I felt like writing something sad and horrifying…

… today. It’s been a bit of a difficult day. No details necessary, nothing serious, just a few challenges that were overcome, although not without effort. I felt exhausted, angry, frustrated… then I thought, “hey – I’ll write something instead”.

A short story is now in the makings, a bizarre concoction of today’s events, completely transformed and transported to another place, another time. This is one of the big reasons why I write. I need to re-think and work through some of the things that happen in real life, to create a positive out of a negative. I guess this is the fuel that powers the strange machine inside my head that constructs stories.

Now I feel relieved.

I’ve finally sent my script to the publishers!

I know it is a long shot and I’m setting my mind up to expect a few polite refusals, but if you never try, you’l never succeed. A few months of hard work are now to be followed by a few months of waiting. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I’m re-reading a story I wrote in last winter. Once I’ve read it and thought things through I’ll start the editing process on that story too.

Lucky 7 Challenge!

Skilled sci-fi author and blogger Kasia James has tagged me for the challenge of Lucky 7, a chance to show one’s writing only with one catch – you have to publish your text as it is at the time of the challenge, flaws and all. I just finished editing the novel I’ll be publishing a sample from, however as I’ve written my novel in swedish I’ve had to switfly translate the text to english. (So please excuse any strange words or expressions.)

This is how it works;

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Post on your blog the next 7 lines or sentences – as they are!!
  • Tag 7 other people to do the same

And this is an excerpt from my novel (fantasy for young adults) from page 7, line 7 and 7 lines on.

Her boots sunk sighing into the wet grass and came out of the lawn with a sucking noise as she lifted them. Behind her Felis spat and hissed, probably upset that she defied him.

     “Coward,” she hissed over her shoulder and felt a swooping sensation in her guts as she once again sensed something large and dark moving just a few metres away from her, beyond the tree line, as she moved closer to the pond with reckless steps.

     Brown shells crawled and cluttered the dense vegetation around the pond. Her red boots were shiny with wetness. The logs surrounding the pond were dark with moisture and covered with a thin coat of algea. In an act of pure youthful defiance she jumped up onto the slippery logs and balanced toward the place where she thought she had seen a shape, a shadow, a something.

I’m finding it difficult to choose 7 people to pass the challenge on to, so I’ll just say that anyone who reads this and feels like it should take it on.

And now I’ve finally finished editing…

… my novel. Wow. At long last. It took a while longer than I had expected, but now I feel that I am done with this particular story. A great feeling. Now to print and send to a few selected publishers.

One of the best aspects of finishing a novel or short story is the thrill in setting off to work with a new story, that next idea that has been brewing in one’s mind for some time. New ideas always seem to sparkle and shine, beautiful and perfect unlike the often flawed and dull ideas that made up the novel you’ve just been working on. Strange, isn’t it?

 

 

Imagining the end of society as we know it is not fun, but sometimes rewarding, somehow…

I wrote this piece of flash fiction for a contest a couple of years ago. I thought I might as well share it here.

SPRITES

The overgrown, discarded remnants of Ancient Europe lay in ruins behind her, an abandoned shadow of humanity. Layers of plant life covered the dead streets, smothered frozen statues, crawled through deserted vehicles and climbed crumbling buildings.

Cities had risen, flourished and fallen.

She had seen the birth and death of them all.

Roma III, New London, Det Andra Stockholm.

She had lived through them all.

Lived. That word would not describe the throbbing of her synthetic heart, driven by chemically induced electricity. That word could not explain the swelling of her engineered lungs as she drew breath after breath of toxic air, purifying the soiled atmosphere through bio-chemical processes as it passed through her body. That word did not illustrate the flow of the bloodlike substance, described by scientists and alchemists long since dead as the elixir of life, that pulsed through her veins and rejuvenated her body.

Once the white drops were discovered, it had all been a race for survival.

“Immortality, immorality,” she mused and her hoarse, useless voice was the last echo of a mother, a sister, a daughter, resounding across the void of dark space and despair that lay before her feet. Earth was a lonely place for those select few still living.

The ugliness of humanity had truly peaked following the discovery of immortality during the third century. The ability to stop, and even reverse, aging – to put an end to wrinkles, hair loss and varicose veins – was the discovery of the century, an evolutional revolution equivalent to that of the discovery of fire, of language or of electricity.

 With these drops, you will age no more…

… and death by deterioration of body and mind is no longer a threat.

      Immortality. There was no such thing. It was a mere illusion. The elixir of life meant the end of aging, but not the end of dying. The Immortality Wars raged for decades, stretched into centuries. Resources grew sparse. Starvation, poverty and disease claimed the lives of the Mortal. Violence, poison and murder reduced the numbers of the Immortal.

“We thought it was a cure, but it was poison.”

Her voice was silenced by thunder. Arcs of white light illuminated the clouded heights of heaven as electric storms raged across the surface of the Earth, a dark rock once again, no longer illuminated by manmade sources of light. No longer bound by the hours, minutes and seconds of mankind.

Across the plain she saw the silhouette of a man in a bionic suit similar to hers, moving toward her. He was illuminated by stray light from sprites that shot through the skies above the cumulonimbus clouds and vanished into the blackness of space.

“We were sprites,” she whispered softly, “and we will soon vanish.”

At the moment…

… I’m editing my current book project at a painfully slow pace.

… I’m working on an acrylic painting inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things are.

… I’m reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

… I’m brooding over my next writing project, which will be a post-apocalyptic story.

… I’m looking forward to going to an event named “Zombie Friday”, with interesting lectures.

… I’m listening to The Strokes album First Impressions of Earth whenever I’m driving somewhere…

… but most of all I spend time with my eight month old son.

I’d love to hear what you are up to?

Mostly editing these days…

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

– Oscar Wilde.

Wilde really captures the essence of editing. I’m working on the first draft of a novel I finished last year, re-reading and editing, editing and re-reading. Slowly, I’m eating my way through the story, rejecting words, changing sentences, removing dialogue. It’s tedious work, at times. Editing is hard, sweaty, knuckle breaking work. But it has to be done, of course.

I’ve heard of writers who think their stories through before they sit down to write them, then turn out novels that are practically ready for the printers. Not me though, and I suspect most writers are not like that. Most writers probably scratch their tired heads and hang, with slumped shoulders, over coffee stained, ink marked pages – removing one word here, adding another there, excluding entire paragraphs in some parts while filling in gaps and fleshing out text in other parts. Or my all time favourite – stare blankly at the scene where things suddenly don’t make sense at all any more.

Well, sooner or later I’ll finish the editing process with this draft. Hopefully within a couple of days. When I do, I think I’ll reward myself somehow.