Monday morning thoughts

March 16, 2009 § 1 Comment

The crisis is showing patterns lurking in the shadows
Are we more angry with female bosses than male? It seems like it. People get more upset when a woman is a greedy bastard than when a man is it. Why?

“Sure, you can have equality, but curse you if you turn out to be swines”

Why do people clinge to the idea of the pure and innocent female with superior morals? We all know it isn’t so.
Also, the sudden upswing in old time morals, housewife-ideals, scares me. Last year I breefly dated a guy who asked me “but how will you ever be a good housewife?” because my apartment was in such a mess. I just laughed. I didn’t even understand the question properly, but answered that “hey, why do you think I went to university?”, impliying that I was going to have someone else do that for me, or a husband who cleaned the house, or something. Not until a couple of days later did I understand that he actually meant a stay at home housewife. In this day and age? Is it even an alternative? But it is, again. It’s coming back.

Obama: blame the black guy?
US has a fairly black president. Also, their economy is going poo-shaped. I see a correlation here that is quite ugly. It will be oh so convienient for the US to fall apart while being able to blame the black guy. I think it feels safer, then if they would have to blame a white man, since in heart and soul, many of the US people still consider white americans to be the real americans. Just like we in Sweden consider white people to be the real swedes, even though we have people who are non-scandies that have lived here for three generations.
Did the US need someone to blame?

A mere reading
I read a text about slow reading yesterday and wrote a shorter essay about it. I need to practice that more. To find that way into the text that makes the passive reading into active reflection. Reading is one of the most important parts of writing.

Metaphores
Is there any one who knows how to use the word Hibakusha/hibakusi? I need it for the text. I found a working metaphore now and finaly left the otters behind in the waters where they belong.

I’m applying for a job up in Umeå now, to see if I can spend the summer there. I’ll take a writers class, and hang out up north, write, work and play for the summer. It would be so perfect. I really do hope it works. I feel like I desperatly need to get away to keep my process going. I’m painting myself into a corner a bit right now. And honestly, there is nothing here for me anyway. It feels like I’m breaking up with my city.

Way out.. north?

February 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m in Umeå! About as far up north as you can come if you live in the south end of Sweden (if I would go even further up I’d have to travel for more then 14 hours from home, and that’s just too far north. There is a limit to how far north it’s possible for me to go and still stay fairly sane.). It’s half a meter snow here at the least, and sunny. Beautiful!

I went here partly so I could relax and get some distance between me and reality, and get some work done, write a bit, program a bit. But mostly breath in, breath out. My soul needs some space, and this is the perfect place to get it. I still seem to have a tight schedule while I’m here, but it doesn’t matter, I can still relax in a completely different way here.

On friday Olivia Bergdahl and Loke is playing up here, which is great, since I’m missing out of a lot of stuff while I’m gone, seems like all good shows and clubs are on this weekend.

I’m gonna try to get time to have a beer with Olivia or just hang out in the snow, you know, stuff you do when up north. We’re going to dinner at a friends house as well (not with Olivia mind you), and there is a poetry slam on thursday that I’m thinking of squeezing in. I really hope I get time to go out into the outbacks here and just watch the nightsky. Two weeks is a long time, but not near as long as it feels like.

Ok, I gotta write something less horrible

February 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

God, that was a killer yesterday. You see? This is what happens when all I do is listening to radio documentaries or watching TEDtalks. This has got to stop. I have to learn to write those perky blogposts about kittens. How else will I get (more) readers?

I’m off to the library today and off to pick up my tickets for Borås this weekend. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay the trip up myself, so that I could go away. I so needed that. Next weekend we’re driving to gothenburg (it seems. Not sure if I can afford it yet) and then I’m off to Umeå for two weeks. I travel a lot more then I think.

Dancing tonight as well. I’m gonna try tomorrow to edit some of my stuff that I’ve filmed this week, to put it here or on facebook.

I also updated the OPS-blog (it’s in the blogroll) with new poetry stuff, and I’m gonna try to get myself to e-mail my old teachers to see if I can fix up the last stuff. I really need to get some plans going for the future. I need something to look forward too instead of having this huge void of nothing ahead of me.

I’m way too pessimistic to see it as possibilities.

footie? No! You serious?

February 5, 2009 § 1 Comment

Yesterday I went downtown twice, I think that’s some kind of record.

First I went down to meet up with queen Mary and another friend to go to a cellar market to buy cheap make up that’s been pipelined from poland. Interesting experience even though I didn’t buy anything, at least now I know where to find my lotions for about half price. Had a cuppa afterwards at Red Dog and talked girlie. (You know, dissing every man within the same area code and discussing sex way too detailed for the rest of the café to be comfortable. Girlie.)

mary1

When I got home my beloved Ratatosk had called me twice, looking for support, so I called her up and got her to come over. We stayed here for a while, listening to Abba (when you feel like shyte, you should always listen to strange and dysfunctional music. This monday when Cherrybeat was over, we listened to richie spice. Na na na naaa na naaaa… And yeah, renamed one of my dates to the more suitable name of Na na na naaa na naaaaa. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a convo going about someone whose name you have to sing?)  and talking about life, aided by Jeanette Winterson and my favourite passage of Gut symmetries. I love that book. I love that passage. “Walk with me. Hand in hand through the nightmare of narrative”. Very nerdy of us, but still, it was really nice.

Next time I went downtown I did it to hang out with Gary and Anders and watch the footie. I’ll say that again: watch footie. Yes. I watched Everton vs Liverpool in a pub. It was… well. It was a lot more fun then I thought it would be. I followed Garys lead and was on Evertons side, they seemed the most sympathetic anyway (the underdog-angle.). But, such a weird thing. Me, watching footie. I am, by nature, against sports. Just like some people are really gay, I really don’t like sports. I write, I don’t need sports.

After the game we went and had a beer at a bar nearby, and then I went home while the others went to debaser. I stayed up for a while, talking to a friend in the US about a short story I sent over the other day. It was just a quick write in first/second person perspective (I and You, I walked down the stairs while you stood there, waiting), but it was fun to try that in english a bit more and to play with the perspective in different scenarios. Plus that it was ages ago I wrote in english. Good practice.

Also it’s always fun to have a new reader. I have a tendency to write to someone. When I’m writing I always have someone in mind. I suppose that’s why I can’t write when I’m in certain moods or places in my life, like after a break up or when I’m in love. It just doesn’t work, I don’t have the energy. I guess I’m doomed to live in a lonely cottage in the outbacks with my fourty cats, doing arts and crafts and writing poems about the ocean for the rest of my life. If human contact now really is so bad for my creativity I mean.

Next week it’s writing week in school again, so I’m not touching my text right now. I’m in the middle of everything, like slowly strolling through a chatarsis of syrup, so I can’t write anyway. I need to get rid of some people first. Clean and make space for story.

I’m going up to Mim and Lis in a couple of weeks, possibly visiting a friend in Borås (my old hometown) first, that’s gonna be good, and also it’s far enough away from the rest of the world for me to relax and just write. I can’t cope with reality when working like this. Two weeks up north is just what I need. Plus that I miss them so much. It’s going to be good to come up there.

Starting all over

January 26, 2009 § 2 Comments

varIt’s monday morning and in my head I can hear Nico and Velvet Underground sing, even though I’m trying to turn it off. This is the day to start over, not a day for dwelling in nostalgia angst. I finished all my left over work for school last week and it feels good to be free. I spent the weekend marvelling at the fact that I didn’t have to do anything. Such a great feeling.

Two days in Skurup did wonders for my motivation and go get-attitude, which was down on crawl try by now. I still have things that needs to be finished if I’m ever gonna be able to get out of this country, but right now I’m gonna take a week and just take care of myself. You know, Try to back away from panic mode. I’m a bit too close to the famous wall, it’s not so much about not running into it as it is about not repeatedly banging my head to it.

To hear Ida Börjel talk about her latest book was great, mostly because she does a lot of research for her poetry, and I can see my own mind in hers in a way. At least it feels like I can recognize and see myself in the level of nerdiness. It was really inspiring. Just like so many other things. Just to talk to the others about writing, about working with this, about being what is essentially me. That is what I am, a writer. It is how I recognize myself, I write, it’s what I do, how I breath and live.

I gained a lot of energy during those two days, and spring is probably coming soon, so I decided to make some changes, or at least try. I bought a printer (and copymachine, and scanner, it gives me megalomanian fantasies about scanning everything in the whole world muahahaha. etc.) so I can print out the whole manuscript and take a closer look at it. It’s time soon to start to look at problems with the storyline, is it too tangled? Selfcontradicting? So on. I’m going to try, for the hunnert and fourth time in my life, to get som structure.
Also I went on a walk this morning. I’m going to try at least this week, to go for three walks. Just this week first. Small small tiny steps at a time. The only functioning way to change your life.

It never works to say “I’m gonna start working out five times a week, 2 hours every time, and I’m gonna stop eating anything at all except green vegetables!”. If it does work, you should probably visit a psychiatrist and not a gym.

Having made this small changes, like taking a walk, eating a good healthy breakfast, buying a much needed printer, entitles me to do one very ritual thing. I’m buying a new notebook. This is something I always do when I change my life to the better. I buy notebooks, and a new pen. So when I’ve finished writing this, I’m gonna go downtown and buy a notebook and a pen, a design magazine (yeah, I’m pampering myself). And then I’m gonna kick start this week by printing all the 90 pages.

voo

New life, new energy and new hairstyle.

sunlight and cameras

January 16, 2009 § 1 Comment

Mim and Lis

Ok,  I miss you girls. I miss you, your cats and your company.

Why does all my best ones live so far away? It’s not fair that you live all the way up in Ume, and Fisk all the way over in Oslo. Not fair I tell you.

I had written a long tirad on how much I hate chavs and woo-girls, but it got lost. If there is something I hate, it’s having to textually repeat myself.

That’s one reason why I have such a hard time working with critique. Often I feel I’m done with the text already when I hand it in for a critique, and end up not having any use of what has been said whatsoever. For me, the dialogue is a better form when working with text, to talk about it rather then just hear the inputs. I often get all nervous and giddy anyway, and it’s good to work in a way that lets me actually talk during the session.

To find the form of critique thats suits yourself and your text the best isn’t the easiest, and to give critique isn’t easy either. To remember to talk about things in terms of own experience, not “when you wrote this, i felt that” but “when the text is like this, i read it into this feeling”. It’s important to remember that the critique you give isn’t made for you, but for the author. You might dislike the text or want to praise it, but that’s not the point. You have to find a way of giving critique the author has use for, a text made for hers purposes.

The hardest part is quite often to find  a way into the text, I know I’ve sat many times with text that are as readable as a pile of old socks,wondering how I ever is going to be able to say something constructive about it. But there are ways, and rule is off course: Keep reading. Re-read until you find the way in, because it is there. It will come to you if you just keep focusing and working with the text and really try to put a side your own feelings for the text. It’s a luxury to be able to do like you do with a book, you know, read it once or not even that and then just put it away. A text that isn’t finished yet, maybe just an embryo of a text needs a lot more reading and focusing.

I’m getting better at this stuff, but I want to get better still. I have two texts today to give critique on, and it’s always a test. I have a friend as well who wanted tips on how to critique a manuscript that was complete crap. Yeah, how do you do that? Does anyone know? I have to say it’s one of the trickiest.

It’s time for camera and sunlight now.

One down

January 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

And finally I finished reading Maryce Condé. It’s always interesting to watch ones own reactions while reading a book that is so far from your own culture. I’m not sure I liked it, but not sure I disliked it either. Crossing the mangrove tells a tale of something I can’t grasp at all. With it’s old school gender roles, its’ racism and prejudice. It is, unavoidably, very far from my world.

I think it’s good to expose yourself to such litterature. For me it’s good for more then one reason. First and foremost off course since it gives insight. Second, because in my work both as an author and a teacher I need to understand these things and be able to read this sort of text, laying my own personal ideas and ideals beside me and just travel within the text. One of the hardest things when working as a teacher for creative writing is that you often come across texts that you simply don’t like. This doesn’t make them bad, it’s simply a matter of personal taste.

To penetrate a language or a way of handling language that is far from your own, you need to have the right tools. These are the things I’m trying to learn now, to not just disregard such texts as bad or too strange. I too write strange texts, mine is just as incomprehensible for many people around me. Do I want respect from them anyway? Yes, off course. Thus, I have to learn how to give that time and respect to others.

Writing fiction is a complex matter. There is so much more to it then just writing down the story. Constantly during the process you end up on a meta-level. Is this text right for my pressumed reader? Do I keep my language on the right track? There is always a risk of slipping into a cliched version of the story, when you just want to get it over and done with, instead of remembering your voice.

However, there’s some tricks to keep it going.
1. Read the text out loud from time to time.
It helps, you get a chance of hearing if you slip in voice.
2. Let someone else read it.
This might be an obvious one. But still, letting someone reading the text and ask them not to critique details but just cheer you on and point out mayor bumps on the road helps a lot.
3. Find music that suits your style of writing.
To me, this helps a lot. During the course of writing a longer story you will go through a lot in the rest of your life, when you change, so does the text. To have the right soundtrack can bring back the voice.
4. Live with your characters.
For me, that means that when I go out in to the real world, I talk to people about the story, or I keep thinking about what they would do if it was them and not me. I internalize them as much as I can. This way, when I write, I can feel when it’s me talking and not the text.

Short list, I’ll add to that later. Now I’m going to write about the book for my hand in.. Have a good night out there!

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