Please be warned: this post will contain a lot of questions and no answers. Continue reading
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.
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?
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:
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.
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!
- I want to be pure for himby Stephen Oram
- How beautiful by Maria C. McCarthy
- Mercy by Richard Blass by Florence Bean
- Thin man by Sarah Scott
- Jellymenby Norman Miller
- Rat farmby Tom Leins
- Sky castleby Lizzie Clark
- Wake up to yourselfby Aviva Treger
- Afterlifeby Lisa Farrell
- Second Thoughtsby Emma Levin
- Three and a Half Things by Nina Lindmark Lie
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.
Why, hello September! Looks like autumn is approaching. The usual signs are there: the nights are dark, stars are visible once more, and we get gloriously poetic, misty mornings. And like the birds I’ve migrated south for the winter. So far south, in fact, that I can’t go much further without tumbling into the Øresund and possibly drift over to Denmark. Continue reading