Miscellaneous

Goodbye March

March is my second least favorite month of the year, a close second to November (ugh, November is dreadful!) and I’m so happy it’s finally over. Spring is here, April is here. I’ve always loved April, but this year it’s extra special since we’re moving into our new, huge, fabulous house in the country on April 16. So a big chunk of this month has been me packing, packing, and packing, as you’ll see later in this post.

But I’ve had some fun, and we’ll start with that.

My morning writing habit continues, even if I haven’t done much actual writing in March but a lot of the other stuff authors need to do. Blogging, social media, guest posts, release related stuff, worrying that we suck…things like that. But everything feels better with a cup of tea in my favorite cups (that now sadly are packed).

A lot of my writing time in March has been spent moaning and whining about my newsletter, and trying to figure out how to make it happen. I’ve watched YouTube videos, read articles and blog posts, looked at other authors’ newsletters and testing testing testing, but finally it’s done and live and sign-upeable. (Have you signed up? If no, why not?? Clickety-click this link and sign up, pretty please with sugar on top? ❤️) I really ought to send my morning writing buddies big bouquets of flowers (or bottles of booze) as thank you for enduring my rants and not breaking up with me. If you didn’t already know, Ally, Ofelia (and JM, not present this particular morning, though) are awesome people. Go buy all their books, they deserve it.

I bought my first garden book (The Herb Garden) because surrounding my huge house is an equally huge garden, and I want to grow things! Things I can eat, not useless flowers and crap that’s only meant to be pretty 🙂

And then we went on a road trip to visit my darling daughter, her fiancé, and the most wonderful grandbaby in the world. It was perfect road trip weather and we had travel mugs with coffee and tea, and egg sandwiches. It was lovely.

My daughter, grandbaby, and I went for a long walk, and our destination was a park full of bronze age petroglyphs. This place has soooo many rock carvings and I was like a kid in a candy store, running around, shouting “Oh, look at this!” or “Wow, have you seen this?” to my daughter, while photographing everything. I adore rock carvings and rune stones and old things, so this was a truly wonderful experience. And when reading about it later, I learned that only a small percentage of all the carvings are painted red, so they recommend a visit during the dark, when the rocks are illuminated at an angle, making it easier to see the carvings not painted with red color. I’m definitely doing that next time I visit!

My daughter, her fiance, and my grandbaby, three of the best people I know, on another walk. A cold, muddy one, but fun and enjoyable nonetheless.

My six-month-old granddaughter’s favorite book. 😍 I buy her lots of books (even if I didn’t buy this particular one) because I’m determined to make her into a book worm just like her grandmother 🙂

But then we had to go back home and start packing, and I’m not kidding when I say there’s boxes everywhere.

Most of our stuff is now in boxes…including the rolling pin. Something I discovered when I was making pizza one night and couldn’t find it anywhere. So I used the tomato sauce can, because as we say in Sweden “man tager vad man haver” (one makes due with what one’s got) 😁

And every weekend morning, my husband and I enjoy a lazy, lovely breakfast together. This was last Saturday: freshly baked croissants, pineapple, apple, blood orange, juice, ginger shots, boiled eggs, and tea/coffee. I adore all the spring-y colors of this particular morning: the pink of the pink grapefruit juice, the green of the matcha genmaicha tea, even the orange lid on the salt. Made me really happy deep into my soul.


Tell me; did you do anything fun in March?

Guestpost, Miscellaneous

More Nell Around the Internet

A few weeks ago, I collected a lot of links to guest posts I’ve written around the internet here in a blog post. (Link if you’ve missed it). Since then, I’ve had more releases and have written more guest posts, so it’s time for another round-up.

The Met in the Park

At Holly Day’s blog, I wrote about how I’ve come to love writing about characters who are 40 and above these days (link to blog post). At Ofelia Gränd’s blog, I wrote about how one of the MCs in They Met in the Park is a bit of a loner (link to blog post). And finally, at my publisher JMS Books’ blog, I wrote about how I’m a huge fan of quiet romances (link to blog post).

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

They Met in the Woods

At Holly Day’s blog, I wrote about how foraging for mushrooms in fall is a Swedish national sport and I also give you a recipe for chanterelle toast (link to blog post). At Ofelia Gränd’s blog, I wrote about a new word I’ve learned, cottagecore, and how I’ve been writing cottagecore for years without even knowing it (link to blog post). At JMS Books’ blog, I wrote about how They Met in the Woods probably wouldn’t have been written if it weren’t for my dear friend and sounding board Kris T. Bethke (link to blog post).

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

Misc

And my final link this time around was when I was visiting A.L. Lester’s blog. She has a new series on her blog, authors writing about their pet peeves, and I was honored to be the first one. I rant about my aversion to shower sex scenes, and you don’t wanna miss it. If nothing else because I spent a looooong time making a graphic for it…since I couldn’t find a “shower sex forbidden” picture anywhere on the internet. Shocking, I know! 🙂 (link to blog post).

About Nell, Miscellaneous

Three Days – Three Temporary Desks

Last weekend, I went to visit The World’s Cutest and Most Wonderful Grandbaby 😍 (and her parents of course), but a weekend away from home does not equal a vacation. A writer never rests! So I got up at my usual time, met up with my morning writing crew, and did what I was supposed to do: wrote! I was there for three mornings and tried three different writing spaces, so I thought I’d show you what it looks like when a writer (at least this writer) travels.

Morning 1: the kitchen table. Good table space, awful chair. My butt is spoiled with my ultra comfy office chair at home and did not approve of a hard kitchen chair.

Morning 2: couch/coffee table. My behind was happier this morning (very soft and comfy couch) but my back not so much. A low coffee table is not ideal despite excellent table space, and my back threatened to quit if I didn’t move. So I did. I don’t wanna be a spineless person after all 😂

Morning 3: the couch+couch cushion desk. Again the couch is very comfy for my behind, but the cushion…well, it was at least moveable so I could lean back and put it on my lap. That was tolerable at least.

Verdict: I think morning 3 wins after all because the couch is comfier than the kitchen chair any day. But also: being awarded with sunny morning baby smiles and soft baby cuddles make everything worth it. I’d even sit on the kitchen chair by the coffee table if it meant I could start every morning with a happy baby smile 🙂

Miscellaneous

Goodbye February

What is time? Seconds and minutes and hours and days bleeding into one. It’s time to say goodbye to the month that has both rushed past in warp-speed and snailed forward in slow motion at the same time. The days are a never-ending cycle of sleeping and eating. Rinse and repeat. I feel like this entire last year can be summarized in the above Coldplay quote (from their song Clocks). The walls are closing in on me and I want to burst out into freedom. I want to hug my friends and see my parents and brother. I want to go out for a coffee or a glass of wine. I want to go to a restaurant and have someone else cooking for me for once. I want to go the library or the museum or just go on a physical shopping spree in a brick-and-mortar store.

I want my life back. Like all of you, I’m sure.

I usually say goodbye to the month that’s been on the first of every month with ten pictures from my life, and I’m doing the same today. But be warned: my life consists mostly of me being inside my apartment. Doing the same thing over and over again. So if you want something exciting, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Tell me: did you do something exciting in February?

February was cold in my part of the world. Weeks of subzero temperatures made even the ocean freeze. But we were also rewarded with clear skies and brilliant sunshine and me and hubby went on several walks to soak up some light after a long, dark winter. We walked along the ocean and stopped here, by this mostly abandoned marina, to drink our tea/coffee and feel the sun on our faces.

The chill made my hands constantly cold, so I bought gloves I could wear when writing to warm me up. They’re compression gloves that increase blood circulation which helps keep my hands warm, and they’ve kept my fingers from turning into popsicles.

The cold made all bodies of water freeze. People bought all the ice skates in all the stores (seriously! They wrote about the ice skate-shortage in the newspaper and everything) and went out on lakes and and the ocean and had fun. I prefer walking over trying to propel myself forward on a thin metal blade, but that didn’t stop me from photographing other people enjoying themselves when I was out walking.

As usual, I’ve spent lots of time cooking. I love making elaborate dinners for my husband and he loves eating them. This was chicken cannelloni. Super yummy.

I’ve started Project Audiobook. I’ve never liked listening to audiobooks before, but I’m trying to change that now. I’ll tell you more about this project in a separate, upcoming blog post, but suffice to say, I’ve spent a lot of time with my headphones on, listening to books while doing stuff like cooking and cleaning.

We love going for walks along the ocean. This lookout spot (overlooking the Öresund Bridge, leading to Denmark) protrudes over the ocean from the shore and when I stand at the front, holding out my arms, I feel like Kate Winslet in the classic I’m flying scene from Titanic. Lots and lots of padlocks are hanging here, like the love locks on Pont des Arts in Paris. It’s a nice spot.

I continued my morning writing routine, of course. It’s often the best part of my day.

I almost got blown away one day when we were out for a walk by the ocean. The ocean was stormy with tall waves and icy winds. But it was still nice.

One weekend, we went on a road trip to look at runestones, raised sometime during the 11th century. The text on this one says: “FaðiR let haggva runaR þæssi æftiR Assur, broþur sin, es norr varð døðr i vikingu.” (Faðir had these runes cut in memory of Assur, his brother, who died in the north on a viking raid). I love historical monuments like these; my chest fills with awe when touching them, when feeling the history underneath my fingers. I love it.

And the final picture is really from March, I guess, but I went to sleep on February 28 and woke up at 3:30-ish am by a loud effing explosion. A literal explosion!! A bomb of some kind had gone off in the building across the street from us, and that made me super rattled (and really glad that we’re soon moving away from this place to a rural area.) No one was hurt, only property damage, but still. Not the greatest end to a not so great month. Let’s hope March will turn out better!

Miscellaneous

Nell on Instagram + five favorites

One of my goals for this year is to get better at social media. Post more regularly, think about my content, be more personal while still promoting myself as a writer. It’s difficult for someone like me, who’s not best friends with social media, but I’m trying.

My current focus is on Instagram. I’m trying to post something everyday: pictures from my life (lots of tea and food/cooking and pink skies) and promo pics related to my books. Are you following me on Instagram? If not, why not check it out and see if you like my content? And if you do, maybe consider following me?

Here’s a little sneak peek: this was my feed on Sunday (when I scheduled this blog post).

My username on instagram is nell_iris, but here’s a direct link you can click, too:

Nell on Instagram


Aside from posting more regularly, I’m also trying to get better at interacting with the people I follow. I’m more of a scroll-scroll-scroll kind of user, instead of stopping and reading the caption, and commenting something thoughtful or funny. I’m trying to change that. I know how happy a comment makes me, so I can just imagine other people feel the same.

Here are five of my favorite Instagram accounts that I follow:

I like A.L Lester’s (cogenthippo) feed because they’re funny and shares pics from their life. I like all the crazy animals and the pretty promo pictures, and the general vibe of the feed. (Also, if you haven’t read their book Playing Chicken, you definitely should!)

I like Ofelia Gränd‘s feed because look at how pretty she makes it! Unlike me, she thinks “big picture” and I like that. (Also, if you haven’t read her book When Skies are Gray, you definitely should!)

I like K.L. Noone’s (greenwoodoutlaw) feed because I’m a huge fan of her books, and I also like her craft beer and puzzle pictures. And the cute cat pics, ofc! (Also, if you haven’t read her series Leather and Tea, you definitely should!)

I like Elna Holst’s (elnaholstwrites) feed because she’s a fellow paper-and-pen writer, because of chair socks (check out her feed and you’ll understand) and poetry. (Also, if you haven’t read her book Lucas, you definitely should!)

I like Brigham Vaughn‘s feed because ALL THE FOOD PICS!! (Also, if you haven’t read her Peachtree series, you definitely should!)


Tell me: are you on Instagram? If yes, drop your user name in the comments so I may follow you. And also let me know one of your favorite account you follow. I’m always on the lookout for more fun content! 🙂