The scarecrow

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Just the other day I got this book from River Dixon, “Beyond the field”, and I read it later that evening. Then I had to pause, to properly let it into my system. So to speak!

First, you should know (though I probably should’ve let this remain a secret), I hate to write book-reviews! I always have! Don’t know exactly why, but guess it’s because I’ve read so many looong, detailed, and very well written reviews. With examples and even quotes sometimes.

Why not a “less is more”? This “review” is going to be “less”. And I don’t think it needs a lot of words since the story itself is “more”!
(That’s why I’ve written these two paragraphs. LOL)

Yes! It’s a short story that doesn’t take long to read. At the same time, it is a big story. To me, this is also one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. And so well written! And the drawings are so cute!

It begins simply, almost like if it’s a children’s story. But I promise you, anyone can read it – and like it! There is this farmer, his wife, his son, and his daughter. One day they are making a scarecrow, that they will put out on the field to save the crop from all the crows.

It’s just that the daughter paints a huge smile on the scarecrows face…

Now, I’ll just say: get the book, read it – and remember when you’re reading:
You’ll see what you choose to see!

More? Want to read? Don’t wait to pay a visit to River Dixon on The stories In Between 

Time to read

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I am reading!

I doooo read!!!
Just not as frequently as I used to.
That’s okay!
I’ll be back into that habit in a jiffy!

As a matter of fact, I was born with a book in my arms!
Have just forgotten which one.

It must have been a bloody one.

This one is bloody! The one I read now. The story of the Vampire Lestat! The author, Anne Rice, is one of my favorites, and she writes so well. I enjoy every word of it

And gosh how creative she is!!!

Thought I had read this one before, but can’t say I recognize anything! Doesn’t matter. In fact, better this way. Starting from the beginning. Having a whole new novel in my hand to explore. Lestat as young, his life, family, his friends, how he became a vampire.

A smile is lurking in the corner of my lips, since I remember parts of what Lestat have to encounter later.

While reading this, and pleasurably sticking my teeth in a piece of apple-cake, I’m looking forward to read that again.

 

Laziness can be a habit

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Silly as it may seem, I got an AHA-moment about that.
Habitual laziness.
Oh! Maybe not so silly after all!

Anyone can blame anything, for not doing something.
“I can’t do that because I am… too fat… too old…too ugly… have ADHD… don’t have time… he/she won’t let me… it’s too cold… it’s too warm…”
One can finish those “can not because” with anything at all, that may stop someone from doing something. Even what he or she down deep actually wants to do. (That’s something, eey?)

I think it’s due to some kind of fear. Fear of pain. Afraid of making a fool of oneself. Possible failure. Low self-esteem. (You go on here…)
And yes, of course. Out of mere laziness.
“I don’t feel like doing this. You do it for me. Or not. I don’t care.”

We can’t rule mere laziness out. Nor overly spoiled brats…

Of course, there are things that are impossible!
A person with lots of pain in the legs/hip/feet can naturally not go for a long walk. But on the other hand… this person… how did he or she get this pain? By an accident? Like a car-hit or something?
OR?
By something smaller that he or she nurtured with an increasing amount of medicament from the doctor, feeling sorry for him- herself, being afraid of actually even try to use the legs. TO WALK!
There we have the fear again! And I won’t speculate about deeper psychological issues here and now.

It seems to be common,
to avoid something
out of fear of failure.
But also – because of fear
of a possible success.

Perhaps not writing that novel
because it never will be good enough?
OR?
Perhaps not writing that novel because it might be a success. What then?
Could one ever write another?


Why do I keep telling myself I can’t write because I don’t get any ideas, that my fantasy is cloaked up somewhere? Why don’t I even try to write something? At least a short story?

Why don’t I even try!!!
I know I CAN write. I HAVE fantasy somewhere inside. It’s just temporarily hidden. I probably hid it myself! I have been there! I’ve done it before! Written novels and short stories, and lots and lots of drafts…

I began to think a little bit extra about this yesterday during a conversation I had with Ray (NB). I don’t think she had the attempt to give me a pep talk, at least not at first. But after a while, I felt that was just what I got! So – first of all – I want to thank you SOOO MUCH for your comments, Ray, and how these helped me feel!

It was like a gentle, but no less, a kick in the ass that rumbled about all the way up to my brain.

It spoke to me! It said:
“You’re avoiding to even try to do the things you want to do the most. You’re telling yourself you don’t get any ideas, that the fantasy has shut down itself! You think you are too tired, too much in pain, have too much stiffness in the muscles… IS THAT REALLY TRUE?”

“What are you avoiding”, the feeling continued. “What are you afraid of? The failure or the success? And do you really, really believe, that some stiffness in your muscles should hinder you from sitting in a chair writing??? You’re sitting in your chair or on the sofa watching Youtube! What’s the difference? The sitting or the sitting?

Are you so stupid that you actually think that – and believe it???”


Since I at that point had begun to feel some kind of easiness both in my brain and my body, I had to agree. I was avoiding things, and not only writing. Exactly what and why was at the moment of little concern. What was important, was that I realized I was doing it.

What was I doing instead? When coming to think of that, not much really. I have some duties, family and friends, and a lot of cultural offerings of museums, parks etc, which I can visit whenever I like.
Except now – due to the weather and my habit of biking everywhere I go.

Aside from that, I realized I do mostly very shallow things. I could have written the first draft of something after my move in here, but instead, I’ve been watching movies and series, been coloring on an app on my iPad, spent lots of time with some solitaire, or jigsaw puzzle or Mahjong or Sudoku… (name it. I tried it…)

Not bad, per se, it can be very relaxing and a solitaire can often help me be attentive enough to listen to something. Like a documentary or some of those channelers I like to listen to. But it has taken up a lot of time, and I more and more have become addicted to it. Nothing in my hands? Lay a solitaire! Even when I eat AND watching a movie…

Mornings I spend too long in bed, with the iPad, playing with one or another of those apps. (Just one more time!) Also in the evening. It has to stop!!!

So yesterday evening I deleted all those games except the puzzle from my iPad, and this morning I got up one hour earlier than I normally have done. Instagram only couldn’t keep me in bed any longer.
That felt weird, but good.

Law of Attraction says: “What you focus on, grows!”

For way too long I’ve been focusing on the stiffness and the pain, on the food I eat, on the walking/biking/training. I’ve focused on it as in; “I do it for the purpose to be healthy!” Be, as in “become”.

Instead, I should focus on “I am healthy!” Think so and believe it! Feel it!
Under the pain and stiffness and fatigue, there’s nothing wrong with me! Okay! I’ve had that stress in me, and suffered from a burn-out, and been sitting way too much (and often badly) – but should I really let that keep on haunting me? Forever???

So – advice to me:
STOP feeling guilty if I don’t eat the “perfect” food, if I don’t exercise enough, or if I  – HEY!!! – fail in thinking the right thoughts all the time!

Instead! Enjoy being me! Do what I like when I like to do it! Eat chocolate! Spend a day or two on the sofa. Eat chicken filet with french fries at Ikea – without bad conscious afterward! Why not take a tour on one of the ferries, to and fro Denmark? (When the weather… etc…)
And Oh YES! Watch a movie or two, or some episodes from some TV-series, and enjoy it! Don’t feel guilty for spending time…

But! Also!

  • Focus on what I want to do now and for the rest of my life!
  • Get the habit of spending time writing, daily – whatever comes out of it, doesn’t matter! Write a daily journal for goodness sake!!! The rest will come when the time is due!
  • Read more! I love to read, have always! But now – advice to myself – keep on reading at least one more page when this sense of restlessness creeps up on me.
  • Ignore the restlessness!
    NO! Say:
    I see you, Restlessness! I acknowledge you! I thank you for all these years I needed you, and which you helped me through. But now I have to let you go! I don’t need you anymore. It’s time to go on. Time to rise higher and meet new challenges and experiences. I am healed. I am good!

I feel….

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I feel so…
I feel…

I… don’t quite know how I feel, or what I feel.
A least I can’t put a label on it!

I’m not sad, not angry, not … not anything negative, really!

On the whole, I feel good. I like being back in my city, close to my daughters.
I love my apartment, really enjoy living here.

I don’t have many friends, but I love those I have.
I’m mostly alone, but enjoy that! Feel good when being in my solitude and silence.

So far, so good!
But still, there is something. I think the word frustrated is the most appropriate one.

I want so much to write and to read, as I used too.
Not too long ago I got new ideas all the time, and I wrote and I wrote! And I read books by the minute! All the time I had some book in my hands.

And now! Nothing comes to me!
No! Not quite true! Lately, I’ve begun getting ideas again. During the past few months only. Or even weeks. After the move?
Unfortunately neither due for a novel, nor a short story, nor anything like that. But something I could make into a blog post! I’m being out somewhere, and get some kind of monologue in my head. I feel happy about that.

Finally, finally, I can write again! Like I used to!

Then.
When home.
Sitting in front of my computer.
All is lost and all I can see is a huge black mountain which I can’t climb.
Even the threshold is too high for me to climb.
It is so frustrating.

Reading? Well, I do read some. There was a time, not that long ago, when I couldn’t concentrate on reading at all. Then slowly that ability awakened, but I’m still a long way from reading as I used to.

But I do blog, don’t I?
Yes! I do!
And I’m so happy about that enhancement in my writing life, but I can also see most of those posts are quite mediocre. I want to do better!
I can do better!

The best ones,though, are those I wrote during the first months of this blog’s existence. The ones about my Mom and the abuse. I just don’t need to write more about that topic. I’m in peace with Mom! Pity, in a way, but one can’t dwell in the past. It’s the now that counts.

So why do I still have a problem with writing?

In early 2006 I moved to a city some 80 km north from where I live now. Many times during the years thereafter, I wondered why on earth I made that move. Well! I was offered a job there, and there was also a Mr. Somebody whom I thought maybe could be Mr. Right. But both the Job and the Mr soon went down the drain. Picturesquely speaking.

But left, was this push I had got in my butt when the Mr had said:
“WRITE! You have it in you!”

Immediately I searched for writing classes, then I wrote and I studied, got writing friends and kept on like that until 2012. And as you probably understand already, this was NOT the first time I was writing anything literary. I done that to and fro ever since I learned to write. And I read books before that. Read all the time, everywhere, and my mother all the time told me not to. It wasn’t good for my eyes, she claimed!!!

I didn’t realize it just then, but I had during a couple of years developed a burn-out condition. What I had noticed, was that it had become difficult for me to come up with new stories for the classes, and even harder for me to read and then comment on my fellows writing-pieces. For a while, I cheated. From me, I chose old stories to bring instead of writing anything new; and I glanced a bit on the other guys’ texts and then commented something… very general…

But I realized after a couple of semesters this wasn’t reasonable. I didn’t write anything new, I didn’t learn anything new, and I didn’t contribute anything to my writing friends.

I gave up.

So when I say I wrote and worked in the classes with writing until Christmas 2012, it isn’t quite true. I tried to, wrote some, and actually one of my most beautiful short stories I wrote in 2012. But I felt like a failure. A very tired and lonely failure.

It took me a couple of years before I truly realized all this was due to stress. My brain, my mind, couldn’t take my present situation any longer and  – in a way – shut down parts of itself.

Well! I still functioned! I kept doing what I had to do to survive. No one to help me through my daily life, I had to go on. But I kept me more and more to myself since I had no energy left for doing anything else.

I don’t say all was black and sad and lonely and depressed. Oh no! First of all, all these m o m e n t s occurred in periods, and some periods were good! Many days were good! What helped me a lot, was when I discovered my ability to express myself in images, and in making posters and such. Lots of colors. My fantasy had a way to go, through editing photos, adding filters, playing with lensflares and such possibilities. I still do that sometimes, but way back then – mostly between late 2013 til late 2016 – it was kind of lifeline to me

And now! On my way…

Later I used to say, I could from 2012 and forward, very well have worked with proofreading and/or editing texts. My skills and my talent, which I have had all my life, and my knowledge and capability were still intact. What I had lost were the fantasy and the ability to concentrate. But that was frustrating enough!

Frustrating! Yes! Still!
But I’m grateful I now can write blog posts fairly frequently and fairly fluent – even in English. But my own opinion of how I write and even more about what I write – is that it is quite mediocre. I can be more interesting! I can do better! I want to do better!

A cat rescuing me!!! Some vegan thoughts!!!

At the same time, it kind of amazes me, that I’ve chosen to write in English! Why? When it’s so much quicker and easier to write in Swedish? Okay! There are more than one answer, to that question. But the bottom line is, that I’m actually good at writing! In my own language, that is. In Swedish! I have a large vocabulary, I’m really good at spelling, and I know my grammar. I know so much grammar, that I also can bend the rules if I want to. And make the text understandable and “right”!

I’m also good with “showing not telling”, and dialogues. I can make people feel “like they are there” when they read. And I would be hugely ashamed of myself if I had to use Grammarly when writing in Swedish – if there is a Grammarly for Swedish texts, that is…

Writing in English is quite different. It’s not only on commas, that Grammarly and I have different opinions…

Despite all this in my back pocket – 

I can’t reach my imagination, and my brain is still not sufficiently cooperative when it comes to focusing on words! I feel numb!
I’ve been pondering to continue writing on some of my old drafts, I have a couple of quite good ones to chose from. The thought has felt quite appealing, actually. But so far nothing has gotten beyond that thought. 😦

Talk about being frustrated!

And writing in English! – It takes at least twice the time to write something. So blurting out all these words must be extraordinary, and how many hours has this taken me? I have absolutely no idea!

It must be hope somewhere, mustn’t it?

(Also when writing in Swedish I’m very particular,
but at least I used to land it faulty-free there and then.)

 

 

Gray days

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Literally, today isn’t a gray day. It’s white. And gray. It’s snowing. Snow is considered beautiful, and I agree! A white landscape. Blue sky. Sun shining. Or – why not like this?

(photo from Internet, one of those free background images.)

But still – I don’t like it at all. Snowy city-streets and biking-lanes make the whole thing of walking and biking so much harder. Especially here, in this part of Sweden, the south.

It snows! It melts. It rains perhaps a bit! It freezes. The surface gets uneven from all footprints and wheel tracks. It gets slippery. Wet ice. It freezes again…

With a bit of luck, this will only remain for a couple of days. But who says we will be lucky?

Now it seems to have stopped snowing. What is it doing instead?
Or is it just a pause?
The snow on the trees has fallen down to the ground. Is it windy outdoors?
Or is the snow melting already?

No! It’s -3 C. Below freezing point is no melting point. *sigh*

Reality check… from my balcony

Grammarly claims I have monotonous sentences. It’s marked “1”. Which one?
And so what? Is that a crime?

I feel monotonous, so my text mirrors that feeling.
That’s the way I write.
I mirror feelings – though not necessarily my own.