Category Archives: Bits and bobs

Senn. A language and a film.

Senn
Senn poster

 

Dear reader,

This time I’m not writing about books but about a film and language. I’m fascinated by languages. All kinds of languages including constructed ones (the so called conlangs). I also like science fiction a lot, in writing and in films. That is why I had to see Senn.The film is something you need to experience for yourself. Next to the film itself I also saw the makers’ documentary on the Language of Senn. As you see in the top image there’s not much English in the images. That for me was intriguing already, and to learn that the one of the creators of the film had gone through a lot of work to create the language (in speaking and in writing) was fascinating. Do you remember Tolkien’s Elfish? The Klingon language as made for Star Trek? The Na’vi language for the film Avatar? Britton Watkins did that for Senn. He created the characters, the speech and the grammar. All the signs in the film were adjusted in that language. It was amazing to see how much work had been put into all the details.

Senn is more than just a science fiction film. It shows the observant viewer a lot of what is going on in the world today as well.

Senn 02

If you are interested in Senn (be it for the film or the language or even both), you can either click the image to the left or follow this link to have a more indepth look at Senn. The site behind the link offers you the option to purchase a Bluray disc of the film, a digital download or select one of the other options. You can see a trailer of Senn there as well.

More about Senn (who created it and more) is available at sennition.com.

If you like science fiction that has something to show and say (in English and in Senn’s local language) then you will like Senn. Still not convinced? Then take the quiz!

Proud to be a writer

Pride. Pride? Yes. Pride.

Yes, dear reader, it doesn’t happen often but today I feel the need to convey this. I’m proud of the books I’ve written and what they mean to many people.

I get e-mails from people around the world who tell me that my books make their life better. Among them are people who suffer from illnesses, and my books help them. There are also people who appreciate the books I write because they simply (is that really simply?) put them in a new world where they can experience new things.

I am proud of that. Happy for them. I am also proud that so many people buy my books and ask for more. It tells me that I’m doing something right. And even when I’m not getting rich of it financially, that’s fine. The emotions that come from the mails, letters and comments of so many people are worth so much more than money can ever be.

Maybe the only way I can put it is this way:

I may be a 5 star writer, you are a 10 star audience!

A huge step

Last week Saturday I took a huge step. It has to do with books.

I have published a Dutch SciFi which is doing somewhat quite well online, considering that I’m an unknown writer in my own country. (Yes, take some time to laugh. The English version is still in the works, by the way.)

Today I took a few copies to the local library, showed them and asked how it could be done to get the books on their shelves. It would be fun to have my books in the library of my own town. :-)
The people there were lovely! Very kind, interested and helpful! They had great advice, handed me a number of e-mail addresses, told me to get in touch with local newspapers and simply tell them about my book. Papers seem to love hearing about new talent. “You may even get interviewed,” they said. (OH NO!) And maybe there is an opportunity for me to do a reading at the library, or something like that.
After that I packed up the two copies of the book I had brought and… went to a local book store. I showed them the books and told them about me. They immediately wanted to put them up in their store. We discussed a price and their margin, and there the books went. Whoa Nelly.

I came home, pinched myself, said ouch and ordered a bunch more copies. Just in case. As an investment in what may come. I’m still in a daze about it… And yes, I sent mails to the newspapers and the Dutch Library Service to see if they want to read and rate my book for library purposes…

Nano 2014

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 6

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness is over. The 50.000 words (well, a bit more in my case) are written.

Nanowrimo 2014 is officially behind me.

I’ve ended this month with a story of 83815 words which in all honesty is a lot more than I had dared to hope for. And the story’s not done yet.

So, here’s the last run-down of things that have flown or crawled by in this story. You may recognise some of them once the book is out. (Which won’t be next month, I can promise you that. I first have to get Hilda 15 to a proper end.)

  • We learn more about the origins about walking huts;
  • swamp gas can smell like different things;
  • Hilda makes a prediction about her future without knowing it;
  • there’s something happening with oranges;
  • there’s also a real magic show;
  • and there is a form of disappointment. Magic isn’t all fun and laughter.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk along the path of this year’s Nanowrimo experience!

hilda02_320

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 5

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

Welcome to the Nanowrimo report after 25 days of writing.

The word count for Hilda 16 is currently well over 75.000 words. The story is still going strong but it needs a lot of tender loving care because writing at this speed is demanding that the gods of Typos come over for frequent visits!

What’s been going on in there so far since the last update:

  • Some insight on how old magical people can become and how they do it;
  • still no idea how old Hilda actually is (and I’m not going to ask. Toads make even more typos than speeding writers);
  • the teacher that they lost? Is found and back;
  • If you’ve read Hilda – Snow White revisited then you may recall a visit to Scary Mountain. I’ll leave this hint at that;
  • purple pebbles;
  • a student isn’t coming back to school;
  • there’s something about a ring with a red stone;
  • and a mountain is crumbling.
Nano 2014

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 4

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness which many people around the world lovingly call Nanowrimo is on track since 20 days. My story is still progressing nicely and I had the most amazing moment of synchronicity that I could hope for. Or not even that.

I was writing part 15 of my Hilda series when Nanowrimo started. Because of that I started writing part 16 even when 15 isn’t done yet. In book 15 I had reached a point where Hilda was struggling with something traumatic of her past.

So there I was, writing that specific part in her past in part 16 (which is about her youth) and at one point I was writing in 15 AND 16 simultaneously so I could get the feelings and emotions of both experiences perfectly aligned. How special is that? Very special, yes indeed; I’m glad you agree with me.

Right then, what has been happening since the last update?

  • They lost a teacher.
  • Forbidden rooms aren’t that forbidden for our witch, even at a young age.
  • Did I mention that I know who Hilda’s first boyfriend was? Well, I do.
  • Miss Hepatia Strunk wears pink.
  • If you’ve read “Charisma the young witch” then you’ll find out where the ring came from. Otherwise you will have to read Charisma. 😉
  • The word count so far is 62.980 words so this is going to be a larger than usual Hilda book, it seems. I’m sorry.
  • Something amazing happens with respect to Baba Yaga’s parents.

That’s it for this update. I hope you’re bouncing off the walls to get your hands on this book. In that case: happy bouncing, because it’s not finished yet. 😉

School

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 3

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The Nanowrimo madness is in its 15th day and I’m still going ahead full steam as far as work and other things allow.

The word count for the project currently is at 52362.

I can already promise you that this will be a very large new Hilda book. Forgive me if this upsets you, but somehow I think there is hardly anything to forgive. 😉

What new things have come up since the previous update?

  • An interesting twist in flying lessons, something that doesn’t involve a broom;
  • Hilda’s defence against boys trying to kiss her;
  • lessons about dragons;
  • meeting someone we’ve seen in a previous book;
  • Hilda learns something about attitude from someone who learnt something about attitude.
  • We learn about making a wand;
  • and a big secret is revealed. Who was Hilda’s first boyfriend?
  • Oh yes, there’s also this thing with a mirror.

 

Nano 2014

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 2

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness called Nanowrimo has been running for 10 days now. As usual I’m not very worried about reaching the goal of 50,000 words as my current word count for the project is at 37,228 words and I’m far from being done with the story. Not bad for ten days.

I am thoroughly enjoying this story and I’m certain you will also be entertained by all the things that happen in Hilda’s younger years. There are brooms to be flown and a school to be visited, to mention just a few things. Are there dragons, you ask? Well, do polar bears have white furs? Of course there are dragons!

What mentionables are there this time?

  • School. Yes, Hilda goes to school.
  • As I said: there is something like a dragon. Perhaps more of them.
  • We meet several teachers, some of which are not who or what they appear to be
  • There is music. Of sorts. You’ll learn about an instrument you probably never heard of. (I for one never did!)
  • How will the first flying lessons go? Do you have any idea?
  • If you read Hilda – Aiaia, you’ll know who’s coming to school too!

 

Hilda the wicked witch

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 1

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness is off since 5 days. I think I’m making good progress towards the goal of (at least) 50,000 words. My current count stands at 22,172 words.

As you may recall, my aim is to write most (or even better: all) of book 16 in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series, which  opens up the world of Hilda’s younger years.

What have I covered in these first days:

  • Hilda’s parents have entered the arena
  • They found a home in a small village
  • The magical people met the local king and queen
  • Hilda “arrived” into their life
  • Charisma, Hilda’s little sister, arrived as well
  • It’s now clear where Baba Yaga came from
  • And there are a few answers to burning questions like:
    • Where did the two black cats come from?
    • From which parent did Hilda inherit her attitude?
    • What triggered the appearance of Hilda’s expression “shiny“?
    • Who came up with “crappedy crap”?

Maybe you are as curious as I am to see where things stand in 5 days… :)

Hilda 14 – Phargene. The cover revealed

Dear reader,

Please insert your favourite happy sound, because here is the cover of the latest book in the series about Hilda the Wicked Witch. May I introduce you to “Hilda – Phargene”!

When Baba Yaga pays a visit to her family in the faraway country that they moved back to, she finds that something is wrong. An arrow with a partly distorted message is enough to call her magical friends into action, complete with brooms and cats.
Hilda and William are up for another adventure, now facing all kinds of strange creatures that they’ve never heard of and probably never want to encounter again. Join the magical duo for a voyage to mountains, icy fields and the hunt for phargene…

And for all avid Hilda fans: the book is already available for pre-order at Smashwords and Amazon!