A rainy day is a special gift to readers
– Amy Miles
This Summer has been full of gifts, but today I say thank you . .
Today is May 1st, and it’s a day of tradition and joy in a lot of countries, mine included. It’s also the first day of this month that every student fear a bit, the month of exams… Since I went back to the university last fall, I’ve had my eyes on the month of May as the month where I’m going to conclude it all.
And the day started off well, or sort of well. Being full of optimism last night I set my alarm on 7 this morning, so that I could get an early start before and read a lot before I had an online studydate at 10 with my studygroup. Well, I was awake at a quarter to seven, so I silenced the alarm before it went on, and I kind of went back to sleep. Around 8 I let out the cat, and I was planning on taking my shower, but I went back to bed for just 1 second.
At 10 I woke up, by my messanger-noice on the ipad, my studyfriends wondering if I was going to log on… And up I went, and logging on to a computer is never so slowly as when you’re doing it to late, and others are waiting on you…. Well, I was finally on, and after a good 20 minutes we had delivered our rapport that is due Monday. It’s actually our bachelor rapport, so I was proud and relieved and felt like popping a bottle of champagne. But of course, I was sensible, at 10.30 in the morning a glass of juice seemed more appropriate. I put the tv on, just to be entertained as I ate a late breakfast/early lunch before starting on my real studying of the day.
Now that the bachelor assignment is in, I only have an oral couching exam and a written exam in another subject to worry about. The couching exam is on my own rapport, so I’ve decided to concentrate my reading on the other subject this weekend. My plan for today was to read through one of the main books in our curriculum and make notes, and then make 5 mind maps out of the notes.
So after breakfast I sat down to start my studying. I only had to make a phone-call first, I have a friend going through some tough times right now. Well, since my breakfast was at 11, my phonecall came in the middle of her lunch, and we spoke through it. I was a bit puzzled that the time was 1 o’clock when we hang up, but then again, I did have the whole rest of the day to study.
Only, I was still in my pj’s, since I went straight from bed to my online study-group… So I just had to take a quick shower before starting for real. The thing is, that I was feeling a bit cold after the long phone-conversation, and I needed a nice, hot and long shower. When I went out of the shower I saw my new hairmask, that I’ve been meaning to try. So I did. When I read on the package after I had put it into my hair, (yes, I sometime read the instructions after I do something) I realized that this was the kind of haircure that you had to leave in the hair for 45 minutes. Well, I had the time, right? I could easily read with the hairmask. But before I went upstairs again to do so, I just had to fold a lot of freshly washed laundry. And make my bed. Neatly. And since I was tidying up my bedroom, I thought I’d just should wash the floor as well.
There was a lot going on under my bed. If I’ve had any monsters living there, they probably left the place weeks ago, because of the state of their home. Things that have been lost for a long time, things I had forgot, things my nieces have asked for, a lot of things that should never been mentioned and a lot of dust. I was glad I took this time to get it really cleaned up under there.
When I was finished, I accidentally saw my reflection in a mirror, and remembered the haircure. Well, it seems that those hairmasks that are supposed to stay in your hair for 45 minutes, turns into some kind of cement after a good two hours. I had to stay in the shower for a really long time, and I actually was surprised to see that I had some hair left when I got out.
I finally had my hair wet and straight, I was dressed and my bedroom was all tidy. I thought about cleaning my bathroom as well, but I restrained myself, it was time to get serious about this reading! So I went upstairs and turned my computer on again. And I checked my facebook. It turns out I have 3 friends that have their birthdays today. So I just had to write a small note for two of them. The third one is a much closer friend, so I called her. I was planning on leaving a voicemail, but she answered, and we chatted for a while. When I got off the phone, I realized I was really hungry.
I only made myself a sandwich, no use In wasting valuable study-time on making dinner. I put on the TV and watched the Kardashians while I was eating, and I opened my book the minute Kendal Jenner was finished walking down the runway. Only I was a bit peckish. The one sandwich was not enough, and when I thought about it, food is an essential part of the studying, how can I plan to learn anything if I’m hungry?
Half an hour and one episode of Modern Family later, I was ready to start reading. I did for five minutes, and then I received a text from my friends. They are going away for a week, and I’m going to feed the cat. So I need to go there now, to get instructions and to pick up the key. And maybe a glass of wine, for like my friend says: “You will not stay in studying on a Friday night. Not after a whole day of studying!”
Thank God is Friday! I have the whole weekend to study. Except Sunday, I’ve made plans. And tomorrow is Saturday, so I will do some shopping. But other than that; Only Studying!
Sometimes I wonder, why do I write?
And my instant answer is;
I’ve just finished reading a book that made me cry. The title was “One of us”, and I had no intention of reading this book, actually, but then I got it as a Christmas gift, and I thought to myself that maybe, maybe it’s a good thing to read about this now… Some time has passed bye, and we are ready to never forget.
It wasn’t a foreign terrorist group behind the biggest attack on Norway in peacetime. It was actually a young man from Oslo. Ever since 22 July 22 2011, Norway has tried to understand what drove the mass murderer to such a heinous act.
With the use of unique sources, Åsne Seierstad depicts the image of a man who for years tried to fit into society’s framework, but who ultimately crushed them in the most brutal manner.
This is also the story of the victims. Two sisters who had rejoiced at the AUF’s summer camp on Utøya, the highlight of year for them. The summer camp was also the destination for a group of boys from far north of Norway. They set out to share their political ideas, to meet new people, to learn new things, to have fun and to hear other talk… And only some of them would come back home.
I was afraid this book would try to make me understand the terrorist and why he did what he did. It was not, even though it was the story of a child who had problems and was neglected, a young teenager who got rejected by his friends and his father, a young man who used five years of his life to play the online videogame WOW. But it was also the story about the man, who grew up in one of the world’s richest countries, in the capital which was multicultural, with friends from different parts of the world. He was one of us. There are a lot of people that have had similar experiences growing up, and a lot worse. He had a lot of possibilities.
The best part of the book is the part were Åsne Seierstad writes about some of the victims, and their families. We get a reminder of the many beautiful and talented young people that were killed, because of the cruel ideas in one man’s head. Even now when I write about it, I can’t hold back my tears. The story of Bano Rashid, who was 7 years old when her parents took her and her siblings and flew from the war in their country. They came to Norway to leave a peaceful life. Bano engaged in a lot of activities after school, always with her sister Lara by her side. She was happy, she worked a whole summer to be able to buy a Norwegian folkloric costume. And she was active in politics. The summer camp at Utøya was the highlight of the summer for her and her sister. Bano got interviewed by television a few hours before she was killed. She was 18 years old, and she was killed. Not in a war, but in a summer camp for youth. In Norway. She was one of us.
The award-winning author Åsne Seierstad has previously reported from wars and conflicts around the world. On 22 July 2011, terror came to her own country. “One of us” is the first book she has written about Norway.
I’m glad I read the book, and I will recommend it, even though I will say that it is hard reading and the story will follow me for days.
Happy -to see the final result of the writing and editing process
Humble -to be allowed to publish my poems
Humble – to be allowed to include my Moms poems as well
Excited -to see the cover and how well it works for my book
Grateful -to have my best friend and her mom as cover models
Glad -to have my second book published
A bit sad -that I never thought of doing this while my Mom still was
Wishing -I could talk to her right now
Hoping -for a telephone connection to heaven
Hoping -the rest of my family will appreciate the book
Hoping -people will like the book
Happy -to get this experience
Scared -to once again get my inner thoughts published
Scared -to put my neck out there
Humble -to be in a lyrical dialog with my Mom
Proud -to read my words in a published book
Happy -to do this book as a mom/grown daughter project
Excited -to hold my book
Glad -my book was finished by Christmas
Hoping -people will show up to my signing event tomorrow
Excited -to see how well my two books suit each other 🙂
This morning I got this great picture on my phone;
The packet neatly placed at the foot of Justin Bieber, was containing my new book!
The reason my books were delievered to a place with a Justin Bieber poster? I have the first book signing event tonight, in a perfumery downtown. Everything is ready, and I’ll be there in less than 40 minutes. 🙂 For those of you being in Norway, you will find me at Parfymelle Syrdalen in Arendal.
My book is sent to print, and will be finished in a couple of weeks!
And I love the cover! What do you think?
Since this book has two authors, my mom Astri Gill and me, I wanted to use two generations on the cover as well. My very good friend Ingrid was model for my first book, 3898 words about life.
For the new book, Two voices, she was joined by her own mother, Anita, and we had a great time shooting these photos. The publisher’s designer, Hana Costelloe did a good job, and I love the fact that the books suites each other so well.
I like to write. Some days I even love to write. I want to make my days full of writing opportunities. And some days I don’t like to write. Some days I don’t even think I can write.
But I always love to have written. (ref: Gloria Steinem)
How can I make my writing become a great story, instead of ramblings around a good idea?
I have days where my writing just keep going, my fantasy feed my story with new ideas and great conversations, themes and plots come effortless up on my computer screen. And then there are times where all I get from my fantasies are other people’s ideas, things I’ve read before, and words that have been used in the same contexts by others.
I just read the first chapter of my book again, and met clichés where I thought I had put originality. I know what I want to say, but I need to find a way to say it sharper. And in between my good ideas, I need to tell the rest of the story. Today I find it hard. I don’t know how to continue. Should it be so hard? Should I give up?
The only reason I can’t give up today, is that I need to know the rest of my story. If I don’t write it, I will never know. And I need to know. So I need to write.
I don’t always like to write. But I love to have written.