This summer I spent some beautiful days in Spain.
There is something about the feeling of sand between my toes…
Sometimes I wonder, why do I write?
And my instant answer is;
I’ve finished what I had to do today, like shuffling snow to get my car out, driving and do the weekend shopping of groceries and buying more seasoning wood. I don’t know why I always get surprised when I have to restock wood in the middle of the winter season, I don’t seem to accept that wintertime in my country equals very cold weather over a very long period of time. Anyway, it’s done, and the fizzling sounds from my fireplace create great background music for my tea break with her majesty the Queen.
This week my writing process has been a bit of a struggle. The most difficult for me, is to keep motivated, when I seem to lose my focus and dream. Sometimes I find it inspiring to read other peoples advice on writing, and today I thought I should share this list from one of the greatest there ever have been: Ernest Hemingway. His advices are numerous, they are elegant, they are simples, they are working, and I find them both motivating and inspiring.
Hemingway on writing:
#1 Start with the simplest things
#2 Boil it down
#3 Know what to leave out
#4 Write the tip of the ice-berg, leave the rest under the water
#5 Watch what happens today
#6 Write what you see
#7 Listen completely
#8 Write when there is something you know, and not before
#9 Look at words as if seeing them for the first time
#10 Use the most conventional punctuation you can
#11 Ditch the dictionary
#12 Distrust adjectives
#13 Learn to write a simple declarative sentence
#14 Tell a story in six words
#15 Write poetry into prose
#16 Read everything so you know what you need to beat
#17 Don’t try to beat Shakespeare
#18 Accept that writing is something you can never do as well as it can be done
#19 Go fishing in summer
#20 Don’t drink when you’re writing
#21 Finish what you start
#22 Don’t worry. You’ve written before and you will write again
#23 Forget posterity. Think only of writing truly
#24 Write as well as you can with no eye on the market
#25 Write clearly – and people will know if you are being true
#26 Just write the truest sentence that you know
#27 Remember that nobody really knows or understands the secret
If none of these works for you, I offer two more today:
The first one is borrowed from Hill + Pen, and got freshly pressed last week:
#1 Laugh until Life Makes Sense
#2 Take a break and a cup of tea, preferable with a member of the Norwegian Royal Family
The horror. The embarrassment. The feeling of being the laughing stock. From outstanding to not standing. At all. I always try not to use clichés when I speak or write, but I’m very tempted to use the sentence “I almost died…”
For the last three weeks I’ve been following a course with some amazing people, and two days ago we went out of the classroom and had a day out. We strolled in an aria that is famous for the vast beaches of round stones, and it was a great experience. We had a bonfire and made lunch, and we spent some beautiful hours. The weather was so nice, fall season at its best, sun from clear blue sky and no wind. We were sitting around the fire, laughing and talking, and I read them two of my poems from my upcoming book. This was the first time I’ve shared poems from the book with anybody, except my publisher, and I got quite nervous about it. Their response was very positive and encouraging, and I felt both relieved and a bit proud…
This should be the entire history! I got to read my poems and got positive response.
On our way back I fell a little behind. This was due to two separate causes, one: I walked slowly because I was admiring the great view of the vast sea; it was like a blue sea of sparkling diamonds. Two: I found it hard to walk on all the round stones on the beach, and it went on for ever. After some struggling minutes, I realized that everybody was waiting for me. They had stopped, and they were all looking back to see if I was soon to be joining them.
That’s when it happened. I fell. I fell flat on my face. My knee hurt, my hand hurt, I was on my way to burst into tears, and I felt like vomiting.
What did I do? I got right back up, said I was ok, and then I stared out on the horizon of the sea. Wishing they go away, both my pains and my fellow tour trackers. Of course, neither did.
I was so embarrassed. Wanting to laugh it off, feeling like crying and hiding. I finally caught up with them, and we continued. My hand felt like it should explode, and my leg was barely carrying me, but I continued. I didn’t know where to keep my eyes. My fellow trackers were too polite to laugh straight to my face, but my fall must have been a ridiculous sight.
Mortified, all I wanted was to get away from the embarrassing moment. We walked about four km after my fall, and I have to admit, they were painful.
Not as painful as the ride home, though. I drove with one hand, and I know I kept the conversation going, but I’ve got no idea of the current topics. Arriving home, I got out of my car in a not-so-ladylike-manner, due to the stiffness in my knee. I spent the rest of the day and evening with my leg up high, and now it exposes the map of the world, painted in colours from bright blue, dark green and purple.
My hand is swollen, fingers stiff, and painted in a greenish colour with dark blue spots.
The fall definitively makes the top five list of most embarrassing moments in my life. Definitively! I went from being outstanding to not be standing! That’s what happens when you fall flat on your face.
I feel that I’m neglecting my blog these days, and I’m really sorry. I try to start a webpage, and it takes so much time, i mean, you have to write a lot of articles to actually fill up a webpage with interesting stuff. So I’m not there yet, but it starting to look a bit like I want it to be. If you would like a sneak-peak, you find my page on www.passionforart.net
I’ve just finished an article about useing butterflies in your scrap-booking…
Have a nice day, all you angels and people who lives with angels…
I’ll take a trip on my Broomstick now.
I just got off the phone with my good friend Caroline in London. She was kind of
aggravated due to some very silly and rude questions she had gotten in the park today. Caroline has twin girls, and is annoyed by being targeted with questions, and constantly having to answers the inquires of completely strangers! As we talked I laughed so laud that my cat left the room, and she participated after a while, understanding that her stories were hilarious!
Twins and other multiples are naturally the subject of public curiosity. Caroline is not happy speaking to strangers, and she never thought she had to small talk with anybody just talking her children to the park. And when she tells me what people might ask, I understand her. We ended up making this list of silly, rude, annoying or otherwise aggravating questions that people most commonly ask her about her four year olds.
1. Are they twins?
This must be the most common way for strangers to start up a conversation about her kids. Although it’s harmless, this ubiquitous question can be annoying. Perhaps because the answer seems self-evident, or maybe because Caroline knows that answering it will induce the interrogator to ask another stupid question (like the ones below!)
2. Are they identical or fraternal/paternal/maternal?
For some reason, people want to classify twins into two categories: identical and not-identical. Most people know that there are two types of twins, but they really have no idea what that actually means. This question exasperates Caroline because she feels compelled to enlighten the asker, yet at the same time she wants to minimize the distinction between twin types.
3. Which one is older?
Why do people feel compelled to know this? Birth order typecasting is not relevant to multiples. You’re talking about a matter of minutes between births, not enough time for anything meaningful to impact their personalities.
4. Which one is the good one?
No one would ever ask a mother of singletons to label her children in this way! No child is all good or all bad. Certainly, there will be times when one kid acts like an “angel” in response to her twin’s misbehaviour, but … wait five minutes and they’ll switch roles.
5. Do twins run in your family?
This is another seemingly innocuous question that Caroline hates to answer. It’s just too difficult to explain what causes multiple birth and why it may or may not be hereditary. Usually when strangers pose this question, they care less about the actual answer than about sharing their own family history of twins.
6. How come their names don’t match?
When Caroline and her husband chose names for their twin daughters, they purposely selected ones that didn’t sound too “twinny.” Yet, the general public always seems disappointed that their names don’t rhyme, start with the same letter, or otherwise “go together.”
7. How do you tell them apart?
The twin girls are identical, and Caroline says this is a very common question generated sometimes by politeness, and other times out of curiosity. Some people genuinely want a physical signal to help them identify and distinguish between children with similar appearance. But many others simply want to pick apart the physical characterists of supposedly duplicate people. And Caroline is so tired of questions like this, because it always end by her having to talk to persons she doesn’t know, and doesn’t care about.
8. Did you have them “naturally?”
I really understand Caroline here. This is an extremely personal question, and one which strangers have no business asking. There are two interpretations of this inquiry, referring to either how the multiples were conceived (ie with fertility enhancements) or how they were delivered (vaginally vs. c-section). In either case, its nobody’s business, and its simply not polite to ask unless you are already on familiar terms.
I wish my friend Caroline, her girls and everybody else a great Friday night, hoping that you at least have smiled twice reading this blog post!