Goals for 2017 (Which I’ll Probably Fail At *cue maniacal laughter*)

2017goals

Welp look at that negativity. I like to see it as realism though. Looking at the goals I set for myself in 2015 and 2016 and how many I failed at… Oh well, I still think it’s fun to set myself goals and it means I can make lists!!

As I’ve said in my December wrap up I’m no longer setting any reading goals for myself except for the Goodreads one (I’m once again aiming for 100 books), because at some point I forget about them anyway and it put too much pressure on me. Of course there’s a high chance that somewhere during the year I change my mind when I find a fun challenge to join haha.

So what goals am I setting for myself?

Writing 

  • Like last year, I’m setting up the goal of: just write 
  • Work on my grandfather’s biography
  • Work on all my outlines
  • Finish at least one of my WIPs
  • Maybe start the Young Writers Chat again

Blogging

  • Change my layout – I don’t think I’ll change my theme and I’m happy with my graphics, but I want my blog to be more colourful
  • Try to blog regularly again
  • Catch up on reviews
  • Catch up on tags
  • Become the Scheduling Queen™ I used to be again
  • Catch up on blogposts I need to read
  • Follow more blogs
  • Become more active in the blogging community again

I’ll probably come up with more goals throughout the year (though I hope not since I might not even complete these haha). So uh wish me luck?

What are your goals for this year? Are you setting yourself any reading goals? Let me know in the comments!

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In Which I Judge My Own Writing Part XVI

in which i judge

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this weekly feature I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary. 

Part I | Part II | Part IIIPart IV Part VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV


Ah I remember this chapter. All the first years are going on their ‘first mission’, but um. Most of them aren’t really ‘spy missions’. If any at all. Zoey, Laila and Bryan need to babysit one of the teachers children, but apparently there are criminals trying to kidnap her (though I think they’re just saying that to justify child labour). Patricia, Reane and Tim need to pick up the janitor from the hospital. Once again the argument ‘he could be kidnapped!!’ is used, because he used to be ‘an excellent spy with a lot of enemies’. Yeah okay but why would anyone go after an old man, when there’s nothing to gain #logic.

Oh and Ricky and his teammates are trying to catch one of the teacher’s dogs who had run from home. And basically it’s just another filler chapter, because nothing happens. Literally nothing. Wow that would make a short post. Let’s continue on to chapter 14 then, shall we? This one’s called ‘The Dream’. So I’m guessing Zoey’s going to have the same dream from the prologue. Yep she does. And I’m pretty sure I just copy pasted it from the prologue because it’s exactly the same. Zoey now finally remembers the dream from two years ago and thinks it might be a kind of vision of the past. About Ethelbertha

Because of Zoey’s dream, they now know what happened to Ethelbertha (Sheffield Sr. had locked her up inside the secret room inside the secret room) and where the secret room in the secret room was (damn secret-room-ception): in a wardrobe. But said wardrobe was locked last time they were there, and when they try to open it with a bobby pin that evening, it won’t work. They’ll have to find the key…

And turns out chapter 14 was super short, so that’s it for this week! Next week’s chapter is called ‘the prediction comes true’. Is it too much to add that dum dum dummm gif again here or…

Okay I can’t think up any questions for you guys, so just talk to me about your writing! Do you have any fun anecdotes for me? Let me know in the comments!

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In Which I Judge My Own Writing Part XV

in which i judge

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this weekly feature I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary. 

Part I | Part II | Part IIIPart IV Part VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV


The conversation between Bryan and Chris Leblanc, Ethelbertha’s old teammate, continues. Bryan asks if he thinks if Edmund Sheffield, the grandson of Ethelbertha’s archenemy could be behind her disappearance. It turns out that there’s something Sheffield wanted, but Ethelbertha managed to get her hands on it before him: a brooch that’s worth 100 million. It was a very special brooch: it belonged to…

Mona Lisa

Bryan wonders what Sheffield would want with it. Chris says he thinks he wants to sell it. ”Lots of criminals do that with valuable things they steal.” Update: I’ve died of laughter.

After the conversation the friends talk about what they’ve just learned and wonder where the brooch could be. Then Zoey has a breakthrough: she opens Ethelbertha’s medallion (which they had found in the locked room in a previous chapter) and finds the brooch behind the picture of Ethelbertha. Reane is impressed: ‘That really belonged to Mona Lisa. I read about it!’ That’s impossible Reane, because ‘Mona Lisa’ is not a person, it’s the name of the painting. Damn Reane you’re supposed to know stuff.

Then Zoey has another breakthrough: she realises that she’s the girl falling through the trap door on the tarot card, because Sheffield knows she has the medallion. But Zoey how does he even know the brooch is in there #logic. Zoey tells Reane to keep the medallion for her, because he can’t get his hands on it. PEOPLE IT’S JUST A BROOCH IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD IF HE DOES GET HIS HANDS ON IT. IT’S AN EXPENSIVE BROOCH THAT’S NOT GOING TO DESTROY THE WORLD.

Sometime later Reane is looking up information about the Sheffields in the library. Conveniently she finds a book called ‘Criminals of The Netherlands’. Oh boy this man meant business. When he was a smol baby, he stole cookies from the cookie jar. The book’s like: ‘all criminals start small’. PRETTY MUCH EVERY CHILD STEALS COOKIES FROM THE COOKIE JAR BOOK. When he was a bit older he started to steal money, went to juvie at 13, escaped a year later and then two years later he tried to freeze the country. See? business. He ended up in juvie again, but this time escaped after two months. They found him again in Mexico, where he tried to flood the country #what. He tried to blow up the prison in which they kept him afterwards, but Ethelbertha stopped him. He was already dying in 1990, but he still tried to steal Mona Lisa’s brooch (*screaming*). Like Chris already mentioned, Ethelbertha found it before he did and hid it. But she disappeared in 1991. Sheffield died a week later. Reane concludes that it had to be Sheffield who made her disappear, but where was she know? (I love how it doesn’t occur to anyone that she could have been murdered – the innocence of a ten-year old author)

Did you steal cookies from the cookie jar? Are you know a criminal mastermind? Let me know in the comments!

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In Which I Judge My Own Writing Part XIV

in which i judge

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this weekly feature I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary. 

Part I | Part II | Part IIIPart IV Part VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII


Last chapter was completely pointless, but chapter 11 is called ‘the secret room’ so surely some important stuff happens in this one right? Let’s dive in.

They’re all in the mysterious no longer locked room, pondering about what Door said about Ethelbertha being locked inside a secret room in a secret room, when Laila accidentally finds one of said secret rooms by pulling a torch on the the wall (don’t ask me why there is a torch in a modern 21st century school). There was now a hallway and a stairway leading up. Pictures of Ethelbertha are hanging on the walls. Why. That makes no sense. I should really rename the book to ‘Spy Academy And It Makes No Sense’. Upstairs they find themselves in a dome entirely made out of glass (HOW HAS NO ONE NOTICED THIS FROM THE OUTSIDE THIS ISN’T HOGWARTS)

After an hour of ~investigating~ Tim finds a diary. Zoey decides to read it later that evening after dinner (Tim can’t read the handwriting). They also find more pictures, in which they also see Heyligers. Reane just happens to carry the yearbook she had found in the library with her (doesn’t she have to return that at some point soon) and it turns out that Heyligers and Ethelbertha were classmates. They also deduce that they were friends.

Once Zoey is back in her room she starts reading the diary. Turns out that Ethelbertha and Heyligers were in the same team along with a guy named Chris LeBlanc (nah I didn’t come up with that last name because of Friends *cough cough*). On her second day of school Ethelbertha went to explore the school and found the same locked door as our protagonists, which she immediately opened because she is prepared and always carries a bobby pin with her, unlike some ‘spies’. She claimed the room as hers, because #logic. She put up her dresses there, because she’ll ‘know they’ll be safe there’. What. Why wouldn’t they be safe in your room. She writes about how some other students can’t stand her because she’s ‘always wearing dresses’?? ‘But it’s who I am. And I won’t change for them!’

After a week Ethelbertha has really claimed the room as her own, stating that it’s like she’s living there. She’s been busy exploring it, because she feels ‘as if there’s more to it’

A few weeks later she and Heyligers have found a secret room (the same one the protagonists just found). But after that entry Zoey was done and fell asleep.

Like true spies the friends decide to try and find Chris LeBlanc’s phone number and call him. They are very good at being spies of course, and they go to Heyligers’ office to take a look in her planner. Sure enough, his number is in there. So Zoey starts calling and a woman, with the same last name as Chris, picks up.

”Hello, this is Zoey Lamour. I go to Spy Academy and I have a few questions for your husband.”

Zoey your parents aren’t even allowed to know where you actually go to school what do you not understand about ‘secrecy’. Once Zoey tells Chris that she’s investigating Ethelbertha’s disappearance (girl you need to work on your keeping things secret skills what if he’s got something to do with it) and he immediately freaks out and asks if she spoke to the police. Apparently they had him down as a suspect, at least years ago. Suspicious. (spoiler: he had nothing to do with it, but I feel like that’s a lost opportunity). Zoey puts Bryan on the phone to tell Chris about his kidnappers and he describes them as ‘tall, thin, black hair and brown-green eyes’ and ‘short, fat, bald and grey eyes’. This is enough for Chris to deduce that the tall one is most likely Edmund Sheffield, the archenemy of Ethelbertha

Did you dream of having your own secret room as a kid? I feel like everyone did, but maybe I’m wrong. Also who am I kidding don’t we all still dream about having one? Preferably in a big library. Though it would be annoying if you just want to grab a book to read and BAM. You’re on the other side in your secret room. 

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In Which I Judge My Own Writing Part XIII

in which i judge

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this weekly feature I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary. 

Part I | Part II | Part IIIPart IV Part VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII


Chapter ten is called ‘Ria’s revenge’, so naturally it’s time to reintroduce Ria. Ria is one of Ricky’s teammates. She wears big glasses and isn’t that nice since she and Johnny, Ricky’s other teammate, didn’t want to hang out with him. And now she wants revenge for something.

Ricky overhears her and Johnny whispering about something: ‘Be in the woods at five’. What could they be planning? The two of them are late for class, and Ricky doesn’t want to enter after them in fear of Heyligers’ wrath. Luckily for him he comes up with a great excuse: ‘They locked me up in the bathroom!’ Heyligers thinks this is awful, so she punishes Ria and Johnny without even listening to their side of the story.

Later Ricky tells the others about what he overheard. He thinks Ria’s going to take revenge on him for putting on a bear costume and pretending to be a bear (this was on their first day of classes). Turns out he’s right, because in the next paragraph Miranda (one of the teachers) is helping Ria into a bear costume, but it turns out someone is listening in… Who could it be?!

Turns out it was Ricky. He now knows about the revenge plot (why is no one wondering why Miranda is in on this because I am). He goes along with it when Johnny asks him to meet in the woods though, but naturally when Johnny yells ‘A BEAR’ he doesn’t fall for it. But then…

”Um, that’s not a costume.” they turn around to find Ria, so the bear in front of them must be real.

Except it’s not because it’s Miranda. Turns out she and her sister Melinda (another sister) had a plan of their own, to scare the entire team. Except not. Because Melinda told Ricky about the plan. And that was this chapter

What a pointless filler chapter.

Have you ever written a filler chapter that adds NOTHING? Not to the plot, subplots, character arcs, character development, relationships etc.? Let me know in the comments!

Ps. Help I’m going back to school tomorrow and it’s not Hogwarts

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In Which I Judge My Own Writing XII

in which i judge

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this weekly feature I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary. 

Part I | Part II | Part IIIPart IV Part VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IX | Part X | Part XI


We’re at chapter 9 already! Can you believe it? This chapter is called ‘the prediction’. I wonder what that prediction is about? (no seriously I’m not just saying that I’m actually wondering)

Last chapter ended on a cliffhanger, with the squad in Patricia and Reane’s room after curfew and hearing footsteps. It was Heyligers patrolling, but they all hid in time so no harm done. They decide to quickly try out the tarot cards so they can go to bed. Apparently Reane didn’t just steal the cards, but also the instructions (loool). Reane turns three cards and this is what’s on them:

A full moon. A girl falling through a trap door. An office, with a woman behind the desk and a boy and a girl on the other side.

I definitely did NOT know how tarot cards worked. They deduce that when it’s a full moon, a girl will fall through a trap door and a boy and a girl will tell a woman. They also deduce that this woman is most likely supposed to be the headmistress. They decide that they need to know what her office looks like, so it’s time to trade food for information with Door again. She’s fallen out of love with chicken, now it’s ‘puddingbroodjes’ (I looked it up and ‘bread pudding’ comes pretty close to it but it’s still not the same) (damn now I want some). They wonder how they can get those (I dunno maybe the kitchen or maybe at a bakery just some suggestions), so in case they can’t get any their plan B is to ask Melinda (she was one of the teachers that recruited the girls). Of course they could also just go up and ask her right away, since that would be easier and quicker but okay

Ah okay, so Door only likes the ‘puddingbroodjes’ from a certain bakery, all the way in Amsterdam. Door sure is picky. Zoey, Laila and Ricky don’t think they can pay for it, because damn those shipping costs. And the pudding bread itself is super expensive too. But have no fear Tim is here! Turns out Tim’s father is rich and he easily takes out two notes of fifty euro and hands them over. HOW MANY ‘PUDDINGBROODJES’ ARE THEY PLANNING ON BUYING THAT THEY NEED 100 EUROS

After Tim is gone, Reane enters and shows them what she wanted to show them before Heyligers caught them (see Part XI). Turns out she found a yearbook of 1984 and in it she found a picture of Door. She also found a picture of Ethelbertha Harrison (okay last time I said she went to the school in the 1990’s but she did graduate during that time, so). So turns out that Door had gone to the school at the same time as Ethelbertha. They decide to ask her about it that same evening when they’ll give her the ‘puddingbroodjes’. Ah no, turns out they only ordered one. Did they seriously spend 100 euros on one ‘puddingbroodje’ and the shipping costs.

Anyway, Door is delighted at the sight of her current favourite food. Reane shows her the tarot card with the office on it and Door confirms that it looks like the headmistress’ office. She doesn’t remember Ethelbertha though, but she does remembers when they show her the yearbook picture. She tells them that no one knows why she disappeared, but some people suspect that she’s still at the school, locked inside a secret room. A secret room in a secret room.

Later that night they take another look at the tarot cards, which apparently aren’t missed by Heyligers even though she uses them every day (more #logic). They turn three other cards, and one of them shows two girls and a boy wearing the SpyUniform (don’t ask me what this is because I have no clue). Above them it says ‘1’. It’s supposed to be Team 1, so they figure that either Zoey or Laila will fall through a trap door. *internally screaming that this is not how tarot cards work*

The next card shows a bird laying an egg. In The Netherlands we have the saying ‘in mei leggen alle vogels een ei’, which means ‘in May all birds lay an egg’ (it sounds better in Dutch). So they deduce that the girl falling through a trap door will happen in May. The last card shows a man, who Bryan recognises as one of the man that kidnapped him.

Sorry but not sorry I really love this gif thus why I use it in almost all of these posts

Would you be willing to spend 100 euros on food. In one day. On one frickin’ meal. Because I love food but I’m not. Also have you been writing? How’s it going? Let me know in the comments!

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In Which I Judge My Own Writing XI

in which i judge

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this supposed to be weekly feature  I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary.

Part I Part II | Part III | Part IV Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X


Since last post was getting a bit long I decided to split the chapter up. What’s most important from last time is that they decide to open the mysterious locked door that night. Not everyone is coming along: Patricia doesn’t want to break the rules since she’s a team leader (so is Zoey but she doesn’t care) and Bryan is still recovering of course.

So anyway, the others all sneak out of their rooms to the eight floor where the door is. Zoey uses the bobby pin from Door to open it and they find themselves in a small round room, which disappoints them. Reane ponders that there might be a secret room (is this my attempt of foreshadowing?), but since they have a lot of classes the next morning and have to get up early, they decide to come back after class. It makes me wonder what the point of going at night was.

If you’ve read the last part you may remember that there’s no hospital wing or ER Room or anything like that. Nor are there any doctors at the school, even though they’re training for spies. Now Zoey and Laila are both suffering from a headache and decide to get some aspirin. You know where they’re going to get that? At the kitchen. That makes no sense, but okay. This adds nothing to the plot, but I like to share everything that makes no sense with you guys.

Zoey, Laila and Ricky’s classes are done with classes before the others so they decided to investigate while the others have class. Zoey says ‘maybe we’ll find a diary or something’ – I doubt I knew what foreshadowing was at that age but look, my second attempt in one chapter. In the end Laila finds a portrait of a woman who Zoey recognises her from the statue in the fountain in the school’s garden (second day of school: Zoey, Laila and Bryan explored the school and Zoey thought the statue looked familiar – though she doesn’t remember it’s the woman she dreamed about in the prologue).

At dinner they decide to go back when they’re done eating. Reane leaves them to go the library and will meet up with them later. The friends think she’s going to look for a book about the history of the school, because Reane loves history. But as Zoey mysteriously points out: ”I don’t think she’s just looking for it because she loves history’. Oooh more foreshadowing.

Zoey and Patricia investigate the wardrobe in the secret room. Who knows why Ethelbertha had a wardrobe (and a portrait of herself?) in that room, when she had a dorm room at the school. It’s full with old clothes. I think I imagined them as dresses from the early 20th century, even though Ethelbertha was at the school in the 1990’s #logic

In the pocket of one of the dresses Zoey finds a medallion, in which there’s a picture of a small girl and the name ‘Ethelbertha’ scratched in it. I’m starting to think that Ethelbertha was a bit in love with herself.

There are some knocks on the door – Reane. She exclaims ‘you’ll never believe this!’, to which Heyligers, who appears behind her out of nowhere responds ‘Indeed I won’t believe this! Can’t you read? It says ‘forbidden!’.

Okay so a bunch of nonsense happens that is completely irrelevant to the plot and the characters’ development – so let’s skip that. They’ve all gotten individual punishments, and Reane’s is to clean Heyligers’ office, which she’s investigating naturally. Because she’s a spy (I almost wrote spie oh my god). She just takes Heyligers’ tarot cards with her (it’s not like she’ll miss them right) and makes copies of letters from Heyligers’ friend André and Heyligers’ diary (um rude)

When Reane’s back in her room she starts to read all the letters, but none of them are important and really should’ve been left out. 10-year old me needs to learn what editing is.

Okay so remember when Heyligers tried to steal Door’s chicken? Apparently that wasn’t just my attempt at comedy. In one of the letter André talks about a ritual that he thinks they should perform – Christmas Day, midnight. And this is what she’ll need:

  • 1 chicken
  • 9 onions around the chicken
  • Lemonade to cover the chicken in
  • Orange juice for in the chicken

THAT IS NOT A RITUAL, THAT IS A RECIPE. WHAT KIND OF RITUAL IS THIS. DO THEY WANT TO SUMMON A CHICKEN.

Okay so apparently it was a ritual to summon ghosts. What.

The letter:

It worked! The ritual worked! The ghosts spoke to us. At least with mom, dad, uncle Joop, aunt Kelly and me. I hope they spoke with you as well, Lil. If not, let me know, then I’ll tell you what they said in the next letter. Happy New Years by the way!

Ah, summoning ghosts over dinner (because that’s not the ingredients for a ritual okay), what a great way to bond with your family.

In his last letter André writes that according to ‘the cards’ the room will be opened that same month (aay that happened), but he warns her to not go in there herself, because according to the headmistress it’s ‘dangerous’. What. I really wonder why it’s dangerous? How fun I, the author, have no clue either.

The chapter ends with the entire squad (including Bryan who refused to stay behind) in Reane and Patricia’s room, talking about their newest discovery. But then they hear footsteps…

And that’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll be back next week so I can actually call this a weekly feature haha.

Have you ever tried to summon a chicken? Be honest guys. Share your rituals. 

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