Liebster Award #2

When I was quite new to blogging I was nominated for a Liebster Award and I dutifully answered the questions I was posed. Now Die Pö has nominated me for another Liebster Award. Thank you!

liebster-blog-award-2

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog into your post.
  2. Answer 11 questions which you have been asked by the nominating blogger.
  3. Nominate 5 to 11 other bloggers who have fewer than 1,000 followers.
  4. Add a new list of 11 questions for the nominated bloggers.
  5. Paste these rules into your post.
  6. Make sure your nominees know about your post and their nomination.

Die Pö posed her questions in German, but I’ll just translate them into English before I answer them.


1- Do you only write on your own blog or do you also write on other blogs or platforms?

For my work I have in the past written messages on our work intranet and I have written some content for a company internet page. Privately, I used to post on a few forums (parenting ones back in the day when I first became a mother and a Richard Armitage one later), I have posted some fan fiction, and I post reactions on other blogs, but basically the only place I ever really post any original content is here on my own blog.

2- Which of your posts hasn’t been clicked on enough?

Nothing really springs to mind. I don’t really evaluate the success of a post by how much it is clicked on, the value comes from my satisfaction writing it. For instance, one of my most clicked-on posts is a translation of a Dutch newspaper article on Richard Armitage but it is not my most satisfactory post – it’s just a piece of translation that actually I did not enjoy doing that much (I’m just not a translator at heart). So, I looked into my blog statistics to answer this question and I see that the least clicked-on post is this one: https://bookesther.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/where-is-my-mind/. It’s about a piano cover that I really loved in a movie I saw and that lead me to reminisce about Greta Garbo.

3- What excites you at the moment?

Besides the fact that France elected Macron as its new president (and not the extremist Le Pen), I have been very happy about Portugal winning the Eurovision song contest this past weekend! We watch the contest every year and we vote in it too, but most years you just sort of vote for the least bad song. This year was different. Well, not that different, as there were so many songs there we didn’t much like! So many songs are about effects and fireworks and being sexy, with all the women screaming out high notes. However, there was one song, the Portuguese entry, that captivated me. This song was so touching in its simplicity, differing very much from most of the other entries. It was a solo performance sung by Salvador Sobral and was written by his sister Luisa. After winning he and his sister sang the song together as a duet. Not only does Salvador have a beautiful voice, so does his sister Luisa! (The song starts at 3:55 minutes)

What excites me is that such heart-felt simplicity can triumph almost unanimously (from juries and audiences alike) over bombastic songs that all sound almost alike.  (P.S. I also liked the Belgian song, despite the young 17 year old singer’s nerves – she came in 4th)

4- Which TV-series did you love in your youth?

Without the shadow of a doubt it was Little House on the Prairie. I adored everything about that series. I loved Laura Ingalls. In hindsight it was dripping in all too Christian values, but that’s OK and I still enjoy re-watching bits today!

5- The first 4 months of the year have passed: what is the best movie you have seen during that time?

May I name two? I absolutely loved both Moonlight

… and Lion.

6- What is your current favourite catchy song?

I love Human by Rag’n’Bone Man. Can’t get enough of it…

7- If you had to summarize your past week in one word, what word would that be?

Reconnecting.

8- What is your favourite photo of the past week on your mobile phone and are you willing to share it?

I was at my mother’s house yesterday and we opened a box of letters that my father had kept that had formerly belonged to my grandfather (his dad). My grandfather had been a theologian and pastor (just like my dad had been) and during the Second World War he had received many letters from parishioners, men who had been deported into forced labour for the German occupiers. In that box of letters (fascinating stuff, btw!) we also found a post-war (1946) invitation for my grandfather to attend a ceremony at Leiden University where Winston Churchill was to receive an honorary doctorate! I took a picture with my phone of that personal invitation…

Churchill invite Leiden 1946

9- Quickly: what does the word “Light” make you think of?

Candles.

10- Which book is beside your bed right now?

I’ve already finished reading it, but Michael Palin’s diaries that I received last year for my birthday is still lying there.

11- For dessert: pudding or ice cream?

Oooh, tough one! After long deliberation I will choose pudding; to be specific: crème brûlée! I hardly ever eat it because I can’t make a good one myself (and don’t have the patience for it) but when I eat a good one, I absolutely adore it!


Paying it forward

The rules state that I can now pose 11 questions myself and nominate 5-11 others to answer them. I like the questions Pö asked, so I’ll use some of them and add my own (and Pö, if you’d like to answer these as well, feel free to 🙂 )!

  1. What excites you at the moment?
  2. In one sentence: what depresses you at the moment?
  3. Cats or dogs? (Picture material appreciated!)
  4. Which TV series did you love in your youth?
  5. Who is your favourite actor or actress no longer living?
  6. What is the best movie you have seen so far in 2017?
  7. The top 3 live theatre and/or concert experiences you’ve ever had?
  8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
  9. What is your favourite photo of the past week on your mobile phone and are you willing to share it?
  10. Your favourite dessert?
  11. For Armitage fans: your favourite Richard Armitage photo ever?

I am curious to hear answers to these questions but I really don’t like to obligate anyone to do anything! So, I’ll just nominate 11 people (Armitage fans one and all, who do not post exclusively about Armitage) and it’s totally up to you whether you want to do this or not!

If others reading this feel the urge to answer these questions as well, please do so, you’re more than welcome to (even if only in the comments, if you wish to)! If you’re not an Armitage fan you can substitute the name in the last question for the name of your favourite actor or actress. 🙂 I’d love to read any and all responses.

Fan videos, fan fiction, fangirling

The latest “Mach was!” (“Do something!”) topic is Pö’s challenge to do something with your favourite TV series.

I have loved stories in movies and stories in certain TV series for ages and ages. And I’ve always been a fangirl of some sort! I’ll stick to my TV series fangirling here (although, when I started ‘fangirling’ I don’t think it had that name yet!).

The first TV series I loved as a young girl was Little House on the Prairie. I loved the series, I loved the books, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls, wanted long brown hair like her and the worst possible insult was being compared to Nellie Oleson (which sometimes happened because I was blond like her)! I found out much later that as much as Laura and Nellie hated each other on-screen the actresses portraying them (Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim) became good friends in real life.

I collected pictures from magazines, read everything I could about Laura – basically did the best fangirling I could do before the internet.

My first own fan creation is a fan fiction I wrote (not typed, but actually wrote in a paper notebook!) at the age of 19 or 20. I still have it somewhere, never finished it though. I wrote it for an Australian TV series called The Flying Doctors that I was absolutely addicted to at the time. My favourites on the show were Dr Geoff and nurse Kate and I loved watching their relationship slowly unfold.

The fiction I wrote, however, was not about them but about Dr. David Ratcliffe, a young new doctor who came on later in the show.

I wrote a story about him falling in love with an original female character (travelling through the Australian outback but setting roots for a while in the town of Coopers Crossing where the doctors were based), as the writers didn’t seem to be able to give David a proper love interest on the show. I never realised I was writing what is now called ‘fan fiction’ and I imagined I was the only one in the world doing that. Thanks to the internet I now know many many others have the urge to write fan fiction as well!

The next fan fiction I wrote was some 16 years later! I had seen the North and South TV mini series, I had fallen in love with Richard Armitage and I just needed to continue the story! So I wrote about Margaret returning with John to Milton, making peace with Mrs Thornton and about Henry trying to break them up again but not succeeding… Here’s the title page I made for that fic:N&S continued

Reading it again, it’s alright but not great and rather sappy with quite some mistakes in it too, so I don’t think I want to own up to it here… It was the first fan creation I shared on the internet, though! And it’s still around if you know where to look. 😉

North & South also awakened my interest in fan videos. I watched countless fan vids online that were being made at the time. I had no clue how to make them myself, though. But finally one day, I tried one. Not for North & South however, as there were already so many good ones for N&S out there; I made my first fan video for another TV series.

The TV series was called Silent Witness and again, there was a couple at the heart of the show – the developing relationship between pathologists Dr. Nikki Alexander and Dr. Harry Cunningham. In fact, my interest in these two had been awakened by a fan video I had accidentally come across and had really enjoyed! So, I started watching Silent Witness and along the way made screen caps for myself. I one day decided to set these screen caps to music in a PowerPoint presentation. Only after I had done that did I discover I actually had video making software on my laptop and I started experimenting with it. That old Windows Moviemaker software has more possibilities than the current newer version, so every time I got a new laptop I installed the old Moviemaker on it. To this day that’s what I use to make videos. It’s not very advanced software but it’s free. Anyway – I remade that first Powerpoint video in Moviemaker, set up a YouTube channel and posted it. Here is that first crude effort, in case you’re interested (I made vids under the pseudonym of  ‘Hannah’):

Not long after that I ‘graduated’ to making videos with actual real video clips (that I had painstakingly sourced myself)! Figured it all out on my own and was quite proud. Those vids aren’t great, but hey, it’s a learning process! Alas, Harry & Nikki never actually got together on the show, so in my frustration I also wrote fan fiction about them where they of course do get together! Also still around on the internet if you know where to look. 🙂

Sometime later I discovered The Mentalist and became completely enamoured with that show! Four years ago I made my first Mentalist video to the song That man. To this day that remains one of my absolute fave vids that I made. The image sizing isn’t ideal, which at that point I hadn’t quite figured out yet, but I still love the pacing and rhythm in this video and how the lyrics suited the images (all of them from season 3) that I had chosen. To this day it is also the most popular video on my channel.

I have made videos to some other TV shows as well. There are a few The Lizzie Bennet Diaries vids (technically not a TV show, but a YouTube vlog series), I even made two Remington Steele ones, I made a few for Call the Midwife and lately I have been vidding like crazy for two new (to me) Australian TV series that I have absolutely fallen in love with! What’s extra fun is that both these series connect back to The Flying Doctors, the object of my first fan creation!

First off, A Place to Call Home which stars Brett Climo in the lead male role. Climo also played David Ratcliffe, the doctor I wrote my first fan fic about! In A Place to Call Home he is even briefly reunited with Andrew McFarlane who played his colleague Dr. Tom Callaghan on Flying Doctors and on A Place to Call Home McFarlane plays the small role of a far less heroic psychiatric doctor in season 2…

Anyway, I digress. I have made a few fan videos for A Place to Call Home that I already blogged shortly about here, here and here.

And now I am also obsessed with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and there are Flying Doctors connections in that too! Phryne Fisher’s best friend Doctor Mac is played by Tammy Macintosh who also briefly played nurse Annie on Flying Doctors.

And Phryne’s ex-lover Rene is played by Peter O’Brien who was pilot Sam on Flying Doctors.

And even my fave doctor Geoffrey Standish (Robert Grubb) had a small guest role on Miss Fisher (series 1 episode 4 as owner of a business whose workers are on strike).

But this post isn’t about Flying Doctors connections, it’s about doing something with your favourite TV series. So, adding to the many favourite TV series I’ve known, I am right now into making Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries videos. I already posted about two video’s I had made here and here but in the meantime I have made 4 more videos… Yeah,  I know, it just needs to stop… Anyway, here they are:

“Ain’t she sweet”:

“A heart that runs as deep as the Pacific ocean” (a bit of an angsty video):

“A coffee, a sandwich and you” (as Jack loves his food so much):

“That’s what friends are for”(highlighting the tactile side of the Phryne & Jack relationship):

There are more TV series I really enjoy (like right now Blindspot) but not all series make me actually want to be creative. For Blindspot for instance, I would have no idea where to start or what to do. I’m not sure why the series I have mentioned above have made me do something creative. Maybe it’s a sense of needing to add something, the need to resolve something that is unresolved or the need to relive a certain aspect of certain characters’ stories. Yes, reliving certain aspects has a lot to do with it, now that I think of it… in my videos I am always highlighting a certain aspect of a relationship I love, telling that part of the characters’ stories.  But sourcing clips takes up a lot of time, so I only do it for those TV shows where I feel I have something to add to what’s already out there.

As for fan fiction – that’s about resolving unresolved issues. In addition to fics already mentioned, I’ve written a Mentalist short one shot and I even wrote a short Ally McBeal one because I always felt she should have ended up with Larry (and I pretended the last season never happened). I sort of start writing the fan fiction in my head in bed before I fall asleep at night. It relaxes me and takes my mind off any worries I might have, works better than any sleeping drugs out there. Sometimes the nighttime stories in my mind need to be written down and they turn into fan fiction. They never feel quite good enough, though. I am braver about posting fan videos than owning up to my fan fiction attempts…

So yeah, I have done quite a lot with TV series… perfectly fitting to share all of this for the “Mach’ was!” challenge, I figured! 🙂