31 January 2007

Bob II (too lazy to think of a title again:P)

After spending a small fortune on books last weekend, I thought it was time to start looking for a summer job. I spent the entire afternoon writing my application, and of course I almost messed it up: apparently my year of birth is 2007 :P I shudder to think what would've happened if I didn't see it in time. I guess I would've made a good first impression... *lol*
Anyway, I sent the thing to the bookstore, and I hope I get a job there. Otherwise I'll have to try at the supermarket, and I seriously don't want to work there. Fingers crossed ;)

And once again, I'm slightly stuck with my novel. It's not writer's block this time though, I know what's supposed to happen, but I just can't figure out how my character is supposed to find out, and how much he should know. He's not very high in rank, so he can't know *everything*, but he still has to know enough for me to know what is going on (did that make sense?).

I'm halfway through The Iliad now - it's absolutely brilliant. I had some trouble with Chapman's style of writing at first, but I'm getting used to it now. It helps to read it out loud.

And, I did say that I would post some drawings... Well, it's more of a sketch than a drawing. I did this instead of my Norwegian homework ;) It's a bit grainy, I know, you can blame my scanner :P

It's Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings movies, btw.

27 January 2007

I love weekends

What a week! And I don't mean that in a good way. My class had organized a party yesterday, to earn some money for our school trip to Iceland, and we all had to be there to keep an eye on things. Not only do I have a slight fear of crowds, but I also despise techno music, which is what they played for five whole hours. I thought I was about to go mad. And I didn't get home until 3 AM either, because the cycle tracks were completely snowed under.
And as if that isn't enough my physics teacher has also decided that we don't work enough (I'm up till midnight doing homework almost every single night), so he has doubled the amount of homework. More reports, more exercises, more chapter tests... But *he* hasn't even read the reports I handed in sometime in October.

So, all in all, I'm glad it's weekend. I haven't got any school on Monday or Tuesday, so I can catch up with the homework then I guess. Right now it's time for tea, chocolate, Pink Floyd and writing! I've written more than 2000 words this week, which is rather good I guess. During NaNo I could write three or four thousand words a day if I had to, but then I just wrote without thinking about *what* I was writing. Not that what I write now is perfect (there are still ninjas and UFOs), but I'm doing a little bit of research while I write. And I've got other stuff to do as well. I'm still not completely finished with my column for the StCP, which should have been posted on the site ten days ago. Oops. But at least I'm finished with my art school project now, and thank Eru for that. The next time there's one of those projects I'm not participating (or maybe I just should have started earlier).

And it's time to finally order those books! I *think* I'll buy these:

The Kalevala
The Song of Roland (couldn't find it in French *sigh*)
Les Lais de Marie de France
The Twelve Caesars
Histories (by Herodotus)
The Aeneid
Agricola and Germany

Yes, I know. I'm buying seven books instead of six. Sue me ;)

22 January 2007

RIP writer's block! And no badminton...

Well, it's disappearing at least! I think the Celtic patterns helped. And the fact that I've finally got Earl Grey tea again doesn't hurt either. I've been living on Darjeeling for two weeks.
At 1 AM last night I suddenly got an idea about how to start the next chapter, and I stayed up half the night writing. I didn't get that far, though, because after a few pages my character decided it was time to do physics homework and started finding the density of wood's metal. Er... yeah. I took that as a sign that it was time for bed ;)
I'm still not completely satisfied with what I've written so far, but at least I've written *something*.

But despite the fact that I've finally gotten rid of that pesky writer's block, my day was far from brilliant. I got some sort of weird cramp when I was swimming on Friday, and my leg is still sore and stiff. The only thing I like about Mondays is the fact that there's badminton training, but yeah, I couldn't go today. Stupid leg.

21 January 2007


I'm feeling completely drained... The aftereffects of yesterday's sugar high I guess. You see, to celebrate the fact that we survived the first term of the school year, my best friend and I had a sleepover this weekend. We spent half the night eating ice cream and watching extremely cheesy movies. Of course, cheesy movies become hilarious when you're sugar high, so there was a fair amount of randomness as well. Who'd have guessed that Hercules had a brother called Waffles? (Don't ask... Seriously). And then, still sugar high, we spent two hours playing 'Marry, kiss, push off a cliff', and since my friend is totally evil I ended up with people like Columbus and her geography teacher.

Right now I'm supposed to focus on my physics homework, which should be handed in tomorrow. I have to rewrite the entire friggin thing because I made *one* tiny mistake somewhere. Yaay.

I'm still not completely sure which books I'm going to buy. As soon as I can find enough time I'm going to have a good look around on play.com...

20 January 2007

Hurray, books!

Well, I got my grades today, and I can buy eight books:D Or six actually, since I've already 'spent' my chemistry and geography grades. Anyway; I got 6s for *deep breath* written Norwegian (bokmål), French, social studies (don't ask me how. Stupid subject), maths, physics, history, chemistry and geography. Eight of my eleven grades were top grades. I got 5s for oral Norwegian and written Norwegian (nynorsk) and a 4 for Phys. Ed. (I can't play football to save my life >.< If only I could play badminton during phys ed...)

Now. The books. I have a looong list of books I want to buy, but I can only choose six. I've been wanting to get my hands on Les Lais de Marie de France for a long time, so I'll definitely buy that. The same goes for the Kalevala and Tacitus' Germania. That means I have three books left. The Divine Comedy is a possibility, and so is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Aeneid, The Twelve Caesars, a few of the Icelandic sagas, Celtic knots (Adain Meehan again), La Chanson de Roland...

And another totally unrelated picture.

17 January 2007

Too lazy to think of a good title... let's just call this post 'Bob'

Well, it's finally snowing, but as a matter of fact I'm not sure if I'm happy about it. Snow is rather nice, and it's easier to bike on than ice, but I don't like to be constantly reminded of the fact that spring is still three months away :) That, and snow isn't good for my bike. I had to walk home from school today because the brakes, chain, gears... everything was completely frozen. It usually only happens when it's colder than -15*C or so, so it's really odd.

Anyway. I still haven't gotten rid of my writer's block. I read somewhere that it helps to put your writing aside for a while and do something else, so I've spent the entire day drawing various forms of Celtic design. I've almost finished the first chapter (step patterns) of 'Celtic design; a beginner's manual', by Aidan Meehan. Great fun. I'll probably be spending tomorrow's math lessons drawing patterns...

16 January 2007

Writer's block

I'm stuck. I have no idea what to write. I've got about 101.000 words now, but I have no idea how to start the next chapter. There's so much I have to write about in this chapter, but I have no idea where to start. I've tried about everything, including ninjas, but I haven't gotten a single line down on paper yet. I *hate* writer's block. Also, what's the point of triple physics?


14 January 2007

Grades, and books

First, another totally unrelated picture. I took this when I was on holiday in Northern Norway last year. It's not the best - I took it from a moving car.
Anyway. The first term of the school year is now officially over, and I already know my Geography and Chemistry grades. I got a 6 for both (that's the best grade - woohoo!), so I thought I'd reward myself with a book or two when I was in Trondheim yesterday. Well, "one or two" ended up becoming five:

The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)
The Phantom of the Opera (Leroux)
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Hugo)
The Call of the Wild & White Fang (London)
The Encyclopedia of World Mythology

*sigh* My wallet is looking very empty and sad, and my bookcase is becoming dangerously cramped. But at least I have enough books to read. I finished The Histories today, and started reading The Iliad (Chapman's translation).

I'll be getting the rest of my grades sometime next week, and I've decided that for every 6 I get, I'll buy myself another book. Fingers crossed ;)

10 January 2007

The Poetic Edda

My friends all stuff their fingers in their ears and hum loudly whenever I mention the subject, but I guess I can ramble as much as I like here :)

The Poetic Edda, or Elder Edda, is a collection of Old Norse poems. It's difficult to say how old they are, because they were originally passed orally from person to person, before they were finally written down in Iceland, sometime in the 13th or 14th century.
This manuscript, containing 29 poems, was found in 1643 by the Icelandic bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson. He gave it to king Frederik 3. of Denmark, and for this reason the manuscript is called Codex Regius. Today it is kept in the Árni Magnússon Institute in Reykjavik. In April I'm going on a school trip to Iceland, and I'm pretty sure the trip includes a visit to this institute. If not I'm going anyway ;)

We studied Old Norse language and literature at school last autumn, and though it wasn't a very thorough study (most people in my class freak out when they hear the word 'study', especially when it's used in the same context as literature), it was nonetheless interesting. We read a few of the poems from the Edda and various other texts, including the saga of Gunnlaug, and also learned something about the various types of verses. It's perhaps the most interesting thing I've learned this school year. Since then I've read the entire Poetic Edda, which I was lucky enough to find on dad's bookshelf (though it was in Dutch *cringe*). I'm saving money right now to buy it in Old Norse. This time I'll try one without glossaries, haha.

My favourite poem is definitely Völuspá, the wise woman's prophecy, with Þrymskviða, the lay of Thrym, as a close second.

In Völuspá a völva (wise woman, prophetess) tells about the creation of the world and its coming end, Ragnarok. She tells of the creation of the world, the gods, the first humans, the death of Baldr... The poem is perhaps the best known of all the Edda poems. What I love most about it is the incredible use of alliteration (typical of Old Norse poems) and the spine-chilling descriptions of Ragnarok. Especially stanza 45...
skeggjöld, skálmöld,
skildir 'ru klofnir,
vindöld, vargöld,
áðr veröld steypisk;
Also, JRR Tolkien gave the dwarves from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings names from Völuspá.

Þrymskviða is of a whole different sort, much less 'epic' and much more humorous than Völuspá. Thor, the god of thunder, wakes up to find that his hammer, Mjölnir, is missing. He finds out that it has been stolen by the giant Þrym, who refuses to give it back unless he gets to marry Freya. She refuses, of course, and in the end it's Thor who has to dress up as a woman and pretend to be Freya. While Völuspá can be a bit hard to understand in some places, Þrymskviða is easy to read and to understand. I practically know it by heart (the Norwegian version at least), both because I've read it so often and because I got a small role (that of Heimdall) when my class dramatised it last week.

And, because I'm bored, here's a totally unrelated picture I took last spring

7 January 2007


In case you haven't guessed, this is the wordcount for my NaNo-novel :)

Where's the snow?

It's supposed to be winter. There hasn't been any snow since October. Not that I mind very much, because snow makes biking very difficult. But when there's ice instead of snow... augh! How am I supposed to get to school without breaking any bones when the cycle lane is covered with an inch of ice? And downhill too... Maybe I can buy myself a good pair of ice skates and skate to school...

This is what it's *supposed* to look like now.

Anyway! I got The Histories for Christmas and I'm currently reading it, something I probably should've done *before* starting to write my NaNo-novel. But, I only found out about NaNo sometime in October, and then it took me a while to figure out *what* I was going to write about, so there wasn't much time left for research and planning.
Am I reading The Histories when I should be finishing my physics report? Yep.

3 January 2007

Books, books, books and... more books

I guess it's time to say something about the books I read :) I love books, and I don't think I have ever spent a day without reading (well, since I learned to read anyway). My top 5 list of favourite books looks something like this:

1) The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. It's without doubt my favourite book. I doubt I need to explain what is is about :) Tolkien writes incredibly well, and I love the way his writings are inspired by myths, and how detailed everything is. I tried to learn Quenya a few years ago, but I just couldn't find enough time. Plus, it's difficult to learn a language on your own.

2) Kinderen van Moeder Aarde, Het Helse Paradijs & Het Gulden Vlies van Thule, all by Thea Beckman. Okay, so they're actually three books, but it's a trilogy, and for me they count as one ;) And no, it's not a lame excuse to cram more books into my top 5 list. Or maybe it is... Anyway; they're about the world a few centuries after WWIII. This was a nuclear war, and just about wiped out civilization, but of course a few people survive. There has been a significant change though; the north and south pole are no longer where they used to be, and so the entire climate of the world changes. The glaciers on Greenland melt, and the land, now called Thule, becomes green and pleasant. It's a kind of Utopia; no war, little crime, everybody has what they need, the environment is protected and respected, etc. And it's ruled by women. But then Thule is discovered by people from the Baden Empire in Europe. Their society is the total opposite of that on Thule. Here men are more important than women, there are plenty of wars, they don't respect the environment and the greater part of the population is poor and oppressed by the upper class.

3) Stad in de storm, by Thea Beckman. This is another of my absolute favourites. It's about Utrecht during the Year of Disaster (1672).

4) Beowulf, by, well, Anonymous. It's a wonderful story, and brilliantly written. Though perhaps I should have learned Old English *before* reading it...

5) Harry Potter 1-6, by JK Rowling. Once again I'm cramming multiple books into one, lol.

I guess if I were to make this list again later, it would contain different books. I love so many, and my 'favourites' change with my mood, though The Lord of the Rings will always be number one. Like I already said (wrote?), it's very well written, the story is great, and everything, cultures, places, people, history, languages... it's all detailed and complete. And, LotR is nicely connected with my family history, which makes it even more special to me.
I think the Harry Potter books will always be amongst my five favourites as well. The story is brilliant, and I love Rowling's style of writing. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the first book I read in English, I think I was 11 at that time. I've learned most of my English from Rowling's books (later also from other authors, like Tolkien), and I owe my top grades in English to her :)
Thea Beckman is my favourite Dutch author. She mostly writes historical fiction, like Stad in de Storm and Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek (Crusade in Jeans, her most famous book), and her books have really made history come alive to me. She romanticizes history a bit, and her books are regarded as children's/teenager's books, but I don't really care. She writes extremely well and her books keep my Dutch from getting too rusty. Her three books about Thule are probably the books which have made the most impact on my life.
I only finished Beowulf a few weeks ago, but it was a fascinating story. Reading it was both interesting and agonizing. Interesting because it's so old and says so much about the past, and agonizing because I read it in Old English, which I don't speak (yet...). It had glossaries, and many words are similar to Norwegian/Dutch/English words, and by scribbling down a hasty translation while reading I managed to understand it. Mostly. I intend to learn Old English sometime in the future, when I don't have physics anymore ;)

2 January 2007

Woohoo. School.

Why on earth does school have to start again on the second of January? I only got three hours of sleep last night, and lack of sleep and triple physics is not a good combination! I've got all sorts of numbers and formulae spinning through my head... Well, the next physics lesson isn't until Monday, so I've got about a week to finish my physics report (didn't have to hand it in today *grin*) and figure out a way to get the correct answer. Somehow I ended up with 0,4 N instead of 3,0 N, and that can't be good. Okay, enough of this physics ranting. I'm starting to bore myself :)

My novel is going reasonably well. I started writing again today, after a break of more than a week. I've almost got 100.000 words now, and the end is in sight. Another 40 k should do it I think, and that shouldn't take too long. During November I did more than 2000 words a day, but since then it's been going rather slow. But anyway, the end of January is my goal, and I think it's reachable. Well, if the characters cooperate that is...

1 January 2007

It's 2007...

And that means the Christmas holidays are over. I guess it's time to get started on that physics report, which, if I remember correctly, is due sometime this week.
But it can wait. Right now I want to read, because I probably won't have time to open a book which isn't school-related until Easter.
Happy New Year! And here is one of the few half-way decent pictures I managed to take of the fireworks yesterday. As soon as I'd focused the camera on a part of the sky they'd stop setting off fireworks on that particular spot. Typical.