Reign of Chaos

otherwise known as my life.

Everything has been turned up side down the past few months. I’m used to having my own place, going to work every morning, having a steady income. All that is now gone. I’m unemployed (well, in another week I am officially), I have no income and I don’t have my own place. Practically everything I own is in boxes and the furniture in pieces.

I never really liked it when things aren’t settled. Maybe I’m boring and old-fashioned, but I quite like being settled. Knowing where I’m at and where I’m going. Not having this makes me uncomfortable.

At least the room in my mom’s basement (where I’m staying for the time being) is nearing finished. I’m sleeping in my own bed again (I really missed it!) and I just have another.. 20 or so boxes to unpack.. Hmm.. don’t think I can fit it all in one room. Oh well, I’ll have to keep some stuff packed I guess until I get my own place.

On Sunday I’m going to go see the puppy I’m going to get. Or rather, choose which one. There are three males and I want a male, so I have a tough choice to make!

For the Lady…

Yes you. You know who you are!

Certain people have been complaining that I don’t update my blog enough. If I’m under pressure I’ll probably grudgingly agree, otherwise I will declare it all blatant lies!

A lot has happened since the last time I wrote. I did quit my job, my official last day of work is 1 April, but I’m on extended sick leave during the entire resignation period. One week ago we rented a truck and drove down from Sweden to The Netherlands and picked up everything inย my apartment. It was a long and hellish drive (I had to sit in the middle where there was no leg-space and I have a problem with my knees.. let’s just say that not being able to straighten them was… hmm.. not pleasant.)

At least now all my furniture is here. An entire apartment crammed into my mom’s house! We’ve got boxes and pieces of furniture in places we even forgot we had! This weekend a new floor has been put into my to-be bedroom and wallpaper has been put up. We’re hoping that I can move in by the end of this coming week. I really hope so cause I can’t wait until I get to sleep in my own bed again!

Once I have my new bedroom I may share some pictures with you. For now – for nostalgic reasons – I have posted some photos of my apartment in The Netherlands.

Oh, and I am starting to feel better.. I’m planning to buy a puppy (now 1 week old and in two weeks I’m probably travelling there to see which of the six puppies I want to get!) and things are starting to look up.

ย 

Without Words

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote something in this blog. In fact, it’s been quite some time since I wrote anything at all. I’m a writer without words, and it’s not a pleasant feeling.

A lot has happened. I’m currently on sick leave from work because I burned out sort of say. I walked into that wall. I suffer from a depression and have panic about the thought of returning to work. My energy is low to non-existent and all of this has resulted in a loss of words. My writing is suffering, and I want to get well because not writing is killing me.

Some decisions need to be made. I’m going to quit my job and move back to Sweden. I need a change of scenery. It’s been too long a time that I’ve been living abroad, being alone. Apparently it’s not healthy being alone too much…

I’m actually looking forward to moving back home. It’ll be nice after 7 years abroad, and it will allow me to spend more time with my family. I want to get back to writing as well and will do so as soon as some of my energy returns. I hope that with feeling better the words will return as well.

A Bookaholic’s Paradise

Otherwise called a Book Fair…

I was at one yesterday, and it was brilliant. What better thing could there be than a huge room filled with discounted books? The most expensive book I bought was $8 and that was a hardcover! (The cheapest was probably about $1.50)

As always I probably went a little overboard. I bought 31 books. But hey, for those prices.. who wouldn’t?

I got some Stephen King novels (I like to collect them) as well as a Dee Davis book I had thought about ordering, so that was awesome. Then a few romance novels, lots of fiction and a few classics. On the whole, it was a very good day indeed.

It’s a good thing it’s only once a year though *lol* I can never catch up on my reading since I keep buying new books.

The Art of Being Alone

I’m single.

There, I said it.

I’m without boyfriend, partner, spouse. I’m not even dating anyone.

And you know what? I’m fine with that. I’m quite happy being alone. Am I allowed to say that? Considering that I write about people falling in love and finding their happily ever after? I’d expect that I am allowed, after all, it’s not as if I’m saying love doesn’t exist. I just haven’t found ‘the one’ for myself yet.

Being alone actually has both ups and downs. Since I’m a bit of a loner to begin with it really doesn’t bother me much. I have no problem about spending my evenings alone when I get home, or even my weekends. In fact, I love it. I don’t have to make excuses to anyone if I spend several hours in front of the computer writing. I can watch whatever I want on the TV, I can choose my own movies.

But sometimes I guess you miss having someone to talk to, or snuggle up with.

I guess I’m thinking about it mainly because I was invited to a colleague’s house for brunch today, and I was the only one who came alone. Everyone else was a couple. I guess in my age most people are already in relationships, so I often end up being the odd one out. But that’s fine, just feels a bit odd now and then. But fortunately we sometimes have a girls’ night or so, and that can be really nice.

There no real point to this post I guess. Just some idle thoughts on a Sunday…

There’s nothing…

I’m sitting here, and I can’t think of a single thing to write about. It’s Sunday evening, and I know that tomorrow it’s back to work again. Why is it that the weekends are always so short? Sometimes I wish I worked part-time, then I’d have more time to do all the things I’d like to do. But then of course, I probably couldn’t afford doing all the things I want to do… Writing of course, I could do that… After all, it costs nothing more than some imagination and plenty of time.

I love writing. I love talking about writing, tossing ideas around. Discussing what you’re planning and brainstorming. Yesterday I had a great chat about this with one of my fellow RI ladies, and as we were doing so I remembered why I love writing so very much. The opportunity to create the kind of story that you want yourself. You make up characters and they take on their own life, and eventually you’re not writing the story as much as you’re just writing down what the characters are doing. While you have some control, the characters are now in charge, and the story (at least when I write) usually ends up all the better for it.

So yes, I love writing. There is nothing I’d rather do as a profession, and I can only hope that one day I will be able to do it full-time.

Do you have any passions? Something you love to do? Some hidden aspirations? Maybe you want to be a singer, or a professional juggler.. or a rocket scientist!

That thing about age…

Once a year comes the day when you suddenly add a number to the numbers of years that you have spent on this earth. For some it’s a day of joy, for others it’s the day that you’d rather forget.

Personally I quite enjoy birthdays. I think it’s the whole cake + presents combination that really does it for me… No, that’s not entirely true (even if those two certainly are nice parts of the day), but I enjoy the family getting together. Since I live abroad I don’t always get to see my family on my birthday (or theirs for that matter). Last year was one of those years, so this year I made sure that I could get a couple of days off work and travel home.

So, today I had a birthday BBQ with my closest family which was really nice. Sure, the weather could have been better.. But! I’m happy just to have been home to properly celebrate. And that’s all that really matters.

(Having had an absolutely gorgeous green marsipan cake didn’t make matters worse though!)

Then of course there’s that issue… You know the one… Getting old. It’s never bothered me much, but I’m now on the far side of twenty.. closer to thirty than twenty. I just passed that stepping stone this year. Am I where I had expected to be in my life at this point? Probably not. Am I dissatisfied? Not really.

I still have plenty of goals to reach. I want to be a published author. I might eventually want a family (though right now I quite enjoy being single… – am I allowed to say that as an aspiring romance writer? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I’m considering going back to school to get a degree. (Either in Psychology or Social or Cultural Science.)

Well, there’s obviously plenty of things yet to do. I guess sometimes I feel like time is running out though. Shouldn’t I have gotten further in my writing by now? Shouldn’t I have quit working sooner to get that degree? Shouldn’t I already be in a serious relationship? (Ok, I was… but it ended and I’ve been single since.)

I guess I just need to start working on these things a bit more. I mean, the writing and the studying (if I decide to study rather than work for a bit.. to then hopefully go back and find a more senior position). The family thing.. well, that’s something I will leave to fate ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you ever feel like you’re running out of time? Do you ever have a niggling fear that you should have accomplished more by now?

Not even…

So I managed to miss my first Sunday. I said I would post every Sunday, and the first one that comes along, I forget! At one point yesterday I was actually thinking about the fact that I needed to get online to post, but then it simply slipped my mind since I was doing a lot of other things.

I’m reading a book at the moment, and I don’t actually like it, but once I start a book I generally want to finish it. Maybe I want to give it the opportunity to better itself. But in this case it doesn’t look too good. In its defense it was written in the era of the bodice-rippers, but that doesn’t help much if you were never much into those stories. The motivations of the main characters are simply not believable, and the way the act and react.. it’s just horrible. I swear I actually cringe at some points.

Then there is this one tiny little detail that always bothers me. Why.. Why do people have their characters ride a stallion? I’m not a horse fanatic, but even I know that you don’t ride stallions. They’re too spirited. And when the heroine actually had her own stallion.. well, that wasn’t believable at all. I’m sorry. Sure, maybe there’s the odd time when someone rides a stallion, but it’s not very common because of the less than pleasurable traits stallions usually display.

Does anyone else have any pet peeves? Or books that simply aren’t your cup of tea?

Resolutions

I’ve been quite bad lately. I went on vacation for about two weeks, and I’ve barely written anything since. I have excuses, of course I do… but excuses aren’t really valid, are they? My brother has been staying with me the past few weeks, and he’s staying another two. I find that I always have a hard time writing and working on my MSs when I have someone around. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to being alone, or it’s because it’s so nice to have someone from my family around (since usually they all live in another country). In any case, when they’re visiting nothing ever really seems to get done.

Once my brother returns to Sweden I will get back to work. I need to do some more proofreading and revising of my latest MS, and then I have to write a synopsis and query letter and get this baby out the door. And after that of course it’s time to start writing on the next MS. I’ve already got the plotline half-done, and got some character sheets ready, so I’m set to start when the time comes. So that’s my first resolution.

My second resolution is to update this blog more often. I’m thinking once a week; every Sunday.

I just wish I had more time. Working full-time takes so much of your life, and the rest goes to.. well, living. Sleeping, making dinner, eating… The day just doesn’t have enough hours it seems. If I could have afforded it I’d have loved to work part-time, but living alone that just isn’t feasible. Well, maybe sometime in the future. Or hey, think positive. I’ll be able to work full-time as a writer ๐Ÿ™‚

Midsummer

The nights grow short and the darkness never quite settles. That’s what Swedish summers are like. While winter is nothing but an endless darkness, our summers are light and the nights are short. This has been a time for celebration dating all the way back to the time of the Vikings. Midsummer (or Summer Solstice) has always been celebrated in Sweden, and while it’s also the day of John the Baptist, this was celebrated long before Christianity reached this area.

Originally Midsummer was celebrated to worship and pray to the Norse Gods of fertility, Frey and Freya. Lambs were offered and there were big celebrations, in the hope that this would please the Gods and the crops would grow and the women would bear children.

These days it’s quite naturally not like that. It’s more of a holiday where family get together to eat something nice (usually BBQ and later on there should always be a strawberry cake!) and meet. Or some people (usually the younger generation) go to the campings along the coast where they celebrate by getting really, really drunk ๐Ÿ˜‰

On midsummer you will see a lot of midsummer poles. Basically a pole, looking somewhat like a cross dressed in leaves and flowers. You’re then supposed to dance around it, but these days that doesn’t happen as much as it did only 100 years ago. Back then it was a great place for people to meet ๐Ÿ™‚

Midsummer is also a time for old superstitions (which we have a lot of in Sweden, even if we no longer believe in them.. remember our Easter celebrations?!). For example, it is said that a girl should walk across the fields before darkness falls and collect seven flowers, one of each kind and not more than one on each field. She has to pick them in complete silence, and when she returns home she’s to put them under her pillow, and she will then (hopefully) dream about the man that she will eventually marry.

Then you have the old folklore telling us of Nรคcken (a Water Spirit) who would normally spend his time in the rivers, playing his violin and trying to entice people to him. He would then capture them and bring them down to the bottoms of the river with him, and they would never escape. On Midsummer’s Eve he was able to disguise himself as a man, a violin player (hint, anyone?), who would come and offer to play at the celebrations. It was important to deny him, because if you danced to his playing on this night you were never able to stop, but you would dance until you died and he would collect you. (In some stories it was the devil instead, but since the Water Spirit’s origin is older, I’m tempted to say he was the one in the original stories.)

There was of course a way to determine if it was a real violin player, or if it was the Water Spirit. If you took a good look you’d notice that one of his feet was in fact a hoof!

Well, that’s some basic information on Midsummer in Sweden ๐Ÿ™‚ Personally I celebrated it by having a BBQ with my family, and my grandma had made a very delicious strawberry cake!