Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Climbing thorny hegdes

My mind has been running wild where it should be trotting steadily. Horses, who by the way turn out to be very fond of painted roses and chandeliers, know that if you break the canter and gallop too many times, you'll get disqualified.

I had completed 15 chapters when I realised that the the beginning and the middle no longer told the same story, not in terms of gravity, mood, scope. So I started rewriting.

And now I've only four more chapters to update before I can truly move on. I ought to finish chapter 12 before Peter Pan and I head for the second star to the left in ten days. So why is it so hard to get on with it?

The need to look beyond chapter 15 again hasn't surfaced until now, but suddenly my thoughts are seething with thorny ice palisades, fortunes told, white falcons and crushed, spilled souls. Maybe it's because I've reached the parts that prompted the rewrite in the first place. They fit better, and so I've no patience for them.

It's like insisting on climbing the thorny hedge when I should wait until I reach the gate. Especially when I know the gate is open.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


This is what I do for fun! Now imagine indie hits and a packed dance floor.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Someone just had an epiphany.

Yup, chapter ten all done, eleven in progress.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Children, let's fly!

My writing music today is Sigur Ros. And I wanted to tell/remind you of this video they made.

It transfixes me.

It is about an ever growing group of children travelling through barren, deserted lands. They're clad in dirty dresses and little drummer boy uniforms and rough animal furs, and they hurry, hurry, hurry.

I think it's a longing for the sea that drives them, but I can never decide if they join out of desperation or exhilaration.

Secret kisses, fox skins, giant boulders, lava vapours!

In a golden, windswept landscape they race, no charge wildly, up a steep hill. And as they reach the top, you realise that beyond the cliff edge there is nothing except a long, deadly drop and the sea.

But they just storm on, over the edge..

And they fly! Dreamily, loftily, bravely over the waves. It takes my breath away.

Everyone, let's be dreamy, lofty, brave. It's a good day for it!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just a little snick? Please?

I promised myself I would finish chapter 10 this week. There's still two hours left. Pleeeenty of time.

Besides I'm actually very nearly done, I like the beginning and the ending and the middle, too, I just need a final little snick and that's it.

Only problem is that I had way too much wine yesterday, and I'm tired and hung over, and really only want to curl up on the sofa and have chocolate by osmosis.

And the snick simply refuses to snick.

Make that one hour and fifty minutes.

Meanwhile Peter and Pims (and wasn't she just gorgeous at five months?) are playing hide-and-seek-a-boo. He hides, and she sniffs him out with a gleeful squeal. Funny little cat.

Update: 48 minutes left, and no snick forthcoming.

Well. Monday is fine, too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How scary is too scary?

Line is in Teodor's library, where something very unfortunate is about to happen. And I'm not even talking about the letter she has just dropped as if it were on fire.

I won't spoil the read for you later. I can only say that I frightened myself a bit. But I wonder. Where should I draw the line when it comes to scary in a young adult story? Or children's story?

Could there be...blood coming out of someone's ears? Drownings? People scared out of their wits? A lobotomy device?

I think I'll just have to let the story flow where it wants to, and be careful not to elaborate unduly. Or what do you think?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The heart of all my stories

This is Almhjell in Sunndalen, the farm where my father grew up, and where my grandmother lived until recently. It's hard to describe how beautiful it is, but I'll try.

Almhjell nestles at the foot of a mountain, one of many that rise like towers, pushing the sky to soaring heights above the valley. Waterfalls fling themselves off cliffs, dissolving into misty, sparkling sprays before gathering to feed the green, thundering river. White blossoms dot the sweet cherry and apple trees, and white is also the colour of the long wooden house where my grandmother used to peek through the windows at owls and cats and cows.

Behind the red barn there is a brook called the Summerchild that skips and splashes down from the mountains. I've listened to its tall tales and strange rumours ever since I was a summer child myself.

And then there is the elm, the enormous tree of my family name, which stretches its mossy trunk and heavy branches far above the roof of the long house. No one knows how far its roots have dug.

The farm now belongs to my uncle, and it's full of everyday life and litter: coughing tractors, scattered tools, tulips trampled by kids.

But underneath that it is also the heart of every story I've ever dreamed up, and the home of Line and Niklas.

And more, sharper, better photos here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ah, yes..

I'd like to call this photo: Beach towel, fjord and sailboat, or Caving in.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Music to trespass by

In front of me I have an impossible scene. That is, if I lift my eyes from the screen, and it's so hard not to, I have a scene in front of me that is impossible for writing. Our kitchen windows are huge, and outside it's ridiculously sunny and leafy and warm. My spire is all but obscured by trees now. Quite the metaphor.

This is where I turn to my trusty friend, who has helped me dive into other worlds before, especially when we've arranged to play roleplaying games in the summer. Music.

Film scores are perfect, because they are made to conjure up moods without dominating. For sad romance: Braveheart. For sun drenched happiness: Much ado about nothing. Downright scary: Alien 3. Humid forests: The Mission. Riding, waves or horses: Dances with Wolves. Tinted, but not completely coloured by the stories they belong to.

Today Line is trespassing. Teodor didn't answer the door, and now she has snuck into his library to see if she can find any clues as to why Isvan would be desperate for a certain enchanted axe. So far she has found a tepid cup of tea, a burning candle, some coats in a bundle on the floor. I haven't decided if she will discover the letter from Heidelsneck with the plans for the lobotomy device. But I think she might. And then Balthasars last desperate diary entries. And then darkness will fall from above.

I didn't have any music perfect for that, Alien 3 isn't subtle enough. So I ended up with The Piano. It's haunting and lilting, really better for wandering bleak moors, but it will have to do. Windows? What windows?

(or I could look up instead, also very helpful)

Monday, May 5, 2008

A handbag blunder

Well, hello Mrs. Handbag! I didn't mean to leave you hanging. I really didn't. But, hey, you look happy anyway. Yes?

Ok, so you're not answering. That isn't an ironic smile, is it? Because I don't know very many handbags, so I feel a little unsure about this.

Uh, I don't know how to say this, but you've got something on your lip, in the corner of your mouth. No, to the right. My right. Oh, it's stuck, isn't it! It's a zipper thingy! I'm very sorry, I didn't mean...You know what, it looks fine. Barely noticable. I promise. So much smaller than that pouch hanging from your ear. Uh. Which is of course very, very small. Tiny, in fact. Hardly there.

Still not talking, eh? Ok. I'm going to bed now. And, erm, hang in there.


It's been a wonderful weekend, with walks along the river, which is bumbling and rumbling with snow melting waters, and up verdant, little hills under white blossoms (well, all right, the walking was done on narrow asphalt streets, but everything else was green and breathing and almost done unfurling).

We had lots of good food, my chicky chick chickpeas, Mum's bacalao, a plankful of tapas at Delicatessen, which is a vibrant, noisy, happy place with excellent food near the fairytale bridge. And lots and lots of red wine!

We wore little floaty dresses and white blouses and shimmery scarves, and squinted at the sun, and drank our lattes cold with sprinkled cocoa on top.

It is, I admit, rather hard to shut all this summeriness out and immerse myself in frost and darkness, so this is not the ideal time for writing a Christmas story. Mustn't allow myself to lose steam!

Photo of Mum&me by Line, as are really all photos that look nice in this blog.

Friday, May 2, 2008

C'mon! Make my day!

Three things that are virtually impossible to achieve when you are in a hurry:

1. A great updo

2. A thick and perfect merengue frosting

3. Making the beds in the presence of Pimsika, who has now claimed the title of World's Premier Rascal Ballerina Sheet Rumpler and Furifier.

She must have competed for China, because I'm quite sure she spoke chinese in the process.

It's a good thing that the person on the receiving end of the rumpled furry bed deal is Mum, who loves cats almost as much as I do. I'm so excited that she's coming to visit!