5 Reasons why you should attend a writing festival

This is the second year I’ve served on the Board for the Stockholm Writers Festival, and the second year I plan on attending. The first year, I wasn’t sure if I should attend or not. Of course I wanted to support the festival in its debut year! But when I thought about me at the festival, I wasn’t sure it had enough for me. You see, I was under a false impression that I had to have a finished novel ready to be released into the world. I created this imaginary line I had to cross as an author before I should venture forth into the realm of writing festivals. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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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

Hello, March! I’m So Glad to See you.

20160301_112901I asked for a February do-over, but I don’t think anyone heard me. You know what? It doesn’t matter now, because February is gone. Good riddance! And take your germs and viruses with you!  I better not get too excited or that meme I saw the other day with sunny skies on Tuesday and a blizzard on Wednesday might come true just to spite me.

Seriously, I am so looking forward to the Spring with all its sunshine, warm weather (hopefully), and a wonderful season of writing. Over the weekend, we rearranged the bedroom and I set up a cute little writing corner, complete with an inspiration board. I love walking in there and sitting at the desk now, my photo with Margaret Atwood looking down on me, encouraging me. They say to write as if you’re writing to someone great, and she’s the person I try to write to. I imagine her shaking her head and saying things like, ‘You know you can do better with this line.’ And now I can’t escape from her. Read more

Rejection Rituals

As part of my weekly writing schedule, one day a week I submit work to various literary magazines or online journals. I can honestly say that so far it’s worked! Granted I’ve only been working off my new schedule for two weeks, but hey, it’s a start =). I started my new writing schedule last week and wanted to make sure I had the rules laid out clearly.

  1. I can submit poetry, flash, contest submissions, short stories, or any other type of prose.

That’s it. I like simplicity.

The only thing left to do was a choose a day. On Mondays I only get about an hour, or an hour and a half to ‘work’ and when I write, I like having big chunks of undisturbed time. Especially if I’m working on revisions, which can require a bit of mental multitasking. Every week I was stressing myself out about how little I accomplished on Mondays, which meant they were the perfect choice for submission days. Now I had a rule and a day. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Mud and Fingerprint Mazes

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts, objects or ideas I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Last week Stockholm was a winter wonderland. This week? Well, let’s just say I ran across Frosty the Snowman earlier. He’s nothing but a puddle now. In fact, most of the fields around our home are giant lakes. The kids are in love with it. But you’d think one puddle is good enough, right? Nope. They must brave Every. Single. Puddle. to see how high the water reaches. Thankfully, the deepest puddle they could find, the one on the soccer field, only comes to their knees.

Which brings me to this week’s Thursday Thoughts. What am I thinking about today? Read more

Imagine What An Alligator Would Do and Other Ways I Motivate Myself

In our home, silly gets a good place. Somewhere between the hot water boiler and the computer. We’ve come to rely on it, fall back on it, pull it out when we’re stressed and a number of other clichés I could fit in here. We’re silly people, what can I say? So a typical dinner conversation might be:

Son: What is ice made of?

Husband: Pants. Really cold pants.

And we’re all okay with that. I guess at some point a member of our family who knows science pipes in and provides the correct answer, which is handy for kids learning the basics and succeeding in school. I’m aware of what ice is made of, but I usually stay away from the science questions because I do want them to succeed in the school area. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Graffiti and Bicycle Wheel Conspiracies

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On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Stockholm is still freezing, though today it’s a mild -10 degrees. I’ve perfected the art of wearing two pairs of pants at the same time and I can now do at least thirty different tasks while wearing my gloves. If I can’t do the task, it isn’t worth doing. The good news is I haven’t lost any body parts to frostbite yet. We also celebrated a birthday party this weekend, and at the beginning of the week we had our first administration/planning meeting for my writing group. Busy, but fun week so far. And now I get to write about ideas or objects that inspire me to write a story.

So what am I thinking about today?  Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Seaweed Parties and Giants

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. It’s been a cold week here in Stockholm and part of me wants to do nothing but curl up in bed with a good book while the cat sits on my head. Tomorrow night it’s supposed to go down to -19. Trust me, I’ve asked myself all week why I willingly gave up California and Georgia sunshine for this. But as much as I want to burrow under the covers, I can’t until I’ve posted my Thursday Thoughts post =).

So, besides the cold, what am I thinking about? Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Crispy Bits and the Color Blue

20151211_145814It’s time for THURSDAY THOUGHTS, where I share with you random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. I’m loving these posts and the stories that are coming out of them! What typically happens is I write the post on Thursday and allow the thoughts to roll around in my head for a couple of days where they can pick up some history and some gritty details. Maybe make some connections I hadn’t thought about before. Then over the weekend, I’m able to carve out a story draft. We all have our own way of using inspiration, but if you’re on a dry spell or just can’t seem to get motivated, I highly recommend it.

And now for the thoughts: Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Fiery Hair and Snake Skin

St. Lucia Celebration

Last week I began a new weekly post on the blog called THURSDAY THOUGHTS, where I share with you random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. So far, it’s a success. Okay, so only one week has passed, but I did take last week’s thoughts and plugged them into two short stories, one of which I’m in love with, which counts as success in my book =). I’m hoping I’ll get some good material out of today’s ideas, too.

Today I’m thinking about:

  • Saint Lucia – On December 13th every year, Sweden celebrates St. Lucia, the beautiful blonde with candles stuck in her hair and a red sash around her waist, who was killed for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. At least as far as one story goes. Or maybe it’s just the darkest night of the year (close enough) and they wanted a creative way to light a bunch of flames. Most schools have a charming celebration and the kids can’t wait to dress up as Lucia, or the gingerbread man. I’m not quite sure how he fits into the story, but he’s joined by Tomte (the Swedish version of Santa Claus), a bunch of hand maidens and star boys. Somehow the whole motley crew teamed up to help out Lucia during her persecution. Another story has Lucia poking her eyes with a needle and to mark this occasion Swedish children everywhere bring a tray with eyes on it. Either that version of the story is frowned upon now, or it happened somewhere else because I have yet to see the schools serve up eyeballs for their Lucia festivals. Talk about story ideas! Women with fire in their hair and eyeballs on a tray. Or, I suppose I could keep it cute. I don’t know why I gravitate toward the strange things . . . It could be cute and strange, though. Right? I mean, if I take the eyeballs off the tray.

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