Life, the universe and ... oh, whatever ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Waiting and working

I think I’m pretty close to finishing the piece for my final dissertation for the MA Creative Writing. I’ve got 16388 words from my novel “The Battle” - but as the piece should only be 16000 words I have a decision to make about cutting at the start or at the end of this piece to make it fit the demands.
My commentary is so far 3000 words long, it needs to be 4000 words. I have an idea about what I want to write, I just need to do some more thinking about how to write it. I find that quite often this is very much part of the creative writing process: sitting in a chair thinking about how to write something, lying in bed thinking about how to write something, using the equipment at the local gym thinking about how to write something, driving a car thinking about how to write something… I had hoped that I would’ve finished my commentary by the time I go on another one week vacation on Thursday, but now that doesn’t seem likely.
I am still waiting for my two assessments to be returned from the university, the two assessments I did in connection with the modules this spring. I have been informed that the assessments have been marked and that they’re sent back to me on Monday the 2nd of July, but I still haven’t received them. I’m not comfortable completely finishing my dissertation before I see what the tutors who have marked my assessments have to say about my work – so I’m waiting for the assessments to arrive, but after 3 weeks I fear that they might have got lost in the mail.

Another thing I’m of course waiting for, but trying not to think about that much, is the result from the novel competition I entered this spring. The publisher said in their letter that the result would be announced during July, and there really aren’t that many days left of July now.

I stopped by a book store today and bought “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. I can hardly wait to read it, but as I need to focus on my dissertation until I leave for my vacation, I’ve decided that this book will be my vacation reading – which means that on day two of my vacation I’m out of books to read! All the other Harry Potter books I’ve read through in one “sitting”, usually 4 – 5 hours, and I don’t expect this will be any different.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Busy days

Last weekend we had our annual camping trip, called Bættel, in the forest of Finnskogen. It was as always great. We had a fabulous time, but too little sleep and perhaps a bit too much alcohol made sure that I was really tired on Sunday evening and Monday. Then on Tuesday already I had to get up really early in the morning (and what signifies as ‘really early’ in my universe these days is half past 7 in the morning!!) and go to Oslo, because me and my friend Dorthe had tickets for that evening’s big concert with Metallica.

Before going to the concert we had decided to go see “Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s end”. For those of you reading my notes regularly will remember that I saw this movie about 3 weeks ago, but I enjoyed it so much I was quite happy to see it again since Dorthe hadn’t seen it. And guess what, it was still excellent!

So, in the evening, Metallica. What can I say but magnificent. 40 000 people. The Gods of weather decided not to drown us (as they have been trying to do with most parts of Southern Norway for the last week) – and the guys on stage, they really know how to play good music and put on a great show! I really truly enjoyed this.

Today I got up at the hotel around 9, left around 10 and then went out to the Viking ship museum on Bygdøy. I spent almost two hours there with my notebook, studying the ships and the artefacts that were found with the ships. I’ve been planning to do this research for quite a while, as this is something I really needed to do for my Viking stories. I was tired, but it was still very inspiring and interesting to see these things for real. I also picked up a couple of books about Vikings.

And now I’m back home for a couple of days. On Monday I’m leaving for a 6 day trip that will among other things bring me to the area around the Trondheims fjord. This is also something I have to do as research for my Viking stories. I have never really visited that part of Norway, and as my Viking story “The Battle” is set at Steinkjer and Ørland, both places by the Trondheims fjord, I’ve really felt the need to go there and see the area with my own eyes. So I’m really looking forward to that.

The troublesome thing is that I’m running out of time to write my final dissertation for the MA. Don’t worry, I will get it done in time, but still, I don’t have as much time left as I would’ve liked to. I’m going on a long planned trip to Denmark and Germany from the 26th of July till the 1st of August. Originally this trip would’ve lasted till the 11th of August, but I’ve just had to cut it short to make sure that I get my dissertation done in time. Unfortunately this means that I won’t get to visit Untersteinach and Kulmbach this summer, which is something I’ve pretty much done every summer for the last, oh, fifteen years or so… Hopefully there will be time before next summer to go down there for a visit.

But my late summer/early autumn looks busy, and as if it wasn’t busy enough, on Tuesday I made it even more hectic. On the evening of Friday the 31st of August, I’ll be in London to see a play that’s recently been put on at the Duke of York’s theatre. The play’s called “In Celebration”, and in one of the leading roles we find… Orlando Bloom!! The play is only on from 5th of July till 15th of September, and I really just could not miss out on this opportunity to see Orlando Bloom live (oh well, with my typical luck he’ll probably be ill and out of the play on Friday the 31st of August, but let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope not, yeah?). So, even though my autumn is already very busy, I just had to go to London to see this. I’m so excited about it; you can’t imagine how excited I am.

These are my days, and they’re most certainly busy, but it’s a good life, so I won’t complain.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I survived…

Solör Mart’n and I’m now plotting to find out how I’ll survive next weekend’s Bættel which usually is even a bit tougher than Mart’n.

For those who are unfamiliar with the terms used here:

Solör Mart’n: an annual fair from Thursday to Sunday on the last weekend of June at Flisa in Solör. All the shops have lots of sales, there are lots of booths in the street selling various things that you may or may not need – but most of all, it’s a huge party from Thursday evening till Sunday morning. The newspapers today report that possibly as many as 40 000 people visited the event during the 4 days it lasted this year, which is a new record. And considering that the county of Åsnes, where this is arranged, has about 8 500 people, and the two neighbouring counties, Våler and Grue, has a total of about 10 000 people – the visitor numbers are extreme. People come from far away to attend this event – and it’s, well, it’s just excellent. I’ve had lots of fun.

As for next weekend’s event, Bættel, this is of more private character but possibly even more fun than Mart’n. This is also an annual weekend event, where a bunch of us head into the forest of Finnskogen with tents, BBQs and plenty to drink from Friday to Sunday. Most of us have been friends for at least half a life time, but with our busy lives we don’t get to meet that often – but on this weekend as many as possible in our group of friends try to show up. This year I’m so far counting 18 who’ve said that they’ll come, and this is a new record. Usually about 10 – 12 will have said they will be coming before the event starts. Our record was 4 or 5 years ago when we at some point on Saturday night counted 17.

Still feeling a bit tired from Mart’n but sure I will have recovered by the time Bættel starts on Friday afternoon.