Black Magic & Black Coffee

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Today is a sunny day and I’ve escaped the light and snuck into the dark and curious rooms of Black Magic in Riga. It looks like I had hoped and expected. Apothecary counters, bricks and heavy oak, velvet chairs, dark chocolate and black coffee*.  I’m writing this while sipping coffee and watching all the other tourists taking pictures of candles and jars. I would happily sit here all day but my bank account won’t allow for that kind of chocolate indulgence. It makes me wish I’m writing a story that would benefit from more research such as this, a story that’s a bit darker and in need of strange liquids and smoky cauldrons. Perhaps another time.

The best thing about writing, whatever genre or style, is that any part of life can be a source of inspiration and no emotion need ever be wasted. I find that a comforting thought, especially when life does not go according to plan – or editing makes you frustrated enough to contemplate giving up, and it is a perfect excuse for spending an afternoon in a café and people-watch.

I have 5 more weeks to spend in Riga before new adventures begin, and of course I’ve not managed half of the things I had planned. I am proud time-optimist, and even if it means never having enough time, it’s at least more fun than being a pessimist! This post won’t go up until tonight, hopefully with some pictures and if you find yourself in Riga in the near future, do pop in here and taste the strawberry truffles.

*Okay, I meant to have black coffee as it would suit the theme, but as the pictures reveal below they gave me such a cute little milk jug it was a shame to let it go to waste. Tasty nonthelesss.

Idag sitter jag i mörkret på ett cafe i Riga – Black Magi – en lokal fylld med chokladpraliner, kaffe, stearinljus och tomma fågelburar. Här finns en hel del turister också, jag inberäknad, som tar extrema närbilder på ljusen, på pralinerna, och konstfulla, sneda bilder som är värdiga Instagram. Utan likes har det väl aldrig hänt, eller? Om mitt bankkonto hade tillåtit sådan extravagans hade jag nog suttit och här hela dagen och pimplat kaffe, men en timme eller två är nog med lyx för en söndag. Inspiration får man iallafall, även om de berättelser jag jobbar på för närvarande inte direkt behöver rykande kittlar eller gröna vätskor i flaskor och burkar. Ett kafé väl värt ett besök om ni befinner er i Riga! De har väldigt goda jordgubbspraliner, och en bar i källaren om man vill få ordentliga Jekyll & Hyde-vibbar.

My year of reading – An update

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I set myself a challenge for the new year: 100 books in 365 days. So far I have managed 2, Don Quixote and currently half-way through 1947 by Elisabeth Åsbrink*. I have managed other books as well, but as they were tied in with the university course I have decided they don’t count. My to-read-list has grown very long but, all things considered, it is a pleasant problem to have. Will I manage 98 books in the coming 6 months? No – but I’ll read and that’s all that matters. Today I am off to explore some of Riga’s museums and tonight the editing will continue.

*1947 – I am reading it in Swedish, and it has made me fall in love with the language. For realsies. It is worth learning Swedish just to read this book, but if that’s a tall order it is forthcoming in English from Scribe (UK) at some point during 2017.

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Jag gav mig själv en utmaning vid nyår att läsa 100 böcker på ett år. Hittills har jag lyckats ta mig igenom två (kurslitteratur ej inräknat), Don Quixote och 1947 av Elisabeth Åsbrink. Jag rekommenderar båda böckerna varmt, men framförallt 1947. Jag kommer inte att hinna 98 böcker innan nästa nyår, men det gör inte så mycket. Min bokhög har vuxit ordentligt och det är svårt att välja vilken som kommer härnäst, men det är ett trevligt problem att ha.

Idag ska jag utforska några av Rigas museum, dricka kaffe, bläddra i böcker innan redigering fortsätter. Inte så illa för en söndag.