Wednesday 20 August 2014

Regrets! Regrets! Regrets! Taking Chances - WEP's Challenge for 20th-22nd August 2014

Welcome to WEP's Challenge for August 20-22, Taking Chances.

'Taking Chances' is a thought-provoking theme/prompt for a writing exercise. The image suggests something romantic, but so many different interpretations are possible.

Here is a story about Greta Celsing and her older friend, Ivar Larsson, who usually play the violin together on Tuesday mornings. 

Regrets, regrets, regrets!

'Shall we play this piece first before we have tea?' asked Greta as she put the sheet music on the stand, while Ivar was tuning the fiddles. 

'Why don't we start off by both playing the melody together and then I can play the chords,' suggested Ivar, since he was a more experienced musician. They both took their instruments in hand and began to play.

'You need to fine tune your fiddle. You're flat.'

'Oh, I'm sorry,' said Greta, 'I've made such mess of everything!'

'No, no. You've almost got it. Here, let me help you. Listen to how the A and the E-string sound together.'

'It's not just the tuning. It's my whole life. I have so much to regret!'

'Greta, you're only 22. You're too young to have regrets. What do you regret? What are you talking about? Later on in life you might regret wasting good time in your youth. Why don't we use the time that we have to practice our music?'

'Alright,' said Greta a little ashamed. And they played a folk melody for about twenty or thirty minutes.

'Let me tell you about my father', said Ivar when they took a rest and Greta poured the tea.

'My father had the 1918-flu when he was in his twenties. He survived, but I think it left him with a weakness, because he died when he was only 56. He wasn't well for several years and treated us all very badly, especially our mother. He had something on the brain and could not think right. He was sloppy one day and left his jacket lying on the floor. The cat came and peed on it. He was so angry at the cat that he went out and shot it. Dead. Just because it had messed up his jacket. So after that we were all on our toes and tried not to get him upset.

He had an operation that relieved the pressure on his brain. And since he had been bedridden for so long, I took him out in a row boat and rowed him around Stockholm, where we lived at that time. It was in late winter and there were still ice floes in the water. But he loved it. He dipped his hands into the cold water and laughed as he hadn't laughed for years.

'You took him out in a row boat? He could have drowned.'

'Yes, but by not taking him out, he would have missed an opportunity to feel alive after being so cooped up and ill for so long'.

'How old were you when this happened?'

'Eighteen. I wish I could have had him longer. I have already outlived him now. I wish I could talk to him today. He never got to see all the good work I've done. He only saw my school work.'

'Is this something that you regret?'

'No. I'm sorry that he died so young, but that had nothing to do with me. He didn't die because of me. It was just fate; the way things can be. 

The one thing that I do NOT regret is the fact that I was at home with him at the time when he suddenly became himself again. My sisters missed it. But I just happened to be there. It was some months after the operation, when his thoughts suddenly cleared. 

He looked at mother and me said, 'Now I know how difficult I've been. I'm so sorry that I have given you so much grief. But not now. Not anymore. I'll never be mean again. We're going to be happy from now on,' and he threw an apple between his hands as accurately as a juggler to show us how well his coordination had become, now that he had finally recovered. 

I was dumbfounded of joy. I sat and talked with him and I stayed with him, because I wanted to; because I had missed growing up and going through my teens with a normal healthy father. At that moment, I could finally see what a fine man my father was. And that he loved us. I was so happy. All the hard work of nursing him at home and bringing in buckets of drinking-water and wood for the wood-burning stove; and helping my mother. And protecting my mother from his rage, was rewarded in that moment. In that one golden moment.

But it only lasted a few hours until he suffered a new stroke and died.  

But for the rest of my life, I have been able to be happy, because I happened to be at home, at the right moment, and saw him as he was when he was healthy and good. I think this is why I haven't felt guilty. I did what I could. I was there when he needed me. And those few precious hours before he died gave me a happy memory to live with. To this day.

'Ivar, what are you trying to tell me?'

'Use your time wisely, Greta. Take care of those who really are important to you. Then you won't have to feel sorry. Now, let's play that tune one more time.'

Word count according to WordCalc: 881

P.S. Yes. This is a work of fiction. I had sifted through four or five different story ideas, and nothing seemed to work. I guess I don't really like writing about regrets. I like stories about chances that are wonderful and unlikely. Life is filled with missed opportunities. Fiction should be a place where you don't have to think about regrets. This story is based on what a friend of mine told me about his life. So it is not really my own story. But I like it so much, that I wish I had made it up myself. 

Yes, yes, I know. I'm 'telling' rather than 'showing'!


Best wishes,

First Commenter:

D.G. Hudson
D.G.Hudson - Rainforest Writing

Sunday 10 August 2014

My jewellery is now featured in Etsy's SWEDISH ROOM:

Wednesday 6 August 2014

IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group, August 2014

Anna Nordeman

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

This is my sixteenth post for IWSG. 

I had just finished writing my IWSG-post and noticed some minor detail that I thought I needed to correct, when I accidentally hit the delete-button and erased the entire post! The text and photos were gone. They were not in my backup feed. So this is a reconstruction of what I wrote and tried to post earlier this morning. 

I don't usually make that kind of stupid computer-related mistake. And it depresses me that I did it now. For some unknown reason (well, I was distracted by Elisabet who constantly interrupted me with questions). For some reason everything on the computer screen started jumping around, so when I tried to clear away some empty posts, I deleted the post that I had been working on since the day before yesterday.

When you make a stupid mistake like that, it's always good idea to just stop, just stop what you are doing and do something entirely different. I was probably just too tired and hungry.

I really needed to take a break. So I went out (across the street) to get a pizza for Elisabet and a salad and chicken sandwich for me. (Then, when I came home, I discovered that they had given me a sandwich with that awful kebab-mystery-meat - that I hate - instead of chicken! So I'm not the only one to get things mixed up.)

For last month's post I compared two how-to-write-books, Save the Cat, The Last Book On Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder, and Writers' and Artists' Guide to How to Write, The Essential Guide for Authors, by Harry Bingham.
I am still making discoveries when it comes to how-to-write books, and would like to recommend, Write to be Published, by Nicola Morgan.

Nicola Morgan's Write to be Published covers much of the same ground that Harry Bingham's guidebook does, but with a different perspective. She shows what makes a publisher say 'No' to a manuscript. And she readily admits to having made these mistakes herself. How can I not like Nicola Morgan? She is self-depreciating and funny. Her book is entertaining as well as filled with serious and useful advice. I would love to have her as my writing-buddy.

On page 44, she says right out that it is indeed possible to become a great writer and still be dyslexic! (A passage that I plan to read aloud to my son, Erik, who is dyslexic!)

On page 52, Nicola Morgan explains the different between band-wagons and trends:

The two things are not quite the same, but we can consider them together. A band-wagon is more specific than a trend; it also has both the potential to generate many sales and the potential to be highly transient. Vampires in books are an exampled of a band-wagon. A trend is vaguer, broader. Examples of trends might be "increasing violence in crime fiction" or "the appearance of older women in romantic fiction". (That isn't an actual trend as far as I know, but a girl can dream.)

(Yes, Nicola, I'm with you there.  I have similar dreams!)

Nicola Morgan is a prolific writer who really seems to know what she's talking about when it comes to writing for publication. Besides a very, very long list of fiction, she has also written several non-fiction books about how children's minds develop; how they mature in their thinking. If you are interested in children's literature, I think you can learn a lot from Nicola.

Check out Nicola Morgan's blog: Help! I Need a Publisher!

There is a lot of common sense in all of these how-to books. Trying to get your manuscript published is similar to looking for and applying for jobs. You need to think about what you want for your book and your career as a writer. The more how-to books I read, the more I see how important it is to find one's own way to publication, choosing what feels right for you and the product that you wish to share with the world.

I have another how-to book that I would like to talk about, but I am just to tired too give it the attention it deserves. I'll write about that one next time. This will be a short post for IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group, August 2014.  

Thanks for reading!

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Beverly Stowe McClure
The Story of a Writer

Beverly participates parallel in S.A. Larsen's the Writer's Creed. Maybe this is something I should try?

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Treasuries promoting the team Etsy Sweden

I was recently asked to join a new Etsy Team, called Etsy Sweden or Etsy i Sverige. Since I am always doing treasuries for other shop owners, I thought I could help them out at Etsy Sweden.
Here are my first treasuries that include at least two members of Etsy Sweden:

Best wishes,

First Commenter:


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