Category Archives: Personal

The need for speed.

How did the world turn into such a race track? And before you think I speak riddles: I mean motorways, freeways, Autobahn. Fill in the name depending on where you are.

If you have a car, how fast do you drive? And why do you drive it at that speed? Do you stick to the speed limit because faster is an offence? Do you go over the speed limit because it is a thrill? Or because you will be on time if you do? Or do you drive a lot slower?

I drive slowly. My speed on the motorway usually averages that of trucks. 80 to 85km/hour, about 55 or so mph. Is that slow? Sure, why not? People told me that there’s no fun in driving that slowly. It takes so long to get somewhere, all others are overtaking you, yadda yadda yadda.

Yesterday I did an experiment. I drove 120km/hour, about 78mph. Guess what? All but 2 cars overtook me. Right, that takes care of the argument that others overtake me, they do so anyway because they like to race like madmen, and of course madwomen. Well, with regular petrol only costing €1.82 per litre (think around $8.50 a gallon), what’s against that, right? It’s a cheap enough drive then.

My car is an eco-car. A Toyota Auris Full Hybrid. When I drive it the way I do now, I get almost 25km to the litre, about 60 miles per gallon. Works for me. The time I spend is my own, no one else’s, so that works for me too. And I get to see a lot more because I don’t race around like a fool, pushing to be in the rat race, going faster to do more, to be there in time, to do what the big lugs of the global economy expect everyone to do.

The world is going faster and faster, as if there is no tomorrow (there probably isn’t anyway, but that’s a different subject). Time flies, everyone complains about it, and money seems to fly along with it. (Well, pushing the accelerator will make that happen through the tiny vortex you create in your car’s fuel reserve.)

I’ll continue to take things easy. Time to hurry comes when there is a reason to, not because the rest of the world prescribes it. I’ll drive at my slow speed, see the trees and the cows, and the occasional sparrow-hawk or buzzard that sometimes sit on perches and signs along the road.

Two years

It’s amazing but true. Two years ago I published my first little book, about a wicked witch called Grimhilda. Hilda for friends. When I pressed that “publish” button for the first time, little did I know…

What followed was a small avalanche of books (at least that is how it seems to me). More Hilda books, and people kept downloading them. I brought out a few books in a different genre too, but Hilda apparently is everyone’s darling. Not bad for a wicked witch. I started an author facebook page to have a way to interact with fans of my written heroes and heroines, which was a good idea. I met very nice people!

A very nice and also surprising milestone was the invitation to join the Alexandria Publishing Group, a collective of independent writers who stand for books that are good in every way. Not just the story, but also the grammar, spelling, etcetera. Quality all through the work.

I am grateful to Sharon and Jean, who made Hilda happen, and Arlene for nearly getting on my nerves to publish that first booklet of Hilda. Without them, this all would not have happened. Thank you, Carol, who patiently looks for all the mistakes I hide in the texts, and of course, I am grateful to the fans of Hilda, William, Babs and Lily (and all the others), for downloading and buying my books. Without them, this would never have taken off the way it has!

Two years. Amazing. How will things look two years from now…

(Post originated on paulkater.com)

Aurora/Denver

Isn’t this just entirely and horribly sad? People go to the premier showing of a new Batman film and as they go, they are shot to death by a masked gunman.

What is wrong with the world? What makes people go through something insane that they start doing something like going into a cinema, throw gas grenades and then start killing people at random?

It is a very worrying thing. The killing of people in the street or their home is presently a thing of the day, even here in the Netherlands. How many people are genuinely shocked when they read about it? Are you? Or do you simply shrug and move on?

I think it is horrible, disgusting. It saddens me.

Some kind of update

I am here.
I’ve been busy. Far too busy of course, so busy that when I had a very relaxed last weekend, I had trouble sleeping overnight and felt miserable on Monday. Not going to do that again soon!

Dad
He’s doing okay, but he is getting more and more confused all the time. On Monday afternoon he called me with all kinds of problems and worries and such, and talked about things that (I think) were a mix of something on a paper he either received or found, something that was on his computer screen and something I still have not figured out.
It’s all fine now, though, so that’s a relief.

4-day marches
Yup, they are here again. 41.400 people walking 30, 40 or 50 km a day for 4 days. Amazing. Too bad they have crap weather. They walked in the heavy rain yesterday. Today actually was mostly dry, good for them.

Summer
What’s that again?