#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On December 11

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

I am so sorry for missing last week’s Weekend Coffee Share but I wouldn’t have been much fun to be around. I came down with a major cold last Saturday and I’ve spent the entire week on sick leave. I’m better now, my voice is still a bit raspy from my cough, but I definitely won’t pass anything on to you – except your hot cup of coffee of course.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve been redesigning and updating my CV. My sister is overlooking applications at her job, so I got some advice from her  and I think the final version is pretty neat.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that once my eyes stopped being sensitive to light (and the glare of a computer screen) I finally made some progress updating my book inventory. I’m making a list of all my books (so I don’t buy duplicates at shops and flea markets) and next to Title and Author, I’m including the date my version of the book was published, and a mark whether they are First Editions, Signed Copies, whether I’ve read them and whether I have reviewed them. That way I can work my way through the list eventually and add reviews to this blog and keep up to date with my TBR pile. I’m picking up every book I own, and I’m also adding my embossed “Library Of” seal to them. I’ve only done 1 shelf and my Kindle library (with 2 floor-to-ceiling shelves and 2 stuffed Expedit cubes still to go) and so far I’m up to 410 books, 41 of which are first editions and 8 of my books are signed.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I received a postcard from my TBTB Secret Santa telling me that my parcel is on its way and if the post stamp is anything to go by, it’ll come from The Netherlands. I can’t wait!! It’s so exciting to do a bookish Secret Santa. As for the gifts I’ll be giving my Secret Santa: they’ll get books, homemade journals, a calendar, stamps, a sew-on patch, homemade Berlin Bread (Christmas cookies) and German Christmas sweets, as well as a little something for their pet. I sent my parcel off yesterday, so it should get there next week (it doesn’t have too far to go and it’s tracked). I actually figured out I have another Secret Santa, because at the same time the postcard arrived, I got a mystery parcel.

The other day I received a Funko Pop vinyl figure of Captain Malcolm Reynolds because apparently I “need a guy in the house” hehehe. I know who that was from. Then this new parcel included a Funko Pop figure of John Watson, and it did take a bit of Sherlocking (figuring out who I’d given my actual address to as I usually give out the office address, who’d know me enough to know that I 1.) didn’t have this figurine and 2.) love John Watson, and who fit all the criteria and lives in the UK) but I found out that my bestie had sent me this little Baker Street Boy. To be fair, we have a history of sending each other sneaky presents so I had a pretty good guess from the start.

All in all, I didn’t get as much done this week as I had hoped. Obviously, I was sick, but I still wanted to spend my time being productive and catching up on my reading and reviews. I guess that’ll have to wait for the actual Christmas break.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I went to a 75th birthday celebration today for a lady who has been a friend and sort of mentor to me for the last 20 years at the Naturfreunde group here in town.  After a week in pretty much solitary confinement it was great to see some of my best and oldest friends today, have coffee and cake, good conversations and a good laugh. I’ve missed how easy it’s always been between us, no matter whether we’ve seen each other lately or not.  I had a bit of an emotional wobble at the party, though. Birthday lady requested we sing a few old songs, and one of those songs was “Der Wanderer” by Gerd Sorg. I know it’s not my usual cup of tea, but I love this song. It was my granddad’s favourite and the last time I’ve heard this was when his choir (Die Wupperhofer Men’s Choir from Solingen) got special permission from the pastor to sing a rendition of “Der Wanderer” in church at my granddad’s funeral 8 years, 11 months, and seven days ago. So I sat there with goosebumps up my arms and tears in my eyes. My gran still loves this song (it’s her favourite as well) but she hasn’t dared to listen to it since my granddad passed away. My favourite part of the song is the chorus, in which the wanderer or vagabond replies that “you’ve never counted the stars, the beauty of the world remained a dream for you. You’ve never missed the sun, because even when it shines, you barely notice it.” And I’ve got goosebumps yet again.

I know you won’t understand the lyrics, but this is a men’s choir version of “Der Wanderer” as my granddad would have sung it:

So, what have you been up to this week? If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that this is it from me for now. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well, I’m sure they’d love to see you!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On November 27

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve had a week of ups and downs. It started with getting my diploma on Monday, making it my official Graduation Day!! I did a happy dance all morning, even got a few gifts from friends. My parents’ reaction to me graduating? A handshake from my mum – with a sideboard between us – and my dad just nodded and didn’t even ask to see the diploma.

Now, I didn’t expect much. I know better than that. But given that a card and a bunch of flowers are the bare minimum of congratulatory gifts in my family, I expected at least that, and maybe a hug instead of a handshake. I don’t know about your families, but in mine, we used to celebrate achievements with family dinner out. We didn’t celebrate Monday. Not even a glass of wine or bubbly together. I spent my graduation day sitting by myself on my couch and getting drunk on 3/4 of a bottle of red wine and an empty stomach because errands had me running rugged all day.

It’s been almost a week and not once have I been given the feeling that they’re proud, although my mum has since awkwardly offered to get me a new watch as a grad gift. And it hurts. After 29 years I should know better and I should be used to never being good enough because no matter what I did I never was good enough for them, but on my graduation day, it hurt a lot. Still does, to be honest. And I’m so tired of always doing my best and never being good enough for my own family.

I graduated summa cum laude and on the Dean’s List, with a GPA of 3.97 (curse that 1 B+ I got on my very first assignment). I’ve never been a straight-A student until now, but because of that my parents think that my degree can’t have been a proper one or hard to complete, despite me working my arse off for my grades. In Germany, the highest grade you can have is 1,0 and my GPA works out at 1,0. I literally couldn’t have done any better than that. Somehow they think that studying by distance learning is not as worthy as going to a brick-and-mortar university, although it requires a lot more discipline and the ability to teach yourself. Next to my studies, I worked every day, I looked after family members and, if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know, I also struggle with mental health issues and by now my SAD has kicked in properly as well. There were times I doubted I’d ever finish the course. It’s taken all I had to get the grades I got and not lose my mind in the process and I am damn proud of that – I currently hold the highest academic degree anyone in this family ever got – at least until my sister gets her Master’s degree. So far, my parents haven’t told anyone I graduated; in fact, they’ve been talking about how my sister is writing her own Master’s thesis now.

And I am sorry for this coffee rant, but my parents’ reaction has really sent me into a negative spiral with echoes of the ever popular “you’re not good enough”, “when are you getting a real job”, “What can you do with that degree (note: Cross-Cultural Communication!) anyway,” and throwing in the evergreen “you should really lose weight” with the implied “nobody will ever love you like that” for good measure. And they wonder why I value books and the escape into fictional worlds so much…

There were several times this week when I got so upset I had to leave because I could feel myself tearing up. Not that they noticed. At one point I was shaking I was so angry. Mental health problems are not real problems to them, so they don’t understand how anyone could think them insensitive. These are people who fire employees with mental health diagnoses, because they’re “not easily fixed” and because, unlike a broken leg, “you can’t really see if they’re pretending or not” and so could milk them for the salary on sick leave without doing any work. And I sit there, thinking “your own daughter has these issues, and you’d know that if you’d listen. Is this how you’d treat me”?

So yeah. Absolute high followed by one of the biggest blows I’ve ever received this week. I’d love to talk to you about the Gilmore Girls revival and my arts and crafts I did to celebrate it, but I’m afraid I’m not in the mood. We’d drink our coffee out of my self-decorated Stars Hollow mugs, though.

My Stars Hollow DIY mugs. They both have both designs on the, just the other way round. ©theliteratigirl

My Stars Hollow DIY mugs. They both have both designs on the, just the other way round. ©theliteratigirl

And if we were having coffee, I’d talk a bit about Firefly and the fact that 2016 has claimed yet another favourite of mine: actor Ron Glass, who played Shepherd Book on the show. I hope you found serenity, Shepherd! Don’t go far!

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve had enough of this rant and I don’t blame you. Thank you for listening, though. The other Weekend Coffee Sharers are probably a bit more cheerful this week, so check them out!

Thank you for having coffee with me today on the First Advent. Same time, next week?

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On November 19

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

Well, technically, for me it’s been two weeks. I’m really sorry I missed last week’s Coffee Share, so I’ll start there, shall I?

First of all, if we were having coffee today, I’d offer you a glass of wine or bubbly instead of coffee to celebrate with me. My diploma will get here on Monday (eeek!!), but I have confirmation from Horizons University that I have graduated summa cum laude from my Master of Arts Cross-Cultural Communication degree! I guess it still doesn’tfeel real without the actual diploma in my hand, but I am so relieved all the hard work of the past two years has paid off!

If we were having coffee today, I’d confess that I couldn’t find the right words last week to describe my feelings about the US election, and I don’t even live there. As a German, I am keenly aware of how my country’s past gets thrown in our faces at the slightest mention of anything political. Which is why I find it so incomprehensible that the US elected someone who not only spewed the same sort of right-wing rhetoric, but has spent his entire campaign promoting racism, sexual assault, misogyny, xenophobia, religious persecution, violation of rights and pretty much everything else that is wrong with society under the sun. Basically, when all of Germany says “Listen, we elected someone with those ideas and ideals in the 1930s and we all know what happened after that, so don’t repeat our mistake” … you should probably listen. And I am glad that most of my friends not only voted for someone else, but are actively involved in peaceful protests and resistance because they, like me, believe in decency, freedom and equal rights, and that the global society simply cannot allow for 70 years of social and civil progress to be undone. I’m not saying that every Trump supporter is a racist, because that’s the sort of generalising these people would use to justify their ideas that every muslim is a terrorist, every Mexican immigrant is a criminal or (my personal favourite that makes the rounds every now and then) every German is a Nazi. That’s definitely not the case and it is highly offensive to judge an entire culture by the actions of a few deluded individuals.  But those who do not actively distance themsleves from all the issues I mentioned above, for example by speaking up for others, defending them or standing with them in solidarity when it really matters, are fair game in my eyes.

I also appreciated the flood of Joe Biden memes and all the  Firefly references that flooded my Facebook wall after the election:

browncoats

Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly. ©Fox

And I want you to know I’m right there with you. I’ve studied cross-cultural communication for a few years now, but only in 2016 with Brexit, the continuing refugee crisis, Standing Rock, and now this election, has it become clear to me just how much calm, non-violent, mutually respectful cross-cultural communication is needed in this world, and I hope that I can do my part to contribute to it. After all, Browncoats have to stick together.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my Bookstagram is coming along, although I fell a few days behind. It is harder than I expected to take photos of books based on a certain theme and including relevant props.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I did my back in again last Sunday. Not sure how, I came home from the cinema and could barely move. By now it’s not as bad anymore, but this week was agony. I tried all week to clean and tidy my flat, because technically I was expecting company today and tomorrow in the form of my cousin Fabian, but he is sick, so he couldn’t join us for coffee. It’s taken me longer than I thought to get the flat in order, partly because I could barely move or bend, but also partly because once I started to tidy my bookshelves I couldn’t stop and rearranged my entire living room. As you do. Add to that, that I received 18 books this week (12 classic Penguin books and 6 vintage James Bons books) that I somehow had to fit in as well.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell oyu that I am excited about The Broke & Bookish’s Secret Santa. Have you joined up? They run a global Secret Santa, and you can choose your level of participation (from 1 book and a candy bar, 1-2 books and goodies to 2+ books and goodies) and I chose the last one. I got my Secret Santa this week and I am so excited. We all had to fill a pretty detailed questionnaire about books on our wishlists, favourite authors, hobbies and other interests etc. My Secret Santa will get 3 books (2 of which are slightly used but they specified that is not a problem for them), a homemade Field Notes sized calendar (which I use myself but won’t be selling this year), a homemade A5 indexed Book Inventory booklet and a reading tracker/review, as well as a tub of homemade Christmas cookies (“Berliner Brot”). I hope they like those goodies – would you be okay with homemade things if you expect goodies? I used to sell them through my Etsy shop, but I do not have time for that this year as I do everything from page design to binding myself and that’s more work than it looks like. My printer is also malfunctioning, so I can’t print them out properly – I’ll be printing these gifts off somewhere else but I couldn’t do that for bulk orders. Here’s what the calendar looks like:

Insides of my homemade FN calendars: Yearly Overview (+ 2018 in the back), Circle Month per page (trying a new layout for visual planning) and a week on 2 pages layout with colour-coded month and a space for notes. ©theliteratigirl / Cornelia Kaufmann

Insides of my homemade FN calendars: Yearly Overview (+ 2018 in the back), Circle Month per page (trying a new layout for visual planning) and a week on 2 pages layout with colour-coded month and a space for notes. ©theliteratigirl / Cornelia Kaufmann

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that all things considered, this week was a pretty geeky one for me. Not only did I receive so many books, I also placed orders for a few small items relating to my fandoms. If my cousin hadn’t been sick today, we’d have spent the day buying more books and watching our favourite shows – possibly Doctor Who or Firefly. As it is, I am having a Firefly marathon by myself and you’re more than welcome to join me.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for this week I think. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well, I’m sure they’d love to see you!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On November 6

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I am just back from celebrating my grandma’s 91st birthday with the family. Most of our relatives came by, some from the north of Germany, some from another region and it was nice to catch up with my second cousins as usually only my great aunts and uncles came to visit.

If we were having coffee today, I’d be telling you about my bookstagram. I’m doing three separate bookish challenges on Instagram this month – #BookishScavengerHunt16, #FallIntoReads and #NovBookstagram and let me tell you, it’s harder than it looks to take pictures of books. First of all, it’s a challenge just to find books that fit the descriptions. But once you’ve found the books, you have to find a place to photograph them, find props, make sure the light is ok, find different backgrounds and so on, so that there is variety to the pictures. How am I doing so far?

While prepping one picture with a stack of old books, I flipped through the oldest of the lot, Soll und Haben by Gustav Freytag, which had been given as a birthday gift to Mr Ewald Stöpfgeshoff on 21 September 1926. It’s still in Old German Typeface. I found a ripped envelope that had been used as a bookmark -. and the address on the envelope is MY ADDRESS! If we were having coffee today in person, that’s the address you’d find yourself at right now. 90 years ago, a man living in my house (not my flat as this was an office back then, but there are only 3 floors above me), received a book as a birthday gift, and now, 90 years (almost to the day) later, this book is back home! How cool is that??

You guys... That's my address!!! After 90 years this book has found its way home!!! It's Soll und Haben by Gustav Freytag. I found it in grandma's attic and because it's all still in Old German Typeface I decided to keep it safe. Flipped through it and found the envelope and birthday wishes to Mr Ewald Stöpfgeshoff from his brother Otto, 21 September 1926. #oldbooks #familytreasure #coincidence #Bookstagram #pieceofhistory ©theliteratigirl

©theliteratigirl

Anyway, that’s it from me today. Not much to tell this week. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers and what they’ve been up to!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On October 29

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, I’d talk about Instagram. Do you know I’m on there and you can follow me at TheLiteratiGirl? (Please do 🙂 ). Anyway, I’m trying to up my “Bookstagram” game a bit, and try to accessorise a little with relevant props and backdrops, but I keep wondering where people not only get all the props from (including those vinyl figurines which are prohibitively expensive to get your hands on where I live), but also how many books they seemingly carry around randomly just for photo ops. I myself always carry one book I’m reading with me, but I wouldn’t take my entire Harry Potter collection to the park. Anyway, I’ve added a shiny new section to this blog, called Bookstagram and it’s got my Instagram pictures on it. Check it out.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I have been watching reruns of Castle lately. I love that the lead character is an author and he does face author problems from time to time. Spinning a story, getting stuck on details, having writer’s block. His screensaver is even set to the words “You. Should. Be. Writing.” Been there, mate. With NaNoWriMo only 3 more sleeps away, I’ve picked up a few plot bunnies along the way and a newfound resolution to utilise my notebook and reporter’s pad more, seeing as I carry them with me everywhere. Another thing I love about the show is that a ghostwriter actually wrote the books attributed to Richard Castle. I just received my copy of High Heat, a hardcover First Edition, which was only published on October 25.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that despite all the plot-fluffies I collected so far, I will not be attempting to write a novel for NaNo this time around. I’ll be writing book reviews for this blog. I’ve read so many books this year (and I have been very slow and remiss in updating Goodreads) and took notes, but didn’t actually write that many yet. While 50.000 words of books reviews may be ambitious, I’ll try to get 2 per day done so that I’ll at least have my 60 Books Challenge covered. Once the reviews are done I’ll try to develop some of my plot ideas further. To that end, I have got new decorations by thedreamygiraffe on the way to hang over my desk:

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that designing a calendar is harder than you’d think. Last year and early this year, I sold Midori Regular Size calendars through my Etsy store LifeInNotes. Over the course of the year, I have personally switched to favour the Field Notes size. I spent days designing the pages, making sure everything is in the right order to be printed double-sided so I can bind them by saddle-stitching the papers together. Only to find out that my printer is playing up and not printing the small numbers and words crisply enough. I’ve tried everything but I don’t think the printer aligns properly and every fix I’ve tried has so far failed. Then I thought about getting them professionally printed and cut (because I’m terrible when it comes to cutting straight edges with a box cutter) but the providers I have found who’d even print in Field Notes size charge through the roof. I’m not expecting a massive print run and I’m not handing them out as publicity gimmicks, so I don’t need hundreds, I only need around 40. At most, I’d say. So now I’m trying to find a font that prints properly in the required size so I can still print from home. It’s complicated. But if you know any printing and book binding service that offers booklets/brochures/mags in 9cm x 14cm size and low print runs, please let me know!!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I have set myself a challenge to learn a few more writing and reading related skills. I want to take a refresher course in speed / touch typing. My problem is that since my course in the UK, I’ve mainly worked on German QWERTZ keyboards on which especially the special characters, punctuation and Umlaute are on different keys which makes me look down to find the right one and misspell whenever I try to touch type. I’ll also be looking more into speed reading. I’m not too bad, I’d say, but I can’t quite quiet that inner narrator enough.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve been snooping around Instagram some more, and found a Bookish Scavenger Hunt for November. I’ll definitely be joining – I need to rearrange my shelves anyway – and this sounds like fun. Are you up for it?

Book Scavenger

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ll be seeing a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream tomorrow. It’s by a local theatre workshop for mentally disabled actors, and my friend is the organiser of the whole shindig. Last year they performed Mother Hulda and it was one of the most hilarious performances I’ve ever seen. I’m really looking forward to the show tomorrow.

So, as you can see, I’ll have loads going on in the coming weeks and months. Next to all of that, I’ll try to find a new job, go to the gym regularly, do my yoga, write more, and generally keep as busy as I can. I even signed up for more free online lessons on Coursera and the Shaw Academy. All this hype of activity serves a purpose: keep my Seasonal Affective Disorder at bay. I’ve been suffering from SAD for a few years now and the clocks go back tonight, at least in Europe. In the past, the changing of the clock was like a switch at which dark moods and thoughts return and my energy gets zapped. This year was worse, because we didn’t get any proper summer weather until late May and even then just occasionally, making it a very gloomy year for me. But I know I have to keep busy and engage my mind in creative things to focus on positive energy, so what better way than to keep creative, educate myself more and focus on a healthy lifestyle?

And if all else fails, there are always Firefly gag reels to watch. Like this one which has never failed to instantly cheer me up:

Anyway, I’ve been rambling. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers, I’m sure they’d love to see you and catch up with you.

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On October 22

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

I am so sorry I have been incommunicado for two weekends, but there’s been a lot going on. Come on in, though, I’ll make us a cuppa and you’re welcome to stay for some homemade spicy pumpkin soup later on while we catch up.

First off, if we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my best friend Nils got married on October 7. I’ve known Nils for about 18 years give or take, and so there was no chance I’d miss him tying the knot! Let me just say that I never wear dresses. So if I agree to buy and wear a fancy dress for you, our friendship’s solid. Seriously. You’re family. Nils is one of those few people. He even asked me to do most of their wedding photography, which is not only flattering but also scary. Normally, I take photos of landscapes, wildlife or landmarks, I seldom venture into people photography, let alone posed photos like wedding pictures! But he and his bride loved the photos (phew!).

My weeks have been filled with mad dashes across town to chauffeur my dad and gran to various doctor’s appointments and the like. Including getting parked in once so badly (no fault of mine, the guy in the spot next to mine was a douche and parked waaaaayyyy too close to my driver’s side door) I had to climb across from the passenger seat in front of a class of school kids who’d just arrived at the local museum. It probably wasn’t a pretty sight and didn’t do my already bad back any good, but at least I got dad in the car and home after an operation.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the reason I didn’t update last week was because I was in England. My bestie Ronni had invited me to come over so I could finally meet her baby daughter. And the little munchkin is a cutie. We spent the weekend in Warrington where I only had limited mobile access. Ronni and I got a girlie day in, during which we went to the movies while daddy looked after the baby, and then had a little book-and-DVD shopping trip and a coffee. And I managed to find some Harry Potter swag  in the form of a Hogwarts and Gryffindor notebooks and a Gryffindor Quidditch Captain pin along the way, so happy me! I’ve missed the UK so much! I hadn’t been back in over a year. It felt more like home than home does. And it’s been amazing catching up with Ronni. We try and see each other at least twice a year, so she’ll come visit me in Germany and I’ll visit her in England. The last time we saw each other was in February when she visited me in Germany while pregnant (it was pretty much the last week she was allowed to fly), so even though we Skype and WhatsApp, we had a lot to catch up on in person.

Let's pretend The Three Broomsticks does Pumpkin Spice Frappuccinos now, shall we? ©Literati Girl

Let’s pretend The Three Broomsticks does Pumpkin Spice Frappuccinos now, shall we? And no, that’s not how I spell my name… ©Literati Girl

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I finished reading Nathan Besser’s Man In The Corner so quickly on my flight over to Manchester, I actually bought 6 more books. While I liked Man In The Corner, because it’s a noir psychological thriller, what peeved me was that the two German sentences in the book were incorrect. They may have been minor mistakes, but it shouldn’t have taken long to double-check them.

German sentences in Man In The Corner. The top one should read "Ich wurde zum Geschlechtsverkehr..." (instead of "in Geschlechtsverkehr"), while the bottom one should be "Jugendliche unter achtzehn." Capitalisation is very important in German. ©Literati Girl

German sentences in Man In The Corner. The top one should read “Ich wurde zum Geschlechtsverkehr…” (instead of “in Geschlechtsverkehr”), while the bottom one should be “Jugendliche unter achtzehn.” Capitalisation is very important in German. ©Literati Girl

I am currently reading The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. The other books I bought are: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick, Perfect by Rachel Joyce, Joss Whedon’s screenplay of Much Ado About Nothing, and John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick – I think the last one is down to the Halloween Spirit. In the next few days I’ll have to take all my books off my shelves, and rearrange them as my shelves are currently an overflowing mess. But hey, that’ll give me an opportunity to sort them all and update my Home Library List of books I own.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you I have just come home from a two-day seminar on refugees and the European refugee and migrant policies. I helped organise the event (you may have seen the flyers I designed for it) and it was a success. We talked until 9.30pm last night and started back up at 8.30am this morning – I’m beat. It was, however, my first post-degree event promoting cross-cultural communication, so that’s something to add to the CV.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ll be holding a talk in February on cultural differences between Germany and the UK, and British culture. I will also be hosting a two-day writer’s workshop next October in preparation of NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month if you don’t already know – it’s a challenge to write the first draft of a novel of 50.000 words between November 1 and November 30). I will be doing NaNoWriMo this year for the third time (I’ve done a total of 2 NaNo’s and 5 Camp NaNoWriMo’s so far) but I won’t be writing a novel this time. For now, it’s all about catching up on reviews for this blog as my thesis has been my focus until September. I already have novel ideas lined up for the next Camp NaNoWriMo in April, though. And I may also (finally) learn how to play the guitar if the Naturfreunde Solingen-Theegarten can get the guitar teacher organised. I think they’re just running low on people who could accompany groups singing around a campfire.

If we were having coffee today, I’d ask what you have been reading lately, and whether you are a writer at all. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?

Anyway, that’s it from me. After a stressful week and a looooong day I had yesterday and today my brain’s gone mush and I can’t think of anything else to tell you right now. The offer for soup still stands (we’ve been getting temperatures of around 5°C, so autumn is definitely here) but alternatively you may pop by the other Weekend Coffee Sharers.

Thank you for having coffee with me today. Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On October 1

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, we’d sit in my living room and have cake. It’s my mum’s birthday, and she always makes way too much cake, so I’m sure there’ll be plenty leftover.

It’s gone cold here again. Last week was still summer-y, now it’s decidedly autumn. We’d sit inside and unfortunately we’d have to listen to the world’s worst trumpeter practising next door. Seriously. I wish he’d invest in some soundproofing.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week has been quite stressful as I have had to play taxi and get my dad and gran to doctor’s appointments. That also involved two very early mornings for me and a lot of afternoons spent sitting in the car because they couldn’t tell me how long the appointments were for. On the plus side, I’ve managed to read a few chapters of Man in the Corner by Nathan Besser.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that our lovely fellow Weekend Coffee Sharer Corina did a Tarot reading for me. Technically, she already did one last week, online, as she is trying to get back into it before she offers her services. And what the cards told her was spot on! Bearing in mind, we only know each other through our blogs, and I couldn’t shuffle the cards myself (and unfortunately I also missed out on the in-person reading and reveal of the cards, my favourite part) – most of it was spot-on or so relatable that I  know what it was referring to. To be sure, I asked her whether she could do a clarifying spread and she did a five card yes/no spread and a pendulum reading for me – again revealing the issues I’m facing and giving valuable advice. I’ll definitely share the link with you when her business is up and running because she’s awesome, talented and offers very insightful advice, and if you believe that the cards can help guide your way you should definitely check her out!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that next to taxi-service and work I spent quite a bit of time writing for this blog. I know it doesn’t look like much yet as most of it was prepping posts and scheduling future ones, but it’s getting there. So don’t be surprised if you see my blog pop up more often in your newsfeed, I’m playing catch-up with all the reviews I didn’t have time for when I wrote my thesis.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my way to relax these past few evenings has been watching reruns of Firefly, and Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Yes it’s cheesy (that’s the whole point) but it’s short (each Act is 13 minutes) and hilarious and exactly the right thing when you need a good laugh.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that this is it for this week. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers and say hello.

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On September 24

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, we’d sit in the garden underneath the tree and enjoy the autumn sun while it lasts.

After handing in my master thesis last weekend, I’ve had the first relaxing week in two years! It’s taking a bit of time to adjust again, to actually have evenings off from studying and the pressure of finishing before a deadline. There’s so much I’ve neglected during my studies (this blog included). It’s nice to catch up on sleep for starters.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that next to finding a job that’s in my actual field and looking for PhD options, I’ll now concentrate on some self-care in the form of regular yoga and gym, cleaner eating, creative journaling and reviving my social life a little bit.

But you know what? It was worth it. All the sleepless nights, the all-night study sessions, the deadline pressure, frustrations and low-energy. Because my awesome professor already graded my thesis! … And I got 100% on it!! She even wants to show it to her own students as an example of how it’s done right, and she has sent it to a friend who teaches English Literature at the University of New York (not sure whether it’s CUNY or SUNY and which campus) who really liked my thesis too. I am so happy and relieved right now that all the hard work paid off, you have no idea! So thank you for keeping your fingers crossed for me, it worked!!! I’m still waiting to hear back from my university regarding my final grade and when I’ll get my transcript and diploma, but, yes, I am done and I did a lot better than even I thought I would when I first started. Now I can’t wait to finally graduate!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I have plans for this blog, so I hope to update regularly from now on. I’m also looking forward to reading for fun again. Analysing 12 novels over and over was not as much fun as expected, though I have learned a lot about Australian Literature in the process.

If we were having coffee today, I’d show you these lovely flyers I designed:

Flyers I designed for the seminar on refugee politics by Prof. Dr. Saggau at NFH Solingen-Theegarten.  ©Literati Girl

Flyers I designed for the seminar on refugee politics by Prof. Dr. Saggau at NFH Solingen-Theegarten.
©Literati Girl

As  the assistant secretary of our local Solingen-Theegarten chapter of the Naturfreunde (Friends of Nature), PR work, flyer design and the likes falls within my range of responsibilities. We’ve invited Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Saggau for a seminar on the crisis of European refugee politics and what causes people to flee. I’m quite proud of how these flyers turned out! What doy ou think?

Anyway, just a short Coffee Share today, on account that I have been taking it easy outside of work this week because I could. I’m sure the other Weekend Coffee Sharers would love to see you too!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On September 18

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

I apologise for being so late with this Coffee Share, but I’m sure you’ll understand… Because I just submitted my Master Thesis!!

Master Thesis and a glass of red wine. As it says on the clip: Erledigt! (Done!) ©Literati Girl

Master Thesis and a glass of red wine. As it says on the clip: Erledigt! (Done!) ©Literati Girl

So instead of sharing a cuppa, you’re welcome to have a glass of fruity red wine with me to celebrate!

It’s been a long time coming, as I am sure you’re aware. Actually, today two years ago I was accepted by Horizons University onto the M.A. Cross-Cultural Communication degree. It took a few weeks to sort everything out, so I didn’t actually start classes until mid-October, but I’m filled with a sense of accomplishment that I have handed in my thesis two years to the day after being accepted.

So, suffice to say that over the past week I didn’t get anything else done. And I mean: nothing. My flat looks like a bombsite, I’m running low on dishes, and I just forgot my laundry is still in the washing machine… it’s been there all day. Whoops. I’ve pulled several all-nighters, two of which were back-to-back. No matter what the outcome of this thesis – I’m glad this is over, at least for now. I love studying, but distance learning was not for me. I’ll be writing a more detailed post later.

For now I’m looking forward to creative journaling, reading for fun, catching up on this blog – I owe you about 100 reviews – catching up on sleep and sending out applications.

Thank you for sticking with me through all this. I probably owe you more than a cup of coffee. Your encouragement has helped a lot! I don’t really have much more to say other than Tank you, so why don’t you head over to the other Weekend CoffeeSharers?

So thank you for having coffee (or wine) with me today! Same time, next week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On September 10

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee we’d meet in town, because it’s our annual city-wide flea market “Zöppkesmarkt” this weekend! I love a good flea market, and I’ve put aside a few hours today to browse around for English-language books. I’m really trying to limit myself – the last two years, I bought about 40 books each time, but most were German and I still haven’t read those. But I know a few stalls that usually have English books, so I’ll go straight there. We’ll stop for waffles at the local church (no visit to the Zöppkesmarkt is complete without their Bergische Waffeln, in my opinion), and maybe get some Bratwürste to go later on. There’ll be all sorts of knick knack and I love going through all that stuff, but this time I’m on a mission (English books), don’t have much time (got a thesis to complete), I’m trying to save money (basically, I’ve only budgeted for books) and the only thing I’d make an exception for is a retro typewriter.

(Update: Found 14 English language paperbacks for €8 total, including 8 Classic Penguin Books, the oldest from 1953. My feet hurt. Inhaling the icing sugar on your waffles is never a good idea. Town is packed, so be prepared to shuffle along in 28°C basically brushing against people every step of the way… I think I need a cold shower.)

If we were having coffee, I’d ask R U OK? Thursday was R U OK? Day in Australia, and you may have seen my post about why I fully support this campaign. Reaching out to people and asking them whether they’re ok can make all the difference.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about a party I went to last night. One of my high school classmates turned 30 yesterday, and she had invited me to her party. I’m not sure what I expected, but somehow I didn’t expect a leisurely backyard BBQ. My friend’s husband was also in our class (although they weren’t high school sweethearts), and I hadn’t seen him since we graduated. Back then, I don’t think we’ve exchanged more than 10 words in 9 years unless we were forced to on group projects. So imagine my surprise when he gave me a proper bear hug, like so tight he kinda squished my glasses. In hindsight, he may have had a few to drink. We’ll all go for coffee soon to catch up properly. There were two other friends from school there and to be honest, if someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d spent the loveliest evening with this particular group of people I would have laughed. I liked them back then well enough, we just didn’t have anything in common to talk about, so to finally meet them and get to know them better now we’re all grown-up was very nice. My friend (the same one I went to see David Duchovny live in concert with back in May) also had the most epic playlist for those of us having grown up during the 90s. The music ranged from Vengaboys, No Angels, Tic Tac Toe, Backstreet Boys, Loona, Spice Girls and Robbie Williams to Britney with some token Bon Jovi thrown in. Needless to say, everyone there knew every song by heart! I’m sure the playlist at my 13th birthday party was similar.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my thesis is almost done now. Just a few things to tidy up, a few things to add here and there, format and then it’s off to three friends who have kindly agreed to proof-read for me. I hope that the writing part is done by Sunday night if I can get stuff done today and work through the night to get everything done. I’m so close, I can feel it! Writing the case studies was the hard part. The rest is child’s play, I just need to tie everything together.

If we were having coffee, I’d leave you to browse the market stalls some more, while I have another waffle. I’m sure you’ll find something you like! Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well, I’m sure they’d love for you to stop by!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?