Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hurdle Race

For most of us there has been a time when we had to overcome some obstacles – our own personal „hurdle“ so to speak. A decade ago I became very ill and it took me a long time even to get out of the damn hospital. A few weeks later I started my school again which I had to cancel before because of my illness.

But I overestimated myself...I was still too weak (a fact very hard for me to admit). So finally I failed and had to bury my dream of getting my „Abitur“ certificate. 

Needless to say that I suffered a major setback. All I can say is that without the help of my family and some very close friends I wouldn't have made it through that tough time.

It took me almost two years before I dared to make a new try. I started a new education and this time I succeeded. In all those years after my illness I had overcome several hurdles...had to find myself a new strength, happiness – and – that was the hardest part - PATIENCE. Those who know me more closely can tell you I'm the most impatient person on earth ;). But it paid off in the end. I have a very good job now that I love – discovered that I have a gift for creating pictures and writing.

I think everyone knows what I try to tell you. Don't give up – neither on yourself nor on your goals and dreams. And if you can't make your original dream come true look for another one. One you wouldn't have thought of at the first place. And who knows – maybe you discover some new talents hidden deep down inside you. Don't say it's impossible – I saw it happen. It just takes time.....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Me and my PSE

I started using Photoshop Elements about a year ago. Before that I used to work with several graphic programs like Gimp, Photo Impact and Paint Shop Pro and – of course – Photoshop Elements.

After a while I decided to stick with PSE because it offers so many possibilities for making wonderful pictures. My friend Bea (she's the one who introduced me to it) is working with Photoshop too and she said that after all this time she'd still not figured it out completely. And I totally agree with her. But I like it that way. There is always something you don't know, like a brush or a pattern you didn't try out before. It's highly addictive. I can spend hours dealing with my PSE. My friend is making fun of me now 'cause at first I didn't want to work with that program – no chance . 

I refused to accept her thesis that Photoshop was so special that once you start using it you don't want to use another program. Well, after I started working with it I had to admit she was right.
It's not only you don't want to – you simply don't need to work with another graphics program! It took a bit of time before I was ready to show my work to other people .

They seemed to like it although I wasn't sure if they were only trying to be nice. Until one day some of my colleagues at work who were also working with graphic programs told me that they like what I do with my PSE. They let me do the covers for our annual reports – I was so proud you can't imagine how much.

Occasionally I also take some „orders“ for pictures from friends and family like birthday pics or a picture with their newborn sons or daughters on it and I'm always happy to oblige them. I know for a fact that I'm still far far away from being a professional but I am proud of my creations. To be able to express yourself, your feelings through a picture (or poems, stories, music etc. – depends on what you've chosen) is something I hope will never get lost. Neither for me nor anyone else.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My date with Lara Adrian

A year ago I had the opportunity to meet one of my all-time favourite Authors: Lara Adrian. I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say she's a true master in the writer community. I've got myself all of her books in english and german. You may ask now why? It's a habit of mine to read the books I love in the original language too.
But back to Lara. I was one of the winners of a special contest and the price was a day with Lara Adrian. So on a sunny day in june last year me and the rest of the contest winners (a bunch of 20 lovely ladies!) met at a canal in eastern Berlin where a little boat was waiting for us and Lara. The PR-lady of the Lyx publishing company welcomed us and then SHE came! She looked so lovely and was accompanied by her husband John.

He was such a nice and funny guy. Before we entered the boat we had the chance to make some pictures with her. Here's mine:

On the boat we had a little Q&A and we shared our opinion on her books, the characters (we had a little poll for our favourite character also) and she signed some books for us. Finally it was my turn and I sat down next to her and didn't know what to first. Damn, I've been so nervous it left me speechless. But she started talking to me and then.....well, let's say I learned to use my voice again although it may have sounded a little croaky ;). 

After our little boat trip we had a wonderful BBQ on the rooftop terrace of Audible. We had good food, lots of champagne and a nice chat with Lara. After lunch there was another chance for a quick Q&A with Lara Adrian and Simon J├Ąger. 

He's the german narrator of Lara's audiobooks. Gosh, that man has a wonderful and sexy voice (okaaay, behave yourself Nicky! ). Lara never heard his voice before and she fell head over heals for it – so she said! They got along great and all of us had a wonderful time.
Unfortunately we had to leave soon for the live reading at a theatre which Lara promised to attend. 

You can imagine it was a huge success even though Lara's voice had been affected by a cold. But she didn't want to disappoint her fans and read two chapters of her book and then Simon read the same chapters in german. The ladies freaked out as soon as he read the first word. It was marvellous. That was an awesome day and I enjoyed every freakin' minute of it. Lara is such a lovely, warm and down-to-earth person and I'm so thankful I had the chance to meet her. If you have the opportunity to meet her don't let it pass by – you would regret it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book tip of the day: Divine by accident (Partholon #1)

The only excitement Shannon Parker expects while on summer vacation is a little shopping. But when an antique vase calls to her, she finds herself transported to Partholon, where she's treated like a goddess. A very temperamental goddess…

Didn't know what to expect at first. The exerpt sounded interesting so I bought it. An everage school teacher gets sucked into a world where she's treated like a goddess. Sounds good...sounds too good. Because it's not all about being pampered and spoiled - there's a snag to it!   There are evil creatures who are about to destroy everything and everyone in this world. Not forgetting a highly attractive zentaur: half man/half horse - what a thought ;)) she'd never met but whom she has to marry. And above all to lead a nation in an epic battle without knowing how it will end. There is no chance for boredom while reading that book - not for one minute. I finished it in two days!! It has everything that matters: fantasy,a romance, passion and the ultimate battle good vs. evil. And an ordinary woman who finds something that's worth fighting for. Can't wait to read the 2nd part! Highly recommended!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Socialise Me or how I learned to love facebook and twitter

This is my first blog entry and I didn't know what to write about. 4 cups of coffee, one chat and one phone call later I decided to talk about my experience with the social network. At first I refused to join that community of people who spend their time entirely on the - as I call it - facebook or twitter twilight zone.Or maybe "black hole" would be a more appropriate title. Mostly everyone who joins one or the other gets totally lost. Nothing really matters anymore - neither family nor friends, activities or the job. I heard (and saw) a few really sad stories. All I wanted was to shout at them "Get yourselves a life for godsake!" And I was wondering. Can people you meet on facebook or twitter be called "friends"? People I hardly know and - more important - hardly know me? Are they for real or are they just one big fake? So I was steadfast in my refusal to be one of  "them". But only for a while ;). A friend of mine convinced me to join facebook and twitter by saying "Come on....everyone we know is there. Could be fun!" Well, needless to say that she succeeded at last. I joined twitter and a little bit later facebook too always prepared not to expect very much from it. And then....I slowly started to get in touch with the people, found some interesting sites and made some new friends. I did it by writing on their walls (or vice versa!), by playing such interesting games like zuma or bejewled blitz (yeah – I admit I'm addicted ) or by attending events like a live chat. A lot of funny and nice people you can meet there. If you're lucky you get to know some of them a little bit better. You just have to keep one thing in mind: Have a great time, enjoy yourself but never loose track! Don't forget there's still a life outside facebook or twitter. Don't forget there are people who care for you – who did that long before you joined the social network madness. That's what I tell myself everyday and live by it. Finally I made my peace with the social network. It can give you a lot – if you know how to handle it...