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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Books, and life… and death…

I’m sure that other people also have trouble settling into everyday life again after a vacation. And this three week vacation in Gran Canaria did turn out very strange too as I had to fly back to Norway for five days for my grandmother’s funeral.

It is still sad that my grandmother is gone, but life goes on. Death is after all a natural part of life, and we should appreciate it when people have gotten to live a quite long life before they move on. Someone asked me if I will be using my grandmother’s death in any of my books, and I said no. But what I probably will be doing is using my own feelings concerning this in some of my books. I have written diaries most of my life, and often when I’m working on my stories it is very useful to go back and touch certain emotions again. And I’m sure I will be doing that with this as well. Some times when I write it is hard to really get the right feelings for the story, and I need to feel it to really be able to convey it to the reader. When this happens I like to read my diary, and draw on parallels in my own life and situations I’ve experienced that remind me about what I’m writing. 

Today I’ve finished a new draft of book number 8, and I think it’s a lot better than the previous. Tomorrow I’ll spend the day thinking about book number 10, and read some history and mythology. The main story for book number 10 is pretty much ready, but I still need some more details, and these details I often find by reading books from that age. I very often feel that there isn’t enough time to do research when I have to finish a new book just about every month, but some of the problem might also be that when I’m not writing or editing one of my books – I often rather spend time watching TV or movies. When I’ve spent a whole day (and sometimes evenings and nights) with the written word, I often get tired and rather want some “simple” entertainment, and then movies and TV series is just the right cure. But, I could’ve used that time to do research instead, so I do have a plan on becoming better at this in the future – even though I sometimes do get a bit fed up with everything written!

But, I guess all people are fed up with their job sometimes? Most of the time I am so happy and feel so privileged that I get to do this – and right now I just can’t wait to get started on book number 10. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A strange holiday… and hard days

Whilst writing this I’m at home in my “cave” in Solør. I should have been at Gran Canaria on the second week of a three week vacation. I travelled down there about one and a half week ago, very much ready for a vacation where I would relax, enjoy life, perhaps write a piece or two for my blogs, and do a bit of editing on book number 8. On Sunday I got the tragic message that my grandmother suddenly and unexpected had left this world. Wednesday I travelled back to Norway and yesterday I attended her funeral. It was a hard day, as it most often is with funerals, but at the same time it is good to have such a ceremony where the family gets to getter and tries to comfort each other in the middle of all the sadness. My grandmother was nearing on 80 and was not a young person any more, but still it was such a shock that she was to leave us all so sudden. But grandmother also loved life, she loved to have fun and she loved to travel. Because of this I’m sure that she would approve of my decision to go back to Gran Canaria, on Monday, and enjoy a bit more of sun and warmth for the remaining 10 days of the original 3 week holiday. And I will get to spend some time with family down there as well, as my parents and my mum’s two sisters with their husbands also will be there.

While I’ve been back in Norway I’ve got some more feedback from various directions on book number 1 of the Sword Woman’s kin. Quite a few of them are actually quite good, but some are not that good. These are things you have to be prepared for as a writer. I’m quite sure that there is no book written in the entire world that all readers like. I know I’ve read books that have won prizes where I could not understand at all why, and I’ve read books that have been slaughtered by critics and others that I’ve loved. All you can hope for as a writer is that at least some readers will find in interesting and entertaining to read what you write. Still, it is strange, how we as humans so often see past the good stuff and focuses on the bad. I have had many more positive feedbacks than bad on my book, and still it is the bad ones that keep gnawing on me. I can’t seem to push them out of my mind. Hopefully there will be something to learn from this: some of the negative critic I take to heart, and other I just see past because I just don’t agree. And this is what writing has to be: I write to entertain, but I can’t always change my story to meet with the negative critic that I get, because then it would no longer be my story, and then someone else should write it instead of me. When you write you have to have the courage to show the story that you’ve come to love so much yourself to the world, and accept that there will be people who won’t like it as well – but still be confident that as long as you feel that it truly is your story, that you’ve done a good job – then you’ve done as good as you can.

And this was the very long blog post of today, from Solør, where I will spend another couple of days in my “cave”, editing book number 8, before once again returning to the sun and warmth on Gran Canaria.