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

Monday, May 26, 2008

Learning Spanish

I was, for some reason, not accepted into the undergraduate course in “Creative Writing” at the University of Tromsö. This was something I had planned to do as part of my “study plan” with the Defence, so I had to think of something else that I wanted to learn instead. Today I’ve enrolled in a Spanish course. When I spent 6 weeks in Gran Canaria last year I was a bit frustrated at not being able to speak the language (even though, yes, you will get very far with Norwegian/Swedish in Playa Del Ingles too) and I’ve been thinking ever since that this is something I might want to learn. So when I’m not writing on a new book this summer, I’ll be trying to get the hang of Spanish. I’ve always like learning new languages so I expect it to be fun.

This week how ever, I’m finishing an early draft of book number five in my series of novels from the Viking Age, and on Friday I’m heading off to Ireland for five days, for a wedding. I’m really looking forward to that.

I won – and finally it’s pretty much official

For those of you who live in Norway and have the possibility, you should pick up an issue of this week’s Allers magazine and flip to the second to last page where they have information about what’s going to be in next week’s issue. There’s a photo that some of you might recognize and a text that translated roughly says:

Lena (37) quit her job: won novel writing competition in Allers.
Lena M Bakke cried when she was told that she had won Allers' big novel writing competition and the first prize of NOK 150 000. Now her series of novels about the Viking woman Borghildr Sigurdsdottir will be launched big in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

And for my Norwegian friends I’m including the Norwegian version as well:

Lena (37) sa opp jobben: Vant romankonkurranse i Allers
Lena M Bakke gråt da hun fikk vite at hun hadde vunnet Allers' store romankonkurranse og premien på 150 000 kr. Nå skal hennes romanserie om vikingkvinnen Borghildr Sigurdsdottir lanseres bredt i Norge, Sverige og Danmark.

I just found out, you can also actually see that very page on Allers’ website as well if you go here.

This is why my spring has been so terribly busy, writing and exams. I’m now working on book number five, and I’m so happy to be finished with my exams so that I can focus fully on writing.

It’s a great life – you gotta love it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I’m done

I had my final exam (this spring) today and I’m thrilled to be done with it. I’m not sure how it went, I don’t think it went very good, but if I’m at risk to actually fail it, I couldn’t say. I don’t know how much they demand of your exam to pass, but I did sit the full four hours, and I feel like I’ve put enough on paper that it should bring me to a pass – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they fail me either. But, you know what; right now I could not care less. I have taken the exam and now I can’t do anything more about it than just wait for the results.

It’s quite a good day actually.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One down – one to go

I had my first exam today: ”Norwegian Dialects”, and I actually think I did well. I would not be surprised if I got a C or maybe even a B on this one, and that certainly gives me a good feeling. No way have I failed it. So, now I’ll just have to do my best to delete everything I’ve been cramming onto my mental hard drive over the last few days for this exam, so that I can make room for the knowledge that I need to pass the exam on Tuesday: Norse language.

But right now, I’m actually going to sleep for a little while. I didn’t get much sleep last night, and getting up before 7 in the morning, that’s really not for me!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Trying very hard not to be studying…

I’ve got my exams on the 15th and 20th of May, and I am still a bit behind on my reading, and I’ve got plenty of time to read these days, the only problem is that I’m SO fed up with reading right now – it seems I’m doing everything I can not to be studying. Right now for example I’m writing a blog post!

And my brain obviously tries to make the things I read more exciting than it really is. Yesterday I was reading about Norse Nouns, and there was a sentence that said: “Here accusative and dative are composed without an ending in the plural forms.” Then I looked at the paradigm, but there I could clearly see that dative plural did indeed have an ending, so I read the sentence again: “Here accusative and dative are composed without an ending in the plural forms.” Another look at the paradigm told me that yes, there was still an ending to the word in dative plural. I think I did this about 5 or 6 times, cursing the book and the world for making this more difficult than it ought to be by clearly having things printed that were just wrong. Then, the 7th time or something that I read the sentence it suddenly said: “Here accusative is composed without and ending in the plural form.” For some reason, every time I read the sentence my brain had been adding “and dative” to the sentence. I don’t know why my brain wanted to do this, just to screw with me I suppose and then see me despair when I couldn’t understand what was going on!! So, that’s me reading Norse these days, another 18 days to go.

On the 15th I’ve got my “Nordic oral languages” exam, I’m pretty confident that that’ll be ok. I still haven’t read everything I’m supposed to, but with a grasp on about 75% of the curriculum by now, I should be ok on the day of the exam.

I will be very happy though at 1300 on Tuesday the 20th of May when I’ve finished my last exam, this term. Next term I’m doing Nordic literature before 1900, and that’s got to be more intriguing than this.

So these are my days right now, and it seems I spend most of my time hoping for my email programme to give a sound that indicates there’s mail for me (and something from friends, not spam!) – or for my phone to ring or beep or something – anything, that’ll give me a break from studying.

And now I’ll go back to trying very hard not to be studying…