Posted in Fantasy, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

afterthoughts

After what? Thoughts? I’ve always thoughts in my head. So there must naturally be thoughts after thoughts as well.

Oh! I’m just kidding! Not the fact that I always seem to have thousands of thoughts in my head. I do! I have! I am one of those people. What I was kidding about, was the title. I don’t really mean anything with it. I just didn’t know what to come up with as a title. Do you always know what word or words to use?

The first word that entered my mind, was “aftermath”. But that would have been a little bit too… hm… too… something. Couldn’t make it fit into anything relevant. I haven’t experienced any “significant unpleasant event”. So, the word “afterthoughts” is better. After all, I do think! A lot.

Now! That isn’t funny any longer.

But what is a lot of fun, to me, is that I during the days between Christmas and New Year began to go to the library to work on my fantasy story! It seemed hopeless to work on it at home. I always began doing something else instead. Mostly watching a movie.

Well! Anything except writing, editing, whatever!!! I even did the dishes!

The good thing is, that I’ve kept on going to the library with my iPad, ever since, and thus have begun doing something useful with the story. Not every day, and not the entire days. But often enough and long enough to feel good about it.

If you remember, I had planned to translate the Solar Eclipse and Mz Eliza to Swedish. I’ve changed my mind. I’ll stick to it as it is, and keep on working on it in English. I realized it would be too tough to translate.

Just exchange words from English to Swedish, or sentences or even paragraphs, isn’t difficult per se! But writing isn’t only about words as words! It’s to use words to build images that pop up in the head of the reader. It’s showing, not telling! It’s making a story alive!

So, to my own big surprise, at was not easy at all to translate my novel to Swedish. Also to my own big surprise, I had – in English – already built a story in some kind of English manner. Oh, I don’t know how to explain this. But maybe if I say it like this: we all use expressions when we write, don’t we? Not all the time, not in every sentence, that would be way too much anyhow, but we do.

And I don’t mean expressions like “it’s raining cats and dogs”. (It isn’t raining men either… maybe pity it doesn’t? 😉 )

You who have English as your mother tongue, have probably never thought of this. Neither had I! Never, during all those years I have written in Swedish and Swedish only, I have thought of this. What I use to say once in a while, though, is that I paint with words! And of course, I’ve learned about “show, not tell”, “kill your darlings” and other advices that the teachers pour over us.

So when I experienced the difficulties in translating these English “paintings” into Swedish ones, I couldn’t find the Swedish words I needed to paint an image that resembled the English expression. The whole thing went wrong! This may sound very stupid, I realize that. And I’m not even sure if I’ve been able to explain it properly. If so, just skip reading this.

Anyhow! I put the Swedish trial aside, deleted it actually. Then I sorted among the files I had with these stories, deleted a couple so that I only had two left of each. One with the original, and one which I had decided to uses to:

  • one – read it all from the beginning to the end, and simultaneously do some editing
  • two – continue writing on the stories, now at first the one about Mz Eliza.

Why I have to read all of it thoroughly, is because I wrote so fast and mostly on pure intuition that I don’t remember what I wrote. No! I do not KNOW what I was writing! It was more as if someone else was using me as a middle-hand, and the text went past my brain without stopping and letting me learn about the characters and the story. And I need to know that, if I want to be able to continue.

There are parts that I’ve read afterward, that got me totally surprised. Did I really write that? When did I do that? I didn’t remember doing it!

Earlier, I have always remembered what I was writing. I knew the story, the characters, their looks, gestures, how they talked, walked. I knew the landscape, the season of the year, what year! Feelings, intentions. Everything!

And now I know very little! Especially what I wrote about Eliza during NaNo in November, and during CampWriMo in July when I wrote the second part of the Solar Eclipse.

Never, I thought this kind of dilemma could occur.
Never, I thought I could “show” as well in English as I can in Swedish. The issue might rather be some misuse of words (I mean, choosing a wrong one instead of a proper one), and lack of knowledge in English grammar…

But all will be okay. It always does, in one way or another.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

A new beginning

Since I finished NaNoWriMo, I’ve been a wretched lazy-butt. When it comes to writing. Obviously, I should never participate in such matters, even though it gave me some good as well.

Nevertheless, now I’m on it again. Working on my story about Mz Eliza Elderberry. Went to the library yesterday, sat down, opened my iPad and began. I had copied the entire story from Scrivener to Pages, and therefore it’s easy to keep on working.

I know it’s possible to have Scrivener both on the Mac and the iPad, but I don’t know whether it would cost me extra or not. Maybe I should address L&L and ask. It would be quite stupid to buy the same program twice, I think. Just to be able to switch between devices. I got the expression I would have to do that, but I didn’t go further at that time, to actually ask about it.

Anyhow! Pages works, and now I’m sitting here writing a blog post about writing, instead of actually doing it. And, yes! Right now I am at the library.

About the manuscript, I’ve begun translating it into Swedish and simultaneously I’m doing some editing. The translation work in itself isn’t difficult. But some things aren’t particularly easy to change. For example, Eliza’s name. Mz Eliza Elderberry. That doesn’t function well in Swedish.

Eliza, is okay even though the spelling is – normally – wrong. The most common spelling is Elisa. But it can be done with a z. If I want to keep that. Mz, is totally out of the question. The Swedish version of it doesn’t ring the same bell at all. And Elderberry? Would it be possible for me to give her a family history that would explain that name? Because it’s certainly not a Swedish name.

It is a bit troublesome how I shall solve this. I like the full name, and it also says something about her. Also, the direct translation into Swedish just sounds very, very stupid.

What the name says about her, is that she is a healer, and knows everything about medicinal herbs and other remedies from  nature. Therefore, in the village where she lives, she is believed to be a witch, and that leads to horrible consequences. And that is essential to the story that follows. It can absolutely not be deleted.

So! I have a problem to solve there. And I have other “expressions” I’ve written in English, that are too difficult to just translate straight off. They need quite a lot of thinking before writing.

Anyhow, it feels good to be back on track again, and the problems will be solved. Won’t worry about that.

Posted in Around & About, Fantasy, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

Finally!

Finally, I have begun working on the manuscript to “The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry”. Well, I needed a vacation, didn’t I?

I have been rather lazy these two weeks. Spent a lot of time watching “Gotham” on Netflix among other things. I like that series. About those years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, focusing on James Gordon, the police detective, and all the other classic characters in the city of Gotham. Selina Kyle, the Penguin, the Riddler and so on. In a bit different forms…
I hope Netflix will send season five as well in the near future. I’m watching season four now, and it will come to an end sooner than I want it to.

During these weeks I have also been meeting friends, and it seems to be more and more to participate in, the closer we get to Christmas. If I just open my door and go out. Which I do. When you keep on going out meeting people in this area where I live, you also learn there are even more places to go to, to meet people. In this area. And often the same people, and new ones!

It’s so fun! I just love being retired! Saying Hi and Hello and knowing where I can go to be acquainted with someone or many, it’s such a treat.

Okay! I’m home a lot as well. Sometimes just dwelling. I admit. But I’m also knitting a turtle-neck sweater while watching “Gotham”. And today, hence, I began to work on my story. At last, Mz Eliza!

Began by deleting everything that didn’t have anything at all to do with the story. Updated Scrivener, it behaved very oddly so I checked if there were any updates available. And it was! So I did!

Then I made a copy to be sure I would have the first draft handy if I needed it for some reason. Finally, I translated Chapter one to Swedish and made some minor editing. Chapter one was fairly good as it was. 1890 words now. Almost 300 more than the English version.

Felt really good about that, and began to bake some bread. I have still some hummus left from yesterday. It will be yummy!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a chiropractor. I am so tired of my stiff aching body, so I just had to do something really concrete about that problem. My body need some professional help to be able to heal that.

I’ve begun to write a bit about that on my old Thea-blog, the predecessor of this one. It’s a bit pity that that one should just be lying there dormant. So, you’re welcome over if you would like to read a bit about health, chiropractor-treatments, food-supplements and such.

And Now! I’ll eat some freshly baked bread, still warm and nice. To that, I’ll watch a movie – or perhaps the next episode of Gotham! 😀

Posted in Fantasy, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

No needs for words now.

I didn’t think I would write this much while visiting my daughter. But I got the opportunity, and I grabbed it. Both Friday, yesterday and today.

I promise, I haven’t been rude to anyone doing this, diving into the iPad. I just didn’t want to go out in the icy cold weather. But they did.

And here is the result. 😁🤓😆 I am a Winner!

It’s okay, of course, that I these days have written only in Swedish – much quicker this way – and mostly diary notes, ponderings and such. The important issue was to write, not what to write.

Now I can take it easy, without any pressure at all, and keep on working on “The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry”. I have, after all, also written a lot during these 24 days that is, or is about to be, included in that story.

From now on, I will probably take a day off from writing, once in a while. Meeting people, having lots of laughs – and be Living my Lives and Whereabouts.

Posted in Fantasy, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

Back and Forth

So! I have changed my mind again? AH? Don’t know what I want to do? Difficult to decide? Yes! In this case, I have. Bring or not bring my laptop with me, when I visit my daughter.

If I was about to stay there for a week, or even more – I wouldn’t even have given it one single thought. I would have brought it. But now! For the weekend? Oh yes, my mind is going back and forth over that issue.

On one hand, since I’m not staying long why carry that extra weight? Okay! It’s a laptop. It’s a MacBookPro from 2012, so not that much weight, ah? I actually put it on my own scale, and it measured 2 kilograms. ( 2kg= 4lb 6.547930 oz)

Fair enough! Could do! But why? I mean, since I try to minimize the luggage as much as possible, and absolutely need to bring some extra clothes, a warm woolly sweater, for example, toothbrush and such, and some of my special food – non-wheat etc – would it really be wise and necessary for those few days, to bring the laptop as well?

On the other hand! Even though I don’t write thousands and thousands of words every day, I have my story on my mind almost all the time. You know how it is! I might also want to show some of it to my daughter, read a part or two, to her.

Then there is the NaNo! I have that on my mind as well! I want to write every day, and update every day. Even if it’s just a shorter piece. Not every scene has to be 3.400 words long or more.

Do you begin to see my problem now? I am as nerdy with my writing and my stories that I guess all of you writing people are. And guess what! I have Scrivener on my MacBook only!

There, there! The predicament! Can I solve it somehow?

Oops! There it came. The idea. The advice from within. Or maybe it was Albert, the Muse…
I have Apple! I have a MacBookPro! I have an iPad. I have Pages. And I have iCloud. I rarely use Pages. Maybe I should use it more. But that is a question I can deal with later.

For now, I figured I could copy all I had written to NaNoWriMo and paste it into a Pages document. Thought and done! That part wasn’t hard. Then I added a table of contents and made sure it was adequate so that I easily could find what I wanted. Not too hard to do this either. And I could see the total word count on my manuscript as well.

Next phase! Open the iPad and make sure this file had appeared there. It had. With the word count – which then suddenly was gone! In both places! I got it all right after a while, guess Pages couldn’t show the word count on both places simultaneously. But the most important now, was that I could see it on the iPad.

Then, I have to be able to reach the NaNo-site from the iPad. I use Firefox for theabyme.com as well as for the NaNo-site. (Have my Swedish blog on Safari so I won’t keep on signing in and out all the time.)

On the iPad I only have Safari, so I opened NaNo in Safari on the Mac and added the site as a favorite. Then I easily can log in to NaNo when I need to update the word-count via the iPad. (Perhaps I’ve better to test that today, making sure everything functions as I want it to do.)

If all this goes my way, I can leave the MacBook at home, and rely on the iPad! At least I think I haven’t forgotten anything important now.

I also think this is quite a clever solution! Less luggage, but the possibility to read, write, show my daughter – and update my word account to the NaNo-site. And that’s all I need. The possibility to do what I want if and when the circumstances allow it.

Posted in Around & About, Fantasy, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

After the dates

On Friday I’ll take the train to my daughter’s for a couple of days. That leaves today and tomorrow to write the remaining 6.665 words to the NaNoWriMo. I don’t think I’ll do that.

I don’t say it’s impossible! I wrote almost 3.400 words two days in a row just recently. But I won’t do that now. Now it’s already evening, and tomorrow it’s Thursday and I have some things I want to do. Anyway, there are days left after my visit there, almost a week, so I’m not actually in a hurry. It would have felt good, though, to keep a straight line of writing every day, since that was what I aimed for the most.

Have actually changed my mind about not taking the MacBook with me. I will! But not sitting writing for hours. But for a while, I probably could, and then update the NaNo-results the up-coming days at least a little.

Everyday-writing was the keyword.

Yesterday it was easier to write again. When I realized that what I had done, was having finished part one of the story. Therefore I unconsciously and automatically had stopped for a pause. Thus, it was much easier to continue the story from there, with Part two. So I did.

Now I simply await my Muse – still Albert, you know – to show up and push me further on the writing road.
”Don’t begin without me,” he usually says. ”You know I’m the one that actually carries this story.”
I do some eye-rolling and head-shaking behind his back but say nothing.
”Oh, I noticed that!” he says, turns around quickly and waves his index finger in front of my face. I look at his finger and go cross-eyed.
”Don’t do that!” I say.
”Then don’t get nasty with me!”
”I don’t.”
He glowers at me, snorts, turns around and inspects my coffee table. Immediately he finds my blue china bowl with dates and starts chewing on them. One after the other.
”Hm. Good stuff. What is it?”
”Dates,” I say and sigh. ”Aren’t we gonna start writing soon?”
”Just a sec,” he says and grabs the last one.

What have I done to deserve him?

The header image: I had in mind to use an image of my daughter’s cat, a Devon Rex – the cutest ever, who I’ll cuddle this weekend.
Then I accidentally saw the ginger one at Pixabay, and couldn’t resist.

But here is Hopi as well.

Posted in Around & About, Fantasy, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Writer’s block? Or not?

I might repeat myself a bit here. Or maybe I just need to let go of something. But… For a couple of days now, it has been really hard to write. And I have no idea, how I have managed to write as much as I have, for NaNoWroMo. Yesterday I was saved by the bell when I found some notes I had done earlier, which made me get going. But I had rather not written at all.

During the day I had been cleaning my apartment, and also moved my sofa to another spot in the room. Well! HA! ”Spot” and ”Moved”, are not exactly the right words for that. Area and Dragged, are better. The sofa is big and heavy.

As the evening got closer, I was watching ”Gotham” on Netflix, and at the same time, I was knitting a pair of mittens for my daughter. I’m going there for the upcoming weekend, and I want them to be finished so I can give them to her, along with a scarf and a cap, all of them knitted in the same yarn, warm and wholly. I also had in mind to knit a cap for the grandson. I finished the mittens and began with the cap, so now I just hope I’ll finish that one as well on Thursday at the latest.

What all this bla-bla is the replacement for, is a confession that I at that time, had forgotten all about writing! Then suddenly I realized it was already 8 PM, and OOOPS! I have to write at least something! Please! At least a couple of hundred words!

My mind was blank. Totally empty and black. I stared at Scrivener’s pale yellow background. It stared back at me. Nothing here. Nothing there. Nothing anywhere. I sought it here. I sought it there. I sought it everywhere. Oh, that elusive Pimpernel…

No, I didn’t! Seek everywhere. But I looked among those notes and mini-drafts I have in a file. It helped! I wrote! But probably the lousiest text I have ever written. Don’t think I can keep any of it.
But I wrote!

No! I didn’t. I heaped loads of words upon each other! That’s what I did! And I don’t even have a clue what I’ve written! So to speak.

Adding words to words that way isn’t my normal way of writing. As long as it goes, it might go very well. After all, in total, I have written a lot of good stuff as well. But now when I begin to feel stressed about having to perform, to achieve, to produce! To add a lot of words just to get a huge amount of words during a fixed timeline – it’s about becoming a disaster! At least if I had wanted to create a draft to a novel.

Before the Burn-out, I wrote a lot. I wrote daily. But I never felt the need to perform a certain amount of words every day. I don’t complain now, it’s just facts! And I knew what I signed up for. 50.000 words in 30 days.

Why I did it? I have said it before – I wanted to train myself to write daily, again. To write a lot, again. And I didn’t commit to writing a draft to a novel, not necessarily. So also blogposts count, here and on my Swedish blog. Mails can be counted in, I just don’t write many mails. Text messages can be counted in if I consider it writing and not just a short something to someone. And of course personal dairy notes, which can be quite wordy.

Looking upon it that way, I have done very well. Beyond 40.000 words now (yesterday) for the NaNoWriMo. And for myself.

So why am I complaining about this! Because I realize I am! Do I have any actual reason to complain? Actually – no. In the beginning, I had no idea for a fantasy novel. I thought I wouldn’t write any fiction at all! And yet – I have written quite a lot, to later be included in a Fantasy Novel. Almost two-thirds of those 40.000+ words are scenes to be incorporated.

And the funny thing is – odd-funny not haha-funny – I realize I’m building a world, where all my fantasy writings and its characters this year can be gathered together. Not necessarily that all those people are going to meet, to connect, or counteract – but they live in the same world.

Thinking about it like that, I don’t have to feel miserable just because I cannot write for a couple of days – and still, I write!
I just need a day off, or two. Or to allow me to sometimes just write one puny scene. Maybe only 758 words or so.

What this NaNoWriMo has shown me so far, is that I’m capable of so much more. Who on earth thought I would write 3283 words in just a few hours! I didn’t. But! I can! I’m able to write even a lot more than that.

I just have to let go of that behavior to stress myself into any oveer achievement. Instead, keep the joy of creating a story, and don’t think the world will fall apart if there is a day once in a while when I rather want to read a book, watch a movie, knit a cardigan, sit in the sunshine a lovely day in May, bike to the sea-side – or do anything else but write.

I just have to make sure, most of my days are writing days.

I’ll be away from home for a couple of days only. I thought I’ll bring my laptop, but I will hardly be sitting for hours to write when I visit my daughter and her family. That would not only be rude. It would be awful to waste precious time with those I love, not totally being with them.

Maybe I should leave the laptop at home, after all. It weighs more than the iPad, and I’ll go by train. And will only be gone for four days.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

Day 16 – and all is fine

One thing is for sure, though! I won’t write EVERY day as a must, when November is over. AND/OR! I won’t press myself to a minimum amount of words. Still, I’ll do my very best, and write as much, and as often as possible.

Sometimes when a scene is finished – it is finished! And I’ve emptied myself! Writing is not only a question about adding lots and lots of words after each other. Writing is about adding the right words together and make the whole lot of them, looking good together. Agree?

Posted in Fantasy, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, Writing

The update

Haven’t had time for anything today. Sounds good? HA! I’m lying of course.

I have met my friends and been writing on my story for NaNo, and done some other stuff as well. But I didn’t take a nap after lunch.

When I got short of words in English – I continued to write in Swedish.
NOW! That went speedy!

Not Gonzales…

Have been writing 14 days in a row…

Exceeded 30.000 words

Looking good! 😀 There is a chance now, if I can keep up the pace I have had for the last 6 days, or more, that I’ll finish this task before I travel to my youngest daughter on the 22nd… HA!!!!!
(Just checked! I have to increase it to an average of 2.786 words per day… that’s the challange)

BUT! That, would be something to show her!
(Mustn’t forget to buy that present for her soon-to-be six-year old son.)

Oh, sweet sixties…