Redefining art or at least trying to complete a piece of my art!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes I find myself with a great idea, and the time to be creative, and then my result disappoints me! Or I get frustrated in the process. I start out with a great idea in my head – just to meet a piece of art I don’t like too much.  For years I thought I was the only one experiencing this, until I read Ira Glass’ opinion.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

I think that this message from Ira Glass isn’t only limited to the creative industry. It can be applied to everyone who starts out in a new environment and is willing to improve.

When I’m creative, I usually write, but sometimes I paint or do other things as well, mostly to my own amusement and relaxation.

Some time ago I tried to be creative with the pieces of my shopping life.  I had cut up all my credit cards and I included them in an on-going painting with a humorous statement.

I thought the idea was brilliant. However, I didn’t quite like my painting. I had it on my wall for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t feel the resonance I need to get from my art or the things I put up on my walls.  So I took it down, and forgot about it.

Today I finally did something about it. I’ve always thought it was the background colour I couldn’t stand, it was pink, all right, but not the shopping pastel pink I was going for at the start of the work. But I realized that I need the screaming pink background for my never – again- usable credit cards. By adding a dark blue sparkling paint on the silver letters, the statement popped out of my painting, and made my day.

 

Adding some blue and pink hearts as well, and my painting got the right look and feeling.

The final result is now on my wall, speaking to everybody that enters the room.

sign 2

The reason I started working on this painting again, was also inspired of this cute little sign, which I know have placed under my painting, it was a present from one of my nephews and his girlfriend – I think they know me well..

sign4

This other sign has been on my wall for some time.

sign 3

I think the three pieces complete one another now.  Together, they speak my truth!

sign 1

…or almost the truth. There should probably be one more sentence on the sign about the plastic surgery though;

“except one!”

One Mastercard.. and One Visa.

 

Making every day a party!

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

balloons

Sometimes I feel that we live in a fast forward world! Sometimes we are so busy that we don’t see each other or the days flying bye. When I hear people talk about the amount of activities they feel they have to do, I get a dizzy just thinking just imagining being busy like that. Don’t get me wrong, I like to do a lot of things. But I also like to enjoy my days, to see my loved ones, to make new friends and I don’t want to live an ordinary life.  We get up in the morning, get ready, get the kids to school, then work all day, then home, dinner, homework, work out, I don’t know, it’s easy to have a repeat button for everyday life, and I think it’s too stressful for most of us.

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it.

You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.

Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.

Harvey Specter

I’m a huge fan of Suits, and I think Harvey have a point. He could have said Carpe Diem or Sees the day. He reminds us of the value of time, and how it can never be reversed, once you lost it, you can never get it back!

I like to try to make everyday a party. I need to laugh every day, and I genuine believe that a day without laughter is a day wasted, like Charlie Chaplin said. I know this can provoke, life is not for amateurs, and we don’t always have sunshine and carefree lives. Quite often, it’s the opposite. But I still think that my life is better lived when I laugh, and I search for laughable moments every day.

I remember reading an article about 365 Reasons to Party Every Day on Esquire.com some years ago, and I found it very inspiring. The article mentioned a reason to throw a party every day, and every reason was genuine. I love the idea, but let me clarify that I don’t need company every day; some parties are just for me! Like yesterday, when I worked some overtime, and came home late. Bringing home a nice meal from my favourite Chinese restaurant made my party-mood blossom, and it continued when I sat down watching an episode of one of my shows on Netflix while caressing my cat. I also find happiness in memories, in old photos, and in the stranges things, like a new jewellery box. 

Today’s party was a real party though. A friend of mine is going through some tough time right now, and she is choosing to deal with this in her own way. So today, she had invited to dinner. I went to her house straight after work, and there were over twenty people there already. I believe the youngest one was five months, and there were toddlers running around, some older kids playing videogames, and grownups, coming off work, and we all got served a home cooked meal. For a couple of hours, her house was filled with laughter and noise, and we all had a good time. I told her that I envied her energy, and she just smiled and said that this was her booster for the week. And I believe she’s right.

Everyone would have understood if she had been in bed, crying. She is choosing to make every day a little bit better for her and her family and by doing so, she multiplies her intentions into shared happiness. She knows that she can’t get back time if she loses it. And she chose a party on a Tuesday.

So I’m looking forward to my party feeling for tomorrow. I believe it will come early, because I’m having lunch with a great friend!

Daywithoutlaughter

 

Helping others is always rewarding! Even when it comes to writing tips!

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

gloria

I often find that helping others benefits myself and make me happy. I also see that altruism is contagious. When one person performs a good deed, it might cause a chain reaction of other altruistic acts. There are studies that found that people are more likely to perform feats of generosity after observing another person do the same. I believe that this effect can ripple throughout the community and inspire dozens of individuals to make a difference.

Let me be personal for one minute. I had dental surgery last week, and I have been in a lot of pain since then. I have to admit, I have spent a lot of time feeling quite sorry for myself!

But today something happened, and I have to say, helping others is rewarding in so many ways!

One of my readers wrote me some days ago, asking for advices on writing poetry. I immediately felt intimidated by his question, then a bit proud. Since I have been a bit self- centred these last days, I found it challenging to write about writing, while I myself was not writing.

I spent some time before answering his e-mail, and then today I finally got around answering and I found that it was rewarding to think through my own writing process.

 I just received an overwhelming thank you mail, it was so nice.

And when I think about it, I think I should thank him, for his questions, because by helping him, I got my writing focus back. He is a reader of this blog, and complained a bit for my lack of posting this year, so I would like to use this blogpost to say thank you for asking my advice and sorry for the frequent – and long – pauses in my blogging.

As I have written about earlier, I find that I’m much more comfortable in giving advises towards other parts of the process, like choosing a publisher house, release days and parties , working towards the press, interviewing … yes pretty much the process that kicks in when your writing is done.

By writing my advices down, I realized that the work of being my books first spoke-person have been time consuming. Even though I say and think that I’m in the middle of my writing process, I realize that my focus has changed from writing to sale and publishing.

So when I wrote down my tips, I actually just wrote down my own “what to do –list” or at least what should be my list, as a writer.

Here I go:

  1. Say what you want to say. Let your readers decide what your poem means.
  2. Develop your voice. Get comfortable with how you write.
  3. Untitled poems are like unnamed children.
  4. The bigger your theme, the more important the details are. A poem with Love, Destiny, Hate or other huge themes in the title already has two strikes against it.
  5. Feel free to write a bad poem.
  6. Don’t explain everything.
  7. There are many excuses not to write. Try using writing as an excuse not to do other things.
  8. The more you write, the more you develop. Write poetry often.
  9. Don’t be afraid to write from a different point of view. Write a poem that says exactly the opposite of what you believe. If you can, do it without irony.
  10. When you write a good poem, one you really like, immediately write another. Maybe that one poem was your peak for the night, but maybe you’re on a roll. There’s only one way to find out.
  11. Write in different places. Keep a notebook. Write in a park or on a street-corner or in an alley. You don’t have to write about the place, but it will influence you whether you do or not.
  12. AND FINALLY: Listen to criticism and try to learn from it, but don’t live or die by it.

These are my writing tips! And this was my thank- you for asking –blogpost!

 

 

 

 

When a Conversation Inspires Change

Tags

, , , , , , ,

How to stop putting yourself down and start building your self-esteem?

Today I spent some hours in one of the nicest coffeeshops I know. I was there, meeting a friend I got to know some years ago. We had not seen each other for months, and I was looking forward to do so. When we got to know each other, I was going through some tough times, and was struggling in several corners of my life. Spending time with this friend, was at the time, a good break from my own problems, because we mostly talked about her challenges at work and I listened to her funny stories about travelling and her family.

puttingdown5

Today somethings were different.

We talked, and for some reason, my friend constantly talked herself down. It was strange at first and then really disturbing. I tried to engage in the conversation using positive openings, but she managed to turn every theme back to herself, and and for some time there, it was not a happy conversation.

I know by personal experience  that putting you down can be damaging to your self-esteem and self-confidence. That includes the words you say out loud in addition to your internal self-talk. Negative words as well as thoughts can be very believable and they distort your perception about yourself. They impact on your sense of self-worth. When you talk negatively about yourself to others, the words have a greater effect. You’re also making it easier for others to put you down. All these thoughts went through my brain as we talked, and I finally came around to bring them into our conversation. Because the good news is that you can stop putting yourself down and you can build your self-esteem.We had a good talk, but since we were in a coffeeshop, we did not go to far into the problems, though. I’ve been replaying our conversation over and over again, and decided to write about this, because I believe this is very important.

putdowb

There are plenty of reasons why you might put yourself down;

You may feel insecure, believe you’re not worthy or it might be a habit to put yourself down. You could be used to saying “I can’t,” “I don’t have talent,” “I’m ugly,” “I’m stupid” or “I’m useless.” You might have been put down by others in the past and continue to put yourself down. Alternatively you may believe it’s better to put yourself down before anyone else does.

Putting anyone down, including you, is emotional bullying. Most of us consider bullying from others as a bad thing, so why bully yourself? It seems like we have a double standard and treat others better than we treat ourselves. It’s not okay to put anyone down and that includes yourself.

putdown1

I believe that if you have started to have this bad habit, it’s important to be aware of it and start working on how to stop putting yourself down to building your self-esteem.

Let’s face it, you can’t control what others say about you but you can control what you say about yourself.

To build your self-esteem, it’s important to talk about yourself in a healthy manner. Believe you are worthy and quit the self-bullying. Treat yourself as you would a good friend and respect yourself. Replace negative words with positive words. For example you could say “I’m capable” or “I’m learning” instead of “I’m useless” or “I’m stupid.” Words can make a big difference.

putdown3

Two words that I recommend avoiding are “can’t” and should.” They are disempowering and it’s better to use alternatives when you can. For example, “can” is a good alternative to “can’t” and “could” is an alternative for “should.” Using affirmations might also help.

To quit this bad habit, it’s important to pay attention to your negative talk, catch your negative thoughts or words early. Awareness is very important and it empowers you to make changes. Stop your negative thoughts or words and correct them as much as you can. This may be a challenge to start with and it’s important to be kind to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t get it right straight away. Change will take effort and habits won’t change overnight. Keep on practicing and you’ll see improvements.

Change your talk and you will build your self-esteem.

putdown4

 

My Cats have their own doorbell

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It started with an ad on Facebook. So much do, these days.

My two cats, Bajas and Balthazar are going to have their tenth birthday this upcoming June.

They were born when the Norwegian National Soccer Team won 4 – 0 to Malta. I know this, because there was a big discussion in the family were the cats were born…four brothers were born that night, and every time Norway scored a goal. And every time the Norwegian team scored a goal, the dad in the family missed it, because he had been commanded to come back to the kitchen to assist in the cat birth…

My cats were only eight weeks when they left the soccer-family, and they have never seen a soccer game since.

bbkittens1

bigcats1

 

They were two grey cute kittens when they moved in, and three weeks later, they were big kittens. And today they are big, grey cats that keep order in our part of our street. Just across the road, a little dog called Fox leaves. He moved in four years ago, and he has a cat sister. So when he saw my two cats on the staircase, he came over – to say hello and play, probably, but Bajas and Balthazar did not receive him in any playful manner.. It’s been four years, and still, every night when my neighbour walks her dog, he stops at our driveway, and pull his leg up, pretending to be hurt. And they don’t precede their evening walk before she picks in up and carry him home. 4 years.

My cats don’t make any noise, but they follow his moves closely, every night. 4 years.

2013-10-18 12.15.21

 

When my cats want to come in, they try to make me open our main door. But if I’m not in the kitchen, I don’t hear them. So they go around the house, and up on a fence. From there, they have these acrobatic moves, that I now fear they are starting to get too old and too fat for.. They jump, from the fence, and up on my satellite dich and then into our balcony. They use the satellite dish as a trampoline. It’s quite impressing, both to watch and to hear.

It also leaves me without TV-signals most of the time. Now, that is normally not a problem, I usually watch Netflix, but once in a while, there are nights that I would like to watch a program. All I have to do that, is to find my pink screw-driver, – yes of course it’s pink, and it has flowers on – lean over the balcony and adjust my satellite dish right, so I can watch my program. Usually, this works. Not if it’s raining dogs, though, my satellite don’t like rain, and as mentioned, my cats are no fan of dogs either. Pun intended.

And it’s not working in the middle of the winter, but that is usually a snow-related problem. And in the summer, the threes in my garden might steal too much of the signals… But other than that, I can easily fix my TV signals with my screw-driver. And I will watch the program on TV, until one of my cats decides to jump on my satellite again. Usually this is when the film get interesting, or I just sat down to watch a concert. I like Netflix. And I like my cats. Sometimes they are not my favourites, but usually they are.

One of my nephews said when he was 16, that if he could choose, he would return as a cat in my house for his next life… And yes, I think they have what they need.

balthazar

cat-doorbell

Especially now: Because they now have their own doorbell. As I started to say, it started with an ad on Facebook. The cat doorbell! First I laugh about it, but then my big-brother cat Bajas fell down because of the snow, and could not jump…So I fell for the ad, and ordered the doorbell .It’s a censor, that I installed outside, still with help of my pink screw-driver. And a box that light up and play “Pink Panther” theme every time my cats go in the censor-zone. It works! Really well. This Saturday, my cats went in and out the main entrance four time each! I love it, they love it.

pizap.com13806239561441

Of course, others might trigger the censor as well. Like just now, both I and my cats are inside, and suddenly the Pink Panther theme music played in the living room. We al ran to the door, but since I saw the Fox dog outside, I did not open it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, my cats have a doorbell. And they use it, they love it. And I love that there is a function that says silence as well. Night-modus and for days where they really can’t decide, in or out?

st-peter-cat

My Favourite Place: That Special Space at Home

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Everyone has an area in their home where they feel truly relaxed

I think we all have a favourite place in our homes that we feel particularly drawn to. For one person that might be the kitchen table because that is the place they enjoy seeing everyone come together as a family to eat and talk.

Another person might relish time spent on the living room sofa, which they associate with the relaxation that comes at the end of a busy day.

Some of us only feel truly relaxed as we walk around our garden, while others have a table and chair in a sun-drenched spot where they feel most alert.

It’s a very individual thing. And it might change – by season or by life situation in general.

I made a new reading nook for myself a week ago, and I love it! There is one problem, though, I’m not the only one that loves it…

cat3

So, what about you? What is your favourite place at home? And do you have to fight for it?

 

 

New Year – New Beginnings

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

One week into this New Year, I’m still a bit puzzled everytime I write 2017, and I’m still enjoying the thought of new beginnings. It’s very common to think new beginnings in January; there are professions that relish because of our need to start again. Check your local gym, for starters, there are close to none available personal trainers right now. Just wait a couple of weeks, and some (like myself) will have given up, and you might take their spot…

I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I like to think of new beginnings. There might not be too much difference between those two statements, but I don’t like the feeling of failure, so no New Year’s Resolutions. The new beginnings, on the other hand, are just things I would like to do, or things I do, but I would like to do more. Like; I would like to use 2017 to read more books. I read last year, I’ve been reading since I was five years old, and there is nothing better than to loose oneself into a story and get to know the personages and surroundings. Everytime I read a good book, I ask myself why I don’t do this more often… The answer: Well, time? No, that’s not true; I have enough free time, to read all the books I cherish.  It’s time management that is my problem, all the time I don’t realize I could read. Well, yesterday, I did something that could be an inspiration to read more. I made myself a pink reading nook!

image2

I also looked into some blogs that were writing about reading challenges, and I’m thinking of maybe trying something like that.

Another thing I would like to do more of in 2017 is to write on my blog again. I’m the first one to admit that 2016 was not a great year on this blog. And I have to say that while my posts last year, were random and few, I personally had a great year. So when I look back now, I feel a bit like a bad friend. I’ve been writing this blog since Norway suffered the terrible attack from one of our own, in July 2011. One month after the attack, I wrote my first blog-post. I needed to express myself, and I needed a place to explain what had happened. For myself, mostly, and for some of my foreign friends, that had contacted me to check that me and my family were ok.

During the years, my blog has been with me through some tough times; death of my loved ones and unemployment. It has also been there when I got my first book published, and when life treated me kind again.  And when I got my second book published, the one which included my Moms poems. I have blogged about my writing, my life and a little bit of everything. Proud moments, embarrassing moments, moments to remember and moments to laugh, I’ve blogged about them all.

This first week of the year 2017, I’ve been thinking of what to do with this blog. My blogging from last year shows me that it has not been so important for me lately, to express myself and to maintain this blog. But then again, should I just stop?  Nah, I think I want to keep it on the list on things I would love to do more of in 2017. I would like to write more.

So there it is. I would like to read more. And I would like to write more.

I should include that I would like to exercise more on my list. I should. But, that would be a more New Year’s Resolution, one I have had and failed to comply many times before. So I keep that one out, at least for today.

I would like to be more creative also. I decorated this vase instead of dusting yesterday. It was fun, I enjoyed it, and it went great with my other pink stuff in my new nook.

image3

This morning my cat had reorganized it though. We’ve both agreed that we leave the dusting till another day.

image1