Two Years Later

Two years later and I’m here again. Same place, same streets, same sun.

Nothing much has changed here, and yet everything about me has.

My fears then, my worries, my desperate feeling of not knowing how to survive without destroying a life upon my return, all those things have joined the other bottled memories on the shelves in my mind’s library.

But yes, I feared and I worried. I survived and I destroyed.

I never meant to. I wanted fairytale sunset ending as much as anybody. I’m not sure if I failed or if I was in the wrong kind of fairytale altogether. Maybe the one where the scarred warrior princess gets saved by a masked black knight and rides off into happily ever after, never to look back, was not for me. However much I wanted that ending. If you’re ever reading this, you might as well know that a not at all insignificant part of me still does. And that’s what pains me today, two years later. That I could not live it, and that I lost so much. That I lost you.

Writing this might be inconsiderate, of course. Not the most pedagogic thing to do. But then again, I’m not writing this for anybody else but me. This time it’s for me. Because I write, that’s what I do and what I’ve always done to get those itchy voices out of my head. And right now they’re loud.  So I write.

This sun sees so many people come and go, and everyone has their own itchy voices. I’d be surprised if it remembers them all. The footsteps I made in the sand the last time around sure as hell aren’t there anymore. And still when I look up at that sun, when I walk on that beach, I remember. I have changed so much and so much has changed me, but I’m still that same person with the same worries and fears and a feeling of not knowing how to survive without destroying lives in the process. The desperation is gone, now it’s memories that haunt me. I miss you, and I’m sorry I broke.

And being here again, two years later and with so many new bottles on my shelves, this new thought is taking form, growing roots: what kind of fairytale am I really supposed to be in? Will I ever know, and how many things must yet be destroyed in order for me to find out?

And maybe the sun knows, but it never tells.

50.000 and running

Aaaand there I crossed the finish line!

28 days of stress and despair and severe self criticism and now I’ve finally reached the golden fifty thousand words. And still I’m not finished. far from it.

I still have to drag my characters through an enormous amount of additional trouble before I can allow myself even to think about post editing. I don’t know how many words I have yet to write before I have it all down on proverbial paper, and I don’t know how long it will take.

But even so, I’m terribly proud of myself for finishing this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I never thought that I would, and circumstances far outside the influence of my secluded desktop island have really done their best to prevent me from succeeding. And yet, here I am.

I have no idea what I will name my novel once it’s done, and I already know that I have a ton of editing to do before I’ll even dare to show it to anyone that’s not close family. But I have the plot ready in my mind, and I know several things that I will add in the editing phase.

I’d like especially to thank prclarke88, Carrie Zylka, tabletopthane and my sister Johanna for spurring me on. Without your motivation, chances are I would not even have made it halfway through the month. 

With two more days to go, we’ll see how much further I’ll get into the plot before December comes knocking on the door. I hope that the writings of all of you guys are going great as well. Let’s make these last two days count!

Over and out! 🙂

All The Things I Hate About My Novel

Okay, so let’s talk about the inconsistency of inspiration.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. I failed at it in 2007, but this is my revenge. We’re halfway into November right now, and I’m halfway towards the coveted 50k words that will mark my victory against the little voice in my head that keeps chanting “You can’t do this so why even bother”. I have a story that has been growing inside my cluttered head for years, and it is now happy as a puppy to be finally let out of there. The problem is that I am beginning to hate it.

I don’t hate the concept or the plot, mind you. I’m really happy with and proud of those. No, my problem is that writing it is beginning to feel forced. I find myself constantly checking my word count just to have an excuse not to write for the next half a minute or so. I find myself rushing through scenes just because I can’t stand to be in them anymore. And I find myself thinking that even thought I will probably reach the finish line well in time for 11/30, the end result will be a text so uninteresting and worthless that not even my  mom will want to read it. I would not want to read it, for heaven’s sake.

Here’s a inexhaustive list of things I hate about my novel:

  1. The characters are flat and shallow and totally uninteresting
  2. However cool the setting is, I am unable to do it justice through my descriptions
  3. I can’t seem to approach the meta plot in a way that’ll make anyone want to read it
  4. The relationships between characters are cheesy
  5. My writing is cheesy
  6. I’m cheesy
  7. I forgot to put yesterday’s leftovers into the freezer and had to throw them away this morning.
  8. I’m out of bread.
  9. My apartment is a mess and I blame it on Writober and WriMo.
  10. Cheese

Yesterday was a completely different story, however. I was sitting at a brass clad table in a coffee house in Sthlm, feeling like a romantic Nora Roberts character as I wrote the winged words of a future bestseller. I knew exactly what I was doing and my ego was untouchable.

I really hope that this feeling of worthlessness and creative fatigue will have packed its bags and left by the time I awake tomorrow morning, because I don’t have room for it in my apartment or in my life. I have so many things going right now that I can’t afford to be humanly insecure about my writing for more than a day. Not only do I have the golden 1666 words to write every day, but I also have deadlines and essays and work to do.

I also hope that it’s not just me growing tired of November from a WriMo point of view. I hope that this is a natural state in the writing process. I hope that my novel is not as boring and flat as I think it is, and I hope that you can forgive me for having such relatively shallow problems in a world where terrible things happen every day to ordinary people with dreams and hopes just like you and me.

Do you have any tips on how to tackle the feeling of being a worthless writer working in vain on a worthless text? Or do you just agree and want to whine together with me? Feel free to drop a comment or a tweet!


And finally: I’d like to give a shoutout for this beautiful blog post by James Radcliffe. It is about the beauty in broken things and it really made my day. I recommend reading it.

Now I’ll be off back to the Self-esteem Lowlands. Have a nice evening!
Over and out!

My Crazy Friday

So I went to Stockholm this Thursday to participate in some workshops and lectures for my journalism course. And when they were over, I simply decided not to go home.

I took the sub downtown and wandered around for a while in the rain and the increasing darkness of early evening. The otherwise so crowded streets were emptying and the stores and cafés were closing for the night. I found one that was still open, ordered a chai latte and settled down by a small table with a candle to write.

From the ceiling mounted speakers flowed the kind of music perfect for Moments. You know, those short islands of clarity in your daily life, that you know that you will remember for years to come. Maybe with envy because you are not there anymore.

The latte was also perfect, and the words flowed. Then, seemingly suddenly, the café closed and I was out on the streets again, wandering aimlessly. It was getting too late to catch a train back home anyway, so I looked up a cheap hostel that I checked into.

The Red Boat, just as the name implies, was a hostel contained onboard a red boat laying at anchor by the river winding through the city. The room was small but perfect, and I dumped my things there before returning to the darkening city streets. In want of my camera, my cellphone had to make due.

Stockholm’s windows glowed like celestial bodies in the night and the passing cars were that imagined sky’s comets and asteroids. A friend called me, one who knew I was in town and who wanted to meet. We ate and drank and then we went clubbing. My first time in Stockholm. I got to see light and smoke and people getting thrown out in the night without their jackets for no apparent reason. It was glorious.

Then remained to return, alone, to my small room and fall asleep while the city night and the flashing lights of police sirens fell through my curtains and painted the ceiling in blue stripes.

Now I’m sitting in that very same café again, a chai latte in front of me and a realization in my mind that for Moments to happen one sometimes has to step out of the secure, comfortable box that makes us take the train home directly after journalism classes. My own train home leaves in about an hour, so I guess it’s time to drink up the latte and savor the Moment before stepping back into the box.


Oh, and by the way: my word count is now 23341. And I don’t know what my computer was thinking with the tags on this post. I’ll fix it when I get back home lol. Over and out!

It’s past midnight, making it the last of Writober!

Oh. My. God. I’m on the final day of my Writober-challenge. Wowzers.

I won’t be going in for the kill (i.e. the final Writober text) until I have slept and eaten some breakfast, but I already know what it is going to be. If you have been following my writings this month, you might have noticed that my “On Blood And Dreams”-triplet hasn’t been concluded yet. The last day of my October Writing Challenge will see the final installment of that story as well. Hopefully.

Anyways, this has been a challenging and inspiring month. Sure, I have uploaded some older stories as well, but for the most part I have written a new text every day. I have used writing prompts from Reddit, dug up old ideas and let myself be inspired by music, life and not least other writers. I’d like to namedrop some of them here:

http://theaeolianharp.com/ is full of well written stories with interesting and inspiring concepts. The very name of the blog is magical, for heaven’s sake. You should pay it a visit.

http://wwocz.net/ is where I was first inspired to write about space, through one of several awesome stories found there. The blog’s author is also into archery and metal (my own drugs of choice), and has managed to talk me into giving NaNoWriMo another try this year.

https://songofion.wordpress.com/ is the blog of one of my IRL-friends who writes in Swedish and does so very well. If you know the language you should totally check it out. Its author has provided me with tons of encouragement and inspirational feedback throughout this month, and the short stories on the page are atmospheric, well written and engaging – especially if you’re into the Gothic and the dark paranormal.

During this month I have learned to be more effective and economic with words, to get to the point of a story without wasting the time of my readers and also to find ideas for stories in my everyday life. Another thing I have had to develop is a sense for planning ahead and using my time well – otherwise I would never have managed to combine working two jobs and doing two separate college courses with this creative writing challenge.

Thanks for all the feedback and support during this month, you have all been awesome!

But, as we say here in Sweden: “Don’t yell ‘hi!’ until you’re over the creek”. I still have one text left to write before I’m done with Writober. And then remains NaNoWriMo. Am I mad?

Anyways, stay tuned for On Blood And Dreams III!

Autumn Is Icumen In

So I sit here by my window and finally have to admit that summer is gone for this time. The leaves are yellow and I don’t feel bad for staying indoors anymore. That’s a sure sign.

I have three-day weekends now, meaning I work four days and then I’m free from Thursday night until Monday morning. It’s a beautiful week layout, since I don’t work enough to wear myself out totally, and then I have three days to do what the fuck I want until I have to go back to work.

That means a lot of writing, as you might have noticed. Currently I’m about a third into my Writober challenge to myself, where I have to upload at least one story every day to this page. This far I have succeeded, partly thanks to my stash of old texts that I can fall back on when I don’t have the time or inspiration to write a new one. Yesterday I put up a brand new text called The Silence of Her Voice, and today’s text is a humorous writing prompt response named Securing the Family Business.

Apart from these short stories, I’m working on my writing project in Swedish and that is going great. I don’t think I have much left to write there before I can go into the editing and cutting phase. I’m rather excited about finishing that project, since I´ve been working on it since late 2012.

I’m also writing a story together with a friend of mine, and I think it is turning out quite nice.

And last but not least, I’m doing quite a lot of academic writing as well. I’m currently trying to get a long thesis on Religious studies accepted for examination, and I’m also doing assignments for my journalism class. While working as a freelance journalist, of course.

I feel like I’m on a roll and I have lots of inspiration. I hope that feeling will hold all through this year, because I really want to pull all these things off. Now I’m going back to writing all of the things above. Have a nice day!

Writober 5th

OK, so I have this thing going. You may have noticed it’s October now. You may also have noted that I’ve been publishing one story a day thus far this month. I didn’t think about it myself until earlier today, but realized this is a pretty nice coincidence. So I will continue trying to upload one short story for each and every day of October, to see if I can pull it off.

I’ll call it Writober. I’m witty and funny, I know.

Some of the stories will be brand new, straight out of the proverbial oven. Others will be older texts that I have revised and reworked for this purpose. I bet you haven’t read any of them before in either case.

Feel free to follow me through my Writober. View it as a countdown for Halloween, if you will. I know people like Halloween – I sure do, at least. And if you want to join me in this October writing challenge, please let me know. I’d love to read your stuff!

Today’s text is “How to Write A Definite Bestseller” – a humorous text that’s not nearly as pretentious as the title makes it sound.