#GoGL

TW; politicsWhile sunlight was abundant, many of the citizens of my nation left their homes last week on the 15th to cast their vote for the Second Chamber. The Second Chamber can be compared to congress, roughly. There are a select amount of seats in the Chamber. Every party gains a certain percentage of the seats, depending on how much votes they earn in the national elections.

I spent the day in front of the news. I observed a commercial-free live broadcast of the current votes and other information. Many of the party leaders took time to speak to their party. These speeches were broadcast as well.

Now that all the votes have finally been tallied, we can see that the biggest party is definitely not the extremist party. Many journalists and other forms of media dub this the ‘Trump effect’. The people of the Netherlands saw that an extreme candidate will make such a mess of things and decided that they do not want that. Which is good!

I voted for GroenLinks (GreenLeft); the party that is mostly concerned about the environment but is also involved in making education available to everyone, including those who can not afford it too easily at this moment. As of yesterday, March 21st 2017, I am a member of GroenLinks. I will be contributing €10 a month from now on to their cause. I will also willingly campaign for them in another four years when we have new elections or sooner if the current coalition fails.

Coalitions need to be formed here. The biggest party has to add other parties to their coalition to gain a majority of the seats in the Chamber. If the parties an all agree to work together, they form a coalition and will be allowed to rule for the next four years. GL has 14 seats now. This isn’t even half of what the biggest party has but it is a record high in their entire history so there is hope!

Regardless of whether they will be asked to join or not, I have decided that I will start writing letters to the Chamber to ask them to consider our environment. I’m sure they are aware of the situation since my country has joined the Paris agreement but my country is doing worse than every other EU country. That’s quite shameful and I think our government should really be urged to step up their game on this. Unlike Trump, our elected government has shown that they are willing to listen to the people they represent. We have fired them before and are not afraid to do it again. They know this, luckily.

While March is drawing a close, spring is knocking on our door. Let’s hope that the increased amount of sunlight while shine through to our government too.

May destiny be kind to you!

#GoGL

Ettalin; “May Destiny Be Kind To You”

My bucket list mentions several writing projects. One of them is what I have thus far dubbed the Primary Trilogy; a collection of books based on blue, red and yellow, respectively. The reason for these colors is three dragons who play a main role. Their scales have those colors, I’m sure you could guess that.

Though I am willing to tell the plot of the Primary Trilogy as soon as I’m done plotting, I can not do that yet. It is still in progress. It is a slow but that nonetheless. Meanwhile, I have been working on something related to it (in what little time I have). I have been working on something called Ettalin.

I’m sure your first thought is, “What the heck is Ettalin?” Well, dear reader, I will explain that!

Ettalin is the language used in the Primary Trilogy by the dragon race. They were the creators of the language and gifted it to other races of the land. Since dragons are the closest link to magic, it is also the tongue of magicians.

Creating a whole new language is hard work. You need to come up with rules for grammar (or use native ones but I’m choosing not to). I have a lengthy document with words and phrases of importance. There are also small paragraphs to explain how sentences need to be constructed. There are also certain ways to greet other individuals that I’ve elaborated. The oldest children are called differently than the younger ones. It’s pretty complex.

Of course, there will be a lot of things missing from the language. I don’t need a complete language since I will only be using the language in small portions. When writing spells or small portions of conversations, I will use it. I can also use it when the characters are learning about the world and magic. I can title certain factions or locations accordingly but that is about the extent of language I need.

It’s a fun endeavor. I am even changing numbers. Instead of going by 10’s, I am going by 8’s. I drew eight shapes to match the numbers, too. There is a ton of information about seasons too. There are colors and gemstones, animals and weather.

There is a ton of information and it is almost impossible to keep everything organized. I’ve been considering using Scrivener for it. It would definitely help keep things organized. If anyone would like to donate a subscription, that would be wonderful. Joking, of course.

While typing this post, I wanted to come up with a nice way to end it. I spent a while skimming through my document to find out how I would translate the sentence in my mind while still using the right grammar rules. The sentence is as follows:

“Lez kwanye yull penga’nt amirl ai fayamay’nt am Vinn.”

Now, I know that looks like a bunch of jumbled letters to everyone. So in an attempt to teach a bit of Ettalin to my readers, I will explain how I came up with it.

The sentence states that I am wishing a pleasant destiny to you forever. The sentence literally translates to the following:

“I wishing if destiny’s kindness in forever with you.”

The sentence suggests something that is not necessarily true. Reality can be different. When you say, “That ball is blue.” you are describing a ball. There is certainty. You can look at the ball and know if it is blue. It is not the case with this sentence.

When suggesting something, a wish in this case, you use ‘kwanye yull’ after stating who wishes it. If you yourself wish it, you say ‘lez’ (“I”). If it is a general wish with no one stating it, you do not mention anyone.

‘Penga’nt’ is a contraction of ‘penga int’ which translates to ‘destiny’s’ or ‘of destiny’. ‘Amirl’ is the word for kindness and peace; a harmony. It is a sensation without a clear translation. In the way it is used here, it means ‘destiny’s kindness’.

‘Ai fayamay’nt’ is literally ‘in forever’s’. Here too you see the contraction with the word ‘int’, meaning that what comes next belongs to the word before it. ‘Fayamay’ is something endless and eternal. So if something belongs to it, that something would also be endless. Though you’d expect that something would come after ‘fayamay’nt’, I have decided that that contraction by itself is simply the way ‘forever’ is said; in regards with the rest of the explanation here.

Finally we have ‘am Vinn’. This is literally ‘with you’. There are two ways to spell ‘you’. One is formal and the other is informal. Because I do not know my readers, I have chosen to use the formal version that is ‘Vinn’. The informal version would be ‘vin’; one less letter and no capital.

So, that has been a brief lesson on Ettalin. Don’t worry, I won’t be quizzing you on it.

Anyway; till next time and lez kwanye yull penga’nt amirl ai fayamay’nt am Vinn!

 

Help Me Write!

Upon this very early morning, I was working on a project for university involving a marketing plan for a real company. While I was typing away about the company’s current plan and direction, I had some tender music playing. The cause of the music was to create a certain mood; a sensation.

I spent several hours trying to figure out what I could do with it. I had an idea for it, yes, but I wasn’t sure how to transform the feelings into actual words. I wanted to write it into a very passionate story full of emotion and calls to one’s heart (or of course; I’d attempt this). Many scenes flashed before my eyes. Two characters appeared in my mind and it was obvious to me that they’d have to be madly in love with each other. But what else?

For the life of me, I could not come up with a setting, a plot, an antagonist for one of these characters or both. There’s a powerful sensation of inspiration and dedication as well as confidence that it can be ‘good’. But there is more to a story than just the wish to make it something that an audience will enjoy.

That is why I find it a tad humorous when people tell me, “Write something!” when I indicate that I’m not sure what to do with my spare time. If it were as easy as simply doing it, I’d have tons of stories. They wouldn’t be good, but they’d be there. I think many writers face such a dilemma. There is a drive to write. There is a desire to create but all the while one element is lacking.

There could be no good characters. There could be no conflict. There could be plot holes. There could be no plot at all. There could be a lack of time or consistency. There is a lot to consider when structuring a story as well as creating it. I have the utmost respect for people who start writing and simply go with it and create something very good. These are the people I admire more than the writers who spend ages writing and revising their work. It is not because they succeed quickly, but they succeed mainly on their own willpower.

I considered time and time again to make a habit out of writing. I got around to doing so last year but with the emergence of my schoolwork, it seems my teachers believe I don’t have other passions outside of the pursuit of my dreams.

Of course I’m excusing myself now. If I really wanted to, I could make a habit out of writing but as I said before, if I do so after a long day, I will be bad. It will be very bad. Nothing about it will be good. I’m not even sure if the practice would help since it would be forced after a day of homework and study.

Nonetheless; I still want to make it happen, so I can eventually finish Nivitera’s Promise; my main project. Even my uncle is asking about it now. ‘How’s the novel going?” he’ll ask. I always feel a bit sad when I need to tell him that there hasn’t been any progress aside from a bit of world building or vague plotting.

So in an attempt to find a way to make room for writing a bit now and then in my hectic schedule; I turn to the internet. Do you have tips for me? Any and all ideas are welcome.

Thank you in advance!

Meanwhile, in Politics…

It has become a daily occurrence that the news broadcasts a ridiculous story about Mr. Trump. In my mind I often compare him to a toddler. He is going about his office and decides what things he doesn’t like. He complains about it and then attempts to throw it out the window. Coincidentally, everything Mr. Trump seeks to destroy is something I highly value.

In Trumpland

He is ridding science of their freedom of speech (censorship of scientific departments). Luckily however, science is fighting back. Rogue accounts have appeared all over Twitter to continue informing the public. Furthermore, scientists and supporters of science have banded together. The March for Science will be a nationwide (if not worldwide) attempt to force Trump to revoke his decision.

Mr. Trump is trying to fight terror. He does this by banning people who have nothing to do with terrorism at all. His so-called ‘Muslim ban’ inconveniences countless people from countries of which the majority are Muslim. It takes the minimum effort to know that Islam is not the same as ISIS. Muslims do not support ISIS. Also, the American President made up an ‘alternative fact’ about Sweden to attempt to gains support for his ban.

On the notice of alternative facts and the two decisions explained above, there is another noticeable problem. Misinformation is one thing the president himself excels at. It seems that he hopes the entire USA will follow in his footsteps by making up lies, changing factual numbers (that can be obtained through one Google search), obscuring reality, changing what people (including himself, most commonly) said and of course the detrimental state of the Department of Education. They too have managed to offend multiple people as well as continuing the stream of vague information.

The environment is something else I am very passionate about. I don’t speak of it often enough on my blog but it is something that is on my mind more often than not. Earth needs us to change. Change will have to be worldwide. If everyone changes their way but the USA does not, it will hardly make a difference. However this is what Mr. Trump seeks to do. He is eager to get rid of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and he wishes to pull out of the Paris Agreement; an agreement made by countless nations to minimize their greenhouse emissions. Then again, Mr. Trump is convinced that climate change is a hoax.

Something else worth mentioning is that Mr. Trump will get rid of Obamacare as soon as he can. We also know he is eager to build his infamous wall. He will tax Mexico’s products so he can afford this wall—all the while ignoring the fact that it will be the US citizens paying these taxes and not Mexico—to keep out the people who are helping him gain these taxes.

There are a lot of things wrong with this man and his decisions. These are but a few I have boiling at the moment. Before the elections, I did not wish to be one of the people to rant about this man’s visions although I had opinions a plenty. I wanted to see how he would play the game before making any written judgements. Hence; here is my post about it.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands…

In my own country, we don’t have people of such extreme calibers. Yes, we have those who don’t agree with the open borders of the EU. Yes, we have people who want more individual freedom for investors. No one goes much further than that. No one is looking to censor, ban or otherwise inconvenience thousands of people.

On the contrary!

We have a party oriented towards the wellbeing of elder people. There is a party geared towards the protection of animals, as unbelievable as that might sound to most Americans. We have a party that is geared towards the average person; students and laborers. We have a party who focuses on maintaining the environment and expanding on green fuel. Of course we also have the parties geared towards lowering taxes and increasing infrastructure. There is a party who wants to close the border and separate from the EU.

In less than a month, everyone who has a Dutch nationality or a legal permit of residency may vote for the Second Chamber. The members of the First Chamber make laws and then send them to the Second Chamber. The Second Chamber may then approve or decline these rules. If one party earns 40% of all the votes after election day, they will have 40% of the seats in the Second Chamber (and no, there is no Electoral College to intervene). The party with the highest percentage of votes will have the head of their party be the prime-minister. This person is a figure-head, a spokesperson. They do not have power. They are but a symbol.

It is obvious that the Dutch government is a lot more diverse than America’s. We do not go by an all-or-nothing principle. This way—no matter who you vote for—your vote will matter. You could cause the difference in that extra percentage that your party earns and thus another seat. Therefore, the ideas the party supports have a bigger chance of being approved. Now isn’t that a delightful idea?

Here’s to hoping

I know Americans are more rooted in traditions. People have always voted Democrat/republican so they will do so again; regardless of the candidate. If anything, I hope that Trump’s extreme attitudes will lead to one thing; that the American people will open a newspaper, a book, a magazine or will turn on the news more often. I hope they will observe the goings-on and make decisions based on their own values and what they think is ethically correct. Here’s to hoping Trump’s terrible ways will lead to wonderful ways.

30 Thoughts on Heartbreak

In the eyes of many, I am but a youngster. I am only 23. They’d think I have no knowledge of the world—and they are probably right. Yet I still wish to share some wisdom I gathered over my own years of interacting with humanity. Today I’d like to talk about heartbreak; not to be mistaken with the medical condition heartbreak syndrome. I mean the kind that one experiences after having loved and lost.

As someone who (thinks she) has experienced this, I’d like to share a few thoughts here with those who have hurt and still do.

  1. Accept that it hurts. Allow the emotions to affect you.
  2. Allow yourself to cry. It is not a sign of weakness. If it happens then let it.
  3. Let the people in that are there. They are the ones who care; they are your friends. Let them help you. They will prove to be invaluable.
  4. Know that it is okay to linger. You don’t need to be over this person immediately.
  5. Give up on obtaining a reason or an answer. None you will get will satisfy you; if you get any at all.
  6. Remember to hold off on doing things that you might regret.
  7. It will be a long time before you no longer think of that person at all times. It will happen some day, but it might not be soon.
  8. The dreams of this person will also fade some day.
  9. This also goes for the thought of picturing him or her in your future.
  10. Listen to sad songs and allow them to affect you if they do.
  11. Just because this person doesn’t love you does not mean no one ever will.
  12. Wine is okay but don’t overdo it multiple nights.
  13. Drink with company and confide in them if you decide to drink.
  14. When you see them with a new significant other, you are allowed to be upset or mad but do not hate the new person. They are not to blame.
  15. Remember that every hurt is a lesson to be learned from and to grow from.
  16. Social media should not turn into your diary. You’ll regret posting all your feelings on it.
  17. A physical diary is however a good idea. Keep one if you wish and write all your thoughts and emotions in it; no matter how jumbled and random they are. Expressing yourself is a great remedy.
  18. There will be sleepless nights. They will be lonely. They will be harsh and cold. Remember that the sun always returns after the night. So too will light come back to your life.
  19. Wallowing is okay.
  20. The best remedy will always be time. It is not an instant remedy of course but it will definitely heal you eventually.
  21. Rebounds don’t work. Maybe for the first month they will help you forget the hurt but eventually your wounds are bound to open and cause more chaos than before you found your rebound. It’s better to wait and see what the future brings than seeking out a human medicine.
  22. The only one who can complete you is you. No other person can do this.
  23. Even though you’d likely rather be lazy and hide under your blankets, try to do something to grow. Read or do something else that helps your mind. It’s not only a pleasant distraction but it’s a way to spend your time.
  24. If you feel you were the one that loved more, know that that too is okay.
  25. It is okay to never want to speak to that person again. If they want to be friends and you don’t, then don’t. Let them go.
  26. A day will come when you no longer wish for their company. Allow such thoughts to overwhelm you. Enjoy them.
  27. Physical activities will help let go of stress and tension. Exercise, go for walks, run a distance, take the bike somewhere but just do something when you feel your body becoming extremely tense.
  28. Know that you are not the only person who had their heart broken. Many people on this planet experienced it and made it through. You can do the same.
  29. Know that someone better will come along some day. This person will outshine the person that hurt you in so many ways that you will be shocked to know that it was even possible.
  30. Finally; know that you are a strong, unique person that deserves to be loved. You will grow and be stronger. You will find someone better and you will grow with confidence and happiness in ways that the previous person would not have been able to give you. Perhaps they might even dare to look upon you one day and realize they made the biggest mistake of their life. They probably did.

I wish endless strength to those who are dealing with an aching heart at the moment. May destiny be kind to you all.

Through Reading

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Today (or rather yesterday since it’s already Saturday) I spent many hours scanning the internet to increase my stock of physical reading material. There is a ‘gap’ on my bookshelf, you see. I feel it needs to be filled.

I typed a few key words into the search bar of a website I enjoy browsing. I hoped to find new titles that I had not come across before. It began to don on me though; my appeal towards English books has drastically increased. In the past, I have commonly preferred English books if that was the original language. Nowadays I find my tolerance of Dutch writings declining even more. I feel that my education is to take partial responsibility for this yet it remains to be a peculiar change.

I ordered a total of five books. Three out of these five are English titles. One of the novels is about writing my preferred genre. I thought there would be no better way to learn than through the language I like to write in as well. The second novel was a fiction story I had read when I was younger. The final one was a language-oriented book. As I am doing in university at the moment too, I feel comfortable learning a new language from the English point.

English is a rich language. Therefore I think it can expand lushly into the new, foreign language. While in Dutch we have but one word for something, in English there is an abundance of words, phrases and expressions to lead to the same outcome. This means, to me, that the language has a more poetic allure to it. This is also why I prefer its embrace for my own words and stories. It is even commonly the voice of my thoughts. It has been that for well over a decade even before I started my education that is taught strictly in the English language.

Dutch can come across as a very professional language however. It gets to the point very quickly rather than hovering in empty space filled with poetry. This is likely a consequence of Dutch culture. The Dutch are very straightforward people. We enjoy getting to the point. We find it displeasing when people beat about the bush. The Dutch are often thought of as rude or blunt for speaking so openly. It is not seen likewise by fellow Dutch citizens. In our opinion, withholding the truth is rude instead.

Language is a powerful tool. That is why I aim to learn multiples. As I am increasing my understanding of the cultures from which the languages descend, I am starting to make connections. It is interesting to me. It reveals ‘aha’ moments for me and points to facts that I had never thought of before. When I was in high school, I had to analyze novels very intimately. In comparison to my current knowledge, the thoughts I had about the stories then was miniscule.

I am one who lives through the mind. I like to know and understand. It is a path to wisdom, I am willing to believe. That is why I have set myself on the path to understanding the world and its many languages; even if I can only learn but a handful of them. For through the understanding of a language, I can learn all that the natives of that language have uncovered in turn. It is a doorway to an enormous castle of renewed sources and I have found the key. All that is left for me to do is to turn it.

All The Romantic Things I’ve Done

No, this isn’t going to be a list about how I listened, how I let him be himself or how I supported him. I did those things in my own special way every time, of course. Here’s a list of things that are more up my alley and a bit more personal, I think.

  • This painting: I made the painting posted here. It’s the Eiffeltower with two people in front of it being affectionate. I boxed it up and sent it across the seas as a surprise gift. The person it was for and I wanted to go see the Eiffeltower at night to enjoy the lights. We never got to do so.
  • Wrote a love letter: I don’t mean a kindergarten crush that I worte a letter for. No, this one was a bit more ‘legit’, as the kids would say. I cut out small flowers and leaves. I put two on the bottom right corner of a blank page and used my printer to copy as many versions as I needed. I wrote what I wanted to say in a document first. I placed the pages with the flower over lined paper so I could write everything neatly on the lines, too. I folded up the pages, put them in an envelop, put a world stamp on it and sent it off with the mail along with my hopes. It was one of those ‘I-miss-you’ letters.
  • Poetry: I’m sure I’m not the only person who tries their hand at poetry now and then. Let’s be honest, love is inspiring. I wrote a good few poems. I haven’t done it in the past four or so years however.
  • Composing: My guitar is always my second love and at times my first if there is no significant other. I am also fond of singing. I learned a good few chords and got into the habit of writing songs when I was 16. This habit never really ended unlike poetry. Of course, sometimes I am feeling more inspired than others. Sometimes I can write multiple songs at the same time while other times I go months without any new works. I’ve written love songs of different kinds. There are the ‘hey-I-like-you-so-lets-give-it-a-shot’ songs. There are those themed ‘I’m-so-happy-to-be-with-you’ and of course the ‘I-miss-you-for-some-reason’ songs.
  • Decorated picture frame: I took out my paints and colored a wooden picture frame. I made it all red and orange and yellow; very warm colors. I realize now that I could’ve put a nice picture of myself in it, too.
  • Drew characters from a story I let him read: It’s no secret that I am someone who likes to write. First I sent a printed version of a short novel I wrote. Later I sent a picture of two important characters form it that I drew. This is probably not too meaningful to most but to me it felt nice to do it since he said he really enjoyed the story.

There’s also a few things I still want to do some day. One of them would be leaving notes around; sticky notes with small messages for the person to find. I also want to prepare dinner for if he’s coming home late and I can’t be there with a note of how long he should put it in the oven for or such. It’s all about the little things, no?

I’ve also been waiting for the opportunity to use an idea that has been lingering for a while now. It’s a combination of a coupon book and the Christmas advent calendar. I think it is especially fun for long distance couples who don’t get a lot of time together. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Create a nice picture either on cardboard or a canvas. This can be a drawing, a painting or a blown-up picture.

Step 2: Find sticky notes or other small paper and make an estimate of how many you would need to cover the entire thing in a neat fashion. Sticky notes would be especially easy so you can put them on and remove them later.

Step 3: Say you’d need 48 squares of paper/notes. You come up with 48 things. These things can be little messages or even activities you can do. You could offer an amusement park day or a home-cooked meal or even watching their favorite show together. Put anything on it you want. You can use the internet for this.

Step 4: Now take your papers. Write the message or activity on one side. On the other you can put something decorative. When using sticky notes, write the text on the side of the note that has the ‘sticky stuff’ on it.

Step 5: Next you place all the cards onto your board/canvas. Sticky notes make it especially easy to do this because you can easily put them on. Place the cards text down. For non-sticking cards you can use a small piece of tape and attack the paper for a small portion. They need to be attached in a way that they can be easily removed without bringing harm to the image below.

Step 6: The final step is to execute the board. Allow your partner to pick off cards either a few times a day or once a day. This can be up to you entirely. If you want to fill a few months, you can do daily. If you only have a few weeks, you can do this multiple times a day. It’s also possible to take turns removing the cards. Do the activity mentioned or plan it. Read message cards to them. When you finish off the last cards, what remains will be the image underneath all the previously placed cards. This can be given as a present at the end.

I am not seriously hoping for a chance to find someone who I want to do this for. I wouldn’t object to finding someone like that but time will tell.