Archive for the English Category

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