Friday 23 August 2013

My Etsy shop parltradet has been featured in these treasuries:

My Etsy shop parltradet has been featured in these treasuries:


Best wishes, 

First Commenter:
Yolanda Renee
Defending the Pen

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Write-Edit-Publish's Challenge for August - Vacation

Welcome to the Write-Edit-Publish's [formerly 'Romantic Friday Writers'] Challenge for Wednesday, 21st to Friday 23rd August 2013 - Vacation.

Here's my text:


It was an ordinary Saturday morning in the middle of August and still very hot in Central Virginia.  Olive Arbogast sat in her air-conditioned kitchen reading newspapers ads for last-minute air-trips to far off tropical islands and European capitals.

"Geoff dear, would you like to take a trip somewhere?" asked Olive.

"What kind of trip?" inquired Olive's husband sitting in the living room, hiding behind a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

"A vacation trip."

"No thanks, Olive. I'm fine right here."

"Barcelona is one of the ten most popular cities right now", replied Olive hoping to kindle some interest in travel in her tired spouse.

"I'm fine right here, dear" replied Geoffrey Arbogast, putting a lid on the topic.

But Olive continued to dream about vacations as she poured herself another cup of coffee. Vacation! What a word, thought Olive, as she let her mind drift back to childhood memories of every vacation trip that her family ever had gone on. Olive's mother came from Sweden and hated the hot Virginia summers. Her father doted on his wife by taking vacation trips during the short two weeks that he was free from his government job in D.C. They went north to escape the humid heat in a time before air-cooling in ordinary homes was available. Olive loved New England. She and her mother loved the cool summers of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. They went camping. Living in a tent, they could avoid expensive hotel bills. It was a wonderful way of being close to nature in forests that reminded her mother of Sweden.

Olive could not remember dates or exactly what year they did what. Memories of a dozen trips were all rolled into one. She remembered living in a tent in sunshine or rain. She was little enough not to have to carry much or help out with heavy chores. She had vague memories of staying at Lake Champlain in Vermont, and better memories of what it was like to camp at Baxter State Park and even bathing in the icy waters around Mount Desert Island, both in Maine. It was there, on Mount Desert Island, that her father took the whole family out for a lobster dinner at a very nice local restaurant. It was the first time she tasted steamed lobster with melted butter. Yummy. It was the one spot of luxury in days and days of damp sleeping bags and powdered soups. 

At the camping sites there were no real toilets, just dry closets. They did their business there or behind a bush when no one was looking. Olive remembered the gnats and mosquitoes. She used leaves instead of toilet paper. A small price to pay for a cool summer similar to a Swedish summer, and making her mother happy.

Vacations were not just for camping. Olive's parents took the time to visit relatives on their way to their campsites: Grandpa and Grandma White, older and younger uncles and aunts, and cousins. Cousins her age. As an only child, Olive always longed for siblings; a cousin was almost a sister or brother. But most of these people were now dead. Those who were children back then were now adults with families of their own. Olive missed her older relatives.

Olive missed her father too. She could still hear his kind, calm voice in her head: Daddy was always thinking of mother and how she suffered in the hot weather. How did I wind up staying in Central Virginia? Couldn't I have found someone in New England instead? Oh well. We do have air-conditioning now.

"Would you like to go camping in West Virginia?" asked Geoffrey from behind the Wall Street Journal, "The Northern Panhandle is supposed to be a lot cooler than here".

"Can we afford to take the time off?" called Olive from the kitchen, "And gas costs money."

"Sure, we can wing it. It's closer than driving all the way up to Northern New England, which is where I know you would really want to go. Would you like to stop by and visit your cousin who lives in Pittsburgh?"

"Yes, that would be nice. You're such a dear, Geoff."

Olive and Geoffrey Arbogast escaped the heat of Richmond, Virginia, for a time, by staying at a nice bed and breakfast in the Appalachian Mountains. Olive even got to visit her cousin, Julia. It was still searingly hot when they returned home, but Olive loved Geoffrey for his thoughtfulness.

Word count: 749 (NCCO)

This story is fictional. Any similarity to events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright 2013 Anna Christina Wigren Nordeman

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Yolanda Renee
Defending the Pen

Saturday 17 August 2013

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group for August 2013

Bamse, the kitten, born June 28th, 2013

Anna Nordeman


Pelle, the kitten, born June 28th, 2013

Rosetta, the kitten, born June 28th, 2013

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my sixth post for IWSG.

Once again, I am NOT going to share my list of how-to-write books, but for those who would like to see it, please go here

For my August edition of IWSG I would like to return to Phyllis A. Whitney's delightful how-to-book, Guide to Fiction Writing (1982). See page 11f. She writes about working habits:
Men writers who are married to non-working wives - that is, wives who stay at home - have a certain advantage. Every writer needs a wife! - someone to stand guard, to cook meals, to deal with immediate problems of house and children, and keep them out of their husbands' hair. It's more difficult for women writers, who have to do all these chores plus their writing.

Amen Phyllis! I have reached a point now where I feel I'm drowning. I have too many practical problems to solve and the end is not in sight.

It started on the 9th of June when I found one dark kitten lying on the floor of Elisabet's bedroom. At first I did not know who the mother of that kitten was. But it became clear that Lill-Kajsa had given birth to one single kitten and hid it from us for perhaps as long as a week:

A secretive Lill-Kajsa and her kitten, Elsa

Kalle-Mathilda helped baby-sit her sister's kitten. 

Two sisters sharing the first kitten.

Kalle-Mathilda would soon have a family of her own. My daughter, Elisabet, woke me late at night on June 28th. We suddenly became midwives to Kalle-Mathilda, when she gave birth to her five kittens. Even Lill-Kajsa helped out by nursing the new-borns, while Kalle-Mathilda gave birth to more. 

Pelle, the kitten, with eyes closed and navel string still intact.

Kalle-Mathilda as the new mother of five.

In this recent photograph, lying on the kitchen floor, are six reasons why I have not been able to get much work done this summer. And very little creative writing. 

Kalle-Mathilda and her five kittens born on June 28th, 2013

Suddenly we had eleven cats to take care of instead of only five. And since I am the only adult in our household, I am also the only one who sees that the litter boxes are clean and that there is fresh water and proper food for all of the cats. I am also the only person who can cook meals and wash dishes, clean floors and do laundry.

We have the added problem that the cats declared war on July 12th. 

Lars, the cat, born August 21st, 2012

Since then, we have had to keep certain cats isolated in separate rooms. The children were very helpful when the cat-war broke out. Suddenly, Kalle-Mathilda went crazy and attacked her sister Lill-Kajsa as well as the ginger boy-cats, Lars and Sigge. At the same time the ginger twins attacked the other male cat, Peep. We had to act fast. We did not want any cat to be injured. So I grabbed Kalle-Mathilda and put her in a closed room. Erik deposited Peep into my bedroom/workroom because he is the only cat who is reliably house-broken. The girl-cats literally squirted urine as they fought. 

Sigge, the cat, born August 21st, 2012

Kalle-Mathilda bit my thumb as I was moving her into her new quarters, but it could have been worse. My son, Erik's hand was also bitten by one of the cats -- we don't know which -- and his hand became so swollen and infected, that he had to take antibiotics for ten days. Even though both Elisabet and I were bitten and scratched, we were, happily, not infected. 

I don't know why this happened other than that the cats probably felt that it was getting to be too crowded in our four-room apartment. But why did this happen when we had taken the ginger males to be neutered? The war broke out when we came home with them from this procedure. Or did the females suffer some kind of post-natal [post-partum] depression? I am going to ask the vet about this.

Kalle-Mathilda looking up at me while I am holding...


... her daughter Sara II.


In the meantime, I have put an ad in the local newspaper. As much as we love all of our cats, we have decided that we have to sell some of them - very fast. (The older cat, Peep, is staying temporarily with my former husband, the children's father.) The first to go are these two wonderful ginger boy cats, Lars and Sigge. Hope we can find a good home for them. They are really lovely and warm-hearted cats.

Elisabet and one of the ginger cats

This is why my post for RFW's Challenge 'Honeymoon' was so slim, only 60 words instead of a thousand!

The children and I have been working hard trying to solve our practical problems. I haven't slept well. But it will not always be like this. We will find solutions. It's just that it takes time and summer is so short.  And summer is so precious in Sweden. It's the time of year that everyone longs for and dreams about. Here in the North, it is in summer, that you plan to do all of those creative activities like crafts or photography -- anything that requires daylight.  Summer is the lightest and the most pleasant time of year. In the winter, when it is cold and dark, I just want to hibernate. I'll have almost nothing to show for at the end of this summer. A waste of good weather and sunlight!

How do all of you wonderful and inventive people deal with practical problems? Do you still find the time and peace of mind to sit down and write and be creative when things go wrong? What are your strategies?

Best wishes,

[P.S. Wrote this text during the night between July 31st and August 1st, 2013]

First Commenter:
Duck and Wheel With String

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