Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not always to plan

In March I booked a trip to Australia and New Zeeland, 8 months in advance. It was the kind of trip where you go by bus everywhere and you sleep in tents. I was supposed to be away, having a great time, for two months. Hence the sekkrit in my last blog post.

I lasted two days. Due to my illness, my body crashed. I don't know exactly why but probably a mix of humidity, heat, jet lag, and stress (because even if it's fun, travelling includes so much impressions it's also a kind of stress). I know myself, and I have promised to start listening to my body. I know I don't recover easily from how I feel now, and I can feel that this trip is simply going to overload my system. So in approximately 8 hours, I'll be on a plane back home.

I'm not going to tear myself apart over this. I see it as an experience - now I know I can't do long trips, neither in time or far away. It's something I had to learn by trying it. I don't want to give up on things in fear of what might happen, I want to try it and see. It just didn't turn out so good this time. Next time it might. Which is really what writing is about too, so I got to learn to accept my mistakes in that area too.

Also on the plus side - I'm going to have a Swedish Christmas after all.

Have you ever had something turn out quite differently from what you planned?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Heads up!

I'm going to be offline for the coming two months and I'm going to let you know ALL about it - once I'm back home. So keep your eyes open in February.

On the news front - yes, I did finish NaNoWriMo! And passed all my final exams!

Merry christmas (or whichever version you celebrate), happy new year and have a great time while I'm gone. Don't break the Internet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NaNoPhoMo - a different challenge

My NaNoPhoMo challenge.

Everyone knows that a photo is worth a thousand words so as NaNoWriMo is a challenge in writing 50 000 words, I changed it to be about 50 photos. Every motif should only occur once (but I cheated once due to awesomeness).

In my collage, photos are numbered from left to right, up to down.

  1. Autumn leaf on the hedge outside my apartment. I love the pattern of colours. Did you know leaves change colours because the chlorophyll (green colour) is pulled backed into the tree because it contains the vital nutrients nitrogen and magnesium? Carotene (yellow colour) is just carbon and hydrogen so the tree doesn’t bother reclaiming it.
  2. A Chinese fortune cookie which says “passionate new romance appears in your life when you least expect it”. It was a dinner with relatives and even my nephew’s first visit in a restaurant.
  3. Blossoming flowers despite the late season! Seen in a flower bed on one of my many walks around the water tower.
  4. Apple slices and the knife I used. Nom.
  5. Two squirrels on each side of an evergreen tree. Photo taken in Vrinnevi-forest on one of my walks.
  6. Fallen autumn leaves. There were so many of them I wanted to throw myself into the heap and roll around, but that would have ruined the nice display.
  7. Reflections and shadows. A candle holder with mirror pieces on the outside threw reflections on the shelf.
  8. Horse’s feet. The front legs of Steffie, one of my favourite horses at the riding school.
  9. Aunt and nephew playing in grandma’s kitchen. He’s almost 14 months old and is already running around.
  10. Warning sign at the dams telling people to watch out because the dam can open suddenly. No idea why anyone would decide to climb two fences and slip down the hatch to walk about beneath the dam.
  11. Tea and biscotti, the cup was made by my ceramic skilled friend.
  12. A walkway under a road which I pass through to go to the grocery store. I often go buy food on evenings, alright?
  13. A busy road late at night, taken with long exposure from a bridge.
  14. Fil with raspberries and bananas.
  15. Nephew playing “where is auntie?” with me at a playground.
  16. Studying hard with a cup of tea at the only early-bird coffee house in town. Had been to Core-training right before (at 7am).
  17. An apartment complex being torn down to make room for parking lots or something. Sad to see it go because it lay in a very interesting angle. But the deconstruction bit was fantastic to view.
  18. A close up of the same apartment complex being torn down as in the photo before. Yes, I know I cheated from my rule of “motif only once” but it was so fantastic to look at!
  19. Sea gull in one of the central parks, right by the stream.
  20. Nuthatch walking down a tree trunk (head first).
  21. Mist among trees. There are four “promenades” where I live, one each in north, south, west and east. This is one of them early in the morning.
  22. Jumbled mess of spare parts and stuff in a mechanic shop where my dad works.
  23. Words. Cut out pieces of a book from me making a bookshelf (from real books).
  24. Three generations of love. My dad and my nephew. Nephew with his mother’s hat on for cute-overload. Yes. He’s in my photos often, but they are all different!
  25. My stats after a jogging spree. Tempo is 1 km per 6:22 min, I was out for 33 minutes and ran 5,2 km.
  26. Bookshelf, made from actual books (see 23) with my DVDs in it.
  27. An eggtimer in my favourite style and colour. It matches everything in my kitchen perfectly.
  28. Tea pot! Höganäs 1,5 litre with a metal strainer inside. Love the colour and the shape.
  29. Keys in our new mail slots (outside! Where it’s COLD!). I won the red phone booth at a book launch for my incredible art skillz. (stop laughing)
  30. Tofflor – or slippers in English. I would never be able to survive without a pair.
  31. Oak against sky at one dreary morning walk. Naked boughs against pale skies are very dramatic.
  32. Graffiti, which I really like watching when it’s well made like this one. It’s from one of my longer walks, right before a railway bridge.
  33. School books (biology this time). I had three final exams to do in November and felt quite disgusted with it all.
  34. Bunny! His name is Snakebite because he was supposed to be eaten, but the snake didn’t want him. He doesn’t like me petting him but he’s very curious.
  35. In a horse’s eye, you can see a lot of truths. Filur right after my class on him and he was quite spent the poor thing.
  36. Moon on the morning sky, going from full to new.
  37. Soccer game in the early morning with a loud coach and frozen looking parents.
  38. Lussekatter (saffron buns) – newly baked by me and mom. A few out of a hundred.
  39. No plants are safe in my house. This one has lost most of its leaves and I threw it away a few days later when it kept suffering.
  40. Blister. This is what happens when reins meet skin for an hour of dressage. It dried up and turned all brown after a few days.
  41. Nose. My cat Selma having hoarded the string of the camera.
  42. Paw. My cat Selma’s hind leg.
  43. Candlelight. The background lights come from a set of garages that are right outside my window (yay for view).
  44. Christmas decorations in town, view from escalators.
  45. Moccacino. Which is very much like a café latte with pieces of chocolate melting in the bottom. And they made a leaf in the foam!
  46. Eye. My cat Selma (hey, the motif is different, just happen to come from the same cat).
  47. Basketsball court. Never seen anyone play here and the fence is always a little open. Feels very abandoned.
  48. Decorative flowers outside an apartment complex with droplets from the morning mist hidden among the petals.
  49. Torn out warning text from a pack of cigarettes lying among the dying leaves.
  50. Seasonal rings telling the life of this tree in small sections, just like this collage showing my life throughout November.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNo - what?

In Swedish we say "a beloved child has many names" and that's definitely true about NaNo - also called NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. It's a writing challenge for everyone and anyone with one simple rule - write 50 000 words in one month. That month is November so if people are dropping off the grid all around you, NaNo might be the cause.

I've "won" twice (aka I did write 50k) but this year a lot of things are conspiring against me managing to write in that speed. I'm still attempting, but I will not put my physical health on the line. If my body says stop, I'll stop.

So, I've "come up with" (I wouldn't be surprised if other people have already arranged something similar) NaNoPhoMo: National November Photographing Month. As a picture says more than thousand words (my nickname is "thousand words" in Swedish after all), 50 photos in one month sounds like a reasonable alternative.

My pledge for November is to take 50 photographs of different motives (1-2 per day) and make a huge, insane collage of all of them. I'll post it here the 26th of November (because I'll be halfway around the world that last weekend).

Please let me know if you attempt something similar and I'll make sure to put up a post with links to everyone's collages.

To everyone already waist deep in plot holes and bunnies - good luck and don't panic.