Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Just write it out of the system

I'm not really having a bad day, just in a peculiar mood. That's not the most creative state to be in, so the only thing to do about it is to get it out of your system. 

Let's call this another challenge. Writing about what's bothering you, as short as possible. 

What is it that bothers me today then? Well, I happened to read the newspaper. I know, I shouldn't; it always makes me so disappointed in people. 

We all have goals in our lives. We all want to reach it; may it be to learn how to play Für Elise on your granny's 80th birthday or getting that book published. What bothers me is that the goal sometimes seems to be more important than the path we take and the experiences we gain on the road. Shortcuts have gone so far that it's eveen easy on some people's consciences to just grab what they want and leave. Or to just make a sloppy job and force everybody else to pay for the expenses.

A sloppy shortcut of a translate:

How damn little 
the human being is 
when she can't find 
another way to grow 
than to cut everybody else down.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Scribbles, Saturday Scenes and storms

Here on the westcoast of Sweden we have a strange winter. The storms and floods that are usual for our Autumns and Springs have become rather familiar; familiar enough to invite itself in mid-winter. 

No snow at all.

I live in a small hamlet; or to be honest, on a mountaintop just at the edge of a pine forest, in my opinion on a walking distance from the sea. On the other hand, three kilometers aren’t what normal people call a walking distance. Every time there’s a storm on the coast, I hardly notice it. Yesterday, one of Saga’s crocs – she has them standing on the stairs outside the front door beside my clogs – flew away and landed in a puddle. Besides that? Just a mild breeze. Today I saw pictures on Facebook from all the towns, cities and hamlets along the coast; water everywhere. Since this is what we have here on at least a yearly basis, nobody seems to mind – comments like “When you go for a walk today, you should wear your waders” and “Hah, that’s my mother’s car floating by down there, I didn’t know you were neighbors” is all I see.

Oh, and my internet is really slow today.

My dad lives in the middle of Gothenburg. When I talked to him this morning, he was happily surprised that his furniture on the balcony was there, even happier when he noticed that his car was untouched from the roofing tiles that had fallen down in his street. And, as usual, he’s going on an adventure through the water masses, a nice drive on the scenic routes through the city. I remember one year when we had a snow storm, school was closed and the public transports were out. On the news they showed the streets of Gothenburg empty, Götaplatsen and the statue of Poseidon covered in snow, and suddenly my dad’s car shows up. He’s racing by just in front of the cameras in his bright red Toyota Landcruiser.

In other parts of Sweden, the storm named Egon has been devastating; of course it has. Storms have that effect. Large parts of Sweden are without electricity. Floods – how common they ever are – destroy homes. I must be a very lucky bastard.

OK, so enough from my daily life and back to what this journalpost is all about. 

I haven’t posted any Sunday Scribbles in a while, and thought I should combine this with Saturday Scenes – it’s Sunday after all, and I still have a chance to post a late entry to the #Saturday Scenes at Google +.

Today’s Scribbles are the writing prompt from this morning’s activities. I’m working on a chapter in the third draft of Smoke and Mirrors (it’s a translation of a working title, bear with me).  It’s not edited, so if you find it difficult to read I wouldn’t blame you.

Fur grunted as he tried to sit up. He would certainly get a bump in the head from that blow.
“By the dung of demons and their most fearsome grandmothers, what was that good for?” he muttered as his hand wandered from the neck and up through the hair.
“You’re intruding”, a deep voice answered, just behind him by the door.
“I told you so”, the Impulse giggled from inside of Fur’s head. “It’s not midnight yet, remember?”
Fur wanted to slap the Impulse in its face, but because of their latest contract he couldn’t. As if he physically would have been able to do that before. Weird contract, really. Instead he turned his face towards whatever was standing beside him. The butterflies in his stomach had been calm until he met the glance of a huge man with a cricket bat in his hands. It felt a bit like the butterflies had become pleasantly drunk and then the moths from his empty wallet decided to walk into the same bar and pick a fight. The giant of a man had the bat lifted, as he was prepared for yet another strike.
“My head is not a cricket ball”, Fur said, swallowed and hoped that his fear didn’t show in his face. He reached for the pipe in his coat pocket. A poker face was easier to maintain when filling the pipe with tobacco.
“Keep your hands where I can see them!” the man said and leaned forward as he pulled the bat further back for an even stronger blow.
“Wait!” Fur shouted and raised his other hand to protect the face. His thoughts felt like a ball of yarn where all the loose ends were tangled into really difficult knots. Not in the face, was the only clear thought he had, as he tried to come up with something to say. “I have an invitation!”
Fur imagined that he himself would look just as surprised as the man with the bat. Stupid Impulse, what right did he have to use their vocal chords without his permission?
“I do have an invitation”, he echoed, and even though his voice sounded like it was questioning his morals in that matter, his fingers were already rummaging through the pocket after that little piece of paper.

“You were a bit slow that time”, the Impulse excused itself. Fur wanted, more than ever, to slap the grin off its face.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy 2015!

How long will it take this year before we are used to writing 2015 instead of 2014? Last year I was lost until Easter. Luckily, I have a class of very clever kids. They help me to keep track of things, while I teach them math and science. Today is my first day back to work after a nice long holiday, and I know there's a good thing with that, even though I'd love to have another holiday right away.

PROS with holidays are more time to play with my daughter and more time for writing.
CONS are the lack of structure.

Being back to work would give me back my routines, but I won't have as much time for those things I find important in life.

I remember distinctly that I said at the beginning of December that I wouldn't work on my novel about Fur for an entire month. I couldn't keep that promise. I had an itch in my fingertips that just couldn't be eased, so a couple of days before Christmas I was back at it. Left all the December Games, which I usually do every year, and before New Year's Eve I was done with the second draft! It felt like such a relief, but at the same time I knew there was a lot of work left. I have to rewrite some things. Is it just me, or do everyone come up with a better twist in the story or new plotholes for every time you rewrite?

Which is why my New Year's Resolution is to finish the third draft before Easter.

Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. Third draft is in the making, and as of yesterday; my last day of freedom; I had finished five chapters on this third draft. I need this timeline, otherwise I might go on forever.
Anyway, There's 14 weeks between New Year's Eve and Easter. I'd have to finish at least 3 chapters a week to make it work. Not really a challenge, just a matter of getting things done. I know my first week back to work will be difficult, so luckily I'm ahead as of now, and as long as I stay ahead of my plan I'll be sure to finish in time :D

Have a great 2015, all of you!

The ferris wheel at Liseberg, Gothenburg in December