Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good news all around

I know I'm awfully quiet on the blog nowadays but I'm trying to find my centre again - the who I am instead of who I have been and who I wanted to be. It's difficult. I'm not very good at adjusting goals downward, and I'm lousy at not being as great as I want to be.

Good things that have happened:

I managed to edit through (again) the manuscript for which I had/have the highest hopes. I started a new WiP.

The doctors finally checked me over for rheumatic diseases and brain tumeurs - nothing abnormal was found. I've got a prescription for muscle-relaxants that has improved my neck & back and my sleep.

Albeit through very sad circumstances, I will inherit enough money to get me through the college degree I want (biology) without agonising about extra work hours.

Also, today my short story was published in the local newspaper. It's in Swedish, but the "article" looks very pretty. It should be possible to read the text if you click on the image.

My short story "Never Loved" in the local newspaper.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crap sounds better in another language

People have always asked me why I've chosen to write my stories in my second language instead of my native one. I started doing so because I found and wanted to share my stories. Then it just flowed on like that and when I starte´d to write in Swedish again it sounded odd. I couldn't put my finger on why it sounded odd. It was as if the words were flatter, less vibrant. I blamed Swedish, and kept going with English.

Lately, I've started to notice the same in English. The stories aren't as good as they once were and I thought: How can you become WORSE at something?

The other day I started to translate two WIPs into Swedish. Just because maybe my family will be easier to coerce into reading my writing than my friends are.

Translating my writing to my native language had a worrying effect. I realised (for real this time) that I'm not good at writing. As long as I weren't that great at English I didn't notice how lacking my skills were. Back in the start it all sounded awesome to me (it sounds even better in French which is my third language).

So. Yeah. You guys. I hate you for never making me see the truth. Now I've given up so much for this dream that I don't know how I'll manage to live without it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

And I think she knows that

I bite my own hand to soothe the pain in my back. I realised that a few minutes ago, and I have no idea for how long I've done it. When the pain started with headaches, I used to sit through group meetings with my eyes closed and two fingers pressed against the root of my nose.

I need my ways to cope. Physical discomfort has always been the best way to distract - whether it's the flu or pressing my nails into my flesh. Some days (alright, most days) I imagine myself taking a knife and stab myself in the back of my neck.

Instead I get myself more chocolate, pour myself a cup of tea (if I'm not currently heat sensitive) and mutter to Mutant Cat who's curling up in my lap that she's in the way (even though I don't want her to move).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What makes us ourselves

We interpret things differently. This has become very clear to me the last months. First off, you need to know that I live in constant pain. Constant, as in all the time. 24/7. So when I say "I'm alright" I mean "no worse than usual" - which includes being in pain, feeling nauseous, muscle weakness and difficulty focusing. When I say "not doing so good" it's a worse, want-to-stab-myself-in-the-neck or can-I-die-soon pain.

People around me don't understand that. They see "alright" or "can't sleep" and they make comparisons to their own aches. And I want to slap them. Do they know how lucky they are? For one or a few days they're in pain and then they're not.

I turn bitter. I wonder what right they have to complain. And I react in a way seemingly violent, seemingly illogical and irrational.

And that's why your characters don't need to make sense - not to everyone else. As long as you know the reason behind their reactions, fine. Their personal problems and hang-ups make them themselves. It gives them personality and a life outside the pages. You might need to have them snap somewhere in the story or make a friend of theirs explain the situation to the main character. Or you can show these issues to the reader through internal 3rd person POV.

Or maybe you don't mention it at all. The world is full of people we will never understand. It only makes sense if your main character encounters a few of those too.