And it looks like a notebook exploded on my desk when I’m trying to do it 🙂
Hi everyone. Today is my birthday, so I found a birthday tag on the Internet, that I thought would be fun.
When is your birthday?
Today. September 11. Not the best day as birthdays go; I spent my 29th birthday watching planes fly into tall buildings on a repeat loop. And then 2 years later, 2003, Anna Lindh, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs was murdered on my birthday… so yeah 🙈
How old are you turning?
48, baby! I love being in my forties.
What was your favorite present that you’ve ever received?
Probably diving lessons, back in 2015. Me and hubby vacationed on Gili Air, Indonesia and we have a friend living there. He used to be a diving instructor, so he gifted me beginner’s diving lessons for my birthday. It was awesome.
Are you having a party this year?
No. I’ve done enough partying in my life. I gave myself the moniker The Party Princess when I was younger, but I’ve outgrown that now. This evening’s plans are Italian cold cuts, wine, vinyl records, and going to bed early. Like I said; no more party princess 😁
How do you usually celebrate your birthday?
Dinner and wine.
What was the most memorable birthday that you had?
Probably 9/11 2001, for obvious reasons. Best memorable is the diving lessons.
If you had an unlimited amount of money what would you do for your birthday?
A regular year (as in a year without a global pandemic when we’re allowed to travel), I’d go to the Maldives and stay in a fancy water villa. Something like this. And I’d bring my daughter and her fiancé, and we’d have a lovely, lazy family vacation in the ocean! (My daughter and I both used to be fish in an earlier life, I’m certain of it!)
What’s your birthday wish list?
A covid-19 vaccine? If that’s too much to ask, I want my granddaughter to be born healthy and safe.
If you only had one birthday left, what would you do for your birthday?
See Maldives fantasy above.
Show a picture from your birthday, preferably an embarrassing one
Nope, sorry, no embarrassing pictures 😁 But here’s a pic from my diving birthday of me and my friend/diving instructor, going through the basics in the pool.
Do you have any birthday traditions?
Probably dinner and wine?
What’s your favorite part about your birthday?
I don’t know really. To be perfectly honest it feels more and more like any other day of the year. But all the well-wishes from friends and family, I guess?
What’s one thing that changed a lot since your last birthday?
Last year, I lived in Malaysia and now I live in Sweden. Huge change. Another huge change is that I’m becoming a grandmother for the first time any day now.
Have you ever been thrown a surprise party?
Yes. The first year I lived in Malaysia, 2012, was the year I turned 40. My husband also turned 40 that year (in February), so when we were in Sweden in May, our friends threw us a joint surprise birthday party. It was fabulous. That’s probably the last time I had an actual birthday party, come to think of it. 😁
That was all the questions. Do you have any birthday traditions? 🙂
Have a great weekend!
I’ve been waiting and waiting for September to arrive this year…not because I turn 48 on 9/11, but because this is the month I’m becoming a grandmother. My grandbaby is expected on September 18, and I can’t wait!! Just a few more days now.
But first I thought we’d say goodbye to August. Here are 10 pictures from my August. Tell me something you did last month that you enjoyed! 🙂
As the fountain pen addict I am, I bought a new pen. All black with crystal black ink. My precioussssssss 😍
I wrote and re-wrote and revised and edited my poems for my final assignment for the poetry course I was taking. But the hard work paid off, and I got the highest grade possible for my work, so yay!
I did some shopping for my granddaughter 😍
We had a (appropriately physically distant) picnic by the side of the canal with bubbly and a couple good friends, and watched as a boat with a band playing live music drove past. Very nice.
August was so freaking hot I thought we’d moved into a volcano. So one day, my husband said “After I get off work, we’re going on a road trip in our air-conditioned car.” So we did. We went to the ocean and enjoyed the breeze and photographed this lighthouse.
I cooked a lot. Lasagna among other things. It was yummy.
I bought a seven-inch single of an old favorite song, and learned what Slice Me Nice actually means. 😂
I woke up early every morning and got up to write. I have a gazillion pictures in my phone of the sunrise; I’m obsessed sunrises and sunsets…and skies in general 😍
I bought and read a fantastic book! It’s a book by a Swedish author; a story about two Sàmi families, written in free verse. Never in my life have I read such a thick book with so few words, saying so freaking much. I would give it ten stars if I could, and I’m suffering from a severe book hangover after reading this masterpiece.
And on the last day of August, we went on a road trip to visit my parents.
These days, I get up at 5:40 every morning because I start writing at 6 am. And since I’m not really a morning person, I need tea to function.
So when I woke up to this sight, a fully prepared tea station, I just wanted to go back in time and kiss my past self for being so considerate of my future self and fixed this before going to bed. All I had to do was turn on the kettle, put tea leaves in my cup, and then I was set.
Don’t forget that random acts of kindness can be aimed at yourself.
Tell me: tea or coffee in the mornings? 🙂
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know by now that I love poetry. I took a poetry writing course this summer, and then of course I wrote a book called Late Night Poetry, just to mention a couple things that might have tipped you off. I also love reading poetry.
So when I found out that my publisher had published a few poetry books, I immediately wanted to read them. So today, my recommendation is for two poetry books written by two fellow authors published by JMS Books.
“From within perfect darkness I have learned to shine.”
Heartbreak can leave even the strongest of men scarred. Like Icarus, I too flew too high and fell. That downward journey tore the fibre of my being and shredded my soul. The gauntlet of love should never be underestimated.
However, I had to get up again and rise like a phoenix from its proverbial ashes. And like a phoenix, I took to flight!
This is a poetic account of the journey I had to go through and a tribute to becoming a better man regardless.
Buy links: JMS Books | JMS Books but print edition
Naked musings from a broken heart by Willem Schutte is exactly what it sounds like: poems about a broken heart. They are really lovely and full of emotions, and as an added bonus, there are a few pictures in the book of the author himself.
Several of the poems touched me deeply, and I’ll definitely buy the print version (because poetry is best read in print) as soon as Amazon starts delivering to Sweden again!
Short chapbook of 36 poems which capture the ephemeral quality of nature. In these pages, autumn’s dying leaves crumple beneath winter’s shroud of snow, and the last fleeting days of the year slip away forever.
Tragic, melancholy, bittersweet … these poems embrace and revel in the changing seasons, which mirror so closely the rhythm of the human heart.
Full disclosure: the author was extremely generous and gifted me this copy, but if she hadn’t I would have bought it anyway. I want to support JMS Books, my fellow authors, and I’m crazy about poetry, so it was a no-brainer really.
I love the way she writes about nature and seasons…or is it something else? Something deeper, something more human? That’s up to the reader to interpret, but I loved it.
I give both these poetry books my warmest recommendations, so if you love poetry, please buy them. We need more poetry in our lives 😍
Tell me: do you read poetry? If yes, tell me about your favorite poem.
I told you in Wednesday’s post that making a blog schedule was at the top of my to-do list so I could get back to regular blogging. I’m happy to report that the schedule’s made, and this is the first day of the shiny new fancy schedule, so yay for crossing that off my list! Isn’t crossing items off your to-do list the greatest feeling? 😁
I also hinted in the above linked blog post from Wednesday, that I have written several stories during summer, and that one of them was inspired to a visit to the ancient stone ship Ale’s Stones here in Skåne, Sweden where I live. The idea to incorporate this into my writing wasn’t mine to begin with, but came from my fellow JMS Books writer Thomas Grant Bruso. I posted pictures from the trip on Twitter and he asked if I planned on incorporating it in a story, and that gave me ideas. So I did.
The story is currently untitled and only has a temporary name: Petter and Isak meet at the ancient stones, but trust me when I say it won’t be called that when it’s released 😁 The release date is late December, since it’s a holiday story. But it’s actually not a Christmas story this year. Instead, I decided to write a story taking place on New Year’s Eve. To change things up a bit, you know?
I’m sending it to betas this week, and I’ll update you more when I’ve decided on the real name and have been forced to write a blurb and such.😁
Until then, I thought you might like to see a mood board?
Ignore the summer and sunshine on four of the pictures. NYE in Sweden is dark and wintery and cold, but funnily enough all the pictures I found was taken in summer, so this will have to do 🙂
Hi! Have you forgotten about me? I wouldn’t be surprised if you had, because my presence here over the summer has been appalling, and I apologize for more or less being absent. There are reasons, of course, and I’ll tell you about them in a minute. But more importantly; this post is the first step into getting back into blogging for me, and in general have a more frequent online presence. At the top of my to-do list is “plan blog schedule” — so after I’m done writing this, I’m getting right to that. Because I personally prefer regular updates from the blogs I read and love, so I need to practice what I preach, right?
Right. Enough of that, let me tell you what I’ve been up to since the last update which was back in June:
I told you about the new morning writing habit I’d started back in June, and I’m happy to report that I’ve kept it up. Every morning at 6, I sit down and write for three hours. I’ve done this all summer and this means I’ve actually finished three whole stories since June, and started a fourth one (keep your eyes peeled, I’ll tell you more about them in another blog post!), and won Camp NaNoWriMo in July (I wrote 50K words in one month). The reason I’m able to do this, besides getting up early, is that I have excellent writing company, something I’ve written about in a guest post, titled The Importance of Cheerleaders, over at Love Bytes. If you’ve missed it, here’s the link.
So can I get a loud cheer for morning writing, the best company, and increased productivity? 🙂
Another thing I told you in my last update was that I’d signed up for online writing courses at the university for the summer. To be honest, the classes are what’s kept me so busy the last couple months that I haven’t had time to hang out with you people. I’ve read and written and analyzed until my brain threatened to pour out of my brain, but now I’m done. All those deadlines up there in my bujo spread is marked as “done.” So no more studying. Instead, blogging, and writing even more. How does that sound? 🙂
But of course I haven’t been chained to my desk the whole summer (even though it felt like it some days.) We’ve also been out and about some…in a socially distant responsible manner and following all the guidelines, of course. We’ve been doing stuff where it’s been easy to keep a distance. Like taking a roadtrip to see Ale’s Stones, for example. Ale’s Stones is an ancient stone ship about an hour away by car from where we live, and I was in awe of the place.
So in awe, in fact, that I wrote a story taking place here, but more about that at another time 🙂
We also went to Grebbestad on the Swedish west coast where we stayed at a hotel located on the ocean. We had a fancy 3-course dinner outside, next to the wharf, and then watched the sunset from the balcony of our suite, sipping bubbly. It was lovely! 😍
We also went to see the bronze age rock carvings in Tanumhede, something I’ve wanted to see my entire life. It’s a huge collection of petroglyphs, that are between 2000-3000 years old and breathtaking. Even more amazing IRL than in pictures.
- had dinner next to a very old house in the neighboring town, Lund. The house is from the 1300s, and I loved it. (Can you tell I love old buildings and stuff? 😁 )
- had close encounters with ducks who clearly weren’t aware of the social distancing rules and tried to eat my foot 😁
- visited Smygehuk, the southernmost point of Sweden. The last picture is me standing as far south in Sweden as possible, watching out over the vast ocean.
All in all, I’ve had a super busy and productive summer, that’s been interspersed with visits to the ocean and really old things. The dream summer if you ask me 😁
Tell me, what have you been up to this summer? Done anything fun?
Hi everyone. I thought it was time to update you on what’s going on in my life again. It’s been a month since the last one after all 🙂
First of all:
My new writing space is done! In our new place, I don’t have my own office. Instead, my desk is located in the middle of the kitchen and living room. It’s an open floor plan, with no walls between the aforementioned rooms, so we set up my desk smack dab in the middle as sort of a room divider.
I love it here, more than my office in the previous place. The room I was in didn’t have any windows and was always pretty dark which wasn’t great. Here, I have huge windows in both directions and it’s bright and cheery which always makes me happier. I’m also located about two steps from the kettle, so making tea is much easier than when I was upstairs and the kitchen was downstairs and that’s a big plus in my book (yes, I’m lazy 😀 ).
And this has also increased my productivity. A lot.
I’ve been up early several mornings and written. And I mean, early as f*ck: I’ve set my alarm for 5:40 am and had sprinting dates at 6am. Having company when writing helps so much and it’s difficult to find a time when I’m in a very different time zone from most people I know and sprint with, that’s why I’m willing to sacrifice lazy mornings in bed. But I like getting up early, making myself a cup of tea (or three) and writing with one or more people. I get shit done. Maybe I can make this into a habit, even for those mornings when my sprinting friends have other things to do and can’t join me. At least I’m going to try.
There’s also another thing:
Pictured above: the stack of books I need for my courses (not including the kidlit fiction books) / me studing on the balcony / me studying at the desk with salty licorice to keep me going / me having a glass of wine and reading Swedish poems by poet Karin Boye for fun
I signed up for two online summer writing courses at university; poetry writing, and kidlit writing. So I’m spending lots of time studying and trying to write poetry/kidlit in Swedish…which is harder than you’d think considering my native tongue is Swedish. But I’ve done all my creative writing in English for years; not only my romance stories but my poetry writing, too. So switching gears to write in Swedish is more difficult than I expected, and I bitch about it to my friends and family a lot 😁
I’m enjoying the studying, though. Poetry more than kidlit, and to be honest I thought it would be the other way around. I’ve always wanted to write books for children, but with this course…stuff bugs me. I won’t go into it here, but it sort of takes away my enjoyment from the kidlit, so when I’ve finished this course, I won’t sign up for another.
Poetry though…I love it! I love learning about all the different meters and rules, I love immersing myself in the words, and I take every moment I can reading poetry, even on my free time 🙂
I drink a lot of tea to get me through these busy times. And don’t you just love my new tea cups? I’ve always wanted Jane Austen-style cups. You know, the fancy ones with a saucer type, and my darling daughter found these for me in a second hand shop. I adore them so much.
So I spend my summer days in the new place guzzling down tea by the gallon, nose buried in text books, swearing over writing in Swedish, reading-reading-reading, and getting up early in the morning to write about Frankie and Lawrence. And I’m enjoying myself 🙂
Before I go: JMS Books have a Pride sale this week and offer 30% off all ebooks through June 30, including mine and including pre-orders (like for example A Decade of Gay Romance), so if you want to go wild and make sure you have books to last you through he summer, now’s the time 🙂
Also, check out my fellow JMS authors while you’re there. Maybe try one of these?
Another Chance for Love – I already pre-ordered it because I loved the other Ellie Thomas I read
Flesh and Kisses – also already pre-ordered because I love Vivien Dean
Elevator Pitch – I haven’t read it but you gotta love a book where the bear shifter is named Björn (Björn means bear in Swedish, AND it’s a legit name! 😁)
Cultivating Love – because older books need love, too
Of Starlit Balls and Starship Captains – I recently bought it but haven’t had time to read it yet, but I love K.L Noone, and that title? *swoon*
Not and Angel, But a Cupid – I haven’t read it, but would you look at that cover?? 😍
Henry & Jim – because sometimes you need a really good cry
Hero Worship – because Kris deserves everyone’s love
Happy shopping, and take care everyone!
I’ll be honest with you: these days, I mostly read e-books. It’s so convenient: I can carry thousands of books with me everywhere I go and I can change font and size of the text (severe myopia in combination with age-related vision problems poses some interesting challenges). But my favorite thing about e-books is that it’s instant gratification. I don’t need to go to a physical bookstore to buy what I want, or wait for whatever I ordered online to be delivered. Instead all I need to do is one-click, and I have it in my possession to read!
That being said, I still buy lots of physical copies of books. I buy most of my poetry books in physical format because poetry needs paper. But I also buy books I’ve read and really loved, because there’s something special about holding a book in your hands, isn’t it? Somehow, it feels more real than just electronic scribbles on an electronic device.
Also: it’s good to have something to read should you run out of batteries 🙂
Which is why I’m happy to tell you that one of my stories are now available to buy in paperback!
The Trio collection Legendary Loves volume 2, featuring my story In My Arms Again and two other stories by the fabulous Addison Albright and Kassandra Lea, is now also available in paperback! That means 306 pages of romancey goodness that you can hold in your hands and smell, and you don’t have to worry about the battery running out.
You can also bring it with you and trek out to a lonely place in the forest, sit on the ground with your back against a tree, and maybe bring a flask of tea (hot or cold) to keep you hydrated. In that spot, you can forget about the real world for a while, and immerse yourself in our imaginary worlds. But beware. That sound you hear might be Vinge, the pegasus shifter who can’t shift, who’s out looking for…something. Or it might be Bigfoot up to shenanigans and causing trouble. Or if you don’t live near the forest (or don’t like being in it) and instead found yourself a lovely, secluded spot by a lake or the ocean, who knows what that splash out on the water you caught in the corner of your eye is…?
It’s also perfectly fine to read it curled up on the couch. Maybe next next to a chatty special someone who doesn’t understand loosing themselves in a book and just wants to talk when all you want to do is immerse yourself in the story for a while. In that case, I strongly recommend noise cancellation headphones! 😁
In My Arms Again by Nell Iris: Oxen is lonely, feeling like he’s waiting for something, and can’t focus. But when a very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes. The stranger, Vinge, is a Pegasus unable to transform. Both men feel an instant connection that swiftly grows deeper. The questions surrounding Vinge are many. Why is he so familiar? What will it take for the depth of their connection be revealed?
The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea: Tired of the daily grind of his job, Keston heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down. Will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?
Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright: There’s nothing about perky — twinky? — Oliver Hughes that would make Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think Bigfoot actually exists. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?
JMS Books has a Memorial Day Sale and offers 40% off all e-books, including pre-orders. So hurry over there and pre-order my upcoming childhood friends-to-lovers story Always You if you haven’t already. Or if you’re in the mood for a second chance love story told in answering machine messages, Late Night Poetry is the book for you.
But all my books are on sale of course, so check out the links below 🙂