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

What a difference a day made

November. The first day of the month. NaNoWriMo-month.

In 30 days, I hope to have reached 50 000 words. I have no specific plan to what I shall write, but I had an idea to start with and so far, this first day, it went very well.

I have also decided that all I’m writing, shall be added to this NaNo-plan – that actually isn’t a plan at all – since my first goal, what I aim for the most, is to write every day, and as much as possible.

If the idea I started with today will turn into either a story of its own, or can be added to my fantasy novel about the Solar Eclipse and the Magic City, it will be wonderful.

If it leads to the fact that I also after November 2019 will continue writing daily – it’s not only a 50 000 word winning! It will be a much bigger price than just 30 days of hard work will render.

Posted in Writing

Time to get serious

Now it is Thursday, September 31 2019.

It’s still morning, I have had breakfast and am now sitting on the sofa with the laptop on my knees and a cup of coffee on the side. It’s calm here, quiet, peaceful, and I intend to write something! But what?

Tomorrow, the NaNoWriMo quest begins. Am I nervous? No. Troubled? No. Excited? Yeah! A bit! Looking forward to it!

Have I decided which language to write in?
Well! It’s still a bit hard to decide that. Writing in Swedish is naturally much easier, quicker, but…

What if I suddenly want to share a snippet of my writings with you, I can’t do that if it is written in Swedish. And what I came to think of as late as yesterday, was that this Mz Eliza Elderberry might show up in the story I’m already writing. She could very well do that. The Mechanical Man did!

Then it would be a pity if I write this November’s NaNo in Swedish.

Am I clear on that? Yes, I think so. AND! After all, I’ll try my best not to focus too much on how many words I MUST write. That would stress me too much. I’ll just keep on writing, and writing, and writing – and also try my best not to bother about spelling wrong, or not finding the “right” word. All that I’ll cope with later.

BUT! Then there was Elaine. The British lady who has been living here in Sweden for quite many years, has been teaching English and French in school, and overall is a very nice person. I like her! Like talking to her!

But I realized fairly soon that we are the opposites of each other. She is very square, and I don’t mean her physical appearance. Okay, maybe a little there as well. But more in her way of thinking, her personality, not that much able to “think around the corners”. Following rules without questioning.

We became friends rather quickly, and I one day asked her if she would mind reading a bit of my novel, and tell me how my English was. Specifically, I wanted her to check out the prepositions, I know I often chose the wrong ones. Not doing anything deeply, just a brief reading through the text. I also pointed out it was just a first draft, I hadn’t edited it at all, so  the literary accomplishments she shouldn’t worry about.

It has taken her a very long time to read that piece. But that doesn’t matter. Some words I’ve gotten from her from time to time. I write very well, she says. She’s impressed since I have a large vocabulary, and she wants to read the entire story. When asking her, she said the story was floating along very well, and the characters had life, they were not dead, flat paper-dolls.

Of course, I was happy hearing that!

Then, esterday I got a mail. With some criticism. It wasn’t much, but we will see each other this afternoon, and maybe she’ll have more for me then. Don’t know, just have to wait and see.

Well! Bad criticism always takes us down, doesn’t it? So naturally I felt a bit hurt. Not much, the criticism wasn’t that bad! But still! It was this tiny pinch in my stomach. But what can I say? I asked for it! I wanted to know what I do wrong, so I can learn and do better!

First of all, she told me I should choose to write either in British OR American English! Of course! I know that! Have known all the time. But I have told her – THIS IS JUST A DRAFT.
Just fairly recently I said to myself I wanted it to be written in British English since through my school-years and studies later on it were always British English. But also – I like it, I like the sound of it!

But she has a point there, which I will adapt to. She wrote: “You seem to be more used to American English.” I didn’t have to think much before I gave her her thumb up for this. I AM more used to American English. Through all the books I read and have read. To all movies and TV-series I watch and have watched. The blogging…

She has also her points about the grammar, and how to properly build sentences. I sometimes put adverbs in the wrong place, for example.

All those matters I have to study more, and perhaps, she will give me more examples from my text.

She didn’t mention anything about the prepositions, though. Does that mean I’m doing that fairly well now? After all? Or will she throw a bomb on my later with all the crap I write?

What I don’t understand at all, is what is wrong with “ain’t”.
If I used “ain’t” I should use it all the time, she claimed. Never (never, never?) use “isn’t” or “aren’t”.  Is that really true?

I thought, ain’t belongs to I. As instead of writing: I am not (be going to or doing this or that), I’ll write “I ain’t”, meaning, I refuse to. What has that to do with “aren’t” and “isn’t”??? First, second or third person? Singular – plural?

Okay! “It ain’t necessarily soooo…”

Then the issue of when I should use “as if” instead of “like” – I guess I have to find myself a good grammar lexicon…

There are all those examples where she is very strict and formal in how to use the language. I’ve noticed that earlier. She didn’t make any comment on that part of my writings now.

The example I back then showed her, was that to me wonderful use of “the wrong” word to show something. The book “Girl in Translation” by Jean Kwok, it was.

The had been playing hookey for a week, and she was so afraid her mother would have noticed. The young man at the workplace, who she was secretly interested in as well, calmed her by saying, he knew since he often had done that himself, but her mother didn’t. Then…
“Really,” she warmed to him.
And I saw the relief in her, how happy she got. The warmth was floating around her.

Elaine said: “That’s wrong. You can’t write like that.”

Oh yes! You can!
And I can. I can show, not just tell. I can USE the language. Yes, I can. (Maybe just not all the English grammar.)

 

Posted in Fantasy, Movies & TV-series, NaNoWriMo, The Lives and Whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry, The Solar Eclipse, Writing

Stage fright

When watching all those movies and TV-series, when reading all those books, when pondering all that I have written so far – is it beyond my reach, to write a whole novel?

Maybe I’m a bit morbid or something right now, for some reason, but there are all those thoughts rambling around in my head.

Do I doubt myself, my ability to write?

Not per se! I can write, I don’t doubt that. I know grammar – and I specifically mean the Swedish now – and I know how to spell. I can show instead of tell, and I’m really good at writing dialogues. I can “use” the language to build images for the reader, make them feel they are there, in the middle of the story…

But can I build an entire novel?

I can write short stories! And I do it well. Short stories are easy to write. Few persons. One scenery. One event. No other persons stories or actions. Not too long. I only have to focus on what actually happens, and make it live.

But can I build an entire novel?

I have always loved to watch movies and series, but lately, I’ve been indulging myself a lot in those worlds. I see the plots, always have, and how intriguing they are built by the author. Yes! I admit! They kind of scare me off, a bit.

Maybe I am, a bit morbid? Or maybe just a bit nervous about entering the NaNo in a couple of days. Not that I have anything to be nervous about, not really. I’m entering the task with open eyes! I don’t have a specific idea. I have no plot, not even an idea for a story.

My main concern is just to write… every day… for thirty days. Not adding any other expectations at all. And then – it will be, what it will be.

Still, I can’t help thinking – am I able to write a novel, an intriguing story with several characters, scenes and semi-plots that will mix and interact – or counteract – with the main story. Would I be able to make it catching, interesting, exciting – funny? Enjoying? To make it a whole story with ups and downs, with cliffhangers as well as smoothly ongoing parts. To make the characters into living beings, not ending up as flat paper-dolls?

At this very moment – I don’t know. But I realize I might only be seeing the matter in black and grey colours. Maybe there will be a story after all. And if I may wish for, and even pray for – something new that will continue my fantasy story with the work-name “The Solar Eclipse”. And “The mechanical Man”.

Maybe this Mz Eliza Elderberry that suddenly popped into my head a short time ago, will show up there, somehow, in that magical city surrounded by high mountain tops and a large, seemingly dead, desert.
And a weird solar eclipse.

I fear November, but I’m also looking forward to it.

Posted in Movies & TV-series

Marathon

Again I caught myself stuck with a TV-series. Not on Netflix this time, though I after “Salvation” watched the entire two seasons of “The Good Place”. Not that that one was a hit, but I didn’t know what else to watch next.

Then I remembered a British Series I once watched, on ordinary TV I think. It was a really good one, and might I already own it, or if not, could I get it?

I found it! On my own 3Tb external hard drive actually, and both seasons. When did I get it, and why had I forgotten about it? Don’t know. Don’t remember.

What I’m talking about here is “Indian summers” from 2015-2016.

Many good actors, including one of my favourite female British actresses – Julie Walters. Have loved her ever since I enjoyed “Educating Rita” a long time ago.

The story takes place in Simla, in the foothills of Himalayas, in the 1930s. India is occupied (think that’s the most proper word for it) by the British Empire, but there are lots of “trouble” occurring between the British and the Indian population. There is everything in here, from love to mere violence. The characters are very true-worthy, and the whole story is so catching! Can’t stop me from starting the next episode when finished the one before.

It also revealed that I never saw season two back then, so I’m really enjoying myself now. Though I actually should have been doing other things. Like writing, for example. NaNoWriMo is approaching. On Friday we have November 1st.

Also pondering to quit Netflix. At least for the time being. At least for November. Am watching way too many movies and TV-series… bu who cares. I can do what ever I want.

From Wikipedia:

Indian Summers is a British/American drama series that began airing on Channel 4 on 15 February 2015. The show details the events of summers spent at Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, by a group of the British governing and trading community at the time of the British Raj. The first series is set in 1932. It was broadcast in several countries subsequently.

The show was renewed for a second and final series on 1 March 2015. The second and final series is set in 1935 and began airing on 13 March 2016. Although initially planned by producers for five series, on 25 April 2016 it was announced that the show would not be renewed for a third series due to poor ratings and strong competition in its timeslot.

Posted in Around & About, Health

Guess what I did today!

Of course, you can’t. How could anyone that wasn’t accompanying me? So, that question was just a clever (?) headline. And now I’ll tell you. It wasn’t adventurous. It wasn’t odd, and neither it was dangerous. On the contrary. It was a very good thing to do.

Couldn’t help myself from adding some colour on my own old photo.
I signed up to the gym again!

A hard thing when something is stressful, is when it also has elements of good stuff mixed in.

All that time that I drove my grandson to and fro his work, it was really nice to be able to be with him, to talk with him. We reconnected in a really good way, after my years elsewhere, working in another city. And I also had a car available quite a lot!

That's good stuff!

But the fact that he never seemed to be ready and get his drivers license, and the days just went on, grew to weeks and months and then two years and almost five months… until the somewhat hidden stress in me, broke out in this TIA, the mini-stroke.

On top of that, during all these afternoons and mornings, I had very little chance to meet friends and do my stuff! I felt more and more lonely… and tired… until I didn’t  even have the strength to do the few things I actually could have done.

So don’t say stress isn’t luring and devious! It lurks behind some good stuff, and how could I say no to my daughter and her eldest son! I had been away for eleven years, for goodness sake.

But then came the unexpected liberation, and after some not so pleasant weeks, I now feel awesome!

So now it was time for me to reach out further. To add gym-sessions to biking, walking and having good times with friends. Went over at the gym today, bought the membership and worked-out for a short while. Just to test how it would feel.

And it felt just great! 

I’m very lucky, and immensely grateful for everything!
Maybe I’ll even meet someone special soon?
Wouldn’t mind that at all.

 

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous

Good old times

Good old body in good old jeans. Real jeans, made of robust denim – at least I think they are.

They have been hanging for a long time in the wardrobe, waiting for me to be slim enough to wear them again. Oh! There’s nothing wrong with all these stretchy, thin cotton trousers that look like jeans, but the real ones? There is without a doubt something special about them.

And they have been waiting for me. Waiting, And waiting…

“Ah”, I thought this morning. “what about those jeans? They must fit me now.”
I’ve lost 6,5 kilograms so far, approx 14,3 pounds, and I wasn’t obese before. Just overweight. So it shows. And feels. And my friend Marianne commented. “That’s a lot! You aren’t tall.”

“A lot?” I said, though didn’t agree. Not quite. But felt very pleased she said so. I wanted to lose ca 10 – 15 kilograms, circa 22-33 pounds, altogether. Depending on how much training, biking and walking would add muscles and burn fat on my body.

Marianne just threw a half-smiling glance at me. Said nothing.

And then there were the jeans. That I haven’t been able to wear for quite many years now. Though for some odd reason kept on storing in the wardrobe. And today – they sat kind of lose upon my hips. Had no trouble with the zipper, to get it up. Had no trouble with the waistline. No trouble with the button. None at all. My legs almost got lost in them.

I loved it!

Love it!

But still have no objections to my stretchy ones. They are a woman’s best friends.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Just a little deep down self talk

I must say! I do look forward to NaNoWriMo.
Which might be a really odd remark, since I still haven’t written anything since the end of August or early September, thereabout. I have actually forgotten when… the last session…

But I DO look forward to it! I need that little pressure, I gather, to start writing daily again.

Where did my writing-self go? And why has she been gone so long? It’s like it’s harder to restart, the more days and weeks that have passed along without.

Now, now! Don’t be pessimistic, Thêa! It will be alright! Whether you realize it now, or not, you are mentally preparing yourself for November 1st and the whole NaNo-thing.

Everything will be just fine! All that shit is behind you! You are just fine as well! You’re not only walking and biking again! You are seeing friends and – yeah – you hoovered your flat today AND INDEED, even mopped the floors. If that isn’t a good sign – then, what is?

And furthermore, my dear Thêa. You have been THINKING about your fantasy novel!!! Not that you are going to continue writing on that one during November….

OR?

ARE YOU?

Nahhhh…. I didn’t think so, either. You have other stuff to write about.

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

I did it, after all

Decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. I blame Diana… NO, that sounds awful. I am grateful to Diana, who kindly asked me if I should join, and if so offered me to be her buddy. If anyone else of you who reads this is joining NaNo this November, I would be happy to be your buddy as well. Just search for Thea by Me! 😀

I haven’t the slightest clue yet what to write. I got a name for it in my head, and it will be some kind of fantasy/comic/satire thing with a little bit of romance added. I think. Or it will be something else.

The name? “The lives and whereabouts of Mz Eliza Elderberry”.
The hardest was to get her name. Then it placed itself in my head and after a while, I couldn’t help smiling over it. You will probably not see it, but to me, the name has a multifaceted meaning.

And actually – now I’m looking forward to this! There is just one more question I have to answer before November begins – will I write in Swedish or in English?

Writing in Swedish would, of course, be easier and faster writing, but in English… funnier? freer? More global, naturally, and if I want, I could post snippets of it on the blog once in a while, but…

Well! I have to sleep on that one for a while longer.


One thousand six hundred and sixty seven words per day in average…
hmmm…

It can be done! 😉