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.
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.
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.
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!
The Victorian Era continues to inspire and fascinate me. Continue reading
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. 🙂
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 🙂
This post originally began with the sentence “there are a million ways to write a book”. I started to think about it and remembered that Continue reading
This week I signed my first proper autograph. On the inside of a book which has words that I have written in it. It was for a friend and I basically forced it upon her, but it feels like a milestone nonetheless.
A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed came out in June and everyone in the anthology received an author discount code to use if you wanted to order more copies. Naturally I did because, let’s face it, I intend to drag this amazing feeling out for as long as possible. It’s a good feeling and I think we can all agree 2016 has been a year of bad, weird and downright scary things – and that’s just thinking about world politics.
I am beyond pleased to have been included in this anthology, not found a single piece in it yet that I have not liked! If flash fiction is your thing you should definitely give it a go. Now I am off for a celebratory cup of coffee and some reading.
This year I’m cheating again. Continue reading
New stories are up on England’s Future History! If you would like a Halloween-warm up with some creepy and dystopian (and some nice) stories, you should head over there.
If you’ve never heard of EFH, it is a series of short stories, which map out what happens to England in the future. Writers have contributed their interlinking visions of England’s future through their short stories.
Just been reading them in chronological order and I’m enjoying how the timeline is shaping up. I really liked how Sky Castle by Lizzie Clark echoed some topics from Tom Leins’ Rat farm, but I shall give no more details… Quite a few of the stories are linked together actually, and it will be fun to see what themes are picked up by the people writing the following stories. Exciting times ahead for England it seems 🙂
P.s. next deadline at the end of December, find guidelines on how to submit here!
Suddenly we’re halfway through the term and more than halfway through October. [insert appropriate emoticon here] Continue reading