In which Eefje gushes about an author in a slightly creepy way

You know how sometimes, you read a book and fall entirely in love with it? I had that happen with an unexpected book recently, Moranthology by Caitlin Moran. It’s a collection of her columns, and I just LOVE IT SO MUCH. I have had How to be a Woman on my to read list for a while when I found the Dutch translation of Moranthology in the take-if-you-like-it pile at work. I figured, hey I’ve been wanting to read something by this author and it’s free, even if I would have prefered to read it in English.

And it is just a book that matches me entirely. Caitlin Moran is one of the few people who I can now add to the list of ‘people who I want to be when I grow up’. (The list includes Neil Gaiman and my Nana.) Her writing style, her way of looking at life, the universe and everything, her feeling about hairstyles and hanging out with awesome musicians. Her feminism, her great love for Doctor Who and Sherlock and the way she makes fun of Downton Abbey. All of it. I may be vaguely creepy in my love for this woman I have never met but I aboslutely adore her. I am a part of the Caitlin Moran fandom now and it is glorious.

I also want to mention the translator, Petra C. van der Eerden, who did an excellent job on the Dutch edition. Moran’s voice come through loud and clear and there wasn’t a moment where I felt like I could ‘see’ the English behind the phrases (something that always makes me want to read the actual English edition and is often the mark of a not-so-good translator), not even in the column about Sherlock in which quotes from the show are mentioned. I do instantly remember the actual English dialogue obviously, but in no way did that disturb my reading-enjoyment.

I can’t wait to read Moran’s (I keep wanting to call her Cate, which she mentions in the book is the name people who actually know her call her) other books, How to be a Woman and How to Build a Girl. I am going to enjoy ferociously consuming anything she puts out in the world.

This is the Goodreads page for Moranthology, and here is Caitlin Moran’s twitter.

Busy busy summer

You would not believe how busy I have been this summer. How busy I still am. My time is mostly filled with fun and interesting stuff, but it does lead to less blogging then I would have liked. Anywhoo, here’s to more updates again. 🙂

Fun news, my stepbrother is getting married this weekend, and I have dyed my hair again in celebration:

I am very excited for the wedding, so I felt I needed an explosion of colour to signify that. I’m not going to re-bleach my roots, I like that my natural colour is coming out again. I still have more than enough bleached hairs that I can colour and re-colour in all of the pastels and extreme tints.

I made a communte drawing again! In a facebook conversation that turned to who of us would be which avenger I said I was the Hulk, and a friend of mine said someone else had already claimed that role. I responded thusly:




Me: Whoop lost my cool there for a moment.

Sometimes I do things just to amuse myself. I think I myself laughed the hardest. In the train I then drew this:

Eefje-Hulk! I still need to learn how to do patterned clothing better, so that’s a thing I want to improve. I enjoyed drawing in the train again. I’ve lately been knitting and crocheting and sometimes reading, and my commute is not endless. (Thank God.)
But I will start drawing again now.

I’m also thinking about resurrecting the I found a bookmark project, since I did really enjoy it even though I was sad all the bookmarks went missing and that I didn’t get much response. I’m thinking of changing the workflow a little though. I have such a large to read pile at home that adding library books to that would not be smart. So I will just check which of the books I’m going to read are also in the library and put the bookmark in there. And perhaps start with making a couple of bookmarks for books I’ve recently read, so that I can start with a bang and not have the readers of the blog (few though they might be) having to wait ages between posts.

In which more commute drawings are imaginary polaroids

Sunday: Today I am a sculptor. Working on high lights! Funnily enough two people instantly replied with the words “Don’t Blink!”, one on twitter and one of facebook. Yay for Doctor Who references.

No drawing for Monday because I was in a super full train. I did have a place to sit, but taking out my art supplies for a drawing felt like it would get in the way of others.

Tuesday: A star tattoo. Of course I only realised the thumbnail should be facing forward with this pose when I was just about finished. Oh well, this is how I learn. And I really should watch my own hands more.

Wednesday: Hair closeup imaginary polaroid. Watercolour pencils in my Moleskine sketchbook. I only have a few pages left and then I’m starting a new sketchbook. I got a travel journal by hahnemuehle, I hope I’ll like the paper! The lady in the shop let me try out some water colour pencils and a copic marker on a test sketchbook. I like the structure of the paper for pencil drawings and water colour pencils, for copic markers it will suck up a bit more ink than I would like, but I can still use them. I’m currently really focused on the drawing and erasing and using water colours, so that was the most important factor to consider.

Thursday: Were you the kid that drew on the walls? I wasn’t as far as I know. So here I am drawing on imaginary walls! This #commutedrawing fills up the last page in my Moleskine sketchbook, next week will be the start of the new one. I’m curious to see how the different paper will feel once I’m actually working on it every day.

It’s a little crazy how fast I went through my sketchbook once I started this commute drawing project. Before that it had lasted me for years. I used a different sketchpad for my daily drawings last year (which I kept up for a month), because they were practice sketches from an instruction book. My sketchbook generally holds more completed drawings and paintings. I like how I’ve found a nice middle ground with the imaginary polaroids and other drawings I’ve made in this project.

#commutedrawing week 6
#commutedrawing week 5
#commutedrawing week 4
#commutedrawing week 3
#commutedrawing week 2
#commutedrawing week 1

When I drew every day for a month last year

On meeting Mark Oshiro and Neil Gaiman

I’ve had the most wonderful weekend. First on friday Mark Oshiro (From Mark Reads and Mark Watches) was in Amsterdam and I went to a meet-up with him, which turned into the longest event he had on this tour so far. We met up at 7 pm, waited for late-comers and then we went to the Amsterdam public library (which is amazing) to sit on the terrace and eat and talk and listen to Mark tell stories and read bad fanfic. Suddenly it was already 10 pm and the library was closing, but the fanfic portion of the evening had just started. So we to a pub and continued until 11.45 pm.

I never thought that Mark would get the chance to come over to Europe to do a tour so I had basically resigned myself to never meeting him in real life unless I saved up and went to the States. Suddenly getting to meet him was such a treat! I went on my own and didn’t know anybody (we ended up being a small group of thirteen people) so I was a little nervous about that and a bit more nervous about meeting someone from the internet who I admire. Everything went great and I felt comfortable and talked with everyone and it was awesome. I think my favourite moment (of an evening filled with favourite moments) was watching Mark flail in response to me asking if he would be doing Orphan Black for Mark Watches. He already watched it so no, but it was so great to share how awesome that show is with him. (Seriously, go watch Orphan Black ya’ll.)

Then on saturday Neil Gaiman came to my home town for an interview and signing. I love his books so much, I basically want to live in his brain. I did not go alone this time but I was much more nervous then I had been for meeting Mark. It was great to be able to share feeling nervous and excited with my best friend though. Neil was witty and nice and when I got to get my books signed he told me he loved my hair (pictures beneath the fold)! While we were in line for the signing people were handed post-its so we could write down what we wanted Neil to sign in our books and so that he would know how to spell our names. I wrote on mine that American Gods was one of my favourite books ever and that the second copy of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane was for a friend of mine who couldn’t come to the signing but was a big fan too. I did this just in case I would suddenly lose all ability to speak once I was in front of Neil. Normally that is not something that happens to me but I remembered getting my copy of The Fault in Our Stars signed by John Green and my brain went ‘pronouncing English words? Hahaha, NO’. (I got the Dutch edition, Een Weeffout in onze Sterren as a bithday gift for my cousin and John suggested he could write ‘happy birthday’ which I felt was the smartest idea ever because I hadn’t thought of that at all.) It was so incredible to get to meet Neil Gaiman, even with just a few sentences of actual personal interaction. Whenever I see his signature in my books I remember that moment that I will treasure for ever because it made me so happy. For a while after the event had ended my friend and I were both still giddy and flailing and ‘OMG NEIL GAIMAN’. Sharing geekiness and fangirling is the best feeling in the world.

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