book?/ Was bringt mich dazu, ein Buch zu lesen

Hello out there, how are you feeling? My thoughts and prayers are out there with you no matter what you are facing today.

My thoughts and prayers are also going out to all of you who have lost someone may it be to COVID-19 or any other reason. This candle is for you!

gif source: Giphy – two big yellow lit candles flickering

My thoughts and prayers also go out to all keyworkers who often have to risk their life to keep us going. These are not only doctors, nurses and carers but also bus drivers, cleaners, shop workers, police men and women, bin men and women and many more. Here is my virtual clap for you.

gif source: Giphy – At first the animation of a clapping sheep appears which changes into a high rise full of windows with clapping sheep

Eight years ago I had a time when I read a lot. So I pondered in a post why a book captures me. Since the beginning of this year I am back into my old “reading a lot” phase so I thought it would be interesting to look back:

There is a German translation too after the image.

This entry was first posted in January 2012:

(Attention some links in this entry are in German)

I am not quite sure why I wonder about this question more and more.

Maybe it is because I do read more than ever and I am thinking more and more about how to write a good story or novel. Maybe it is because of the fuzz happening about that German blogger being threatened to be sued by an author who’s books she did not like and I thought “well I do not like to read his books”.

Today I read a blog post by Susan Kiernan-Lewis an author and blogger who followed the question if extensive social media activity really boosts your book. Well, I have not written or promoted a book so I can only answer this question from a readers point of view:

I always had problems with books that had a lot of media attention no matter if social or traditional. It might be a prejudice of mine but I always feel that if a book needs so much attention it can not be a good one. Which made me nearly miss J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter-Series“. Even though I have to say, I did not think her first was that great. If I would have read it first, I would not have gone on. But she grew in her writing with every book and she definitely is a good story teller.

I started with number 4 “The Goblet of Fire” as it was the only English written book in the library I attended in those days. As a consequence I got curious about how the whole thing started and definitely how Harry Potter grew into the whole wizard thing (You might have noticed by my book reviews and through Goodreads that I am a bit of a fantasy-fan 😉 ) To make a long story short I distrust enormous media attention and only read these books if someone recommends them to me or by accident like Harry Potter.

Recommendations are probably the biggest reason why I read a book. If someone I like and trust finds something good, it is worth having a look. I can still stop reading if I do not like it. That is why I love Goodreads a great deal. Even though I do not know a lot of the people I interact with in real life, I know most of them read the same kind of books I like and therefore will have some good ideas.

I also started reading some books lately because I got to know the authors via Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads like Derek Haines or Oliver Wellmann for example. So that is definitely a point for the social networks. Actually, if I think about it social networks, in general, would account for about 50% of the books I am reading. But I would rather count it as a mixture of personal recommendation and social networks and not especially social media.

Then there are all those very tempting bookshelves in the libraries I attend which are created to make me read a book. I have a look if I know the author but I guess the cover also has its “hands” in my choice. If I like the cover I am more likely to read it even though you should not judge the book…… but you know that :-). And last but not least my reading group which makes me read books I would never have thought of and I got interested in at least one new author.

So I read my books mainly because of personal recommendation, social networks, libraries, reading groups and a bit by accident. I do not know if that helps any writer to sell his or her books but it definitely answered my own question about “why I read a book” :-).

This is the German part of the old enry:

Dieser Beitrag wurde zum erstenmal im January 2012 veroeffentlicht:

(Achtung einige der Links in diesem Beitrag sind in englischer Sprache)

Ich weiss nicht genau, warum ich angefangen habe, mich zu fragen, warum ich eigentlich die Buecher lese, die ich lese.

Vielleicht liegt das einfach daran, dass ich mehr denn je lese und auch mehr denn je darueber nachdenke, wie man wohl eine gute Geschichte schreibt. Vielleicht hat es etwas damit zu tun, dass der Autor, der die Bloggerin, die sein Buch nicht mag, verklagen wollte und ich mir dachte “Von dem Mann will ich kein Buch lesen”.

Heute habe ich einen Blog Eintrag von  Susan Kiernan-Lewis einer Autorin und Bloggerin gelesen, die sich gefragt hat, ob intensives Werben fuer Buecher auf sozialen Medien wirklich ein Buch besser verkaufen. Tja, ich habe noch kein Buch geschrieben oder veroeffentlicht und kann diese Frage deshalb nur aus der Sicht einer Leserin beantworten.

Ich hatte schon immer Probleme mit Buechern, die grosses Medieninteresse (egal ob sozial oder traditionel) geniesen. Das mag eines meiner Vorurteile sein, aber ich denke immer, dass ein Buch, das so viel Aufsehen braucht, kein gutes sein kann. Deshalb habe ich fast   J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter-Serie” verpasst. Obwohl ich denke, dass ihr erster Band nicht der allerbeste ist. Haette ich ihn zuerst gelesen, haette ich mir den Rest erspart. Aber sie ist mit jedem Band  in ihrem Schreiben gewachsen und definitiv eine gute Geschichten Erzaehlerin.

Ich habe mit Nummer 4 “Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch” begonnen einfach nur, weil es das einzige interessante englisch sprachige Buch in der Buecherei war, die ich damals besuchte. Ich wurde dadurch neugierig, wie die ganze Geschichte begonnen hat und wie Harry Potter in das ganze Zaubererding hinein gewachsen war (Ihr habt vielleicht schon durch meine Buchbesprechungen und durch Goodreads entdeckt, dass Fantasy ein bischen mag 😉 ) Lange Rede kurzer Sinn: Ich misstraue grossem Medienrummel und lese solche Buecher nur, wenn sie mir von jemandem empfohlen wurden oder durch Zufall wie bei Harry Potter.

Empfehlungen sind wahrscheinlich der groesste Grund, warum ich ein Buch lese. Wenn jemand, den ich kenne und dem ich traue, ein Buch gut findet, dann ist es es wert, da mal hineinzuschauen. Ich kann ja aufhoeren, wenn es mir nicht gefaellt. Das ist einer der Gruende, warum ich Goodreads so mag. Obwohl ich die Menschen, mit denen ich dort kommuniziere zu meist nicht persoenlich kenne, lesen sie oft die gleichen Buecher wie ich und so weiss ich, dass sie ein paar gute Ideen haben werden.

Ich habe auch angefangen einige Buecher zu lesen, weil ich die Autoren von  Twitter, Facebook und Goodreads kenne wie Derek Haines zum Beispiel.  Das ist definitiv ein Punkt fuer die sozialen Netzwerke. Wenn ich genauer darueber nachdenke, so sind die sozialen Netzwerke generell wahrscheinlich fuer ungefaehr 50% der Buecher, die ich lese, verantwortlich. Aber ich wuerde das eher eine Mischung aus persoenlicher Empfehlung und sozialer Netzwerke sehen und nicht speziell soziale Netzwerke.

Und dann sind da natuerlich all die verlockenden Buecherregale in den Buechereien, die ich besuche, die nur dazu da sind, um mich zum Lesen eines Buches zu bringen. Ich schaue, ob ich den Autoren kenne aber ich denke, dass das Buchcover auch dazu beitraegt, ob ich es lese oder nicht. Wenn ich das Cover mag ist es eher der Fall, dass ich das Buch lese owohl man natuerlich das Buch nicht nur von Aussen beurteilen….. aber das wisst Ihr ja :-). Und zu guter Letzt natuerlich meine Buchgruppe, die mich zu Buechern gebracht hat, die zu lesen mir nie im Traum eingefallen waeren. Und so bin ich zumindest auf einen neuen Autoren aufmerksam geworden.

Ich lese also meine Bucher durch persoenliche Empfehlung, sozialer Netzwerke, Buchereien, Buchgruppen und ein bischen durch Zufall. Keine Ahnung, ob das einem Autoren hilft, seine Buecher zu verkaufen aber es hat auf alle Faelle meine Frage, warum ich ein Buch lese beantwortet. :-).

Interesting to see what went through my mind eight years ago. But what makes you read a book?

And just to end this post with something different than usual here is a video how Bill Gates reads:

video credit: Quarz via YouTube

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

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