I don‘t know which books to read. Somehow everything I touch does not fit my taste at the moment. Even my favorite authors and genres don’t excite me currently. I think I need to peek into stuff I didn’t like so far, or something very light to get back into the mood.

Where heaven and sea become one, the sails disappear. Our side has to say goodbye, but on the other side there are friends waiting, happy to welcome you. Farewell.

Late arrival in Lübeck.

Großer Dank an denjenigen der die „Bestattung“ Folge von WRINT gepostet hat! Der Post ging bei mir leider verloren. Großartiges Gespräch!

New phone, new watch… so far I‘m impressed by both! Coming from an iPhone 6 and no watch the jump is massive 😉

Seems like I finally have to update to High Sierra for the Micro.blog beta… will have to wait for the weekend then 😐

Foggy morning… found this spot after dropping my daughter off at day care.

Very busy week and not much time to get anything done. Things might be back to normal next weekend. But I really need some sleep 🙃

I wonder if people in the baby fashion industry realize that girls actually can wear a different color than pink.

That Time I Went to NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of the year again… November is near and NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I get excited about it since two or three years now, but I think I remember to have first heard of it already sometime around 2010. I liked the idea that you sit down each day for a month to write and at the end of it you have written your own novel. I knew that it would not be a finished book and that the whole idea is to get an early first draft ready during that time… just writing, not looking back, not listening to your inner critic and putting down 50000 words in one month. It took me some time to be brave enough to try it out myself though. I had no big ideas for a novel and I couldn’t imagine that one can just sit down, start writing and hope for the best. But somehow it got stuck in my head and so I decided to give it a try.

Two years ago I went for it. I knew that this November would not be the best month to do it, because I already had planned some weekend trips and had some appointments scheduled in the evenings, but I decided that I would make it work. I started to think about stories, put some ideas in mind maps to get a bigger picture and I even tried to outline some parts of it. When the 1st of November arrived I had some content to start with layed out in my head and I already prepared myself by doing some writing exercises. But then I chickened out. I started to think that everything is too complex, at least for my very first try to write a novel. It needed more preparation. It seemed I am a planner, not a pantser. The material I prepared is not lost, it’s still on my computer, waiting to be brought to life… and who knows… maybe I will do it some day!

But my mission was still there! I wanted to be part of this NaNoWriMo and though it seemed I’m a planner, I tried to run with another idea I had in mind but did not elaborate on. It was a good idea to start with and although I didn’t really know where it was going I was excited to see where it will take me. Maybe I’m a pantser overall?!

And so I sat down on November 3rd (those weekend trips!) and started writing. This is a post I put on my old blog, describing how my first day went. I put this on this site because I think it’s a great reference to how I felt during the process. And it’s interesting to see how feelings and memories change when you look back on the same thing two years later. Back then I totally ignored the fact that I planned a whole other novel before I started with this story. Crazy, but I was excited! It also shows what’s so great about NaNoWriMo… to sit down, write your story and to see the characters evolve. When you totally dive into it, your brain comes up with things you would have never thought of. At least I never thought that this is really possible, but then I experienced it on my own. I didn’t know that story I was writing and I had an idea where it might be going. But it turned out that the characters really were on their own and I just put into words what they wanted to do. Thinking about it, this really sounds esoteric… but it really works!

I managed to write about 13500 words. That’s a bit more than a week of NaNoWriMo. I also tried to write a little journal about my experience. Here’s another example. I came to a point where it felt like I drained my brain of ideas for this story. I was somehow exhausted. And after another weekend trip and some more busy days I lost the thread. Sadly, enough excuses to make a break. Sadly, I never went back to it. But I’m not sad I didn’t manage to write for the whole month. I’m actually kind of happy that I did try it out. I learned a lot and it was fun! When reading that manuscript it’s comically bad somehow. But that’s the point of NaNoWriMo… Get the story written, make it better afterwards. And that’s something I could do. The story itself isn’t that bad, it’s just the writing and the storytelling that needs improvement.

I know that I will never have enough time this year to really try it again… but I might try to just start another story, or dig out those mind maps and outlines of this other novel I had in mind back then. I’m not sure. All I know is that I feel that itch again and if it’s not this time, it might be next year or maybe I’ll just start writing on my own without the events and the community that’s built around it. I can only recommend to everyone who ever thought of writing a book to give it a shot. NaNoWriMo might not be the best fit for everybody, but it sure gives you a great feeling when you write the first chapters of your book! Nobody can take this away from you, so why not just sit down and start! As they say:

The world needs your novel

I need to resist going into the code of my Hugo theme to enable a feature I’d like for a certain post on my blog. It will have to work without it. Not as nice, but also not the end of the world… maybe later.

I‘m struggling to find the right balance between publishing and keeping things private… It would be helpful in a way, but at times the internet is not my favorite place.

We Are the 87%

The result of the election last Sunday was as I expected.

A far-right party is the third strongest party in the parliament now. Roughly 13% voted for them. Funny enough, they are the most successful in the areas with very few foreigners and refugees. I don‘t know why especially these people vote for more nationalism. The area where they are most successful is Saxony. I heard a radio interview, telling that an average kid in Saxony gets about 40 hours of political education during their time in school, starting at an age where many already left school. 40 hours of political education compared to an average of over 200 hours in the rest of Germany. This might not be the single reason, but it sure hints to a huge problem there. Of course there is a general problem in our country and the way some people think, and Germany isn‘t an exception… we see similar things for example in Hungary, Austria, France and of course the UK with its Brexit. It‘s a worldwide problem and it‘s unclear to me where all this will lead us.

I was very angry about those results. A few days passed now, but it’s still the same. And it will take some time to realize what all this means. But I do know that the other 87% in this country can’t sit around and do nothing. We have to show those 13% what a life in our times should look like and tell them that their hate speech and world view is unacceptable. This is not who we are; who we became. This is not what our history, especially as Germans, has told us. We have to fight for our democracy.

One of their (stolen) slogans is: „We are the people!“. Their main candidate after the election said: „We will take our nation and our people back! We will hunt Angela Merkel!“. And they have even more idiots shouting even more stupid things out of their mouths. Let me tell you this: we are not their people and this is not their country. They might try to ruin our country, but they will fail.

Star Trek: Discovery

I got to see the first couple of minutes of the new Star Trek: Discovery series. I didn’t hear a lot about it up until now, but I also wasn’t really searching for reviews or opinions. I was a huge fan of Star Trek when I was a bit younger. Deep Space Nine will forever be special to me.

Out in the fields, clearing my mind

Sometimes writing is a form of therapy

I’m afraid. I will be very upset tonight. I don’t understand people…

Election Day

It’s Sunday, election day… and I’m scared. I’m afraid this might be a turning point for our lives here in Germany. It’s the election where an extreme right party might become the third strongest party in our parliament. The people in this party are among the worst our country brings forth. The AfD (Alternative für Deutschland – Alternative for Germany) and the whole movement behind it is horrifying. Lots of people will vote for them because they are not satisfied with the current government and politics in general. I’m afraid they have no idea what this party stands for or who the people are that run for it. The fascists, the nationalists the Neonazis… it’s horrifying. These people in our parliament is the worst that happened to our country since World War 2.

Those who vote for them will have to explain to our children what they did and why they looked away. „We didn’t know anything“ is no excuse this time. It’s just not. We know! And we have to do everything we can to prevent the world they want us to live in!

I hope the election will not turn out as everybody expects. I hope their influence will be low. I hope our future won’t be their future. I hope I won’t have to explain to my daughter some day why we went backwards in 2017 and why nobody did anything against it.

Finally I have some time to watch Rogue One. It’s been a while…

Follow Up: "Why I Failed at Blogging"

It hasn’t been too long until I got the first couple of responses to my last post! First of all it’s great to see people reacting to what I write. It makes me think I’m on the right path here. (Shush if you don’t think so 😉)

Why I Failed at Blogging

One of the biggest purposes of my blog is to improve my writing and find out in which direction I should go with it. Now that I have a vague idea of some rules I like to set for myself and this site, I wondered how I could make it work this time.

I‘m really afraid of Sunday 😕 I really don‘t want to see the election results. It will probably be a historic disaster.

A Blog Definition

You do what? What is blogging? But... Why? I don‘t get it.

I had some conversations like this in the past. “Normal people“ don‘t understand why anybody would take a relatively large amount of time to write about whatever and put it somewhere on the internet, exposing themselves, giving away a lot of private information. Should I try to explain it to them? Would they understand? I know about all the good reasons for blogs, microblogs, adding and owning content etc. But do normal people understand or even care? I’m not sure about that. I’m sure they should know about it. But there’s a lot of work to do in the future and I’m not sure I’m the right person to preach it. I’ll try my best.

But what am I actually doing here? What do I write about and why? I also don’t get it. But it’s a journey. I like to write, I want to become better at it and there’s no further explanation needed for me. It’s fun. You have your hobbies, I have mine.

Before I went and set up this new site I thought about these questions… What am I writing, why and how? And to some extend I am like Gary the Privacy Concern Clown 🤡 here. I hesitate to put out very opinionated texts. I did not write anything of substance at all in probably two years. I removed all content from all my domains. I basically quit Twitter, deleting roughly 6000 tweets and now more or less only use it to be up to date on the latest Trump-Outrage of the day. I rarely post to Facebook anymore, that whole platform is only corporate-, sports- or ad-related content; I can’t find anything posted by my “friends“ there since a very long time. In short: I don‘t want the whole world to know too much about me. I don‘t want search engines to link to my sites. I don‘t want crawlers to save everything I put out there for eternity. What I would like is for “normal people“ to read what I write, but still maintain some sort of privacy.

But how I get people to read it then? I don‘t know. We’ll see. It’s still new around here. Maybe it’s even better if nobody notices it. And in the end it all comes down to one thing: I want to write. If people read it, great! If they like it, even better! If nobody sees it, also ok for me (at least for now). I do this for myself, not to become famous or anything.

Staying private yet putting stuff out there is a bit of a contradiction. But I made my experiences in the past. I read some of my old stuff of my old blog(s). I’m still proud of some posts, but some are hard to read. It’s painful in a way. Therefore I need rules and I need to take care of them.

But what should I write about then? Aren’t blogs opinionated? Maybe a tech blog? Some software development stuff, How-Tos, Intros and Guides? This might help to reach more people, but it’s a very narrow field and it’s a lot of work. I did try some of these out, and it’s really time consuming. It has to be more or less the one single topic of the whole blog, otherwise it’s just not worth it. So… for this and many other reasons… this will not be a tech and/or development blog. There might be the occasional comment on something, but then it’s just a side note.

I’m not a Link-Blog person. Commenting on other blogs is also not my thing. Although I really do enjoy others commenting on other people’s blog posts. I just don’t think that I can add much value there. I’m also not sure how much value I can add to my own posts though. I like to compose longer texts, but this is a lot of work and it takes time for refinement. On one hand this is a problem, on the other hand this is also an area for improvement. And again… this is what this is all about.

If you haven‘t noticed: I‘m German. I‘m pretty sure all of my writing is full of grammatical errors and misspellings. Please be kind… I do my best and hope at least some of it makes sense 😉 I try to stay English, but some things are probably irrelevant for non-Germans or just too hard for me to translate and formulate, so there might be the occasional German text. Beware! It will be loud, cruel and horrific! 😉

Considering all this I came to these conclusions:

  • Stay positive! It’s a rant? It doesn’t belong here.
  • Stay away from very opinionated posts. I know I will break this rule with one of the next posts already, but I don’t want this to get out of control. If it is one of those posts, there has to be a good reason for it.
  • It’s not about a single topic. I will explore what I want to write about and don’t think too much about it.
  • Short posts will stay over at Micro.blog. Longer posts will be put here. I enjoy writing, I want to get better. This blog is all about that.
  • It’s for fun, not work.
  • I don’t care about stats.

That’s my definition of my new blog. But if anyone asks me why I do this, I’ll just say: „Why not?“

There’s an election happening in Germany on Sunday and everything related to it makes me so incredibly furious! I cannot believe this is happening 😫

Well… turns out… apt-get can quickly lead to a FUBAR situation 🔥