New Years Dive 2024

Welcome to 2024. First off: all the best for the new year. 

The January blog is my traditional New Years Dive blog. Due to personal circumstances I am only posting this now. Apologies for the delay if you were waiting. If you’re looking for a media analysis, please keep an eye on my home page. There will be an announcement there when I plan to publish a new blog.

If you’re not familiar with my New Years Dive, it’s the moment when I reflect on the previous year and look towards the new year with the help of my Year Theme. To better explain the concept of a Year Theme I created this page to help you better understand what a Year Theme is and how it can help you. In short:

A Year Theme is one word or a short sentence which denotes your goals of the year. For me, it is a tradition that I’ve implemented to make the best of said new year. It provides structure and empowers to make decisions which improve your life. It is important that a theme is positively formulated, so it helps to create a better situation in a specific area of your life. In other words, it should imply personal growth.

Read more

2023 review: Gardening

Last year I set myself the goal to work in my personal garden. I wanted to analyse what I was doing and why. The goal was to remove things that didn’t work and have more time to improve the things I was doing. In short: increase focus by spending quality time evaluating my behaviour.

Looking back, 2023 was not about spending more time writing my own stuff. As with the years before, I wasn’t able to spend the time I wanted on my book and the short stories I had in my backlog. I know that I should’ve tended to these flowers, but they are already their own thing. Thus they needed less attention. Instead, my time was used by A: preparation for my vacation1 and B: writing a few pieces for a Dutch website. The first was necessary. The second one didn’t work out. Some seeds don’t bloom and that’s ok. Looking back, writing for another website is not completely in line with the long-term goals I have. Though it had the positive effect that it exposed the workload I put on myself at the time.

Positives of 2023:

  1. Because of the experience I had with writing for the other website, I decided to stop pushing myself for a blog each month. I simply lack the time and prefer to spend it on projects that are more fun to complete. 
  2. This decision also allowed me to both limit and enjoy my media consumption more. I can be even more precise about what I write and when.
  3. During my vacation I experienced my love of connecting with people over certain topics. It was a nice experience, and I would love to have more of these “heart connections” in the future.

2024: New opportunities

The start of the new year didn’t go as I expected. I only recently finished the photo book of my vacation, and there were some other things that required my attention in December which pushed back defining a Year Theme.‌ Formulating a Year Theme takes time and I needed a moment to breathe and to organise my thoughts on this topic. Something illustrated best by the following quote:

Sometimes you just need to focus on the present, take a deep breath and just be. Sometimes things can get so complicated that our mind can’t quite sort them out alone. But when you slow down and let yourself breathe, your spirit and your body can catch up with your mind and help out.
To know something truly and deeply you must know it with your head, hand and heart. Mind, body and spirit.

Queen Sarai – The Dragon Prince season 2 episode 9: Breathe

So, now we are here. My goal this year is that I want 2024 to be a year where my personal interests and wishes are more present. For myself and others. So I can grow and other people know which direction I want to grow. Thus my Year Theme of 2024 is Proclamation.

Explaining the Theme

A proclamation is “an official declaration issued by a person of authority to make certain announcements known2.

For me, this is a re-establishment of who I want to be as a person and what I want to do professionally. Since I notice that there is still a discrepancy between my Future and Current Self (as it should be), I want to take steps towards it. Steps that make it clear whom I want my Future Self to be.

I want this to result in: 

  1. Utilising my strengths at work more. My current job has me doing many different things within the confines of the job description. There is however a discrepancy between what I’m currently doing and what is possible. 
  2. Finished products which showcase my capabilities as a writer and worldbuilder.
  3. A personal coat of arms or images I can put on my carnaval jacket. It’s the time of the year and I really like the idea of visual representation.

To conclude

With a renewed focus on myself I want to spend more time doing things that give me energy instead of taking it away. With this Theme, I also want the world to see what I can do with the correct focus. Each day gives us an exciting possibility to continue growth as a person. And this year, I’m focusing on the work area of my life. Let’s make the most out of it!


1. See my December 2023 blog

2. Definitions of a proclamation: Dictionary and Wiki (since that gives a more clear explanation of it.
How to write an official proclamation.

A useful suggestion

The four officers grossed over the map. Their lack of faith could be read from their troubled faces. ‘If we can come in quick from the south position and use it as a diversion, we can draw their attention from guarding the north towers.’

‘And funnel our troops into a choke. That’s the the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard all day, captain. Our forces are limited. We cannot take the spaceport this way. We need some support to break their line.’

‘I have not heard a proper suggestion from your side, lieutenant! We agreed this discussion to be open since we have, as you rightly mention, limited forces.’

‘And I assume I do not need to remind you gentlemen who’s fault that is.’ Sergeant Dono looked at his superiors one by one. ‘I’ll have a look with sergeant Rust if our scouts have returned.’

He turns to find a man dressed in a dark cloak entered the command tent.

‘If I may give you a suggestion, officers?’

Rust pulled his blaster our and aimed it at the stranger: ‘How did you enter here, civilian? Where are the guards?’

The stanger smiled: ‘Your guards are on guard duty, as they should be.’

‘Sergeant Rust, stand down!’ Lieutenant Miguel walked towards the man and examined him top to bottom: ‘I don’t know who you are and why your here, but unless you have useful information I suggest you leave. Guards!’

Two guards entered the tent and stood in front of the man who simply smiled again and said: ‘There is no need for you to be here, you will return to your post.’ To the astonishment of the officers both guards replied simply: ‘there is no need for us to be here. We will return to our post.’

After they left the man looked at the officers: ‘now, where were we?’

The lieutenant unhostered his blaster and held it point blank at the man: ‘there is no we, stranger. We take our orders from Supreme Leader Snoke directly. We have been given the special….hgurh..’

Miguel’s free hand went to his throat as he tried to fight of the invisible hand that was choking him.

‘One would think a simple mind trick would give an officer the necessary hints. Apparently you are a tough learner.’ He disarmed the lieutenant and forced the man on his knees. ‘Since we’ve just met, consider this a warning and a test of faith that you’ve earned your rank for a reason.’ He released the lieutenant who collapsed on the floor, gasping for air.

‘Listen, Snoke is dead! Whatever your mission was, it is meaningless now. You are outmanned and outgunned. I don’t know if you value the lives of your men, but you will need them all to get off this planet alive.’

‘There is no force present here that can defeat us. We are the First Order. The enemy has a good defensive position, but we will overrun them.’

‘If that is what you think, then why have you not taken this outpost earlier. With Snoke dead and the First Order leadership temporarily shattered, it’s enemies will take the chance to strike swift and hard where they can. And you happen to be alone on a remote planet.’

Sergeant Rust looked at the man: ‘if we are a big target here, who dares to come for us? The rebels have no such force.’

‘Your rebels do not concern me. I have been to many planets in the Outer Rim since the fall of the Empire, and many organisations are eager to gain ground the moment the Order is weakened.’

Lieutenant Miguel, who had gained his composure asked: ‘And do you have any proof for your statements?’

The stranger shot a dangerous glance at him, to which Miguel flinched into a defensive stance. When nothing happened he carefully joined the others at the table.

‘The evidence will show itself, lieutenant. However. You must prepare your retreat first. We will talk after.’

A soldier entered the tent: ‘Sir, a message from high command.’ He handed the datapad to captain Rust, who was closest to him.

Rust grossed over is before reading it for the others: ‘By orders of Kylo Ren: All First Order troops are to abort their current mission and rendezvouz at target coordinates.’

Sergeant Dono looked at the stanger: ‘How did you know?’

‘I have sensed it, the balance of power is changing.’

Lieutenant Miguel looked at his men: ‘Sergeant Rust and Dono, retrieve your scouts and prepare retreat. We leave in two hours. Captain, find me a safe extraction point.’

Both sergeants saluted and left the tent while the captain went to work.

Miguel approached the stranger: ‘before you leave, what else do you know, stanger? I’d like to bring back some intel for high command.’

‘Not here, not now. I will be in the desert town you passed through in three days.’

‘How can we find you?’

‘That’s simple, lieutenant. Ask for Jaden.’

How I would display a sith lord

How I would display a Sith lord is a question that got raised after watching a video from my Youtube suggestions. I am somewhat dedicated to the few channels I’m subbed to because of it’s subject or personality.

One of these channels is the Star Wars channel. Home to all news Star Wars and the official place to be for trailers and other events like Star Wars Celebration. I have a strange kind of relationship with the franchise. I once tried to explain it to a former colleague of mine, who is a big Star Wars movies fan.*

I think Star Wars is really cool for what it does for Science Fiction. It has nice clean (ship) designs, cool cultures and a very good soundtrack. But I think the story is sometimes a bit lackluster. Characters can be a bit bland. It feels like it’s missing something for me. Something that makes them stick better then they do. Don’t get me wrong: I love what the Clone Wars and the books I’ve read do for the depth of some of the characters. But the films on their own, they are raising questions because things aren’t as fleshed out as I want it to be. And this comes partially due to the format. There is only so much a writer/director can do in 2,5-3 hours. Especially when you have a somewhat larger cast of characters.**

It just doesn’t satisfy my storytelling needs. And this saddens me because I WANT it to be more then it shows. I wanted it to be more, but sadly, it isn’t.

So to fill my Star Wars needs I watch the Star Wars Show on the Youtube’s and sometimes get some nice suggestions about the Star Wars storyworld or any of the films. When I found this video, it gave me a satisfying feeling. Not only did I watch a level-headed evaluation of the movie, I got the idea for this post. The part in the movie review about Kylo Ren got me thinking. As far as I know, there is no real Sith lord currently present in the lore. This is because the Sith Order ended with the death of Sidious and Vader.***

This little entry got the creative juices flowing. Combined with the missing Padawans from Luke’s new Jedi Order (which is a hole that probably will be plugged in the future) I came up with the idea that one of the padawans was also recruited and send to a distant planet in search for artifacts of the Emperor. This one is skilled in the Dark Side, but more focused towards the mystical aspects. You can argue that the focus in Star Wars currently is on the warrior archetype versus the mystical archetype. I personally like the latter one, but I’m also aware that the mystical aspects are a bit harder to grasp without the tutelage from a master. But we’ve got to have a canonical counter to Ahsoka Tano, right?

So in my opinion there is enough space for these characters. I hope you’ve had a lovely Fourth of May/Star Wars month and enjoy my short [which will come later]. I celebrated by reading the Phasma book and I will be visiting “Solo” later this month.

*Dedicated to the movies, not anything else

**If you’ve read and watched The Hobbit films you know what I mean

*** please see this entry, 2nd paragraph Early life

Repost of My Ahsoka Tano blog

Original air date: May 4 2016

Below you’ll find a repost of my blog of Ahsoka Tano. I wrote this before I read the novel



I find it funny that this word-play evolved into an international event. I love Star Wars for the cultural diversity and designs (biological and technical) that it shows on screen. I support this burst of fandom and geekiness and participate with a post. And it’s about something that has been lingering in my thoughts since the end of the Clone Wars series. That moment when Ahsoka Tano, a character not known to the films walks out of the picture with unknown destination.

She took our hearts by surprise. She brought colour and understanding to the characters (see also this post I found while doing research) and the universe, as an unseen guide for (young) people not familiar with the Star Wars universe. And in the end she chose to do the most difficult thing anyone can do in his or her life: walk away from everything that you know since age three. She left the characters in the show and the viewers watching with something to think about. After all that happened: one animated film and five seasons, that is 67 episodes (If I counted correctly), she vanishes. We all know the reason for this, and in hindsight I dearly miss her in the films.

She pops back up some time later, in Star Wars Rebels. Probably as a partial fan service but also because she is an interesting character. She was always the one who for me brought charm to the Star Wars universe, which to me is filled with characters who either don’t show emotion because it’s evil, or characters who are pissed or evil all the time. I know I’m a little black and white here but there are not many characters in the films that I feel could be more explored. For example: I loved how they peeled of the external layers of Obi-Wan in the Clone Wars (the Mandalore’s Death Watch episodes). It showed more character, but most is still missed when you only watch the films. You know what I mean if you watched the Clone Wars series.

Back to the topic at hand: Ahsoka Tano. After the dramatic ending of season two of Star Wars Rebels we apparently get a book later this year covering the missing period of her life. Between the moment she walked away from the Jedi Order and reappearing with the rebellion. She escaped Order 66 because she was A: not a Jedi anymore and B: not near any stormtroopers?

Along the way she meets Bail Organa who organises the rebellion. This is all we know. She was probably off Curuscant, because why would you want to stay there. It is part of the life she want to leave behind her.

These things were spinning around in my head a couple years back after watching the show. I see only options for a character when there is no goal or direction for the near future. So my creative side goes on a roll and out comes the following.

Our starting point is Curuscant, Ahsoka wandering around. Feeling a bit lost. She probably has no credits (because the Order financed everything) and needs to beg for money. But she is reluctant to do so, for personal reasons. As she wanders around someone appraoches her. He has seen her face on the news/wanted posts a couple days back and he offers to buy her a meal at a local restaurant. Pondering her options Ahsoka agrees. She’s hungry and she senses no evil intentions in him.

While eating, the man explains he’s a smuggler who helps people offworld and to disappear. He says the Republic is failing to provide for it’s people and many want to leave. It will be his last run off planet, since he feels the heat. He’s willing to take her with him. She can work on his ship as payment. She agrees, wanting to get off-world. He gives her information on how to reach his ship and leaves, to take care of other business.

As Ahsoka walks to the ships hangar she is attacked by unknown men. She easily defeats them in hand to hand combat and it turns out it was a test from the smuggler. He is confident that their enterprise is benificial to them both.

As she works on the smugglers ship for some time, she learns that he not only takes people off-world but also smuggles illegal goods. It is something that angers her, but she learns that most goods are for a Rebellion that has appeared after the fall of the Jedi. During her service on the ship she is very careful not to show Jedi powers and trying to minimise her presence in the Force. This time gives her a purpose: to help people in need.

With the rise of the rebellion relationships and loyalties somewhat shifted, the smuggler becomes a more active agent for the rebellion without Ahsoka knowing. She finds out when a mission goes wrong and she protects the smuggler and Bail Organa from a deal gone wrong. It is at that time she uses her force powers for the first time since leaving the Jedi Order. It is at this time that the smuggler agrees that her payment is done and she is free to go where ever she want. Wanting to help people in need she becomes an agent for the rebellion, and as a gift for saving his life, Organa gives her two Lightsaber Crystals. He invites her in to go over the details and to assign her to a crew.


The last paragraph is of recent creation, with the information that I collected while doing a little research. I fleshed some bits out while writing, but the backbone hasn’t changed. Now that you’ve read my piece, we can only wait till October 11th. I’m thrilled to learn what the writers come up with.

May the Fourth be with you.