A new (very exciting) chapter !

Hello, lovelies!

It’s time to share something very exciting with you today!

I think all of you know that I love writing. I have had ideas to write short stories and novels and accumulated them for two years straight, not having written any of them. I wanted to change that, but it didn’t feel right to use this blog for that. And that’s why I created a new WordPress blog where I am planning to post all of my stories:

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I posted my first short story today! It’s called The green-eyed girl.

I really want to know what you think of it, I’m super curious! And if you enjoyed it, definitely share it with your loved ones 😉 😉

Here is a little sneak peek!

At the museum, Neville was finally at rest. It had been a long time since he was able to hear his own thoughts without any car honks or construction sounds in the background. Right there, in the art museum, it was quiet. As quiet as London could be, anyway.

He walked through the first exposition, eying the nineteenth-century paintings. The finest paintings were created in that century if you would ask him. An exalted painting hanging right in front of him caught his attention. Hypnotised by its grandeur, he moved towards the artwork.  His eyes moved across every detail, noticing every brush stroke the painter had made. Much to Neville’s surprise, he didn’t recognise its creator. The little plaque under the painting told him the girl on the canvas was Princess Tarakanova, painted by Konstantin Flavitsky. The woman had been an impostor to the Russian throne. At 32 years old she was captured and killed. Legend says she had faked her death, only to die of drowning two years later.

‘I don’t believe she lived after she was captured. I think she died right there, unable to escape the iron fists that had caught her.’ The woman next to him noted. He didn’t remove his eyes from the painting. He didn’t need to, he recognised her voice straight away. ‘It’s up to us to decide whether we want to believe we can escape our superiors. Anyway, we tend to choose to believe what makes us feel least guilty.’ He answered.

Continue reading: Read it here.

Thank you so much for your support over the years!

I’ll talk to you soon! Liesje (1)

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My high school experience (and my 100th post!)

Hello, sweeties!

In a few days, I will be a student at the University of Ghent, starting my bachelor in English and Spanish! My time at high school is officially over. For a moment, I didn’t even realise it would ever end. My time being underage will soon be over as well. It makes me feel weird. 

I can’t wait to start school, but I’m walking away from a life that I was very comfortable in. It’s a good thing that changes, though. Challenges are good. But stepping out of my comfort zone will never feel easy.

In the past couple of months, people have been telling me that life is only beginning. That’s not hard to believe because I have been living in a small village since I was little. For the first time, I’ll be spending most of my time in a big city. I’m trying not to expect too much, but this is going to be such a big change in my life, I can’t help but expect something. We’ll see how it goes!

The past six years I attended school in a village in Belgium. There, I learned a lot about myself. I’ve grown into the person I am today, and I am proud to say that I like her. High school and puberty are challenging times for any teenager, and they sure challenged me.

selflove 1I learned to stand up for myself, to be proud of my differences and to be kind to everyone, even though they aren’t nice to me.

I learned a lot from being kind. You discover beauties of life you would never notice otherwise.

I don’t think people realise how much effect a nice deed can have. It’s true a lot of horrible things make the news fast, and it’s easy to feel bad about it. But, when you see someone being nice, doesn’t that make you automatically motivated to do something friendly as well? 

In high school, I discovered my love for the human mind. I’m fascinated by human behaviour and the link between personality and a person’s life experiences. Maybe that’s why I love crime so much, to learn about making killers, and how psychopaths are created. I’ll admit, this interest might seem a little odd. I can’t help it, haha. I even considered studying psychology, but I followed my gut instinct and went for English and Spanish. I like literature and history a little bit better. And often art is linked to the artist’s personality, so I’m not loosing anything really. I’m still thinking about studying psychology after I get my masters, though.

Selflove 2Yet, I haven’t done anything major that would secure my future. Hell, I’m only seventeen, but still, I feel an urge to start doing things that matter. It’s my dream to go to Africa to volunteer and help children there.

I’ve dealt with some struggles trying to discover who I am.  I tried several hobbies which I have also quit. I don’t feel good about quitting, but I know now that they didn’t really fit me. But I’m also someone who loves staying at home too much. The university in Ghent offers a lot of extracurricular activities, and I’m sure I’ll take part in at least one of them.

I was terribly shy when I started high school. I had a death fear of speaking in front of the class. And I would’ve never believed it then, but I got over that fear. Maybe not entirely, but my heart is not pounding in my throat anymore, and I’m able to sleep the night before my presentation. I just needed to realise that I’m not the only one having to go in front of the class, and definitely not the only one disliking it. Everything seems so much easier when you know you’re not alone.

Selflove 3I’ve met people who turned up to become terrific friends of mine and some other that were not so kind. I can’t say that I’ve suffered a lot from it because I realised soon enough that we wouldn’t be friends. So, I stepped away from them. I’m glad I learned to do that from an early age. There is nothing more toxic than surrounding yourself with the wrong kinds of people. It wasn’t easy at first, though.

I didn’t find romance in high school. And, I don’t feel bad it. When I do get in a relationship, I want it to mean something from the start.

And while it might feel weird sometimes to never having had a boyfriend, it has made me stronger. I’m not afraid to tell people about it, I am not ashamed. I have always been able to just focus on myself and only that. I know what my values are. Being dependant on someone is not something I want to be. Definitely as a female, I want that message to be loud and clear. I love to be able to live on my own.

I hope that whoever might read this gets that everyone follows its own path. There are no instructions on how to lead a ‘perfect’ life. Whatever that might even be. Listen to yourself, don’t pressure yourself into something so that you can appear normal to others. What’s the most important is that you can respect and accept yourself by the choices you made that are 100% true to yourself.

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These are the most important things I learned from my years in high school. I hope that people who are young and growing up – just like me – can take away some of the things I said in this post. I wanted to make this to let you know you are not alone and worth as much as anyone else on this earth. And if you are every struggling with something and you want someone to talk to, you can always come to me. Even if it’s just to talk, send me an email, or message me on social media. The links are in my About Me page.

And on that note, I say goodnight! I’ve been studying Spanish for the past three weeks, and I have been going out as well so some good night rest will work wonders.

For everyone who is reading this at night; sweet dreams! (and if not, have a nice day!)

Thank you so much for reading! Liesje (1)

Thoughts on A Monster Calls

Hello, lovely people!

Today, I wanted to do something different. Writing a standard review didn’t feel right for this book. So, instead of a review, I am trying out something different, and not just an ‘I liked this and I didn’t like that’ kind of post. More like an ‘I am writing in my diary’ post. This book brought forward a great message, and I wanted to talk about it in a more personal way.

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I read this book in one or two days. When it ended, I had the feeling like I had woken up from a dream. It’s one of those rare cases where the book quite literally takes over your life. Even today, I’m still convinced this is one of my best reads.

So, as you all of you who have read this story probably know that Patrick Ness tells the story of Conor O’Malley, a thirteen-year-old boy who lives together with his mum in a small town. 

One night, at seven minutes past midnight, after having had a terrible nightmare, a monster calls Conor to his window. Much to my surprise, Conor wasn’t afraid one bit. Only startled, and confused. At that moment, I realised that Conor must be coping with something so horrible that even a horrible creature can’t scare him. It’s scarier than the creature that is holding him up in the air, squeezing him tight.

I wondered why the author chose a monster to come to Connor. Why and how would it help Connor?

Answer: nothing is able to beat Connor’s horrors than another one.

Of course, this one was not an evil creature who escaped the underworld. It was good, and Connor’s only chance of making everything make sense, and to help Connor face his own monsters.

What was it then that Conor was so afraid of? What truth didn’t he want to reveal?

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Let’s start with this; Conor’s mother is gravely ill. He catches sad, compassionate eyes everywhere he goes, and people let him get away with almost every wrong thing he does, out of compassion of course. But it does more wrong than good. It certainly does not make Conor feel better.

He doesn’t like to be looked at as ‘the poor guy with the sick mother’. He wants to be punished for the bad things he does. He wants to be like any other thirteen-year-old boy. 

Conor also has bullies. Three guys regularly come up to him to beat him up, throw away his stuff or tease him about his mother. Most victims would ask them to stop, but Conor doesn’t. He is quiet and does nothing. It took me a while to understand why he acted like that. At first, I was frustrated he let them walk over him like that, but it’s actually very simple.

They noticed Conor, and they didn’t feel sympathy for him. And he didn’t feel completely alone because they saw him, saw him in a way nobody else did.

His home situation is a whole other case. His mother is too sick to do ‘the usual fun stuff’ with her son and his father lives overseas with a new wife and daughter. The grandmother is very present in Conor’s life. Unfortunately, they don’t quite get along. Conor thinks his grandmother is weird and annoying. The other way around it doesn’t seem to go well either. The grandmother always picks on the boy, and it seems like she sees him as a burden to her and his mother.

These factors make Conor increasingly frustrated. But he can’t admit to what he is feeling deep inside.

And that’s the reason why the monster came.

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To me, these stories didn’t seem to make much sense at first. A prince who is both a murderer and a saviour. An apothecary who is evil-tempered but right-thinking. Invisible men making themselves more lonely by being seen. All these stories carried the message that not everything has to make sense. The human mind contradicts itself more than it speaks to reason.

That’s what Conor desperately needed to realise. His mother had been getting sicker by day, and none of the treatments ended up working. Slowly, but surely Conor understood that his mother wouldn’t live for very much longer. It killed him to think about it, so he shoved it away, pretended like that moment would never happen.

But it did.

Conor’s mother was going to die, and there was nothing that he could do about it. His mother had been suffering for so long, and it needed to stop. Conor realised this. His mother needed to die for her to stop hurting. And that was Connor’s real monster, the one that haunted him everywhere he went, even in his sleep.

Conor didn’t want his mother to suffer any longer. He loved his mother very much, and he wanted to finally let her rest in peace. It pained him so much that he had this thought inside him. He was the monster. Only that was proven a lie by the creature, the one Conor wasn’t impressed by in the beginning. He showed the boy that he wasn’t evil wanting his mother to stop hurting.

You can love someone by letting them go. The mind is a strange thing, but in the end, it’s our actions that matter. What’s most important, is to speak the truth. Only that way Conor was going to be strong and able to deal with the loss of his mother. Only that way he could love his mother fully, and therefore himself.


Thank you so much for reading!

What did you think of this post? I know it’s a bit different than usual, but it felt really good writing like this.

Liesje (1)

The things that make me happy

Hello, lovelies!

How are you doing?

I’ve been feeling very happy. One night right before I went to sleep, I wondered what exactly made feel so content and comfortable. After a couple of minutes, I realised that I created a whole list of people/activities/books/movies/etc that inspired me.

That’s exactly what I’m going to talk about today. I hope you’ll enjoy it!


Being creative

A lot of people in this community are very creative. They inspire me to push myself to pursue my creative urges as well. Sometimes I don’t seem to be able to make time to be writing or painting. I forget that it makes me very happy. Being creative makes me feel very fulfilled and motivated to do other things (such as cleaning my room, can you believe it?).

I am not someone who shares much of my creative feelings. People know I love doing it, but I rarely show it to them. Lately, I’ve been busy redecorating my room. I have never been so excited to be at my desk and search pictures on Pinterest on how to shape my room to my personality. Every day, I have a new idea. A new drawing to put in frames, pictures that I could put on my wall, how I’ll hang my fairy lights, quotes that I could turn into art, etc.

(If you want me to show you some of the things I’ve come up with, I could write a post about it, or share it on my Instagram.)

Of course, I love writing. I haven’t been writing a lot, though. Even though, I think about it every day. I have an idea for a book I’m writing. For months, I’ve been collecting research and notes about my story. I am just not able to settle on one plot line. Every time, I think I’m finally ready to start writing, I get a new idea and change the entire course of my story. I’m currently having a small revolution in my mind about the whole book. I’m curious to see how long it’ll take for me to change it again.

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Lilylikecom

lilylikecom

Lilylikecom is a youtube channel that I’ve discovered a couple of months back. Lilia is one of the most inspirational people I ‘know’. She has a blog (about fashion, philosophy, her personal life, and other), a stationery line, she studies law and philosophy, and recently announced she will be writing for an online magazine called MissIndependentMag. Lilia is my alter ego at the moment. She shares so much inspiring moments in her life a seventeen-year-old university-student like me can learn a lot from. She has a mindset to go after the things she wants. To me, she is one of the most fierce Girlbosses I know.

Here is the link to her YouTube channel.

In general, it’s being independent that makes me happy. I don’t want to depend on many people, in the way that if I lose them, I would realise that I can’t do anything myself. Searching a rich husband is not on my bucket list. 😉 The reward of hard work is worth so much more to me.


When Calls the Heart

This Netflix show is so wonderful and cute. I was searching for something lighthearted to match my mood, and this show fits it perfectly. It could come off a little cheesy sometimes, but that just makes it all the more fun. I also get a small Christmassy vibe from it. It’s not too early to talk about Christmas, is it?


Crime and detective series

I’ve mentioned before that I’m really into crime. I get really happy when I’m able to explore that interest. Sometimes I feel bad for enjoying Netflix so much, but it’s not as superficial as other people might think. You can learn a great deal from watching movies and series. They explore human interaction and their place in different worlds and situations. I am fascinated with the diversity in film. It does not solely exist to entertain ‘brain-dead’ people.

I also love documentaries. At the moment, I’ve been watching crime and psychological docu’s, but also historical ones. Ones where they talk about the ancient castles and its secrets. I’ll list a few of my favourites, right here:

  • The Bletchley Circle
  • How to get away with Murder
  • Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries
  • My Friend Rockefeller (docu)
  • Real Detective (docu)
  • Nurses who kill (docu)
  • Secrets of Underground London (docu)
  • Secrets of Great British Castle (docu)
  • Secrets of Scotland Yard (docu)
  • Secrets of the Tower of London (docu)
  • Secrets of Westminster (docu)

The Library 

This is probably the most obvious item on the list. It’s still worth mentioning. It does not matter how small the library is, when I’m surrounded by books, I’m happy. Being surrounded by thousands of stories, written by thousands of people, it feels almost surreal. These were all people who share my interest in writing (and probably reading as well). I love to spy on people I spot looking at books. That brings me to my next point.

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Cities

I’m going to a university in Ghent in a few days, one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium. I’m attending a Spanish course in Ghent to have some knowledge of the language before I study it for real. People have told me that the university moves very fast on teaching the language. It might be difficult for a lot of people to follow. And since they offered a summer course, I decided to take it. That way I’m already familiar with the language. Although, I do have to wake up at 06.30…

The days I’ve been in Ghent, my eyes have been opened. I have visited this city numerous times, but I never really noticed its ‘personality’. I come from a small village, so it is quite new to me. The traffic, the people, the culture, etc. And since this made the list of things that make me happy, you might guess that I really like it so far. I’ve met a lot of great people. It’s refreshing. I feel like I’ve grown already in the two weeks I’ve been going to this course. I can’t call myself a simple village girl anymore. The city is really beginning to grow on me.


Music

Music has always been an important part of my life. When I’m happy, I play music. When I’m sad or angry, I play music. When I’m not sure about how I’m feeling, I play music. It’s always been the best way of dealing with my thoughts and feelings. That, and my journal. It calms me, it empowers me, and it makes me happy.

Do you recognize that mini-heart attack you get when you realise you’ve forgotten your earphones when you go out?

Here is a list of some of my all time favourite songs:

  • Bad at Love – Halsey
  • Dusk till Dawn – Zayn ft. Sia
  • Justify – The Rasmus
  • Brother – NeedtoBreathe
  • 7 Devils – Florence and the Machine
  • La Valse d’Amélie – Yann Tiersen
  • Habibi – Tamino
  • Where’s my Love – Syml
  • Soundtrack Schindler’s List – John Williams

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Kindness and solidarity

I’ve always been an optimist. I don’t think people aren’t able to change, that the world is dark and evil, that humanity isn’t within everyone. I’m not religious, but I believe in people. Kindness is contagious. I’ve seen it many times. I try to do at least one kind thing to someone else every day. Little tip: smiling to a stranger you pass on the street has more effect than you might think.

Those are the main things that are my source of happiness at the moment. I’m sure I’ll be able to make another one of these. These are the things that I can think of at the moment. Of course, there are more than 7 things that make me happy.

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To be truly happy, you have to be happy with yourself first. I’ve been inspired by a lot of fabulous women, my family, and myself.

Being true to yourself is essential. Don’t surround yourself with bad thoughts, or people who don’t mean well. After a while, it’ll be so easy. I would never choose people with whom I couldn’t be myself over being alone. And I can assure you, if you are yourself, you won’t be along for very long. You’ll be able to grow and find yourself along the way.

Don’t forget self-criticism is very important. You are your unfinished project that can always improve. But give yourself some slack, everyone is allowed to make mistakes. They never make you worth less than someone else.

Happiness isn’t in the material things, it is within yourself.

And with that, I say goodnight!

Thank you so much for reading! This is by far the most heartfelt post I’ve ever written. I know it’s quite long, but I hope it brought you some joy.

Liesje

Am I a good blogger?

Hello, everyone!

I have been a blogger for a year and a month. That’s already quite some time! In that time, I realized there is so much more to blogging than simply writing and pushing publish. I’ve come to know so many amazing people. But it’s inevitable to come across some struggles and doubts, too.

The statistics

I know I shouldn’t worry about the statistics but sometimes I can’t help but look at the numbers as success points. (A very wrong thing to do!) It’s just when I see other bloggers get so many followers in a short amount of time, I start to doubt myself. Also very wrong!

So if you ever have those same dreadful thoughts, think about why you started blogging in the first place. Don’t obsess over traffic or other data. It’s nothing compared to the benefits of having a blog. And it says nothing about how amazing you are as a blogger.

Blogging slumps

What’s most important is to enjoy blogging. That speaks for itself, but it’s not always that easy.  When you are dealing with a blogging slump, it’s important to know that it’s all in your hands. It’s not abnormal to skip a day or take a week off.

If you don’t want to do that, I have some tips to get out of a blogging slump. If you’d like to know them, let me know in the comment!

Do I matter?

We’ve all had those appalling thoughts like ‘Do they even like what I write?’, ‘I feel like everything has already been said before.’ or ‘Is it really worth it?’.

Blogging is hard work, and those questions, unfortunately, come with the package. Just continue writing those post. Don’t give up. After a while, you’ll realize how much you wouldn’t want to miss all this.

If you ever want to talk to me about anything, you can alway send me a message. I would love to help out or simply talk.

I’m out of ideas

You can’t force inspiration to come. Luckily, the moment of being creatively numb is easy to overcome. When I don’t know what to write about I tend to do these things:

  • look up weekly/ monthly blogging meme’s
  • browse trough Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram
  • watch some booktube

Something I discovered as a blogger is that a notebook is a must! I write my thoughts about books in it (great for reviewing afterward). When you have an idea/ thought/ dream, you can write it in that notebook immediately. No more risk of forgetting it! And when you have a moment you are out of ideas, you open your journal, and all will be alright.

To end on a positive note, here are some reasons why I love blogging!

  • The people! Everyone is incredibly kind and supportive. You guys always have a way to make me feel better, whatever mood I’m in.
  • Seeing other bloggers grow. I love seeing other bloggers grow and be successful in life. It’s inspiring to see them being passionate and being rewarded for it at the same time.
  • Layout. I love love love to work on the design of my blog. Choosing the fonts, making the header, searching for gifs, etc.
  • It opens up a new world. When I started blogging, I never could’ve imagined how big the book community actually is. I discovered booktube, passionate fandoms, new books, and authors. Can you imagine what was going on in my mind at that moment? I was as happy as these adorable penguins!

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  • It’s a great writing exercise. I love writing and thanks to blogging I have a way to practice it in a fun way. I know my English isn’t perfect, but reading other people’s blog and blogging myself has really helped me.

Thank you so much for reading!liesje