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
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
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
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
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
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
WANTED: 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
As some of you may have seen on my Instagram or Facebook posts, we’ve moved! I’m so excited. And a little tired. Okay, maybe more than a little tired. But I’m still mostly excited!
We had, in my eyes anyway, a tiny apartment. Our son was basically sleeping in what was labeled as a closet on the floor plan, which worked well when he was a baby. But that was six years ago. In short, we needed a bigger place. My husband, who is amazing at finding things, found us one. Read more
I’ve managed to stay out of the political chaos that surrounds my home country so far and I’m hoping to avoid the aftermath as well. Honestly, no matter which side of the political fence you stand on, all the emotional sensationalism that’s out there creates a reaction and it’s that reaction I can do without. The increased heart rate. The anger. The frustration about how the other side can be so (insert word of choice here). So I’ve avoided it. Because I have better things to spend my emotional energy on. I have a family and two jobs and a dream and hobbies and a million other things I can be investing in. Read more
I was in a mom situation about a week or two ago and ended up defending my children during a play date. Later, I had conflicting emotions about the episode. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Guilt. Eventually, my husband came to me and said I should never feel guilty for being the champion our children need at times. Shortly before this play date, I ran across an article, or maybe it was just a paragraph or two in a book, about mission statements. I think the idea was successful people lived by mission statements and these feelings prompted me to think about creating a mission statement for myself. I spent two days writing down what I believed and my mission as a mom, a wife, a sister, and a friend. Defending my children, even in difficult situations or against friends, was in there. When I finished, I felt much better. Read more