I’m slowly, slowly starting to put this into practice after spending too many years focusing on what was missing.
Last weekend, my long term project of self-publishing my short story Let me tell you a story while you sleep, came to its first conclusion. It’s been a long time coming, as I looked back and realised that the first draft for this story was written three years ago. It has been a steep learning curve and at times it has seemed impossible to get to “published” as life constantly threw things in the way. It therefore feels like a great accomplishment that it has now been completed. The ebook (only ebook this time) is available through Smashwords who also distribute to Barnes & Nobel, Kobo, and Inktera among others. I am still hoping to find my name on Apple ibooks. There are also several library services listed as their distributors. It was a difficult decision to use Smashwords instead of Amazon but in the end I preferred Smashwords’ services. The ideal would be a Smashwords located in the UK or at least in Europe with distribution all over the world.
Now I go into the next phase, to try to drum up interest for my book, or at least let possible readers know that it’s available. A new challenge and a new learning curve have begun. It also means that I can again focus more on writing new pieces. More about that in the next blog post.
If you wish to buy Let me tell you a story while you sleep visit Smashwords at the below link or check with one of their many distributors. At Smashwords you can read 35% of the book before buying. Happy reading! I hope you enjoy my story and stay put for what my next writing project will be.
A young woman, newly arrived in London, finds herself drawn into a romance she wasn’t looking for. Will this man prove her wrong about staying unattached, or is he going to be yet another empty promise?
It feels like it was a while since I picked up a fictional book that I really liked. I don’t even remember how I came across Claire Fuller but I started following her blog and that is how I found out about her debut book Our Endless Numbered Days. To my surprise I found a copy at my local library. Hurray for libraries!
It’s good to read a book by someone you know nothing about and where you know little about the story. You have no expectations and no preconseived notion of what the book is going to be like. From the start of this story though, you know that nothing is going to be what it appears to be.
The story is told through the perspective of Peggy, a 8-year old who lives in North London at the beginning of the story. Both her parents have their odd ways but everything has the appearance of being quite normal. However, by the time Peggy’s father leaves their home together with Peggy you know that this is not a normal family.
On the cover of the book it says: “Every parent lies. But some lies are bigger than others.” The consequences of the lies and the hidden truths in this story is impossible to preceive as you follow Peggy’s story. And I don’t think I have ever before in my life felt a need to re-read the last two chapters just to make sure I really understood it. Did it really end the way I first read it? It’s unusual that an author writes an ending that jars with you enough that you’re not sure you can trust what you just read.
There are so many interesting themes in this book as well, but just to name them feels like I would give away too much of the story. In the end, the only thing you can be sure of is that nothing is what you preceive it to be, even up to the last sentence of the book.
In a week, I will have done my first poetry and spoken words night. I have read my poetry in public before but this time I’m part of the organisers and will try my best to keep track of everyone else reading, not just my own pieces and time slot.
Like with all arts, it’s important go challenge yourself to go out there and let other people know that you exist. No one is going to buy your book, your art work or your music if they don’t know it’s there to be bought. In general, we want to put a face to the name. Or get a taster of what we could buy. Poetry lends itself well to being spoken, not just read. I read surprisingly little poetry myself, but often attend open mic nights for the sake of hearing other poets.
I don’t particularly enjoy doing reading of my own work. I never feel like I’m prepared enough. My weak voice don’t carry my words. I don’t give enough soul and meaning to what I’ve written. Many writers will agree with me that we are happiest in our own little bubble tapping away on your computers – or scribbling with pen and papper. Other people can fight for the lime light.
Whether you enjoy the spotlight or, like me, dread it a bit, if you are near Woolwich on May 17, we’d be happy for you to join us, just as a listener or a reader.
I have neglected this blog for a few months now. It hasn’t been entirely by choice. Although a new lighting design position 10 months ago did free up time, most of that time has gone to catching up on two years of focusing on one type of lighting projects when I now work on any type that’s thrown my way.
But I have been working on my writing. I hope within the next month to have my first self-published piece available in an ebook store near you. After researching my options I have settled on Smashwords and is currently doing a final proofreading and learning how to prepare my text for upload, as well as understanding how to pay tax if I earn any money. Why, oh, why, are all these publishing sites American?!
Normally, my stories are about finding your place in life. Perhaps you could call it coming of age stories for adults. I think many people can identify with finding themselves in a life they never wanted. How do you find your way back to being happy with yourself and your life? However, Let me tell you a story while you sleep, is not what I would call a typical story for me.
Let me tell you a story while you sleep is a romantic story about a woman who has planned to live her life alone, identifying herself as independent and self-sufficient. That is, until she meets someone that turns this concept upside down. When she starts a new life in an unfamiliar place the rules of the game changes…or has the rules really changed?
As I writer you want to tell stories. Everything you do that is not to write, no matter how related, feels like a waste of your time. Even in the middle of learning to self-publishing, I still try to write. Currently I’m planning the story line for a full-length novel and I have a short-story book that I will soon start to edit. But for now it’s detail editing, getting my head around ebook layout and taxes that take up most of my time. Marketing? I suppose I’ll get to that eventually as well.
I am continuing the trend of reviewing my friends’ artistic endeavours. This time, a poetry collection by Louisa Le Marchand. Louisa is one of the founders of Global Fusion Music and Arts as well as part of one of the writers groups I attend. I was therefore familiar with her writing even before I started reading Whispers in the Mists of Time. I love her short-stories – always with an unexpected twist at the very end – and you always wonder whether it is really fiction or if she’s writing from her own experience.
Whispers in the Mists of Time is a lovely collection of poems. Interestingly, the poems are arranged in alphabetical order. One would think that might create jarring themes and rhythms, but instead the book has a natural flow that makes it easy to read. What I especially like about the book is that it feels like a collection of one person’s life wisdom – one who has lived an extraordinary yet ordinary life. The book feels like a trusted friend whom I can turn to during my own life journey.
Many of the poems are existentialistic, dealing with themes of what it is to be human, to live life on your own terms and what we learn through the rougher parts of life. It also celebrates being alive, being part of this world and it has a few really witty, funny poems thrown inbetween.
Your birthday is special,
Though others may not always remember, you should never
A celebration of the day you were born,
The moment of your first breath,
Life may not have been easy, no one said that it would,
But you have lived in a world filled with wonder and morning
breaks every day.
The book is self-published and sold by Global Fusion Music and Arts. You can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Global Fusion writer’s group has started up again after the summer. Our theme this month was coffee cultur which made me write this very subjective little piece about the café scene in Gothenburg. Do you fellow Gothenburgh habitants, past or present, agree?
There are about 900 cafés in Gothenburg, the second largest city of Sweden with a population of about 550,000, but Gothenburg is not even considered a café city. There are other much smaller towns that claim that title.
There are the trusted chains like Condeco, Le Pain Francais or Espresso House, where you can drink any kind of exotic coffee you can think of and you have a selection of teas that could rival a tea shop. There are the famous cafés in the old part of town, like the one that sell cinnamon buns large enough for four people to share. There are the traditional patisseries where you can only get tea in coffee cups and filter coffee with or without milk. To eat, there are the traditional open sandwiches with prawns, cheese and slices of peppers, or meatballs with beetroot salad. There are the new bakeries that also want in on the coffee crowd. The sweet smell of newly baked bread that mix with the more tangent smell of coffee. They will of course also happily provide you with your sandwich cake for those special occasions.
You have your favourites of course. My favourite used to be on Avenyn, smack in the centre of the city. Cramped in between all the nightclubs and bars was this little tiny place on two floors. All the furniture was picked up from the second hand shop, looking nice but proper old and eccentric. All the plates and cups were different with the only thing in common that they had blue details in their patterns. As a teenager, my friends and I would pop in there before or after going to the movies to have a bowl of tea and something sweet, usually a chocolate cake or a berry crumble.
Most cafés now a days serve proper lunches. There is the regular assortment of sandwiches that often come with a salad. There are quiches and couscous or quinoa salads. There are pasta and soup of the day. Usually, cafés are slightly cheaper too than going to a restaurant. Forget about Pret, Eat and Costa. They don’t exist. You have your mental list of where to go for coffee, where to go for lunch, where to go when you want a quiet space for a chat or to work on your computer. You know which cafés to go to that are open late; you know where to get your morning coffee on the go.
For lunch, I liked Kosmos, just off the main shopping street that served lovely Thai soups. There was the temptation to go to Steinbrenner & Nyberg for soup lunch and cake. They make the most fabulous cakes and if you go there for lunch, you get soup, freshly baked bread and can taste as many and as much as you like of their various cakes. The best part…their soups are actually amazing too.
As you might suspect by now, “having a coffee” is a way of life in Sweden. That is how I catch up with my friends. Whenever you want to meet up with someone and you don’t have any fixed plans, “let’s have a coffee”. You’ll meet somewhere that’s convenient and there is always a café around the corner. After the initial decision of having a tea or a coffee and whether to be sensible and have a sandwich or to treat yourself to something sweet, you’ll find yourself a corner to have chat. Tea often comes in the size of a small soup bowl and fresh hot water can usually be had for free. If you’re the Cafe Latte type, it can get expensive. ‘Cause, let’s face it, you’ll spend at least an hour there, catching up on life, love, work and whatever else might be going on. Issues will be discussed, dissected and turned over again. Tears might come, laughter for sure.
No matter how many cafés there are in Gothenburg they are generally busy. In the morning you have the early birds and the breakfast-and-coffee-on-the-go crowd. Then comes the self-employed and work-from-home people with their computers in tow. In between them, sit the diligent university students trying to do some homework before their classes. The Latte mums come at all hours with babies and their buggies blocking everyone’s way. Busy career women who can’t just stay at home and look after their babies, meet up with their maternity groups, having large Cafe Lattes and discussing how wonderful it is to be a mum, although I suspect most of them miss being at work. At midday come the office crowd and the shoppers to get lunch and a chat with their co-workers or friends. More students drop in, now of all ages and in groups. After classes it’s time for group projects and to help each other out with assignments. At 5-6 o’clock the after-work bunch starts to arrive, wanting to catch up with friends before going home. Better to have a sandwich and a coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while than to go home to the same boring stuff on TV. At eight, the first cafés start closing but don’t worry there are those that stay open until eleven at least.
There are things I miss about Sweden such as “having a coffee,” because, as I tried to explain to my American friend once, when she said Americans don’t like coffee enough for cafés, in Sweden cafés has nothing to do with coffee. There is always time for a coffee, that is to say, there’s always time to catch up with a friend.
Condeco Östra Hamngatan