The Weekly Hufflepuff #59 | *Tries to Think of a Witty Title* *Fails*

I had to skip last week’s weekly wrap up, as I was really not in a good place. I wasn’t feeling that well physically last week, but I also struggled a lot with my mental health. I just didn’t feel like blogging, and I’m so happy that I scheduled this month’s posts in advance (if only I had done the same for October but oh well)

I was really in the mood for Squirrel Girl last week, so I read volumes 4 and 5. I’m falling more and more in love with this comic and really need to write a post about it. I also started The Backstagers last week and finished it in one sitting yesterday. It’s super cute and fun – I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! It’s about a bunch of boys who are part of the stage crew for their high school theater club, but backstage is a magical place. Literally. Also it’s super queer!!

Last week I also started Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith – I haven’t finished it yet but that’s definitely not the book’s fault. I’m really enjoying it, falling in love with the characters and loving the Harry Potter vibes (but it’s not too much like Harry Potter)

Like I said, I’ve been struggling with my mental health a lot last week. That’s not to say that nothing good happened! My friend and I went to ‘Boekenfestijn‘, which is an event that’s held every month in either The Netherlands and Belgium in different cities where they sell a lot of books for good prices (though there were also quite a few regularly priced). The only one that’s close to me is the one in Utrecht in September, and since we go to school there we decided to go after class. We spent a lot more time there than we had expected and it was a lot of fun to do something bookish with a friend. And obviously to haul some books.* Afterwards we went to eat at Julia’s, which is an Italian restaurant at the train station. After our pasta we decided to get a Swirl (is this ice cream a thing in other countries? If not I FEEL SO SORRY FOR YOU IT’S HEAVEN IN YOUR MOUTH COME TO THE NETHERLANDS TO EAT ONE) and ummm at the time it seemed like a good idea? But once I got to the platform, in autumn, in the evening, with my ice cream… I started to rethink that decision lmao. Once I got home I suddenly felt so ill that I immediately went to bed. I still don’t know if it was exhaustion, the ice cream so soon after pasta, or both

The next day I went to see a play with a few people from work, which was about modern art and was really, really good. It was so clever, witty, funny and well done. Dutchies if you have the chance to go see it, please do! You may need some art knowledge though (I’m not sure how much you’d be able to get if you don’t know anything) but if you’re interested in art, it’s definitely worth it

This week wasn’t so special. While I did struggle with my mental health again later this week, it started out pretty good. I’m doing pretty well in school again so far (last week I was really behind because I just wasn’t feeling well, which wasn’t doing my mental health any good) and I’ve just been focusing on that.

* Usually I’d post a picture of the haul, but I forgot to take one and now it’s too dark

💛 I talked about why I can’t relate to library-related posts
💛 I tried to convince you all to watch The Bold Type. It still hasn’t been renewed???
💛 I did The Book Fangirling tag in which I shared a hilarious Pokemon joke from my childhood
💛 I talked about one of my many writing problems: no longer liking my plot, but still loving my characters
💛 I talked about plot points and the like you could have if your book is set in The Netherlands
💛 I did The Infinity Dreams Award and basically begged for someone to buy me a life-sized Snorlax plush

💛 Eve talks about comics again
💛 They also did the What Cats Do tag and blessed us with their adorable cats
💛 Vivian talks about why you should go to a museum if you’re a writer
💛 Marie has some news to share in regards of her WIP
💛 Mikaela wonders if we still post something that we know won’t be popular
💛 Several people did my Book Aesthetics Tag and blessed me with their beautiful aesthetics: Fadwa | Kristin | Beth | Sophie Li – seriously everyone who does this tag is SO TALENTED I’m amazed at all the aesthetics everyone who’s done the tag so far has made
💛 Lia created a new fun tag: The Book Mashup Tag 

I didn’t read as many posts as I would’ve liked, but after writing about this struggle I’ve really come to term with that. When I do have the time (and energy!) I’ll try to see if there are any posts that I really want to read that are a bit older, but other than that I’ll just try to read more recent posts. I’m really going to try to not stress myself out about blogging this time

SPEAKING OF WHICH. This month you probably didn’t notice that I started school again and got really busy, except for my ramblings about it in my wrap ups. Like I said at the start of this post, I scheduled almost all my posts for this month ahead. There were a few posts I hadn’t scheduled yet when school started, but I got to that pretty soon. This week I have two posts scheduled instead of three, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to post that third one. I don’t have anything scheduled for October yet, and I may post once a week for a while if that works out better for me. I’ll let you all know. I don’t want to neglect this blog again, but I also don’t want to stress myself out

Anyway, how was your week? Read anything good? Any good comics you’d recommend me? Do you have Swirls in your country?? Let me know in the comments!

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The Infinity Dreams Award | Someone Buy Me A Life-sized Snorlax Plush

Thank you Evi for tagging me! And sorry it took me like a year and a half to do this haha. If you don’t know her blog yet, please go check it out!

The Rules

💛Thank the blogger who tagged you
💛 Tell us 11 facts about yourself
💛 Answer the 11 questions
💛 Tag 11 bloggers

11 facts

Oh boy I’m terrible at coming up with facts about myself (I’d say that’s fact number 1 but I’m going to try and be more original than that lol) Okay let’s try this

  1. I’m currently listening to Keiynan Lonsdale’s Good Life on repeat and loving it
  2. When I was little I got chased by a dog on the beach. I ran away because I was scared but the dog thought I wanted to play
  3. A few years later I got chased by another dog, but the dog came for me, my friend, her mom and their dog first. Her mom told us to run because the dog had a really bad reputation (it had killed other dogs before). It almost bit my friend in her leg – it did not help my fear of dogs (I’m better with dogs now, but there are still dogs that scare me)
  4. I really, really want a Power Rangels sequel I loved that movie so much
  5. I want to rewatch it but there’s a scene that will make me cry thus I’m not rewatching it
  6. As a kid I was able to draw Winnie the Pooh from memory and according to my mom it was really good but I honestly have no idea if it was actually any good lmao
  7. I used to draw a lot but I don’t really enjoy it that much anymore so I barely do it nowadays
  8. I had a goldfish named Blub
  9. When I first played Pokemon Yellow I named my Snorlax after my brother – I wonder if I saw a resemblance or something lmao
  10. Speaking of Snorlax I really want a life-sized plushie (lifesize as in Snorlax’ real size)
  11. When I was little I dragged my family to the beach because I found out you can sometimes see dolphines at the Dutch beach (and I was going through my dolphins phase). There were no dolphins lol

This could be me

WOULD YA LOOK AT THAT. 11 FACTS WITHOUT ME CRYING FOR HELP BECAUSE I COULDN’T THINK OF ANY (okay I cried in my mind ssh)

Evi’s questions

What are you currently working on? Writing, artwork, musically, etc. Current WIP?

My current WIP is still my Camp Nano project, though I’m constantly planning/thinking about other projects as well (help) If you want to know more about my WIP, click here

What are you currently reading?

Well since this is scheduled a few weeks in advance (look at me go!) I have no idea what I’ll be reading by the time you’re reading this. While I’m writing this I haven’t started a new book yet, but I’ll either start Sorcerer to the Crown or Flame in the Mist. I haven’t decided yet.

Most interesting past revelation?

Ummm I don’t know? This is such an interesting question and I have no clue haha

Current phone/computer backgrounds?

If you were in the medieval era, who would you like to think you would be? (Peasant, farmer, queen/king, knight, etc.)

THE COURT’S SORCERESS HELL YEAH

Being a knight would be really cool too, until I stab myself in the eye with my sword

Expectations

Reality

Favorite outdoor scenery?

Ohhh I don’t know! I love trees and gardens but also pretty lakes and mountains and the sea especially at sunset… I just really love nature haha

Favorite season?

I really love both Spring and Autumn, but since I have hayfever I lean more towards Autumn. Both seasons are just the right temperature for me (in theory anyway) and they’re both so pretty!

Favorite thing about the outdoors?

The smell of nature

What fantasy/bookish landscape would you like to live in? (Hogwarts, Narnia, Bag End, etc.)

There are so many worlds I’d love to live in. Hogwarts is definitely at the top of the list, but the Pokemon world?? Yes please. I would love to travel through all the regions with my Pokemon. I’d also love to go to Watford and… No that’s it. I can’t think of any other world I’d actually love to live in because a lot of them are quite dangerous haha

Castles or skyscrapers?

CASTLES CASTLES CASTLES DID I MENTION I LOVE CASTLES BECAUSE I DO

Look at this beautiful castle I went to during the summer ❤️

Favorite color?

All the colours! Okay that’s not true. But I do love a lot of colours and don’t really have a favourite anymore? I do love pink and yellow a lot though

I won’t be tagging anyone, but if you want to share some facts about yourself and answer Evi’s questions, consider yourself tagged! If you were in the medievel era, who would you think you’d be? Do you love castles? Do you also want a life-sized Snorlax plushie? Let me know in the comments!

Books Set in The Netherlands: So Many Opportunities!!

A while ago Analee wrote a wonderful post about why more books should be set in Canada and came up with great plot bunnies that could be used if a book is set in Canada. This made me think: what kind of plot bunnies could you use if your book is set in The Netherlands? Of course there are books set in The Netherlands, but I’m talking about YA books here, and since I don’t really enjoy reading in Dutch I don’t read any Dutch YA. The only YA book I can think of that’s partially set in The Netherlands is The Fault in Our Stars (you could count Six of Crows since Ketterdam is based on Amsterdam and had a lot of Dutch terms. They talked about eating hutspot?? That was so funny. Hutspot is gross though)

Love confessions with the canals as a setting

At night, by the way, because the canals at night are so magical and romantic. I can definitely picture a dramatic love confession at a bridge, with a canal in the background. Or maybe not a dramatic one, but a planned one (kudos to the character that decides to confess their love at a bridge I mean that takes guts with all the tourists around I’d feel so awkward – no one confess their love to me anywhere in the center of Amsterdam I’ll die of embarrassment and awkwardness and if you love me you clearly don’t want that. I hope??)

Contemporaries about art set in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is such an artsy city guys!! Sure so is Amsterdam, which has a lot of museums and art, but Rotterdam? So much street art, so many museums and art galleries too. Plus it just has this artsy feeling to it. I’m not saying Amsterdam doesn’t, buuuuuut Amsterdam often also feels like a tourist attraction which Rotterdam doesn’t. It’s just a very creative, artsy city and I can definitely see a YA protagonist who’s a budding artist discover themselves through art there.

Oh and they could obviously stop by the Foodhallen, which is this huge indoor food market which is also super pretty (plus food)

Stroopwafels!!

I mean sure you could eat hutspot too, but why would you when stroopwafels exist?? I could live on them. I’m not joking. I could eat so many in a row they’re delicious. You can also eat them warm which is also really good, but if you’re impatient like me you could just eat them cold because they’re delicious that way as well. Wait where was I going with this what was this post about. Food?? Stroopwafels??

Books need food okay. No, I don’t mean you need to feed them (you do need to feed them your love, attention and tears, but no human food they can’t digest that. Don’t poison your books). I mean books become more realistic when your characters eat, because they’re supposedly alive and need to (unless they’re a ghost. I felt so sad for all the ghosts at Nearly Headless Nick’s party), so a book set in The Netherlands obviously needs to feature some Dutch food. Preferably stroopwafels. Because I love stroopwafels

So many fantasy story possibilities!!

Obviously Six of Crows has already done this, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be more fantasy worlds based on The Netherlands. Plus urban fantasies? Or magical realism? So many possibilities!

With the amount of water we easily could have a story about pirates, or about witches and wizards living here having to hide their magic and probably fighting something evil, or superheroes!!! Keeping our cities safe. And so many other fantasy stories that could just be set here, with a Dutch touch to it.

Fort of Sjakoo retelling!!

I found out about Sjakoo when I was a kid and immediately got obsessed. I did read a Dutch book (children? I think it was actually YA since it mentioned sex and lil me was like ‘gross’) back then that was about Sjakoo’s fort (I don’t remember if Sjakoo himself was in it?) but it took place in our time which is fine, but I want a retelling. I want a YA book about Sjakoo, living in 18th century Amsterdam, becoming a criminal, starting a gang and turning numbers 71 to 77 at the Elandsgracht into the Fort of Sjakoo, which had secret passages and the like (I’m not sure how much of this is true, but hey it’s not like this would be non-fiction). Damn now I want to write this *hides from the 21423463458 other ideas I already have and haven’t worked on yet* *I put it in my word document with all my story ideas and stuff help* 

Books set during the Canal Parade!!*

One of the main characters is part of one of the boats, the other isn’t out yet and doesn’t dare to go the Parade but in the end they show up anyway and they share a romantic kiss at the boat surrounded by other people from the LGBTQ+ community cheering and clapping and there’s lots of glitter and it would be really cute damnit I want to write this *adds this one to the list as well while sobbing because I already struggle finding the time, motivation and energy to write and having so many ideas is NOT. HELPING*

* This is the fourth time in a row I’m using ‘!!’ I’m sorry for my lack of originality

There are so many more things I could think of but I’m going to stop before I come up with more things I want to write. Would you like to see more YA books set in The Netherlands? Are you writing one? Let me know in the comments! 

When You No Longer Like Your Plot, But Your Characters Own Your Heart

Hello my name is Michelle and I have a problem. I hate the plot of one of my WIPs, but I can’t let go

I really wish this was me, but alas

Once upon a time, when I was 13 (or 12??), I came up with the most original plot of ever, namely two teenagers DESTINED. FATED. CHOSEN. to prevent the devil from returning to earth and fighting demons. BASICALLY IT WAS A BUFFY THE VAMPIRE RIP OFF. Instead of Watchers and the Watchers Council it had Guardians and the Council of Guardians/Guardians Council whatever. The Watcher Guardian that looked over my main two characters (who were called ‘The Chosen Ones’. So clever. So unique. Much originality) was basically a Rupert Giles rip off (to the point that I  pictured Anthony Head as the character lmao). Oh and he was the librarian at the school (if you’re not familiar with Buffy: Giles was the librarian at the school as well lmao) for no apparent reason?? When I rewrote it he just worked at the Council, which actually made sense, but still.

It started out as a rip off. I’m not saying everything was exactly like Buffy, but the similarities were there, which I didn’t notice when I first wrote it because I was young and naive and unknowingly inspired by which was back then my favourite tv show of ever.

I finished the book when I was about 14 I think? Or maybe still 13? I have terrible memory

And started to work on the second one, which I never finished because at some point I decided to rewrite the first one, since I wasn’t too happy with it. In the end, I wasn’t happy with that rewrite either, and started to rethink everything. Character backgrounds, plot points, overal plot, relationships… Everything.

And now I look at the mess I made when I was 13 (because it wasn’t just a rip off, it was also full with plot holes and tropes I absolutely loathe now and just… ugh) and I just no longer like it.

Except. I really love the characters. I love their backgrounds, their relationships with each other, the development I was going to make them go through… I am really attached.

I’m ready to let go of the plot, but not of these characters

So now what?

Because I have no clue

have thought of coming up with a new plot, and keeping these characters, but what kind of plot? Should I stick to (urban) fantasy? Or choose a different genre? And then what? Will they still be the same characters? Because a different plot (and possibly a different genre) means changes to their background stories and the development I had planned. I AM LOST.

If any of you thought this was going to be a helpful post full with tips on how to deal with this I am truly sorry. Instead this is me getting this of my chest, crying for help and hoping I’m not the only one.

Anyone been/going through this? Any advice? Or should we all start a support group together where we cry and eat ice cream? Let me know in the comments! 

The Book Fangirling Award – Another One From 2015

Some day I might be all caught up on awards and tags, but today is certainly not that day. Thank you Cátia for nominating me and sorry that it took me almost two years

Rules:

  • Create a post to accept your award.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Nominate between 5-10 book bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.

I’m lazy so I won’t be nominating anyone but if you want to do it consider yourself nominated!

1. Book series or standalones? Why?

I know I have to choose but… Both? It can be nice knowing that the story will be over after one book and you won’t have to wait for the next one to see how the story will unfold, but series are so much fun too! I love seeing the story unfold over multiple books, see the characters grow etc.

2. Did you watch anime/cartoons when you were younger? Which ones?

YES! Pokemon of course, but also Yu-Gi-Oh, Sailor Moon, Super Pig (please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers that one?), Winx Club, Totally Spies, Martin Mystery, Avatar the Last Airbender of course, Ojamajo Doremi, Digimon, Shaman King, so many Disney cartoons like the 101 Dalmatians one, the Aladdin one, Buzz Lightyear… There were so many I can’t remember all of them haha.

Little me thought this was SO clever and hilarious she cried tears of laughter

3. Tell me a music that reminds you of your childhood/early teens.

Oh good question. I really need to think about that one haha. Umm there’s this Dutch song. I have no idea what it’s called but the part I’m talking about goes like this (translated from Dutch): ‘Coffee! Coffee! Delicious cup of coffee. Guys who’d like a cup?’ I sang this a lot with my grandmother, but I don’t remember how this became a thing

4. Favorite movie growing up?

According to my mom: Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers and The Little Mermaid. Those were the ones she had to sit through the most haha. I also adored Winnie the Pooh and Lilo and Stitch.

The Rescuers is SO UNDERRATED. Also I need to rewatch it

5. Where do you live? Tell us something about your city (that us tourists can’t read on the books).

Amsterdam, and I’ve been talking about Amsterdam here and there in my supposed to be monthly feature Blogsterdam but of course I’m failing that haha. Hmm what’s something that you can’t read about in a guide book… I’ve never read a guide book about Amsterdam, so maybe you can read this in a guide book, but… I don’t know where I was going with that sentence, because I can’t think of anything?? Haha I suck

Ummm the canal water is supposed to be really clean but I honestly don’t know where I got that from it’s just this random fact filed away in my brain but this could be a really outdated fact?? Don’t quote me and don’t drink the water okay

Like I said, I won’t be tagging anyone but if you want to answer these questions, feel free! What anime/cartoons did you watch when you were younger? And what was your favourite movie as a kid? Let me know in the comments!

Why You Should Support The Bold Type (Because I Need A Second Season and So Do You)

I’ve talked about The Bold Type before, but this amazing show deserves a post of it’s own. Especially after that beautiful, emotional finale – the show just got better and better. Oh and because we still don’t know if we’ll get a second season* or not which is TERRIFYING so I need y’all to go and support this show that stole my heart (and will steal yours too!!!)

* Though maybe by the time this goes up it will have been renewed?? Not that that would make this post unnecessary – I still want to spread the love

Why YOU should also watch, love and support The Bold Type

💛 It’s about three best friends who work at the same magazine together (friendship!!)
💛 One of them is a black bisexual woman!
💛 Who falls in love with a lesbian Muslim!!

💛 Their relationship is the main ship on the show????

me screaming about Kadena

💛 Their relationship is build up slowly and beautifully and is healthy and just

💛 Don’t mind me crying over here okay

💛 The magazine the girls work at is a women’s magazine, but it doesn’t just talk about fashion, makeup, relationships etc. but is also very feminist

💛 The show itself is incredibly feminist and explores a lot of (other) important issues: immigration, sexuality, rape, breast cancer, misogynistic trolls on the internet  to name a few and it does so beautifully

💛 The female editor-in-chief is not a bitch!! Devil Wears Prada Who??* She’s kind, inspiring, ambitious and hardworking, supportive, and really, really cares about her staff. She’s an icon and I know I already said she’s inspiring, but she’s SUCH an inspiration I love her

💛 The friendship of the three girls is the heart of the show and while the girls all have their own stories, relationships with other characters, it always comes back to their love and support for each other. Of course they sometimes fight, but whoever is in the wrong always realises their mistake and apologises for it. They always have each other’s back and it’s just such a beautiful friendship. While Kat’s realising that she’s bi the other two never make a biphobic or homophobic comment and are just excited for her when the relationship seems to be going well

💛 Besides Kat (black bisexual) and Adena (lesbian Muslim) we also have Alex (black) who is such a sweetheart. He’s an amazing friend to both Jane and Sutton and really funny and he’s just?? I love him??

💛 While it covers important and heavy issues, at it’s heart it’s a feel-good show: it’s funny, inspiring, positive, fun, heartwarming. There’s such a good balance with the heavy topics

💛 It’s amazingly written, directed, filmed and acted. It’s such a powerful show, especially the finale was amazing. One of the final scenes gave me chills and I was a sobbing mess. Just writing about it now makes me cry again.

💛 No romanticisation of abusive relationships?? They’re all healthy??

💛 As a journalism student myself it was so much fun to watch a show about journalism – and so inspiring! I just wanted to write articles myself haha

💛 And so many more reasons that I can’t put into words?? Or have forgotten because I have a terrible memory and I didn’t take any notes** It’s just so beautiful and amazing and funny and inspiring and important??

* Don’t get me wrong I love The Devil Wears Prada but I’m SO TIRED of this trope
** I want to rewatch it so bad but there are so many other shows I need to watch ahhh

Did you watch or are you watching The Bold Type? Did I convince you to watch it? Do you have any recs that are similar to The Bold Type that can keep me satisfied while I wait for season 2? (Please please let there be a season 2) Let me know in the comments!

Why I Can’t Relate to Library-related Posts

I love the library. Or at least the concept of it. Of course I do! A building full of books that you’re allowed to borrow? Who wouldn’t love that! Butttt I actually don’t love the library. And here’s why (why does this sound like a clickbait headline omg)

My library sucks

Yes, I said it. It didn’t always suck. It was paradise when I was younger, because it had a lot of books I wanted to read back then, but now? Not so much

Okay, first some context. When I say ‘the’ or ‘my’ library, I’m talking about the Central one in the center of the city, which as far as I know is the biggest one, because the other ones (especially the one nearest to me) are even worse when it comes to the selection of books.

Now maybe you’re thinking ‘wow Michelle aren’t you being a bit harsh so they don’t have that many books you want to read’. Yeah, but,,, You have to pay a yearly fee (and a pretty high one – at least for me) to even borrow books. When they barely have any books I want to read (and with that I mean English YA books) I’m not going to pay that fee, because I’ll barely use the library if at all.

I do have to admit that I also like owning books, but when I read all those posts about how great the library is and see how easily people borrow books from their libraries I do wish the library/libraries here were a bit better. Also apparently paying for your membership is not a thing in every country??

Seriously you guys with the awesome libraries, treasure them. Do it for us international book bloggers with the sucky libraries (and the books. Always do it for the books)

Do you have the same problem? Or are you one of those extremely lucky bookworms that I envy so much? Let me know in the comments!