Author: sannyspear

You will never guess what brought back my joy to write

You will never guess what brought back my joy to write

Have you ever struggled in your life? Have you ever felt lost? Have you ever felt like everything was just falling apart, and you felt like losing ground? I have been there. I did not see any future for myself. My life changed, and even though I was prepared, I was not really. I wanted to be. I saw that nobody else had a problem with the same situation at all. This made me feel even more miserable.

I had no joy at work or anywhere. All my ambition and enthusiam were gone. It seemed that a part of me just died. I had no perspective. I had no clue how my future would be like. Did I even have one? I talked to my Grandma who only told me I was too young to feel this way. I never talked about it again. Instead, I acted, as I was okay. I did not want to bother anyone with something that was only a stupid feeling.

I felt ashamed of myself.
I felt ashamed of myself.

Then, one day my coworker started talking about a character on a TV show. She did not stop talking about him and his quirks. My coworker and I were very different. The only other show we both watched was Desperate Housewives. However, her passion while telling me about this character and the show made me curious and, shortly after, I watched one episode. I honestly did not like it at first. At least I thought that. A few days later, she waited for me in front of the office building and gave me her first season DVD. She said, “Watch it and like it.” And I did, and I did.

For some reason I did not understand back then, I instantly felt like I finally had something that I wanted, without me knowing that I wanted it. It was like something in me came back. I was curious and excited again. I was looking forward to something again. I have not felt like that in a long time. The show also brought something else back, which I had almost forgot how it felt like: laughing.

I was happy again.

A few weeks later, I realized why I thought I did not like the first episode I saw. I could relate so much to the female character, who felt as a complete failure in that particular episode. Then she became addicted to something, a computer game, that she never thought could like. It was because of her neighbor who she also never thought could like some day. He seemed to be the complete opposite of her. I felt like that girl, though my neighbor, who seemed to be different in so many ways from me, was actually my former coworker. The show had the same impact on me as the game on that female character. Well, maybe not exactly the same.

Over the years, I figured out that at some point, certain people came like out of nowhere and were expanding in my life. Just like the female character and her neighbors who became more and more important to each other. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe years, it felt these persons had always been part of my life, even though I knew they were not. This show made me realize why I felt like I died in some way. I stopped writing. I stopped telling stories, and by that, I stopped being entirely me. The characters on the show are grownups but still love to play and be goofy. As a kid, I loved listening to my friends, mixing everything I knew they liked and making a story out of that. There was no greater challenge before I went to sleep, and no greater joy than looking into their eyes while they were listening to my creation.

I love telling stories.

When I started working at my first job, I felt exhausted every day. It was so different than school. Everyone around me said I should not waste my time on any creativity, as this will never get me any decent income. Well, I started writing again after I had some kind of epiphany because of that show. It is part of my current job, even though Marketing is a different way of creative writing or storytelling. That is what I do at home, here on my WordPress page, and maybe one day, I can live my dream to the fullest. I want to create characters people can identify, stories that are more than tales. I wrote my first book this year, inspired by the actor who played the neighbor, and my first musical. I started writing book number two, have already ideas for number three and a play.

Six years ago, I published something I wrote back then. Now I want to re-share it as part one of my Christmas present to you. In this story, I let the actors of that show think of the previous season, which was number five back then. This was the first one I saw when it was new to everyone, so it will always be special to me. I wanted to put in this little story, what I have learned from that season. Over the years I have learned some more, but, spoiler alert, that will be part two of the present, coming next week.

Click here to open the PDF or here to get to read my story on Movellas, which is a page for aspiring writers. For some reason, I have not used it in the last six years…

Please note: As some of you know I am not an English native speaker, and I wrote this six years ago. I re-read it recently, and there are some grammar mistakes and literal translations like laser sword, which is the German “Lichtschwert” meaning lightsaber. I did not want to change anything, and just re-share how I published it on my former blog. Hope you enjoy reading it anyway. I would love to read your feedback – and if you have any questions, let us talk about it.

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Thank you for reading.

If you liked that post, please show me and click the button below. I would also love to read your thoughts in the comment section. Always feel free to share my posts with your friends on Social Media. You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Please also follow my page, directly on WordPress or via Email. Thank you. XO Sanny

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Five reasons I love writing

Five reasons I love writing

For those who know me, also know that I am actually a shy person. I do not really talk much, and I barely start a conversation, unless I am definitely sure the other person wants to talk. However, writing comes easier to me. I can take time to properly think of the words I am using, which I cannot do while talking. There, everything has to fit just right in the moment. Whenever I start thinking, people around me wonder if I am ignoring them, when in fact I am simply looking for words. This is only one of many reasons I enjoy writing and enjoy having this WordPress page.
Silhouettes of two people hugging

1. I feel less judged.

Whenever I talk to people, I feel the pressure to tell them exactly what they want to hear. I often had conversations in which people turned away from me or ignored my answer, when it was not what they expected. I have honestly no idea, how some guys can talk so much, even without thinking, at least it seems to me like that, and people seem to like them no matter what. A former coworker told me, that he thought of possible situations, and how reacting to them. If he was in a specific situation, he only had to recall his chosen reaction. Therefore, he was quick in finding the right thing to say or do. Thinking in advance is something I love. That is similar to writing. What will happen? What could the other person say if I said this or that? It is a lot of preparation, but it helps me to feel less judged in the real world.

A bit of phantasy

2. My fantasy can run wild.

I have a vivid fantasy. I love to make up my mind about all sorts of things. I love to figure out how people are. Therefore, I love to get in touch with new people. The more people I know, the better view I can get about one topic. Different kind of perspectives help me getting the full understanding of something, or at least getting close to that. Social Media helps me here. As hard as it is to approach someone in real life, as easier it is to chat with someone online. No one is looking at me. No one wants to have a reply immediately. I can properly think about my answer. I mean, I want to be funny. I want to be someone people like, so I have to be creative. There is nothing better than being creative, as long as I still be myself. I prefer to create realistic characters than phantasy ones. I want to tell stories people can identify. Stories that become more than a tale.

Reading a book

3. I can expand my knowledge.

Doing research for writing is very important to be believable. I am curious and want to understand different kinds of procedures. There might be people reading my stories who are experts in these fields about I am writing. The more research I do, talk to people about it, the more accurate are my information. When I want people relating to my characters, these have to know what they are doing. As I am telling them what to think, say and do, I have to know all the facts and details. I love reading books, or finding interesting articles online. It helps me to understand the world better and all the beauty it contains.

Sheet music

4. I can get lost in daydreaming.

Music helps me a lot to get my mind off and start creating characters and stories. Whenever I am out of the house, I start looking at people. I want to learn how they walk, how they interact with each other. Watching people carefully, without staring of course, I do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable and I do not follow anyone, helps me understanding their behaviors and evaluate the outcomes of certain situations. I do not listen to their conversations. Often I wear my ear plugs. Listening to music really calms me down. It is also less likely for others to talk to me, which does not make me put into a situation I might be unable to handle properly. I can think of the conversation these people could share, and by doing that I think of their characters. I wonder what their job might be, what their plans for the day are, what they are dealing with, and so on. Their word choice is also important, because people from different walks of life talk differently. It also depends from the region they live in, their age and heritage. The choice of words already tells me a lot about someone’s personality.

Book pages shape a heart.

5. It makes me feel home.

For so many people, home is a building. Well, for me it is my safe place. Back in 2015, when Jim Parsons did some press for his animated movie “Home”, I asked what this means to him, and he replied that he feels home whenever he is surrounded by people who are okay with him being himself. That is one example of how interacting with people gives me new perspectives. Though even before that, I felt that I am home, whenever I am in the hearts of those people I care. In some way, I felt relieved that Jim’s answer was not something like “when I am in my house”. Home is my happy place. My happy place is when I can write, say what I think without others judging me. It is simply when I can be myself (which was basically, what Jim said). I can be whomever I want in my stories, and I can be a bit of everyone. Writing is my escape from reality, and my entrance to reality. It is just a way of perspective.

My present to you.

As the holidays are coming closer, I thought to re-share the pilot script of a sitcom, which I wrote more than six years ago. It is one of the first stories Jim inspired me to write. The title is “Artists of Life” and it is about a gay couple, an actor and a writer, who do their very best to gain a foothold in New York. When they do not earn enough money from their dream jobs to keep paying the rent, they make an audition for finding the new perfect roommate. It is about the struggles we face in life, and that creativity and some dose of fun, as well as people we love, can help us walking on this tightrope called life.

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Thank you for reading.

If you liked that post, please show me and click the button below. I would also love to read your thoughts in the comment section. Always feel free to share my posts with your friends on Social Media. You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Please also follow my page, directly on WordPress or via Email. Thank you. XO Sanny

Christmas bakery: Sharing my recipe for Cinnamon Stars

Christmas bakery: Sharing my recipe for Cinnamon Stars

I love baking, especially in the weeks before the holidays. In my last Instagram live, I talked about Christmas cookies. I promised to share my recipe for Cinnamon Stars, “Zimtsterne”, which are traditional German Christmas cookies and my favorite. So, here it is. (All measurements are also in grams, cm and Celsius, if anyone from good old Europe stumbles upon and wants to try this recipe as well).

Ingredients for about 42 cookies (depends on the size of your star shaped cutter):

  • 1 2/3 cups ground almonds (200 grams)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (120 grams)
  • 3 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 egg white
  • 1 TBSP almond liquor

For the icing:

  • 1/2 egg white
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (120 grams)

1. Pour the dry ingredients (ground almonds, powdered sugar, and cinnamon) into a bowl and mix them.

Ground almonds, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl

2. Add the egg white and the almond liquor. Then knead the dough until it gets sticky. Then continue kneading the dough with your hands. You can add a bit more powdered sugar, so the dough won’t stick to your fingers.

Dough after adding egg white and liquor

3. Let it snow: Put some powdered sugar on a flat surface, e.g. your kitchen counter, and roll out the dough. Put some powdered sugar on your rolling pin, so the dough won’t stick to it.

Powdered sugar on dough on kitchen counter

4. The flat dough should be no thicker than 1/2 inch (about 1 cm). Then use a star shaped cutter, and place your cookies on a baking tray (use parchment paper).

Cutting star shaped cookies

5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (160 degrees Celsius). Beat the egg white until stiff. Then add the powdered sugar, and apply on your cookies. The more you add, the thicker and sweeter the icing will be.

Stars before getting egg white layer...

6. Put the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes. They should be light brown on the edges.

Cookies with icing

7. Let your cookies cool down for at least an hour, so the icing won’t stick to other cookies or your fingers. Then you can put them into your cookie jar and enjoy them with your family and friends.

Cinnamon Stars in cookie jar

Please let me know if you like the cookies and how yours turned out. What are your favorite Christmas cookies?

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Thank you for reading.

If you liked that post, please show me and click the button below. I would also love to read your thoughts in the comment section. Always feel free to share my posts with your friends on Social Media. You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Please also follow my page, directly on WordPress or via Email. Thank you. XO Sanny

Thank you

Thank you

Yesterday was a big day for NASA when InSight landed on Mars and sent its first picture to earth. I mean, how impressive is that? Planets, moons, our solar system and the universe have always fascinated me. The fact that we have technology to explore another planet simply leaves me speechless. Watching the landing live felt even better than my excited self could have imagined. It is different seeing such an outstanding moment when it actually happens than a few hours later. Sports fans will understand that. Recording a game and watching it later is simply no option. 

I am truly grateful for NASA and Twitter putting up the live stream and making it possible for everyone around the globe to watch this. These people at NASA do an incredible job helping us getting a better understanding of our planet and the universe. I am already curious what InSight will find out about the red planet. 

What new details will InSight give us about Mars?

It is not only people at NASA, who do an incredibly great part of making this place a happy one. Often it seems to me that many guys only focus on the one tiny, black spot on a big, white paper. As many bad things as exist, there are much more good things – just for most people that is no news (worth), or is it? I mean, every time something good happens, I often just think, “it is normal, how it is supposed to be”, without being actually grateful for it. However, when something bad happens, I remember this for a longer time and feel that constantly bad things are happening to me. 

Why can I not pay the same attention on good news?

Bad news are there to warn us. That is at least my explanation why most people are merely interested in them. Good news on the other hand, are nothing to worry about; but no one should forget about them. I want to be happy, and having a good time or getting good news definitely supports that. I feel even happier when I am with my family. 

Sharing the most valuable: time.

Last week was Thanksgiving and there is one particular thing about it that I wish other holidays had as well. It is about giving and being thankful. It is about showing gratitude not by buying expensive presents but simply by being present, which is actually more valuable. 

Spending time with loved ones, friends and family, is what I love the most. I also love that Christmas is about spending time with my family. Presents are not that important. In my family, I mostly give my parents self-made calendars. I enjoy making them, and I even more enjoy giving them something unique. The present is not the calendar itself, but more the time and thoughts I spent making it.

Two different ways of thinking about presents. 

I had a friend in college who bought her boyfriend a present worth one grand. I would never spend that much money on a present, besides the fact I could not afford it. Honestly, I think it is sad, that for many people life or holidays like Christmas seem to be all about money. (She seriously asked me back then, if that was not too cheap.) 

Quite different were the thoughts of a former coworker. She told me that she does not need Christmas or a birthday for giving her loved ones a present. Whenever she sees something, which reminds her of someone, she buys and gives it to that person. She said that she feels sad that people need a specific day to show how much they love someone. Every day offers many opportunities to give someone a gift, which does not even have to be an item.

My Christmas Cookie jars and some decoration.
My Christmas Cookie jars and some decoration.

The one, who only has money, is the poorest person.

In German literature there is a book called Jedermann (literally “Everyman”) by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, which is about a man who thinks he can buy everything with money. When the day of his death comes closer, he wants someone else to go for him. He wants to keep paying people, as he feels they are only there to do the things for him he does not want to. He feels like is better than other people, so he should not waste his time doing things himself and leaving earth with nothing just like all the other people. He wants to take at least all his possessions with him. Well, you can imagine how it ended for him. 

Money is important to have, but more important is it to have family and friends. If you do not get along with your family, choose friends who become the family of your choice. Find people who truly love you for being who you are. That is what I am grateful. Even I do sometimes feel lonely, I somehow know that I have people in my life I can count and rely on. Money can neither buy friends, nor time. 

Thanksgiving is like Christmas without worrying about buying the right presents. 

Family time is what matters the most. I wish Christmas was more like Thanksgiving, meaning that it is less about consumerism. Time is so precious, even though I often feel like I take it for granted, e.g. I procrastinate something to the following week because I am not in the mood at that moment, even though I really want to do it. At least this makes me an optimistic, as I think I still live next week. I will never take anything for granted. I am grateful for everything I have.

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Thank you for reading.

If you liked that post, please show me and click the button below. I would also love to read your thoughts in the comment section. Always feel free to share my posts with your friends on Social Media. You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Please also follow my page, directly on WordPress or via Email. Thank you. XO Sanny