Archive for the English Category

We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one – 2016 in a nutshell

Every carbon-based lifeform on this planet seem to be in agreement that 2016 sucked. And it’s been a hard and sad year, in many ways. A year that took David Bowie, Prince and Alan Rickman as an appetizer, went on like a school of piranhas with a binge-eating disorder, and finished with the grand finale of ruining Christmas by killing off George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds (dying of a broken heart just one day after her daughter). 2016 wanted our tears, and it got a river of them.
But I think we mourn more than just people we loved and cherished. This is also the death of an era. The people we have lost became our heroes because they were themselves in ways most of us never dare. They had a rare oddity inside that they let flourish and bloom, we gladly let them, and in return we got the most wonderful art. They don’t make them like that anymore, and when we lose them now, we also lose the era of being unique, awesome, and true. Of singing your own song, and dancing to your own beat. That is perhaps the biggest loss of all.

This has also been a year when democracy got elbowed in the kidney by mean-spirited bullies. When facts and knowledge became useless, and the fakes and lies took the stage. When tragedies came in the form of truck attacks and sunken boats. When an ignorant, misogynistic, spiteful oompa-loompa got elected as a powerful world leader. When people fled war and death, and our response was to become selfish xenophobes. It’s been a year of suffering, bullshit, discontent, egoism, hate, sorrow, and bad sequels (I’m looking at you ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’). There wasn’t even a season of Doctor Who this year for fraks sake!!! 2016 was a stinky old diaper of a year, and it feels like there are so many reasons to feel despair.
But you know what? Let’s not. Let’s be wise and kind. Let’s be weird and hopeful. Let’s care about truths and facts and honesty. Let’s celebrate diversity and uniqueness. Let’s open our hearts and expand our minds. Let’s be better than this. We are not helpless – we are writing our own stories. Let it be a really good one for 2017, and beyond.

My personal life 2016 has been … let’s use the word ‘challenging’.
This story is still in the middle of the chapter, and I want to wait with telling all of it until it’s coming to a natural page-break, but it’s been a year in transit. I’m still on my way to my next destination, and the road is full of twists and turns, so the journey has taken longer than planned. Which means that I’ve been homeless this year. Not in the ‘sleep under a bridge’ sense of course, but in a ‘living in my bag and never staying long in each place’ way. I’ve slept in more than ten different beds during the year (most of them in southern Poland or northern Sweden). I feel like a touring rock star, but without the free booze or the screaming fans (so I guess I feel like a roadie).
It’s a strange and funny life. I’ve felt welcome and familiar in a place where I don’t even speak the language, and completely lost and alien in the place I grew up.

Navigating through everyday life has been more or less a full time job. I’ve learned tons about myself and about the world, and I’m very grateful for it, but at the end of the day it’s really exhausting. And it’s really been messing with my serotonin levels (hello darkness my old friend). When people ask why I haven’t written any book this year, I want to answer “for the same reason people don’t do math tests while riding a rollercoaster”. But experience is always valuable, and my story- and idea-storage is filling up to the brim. Once I get home and can sit down in peace, there will more stories than I’ll have time to write during my lifetime.

So my creative output hasn’t been the most impressive this year. You know when you open up Photoshop on your laptop, but the anti-virus software is already hogging so much memory and processor power that it’s impossible to run anything else, it’s only crashing or running so slow it’s basically not running at all? That’s how my mind’s been 2016. The overload of life’s troubles and worries have stolen all my processor power, and there’s been little left for the creative processes.
But since rent have to be paid and cheese is not free, I’ve done a bit of this and that. Most of it not worth writing home about, but there are some things that have been out of the ordinary. For very different reasons.

Let me begin on the bad end of the scale. I like to try new things. I’ve written for comedians and lawyers, created scripts for talk show hosts and programs for operas, written horror and social satire, and tons of other stuff. It’s fun and educational to jump around different fields. So I decided to dip my nose into this content writing the kids are talking about these days. What is this ‘content writing?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s all this “Ten reasons why Hollywood won’t hire Jar-Jar Binks anymore” and “You won’t believe this hungover piglet’s reaction when it reads its horoscope” you procrastinate with when you should be working. The stuff that fills the internet. Now I’ve tried it. And … Worst. Job. Ever. First of all, it pays so bad I’ve would have made tons more if I had used that time to rob squirrels of their nuts. But the worst part was the deception. I love making things up, but then I clearly put a label on it saying “This is a story, I made it all up, it’s not true”. Now I’ve written positive reviews of things I’ve never touched, created travel guides for places I’ve never been, and much worse. I feel dirty. And I feel regret. This world has more than enough of deception, illusion and fakery. I’ll make amends for this when I find a really good way to do it, but for now – don’t believe everything you read. Really don’t!

On the positive end of the work-scale I got a gig that certainly should have been on my bucket list if I even had dared to dream about it. The Spanish publisher Quaderns Crema decided that of all the images in the world, they wanted to use my ‘Wheels of Time’ for the cover of their collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry. Edgar fucking Allan Poe! I’m so proud that even my hair is doing the happy-dance. I can die happy now…

I’m also a bit proud of the script I wrote for this commercial for a last minute restaurant seat app/service. It turned out as a really cute and fun and positive little video. It’s in Swedish, but it’s a couple of seconds of fun for all languages.

 

Clumsy me managed to drop my camera in the ground, but I gave it some first class health care, and it’s up and running again. I’ve taken a picture or two during the year that I’m proud of.
The very nice people over at deviantART gave me a Daily Deviation for my picture ‘The Night Reader’. I’m actually very happy with this picture, because it was just a spur of the moment improvisation/test to see what could be done with available light, and it turned out better than things usually do when I think them through carefully. 🙂

My personal favourite of all the photons that have entered my camera is this picture. It has two of my favourite subjects in it – hands and water.

 

During years like this one it’s really good to have art as a hiding place from reality. There’s been a lot of really good music, books and moving pictures. Here are my personal favs:

Music:
Broods, Devin Townsend Project, Gojira, HANA, Immanu El, Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah, Moda Spira, The Naked and Famous, Periphery, Serpentine Dominion, Tegan and Sara, Voices From The Fuselage, Young Summer

Books:
Neil Gaiman: The View From the Cheap Seats, Matt Ruff: Lovecraft Country, Dexter Palmer: Version Control, Ken Liu: The Paper Menagerie

Movies:
Kubo and the Two Strings, Captain America: Civil War, The Witch, Deadpool, Green Room, Arrival, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Rogue One

TV:
Westworld, Class, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, Ash vs Evil Dead, Legends of Tomorrow, Lucifer, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, The Man in the High Castle, The OA

So… 2017 is here. Here’s what I’m going to do with it:
Create more. Especially write more.
Experience glory and adventure.
Sleep for a month. Wait, make that two months.
Hug like an octopus made of glue.
Humanity disappointed me in 2016, so I’m going to try to be a better human 2017. Maybe it’s contagious…
Be as unique as I can. Sing my own song as only I can, even if it sounds like a bunch of tone-deaf cats having an orgy.
Cherish knowledge and facts. Be honest and true.
Be grateful. The things I love and care about the most are alive and well and still in my life. That’s all I really care about.
Go home. To where I can live, laugh and love. To where my heart belongs, and my soul is peaceful.
Finish this chapter. It’s a good story after all, with a wonderful ending in sight, and I can’t wait to get there, and tell you all about it.

Take care of yourselves. Be wise, be kind, be awesome, and have a really wonderful 2017.
/Peter

 

Listening to: Tony Anderson
Reading: Thomas Olde Heuvelt: Hex
Watching: Sherlock
Eating: Cheese

50 things I wish I could tell the younger me

I think that I’m getting old. It’s not the wrinkles, or the grey hairs, or that the nose-hairs suddenly sprout like something from Jack and the Beanstalk, or that the hangover from the New Year’s party lasts until Easter. It’s  the grey hairs inside my head. It’s when my mind goes from “That’s cool! I must try it!” when I encounter something new, to “You shall not pass, flame of Udûn!” It’s when I shake my head and mutter “kids these days…” at nonsense like that stupid unboxing-part in reviews, reaction videos on YouTube, and the witch-hunt on pubic hair. It’s when the people I say are “about my age” actually are fifteen years younger than me. It’s avoiding telling my age in numbers, and instead comparing myself to some good-looking celeb older than me “Oh, me, I’m younger than Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt”.

I did the math, and unless there’s some really potent antioxidants in cheese and wine, or that Netflix transmits youth-rays, I most likely have less birthdays ahead of me than I have behind me. Of course that makes me wonder about the life I’ve lived so far. Was it just dull work and mindless procrastination? Did I do something useful? Did I learn something? Did my soul grow? So I began to write down the stuff I would tell the teenage me if I’d ever stumble upon a DeLorean with a flux capacitor. The life-hacks, and the soul-hacks. The short-cuts and the pennies dropped. The lessons learned from fumbling my way through life. The 50 things I wish that I could tell the younger me…

1. There is no such thing as being ready. You can prepare until the end of days, but life just keeps changing the rules all the time. Don’t wait, do it now. Jump, and figure out how to land later. It will not be any messier, and you’ll save time. Besides, you won’t have time to worry about how to do it when you’re in the middle of doing it.

2. You don’t have to care about what people think about you. It’s only opinions, and there are so many opinions that if they had matter we’d need five more universes. Also consider the source of the opinion – critique from a moron is actually praise.

3. Fire your inner demons, and hire an inner village idiot. Instant bliss.

4. Luck exists. But it’s not magic – it’s an attitude. ‘Lucky’ people expose themselves to the possibility of chance. They are curious and unafraid, open to everything. They don’t care about failing. They don’t get stuck in routines, but always try new things, and new ways and solutions. Want to be lucky? Ditch your fears and hesitation, and just go out there and do stuff.

5. Find out what makes your heart beat faster and brings a smile on your lips, and make that your destination. Make a map and follow it. Don’t care about the detours, the getting lost, or the bumps in the road – that’s all a part of the journey. Just remember where you are going and you’ll get there eventually.

6. Everything is possible. The trick is to never give up.

7. Don’t send ‘signals’ – just say what’s on your mind. As clear as possible. People are crap at mindreading. Not to mention how incredibly bad actors we all are. Our performance of “I’m very upset about what you said last night, and you should see it on my face, understand, and apologize” usually come across as “I’m constipated, can we have Mexican for dinner?

8. It’s ok to break up with friends and family. There are no relations you have to be in. Life’s too short to be around people that make you unhappy.

9. Being scared means that you’re on to something important and amazing. Being brave means that you keep going even after you’ve pooped your pants. It’s only pants after all.

10. As Churchill said: If you’re going through hell – keep going. I’d like to add: …and don’t forget to get some ice cream along the way.

11. Facts are going extinct. They’ve been crowded out by the invasive species Opinions, Myths, and Delusions. Facts are important and precious, value them and care for them. Study, research, and be very critical of sources. Even when the results piss you off.

12. Every time you make a choice someone is going to get disappointed. Just make sure it isn’t you.

13. There’s no such thing as being lazy. Resting before you get tired is clever, and good for both your body and your mind. And if it makes you bored you’ll probably get a lot of great ideas. Always being busy is an effective way to overexert yourself, and not get the time to listen to all the important things your heart want to tell you.

14. Self-pity begin to smell after 24h. Do something about the reason, or get drunk, forget, and move on.

15. The world isn’t fair. Assholes that can barely tie their shoelaces get rewarded and become successful, while kind and talented people get ignored and pushed back. There is one thing you can do to make the world a better place: Don’t play along. Don’t give the asshats attention just because everyone else does. Reward the people that prefer to use their heart and soul instead of sharp elbows and bullshit.

16. It’s never too late to change your mind. (Exceptions: becoming a parent, and committing suicide)

 

On the shore

 

17. Know the rules before you break them. Or else your radical trailblazing is only you stomping around in the dark. That being said, not knowing the rules is much more fun.

18. Do the things you love. If you love what you do, chances are that other people will too.

19. Productivity is all about outsmarting your dallying inner child that want to play, and live under the delusion that the future-you will have more time and motivation than the now-you. Do it now, because future-you is the same tardy bastard, and is not to be trusted.

20. Gifts and holidays are much more appreciated if they show up unexpectedly instead of on a certain date.

21. Rock bottom is a great place to push yourself up from.

22. Cosplay your way through life. Reality seems like a lovely place, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

23. Finish things. Properly. Everything that you leave unfinished, unsaid, undone, unshouted, unthrownaway, unkicked, unwhatever, is going to just lie there like a huge rotting mammoth and stink up the place. And remember that letting go is also a way to finish things.

24. Fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles in life when it comes to getting shit done. I guess we’re thinking “If I don’t try I at least remain in the same place, if I try and fail I’ll take a step back”. That is just pure bullshit. It’s by making mistakes we learn and grow. Doing it wrong is the first and only step to doing it right. The only real failure is not even trying.

25. If you want to make a living of your art, you have to master two kinds of creative skills. One is of course the thing(s) you create. But remember that art is not sport, you can’t really measure being ‘good’. Crappy musicians play songs millions love. People with the writing skills of a dim 6th grader can make a bestseller. The only thing you can truly be good at, is being You. Find your voice, and make it as much You as possible.
The second area of creativity is making what you do into a product people are willing to pay for. This is much, much harder, because there are no rules or patterns or predictability. Not so long ago people paid good money music and movies, and coffee was almost free, now it’s the other way around. Next week maybe diamonds are as cheap as bubblgum, and we pay big money to smell farts. I have no idea. But try to understand your market. Be in touch with the zeitgeist. Try to understand people, and what they love and why. And be unique.

 

Like sand through my fingers

 

26. “You haven’t changed a bit” is not a compliment – it’s an insult.

27. Act, don’t react. Don’t let your direction in life come from jumping aside, backing away, escaping, or being pushed around.

28. Try to leave the planet a better place than you found it. It’s the only one with chocolate, wine, pillow forts, melodic death metal, cheese, tortoises, and breathable air.

29. People think in stories and personal experiences, not in statistics, so they will be wrong about basically everything. Yes, you too.

30. Pick your fights. Being right all the time isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

31. Ignoramuses are cocksure. People who actually know what they are doing are full of doubt. Being crippled by self-doubt is a reliable sign that you are on to something amazing.

32. People can act selfish for two reasons.
Reason 1: It’s who they are. That kind is selfish in all weathers and moods. They will suck you dry, and when you crawl away in an attempt to save your life and soul, they will be deeply disappointed in you …and of course call you “selfish”.
Reason 2: They suffer so much that they simply haven’t anything left to give to others. Helping them is the most beautiful kindness there is, and when they are back safe on the shore again, they can become the best friends you’ve ever had.

33. You are never as lonely as when you are among people you don’t belong with. Find your Tribe. Create your own family. But most important of all – learn to love your own company, then you’re never truly alone.

34. There are two kinds of trouble in life. One is like a big tree that has fallen across the road you’re travelling – the solution is fairly obvious, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work. The other is more like solving Rubik’s Cube – you have no idea what you’re doing when you begin, you have to twist and turn and try and fail and feel like a complete idiot, until you suddenly see the obvious solution in all its simplicity and elegance.

35. And speaking of troubles. If you really want something you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

36. This is what the road to success really looks like:

what-success-really-looks-like

37. Dream. Dream big. Dream wild. Dream dangerously. Reality is a work-in-progress, and it need your dreams to evolve and become better and more beautiful. And you need your dreams, because if you don’t dream you will have no guiding star, and get lost.

38. Keep an open mind. But also keep bouncers, fact-checkers, security guards, and a well-paid skeptic at the opening.

39. Money is just a tool. Don’t give it power or meaning it doesn’t have, it will only mess with your life, and make you care about things that are not important. The human brain is wired to think that there is no such thing as “enough” (it was developed back in the day when we usually had cold gravel for supper …if we were lucky). Earn 100 000? Then you will think that you’ll be happy once you earn 200 000, but every time you get a raise, your limit for what you think will make you happy will jump out of your reach. Also, most people adjust their spending every time they get more money. You will always end up on 0 at the end of the month, just with more stuff that is in the way and that will complicate your life.
Spend your money on experiences, not on stuff. That new iPhone will be obsolete and boring before you’re even home, but travelling, dinners with friends, and watching Rammstein live will make you feel connected, and give you stories to tell (and the Rammstein gig will probably also clear your sinuses and burn off your nose-hair).

40. Hope is not found – it is created.

41. When the map and reality differs – rewrite reality.

42. ‘Politically correct’ is derogatory term used by whining dinosaurs who can’t understand why no one is laughing at their demeaning jokes about gays, vegans, foreigners, feminists, disabled, and minorities anymore. Dinosaurs belong in a museum.

43. Everything happens for a reason … that you make up afterwards, to make some sense of this random chaotic mess called life. But that’s ok. Life is a story anyway, why not make it a good one.

44. The best chance of finding the Love of Your Life is by not trying. Be happy all by yourself, and you’ll see other people with a clear vision. Longing and loneliness tend to mess with your perception of reality, “Oh, you are also carbon-based, and have five fingers on each hand! We are soul-mates made for each other!

45. There are a LOT of myths and expectations regarding how you should act, reason, and behave as a man/Swede/writer/at-your-age/whatever. Don’t buy that shit. If you are willingly going to be restrained, let it at least be in a kinky way. Resisting and rejecting norms and peer pressure is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

46. Fruit will never be a substitute for chocolate. Never. Ever.

47. Figuring out life, and yourself, takes a lot of time. It’s ok to feel lost and make a lot of mistakes. It’s more than ok – it’s the only way. We’re never graduating, or getting any real grip, but at some point we’re getting to know who we are, what we like and what we don’t, and then life gets a bit easier. But don’t be surprised if this happens sometime around when you get your first grey hairs.

48. Don’t do regret or bitterness. Really. Don’t. That’s like crapping your pants, and then keeping them on so the smell will always remind you how awful it was that time you crapped your pants. Don’t look back. Look forward. Or even better – look at the present. The best time is always now. And it’s never too late. Your dreams have no expiry date. One of my friends became a rock star after 40. There are many that began their careers as bodybuilders or writers and other cool things after 80. Life is happening all the time. It only stops with the last breath.

49. Listen to your heart. Yeah, I know, the heart is just a muscle that is pumping blood through the body, and if you listen to it you will only hear “swoosh-swoosh” and “bonk-bonk”. But you know what I mean, that expression means listen to your dreams and desires, do the things you look forward to, the things that make you happy. It may sound obvious, but humans are social animals, and once upon a time “listen to your heart” meant getting kicked out of the tribe for being weird, which meant that something with sharp teeth would soon be chewing on your heart. But today it is safe to be yourself and follow your dreams. You may piss people off, but that’s a good way of sorting them out. There are no innocent casualties when you follow your heart (unless you dream about being a serial-killer) – people who truly care about your happiness will understand and support you; people who don’t can fuck off.

50. Whatever you do, be kind. It’s very contagious.

 

What the water gave me

 

All pictures © Peter X. Eriksson

 

 

Listening to: Periphery and Moda Spira
Reading: Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories
Watching: Stranger Things
Playing: Disney Magic Kingdoms

What if we treated bank robbery like rape

Imagine reading this in the newspaper one day:

“The men accused of assaulting a bank office earlier this year, was today freed of all charges by the court. ‘It’s not possible to establish that the bank was in, according to the law, a vulnerable condition when the men took large amounts of money from it. Nor is it possible to prove any lack of consent’
According to the court, there are several factors to consider regarding the alleged assault. One is the bank’s reputation, and prior history with money. It’s well known that they keep cash there. It’s even been advertised. And they should know what people are like – most like easy money. The men working in the bank wear expensive suits and watches. They should keep in mind what kind of signals they are sending. It’s very unadvisable to tempt your surroundings like that. Besides, they didn’t resist the transaction enough, just handed over the money and kept quiet. They didn’t alert anyone until after it was all over. That could be seen as a sign of consent.
There is also word against word in this case. The bank claims that it was in a vulnerable condition, while the men claims that the bank knew what it was doing, and gave them the money voluntarily, and that the bank had been very forthcoming earlier, handing out money to several other customers.
‘It can be very confusing in situations like this’, the court says, ‘when the bank lend money to a lot of people. It’s not up to the court to decide about personal disagreements about consent.’

Sexual assault is not about a lot of things we think it is about.
It is not an act of impulsive, uncontrollable desire; it is a premeditated act of violence (research shows that more than half of the rapes are planned).
It’s not about sex. If someone hit you with a shovel, you wouldn’t call it gardening. It’s about psychological needs, not bodily ones. The perpetrators aren’t horny – they need to feel power, control, domination, and feeling superior to women.
It’s not about strange men hiding in the bushes. 4/5 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim. Often in a familiar environment.
It’s not about how women dress or behave. It’s about the attitudes and values among men.

Rape and sexual assault may be among the worst things men do to women, but it’s definitely not the only thing. The gender gap, the glass ceiling, gender inequality at home and at work, belittling, master suppression techniques, sexism, harassment, mansplaining, dick pics, dirty socks on the living room floor… it’s a very long list. But even if these things are considered to be women’s issues, they are not. Women certainly get the short end of the stick, but the reason for it can be found between the ears of men.

There’s a forgotten tragedy behind rape. One where men are reduced to testosterone-bags with no free will (but ‘not all men’, of course), with an untamable sexuality much like a loaded gun with the safety off – be very careful with it, or you may get hurt. One where men have to assault, degrade, and humiliate women in order to keep some imaginary position in a made-up hierarchy. One where men are trapped inside a lie about what it means to be a man.

Not that long ago women saw through the lie they were trapped in, and rewrote and updated the ‘What it means to be a woman’ manual. They got sick of being seen as some second-class humans, and empowered themselves. They want a very simple and natural thing – that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. That the world should look the same no matter what you have between your legs. As we can see it’s still very much a work-in-progress. But not because of lack of efforts from the women. But because the general attitude from us men is along the lines of “umm… what..?” When the train to gender equality left the station, the women was already on board and having drinks in the dining car, while us guys got left behind at the station, obviously too busy telling blonde jokes and sending dick pics to notice things were changing.

And things have certainly changed. But not as much for men as for the rest of the world. We live in the past. We carry around beliefs and ideas as relevant in 2016 as a Betamax videocassette. We are the flat earth society of gender equality. Our minds run on Windows 3.11. Our attitudes are obsolete. We desperately need to up upgrade to a new masculinity, because the old one stinks like yesterday’s diapers. We can stop everything from rape to manspreading simply by throwing out outdated ways of seeing the world and the people in it. So let us.

 

The material here is taken and (badly) translated from my Swedish book “På Y-fronten intet nytt – jakten på den nya mansrollen”, roughly translated to “All quiet on the Y-front – in search of a new masculinity”. Published on this day ten years ago. Unfortunately, still relevant it seems…

På Y-fronten intet nytt

 

 
Oh, and guys, if this whole consent thing seems confusing, it’s really not. Just watch this:

Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios

 

 

Listening to: Killswitch Engage
Reading: Matt Ruff: Lovecraft Country
Watching: Broadchurch
Drinking: Havana Rum Coffee

Everything’s got to end sometime; otherwise nothing would ever get started – 2015 in a nutshell

Tempus fugit faster than a butterfly-fart on fire, and things change. 2015 was a year when a lot changed for me. A year of ending and beginnings.

It’s been an unforgettable journey. Slow, sad and dark at times. Wild, crazy and adventurous at others. Sentimental, scary, hopeful, refreshing, exhausting, fun, educating… you name it. But it’s all been valuable. Even the bad bits, in their way, because everything’s a lesson, and nothing worth having ever comes easy. (Except perhaps the male orgasm, it usually takes very little work, and is always appreciated by those having it)

One thing that ended was ye ole teamwork of Eriksson & Holmlund. It was a peaceful and friendly ending, and it will continue to be a very good friendship. No need for sympathies or pity or anything like that. But if someone want to buy me a drink I’m on anytime. I can’t for the life of me don’t understand why there need to be a breakup or something before friends can get drunk together, I’m sure it’s the hamster’s birthday or something we can use as a reason.
Anyway, besides friendship the digital publishing house Turtle Bite Books is also still a common endeavor, and new books are on their way.
Everyone’s fine, and life goes on.

I have moved. Or to be more specific: I’m still in transit. I should have put my bags down in London this fall, but since life is full of unexpected twists and turns, I haven’t. Yet. While me and my bags are on our way, I live pretty much everywhere. Most of all in Poland. It’s been an extremely healthy trip outside my comfort zone to be a stranger in a strange land, not knowing the language, or anything else.
Not knowing the language is an amusing adventure. Ever since I accidentally bought buttermilk instead of ordinary milk, and had the worst cup of tea in my life (it tasted like expired beaver puke), I have begun to use the Google Translate app on everything I’m not sure what it is. Problem is, as soon as the label isn’t in clear, well-spaced Arial, the app gets a bit confused. So far I’ve had soup with ‘dragon’ and ‘snake’ as ingredients, I’ve been instructed to add “a spoonful of monsters”, and the laundry detergent was “concentrated lawsuit”.
But dziękuję Poland for being a kind host. Your vodka is excellent, your artists even better, and your food prices that make it possible for me to buy a week’s dinners for what I used to pay for half a peanut back in Sweden has been a wonderful disaster for my waistline. Now, just get rid of those medieval blasphemy laws, remember what democracy is, and start smiling, and everything will be peachy.

And while we’re on the subject of Poland. Last year I discovered that pictures have a language of their own, tell stories just as words does. I also discovered that my pictures most likely spoke Polish, because I got a lot of feedback from Polish artists. With one of them, Ewelina, our common languages were so many and went so deep that the cooperation kicked in the door and didn’t take no for an answer. We are writing, creating stories, conjuring up images, composing music, turning dreams and fantasies and magic into reality. It just flows. It is very amazing to have found my kindred soul.
It’s all still work-in-progress, but expect to hear a lot from team Eriksson & Brzozka in 2016.

Lives ended. We lost legends like Leonard Nimoy, Robin Williams, Christopher Lee, Terry Pratchett and Lemmy. I lost people close to me. Some long before their expiration-date. Some that I even didn’t get a chance to meet face-to-face before they suddenly left.
Life isn’t fair. Never been. The only antidote is to always follow your heart and your dreams. Never wait, only live and laugh and learn.

I think that I finally defected from reality this year. You are kind of nice, Real World, I’ve always liked you in one way or the other, but you have lost your heart. I need a warmth and a kindness you don’t seem to have anymore. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to live in you anymore. But I’m sure we’ll see each other at some Christmas party or something. Take care of yourself!

I’ve written. Quite a lot actually. Some of it the most important I’ve ever put in words. Nothing ended up in any bookstores this year. But don’t worry, things will. Even if I will have to drop handwritten notes between the shelves in secret.

I took pictures. Only about half as many as last year (+10 000 jpg’s in my end-of-the-year backup). I must be making less mistakes. 🙂
I even got paid to do it (why can’t my hobbies ever stay hobbies?). The cartoonist/author Tony Cronstam needed new portraits, and I gave it a shot. It involved laughter, hugs, pastries and cognac. And good results. It was much too fun to be called work. But I will gladly do it again, if anyone need a portrait and a good time. Just look how pretty and happy I made Tony look. 🙂

TonyCronstam

 

If you want to buy prints on everything from hq photo-paper and canvas to leggings and pillows, I’ve set up a shop over at Redbubble.

red-bubble-logo

I’ve taken pictures just for the fun of it too. I was going to pick out one favourite, but I couldn’t. So I picked out the bunch that both I and people that are not me seemed to like the most.

A Study in Blue

The Ghost of Me III

Loxia pytyopsittacus

I can touch the summer I can touch the dusk But I can’t touch you

Tears From The Sky

The Wilderness Beneath

 

I went to my Twitter-feed to see if it could help me summarize the year. I don’t think it did, but it’s a kind of a representative MRI-scan of that stuff between my ears that makes me have insane ideas and do crazy shit:

  • Just took +100 pics of colostomy bags. And what have you done today?
  • BB King once addressed Mick Hucknall as “Simply”, because he thought his name was Simply Red.
  • Word of the day: OORIE – miserable as a result of cold weather.
  • The blankets in my bed has accepted me as one of their own. If I leave I might lose their trust.
  • Today’s best headline: “Earth endangered by new strain of fact-resistant humans.”
  • Best poetry of the year came from a bad Chinese-to-English auto-translation on eBay: “Strong adsorbability, prevent the shift, water flow smoothly, Starfish shape adds funny”.
  • It’s sink or swim, and I don’t know how to sink.
  • Just had a beer that tasted like an iron fence, but in a good way.
  • Today I accidentally created the genre “erotic butterfly comedy”.
  • Dreaming summer dreams, because if you don’t dream, nothing ever happens.
  • There’s something about finding empty condom wrappers in cemeteries that always make me smile.
  • Just tasted the abomination of marzipan filled with salty liquorice. My suffering will be legendary even in hell.
  • I’m so tired even my pockets are nodding off.
  • Took a nap, and woke up from the fluttering of a lost butterfly trying to use my face as a landing spot.
  • The joy of reading a brand new Terry Pratchett-book. And the deep sadness that it will be the last time I do.
  • Things I’ve seen today: a fistfight, a butterfly, rats, tears, my own blood mixed with instant coffee, and hope in an unexpected place.
  • Planning and designing my next home. Realise that I probably will have to do all my shopping in Diagon Alley this time.
  • Sad me wanted to have cookies and brandy for dinner. Reasonable me said “No, fix things instead!” I hate being a grown up sometimes…
  • Instead of doing something that resembles work, I’m googling pillow forts. I think my hibernating instincts are setting in.

 

Enough about my life.
Here’s the stuff I really liked 2015:

Music:
The Agonist, CHVRCHES, Fightstar, Flor, Ghost Ship Octavius, Goldmund, iwrestledabearonce, Killing Joke, Lifehouse, Marina Mena, Outside The Coma, Periphery, Ryn Weaver, Soilwork, Twelve Foot Ninja, Young Guns.

Best Song of the Year:

 

TV:
Daredevil, Sense8, Jessica Jones, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, Hannibal, Sleepy Hollow, Walking Dead, Ash vs Evil Dead, Helix, Wayward Pines, The Expanse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Books:
Neil Gaiman: Trigger Warning, Kelly Link: Get In Trouble, Terry Pratchett: The Shepherd’s Crown, Scott Hawkins: The Library at Mount Char

Movies:
Mad Max: Fury Road, An Honest Liar, Ex Machina, Bone Tomahawk, Shaun the Sheep, The Little Prince, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best acting & best anti-war speech:
Peter Capaldi’s been on fire as the 12th Doctor this season. The man’s embraced the role like no one else has, and I’ve had to rewatch every episode because Capaldi’s been chewing scenes with such brilliance I’ve forgot the plot. In ‘The Zygon Inversion’ he’s not only giving a masterclass in acting, but also giving us all the reasons no one can ever win a war…

 

Well, you have a wonderful 2016 now my darlings!
In this coming year, I hope that you will laugh, learn, live and love.
Don’t wait – do. Tempus fugit really fucking fast.
Don’t regret. The past is just an old stick drifting away in the river.
Create something. If you had fun doing it, then it’s a success. And don’t mind if you suck at it, all art has a place (and others will probably love you for making them look good).
Use your brain and your heart all that you can. The world needs kindness and wisdom like never before.
Be nice. Be happy.
Today, and all of your tomorrows.

/P.

LuleaGold

Listening to: Ine Hoem and Sikth
Reading: Molly Tanzer: Vermilion
Watching: The Expanse
Drinking: Havana Rum Coffee

The Dream Formula

I’m writing this in my temporary room in Poland. I like it. It’s warm and cozy, I can make tea here, it got one of those fancy showers with a gazillion settings that can give you an accidental enema if you’re not careful, and it has a skylight so I can watch the sky, the moon and the stars through my roof.

What I’m doing in Poland? Well, that is sort of a long story, and since I’m still in the middle of it, it would be difficult to tell all of it now. It wouldn’t even end on a cliffhanger, it would end midsentence, and that’s just sucky storytelling. See this as a teaser for the upcoming full story that’s coming soon. But in short: I was on my way to London, was just going to stop here for a short while, but because, you know, ‘life’, I’m still here.

But as they say, “It didn’t go as planned, and that’s ok”. It’s an unexpected adventure I wouldn’t want to be without. I highly recommend to stay somewhere you never planned to be, and where you don’t speak the language, it makes you feel awake and alive. And whenever I use my Google Translate app – also amused. Ever since I accidentally bought buttermilk instead of ordinary milk, and had the worst cup of tea in my life (it tasted like expired beaver puke), I use that app on everything I’m not sure what it is. Problem is, as soon as the label isn’t in clear, well-spaced Arial, the app gets a bit confused. So far I’ve had soup with ‘dragon’ and ‘snake’ as ingredients, I’ve been instructed to add “a spoonful of monsters”, and the laundry detergent was “concentrated lawsuit”.

Pictures from Poland:

Czestochowa-1

Czestochowa-2

Czestochowa-3

Czestochowa-4

Being a stranger in a strange land also makes you think. In different ways, and on different things. Lately I’ve thought a lot about dreams.

Dreamers get a lot of crap. Get called naïve, lazy, having the head in the clouds and not being in touch with reality. That last bit is sort of half-true. Being a dreamer, I always see reality as a work in progress. There are always things that need to be changed, added or improved.

I think those who see dreamers in a negative way are non-dreamers that live under two delusions:
1. That everything around us has always been there, and popped into existence unaided, like a virgin birth.
2. That dreamers are lazy slackers that imagine that they can change the world, sleep ‘til noon, and get laid (not necessarily in that order) with their poetry/songwriting/interpretive dance/etc, while society have to pay their rent and bar tab.

The non-dreamers seem to forget that lightbulbs, iPhones, pacemakers, democracy, the kingdom of Sweden, space travels and the whoopee cushion all began as a dream in someone’s head. Someone took a long walk among their thoughts and saw something no one had ever seen before. Then got haunted by the idea to make the dream become a part of a new reality.

Dreamers have very selective vision, seeing possibilities very clearly, but limitations as some distant, irrelevant blur. ‘Unrealistic’ is just another word for ‘no one has tried hard enough yet’. Dreamers always think outside the box, because they didn’t even notice there was a box to begin with (they probably put wheels on it and turned it into an environmentally-friendly vehicle, driven by the waste heat from their optimism). Yes, dreamers do spend a lot of time in their heads, and it may look like laziness, but it enables them to change things. Even change the world. If it weren’t for the dreamers we would still sit in trees and ponder how to get some nutritional value from a rock.

You see, dreams are so very important. They are the most important ingredient to make amazing and important things happen. Not only in our world, but also in ourselves. If we don’t dream we will have no goal in life, and we will end up doing things for someone else’s dreams, and live the life of others. We need the dreams to be free and to fully become ourselves.
Dreams are the seeds that will change both us and the world. But not all by themselves, of course. Nothing can grow without a seed, but a seed will also need help to grow. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple formula for taking even the craziest idea out of the head and into the real world.
The formula is: dreaming + doing + not giving up = new amazing things.
All parts are important. And without doing and keep on trying until we succeed, the dreams will only stay in our heads, and slowly turn sour as they don’t become reality. But everything is possible when dreams and action meet. Everything.

No one said it was simple though. As someone who meddles in a bunch of creative areas I’m very familiar with the creative process:

  1. This is awesome
  2. This is tricky
  3. This is shit
  4. I am shit
  5. This might be ok
  6. This is awesome

 

This is true for all dreams and ideas. There will be self-doubt, there will be naysayers, and there will be obstacles. Things don’t go as planned, funds run out, mistakes are made, plans go pear shaped, accidents happen. It’s hard. But not the end. We only need to catch our breath, adjust and keep on going. Not give up. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Make glorious mistakes, because they are valuable lessons, and it is a million times better than doing nothing. And by understanding this process, and keep going, there will be success.

what-success-really-looks-like

Sometimes it can feel too hard when the obstacles never end, when the problems drains us and our energy runs out, and with it the hope. But all energy and hope returns. Despair is just a feeling. The dream and the possibilities are still there, just harder to see in the fog of exhaustion. Disappointments are just small clouds hiding the light for a short while. They’ll pass. Trust the initial belief. Trust your heart. Trust yourself. Get rid of the doubters and the pessimists. Let them crawl back to their branch and suck on that rock, while you take that dream about writing the world’s saddest love song/construct a bridge between Africa and Europe so all refugees can walk over safely/making a pizza with 14 kinds of cheese/whatever, and make it happen.

Go on, dream. Bring something to the world that wasn’t there before. Change it. Make it bigger and better. Leave your mark.

steve-jobs-quote

 

Listening to: Ryn Weaver and Fightstar
Reading: Stephen King: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Watching: Jessica Jones
Dreaming of: Pillow forts

News…ish

So. Some kind of news:

1. I’m not dead. I know that I have been VERY silent and invisible the last year or two. But life happened. Or stopped happen, more like it. But now it is moving again. Very fast. In all directions (including some not yet discovered spatial dimensions). Expect surprising things coming soon.

2. I used to have one site in Swedish and one in English. I’ve merged them into one, and the result will from now on be mostly in English. Because reasons.

3. I’m working on something. It involves several of the formats I work in. Unless I get abducted by aliens it will be finished and published after the summer. (Note the vague release date, “after the summer” could very well mean “two days before the sun dies”)

4. This was just a small update. I’ll return soon with all kind of news that will make all the clickbait on the web seem like the last weeks weather report from the Gobi desert. For constant updates, please check my FB-page and Twitter.

5. Doctor Who series 9 will begin 19th September. Why even bother about anything else..?

Listening to: iwrestledabearonce and Flor
Reading: Kelly Link: Get In Trouble
Watching: Sense8
Mood: Nervouscited

The Kindness of Strangers – 2014 in a nutshell

Oh 2014, what am I going to say about you? In many ways you’ve been the worst year ever. In other ways (but not that many) you’ve been really good (mostly in making it really obvious what direction is wrong, but there are also some seeds planted that I really look forward to see what they grow up to be). You’ve been a trial, a sorrow, an endless in-between. But I’m not gonna give you too much crap before I can truly see what the consequences of you are. As someone once said: “Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed & rearranged to relocate us to the place we’re meant to be.” So, I’m just gonna write down the first few thoughts about you I come up with + some of my fav music/books/movies/whatever of the year, and then wait a year and do a proper 2014 evaluation when you’re far enough in the rear-view mirror to be judged properly.

So…

This is the first year since my debut 2005 that I haven’t written or published a book. This is a sad fact, but the only thing I really care about now is making sure that this is the first and the last time this happens.

But I did write stuff. Shorter things, like captions to my pictures and little compositions like that. And sometimes this shorter stuff touched people in different ways. Some laughed, some cried, some thought about things they never thought about before. And all this reminded me about the Power of Words, and it also reminded me why I love what I do so much.

A good friend said that he would bitch-slap me endlessly if I gave up writing. That warmed my heart. I haven’t quit. I just have a flat writing-tyre, and I need to fix it. I’ll be on the road soon again.

The second best compliment I got this year was “You’re so wonderfully demented it makes me happy” (thank you Jimmy!). The best one I’ll keep to myself.

I got kissed by a lesbian under the mistletoe (bi-curiosity works both ways it seems).

Keywords for this year: “HappySad”, “Kindness of strangers”, “Wanderlust”, “Changes”, “Finding your Home”.

As I said, didn’t write a lot, but I took a shitload of pictures (when I did the last end-of-the-year backup I counted 19 294 pics in the 2014-folder). What I never knew is what a wonderful storytelling instrument the camera can be. I’ve found myself using it more than the pen or the keyboard to tell the stories I have in my head. Another thing I also noticed with photography is that at some point you’ll find your own voice, and if you put enough of yourself in it you will connect with others that speak the same language. Something you’ll notice when the comments go from “nice light” and “cool angle” to “you have an old soul” and “this made me cry”. And when that happens it’s the same wonderful feeling as when you’re at a party and you see someone wearing a tee with that band you love but no one’s ever heard of, or when you’re being the only one completely mesmerized by a painting at a museum/gallery while everyone else just strolls past it … until you notice that someone is standing right beside you, also lost in what they see. That feeling. When you look at each other and share that knowing “You and I are the same”-smile, and you know that you have found a member of your Tribe.

And if my pictures have a language, it’s most likely polish. Don’t know why, but most of the people I have connected with this year are polish. Maybe I am too, just born in another country? So, dziękuję Poland!
(Honorable mentions to Russia, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina and Italy).

Oh, and I’ve created a FB-page for my photography, and an Instagram account. Check them out, like, add, follow, sample, sniff, or ignore and go out and have a beer instead.

Physical changes of the Year: Got myself an absolutely-not-a-hipster beard (actually it’s more of an ambitious stubble). And got back to the jeans size I had in my teens (my secret trick? Worry too much to eat!). And still no need of reading glasses!

The Grim Reaper was on a roll. Too many people that really shouldn’t have passed away.

I’ve met a lot of people through my photography. Many of them became friends. Thank you, new friends, you really made my year. ♥

Peter Capaldi turned out to be an excellent 12th Doctor (no surprise there really). I truly enjoyed season 8 (and again identified very much with this brooding loner and madman with a blue box). And once again a lot of quotes from the show (most of them penned by Steven Moffat) felt like chapter titles from the Book of My Life. The one that resonated the most was probably “Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose”.

WhoChoices

Had two unexpected successes this year. One was when there was another case of victim blaming in a rape trial (“she wore sexy clothes/was drunk/had a reputation/was out late at night/etc”), and I dusted off an old satire piece I once wrote when this insanity pissed me off for the first time. In it I used the same type of victim blaming-reasoning on a bank robbery (“they wore expensive suits/everybody knows they have money there/if they don’t want to get robbed, then why do they have doors people can enter through?”). If you understand Swedish you can read the thing here. And that little satire piece got +200 000 hits in three days.
The other was when a pic I took of a rain soaked bench on a dark October evening became a Daily Deviation over at deviantART. It got almost 13 000 views, +2 000 favs and a shitload of comments. The funny thing is, it’s not even one of my personal favorites. 🙂

Hello October

My personal favorite is this. I got the phrase “If you cant keep up I’ll go alone” (a line from VERSA’s ‘Wanderlust’) stuck in my head, saw an image before me with that title, and set out to create it. Usually with all art, it never turns out as in your head (on a good day you get maybe halfway there, but mostly you just want to kill yourself and set the world on fire when you see the result), but this time it not only turned out exactly as I had imagined it, but even better! (Probably the first and last time that ever happened…)

If-you-can't-keep-up,-I'll-go-alone

Insights, lessons, memories and brain farts of the Year:

  • I’m partially color blind. I have to judge people by the music they listen to.
  • “We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.” (line from the movie ‘Her’)
  • I’m way too lazy to be bitter. (It’s soooo much easier to just shrug and move forward!)
  • Our mistakes help us find the persons and things that are right for us. So keep on making them!
  • My spirit animal is most likely a sleepy wombat.
  • I’m going to look at humanity as an art project. It makes way more sense that way. (Come to think of it, I probably make more sense as an art project too)
  • I want my own flag. An evil one, like the Albanian.
  • Talked to a researcher who had interviewed 1000 women about what they find attractive in a man. ‘Intelligence’ came in as no 12.
  • All the cool and awesome stuff are on the other side of fear.
  • Anagrams of ‘The meaning of life’: ‘The fine game of nil’ – ‘The engine of a film’ – ‘If no female, the gin’
  • The trouble is, you think you have time.
  • Life’s best lessons always taste a little bleurghy in the beginning, but the aftertaste is to die for.
  • You know you live in an interesting building when there’s blood spatter on the mailboxes.
  • You are never fully broken, you can always get back up again.
  • The upside to being as pale as I am, is that everyone will think that I look “so natural” at my open-casket funeral.
  • If I’d put all my FB-friends in the same room, there would be blood on the floor within 5 minutes.
  • Wait until you’re ready? That’s crazy talk!
  • Tortoises aren’t constructed to be horny on parquet floors.
  • Life is one big learning curve. First we have to learn how to crawl, walk, talk and use the bathroom. That’s the easy part. Later we have to learn not only to read, but to read between the lines and read what’s behind that smile; and not only to spell but when to say the right words and when to shut up. We have to learn how to fall in love, how to mend our broken heart and how to walk away from someone we don’t love any longer. We have to learn that the path to success is not a straight line, but more like some demented rollercoaster that you are riding backwards and in the dark. We have to learn how to keep going on when the dark tunnel never seems to end, and how not to worry about losing our happiness when we finally find it. And we have to learn how to let go, of anything and everything. Even life…

 

Enough of reflections. Let’s do lists and shit.

Music of the Year:
Anberlin, Betty Who, The Birthday Massacre, Broods, Devin Townsend Project, Florence + The Sphinx: Sumerian Ceremonials, iamamiwhoami, Imogen Heap, Ingrid Michaelson, Killer Be Killed, Lauren Aquilina, Machine Head, Night Terrors of 1927, Owl City, Periphery, Raunchy, Rae Morris, Slipknot, Upon A Burning Body, VERSA, Vertical Horizon.

Movies of the Year:
Her, Snowpiercer, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Edge of Tomorrow, The Babadook, The Raid 2, Guardians of the Galaxy.

TV of the Year:
Sherlock, Oddities, Helix, True Detective, Walking Dead, Hannibal, Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, Doctor Who, Constantine.

Books of the Year:
M.R. Carey: The Girl With All the Gifts, Hayley Campbell: The Art of Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Moran: How To Build A Girl, David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks.

Trailer of the year:
Ok, the new Star Wars-trailer was cool and exciting, but the one that made us all drop our jaws and be very very excited for 2015 was the surprisingly awesome first look at Mad Max : Fury Road. Hauntingly beautiful, really exciting, and maybe the best edited and paced movie trailer ever.

 

Acting of the Year (+ best scene of the Year):
Eva Green finally got to show all of her skills in the role of her life as Vanessa Ives in the brilliant show Penny Dreadful.

 

 

Listening to: Chelsea Lankes
Reading: Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven
Watching: Nothing
Feeling: Faith (the non-religious kind)

The Language of Pictures

Hello fellow Earthlings! (…or whatever planet you come from)

Just noticed that 2/3 of 2014 is behind me, and this year is clearly broken (did I save the receipt?) because so far it looks nothing like the one I had written down on my to-do list in January. Had all these plans about moving, writing novels & short stories, expand my publishing company Turtle Bite Books, do collaborations and lots of other stuff. What have I been doing so far? Taking photos. Shitloads of them.

Sure, it was amazing when I got my new camera last year. It was like going from banging on pots and pans to get a brand new shiny Mapex drum kit. I could finally do all that stuff I had envisioned in my head but never had the right tools to implement. But I never knew what a wonderful storytelling instrument the camera could be. Suddenly I found myself using it more than the pen or the keyboard to tell the stories I have in my head. Like the famous photographer Ansel Adams said: “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs” (the quote continues: “When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” But I’m still working on that bit…)

And of course my mad scientisty-brain began to wonder what would happen if you wrote a book in both words and pictures. I am currently working on that, and with some luck the result will be ready before the leaves turn.

It will be published as an e-book, because it’s the perfect format for this kind of book (and a physical full color print would cost me two kidneys and my sanity, the sanity isn’t much to lose at this point but it would be a bitch to pee without my kidneys).

Another thing I also noticed with photography is that at some point you’ll find your own voice, and if you put enough of yourself in it you will connect with others that speak the same language. Something you’ll notice when the comments go from “nice light” and “cool angle” to “you have an old soul” and “this made me cry”. And when that happens it’s the same wonderful feeling as when you’re at a party and you see someone wearing a tee with that band you love but no one’s ever heard of, or when you’re being the only one completely mesmerized by a painting at a museum/gallery while everyone else just strolls past it … until you notice that someone is standing right beside you, also lost in what they see. That feeling. When you look at each other and share that knowing “You and I are the same”-smile, and you know that you have found a member of your Tribe. Wonderlicious!

So, a big ‘Hello!’, a big hug and an even bigger ‘Thank you!’ to all the exciting people all over the world I’ve got to know through photography. You make my life better and I love you all!

Another-sun-soaked-day-fades-away-1

In other news: Soon it will be the premiere of Doctor Who season 8, and our first look at Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. A quick explanation for you non-Whovians: The Doctor is an alien from planet Gallifrey, and they have a way to cheat death – the can regenerate their dying body to a new one. But while the intellect and the memories stays the same, the appearance and the personality changes. Every new regeneration must learn and come to terms with who he is. This is of course great for a tv-series – you can keep the core of the show, but still refresh it. And it’s very heartbreaking when you have to say goodbye to the old Doctor (I cried like a baby when Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor said goodbye last December).

Anyway, as exciting as it is when your favorite tv-show is back, this time it feels extra special for me. I think one of the reasons I fell so hard for this show is because I can identify so well with The Doctor himself – a manic madman and a dark, brooding loner, both driven and playful. And this time it also feels like I’m in sync with his regeneration. This has been a year of big inner change for me. I think that I’m becoming a new man as well. There are new thoughts, new ideas, new attitudes, new rules. Things I used to say “Never!” at have become “Why not? Life is short”. And I believe that I also have to learn who this Peter is. (But I hope that I don’t have to ask the same question as The Doctor: “Tell me, am I a good man?”)

As a result of all this there are many other things in my head right now that wasn’t on my to-do list earlier. Things I’ve never thought about before. Exciting things. Strange things. Scary things. But as they say: If you’re not scared, it just means you’re not sticking out your neck far enough.

It will be very exciting to see what life looks like at the end of December. I really hope it includes travel. I’ve been stuck in the same place for too long, battling workloads, bitchslapping problems, sorting out chaos and other soul-sucking stuck-by-my-desk crap. Now I want to drag my ass out the door and see some new places, do different stuff and meet some new cool & exciting people. See ya then!

You can see my photography on Flickr, deviantART, Facebook and Instagram:

Flickr deviantARTFacebookInstagram

 

 

If-you-can't-keep-up,-I'll-go-alone

Listening to: Anberlin and Imogen Heap
Reading: Hayley Campbell: The Art of Neil Gaiman
Watching: Outlander
Mood: Wanderlust

Turtle bites and captured photons

No, I’m not dead. I would probably smell much worse than I do now if I was. And yes, I know it has been more than a year since I last posted something here, but even though I have been very, very busy, most of my output has been in swedish. But, I have actually been involved in some stuff that could be of interest to people outside of Sweden as well.

For one thing, I’m the proud co-owner and one of the driving forces behind the digital publishing house Turtle Bite Books. We started this endeavour in the fall of 2012, and have so far published more than 15 ebooks. A couple of them are mine. Mainly collections of satire, columns and various funny stuff. Right now I’m working on my first novel (or is it a novella? I’m not sure yet. The story is gradually telling me what it wants to be). But there are also several books in english (and other languages) from our other authors. For example these lovely children’s books:

Babys_First_Book   Baby_Meets_the_Animals   A_Day_with_Sister-and-Brother

And this one that I’m very proud to have edited/published – Jenny Holmlund’s amazing Reasons Not to Diet:

Cover-Reasons-not-to-diet

Tired of all the hype, obsession and strict rules around our weight? Do you begin to suspect that dieting is just as effective for reaching your dream weight, as it is to get rich quick by wishing upon a star? Do you think that beauty is an attitude, and not what the scale says? In this handy book, you get the fifty best reasons not to diet. And it’s filled with beautiful illustrations that pay homage to people with curves and sass!

Please check them out. They are really good. (Click bookcovers for where to buy)

When I’m not stuck at my desk writing away on my next book, I’m probably running around with my camera looking for something to capture. It’s just something that I need to do every now and then to get away from the words. You can find my work on Flickr, deviantART and my photoblog Certain Slants of Light. Here’s some of my work:

Time Will Not Remain   That Time of the Year II

Erised   From sorrow to serenity

It's a somber stroll down this road that we call life

And then there’s my little side project Pesterlings – Everyday Fairies. As you may know there have always been mystical creatures in mythology and folklore known for making things disappear, to sour milk and generally causing mischief when their needs and habits collide with the human world. But did you know that they’re still around, interfering with our daily life? Like the Tangle Touslers that tangle headphone cords.

Now I need to get back to my desk and finish my next book, get it translated and get it out there for your reading pleasure. I’ll keep you updated!

Listening to: Funeral For A Friend
Reading: Lauren Beukes: Zoo City
Watching: Hannibal
Doing: Creating

Pesterlings

Sometimes I wonder if I really have the patience to be an author. I mean, it takes years before the ideas inside my head become a finished book available in a store. But I’ve managed so far.

I have learned that it helps to have a side project or two. Especially if it’s something that can be published the same week I get the idea. My latest side project is actually an old idea that has been collecting dust for some years now: Pesterlings.
Think fairies adapted to our modern world. There have always been mystical creatures in mythology and folklore known for making things disappear, to sour milk and generally causing mischief when their needs and habits collide with the human world. What if they are still around, interfering with our daily life?

Check out Wobble Demons, The Bumblefumblie, Tooth Gnomes, The Numbermuckler and many other Pesterlings at: pesterlings.wordpress.com

 

This is a collaboration between myself and the designer/illustrator Jenny Holmlund. I come up with the ideas and the writing – she designs and draws the little buggers.

Enjoy!


Listening to: The Rescues, iwrestledabearonce
Reading: Richard Morgan: The Cold Commands
Watching: TED Talks
Mood: Tired