Archives for posts with tag: me

Hi, guys!

Since the end of April, I’ve had such a stressful time at school, like you wouldn’t believe. It’s been essays and tests and national tests(a Swedish thing that includes maths, Swedish, English, a third language, and some other subjects depending on what grade you’re in). And when I get stressed and feel pressure to perform, all I really want to do is hide under my covers and just avoid everything. To be honest, I’m really proud of myself for getting through this as well as I have, because even though 9th grade was stressful last year, it didn’t feel anything like this. When I get extremely stressed and overworked I also tend to have frequent nosebleeds, which is maybe not something you want to know, but I do feel like it’s a good physical indicator for me when I’m working too hard. I had such a nosebleed yesterday,  so I’ve taken it upon myself to get some rest today. I am, however, going away to work at a weekend camp tomorrow, which won’t exactly be a relaxing experience.

Nonetheless, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is approaching.

As for my writing, I’ve been taking part in kurtofskythings gift exchange over on tumblr, where I’ve written 5k words worth of fanfiction. When I signed up for it at the beginning of April it sounded like a good idea. Let me just tell you it wasn’t the best. When it was a day before deadline, I had 1400 words written, with the minimum being 2500. I sent it in a day after deadline, 5000 words long. And even though that was stressful and idiotic, it also showed me that my abilities extend way beyond what I thought. I was able to write 3600 words in 2 days. It was possible. And maybe it wasn’t the best fanfic I’ve ever written, but it wasn’t the worst either. The gift exchange showed me the value of deadlines, and I’m really grateful for that, even though it would have been so much easier just to abandon it.

Aside from the gift exchange, I haven’t written anything except for various essays for school. My nano novel is sadly on hold for the time being, but I’m thinking of signing up in July again to have some motivation and pressure to continue it. Until then I think I’ll spend my time reading Brideshead Revisited(about which I will write a post, quite soon) and writing some more fanfic to keep the fire burning, so to speak.

På återseende!
See you later!
Bis später!
Tot ziens!
À bientot!

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Welcome to a rare, Swedish post.

Vi pratade om könsroller idag i skolan, samt användandet av ordet hen. Jag har haft många tankar om det innan den här lektionen, men trots det så kunde jag inte formulera några ordentliga tankar just i klassrummet. När jag kom hem skrev jag dock ner mina tankar om det hela:

“Jag tror att det finns två kön, tre om man räknar med de som föddes med både manliga och kvinnliga könsorgan. Men jag tror att dessa kön begränsar oss. Jag vet att de gör det. Om och när jag får barn, tänker jag inte klä dem i blå eller rosa beroende på vilket kön de är. Om min dotter tittar i en klädaffär så vill jag att hon ska kunna välja från alla kläder där, även de från ”killavdelningen”. Jag vill att min son ska kunna leka med barbiedockor på dagis utan att bli mobbad, jag vill att han ska kunna ha klänning på sig om han känner för det. Jag vill att min dotter ska kunna ha slips eller fluga på skoldiskot om hon vill det. Varför inte? Varför ska vi låta samhällets utdaterade könsroller bestämma vad vi har på oss, vad vi leker med, hur vi rör oss, vilka intressen vi har och vilka vi är? Det förstår jag inte. Jag vill inte att mina eventuella barn ska bli hämmade och begränsade bara för att vissa tycker att flickor ska vara rosa och pojkar ska vara blå. Mina barns identiteter ska inte främlingar få bestämma.”

Och jag skulle nog kunna skriva mycket mer om detta(det är något jag tänker mycket på), men eftersom jag inte har postat något på länge så får det vara bra med det här.

I like writing fanfiction. In a way it’s easier than writing original fiction, because when you’re using characters from a film or a tv show or a book, then the characters are already there. They’re already done. All you need to do is put them into an event or a storyline. It leaves you free to focus on writing style and action, instead of expositioning the characters and explaining their lives and relationships. The reader will already know the character, which means all you have to do is stay true to the original characterization when you write the story. Unless of course you want to take an evil/annoying character and put them trough something that will change them for the better. Or an annoyingly good and innocent character and change them for the worse. There is just so much you can do, and the template is already there. It’s like when you were little and drawing in a coloring book. You got to choose your own colors for the image – sometimes they would be obvious and boring, but sometimes they would be completely crazy – and you were able to put your own stamp on it, pour your creativity over it, while still not having to think of everything yourself. And you all remember being children with coloring books, right? Sometimes you completely disregarded the lines. That’s what fanfiction is. And the possibilities are endless.

Personally I’m not that good of a fanfic author. I’ve written many that I hate with a burning passion, I’ve written some that I tolerate, and I’ve written a couple that I allow myself to be proud of. It’s just a matter of getting a good idea, holding on to it, and executing it well. I have no problems coming up with concepts. And they rarely let go once they’re in my head. My problem is with the execution. Usually with fanfiction I write a scene or two, sometimes even a chapter or two, but then I get stuck and move on to the next idea. I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with this – I guess I reckon that if a story really doesn’t want to be written, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea from the start. But you can’t give up too easily. You have to invest your time into it, to get anything back. And it’s the same with every kind of writing. Another good thing about fanfiction is that if you’re writing in at least a moderately popular fandom, people will want to read it. You will get a few likes or kudoses or favorites, and probably a review or two as well. And for me, at least, it really helps to know that people other than myself and my friends are going to read it. It gives it a whole other purpose, not to mention the kick you get from hearing someone tell you how much they love something you’ve written. A complete stranger.

I remember one particular review – on the fic that I’m probably the most happy with – that was from the author of Kurtofsky classic “Strange Currencies”. I basically stared at it, smiled, and burst into tears. This person took maybe fifteen minutes to read my fic, and another five to write the review. But it completely made my day. That’s why I try to review as much as I can, because I know that even a small positive comment can cheer someone up immensely. Fanfiction is therefore, an exchange between writers of all kinds – teenagers, aspiring authors, actual published authors, people who have writing as a hobby, etc – of talent, happiness and tears, and perhaps most importantly, feedback.

When it comes to my writing, I have a lot to thank the world of fanfiction.

Things don’t always go to plan. November, which has long since passed, did not go at all as I planned it would. No Nanowrimo this year. Or, well, about 3 000 words of it, but I don’t think that counts. There are a number of reasons why I failed this year. School work is one, but that’s mostly an excuse, actually. Thing is, after two days of writing that went marginally well, I hit a funk that I didn’t pull out of. Why didn’t I just keep at it, as I did last year, you ask? Well, I kind of lost faith in the idea. Or not the idea, per se, but the idea of me writing it. I think that particular concept was a little too mature(no not that kind of mature…) for me to write at this point. I think I would have done better if I had stuck with the science fiction one. Anyway, enough lamenting. Eyes forward.

I have a few stories, ideas and concepts in my head that I want to write(mainly so they’ll get out of my head). Here is a list, for personal reference as much as anything:

  • Dark Road Into You – This year’s failed Nanowrimo. It will get written. Just not now.
  • First Impressions – The extremely bad working title for my science fiction romance story.
  • Anthony Parsons – This one doesn’t even have a title, but it does have a few thousand words and it’s the one I spend most of my time on right now. It’s a queer romance(when is it not, with me? :P) set sometime in the 20’s, that is played out almost entirely in letters. I’m really excited about it.
  • Fanfiction: Are you listening to me? – A Glee fanfic that I’m writing for the Kurtofsky winterfest in January. Set winter season 3, Kurt meets Dave at the ice cream parlor and tells him all about how much of an idiot Blaine is.
  • Konsten att flirta(The art of flirting) – A strange thing that sort of developed after a lecture on safe sex and whatnot in school. It was a bizarre lecture, and a bizarre encounter with a boy that sparked this odd little story. It’s in Swedish too. For once.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I write, and I wonder, should I be writing more in Swedish? I usually think that I express myself better in English, that I’m better able to write in English, and that it will be easier for my writing to reach more people when it is in English. But obviously there are flaws to that. I’ve noticed, quite recently, that there are areas within the English language where I’m not as able as I would like to be. Describing environments and objects finds me grasping for words at times. Because while I’m perfectly able to use and understand social language, getting more and more apt in using advanced language in the context of politics, and picking up the expressions and sayings that I’ve missed in the past, there is a gap in my vocabulary when it comes to descriptions. And that’s particularly harmful when it comes to creative writing.

If I were to write in Swedish, this particular problem wouldn’t exist. However, I have gotten so used to English now that I find it difficult to write without the help of English expressions. It also happens that I mix English expressions with Swedish ones, thus creating something incredibly confusing. Swedish also feels a little false and contrived to me in these circumstances and I think it would take a lot to undo these feelings and impressions.

On to something that’s not quite as serious. What useful words exist in Swedish, but not in English?

  • fika: it can be either a noun or a verb and means to have a coffee or tea and a cake or cookie of some sort, often with friends or family in a nice setting. I love to fika. It feeds my soul with cozy feelings.
  • självklart: this is something I don’t think a lot of people have noticed, but the lack of this word in English bothers me a lot. It has several meanings, one of them being something that is self-evident. For example: “It is self-evident that she likes chocolates, the box I bought for her is empty!” But it can also mean of course or obvious.
  • orka: to have the energy to do something, for example: “Orkar du komma på festen ikväll?”=”Do you have the energy to come to the party tonight?” or “Jag orkar inte göra mina läxor!”=”I don’t have the energy to do my homework!” And it’s an awesome word sadly missed in English.
  • blunda: a verb that describes to close your eyes. It’s really weird that English doesn’t have something like that.
  • jobbigt: something that is hard to do, something you don’t want to do. It’s a word that contains difficult, troublesome, tiring, and annoying all in one word, which is great for dark October afternoons.

I hope this was somewhat entertaining at least. Recently my eyes have been opened to the fact that Sweden and Swedish really isn’t as bad as I’ve always thought it was.

Swedish acting, however, among other things, is just as bad as I’ve always thought it was.

Sunny Days, my very first novel is now finished. I’ve had a quick look through it just now, and of course I found several things I want to change. But that’s inevitable. I actually think this has been changed and revised enough times, and it’s kind of crap, which means it’s not really worth spending any more time on. It’s my nano novel from 2011, so I’ve actually spent almost a year on it already. I reckon that’s enough.

Now, and for my next novel, I want to focus on character development, and consistency, something that I… didn’t really do for Sunny Days. I focused on other, more basic things, like making the plot go round, making it realistic and describing the environment(and finishing it!). It’s very much a first attempt at a novel, and at around 35 pages it’s extremely short. But I like it because it’s finished.

My main characters in Sunny Days are quite simplistic, and they don’t really go through any major change. Plus the fact that the ending is a bit of a cop-out, mostly because I wanted to be rid of this before November this year. I promised myself that this would be finished by then. So I guess I took some liberties with the last quarter, cut some corners, you know. But, for a first attempt by a 15/16 year old Swedish girl, I think it’s pretty damn good. It’s interesting how my opinion on it changes according to what angle I see it from, though. I mean, if a publisher read it without knowing anything of the author, he’d think it was terrible. If he knew who had written it, he would probably be impressed.

I don’t know. Sorry if I repeat myself too much. I’m just really conflicted on whether to be proud of it or to be ashamed of it and shove it in a cupboard. I think I’m mostly proud of it. I think it’s important to allow yourself to be proud of what you achieve, and Sunny Days is a tremendous achievement of mine, and I can only get better from here.

So to everybody else who are writing their first novel, or short story, or script, or anything really, just don’t give up. I had given up on this, until I sat down with it one day in a coffee-fueled frenzy and something gave. I was able to find the continuation, that was previously locked inside my head. And then I had to fight to drag the last few scenes out of me, but now it’s done. Just after I printed it, just holding it in my hand, thumbing through it, 35 pages of something I’d written, it was one of the best feelings in the world.

I have some exciting news! I’ve made some real progress on my Nanowrimo novel from last year today(seeing as I called in sick and all even if I’m not really sick…). I now know how I want to end it, and there’s basically only one or two more scenes left to write. This is huge, seeing as I’ve been battling with this for about 10 months now. I literally just did a lap around the flat, dancing to ridiculously disco celebratory songs.

I’ve also chosen which plot I’m going with for this years Nano! It will be the dark romance one, and this is the revised synopsis:
Tommy is a punkrocker from a small town in Pennsylvania who has just moved to New York. There he meets Melissa, a French waitress who rocks his world. But he also meets Cameron, an eccentric man that he takes an instant dislike to. A man that attracts him, confuses him and just won’t leave him alone. Before Tommy knows it, Cameron is his best friend. His confidante. The person who calms him down when he fights with his band, his girlfriend and his conservative father. Cameron nestles his way into his life and when tragedy strikes – he’s all that’s left.
But what is it that Cameron really wants?

I’ll just leave it there for now, see you soon!

To continue with the Nanowrimo theme, the following is a comment I posted on Nanowrimo’s Romance:: LGBT Forum with the purpose of pimping out my plots and maybe getting an opinion or two on them.

So… I’m 16 now and I’ve been writing M/M since I was 12. It wasn’t until last year I started writing F/F as well, and this year I’m deciding between two very different plots.

1.Tommy is a punkrocker from a small town in Pennsylvania(subject to change) who has just moved to New York. There he joins a band and meets a wonderful girl who he falls in love with. He also meets a guy, who annoys him greatly at first. But this guy is persistent, and they start to become friends. Before Tommy knows it, Cameron is his best friend. His confidante. The person who calms him down when he fights with his band, his girlfriend and his family. Cameron nestles his way into his life and when tragedy strikes – he’s all that’s left.
This is aimed to be a dark romance, with Cameron mostly out to satisfy himself(he has some sort of hidden agenda that I haven’t quite figured out yet), BUT he also develops serious feelings for Tommy, which means this story could either have a happy ending with Cameron abandoning his evil plotting, or an ambiguous ending where Cam has gotten away with his scam, broken Tommy’s heart – and by extension his own.

2.Riley used to be an ordinary teenager. She had a pleasant enough life, some troubles at home because her parents wouldn’t accept that she was gay, but otherwise she was okay. But Riley is one of the few people that were chosen to become an “Angel”. The Angels are a secret government experiment that looks to be more from a science fiction film than reality. Angels are people that are invisible to everyone but the people that they’re meant to protect and watch over. The only other person who can see them is their soul mate(this was a biproduct of the genetic modification that the government never expected).
Jess is a 17 year old shy, quiet girl who is just going to her first party. There she meets Riley, apparently her classmate’s sister that he’s never talked about. She’s suspicious of her, and sometimes it feels like she’s not even there. Despite all of that, she can’t help but fall in love with her.

I’ve obviously thought through option 1 a lot more when it comes to detailed plot, but something about the sci-fi and mystery of option 2 makes me want to write that. The Angels are a concept that I’ve been working on for 3 years and in the beginning it was supposed to be a fantasy thing. It’s only this year that I’ve decided to make it sci-fi instead, mostly because I like the idea of the government having thought of this special breed of people to exist for the sole purpose of protecting others. It’s inspired by both vampire books, Charmed and Captain America xD

So if anyone wants to give me their opinion on these plots to help me decide which one to write, that would be more than welcome! 🙂

(my penname on nanowrimo.org is whereJIJisalive)

I’d like to warn you that this might sound like a pep-talk(and it probably functions in that manner – for myself).

Nanowrimo is coming up in three weeks and I can’t decide what to write. For those of you who don’t know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a challenge for authors to write 50 000 words of their novel during the 30 days that constitute November. I did it last year but I only got to 32 000 words.

This year I have decided to do it again, and try to get to the full 50k this time. The most important part, though, is that I give it my best try. I just have to keep writing in the hope that I’ll get better. So at the moment I’m trying to cement two sets of characters for two separate stories because I have not decided which one I’m going with. This unwillingness to make a decision was, I guess you could say, destructive for me last year. Then I wrote about three different couples, three different major storylines. That was a problem, but I also think it’s what got me to 32 000 words, as opposed to a much smaller amount. So this year I’m choosing ONE, and something tells me it’s going to present a whole new set of challenges. It’s all about perseverance I think. Not giving up.

So how do you not give up? How do you not let the story take you as far as it will take you and then just stop writing? How do you make sure you don’t write yourself into a dead end that you can’t get out of? These are all extremely good questions. Because the truth is, committing to something like Nanowrimo is scary. It means you’re taking a risk. And it’s possible that you’re going to fail. But when I think like this, when I doubt it, and when it makes me wonder if I’m insane taking on something like this in the month that school is probably going to be the busiest, then I remember last year. Doing Nanowrimo last year was one of the best experiences in my life. And it has improved my writing so much. And the – admittedly still unfinished – novel I got from it was worth the time, the effort and the tears. Because it was more than I had ever written before. I’m not saying it was very good(I’ll post an excerpt soon and you can judge for yourself), in fact as novels go I think it’s pretty shitty and unstructured, but it proved to me that I can write.

This year I have my second chance.

After a long day(my Fridays in school are excruciating), I’m finally home trying to get something productive done. I’m listening to the new Muse album, probably one of my favourite albums in existence.

We were talking about language in school today(actually I have a class that’s called Människans Språk which best translates to The humans’ Language, I suppose, even though that reads horribly), more specifically about what’s right and wrong in our language. Obviously we were talking mostly about the Swedish language, and what changes are being made in it by the younger generations. Some grammatical rules are being changed, slowly but surely, and for some reason that makes me a little anxious. I don’t want our grammar to become more lenient, so to speak, I want it to stay correct. But then again, if it always stayed correct it would never evolve. Is it just that I don’t like change? Am I becoming a teenage version of those grumpy old men who can’t handle – can’t understand – change, no matter if it’s linguistic or otherwise? No. Well, obviously not. I’m part of the change. I’m very much a part of the internet generation. I love new words and I love when we incorporate English words into the Swedish language(for the most part). I guess I just like it better when languages evolve slowly. In that way everybody can catch up and get used to what’s new. But language is a matter of taste, too. Authors(even aspiring ones who don’t know what they’re doing) live on that taste. It’s the same when I listen to music – and the few times that I’ve written songs – I listen for the artistry, to hear what the songwriter has done to the language to make it special. To make the words resonate with people. And for that we need words that are complicated and messy. Old and new. Words that we can all relate to.

This has been an unstructured post, to say the least, but I’ll be back soon with a new short story that I’d love to get some feedback on – it’s another experiment.