What I’m Reading, What I’m Writing

20171230_164152Last year I read 23 books. By my standards, that number was completely unacceptable. I normally read at least one book a week, if not more. Books are what keep my creativity flowing, they are what I study to hone my storytelling abilities, in other words, they are necessary. So when I see how few books I read last year, I cringe.

As for writing, I only wrote three poems, two halfway completed short stories, two completed rough draft short stories and one novella last year.

Also unacceptable.  Read more

My Word for 2018

20171230_155008Two years ago I began a course called One Little Word, by Ali Edwards. To give you a brief description of the class, you pick a word that you feel is speaking to you. Maybe it’s a word you need to work with, like Clean, Less, or Focus. Or maybe it’s a word you want more in your life, like Hope, Flourish, or Courage. You could order a journal and supplies from the shop, or you could use anything as a journal. Each month Ali posts a video about the prompt where she encourages you to do something with the word. Practice something or create intentions. The idea is this word you’ve chosen is with you throughout the year.  Read more

2018 Goals

20171230_153236Today is the last day of 2017. Can you believe it? I’m thankful, but I still can’t believe it. In my head, I’m stuck somewhere around dandelion season and every time I walk outside the freezing temperatures remind me it’s winter.

I’m happy we’re saying goodbye to 2017 tonight. Nothing fancy for us. A cheese and salami plate. Some champagne. A sparkler or two.

And eating my goals.  Read more

Merry Christmas 2017

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2017, it’s hard to believe you’re almost gone. Only a few days left to celebrate the holiday spirit, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Celebration isn’t a word I would use to describe the past few weeks. We didn’t get the tree up and decorated until a week before Christmas. And that little heart wreath we usually put on the door? It’s still in a box somewhere. The Elf must have felt sympathy for us, because it didn’t show up this year, either. Our kids are convinced he couldn’t find our new home because we moved.

Yeah. That’s what happened.

It’s not that we hate Christmas. We are just so so tired. Read more

The Long Swedish Summer

Summer in Sweden
My son, always in motion

As long as there’s no ice outside, we’re calling it summer. That’s what we’ve decided at my day job. And it fits, too, in a strange logical way. Although September is coming up fast, in Sweden the summer feels wonderfully long because of the amount of time everyone gets to enjoy it. Many who live here take advantage of that time. Expats return home to various countries, or perhaps visit a popular vacation spot. Swedes almost always travel to a warm sunny place. After a while, Stockholm begins to feel deserted. It’s not uncommon to walk past darkened storefronts and see the ‘summer notice’ posted on the door, and, for once, you’re able to find parking spaces.    Read more

Revision Tip: Write it Twice. Or Three Times. Or Ten.

I once saw a video by Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, where among other things he talked about his revision process and how he typed his story over and over. That moment was special for me. Angels didn’t sing or anything, but it was the first time I had ever run across another author who revised the same way I did.

When I came to the end of my Ashborne drafts, I printed them out. Then I proceeded to type them in again–line by line. I worked on the language a little more. saw the story in a new light. I encountered each page and each scene as if I were discovering it anew day by day. Read more

Project Update

Blue Light Revision
Blue Light Revision

As some of you know I’m a member of the Stockholm Writers Group, a select group of writers founded over twenty years ago to provide feedback, encourage each other, and support each other with their writing goals. We meet on a regular basis and offer feedback to those who’ve submitted their work. In addition, we pair up with a writing buddy. Some terms we switch buddies, some terms we keep the buddies we have. At the moment, my buddy is a wonderful writer named Rebecca, and this past week when we met, the conversation turned to blogs.

We’ve decided to both revisit our blogs with a concentrated focus. She’s studying craft books and enjoys the exercises these books provide. She’s decided to focus her blog on those exercises, or insights she’s gained from the process.  Read more

World Book Day 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017 is World Book Day!

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My son loves these books!

Most of the holidays I see advertised are always ‘National’. National Friendship Day, National Novel Reading Day, or National I like the Color Yellow Day. Sometimes it bothers me, this ‘National’ business, because I want to point out there’s an entire world out there. Why can’t we have more International days? But then I decide it’s all good in the end anyway, because I can’t keep up with all the different holidays. Read more

To Boldly Go . . .

Maybe I’m giving away my age here, not that it’s a secret, but I remember these words growing up, ‘To boldly go where no man has gone before.’ Anyone else remember those? The words made famous by Star Trek, a sci-fi television show I didn’t watch, but knew all about because some of the kids I hung out with talked about it.

I’m not sure why I never really watched it growing up. For one thing, there were long periods of time where we didn’t have a television. But I think it had more to do with in my head there were Star Trek people and there were Star Wars people, and I was definitely a Star Wars person. Is that a thing? This delineation between the Wars and the Trek? Or did I just imagine it all those years? Read more

Book Exchange

Book exchange, CultureWANTED: Participants for a book-loving social experiment. Comment if you want to participate and I’ll send you details.

What do you have to do? Buy your favorite book and send it to a stranger (I’ll send you a name and address). I used Book Depository to send a book to someone and I didn’t even pay shipping charges.

You will only be sending one book to one person. The number of books you will receive depends on how many participants there are. The books that will show up at your door are other people’s much loved stories #SaveTheCulture #BookExchange. Read more