Summer is Here

On Wednesday, my writing group held its last session for the Spring term this year. The official feedback sessions are closed and most of us are getting ready to travel.

Summer in Sweden always fascinates me. Everyone leaves! Everyone. It’s like a weird horror movie. Homemade signs stuck in windows saying something like ‘Closed until August 16th’.

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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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Retreat

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 Write Like Who?

It all began with a question. Or, a request. During my latest round of submissions, I ran across this:

Include a short bio and describe your style. 

My style? I don’t know my style. Themes, no problem. Genres, easy. But style?

So I did what any respectable writer does when met with a question like ‘What is my style?’ I asked my friends. Who all came back with different answers.

Then I went to my friend Google–the overly-popular, overly-opinionated friend who always gives me way too much information, but occasionally comes through with a gem. After typing in ‘How to describe my style’ a few academic websites popped up, mostly dealing with college essays, along with a handful of websites offering vague advice like ‘write consistently’, and the website I Write Like . . . which doesn’t define a style, but does claim to analyze your writing and compare it to the list of authors in its database. I’m not sure how the algorithm works, but I was willing to give a try. 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

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 -Teeth and Trains

Thursday Thoughts are back! On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. Over the holidays, however, I took off for two weeks and spent that time focused on my family. The kids start school again tomorrow which means I guess it’s back to work for me, too. And I like my job. Most of the time ;). 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