Black Magic & Black Coffee

Eng/Sv
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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.

Curious facts and Hidden wonders

English
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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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Veckans huvudbry

Svenska

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Jag har hakat upp mig på ett uttryck. Jag har klurat på detta av och till i ungefär sex månader och nu är det dags att gnälla om det. Uttrycket är *Writing Prompt*. Dessa *prompts* kan bestå av bilder, ett enstaka ord, en mening, en spännande miljö, musik – vad som helst som får igång inspirationen och kreativiteten. “Skrivövning” är en variant som jag har sett på andra ställen, men det fångar inte riktigt hela aspekten tycker jag. Det är ju inte alltid en övning det handlar om.

Jag har lekt med ord som skrivarhjälp, skrividé, PenKnuff, skrivförslag, idéstart, skrivstart osv. men ingen känns riktigt rätt och det låter för det mesta bara löjligt. Om någon därute sitter och ruvar på en bra svensk motsvarighet – dela med er!

Lund har många spännande miljöer där man kan hitta inspiration, och det har varit speciellt uppenbart nu under november då man inte hinner skriva alla idéer och stories som man kommer på. Här får ni en stämningsfull höstbild som skrivinspiration medan jag klurar vidare på writing prompt:14812872_10209160326298216_119710123_o

 

Author Discount Code

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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.

Happy Sunday!

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Bleak stories for a rainy Monday

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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!

So far…

 

Happy Writing!

Microstories

A few months ago I came across a call for micro stories by MatchBook. (The requirements were quite specific, as it could contain no more than 140 or so characters in total, divided into three lines. Read some of their stories here)

I tried writing a few and it wasn’t easy! But I liked the challenge, it is like flash fiction on a sugar high (or perhaps a diet?). Whichever simile you go for, it is a fun thing to try if you enjoy writing as well as puzzles. Plus it can be finished relatively quickly, which is very satisfying in itself.

Thought I’d share one of my attempts and my prompts for this one were mystery and cookies.  

Her Enemy They Said
But his hands, so gentle, passed
only cookies with a hint of almond.

New Month, New Times

English/Svenska
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I had intended to write this post detailing some of my trips this summer as well as showering you all with pictures from my vagabond life. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a time-optimist and as I’m off to the cabin for a couple of days – it’s a no internet or especially good phone reception kind of place – that plan fell through.

A lot of things has taken me by surprise lately, such as the realisation that I will be moving 800 miles away in just shy of three weeks. (Do I have a flat lined up or begun packing my things? Nope.) A more fun surprise occurred last night as I was fiddling away on that never-ending novel I’ve been going on about and quite suddenly reached the part where the phrase ‘The end‘ appeared.
In other words – First. Draft. Done. Huzzah!
Only took me 4 years and some.
At the moment I’m just staring at this humungous document  and not sure if I should feel relieved, confused, or happy that I can focus on something else. Going to give it a few days before planning the editing stage, not sure if I’m brave enough to embark on that yet. Regardless, massive bucket list item achieved!

A cup of coffee is up for me next before I try to remember to pack my toothbrush, mosquito repellent and that massive stack of books I’ve been dying to read. When I return I will hopefully have some fun photos and curiosities to share, stay tuned!

Happy Monday to you all 🙂

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Det här inlägget var tänkt att innehålla massa inspirationsbilder och detaljer från sommarens resor, men då jag är en bekräftad tidsoptimist och vi är på väg till stugan och ‘inget-internet-land’ har jag knappt hunnit kika igenom hälften av mina bilder och material.

Många saker har lyckats smyga sig på den senaste tiden, som när jag insåg härom dan att jag ska flytta 1300 km bort om mindre än tre veckor. Har jag en lägenhet/rum som väntar eller ens börjat packa? Hehe. Nope. Men jag är ju inte bara en tidsoptimist, jag är vanlig optimist också, så det löser sig nog.
En annan, och roligare, överraskning kom igår kväll då jag satt och petade på den där romanen jag har tjatat om, och plötsligt nådde slutet. Frasen ‘The end’ användes till och med.
Med andra ord så är det 1:a utkastet klart! Huzzah!
Grunden är där, jag tog mig från punkt A till B. Tog bara 4 år och lite till.

Just nu är jag inte säker på om jag ska vara chockad, lättad eller bara glad att jag kan fokusera på andra projekt. Ska vänta några dagar och se om jag kan planera själva redigeringsfasen. Bucket list: Check!

Nu blir det en sista kopp kaffe innan jag packar tandborsten, myggmedel och den där stora stapeln böcker jag sett framemot att läsa.

Hoppas ni alla får en trevlig måndag 🙂