Ninny Rhino

The last day of March

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 31

And as such – also the last day of Ninny Rhino.
How did it go?

I’m satisfied!


I’m sitting here now, after lunch, with the coffee – pondering.
We have this night changed our clocks to summertime. Outdoor a totally blue sky falls in folds over the city. The sun pours warmth and light through my windows and it’s time to pull down the blind and draw the curtain facing south. But there is also a fierce nippy wind blowing, stopping me from entering the balcony.

Earlier today, though, I went for a short walk. I breathed in the wonderful sight of buds on tree branches and bushes, and newborn white starflowers popping open in the green grass. There are nothing like the first sunny days of spring, even a nippy day.

So? How was March?
Did I write as I was supposed to? Daily?
No, not quite. Most days though, I wrote something. Many days I organized my files and folders with writing stuff and uploaded a selection of them as new projects in Scrivener.

And not forgetting! – I wrote the beginning to something completely new, thanks to Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror, when I attended her writing prompt for March. So it’s actually her doing, inspiring me both to join Ninny Rhino as well as that prompt. Which in turn dared me to go further with my writing.

On the whole! Comparing with other months, I have during March written more, and more frequently, than for  quite a long time. And completed other tasks that are connected to writing.

That includes reading or listening to more books during March than I also haven’t done for a long time. As I see it, reading is an important part of writing. Even an occasional bad book! If you can stand it and actually finish it, you might learn how not to write. 😉

This has probably a lot to do with my joining up with Goodreads. So many books there are in the world, that I would love to read or listen to!
I actually also got me my own account on Storytel, instead of sharing the family account of my daughter’s. Feels nice to have my own book-shelf also there.


So! Despite the fact I didn’t write every single day, I’m very pleased with my achievement. I can clearly see now, that I’m moving forward with myself, my life, my dreams, my writing. With Me!

And tomorrow is April 1st... 
and CampWriMo...

 

It’s almost silly

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 26

I’m still organizing those files, between the “must do’s”. Not much left now. Only the worst ones are still waiting for me to take care of them. The novels with the most files and folders are lying there grinning at me.

I dread starting to go through that massive slave-work.

Also, all of my files with saved blog posts are left. Couldn’t upload them to Scrivener. Probably due to all images. At that time, I just copied the posts as they were and pasted them into word documents.

So I’ll have to:
1). Throw away all copies!
2). Delete all images.
3). Turn all the posts into chronological orders.

Must be at least 1000-1500 posts in those files, if that’s enough, and not counting the copies. And then all the copies of the files… and copies of copies…

But I let my old health-and-food-blog go down the drain!

Goodness, gracious! How much I must have written during those years between 2006 and 2012! … or something.
(There are a few texts of later dates.)

It was fun checking out my work, though. Found myself reading here and reading there. Found idéas, notes, short drafts et cetera, which I had almost forgotten about.

Besides “The Solar Eclipse”, I have other Fantasy drafts, and after mixing some of those shorter texts (idéas, notes) with already existing drafts, I might have some kind of openings for at least two novels. Maybe three.
(Maybe more? My first novel started with a sentence I overheard one day. A sentence with three words only… and a “triptych” I wrote – three short stories that go together – began with a surname I once saw in an elevator…)

Do I have material for these? And imagination and inspiration enough to continue writing? Well! Let’s see! I’ve better go inside and ask my Muse.

“Do you think…
“Yes!” she immediately interrupts me. (Or if it is a he… or an androgyne… or my guardian angel… or my higher self… whoever…)

Apropos! I also found a short story I wrote fairly recently, in 2015 I think, with a Muse as the main character. It’s a funny story. A funny Muse. A male Muse. My Muse. (Okay! So it is a he, after all.)

There is, without doubt, more work to do with all these files, but I sense I ‘d rather want to start writing again now! Can continue sorting intermittently. There’s just one big question – which of those drafts, beginnings, whatever, should I focus on first? Or is perhaps the newest one, The solar eclipse, the one I now foremost need – actually need –  to keep on wakening me up from the not-writing-fiction-coma?

I must confess, though!

I’m scared.
Happy! Thrilled! But also scared.
It lures me – to start writing again, properly, after so many years with and after the burn-out.
But it also frightens me immensely. Especially if I chose to continue working on The Solar Eclipse
And feel that I should share some results with you. Like a continuing story…

What if I fail???
What if I drop out???

Or is sharing with you, just what I need?
A little pressure to achieve… at least something?

Hardworking

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 22

A while ago, I told you I was organizing my files and folders with writing stuff. (That was two weeks ago. How time flies when you’re happy). My first goal was to gather my writings in one folder only, in one place at the computer. At the same time, I wanted to get rid of as many copies as possible. Most of the files were word documents, .doc and .docx, but there were also .txt, .rtf, Pages, old Scrivener files and some pdf. The oldest ones from 2006. (I believe.)
(Where are all those prior of 2006?)

I gathered them together and also deleted lots! After a couple of days, each of my novels was to be found in its own folder, no matter how many files it still consisted of. Some of my short stories also got a folder of its own, while the other had to share. Like my mini short-stories. But also shared main folders for diary-notes, short drafts and idéas, old blog posts, notes from all my lessons in Creative writing, et cetera!

Still, though, there were lots of copies, and copies of copies. But I couldn’t, without first checking it, delete a file called “Chapter one” for example. Not until I knew where it belonged. Wouldn’t take the risk of deleting a whole manuscript by “mistake”! (Read carelessness)

It felt really good to see, that one and only head-folder on the desktop and inside neatly presented every main folder I had created. And nowhere else on the computer, there were files that instead should be in there.

I paused, for like a week. Pondered how to continue. Those word documents are horrible to compare with each other. Is it an exact copy of a file, or is it actually a different version? Would I really have to open all those files,  just to be able to compare?

No! There was a much better solution. When I wrote “The Solar Eclipse” I did it in Scrivener. And there it was! Of course, I should upload all my files to Scrivener as different projects!

I uploaded one folder at a time. Started with “Idéas, notes and short drafts”. It was perfect! I got a perfect view of all the files, could see two of them at the same time and easily switch to another, and also easily delete duplicates. Then sort the files in different folders, depending on what type of note it was.

For a couple of days, I now have occupied myself with this task, and I actually enjoy doing it! I’m not finished yet. Done are the eight easiest folders, but I still have to maintain the novels and the longer short stories. And some other stuff!

Well… thirteen folders left, actually, and only three or four of them I would consider “easy”. Thanks to Scrivener, it will still take hours and hours to finish this quest. But! It will be manageable! (I’ve dreaded this slave-work for years…)

Thank Goodess, I have a 27 inches external screen! With my MacBookPro’s 13 inches screen only…
Let’s just say this: it’s easier with a bigger screen. It doesn’t have to be that jammed…

I can’t stop!

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 20

At present, I’m listening to “Educated” written by Tara Westover. It’s amazing!

Memoirs are not my first choice of books to read, but if there are more of those like this one – I would for certain read more memories.
Well-written, mindblowing, heartbreaking, mesmerizing, upsetting, interesting, agonizing, wonderful……

I just can’t stop listening!

During three days, I’ve listened to 72% while doing the dishes, driving the 30 kilometers to the next city, browsing the food store, having lunch, coffee or dinner, while knitting, and so on… Even when walking 2,3 kilometers home today with a newly bought sun-chair on the back of my bike.

Maybe not the best of chairs, but on the other hand not expensive either. It will do!

Ooops! Forgot to take that photo I’d meant
to take. And NO, I couldn’t wait until Friday
or some day next week, when I’ll have my
daughters car available…

Guess there were some people thinking
I’m crazy. Hmmm… maybe I am.
But that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

I had to force myself now, to do something else. Like writing. 😉 Not staying plugged in for the rest of the day. But it’s really a good thing to listen to books, since one can do anything and everything else while doing it. Except for that which also needs the brains fully attention.

However! Once again there is something that makes me want to learn more. To educate myself more. She is inspirational, Tara.

The story begins

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 18

It was really wonderful, the other day, to sit here in my chair writing. It was thrilling to experience the story growing, hatching somewhere within me, and then pouring down through my fingers. I used Scrivener. The first story written in this recent upgrade of Scrivener, and a story never written before. All is new, one could say. A fitting start after all these years with a burn-out.

I called it “The Solar Eclipse”. Not a particularly fancy name, rather obvious actually, but also quite adequate. There is something peculiar about that eclipse, so it will be present in the story more than once.

My intention when I started to write, was to create a short text. After all, I haven’t written any new story, neither short nor long, for several years. I’ve been working on one of my novels now and then though, that really needed a freshen up, but that’s quite a different issue, isn’t it? And not even half as fun.

I had also a couple of thoughts about what the story would be like. A couple of why’s and a couple of how’s. What was driving the main character to do what she (or he?) had done and is about to do. What will happen along the road? It didn’t turn out as planned. Soon enough the story started to live a life of its own (as usual), and I just loved that (as usual)!

There are still some of those seeds and intents left there, but instead of just a really short Short story, it seems like it has the potential of being something more. And I actually long for continuing writing. If not for anything else, at least so I will know what happens next. And next…

I chose to write in the present tense since I like that form and it will do well considering the “I” is telling the story. Not exactly as a narrator, but the point of view will (probably) remain in the main characters head. I know this will call for some extra attention from my part, but this isn’t the first time I chose this form. Though, so far, only in short stories. However, a challenge like this might very well be really fun.

I’m so happy that stories still can come through me, and if it hadn’t been for Diana’s March speculative fiction prompt, I might not have written anything at all. Or at least it would have taken a lot more time before I managed to force myself even to try.

 

The Solar Eclipse

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 16

Lovely Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror, has these Speculative Fiction Prompts once a month. I got tempted to join, and here is my contribution for March!

This is the first time ever, I write a story in a language other than my native one. I aimed for a short, short story, but got caught. It rather seems like a beginning of something!
– So, now let’s see how it goes! 

The Solar Eclipse

I wake up shivering immensely. Still with my eyes closed, I lay my hand over my hearts. They are both beating. A bit vague and uneven, but enough to ensure me I’m still alive. I take a deep breath. The air is cold but clean and pleasant.

I open my eyes. Above me linger stars on a black background, and a faint light dwells from somewhere beyond. Around me are huge buildings, and I realize I am lying on sand. Icy cold sand. Slowly I rise to my feet. My head is pounding.

Scattered around me lies the transporting device. In thousands of pieces as it seems. No wonder I feel like a huge bruise, but a couple more than usual don’t seem like a big issue. After all, being here, where-ever this ”here” is, is a lot better than…
I don’t let that thought go further.

Where am I? How far have I been journeying? My head fills with thousands of questions. It’s obvious, this isn’t my intended destination. I gaze at the stars but can’t recognize any of the constellations. A wave of dizziness passes through me.

A bit feebly, I walk along the street and soon reach the corner. I turn and once again lift my eyes to the sky. A full solar eclipse, the most fascinating I’ve ever seen, and I can see an entire universe behind. I stay in a maze for a long time.

I need to leave. To find water most of all. But also to find friendly people. This is a huge city, but it’s dead. I realize that. No sounds. No lights. No nothing. The streets are covered with sand and I see dunes that indicate rather fierce storms. I listen and I sniff the air, but nothing tells me a storm is near now. The only thing my senses tell me, is that the city has been dead for a very long time.
Then I turn around and start walking.

After what feels like ages, though my wristwatch tells me it has been just half an hour, I reach the outskirts of the city. In front of my eyes, a desert stretches out in the dusk, like the shadow of a hawk over its prey. Occasional bushes are spotted over the landscape, and I hope some of them hide a water supply. In the faraway horizon a mountain ridge is stretched out like a dead dinosaur. I throw a quick glance back on the city and the awkward solar eclipse. I just can’t understand! Something is wrong, but what?

I’ve lost most of my belongings. In one of my pockets I find a small pen knife carved with my initials. JC. In the other a small box with safety matches. In my backpack there is a carton with biscuits and an empty water bottle, but that’s all. I recall having drunk that water sometime during the flight and never refilled the bottle. Stupid me. There are also a lot of holes in the backpack. Due to the crash, I guess. Not worth the while to be upset over what is. After all, I’m alive and walking.
The odd thing is, the solar eclipse is still there! Exactly the same!

I find a small, almost round and fairly smooth stone, rinse it as thoroughly I can with my t-shirt, and then put it in my mouth. I suck it for a while and my throat doesn’t feel as dry any longer, and I manage to keep on walking. I aim for the largest bush I can see that isn’t too far away. I pray quietly for drinkable water.
Only about ten minutes later I reach the bush, and explore the closest possibilities to find some water. And I’m in luck! After digging away the sand like a dog at a couple of spots, I find moist earth and with the help of my penknife, I dig further down. Sweat is pouring down my forehead, and I can hardly see what I’m doing but I keep on struggling. I just got to get some water.

”What are you doing?”
The harsh voice startles me like nearby lightning in broad daylight.
”Do you think you’re a rabbit or something? You won’t find water there. Not enough anyway.”
In less than a second I’ve been dragged up in the open, and am standing on my own feet, panting and frightened. In front of me stands an old man with wild hair and a bushy beard. He grins at me, and hands over a bottle.
”Drink!” he says hoarsely.
I hesitate for just a few seconds before I drink, and may God forgive me, but this is the fucking best water I’ve ever had.

”You’re a tiny little one”, he says. ”Got a name?”
”JC”, I say reluctantly.”
”Jaycee? Is that supposed to be a name?”
”Well… kind of…”
”Okay, Jaycee. I’m Bill! Just Bill!”
He looks straight into my eyes while grabbing my right hand with both his, and holds it tight for a moment. They are huge, warm and rough.

”SO!” he grunts. ”Who are you, besides a Jaycee. Where do you come from and where are you heading?”
”I… I don’t know.”
”You don’t know who you are?” His eyes burn into mine.
”No no… I know who I am! But I don’t know where I came from… not exactly… there was some kind of accident, and somehow I landed over there. In the city.”
I turn and point backward. The city is no more than a silhouette in the dusk.
”Aha. An accident you say. Maybe it was that explosion I heard earlier today. You’re lucky to be alive then, I must say.”
He pauses for a while, then continuous.
”And you’re heading?”
”I… I don’t know. Just to find…something! Someone!”
I start to cry and I hate myself for it. It’s so girly. I don’t want to be a girl.

He looks at me and then he points at the city.
”It’s dead.”
”I know.”
”I reckon you do… but do you also know that the time is dead?”
I just stare at him. Is he crazy?
”Yes, also the time is dead. It’s that eclipse! It has taken over the city. It’s like a disease that finally kills. And it’s spreading. Did you stay there long?”
”No, I don’t think so.”
”Hope you’re right. Now let’s go.”
”Where?”
”As far away as possible from that city and the Solar Eclipse.”

Odd Poetry

Ninny Rhino – the Mini-WriMo – day 13

Of course I’ve written poetry
from time to time

like all of us
who live with words in our heads
and a pen in the hand

though nowadays
perhaps an iPhone is the tool
or another electronic device
which is handy and
simple to move

but I never bother
about hexameter
and such
and never could write
a sonnet

I’ve more of a prosodic mind
following the rhythm
and occasionally add
a misfitted rhyme

Fairy tales with a dilemma

Ninny Rhino – Day 12

... a fairy tale... is a fairy tale... is a fairy tale...

Tuesdays and Thursdays forenoon, I usually spend a couple of hours at something called “Café Welcome”. It´s not a cafeteria per se. People can’t just drop in, buy themselves a cup of coffee, or a latte or something, sit there for a while and then leave.

Instead, it is a gathering place for women from different countries. We talk! We communicate!
We have a good time!

Tuesdays comes a woman from the main city library. She brings a book, she reads something – not anything long. And then we talk about the text and can express thoughts about it. On the whole, it’s supposed to train the women with other native languages to speak in Swedish, and increase their vocabulary as well as the courage to actually open the mouth and say something in Swedish! In a women-friendly surrounding, where everyone can relax and just enjoy the moment. And no one is forced to be here.

It’s just lovely! So much I’ve learned during the time I’ve participated in this! BUT! Nota bene! I don’t teach Swedish, like a schoolteacher! I’m just being there. Talking sometimes. Listening. Learning. Hopefully giving something positive back. Literally – participating!

This woman from the library, on the other hand, is supposed to give positive influences in talking and understanding Swedish. Not only the language per se but also the world around us. Our habits here in Sweden, our culture. And we get so much back about their cultures and habits, and their experiences before moving here and how it is now.

Today this Librarian had brought a book with fairy tales. A bit odd fairy tales. They are very short and ends abruptly in a dilemma. Actually – a really mind blowing problem. Then, we were supposed to discuss this dilemma. Which of the suggested solutions to the problem would be best? Or?

Before I give you a summary of the story, I'll just say we 
had a lovely, energetic, giving discussion afterward...

 

In the story, there is this young, poor man who lives with his mother. She is old, and not well at all. As a matter of fact, the son is taking care of here. Even feed her. That’s how feeble she is.
There is also a King who has a daughter. Well – there is a princess.

One day the princess meets the young man, and they fall in love – and get married.

(As I said, the tale is really short. Here we could have heard a loooooong tale about how they met, all the troubles due to she being a princess and he being a common and poor man. Even though he was also young and beautiful…
In that imaginary story (my imagination, thought about this part later), there was a revolution or something else really nasty occurring, the king was killed, the castle burnt down – and the princess fled from that blond, obese, egotistical and arrogant, small-mouthed conqueror with pig-eyes before he could lay his hands upon her – and he didn’t bother much despite the fact she was young and beautiful. There were lots of other young and beautiful women to chose from… )

In the librarian’s story; when married, the princess began to take care of her mother-in-law. (And where did the husband/son go?) But one day, while the princess was feeding her, the old woman bit the (former) princess in the hand! And kept biting her, wouldn’t let go!

The princess cried and screamed and tried really hard, but couldn’t get free. The people in the town heard her of course and came, wondering what was going on. Also her husband came, and he was thinking really hard on how to solve this problem. Since his mother refused to open her mouth and let go of the hand, he saw only two possible solutions. Either he had to cut off his wife’s hand, or break open his mother’s mouth.

He just couldn’t decide.

The old people in the city urged him to cut off the wife’s hand, and the young ones urged him to break open the mother’s mouth – and he could do neither. They asked a judge in the city for advice, but he was also unable to come to a solution….


Here ended the story, as with a big question mark.
What do you think? You, who just have read this all the way down the blog. Do you have a solution to this dilemma?

We, who sat there around the table with coffee mugs and chocolate toffees in front of us, had a great discussion – and one of the women, one of those lovely, intelligent, well-educated, humorous, gorgeous women, came up with a brilliant solution!!!

I might tell you tomorrow – if you want me to.