That work/work balance

For once I set myself sensible deadlines for the different stages of my editing – and surprisingly I was doing rather well. (I am a master procrastinator.) Thinking about your writing as a job with real deadlines has worked for me. However, my goal for August 31st will not be achieved, thanks to that other looming presence in my life, which is my actual paying job. Normally I try to maintain a healthy rhythm and leave when my day is done, but when things get hectic and everybody is struggling the days become all work and no play, and no writing.

I currently work in the media industry, as a subtitler, so work can sometimes be play, which is a good thing as it saves you from going insane when you’ve spent nearly 12 hours in the office. August has been quite a ride and I hope it will slow down soon as I’ve just left England for two weeks of family fun times…and more work. Instead of packing my writing pad, it was the work laptop that had to tag along.

Luckily my own writing has flexible deadlines, but I’m in awe of all of those who manage to juggle writing and work, and sometimes family too. Here’s to you, and to September – hopefully a month full of writing!

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Two years!

Hello Internet!

This morning I received a notification that my blog has been going for two years! Time flies. This made my very happy – as long as I ignored the fact that I’ve not written a word for at least six months… Sometimes life just doesn’t go according to plan. Twoday I’ve spent a long time trying to come up with “2 year”-related puns, but as you can imagine it just got two ridiculous. (If you’re as weird as me, pause for laughter here.) Instead I settled for this short harmless piece, hoping it will help me usher in a new and better era of discipline and time-management.

For now, well deserved or not, I will celebrate this anniversary by attending a Shakespeare play at The Globe Theatre.

And so, I bid you good night.

“Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.” 
— Lucio in Measure for Measure

 

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.

Midsummer

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Summer solstice has come and gone everyone! Wherever you are, and whether or not you’ve celebrated, I hope the weekend has been good to you. I spent it eating strawberry cake and writing. A combo I highly recommend. (Coffee should be included.) My one-year master and thesis-writing-phase is finally over, and for the first time in ages I am free to write whatever I would like. The freedom overwhelmed me somewhat.

Luckily midsummer arrived with sunshine and put me, and the blog, back on track. And, as I have currently relocated to Latvia for the summer, I am hopeful that Riga will provide lots of writing-inspiration and creativity. First on the agenda is to finish the edit of Rabbit (which really should have gotten a proper name by know, but I’ve grown strangely attached to this one) and find beta-readers. After which I’m going to treat myself to some flash-fiction and short story writing – for those of you who missed it, the National flash-fiction day was yesterday the 24th so there is plenty of inspiration out there if you need a good read.

Bye for now!
x

Curious facts and Hidden wonders

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Have you got a minute? Then browse Atlas Obscura. You’ll most likely be stuck there for hours, which is why I have been avoiding it lately. I’m currently having a lot of fun editing the novel, and therefore limiting my time writing new stuff and I don’t have space for new ideas in my head! If you are stuck for ideas though, or just fancy a fun read, check out the Atlas.

Most recently I got stuck on this interesting article about “filled pauses” and if you’re linguistically-inclined you’ll enjoy it. I love how something so small can have such an impact. Metaphore for life perhaps.

Browsing the site It also makes me want to travel, but not to the resort-y kind of places, but go exploring. I’m not too good around insects though, so too be honest I don’t think I’d last very long as an explorer but hey – why else do we read, if not to travel without leaving our comfy sofas?

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100 books

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I started my January with a whole bunch of new hopes and dreams. One I think is especially fun one is the 100 books-challenge and the goal is simply to read 100 books within a year. So: 100 books, 52 weeks, totally achievable. Obviously the journey of this particular challenge is more important – and fun – than the goal, but I do have a rather substantial book-bucket-list I’d love to get through.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks, but for this I’m going to use “real” books – because I’ve missed them.

True to myself and my streak of timeoptimism, I decided my first choice was Don Quijote by Cervantes. The copy I got hold of is the newest translation into Swedish, it has some lovely forewords by editors and translators, and it’s more than 800 pages long. It might take me more than a week.

You should all give this a go! I think there are a number of hashtags floating around on twitter and instagram – so if you are joining you should share your reading-choices and give your inner bookworm some attention. 🙂

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Jag har tagit mig an en ny utmaning i år där resan verkligen är målet. 100 böcker på ett år ska läsas, förhoppningsvis, och även om ljudböcker är tillåtet ska jag försöka hålla mig till pappersversionen. Det blir ett trevligt avbrott mellan mina grammatikböcker.

Typiskt nog valde jag inte direkt en kort bok – Don Quijote av Cervantes, den nyaste översättningen tror jag bestämt, på ca. 800 sidor. Men det gör inte så mycket, tar den tid kan man läsa lite kortare noveller på sidan av. Oavsett hur många böcker jag hinner med så hoppas jag stryka några av de som ligger på min bok-bucket-list!

Det är definitivt en av de roligare utmaningarna och de finns en del häshtägs på twitter om man vill få lite läsinspiration från andra – eller sprida sina egna bokval 🙂

Enjoy!