Fighting with writing

Why is it so hard for me to write a book? I mean.. writing this, and every other blog post, just jumps from my mind, onto the keyboard and into screen in just a couple of minutes.

I know exactly the type of books I want to write. The style I mean. I loved the Bridget Jones diaries, I am a fanatic for Agatha Christie's books, and I have this idea I could replicate Harry Potter.

So why is this not easier?

Am I afraid to write the story?

Am I unsure of what I want to put into the world, as a message, with the book?

Do I have too little time to think about the plot and the characters and plan the chapters?

Do I know too little about writing a fiction book?

Is this just bad timing?

Is it all of the above?

Truth is I am experiencing an ugly burn out, and trying to write a book in a state some describe with "loss of creativity", "lack of productivity" and "inability to focus" might not be the best idea.

Alex had some great thoughts though. He suggested to sprinkle some fantasy over the reality I know: the forest and animals can be bewitched, the paintings on the houses can be magical, the bridge can be at a greater scale.. Some stories can even be included as they happened, and they are intriguing enough.

That could work. Plus I'd love making the villages famous, and get people from all over the world to visit my parent's museum.

Or should it be a Christmas story? I so enjoy the Polar Express and the magic of winter trains. And it's so cold in the winter, those beautiful decorations are what makes it bearable.

Should I write a book for kids? It's so important what you learn until you're 6. Plus we're all kids. Or for adults? Or both?

Or should I write songs? They are more similar to blog posts. Shorter I mean.

Should it be a Christmas song? Do I have an inner Hrusca in me?

Or maybe I should do a book mixed with clips and songs, something modern. Or just with drawings.

But before anything I should go to sleep. Sleep on it.

Maybe I'll get lucky and dream the whole book. :)


For this article's image: a sneak peak into my secret Pinterest board with things that make me day dream

About the you in you haven't done it yet

J K Rowling's plans - just because I needed a picture and someone else might find this interesting to see

Okay, so this is one of my complicated thoughts but I am trying to write it down, just because I am sure I'll find it interesting in the future when I'll read it again.

You know how when writers and other kind of artists talk about how no idea is new, they say that ideas are always recycled, and what actually matters is that you haven't done "it" yet?

I actually just saw this again in Big Magic this morning. But you kind of bump into it everywhere when reading about creativity and originality.

So what I realised today is how much the emphasis in this phrase is on the YOU part. I'll explain it in a minute.

I was looking at a great clip online on J K Rowling's writing process, done by a young writer and vlogger Kate Cavanaugh. The clip has been online since July 2019, so not even two months ago, but has almost 100k views.

I'm sure other people have made videos, and wrote articles, and well documented books on J K Rowling's method, that might have taken years to write. But I and 100k more people found Kate's clip.

Because generations differ and so does their taste in consuming content.

So the YOU is not just about your talent, not even about your passion.

The YOU holds a great power simply because the way you can do something today, which probably gives YOU the greatest chance of getting that idea in front of the people looking for it.

Because of all the things you know about the world today.

So if you were looking for a reason to do something and you had doubts about "it" not being a very original idea - it does not matter because YOU, the person living and reading this in 2019 (or whatever the year is when you are reading the article), haven't done it yet. :)

Surprising my father with color blind glasses

When I was little I simply found it funny how my father couldn't tell the colour of his shirts and how my mother had to guess what clothes he was asking for. Then, as I grew, it became more and more intriguing - how could he drive when he can't see the green or red lights? Can he see my mother's red hair? What does the world look like to him? What else can or can't he see?

So when I finally had the means, I did some shopping on the EnChroma website and bought him a pair of color blind glasses. Then I prepared a surprise party for him and my mother (both of them celebrating their birthdays at the beginning of July).

One Sunday I believe I invited them to have a walk through the Botanical Garden, where I secretly set up a table of sweets and champagne, and when they arrived I gifted each of them with a pair of glasses, only that my father's were a bit more special..

A friend of mine was there to film it all and did a beautiful clip so you can watch it also: 


After that we went to the mall so they can buy some new clothes in the colours they like :)

Great productivity or mental health problems?

I think I got this images from an article on Bored Panda that presented illustrations for people with mental health problems. It kind of shocked me how some of the things I try to do, like maximising the potential of every day (and of every hour, if possible) might be a red flag. 



I joke about having anxiety all the time, but I do dislike that guilt sensation that starts since waking up like I HAVE TO do something. I think I mostly managed to turn those feelings into having a productive personality, but I do wish I could be more relaxed. 

Can you be calmer without feeling like you are not doing enough? How does that work?

Barcelona - Quick Guide to a wonderful City Break

When to go and where to stay in Barcelona (better than hotels)


The best place to stay in Barcelona is near Placa de Catalunya, as you are in the center of EVERYTHING touristic, and you have a direct connection to the Barcelona airports, and the Barcelona Tourist Buses, making your Barcelona experience very pleasant.

A great way to find a nice place to stay in Barcelona is through the airbnb website, using the map to narrow down the area where you want to stay. You can find very reasonable priced apartaments located right in the center of the city when booking with at least 2-3 months in advance.

Wondering when is the best time to visit the catalan city? Weather in Barcelona is lovely in May and June, as well as in early fall, September to October.  Buying the airline tickets 4 to 6 months ahead will usually help you get them at good prices as well.

Recommended Transport in Barcelona (and attractions Map) 


I strongly recommend purchasing a 1 day or 2 days ticket for using the BarcelonaBusTuristic. I at least found the Barcelona metro system a bit complicated. What you give extra for the bus tour you make up in full and more with the discounts they offer you for visiting almost every must see touristic location in the city.



As you can see in this Barcelona map the tours offers, the buses will take you to all the houses, parks, and other main attractions. The beach in Barcelona is also just a few bus stops away from the center. The ticket will cover the transport on all three lines: red, blue and green, and you can hop off and on whenever you wish.


Things To Do and Places to See in Barcelona (besides Sagrada)


Of course, Sagrada Familia and Park Guell should be on your visit list.

 


As well as Casa Battlo and Pont del Bisbe (the second one being located in the Gothic Center).

 

You might feel like you already know them from pictures, but there are many details you can`t see in the images.


Still, don`t forget to visit this surprising interesting places as well:

Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital



Originally built as a hospital for the poor, the work done by Gaudi`s professor turned this complex into one of the most beautiful set of buildings in Barcelona, serving the high purpose of healing people. Get the audio guide to enjoy all the stories about the hospital, such as those about the tunnels connecting the buildings and why there are P`s everywhere where you look.

Pablo Espanyol


 



Located close to Placa d`Espagna, this is no ordinary village museum. Its buildings, replicas of spanish houses from all over the country, separated by regions, house many local artists, local pubs and even a flamenco bar (pretty busy in fact, so book a place in advance).

The Spanish village is close to another beautiful place I recommend not missing out on: Placa d'Epagna.



Other Things To Do in Barcelona


Try out the Airbnb experiences - you can play with cats, have a brunch on the beach, learn different dances or simply discover the city with a guide. Just be sure to search and book experiences with at least 1-2 months in advance.


Short trip to Serbia - A visit to Golubac Fortress

Visiting our family this Easter in Romania we realised we were quite close to the Serbian border, so we've prepared a plan to go visit our south - west neighbours.

Apparently you don't need a passport to enter Serbia, even though they are currently not part of the European Union, so having your identity card with you is enough at the border.

The line at the Serbian checkpoint was surprisingly high - with the Easter Holiday and all, we were expecting less drivers on the roads, but apparently many of us had the same idea.

Once we were in, we kept the road close to the Danube. Joining us were my parents-in-law, at their first trip outside the country, enthusiastic but also a little fearful. The grass is greener on their side, my mother-in-law quickly draw to the conclusion. But their roads are worse, my father-in-law added.

Serbia's nature is beautiful without doubt

Along the road you can see many green hills, "The boilers" of the Danube, the name people gave those bubbling waters between the Romanian and Serbian mountains, as well as the Romanian villages on the other side of the Danube and Decebal's rock sculpted face.

We first stopped at a small restaurant called Varnica, situated at about 50 km from Drobeta-Turnu Severin, where we crossed the border. The word for restaurant in serbian is restoran. (Not that good for Fazan games - just to make a small romanian joke :D). There was a serbian menu and a romanian one, and the waiters spoke both languages, so ordering and communicating was not a problem.



We stopped one more time after the restoran to take a bite at one of the many picnic areas you can find along the road, and in short time, at about 130 km from the border in total, we found the Golubac Fortress or as it would be translated:

The Pigeon Fortress





Nicely and newly restored (I think it opened up on 30th of March), the fortress seemed like a popular touristic attraction, with many serbians, bulgarians and romanians in the area. As my companions escalated the citadel towers I was lucky enough to find my self in a concert hall were I heard the most beautiful violin duo ever.

Wonderful!

If anyone is interested in the prices, we paid about 600 dinari (about 25 lei) per person for visiting the Fortress, and 200 dinari (8 lei) for a juice or coffee. 

Images don't do justice, so I encourage you to visit Serbia if you have the chance and see everything with your own eyes. I'm sure you will find it surprising.