Monday, May 13, 2013

The magic stone Xwopraz

  - and the eagle who landed on my arm

An image straight from the webcam showing the page where I wrote about the eagle who landed on my arm. And continued to add both more to the text itself and comments on it.

Both are things which which will not be included in my first novel, but which both were part of the genesis of the world where it takes place and the overall story of which it is part. They are both, individually, part of stories, or rather snippets of stories, which I wrote circa 15 years ago. I never really got too far with either though, and that could have been the end to it, but then one day I was walking in the forest near where I lived at that time and got an idea. I will not write that idea out as it is still relevant for the next part of the series my first novel will be a part of (provided I finish them all of course), but the exact idea/words aren't that interesting anyway. What’s interesting about it is both that I still remember where I got the idea (at least within a hundred meters or so, though it was probably more of one thought lead to another anyway, so the exact spot is irrelevant), and also that it’s still something that is shaping my thinking about the story.

For the next few years I wrote a bit here and a bit there on what I like to think of as "the trilogy", but in the end I didn't see too much progress. I began a fair number of chapters, but didn't write more than one or a couple pages for each, and certainly didn't have a very good idea of how things were connected. What I was reasonably sure about was that the story would be relatively long, and I began doubting the logic of writing a trilogy as the first longer story I've ever written. Still, I knew I cared enough about the story not to want to abandon it completely.

The solution came when I recalled a character in one of the beginnings of chapters, whom I thought it would be interesting to find out how he ended up where, and who, he was. Interestingly his entrance into my conscience is also a case where I still remember the location where I first thought of him, riding on my bicycle through another forest. I didn't have too much of an idea of who he was, but still it seemed as if I would be able to tell his story in fewer words than "the trilogy", and thus a better story to have as my first long story. A whole bunch of years, a lot of time away from the text, a lot of more intensive writing periods, and some dead-ends later and I'm certain that’s true. The other day I finished what I hope and believe is my next to final version of the text (I'm just waiting for the opinion of a couple of people who are reading through it + I’ll want to have it proofread before I'm going to try and get people to pay to read it), and it is almost exactly 74 000 words, which though a nice number to have reached is on the short side of novel lengths.

I’ll write more about my process in writing my first novel in another blog post (if nothing else it can be an illustration of the value in keeping at it, and sometimes trying new things), but I’ll end this blog post with a few more words about the overall story. During my writing I've come to realize that there’s more to the story than just this first novel and the trilogy, and begun gathering ideas for a final book, tentatively called simply "Epilogue". I have also planned out "the trilogy" in broad strokes and begun writing it.

PS: The eagle might end up making it into one of the books in the trilogy, I’m certain there will not be a magic stone called Xwopraz though.
P.P.S: After having written this, but before posting it (I tried to scan the image of the page, but the scanner didn't play too well with the pencil writing. Then I tried to enhance the image in Photoshop and when that didn't work I stopped trying for a couple of weeks.) I've since actually included it, but in a less than serious way.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Opinion - do they care?

I sometimes participate in quick surveys at a web site in return for gift cards, and while it's a nice way to get a good gift for yourself or someone else the surveys themselves sometimes can cause you to think about priorities. I won't go into exact details as that would most likely break some agreement I've agreed to, but I'll talk about it in general terms. It is interesting how when you are to answer questions about food stuff or other products you can get many tens of possible alternative answers, but when you are replying to a question about your ideal society you only get a handful. Not sure how much to make of it, after all companies are probably more interested in (and thus willing to pay for surveys about) our opinion on their products. However, it is kind of disappointing that we're expected to have well thought out and deep reasons for why we use/choose a certain product, but not for what we think about our society and our future. I really hope it's not that bad, that people really don't spend so much thought on what to drink or what to wear that they don't have time to think through more important things.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pics from work - Funny Creatures

Thought I should share some pictures from work that I've been taking now and then. Originally my idea was to post them all at once, but that's proven difficult to actually get done, so I think I'll do it in small batches. A few images every now and then. Above are the first ones, a couple of images of stone sculptures we sell (though we mainly sell plants we do sell garden ornaments and stuff as well).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's in a name

Carrots in the water by feneur
Carrots in the water, a photo by feneur on Flickr.
I've just started working in a Garden Center for the summer (or rather the season, summer it's definitely not yet in Sweden), and having customers asking me questions about this and that, some of which I can answer and some not, has got me thinking. It's not strange that they ask questions, after all it's part of my job to try my best and help them, but it's strange how just a title can provoke questions. I remember when I was studying gardening in high school and people I know started to ask me all kinds of questions, when to prune this or that or what-not. As if I suddenly just because I was studying gardening would know everything there's to know about the subject. It's even stranger when people who have been gardening for many years and ought to be experts in what they grow etc ask me. My education, and an interest both before and after high school, has of course given me some knowledge, but it doesn't automatically give me all precise knowledge needed to reply to the most detailed questions. To some extent it does of course make sense that people want to find out more and do so by asking someone who ought to know. And how to know whether someone knows something unless that person has got an education or title that's related to the subject. But when it comes to more serious subjects than gardening (not that I'm saying that gardening isn't important, just that few people have been hurt because an apple tree isn't perfectly pruned or a rose not properly fertilized), I feel it can be dangerous. Sometimes we might too readily give up our own judgement and common sense just because someone has got a couple of letters before their name or a fancy title. Of course we should listen to people who know more than ourselves, I just don't think we should abandon all our reason because of something they say. (Especially if they're quoted in media ;-) )

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thinking about boxes

An example of thinking outside the box: the city above is created from an image of an old motherboard in an old computer of mine

I'm thinking about the saying "thinking outside the box". I rarely think inside the box, in my world there are folders, and there are rooms, but there are no boxes. What I mean by that is: I might get lost in minute details, and I might see the overarching ideas, but can have trouble getting the concepts. That's a bad thing as it's easy to get distracted by things when you lack the correct boxes to put them in, folders might be useful for individual papers, but it's difficult to stuck a series of books in one. Hopefully, and I believe this is the case, this also means that I'm not always trapped in the same old ways of thinking but rather can be genuinely creative.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I guess some people need rules, and I do to in the sense of moral rules and so, but what I'm talking about is how some people seems to need to have all their moments organized and decided beforehand. To me that doesn't seem to work at all (see for an example, I might do something else with that blog later though, so if it seems like it's about something completely unrelated please check the date of this post and move on :) ), nor does it sound all that fun. Some more routine would probably be healthy, but apart from that I think I prefer to be able to live one day at a time.

That is what I mean by calling this blog "One rule: Today". I do think one shouldn't forget neither past nor future, but just that one shouldn't let neither have a bad impact on today. The past is good because of the experience and lessons it brings, but grieving all the things that could have been or regretting the things that were don't bring anything good to today. The future is good for all the opportunities it brings and the hope it promises, but worrying about all the things you should do or which could happen will not bring anything good to today.

Sometimes this means that I like to do spontaneous things, the image that's the main focus of the design of the blog (the image of the trees and the roads that is, not the twigs or the squares on the background) is actually the result of just that. Almost at least, I might have had the idea to go hiking for a couple of days before I did, but still. A couple of years ago, in December of all months, I had a similar idea, and then it was from one day to another. I got the idea one day, and then the next morning I got up early and took the bus to the place where the trail begun and started walking.

Sometimes this means that I don't do anything all that spontaneous or fancy, but just enjoy life here and now. I think that's a valuable skill that I need to hone further, but I'm glad that I at least have begun to understand the value of it.

Will this blog then just be me mentioning that I don't have any plans for tomorrow you ask? That's probably never going to be the case, especially since I most days know at least roughly what I'll be doing the next day. This blog will however be a place where I post some random thoughts I think may interest someone else (or which I just need to get written), an image now and then, and perhaps something else. In short, it will be a personal blog like so many other, with the huge difference that it's written by me. I'm not going to promise that I'll write a post a day, or a week, sometimes there will be many, sometimes there will be few, but hopefully all are going to be worth reading. (Almost at least, I do have a tendency to write nonsense at times as well ;-) )