The Off-Worlder series.

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With the new year just commencing I would want to raise the curtains with a fresh start. All of my old blog-posts will remain as they are. I hope everyone is excited for what 2018 has in store!

I am happy to announce that 2018 is going to be my year.
A quick recap. 2016 was not so much of my year. I’ve hit some pretty low bottoms. I was convinced that 2017 was going to be better. I wasn’t entirely wrong because 2017 was indeed better than 2016. 2017 brought a great person into my life and has enriched me with career opportunities, insights on self improvement and many more good vibes. I still felt that 2017 could have been a better year but we can’t all speed up our growth when life wants us to deal with past stuff first.

After my last post, life got intense on me. I moved to a different city. This time around, it was serious. My nomadic lifestyle was put an end to. I found my home in the beautiful city of Utrecht. I’ve lived all my life in Amsterdam and I grew weary of the town. I made a firm decision and applied for a college in Utrecht, hence we moved there.

Starting a college was something I never thought would happen. Not because I didn’t think I could do it but because I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable in there. I love education. I love learning, but I’ve had previous experiences with a high school where I felt far from respected for the person I was. I was interested in Latin and Philosophy but my high school didn’t provide me to study these subjects because of the education system of the Netherlands. I’m aware systems are changing. I’ll come back to that later.

My choice for the study came from a deep desire to immerse myself in language. Communication and the transfer of knowledge were two big components of what made this choice easy. I enrolled to the study of English teacher.

To answer the question if I feel comfortable in college: absolutely not. I don’t like sitting in a room where students are forced to work together. I am annoyed by the intense atmosphere and having hardly any quiet time. What keeps me motivated is that my self improvement does make a huge jump. It makes me exhausted and yet thrilled to accept the challenge of adjusting to different environments.

How I notice that school systems are changing: I’m an intern at my old high school and I notice immense differences in how classes are structured. When I see “the future” in the classroom working in a different manner, I get excited to teach. The pressure is high in college and they told us that the pressure inside the classroom is even higher. I’m not so sure if I’m able to cope with it but I will flow with where life is taking me at the moment.

On another note and probably the most important; I’m currently working on a huge writing project. In a previous blog post, I hinted that I was working on writing a book series. On Instagram, I had already urged people to watch out the platform for some upcoming feed. Since I’ve just explained the reasons for my absence and how they prevented me from posting even a quick update. I have something new in store.

This entry is mainly for the project I’m currently working on. For the people who like the fantasy genre; this is for you!
My project is writing a fantasy trilogy about magic, culture, religion and anything that has caught my attention in the past 26 years of my life. The series consists of three books. I will break it down into parts hence Book I will be discussed only.  

Title: The Off-worlder. Book I: The Off-worlder Trilogy

Synopsis:

In Serrature, a secluded city in Italy lives nineteen-year- old Michaela Acardi. When she gets triggered by the death of her best friend, Julian – she flees from a society which threatens her freedom. Whilst many believe that Julian perished in a fire, Michaela’s search for the truth guides her to a village called Löwe . A magical community in Germany that offers shelter for those in need. Magic is a norm and gives Michaela a hard time to cope with because it challenges her perceptions of life and contradicts with what she was taught. Then there is the most burning question of all: how is this village connected with Julian?

Sophie Volkov, who knows the village by heart, aims to figure out the mystery around her mother’s death. This leads her navigating through a maze of mysteries on which Löwe is fundamentally build upon. She finds out that the town is protected by a wall of secrets sheltering an even bigger secret. To Sophie’s dismay the inhabitants aren’t ready to unveil the mystery. Michaela proposes a new perspective which gives Sophie answers that she didn’t think she needed. This opens her eyes but there is something about Michaela that Sophie doesn’t trust completely. When she makes the shocking discovery of what Michaela is she has two choices: speak up and damage the village’s reputation or stay silent and put the lives of the village in jeopardy.

Benjamin ‘Ben’ Lopez is in contrast to Sophie, not interested in the rich culture of Löwe. He is balancing his responsibilities to the village with his hunger for more. Unsure about whether this is truly his home, he engages him to his longtime girlfriend Jessie; who isn’t an easy person to live with. After Michaela’s arrival, he is being haunted by nightmares. At first he thinks of them as nothing, but these dreams become more and more impending that he starts to realize that Löwe might be in danger again.

Let me know if you would like to read it, why and why not? I’d like to hear your opinions!

Posted on: January 1, 2018

▽ 8 love notes ▽

  • Adeline
    January, 2018

    cool I am an aspiring writer and you make me want to work harder

  • Sacha Meow
    January, 2018

    This sounds soooo cool. Definitely would read it.

  • Joyce Emma
    January, 2018

    OMG! I want to read it, i want to be a beta reader......

  • Astrid
    January, 2018

    This is tickling my brain in all through right corners. I'm going to read this with pleasure and it my hope is that it will be released at any rate. Marleen, I just have one question for you. Where did you draw your inspiration from? Personal experiences, religious observations, other texts?

  • Elina V
    January, 2018

    Sounds really cool can't wait

  • Melissa
    January, 2018

    "the off-worlders trilogy." it has such a nice ring to it

  • David
    January, 2018

    This sounds so good. It's a shame you don't publish them in hard copy or on a platform. Because I would LOVE to read this. Maybe a little snippet of your books first chapter?

  • Valeria
    January, 2018

    Wow, didn't you know you were working on a book, let alone a series of! I am eager to read it! Let me know when things are developing!

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April 2017

When the Spring finally started, I sighed deeply. The beauty of mankind lies within its optimism to see(k) beauty in everything. I wrote that a couple of years ago. I had reminded myself that although I could no longer see the beauty I was going to need to seek for it. Which I managed to see again, but there were days that the only success I had was coming out of bed. I was weighed down by desperate thoughts that nobody liked me. Not my family, not my friends and the whole world was against me. In my road to recovery, I had to shift a lot of perspectives and let go of attachments. My fear of intimacy was breached by a gentle boy who never judged me for what happened in the past. There might come days that I will be able to share it with you all but for now, my past is mine to keep.

***

Spring brought Easter in April. My sister organised an Easter brunch at her place. Most of my family had talked me into attending since I am reluctant to come at their gatherings. Although I love being around my family, times with them can take its intense toll on me. In the Netherlands, we have two Easter days, just as we have two Christmas days. Which is quite convenient since we celebrate it with two different families. The day had exhausted me so, I climbed into my sister’s bed and when the last family member drained away, I had fallen asleep. When I woke up I looked at the ceiling and broke down into tears. I was clueless to why I felt so overwhelmed. I had such a great day and yet a flood of sorrow drowned me.  My sister had drifted off into a slumber but woke up to the sound of my sobbing. She asked me if I was okay. Her concern touched me. I wish there had been more healthy discussions with my sister that could have bonded us stronger. ‘Is it Mum?’ she asked. Everybody knew in my family that my mother and I weren’t on the best of terms. At first, I was compelled to say no, trying to convince myself it didn’t bother me at all but it did. It was just not all of it.

I compared my life to that of my sister’s. My sister had her own place and a job in which she was good at and still, my only success was that I managed to take care of my cat. Although a devil screamed inside my ears that I sucked at that too. I was hesitant in trusting my sister but I asked her to come closer and lie in bed with me. I explained it to her while she was next to me. It was the-never-ending-comparing-my-life with that of more “successful” people, like my sister. She hugged me tight and started sobbing. She told me that although she seems to have everything and most of the times she is happy, she does have days where she doesn’t know why she is doing it. The job requires her to be mean to other people and my sister hates that part. “I honestly don’t believe I am a bad person,” she said through her tears. And I agreed with her a million times and I still do. Some jobs make you do horrible stuff because it earns money. It made sense. The reason why I had been so confused about my success is that I couldn’t afford to compromise a part of myself where I am forced to be unnaturally unkind to others.

In the moment that my sister opened herself since a very long time, I no longer felt being her shadow. She became more human to me. Showing me that her life has a terrible price, a terrible compromise. I was happy in a way that I connected with my sister on such a deep level. It’s a connection I have been yearning for but unable to receive from most of my family. One was enough in that moment. I stopped comparing myself and let go of the self-scrutiny that have held me back for a long time.

***

The next morning my father’s side of the family came to my sister’s place. I helped my sister prepare everything, feeling at bliss doing stuff for my family. The size of my father’s family has never been big. My father has one brother who doesn’t have any biological kids. Making this table look much bigger than it was the day before. Halfway through the brunch, I felt that someone was missing. The signs were there. There was one extra plate and my heart longed to share the plethora of food which we have, with this gentle boy. I called him. On the phone, he told me he dropped everything and he was on his way to meet me.

As they were busy making plans to go outside and do stuff,  I got a little uncomfortable. The idea that the gentle boy, whom I had invited would come in too late because they were busy making other plans. In a moment I had the feeling that I was being ignored again. I retreated in silence and dissatisfaction. My brother came to me and said that ‘some things just happen the way they do, and this is the natural flow. They can’t always wait for others’.

I was still upset about them being less observant but I appreciated my brother’s effort in comforting me. As he got back into his seat, he watched me from across the room. He didn’t take his eyes off of me. It may have salvaged the pain a bit but, it didn’t want to stop itching. I caught him looking at me and  I knew that when he closed his eyes in my direction, was a sign that he was thinking of me. In that moment I realised, I was unwitting that my brother was aware of how I felt. My connection with my brother was more silent than the recent rekindled one with my sister. It relieved a lot of pressure. After the gentle boy made his appearance at the door, the atmosphere in the room changed. My family was willing to take him in as if he were already part of them. After coming from a walk, my grandmother came next to me and said that he was approved.

***

End of April was celebrated with a festival at the Elfia Fantasy fair.
I remember the first time I went with my friend Mieke.
In my early days of photography, my mother took me to a Halloween party for kids to photograph. My mother’s friend, who had organised the party had collected entertainers. Per coincidence, she met Mieke on a bus when Mieke was being simply herself. At the Halloween party my mother scouted Mieke as a model and from there we became friends. Only half a year later she asked me to come to the festival for the first time. When I first arrived, I whispered in Mieke’s ear; that this was the fantasy world existing in my mind and now became real. I had come with her to the Elfia festival for three years. We became distant for a while. It seemed necessary to withhold myself from any form of friendship that we nearly became strangers. Speaking about what happened to me, felt like I was closing a chapter that had been waiting for me to be closed. This chapter will be elaborated in another blog post.

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Posted on: July 16, 2017

▽ 20 love notes ▽

  • Rosemary
    December, 2017

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  • Alejandro
    December, 2017

    I love all your posts. You have done really good job

  • Mikayla
    December, 2017

    It’s good to hear your voice again–I’ve been missing it! Beautiful. Hardship and strife, dirt and grime, yet so much love. What a great chapter of your life. xx

  • Alberto
    December, 2017

    You are amazing. So is your talent. Hope to read a book that you make in the future. You're carrying out a pretty cool job. Love from Sweden

  • Adrianna
    December, 2017

    Wow.. precious, amazing memories. Great post – that first photo of it took my breath away.

  • marco
    August, 2017

    Mooie foto's . en je bent een geweldig persoon leuk geschreven ook mag je trots op zijn ;)

  • About Fashion Life
    August, 2017

    Ik vind jouw foto's erg mooi geworden! Leuk zo'n Fantasy Fair. :) X A

  • Naomi Anna
    August, 2017

    Wat een mooie foto's! Die fantasy fair ziet er echt ontzettend leuk uit. Het lijkt me erg leuk om ook een keer zo'n fair te bezoeken.

  • Andrea
    August, 2017

    De elf fantast fair lijkt me erg leuk! Mooie foto's en een leuke sfeer!

  • nicky
    August, 2017

    Oh wauw wat een prachtige foto's!

  • Kees
    August, 2017

    Een compleet andere wereld. Fascinerend! En inderdaad hele gave foto's.

  • Tamara
    August, 2017

    Wat een mega mooie foto's maak je! Ziet er leuk uit. Ik ben wel eens (jaren geleden) naar de Elf Fantasy Fair geweest. Heel leuk en bijzonder om eens mee te maken. Kasteel de Haar is ook een prachtige locatie!

  • Jannike
    July, 2017

    Leuk de Elf Fantasy Fair! Hopelijk volgend jaar :)

  • Danella
    July, 2017

    Leuke foto's en wat een prachtig kasteel is dat!

  • Marleen
    July, 2017

    Dankjewel! Ik ben daar nu ook wel achter. Maar het was fijn om dat inderdaad los te laten.

  • Judith Jasper
    July, 2017

    Geweldige foto's. Maar je moet nooit minder voelen dan iemand die alles al voor elkaar heeft, ze hebben vast hun eigen issues en onzekerheden. Jouw tijd komt zeker nog wel! Geniet er juist maar van dat je al die verplichtingen nog niet hebt.

  • Lodi
    July, 2017

    prachtige foto's, leuk ook bij Kasteel de Haar!

  • Dhini
    July, 2017

    Wat prachtig foto`s

  • Janet
    July, 2017

    Je moet het onderhouden van een kat niet onderschatten. ;) Mooi geschreven en mooie foto's!

  • nicole orriens
    July, 2017

    Wat een prachtige foto's zeg. Vooral die waar jullie in een boom zitten vind ik heel erg mooi!

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