028.

I was lured here by spam that needed to be marked as such so I figured I might as well write something here. My life right now largely consists of complaining about early mornings (7 am is early, okay), collecting ebooks I don’t have the attention span to read and being a little obsessed by the idea of planting things. And also, couch to 5k. I have, for the first time, gotten past week 2 and I’m well into week 3. I will probably repeat it at least twice because I only have day 3 left and the middle (run 3 mins, walk 1 min, run 3 mins) is still killing me. But I’m getting stronger and can run faster and that’s very exciting to me. My meds have levelled out and I’ve pretty much stopped gaining weight. And no, I don’t mind being heavier at all (if anything it makes me feel more me), but the up and down of it was screwing with my head because latent body issues from my teens.

I need to find my way back to writing. I constantly find myself jealous of people who have time to write and then go “self, this is something you make time for, stop being whiny”. So I need to take that last leap and get back into it. And write a short story I have in my head, and get back to one of my many books and poke it. I could go forward, but I have so many potential half written stories and it kind of seems like a waste to just leave them when I know they could be good if I let them.

I have also been at a ton of fun places the last few weeks so below follows a few pictures, because I live through Instagram these days (really, if you want to keep up with me, follow me there and not on Twitter, or possibly both). And I’m not sorry about it.

I went to a costume party! And yes, I made both the bowtie and the suspenders myself. The second is a very cheery message from a church I visited: “today king, tomorrow dead”.

I visited the ruins of a 12th century church. It’s just a short walk away and I love going there just to spend some time there. And I love how dandelions have just claimed the whole thing. The last time I was there it was winter and very dreary. Much nicer this way.

And finally, a thing I made. It’s from 1934, when my grandparents got married, and when I got my hands on it I had to sand down about four layers of paint. The orange is from the original.

I feel like I’ve shared some of these before, but maybe I haven’t? Either way, this is my life at the moment. Not much writing, lots of outdoorsy stuff. Next weekend I’m taking over my parents garden patch and planting all the things and I’m very excited about it. I hope some of it survives at least because I’ve never done it before.

027. Cranky Ladies blog tour, part 3

Since March is running away from me this will probably be my last Cranky Women post, and because of that I am making it a sample meal. I still have twelve (!) people I want to write about, but I think I might limit it to these four because I’m just a little bit lazy.

In mostly chronological order:

kristinagyllenstierna

Okay I have one more queen for you. Just one. This one is also named Kristina, often referred to as Kristina Gyllenstierna (Kristina Gold Star, which is a pretty great name if you ask me) to distinguish her from the other one. At age 17 she married Sten Sture den yngre, and when he became a king in everything but name following what sounds like a coup of some kind (I’m too lazy to research this in detail, bear with me) she suddenly found herself a queen of sorts.

The actual king, Kristian II of Denmark (later nicknamed Kristian Tyrant here in Sweden — read on to see why) wasn’t a huge fan of this, and invaded the country. When her husband died Kristina suddenly found herself a leader of the resistance against king Kristian. She defended Stockholm against his troops for months, but eventually capitulated after being promised amnesty. Unfortunately Kristian was a lying liar who lied a lot, and after he was made a king he invited people to a feast, which somehow derailed into what’s called Stockholms blodbad (Stockholm blood bath). It’s pretty much what it says on the tin: at least 80 people were either beheaded or hung at hastily raised gallows, and their bodies burnt on a fire. Kristina’s late husband was dug up and thrown on the fire as well, and she was asked if she’d prefer to be burnt at the stake or buried alive. She is said to have fainted from the horror of such a choice (I do hope this was a ruse of some kind, because honestly, isn’t that an awesome way to get out of that sort of decision?), and ended up being thrown in jail instead.

Three years later Kristian was overthrown by Gustav Vasa, and the Danes kicked him to the curb as well. In 1525 the two countries finally managed to make peace and she was released. Gustav Vasa saw her as quite a threat since she’d become a bit of a national symbol, almost as big of one as he was, and it was arranged for her to marry some dude and retire from politics. Which she did.

PS. This all happened on a square in what is now Gamla Stan (Old Town), and let me tell you, it’s always a bit freaky to walk across it. I know it’s been 500 years, but seriously. BLOOD. BATH.

fredrikabremer

Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865) is considered one of the Swedish feminist movements most important activists. Her novel Hertha (1856), which was about the lack of freedom for women at the time, became very influential, and raised a debate that contributed to a law of legal majority for adult, unmarried women. It also brought up the idea of higher formal education for women, and six years after its publication the first university for women was founded. The book has cemented Fredrika Bremer as one of the Swedish feminist movement’s founders, although arguably she wasn’t the first to voice these ideas.

Many of her works were translated to English and in Little Women mrs March reads from one of her books, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. And of course there were people criticising the way she looked at dressed — one account claimed that if you dressed like her it didn’t matter how intelligent and brilliant you were, you still look like a monster. Which, yeah, is an excellent to rag on a brilliant woman. Some things never change, it seems.

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Karolina Widerström (1856-1949) was Sweden’s first female physician. Her father was a veterinarian and a gym teacher, and encouraged her to become a teacher just like him, which got her off to a good start. She studied at what is now Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, one of our biggest universities when it comes to physical education, health, etc. After she finished her degree she worked as an assistant to a professor at the school, moonlighting as physical therapist. Said professor encouraged her to study medicine, and that she did. In 1888 later she graduated from Karolinska Institutet, also one of our biggest universities for medical education. The sky is the limit and all that.

After she got her license to practice medicine she focused on gynecology and published a book named Kvinnohygien (Female Hygiene), the first edition published in 1889 and the eighth and last in 1932. Karolina wanted to encourage women to get to know their bodies, and to have the same opportunities and rights as men. She was active in an organisation fighting to give prostitutes more rights, arguing that the law of forced inspections of women selling sex as a way of combating sexually transmitted diseases was not only ineffective, but also counter-productive since patient’s trust in doctors couldn’t be forced. She also pointed out a number of causes for prostitution and helped making the debate a lot less black and white.

On top of this she was a member of a number of feminist organisations. She was chairwoman of an organisation arguing for women’s right to vote (1918-1921) and another one for female academics (1910-1912), plus a regular member of various others supporting equality between the sexes. She also published four books, all focusing on women’s health and/or sexually transmitted diseases and seems to have been pretty damn awesome.

katadalström

Katarina (Kata) Dalström (1858-1923) was an author and one of our most famous socialist agitators. The picture above is of her hard at work, and although it doesn’t show her up close it was too awesome not to choose for this post.

Kata was born into a wealthy family, and her becoming a liberal was seen as incredibly radical. Never one to disappoint she drifted further and further left, going from liberal to social democrat, to socialist, and even communist. In 1900 she became the first woman elected to the executive committee of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and later on she was the Swedish representant at a communist convention of some kind.

She was an author, mainly writing political texts but also about mythology, religion and so on. Her list of published works is seriously impressive, and includes 28 (!) works in total.

Kata wasn’t one of our most vocal supporters of women’s right to vote, since she thought that it may delay the right for all men’s right to vote, and was criticised for being Christian, since the view that you had to be an atheist to fully understand Marxism was popular. She has a street named after her in Stockholm, and it so happens to be less than 400 meters from the one named after Karolina Widerström which is a pretty damn awesome coincidence if you ask me.

This post is the third and probably final part (because why limit yourself?) as part of the Cranky Ladies of History (and also Women’s History month!) blog tour. If this sort of thing makes you squee you should go help fund the Pozible campaign for the anthology with the same name, to be published by FableCroft Publishing in 2015.

The list of cranky Swedish women I’ve put together are courtesy of the Swedish non-profit organisation Rättviseförmedlingen, created to help correct the imbalance of gender in media, culture, business and so on. You can read more about them here and see the list of historical women I pulled these names from here. That first link is in English, fyi.

026. Cranky Ladies blog tour, part 2

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Queen Kristina of Sweden (born Kristina Augusta, renamed Christina Alexandra after she converted to Catholicism) is the one I’m aiming to submit a piece about, and she, as Margrete, left a legacy of cranky ladydom behind. She is a bit different in that she didn’t have to sneakily trick her way to power, which is a good thing because I’m not sure she had it in her. She wasn’t subtle and she wasn’t sneaky, but damn if she didn’t get what she wanted either way. She was lucky in that her father, Gustaf II Adolf, had arranged to make her reigning queen if he died before having a son, that has to be said. You can also argue that her being born almost 300 years after Margrete, in 1626, also helped, but we actually didn’t get the whole queens-as-leaders as opposed to queens-looking-pretty written into law until 1980. So you know. It’s still pretty remarkable.

Kristina was raised as a prince, was interested in subjects like languages (there is a letter to her father written when she was six — in German), politics, philosophy and history, and enjoyed riding, hunting and other traditionally male pursuits. She wore men’s shoes, forgot to brush her bushy hair, hated and/or failed miserably at any typically female pastime she attempted, and spent hours and hours studying and discussing non-ladylike topics. (Politics, you know. Penis required to understand it.) There are accounts of her walking, talking, behaving and even riding like a man, and I’m pretty sure that I read somewhere that after she abdicated she cut her hair short and was never seen wearing skirts again. But then again, everything surrounding Kristina seems to have been propaganda. On one hand she’s described as incredibly intelligent and politically aware, as determined, chaste (of course) and very competent. Other accounts talk about her as being too proud, too headstrong and far from above average in intelligence. These stories either describe her as promiscuous (with men), a lesbian, or, if they wanted to be a bit more on the polite side, a ‘hermaphrodite’.

(Interlude: I hate that word and would never use it myself, but apparently that was how you did it back then. It was also, according to at least one book I’ve read, a lot less taboo than being a lesbian.)

It’s pretty interesting, these different accounts. People seem to have a lot of differing opinions about her, down to the reason she abdicated in 1654. She did cause a scandal when it came out that she had become a Catholic, about a year after she left Sweden, but she also refused to marry, she definitely wasn’t interested in producing heirs, and some have suggested she was simply bored of the lack of culture in Sweden (she attempted to change this, with mixed results) or that she was tired of the many responsibilities that came with ruling a country. People can’t seem to agree about her sexuality either; some claim the love of her life was Ebba Sparre, a female lady-in-waiting. Others talk about the male Cardinal Azzolino. Some claim she was transgender or intersex, and others that she emphasized her traditionally male attributes in order to be seen as more competent. Because that she did. In her biography she went on and on about all the ways she was better than women in general. She was smarter than them, better than them, she chose to be raised a boy (debatable; it was actually her father’s instructions), she was awful at sewing and other lady things, she was grateful to God that he had not let the weakness of her sex touch the strength of her soul, and so on. She also seems to have been of the opinion that the body and soul didn’t necessarily had to be the same gender — which is something historians often use as ‘proof’ of her not being cisgender. This has been so debated that her bones were dug up at one point to determine whether her skeleton was biologically male or female. (It was the latter, by the way.) I read somewhere that people back then believed that if a woman acted manly enough she would become one — some historians claim this was what she was hoping for. Whether or not this was true is hard to say, but there is no doubt that she had no interest in conforming to traditional gender roles.

Kristina spoke at length about how the idea repulsed her, and even claimed that she was too proud to sleep with or have a relationship with a man, in the way that she simply had no interest in being dominated by or controlled by a man. Which, yes, isn’t how sex works, we all know that now, but back then? Yep. That’s how it was seen. With this also comes a quote, in which she said that she didn’t want to be used by a man like a farmer cultivates his land — note that the word for ‘use’ and ‘cultivate’ in the farming sense of the word is the same in Swedish.

I could go on and on here, but the fact is that Kristina was a woman who not ruled a country in an age when it was unheard of, she also did it in her own way. Some accounts seem to believe that Gustaf Adolf put her on the throne with the intent of her marrying early to some competent dude who could said ruling, which may very well have been true, but it didn’t matter in the end. Kristina wouldn’t have any of it, after all. She was repeatedly pushed into considering marriage by her council, and abdicated rather than letting herself be talked into it. I found a statement made by her at age twenty-two, which I found really interesting. From the book Christina, Queen of Sweden by Veronica Buckley:

I’m telling you now that it is impossible for me to marry. I am completely sure of it. I will not state any reasons. My nature simply isn’t made for marriage. I have asked God to change my disposition, but it’s impossible for me to get married.

This far too long already and that’s with me having cut out about half of what I originally wrote, so let’s just say that she spent her last few decades in Rome, being friends with the pope, scandalising people, wasting money she didn’t have, writing biographies about her own awesomeness and, when she got bored, attempting to conquer Naples.

Basically, if Kristina wasn’t a cranky woman, I don’t know what she was. The things she accomplished in her lifetime were many, and although they were occasionally of the more questionable kind (randomly executing people in one of the French king’s palaces? Selling paintings right off the walls in a building she didn’t own? Becoming a Catholic after her father more or less died for Protestantism? Telling a blushing ambassador she had a woman as a ‘bed fellow’? Check, check, check and check), I still maintain that living this kind of life takes a special kind of woman. She may have been fickle and impatient, with a quick temper and too much pride for her own good, but really? I don’t think a woman could’ve gotten away with half of this today. The fact that she did it almost 400 years ago speaks volumes. I haven’t even touched on her political competence or the things she managed before abdicating, but let’s just agree that she was amazing in her own right, shall we? Because honestly, I could go on all day about her.

Cranky-Ladies-logo

This post is the second part (because why limit yourself?) as part of the Cranky Ladies of History (and also Women’s History month!) blog tour. If this sort of thing makes you squee you should go help fund the Pozible campaign for the anthology with the same name, to be published by FableCroft Publishing in 2015.

The list of cranky Swedish women I’ve put together are courtesy of the Swedish non-profit organisation Rättviseförmedlingen, created to help correct the imbalance of gender in media, culture, business and so on. You can read more about them here and see the list of historical women I pulled these names from here. That first link is in English, fyi.

025.Cranky Ladies blog tour, part 1

Margareta001

Queen Margareta (if you’re Swedish), Margrete I (if you’re Danish) or Margaret I of Denmark (if you’re desperate to anglicize her name) was born a Danish princess in 1353, and was, like other women of her age, never meant to rule a country. She was married off to the Swedish-Norwegian king Haakon when she was ten, had her only child at seventeen and really, was only meant to produce heirs and tie the Danish kingdom to the Swedish-Norwegian through said marriage. Instead she earned the nickname ‘King Pantsless’ during her lifetime, and when some king or another sent her a small grindstone so she could sharpen her needles and go back to her lady hobbies rather than trying to rule three countries at once she sent her men to defeat him in battle, dressed him up as a jester and threw him in jail for six years. As you do.

So yes, Margrete was an amazing cranky lady, not least because she ruled Denmark in an age when that was Simply Not Done. She managed this mostly by sneakily electing underaged male relatives as kings, and then ruling in their place, proving to people that she was more than competent. Eventually she also won over king Albrekt of Mecklenburg, the current Swedish king (the one who replaced her husband on the throne after his death, and yes, also the one with the grindstone and the jester costume) and added Sweden to her pile of countries to rule. She was, of course, not really supposed to do more than elect an actual king to do said ruling, but hey — she had another underaged relative hanging around, didn’t she? (Okay, she didn’t. But she quickly adopted her great-nephew, slapped a Swedish name on him and put him on the throne.)

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She was also the driving force behind the Kalmar Union, which united what is now Norway, Denmark, Iceland and parts of Sweden and Finland. This made her one of the most powerful women of European history. Swedish medieval history is complicated, convoluted and I’m sure I have messed up somewhere in here, but even so? This takes a special kind of cranky woman. And what’s even better is that she’s just one of many. We’ll see if I’ll be able to get through the whole list I’ve made for the month, but either way Margrete is an excellent way to start, isn’t she?

Cranky-Ladies-logo

This post is the first part (because why limit yourself?) as part of the Cranky Ladies of History (and also Women’s History month!) blog tour. If this sort of thing makes you squee you should go help fund the Pozible campaign for the anthology with the same name, to be published by FableCroft Publishing in 2015.

The list of cranky Swedish women I’ve put together are courtesy of the Swedish non-profit organisation Rättviseförmedlingen, created to help correct the imbalance of gender in media, culture, business and so on. You can read more about them here and see the list of historical women I pulled these names from here. That first link is in English, fyi.

024.

Every two month I seem to blog and it’s time for another one. I’ve been piling up things to write about but now I can’t seem to remember what they were. Maybe a list will help.

1. I still can’t keep up with blogs and Twitter. It’s not you, it’s me.

2. I’ve started to look through all my old writing projects (and I have many) to see if I can rework one of them into, you know, an actual book. As opposed to a pile of words. I’m doing timelines and such. It’s great.

3. I have also started an “activity” which is a fancy word of saying “let’s give all these unemployed people something to do”, which I thought would be a farm but is actually more of a… nursery. There are trees and gardens and a greenhouse and everything. So far I’m struggling because every time I have a bad day (which is often) they think it’s something they have done wrong and not just my brain fucking with me. It’s also mainly for women who need to talk Swedish better (we have people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia), with a few Swedes (like me!) thrown in to encourage them to not speak Arabic all day long. Which of course means that the leaders all talk very slowly and in simple words and I keep having to remind myself that it’s not because they think I’m an idiot, it’s so the others will be able to keep up. I am a little bit sensitive that way it seems. But it’s nice to get out a bit and it’s very pretty!

4. I haven’t finished my scarf/shawl-of-the-winter yet. Sometimes tells me I won’t finish before March or so.

5. The Olympics was exciting! I watched so much hockey that I got nothing done for most of those weeks. Sweden went to the final but predictably lost to Canada. Which was boring. I really enjoyed the women’s hockey too, and let me tell you, when I read Noora Räty’s open letter, telling the world why she’s retiring despite only being 24 and SO GOOD that she played international hockey at 15, well. I raged. Because like in most sports, there is nowhere to go for a goalie of her caliber – not if she wants to play women’ hockey. And meanwhile the official Twitter account of one of the teams in the NHL makes jokes like this. Even if you don’t watch hockey, you should read her letter. It says so much about the world of female athletes and about the sort of thing they have to fight against. If you think women’s football is bad? Yeah. Read this. (I should probably have made a separate post to this because I have so much more to say.)

6. I really love having an ereader! I didn’t get a Kindle because you can’t buy books in Swedish on it, and thus it would mean a lot of converting files back and forth. Instead I got this one, because it was on sale and because it seemed decent. I like it a lot. I’ve read seven books so far this year (well, six and a half, but the seventh isn’t far off) which is more than I’d normally read in four months or so, and half of them are thanks to the ereader. I like to be able to read and knit at the same time because I don’t have to hold a book open, and I like that when I read in bed at night I don’t have to adjust my emergency book light every time I turn a page. I just need to make a case for it so I have somewhere to stick the light and don’t have to hold it.

7. The newest Mira Grant book is really creepy. Like, eight pound tapeworms living in your body kind of creepy. I love it though, even if it has The Fringe Problem, ie, no eating while you read.

023. 2013.

Time for a yearly recap, isn’t it? I have been putting it off because to put it plainly, 2013 sucked. I spent most of it so utterly worn down by my mental health that I sometimes didn’t leave the apartment for weeks. I just couldn’t see any reason for doing it. Come September I finally had my meds checked over, after waiting a full seven months (I was supposed to have an appointment in February but there were no doctors so they just… didn’t bother), and now I feel somewhat better. Still fragile in some ways, but I feel like I’m getting there. I can cook more, I’m cleaning a bit more than I used to, etc. So that’s a start.

My goals for last year mostly weren’t fulfilled, but let’s run through them anyway:

Spend more time on original writing, less on just fucking around.
Nope. Did not happen. I did love my NaNo novel and will get back to it some time soon, but for most of the year I did no original writing at all. I had one thing published (one a year three years running now!), an essay in Queers Dig Time Lords by Mad Norwegian Press.

Read 25 books.
Nope. I made it to 19, which isn’t awful, but not great either. I think my favourite books of the year was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I can’t say much about without spoiling it but it was beautiful, Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (reviewed here and omg I loved it so much), The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (sort of reviewed here) and Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan. I also quite liked Doll Bones by Holly Black and Abhorsen by Garth Nix. Wasn’t a big fan of Lirael, book 2 in the series, though. I read book 1 in 2012 so it doesn’t count.

Take my meds, cook food at least twice a week (yes, it really is that bad), leave the apartment occasionally.
Somewhat. I took my meds, but they didn’t help. I cooked a little, I rarely went outside. A bit more towards the end of the year, though, so that’s something.

If I feel okay come summer, get another cat (!)
Did not happen, mostly because the summer was a pretty awful time.

Try not to withdraw socially (Twitter counts! For now. Because I’m sad.)
Nope. I failed massively on Twitter and blog reading, but made a few friends elsewhere online. Still not great.

Yoga/Couchto5k/Something else. If you can.
Nope. I kind of want to start going to the gym again though, if I can afford it and I feel strong enough. Giving it a month or so to recover from Christmas funtimes.

This is a pretty depressing end of the year summary, sorry. It just wasn’t a very good year. My goals for next year (not resolutions, I don’t do resolutions) will be the following:

- Spend more time offline. It’s good for you.
- Work out maybe? Or do walks. Something like that.
- Cook more often. Bake a bit. It would be cool to learn how to make gluten free bread.
- Remember fat acceptance and health at every size. Practice it.
- Drink more water (at least 1 liter per day would be excellent, 0.5 liter minimum).
- Another cat? Is this the year for that?
- Work on a novel or short story or SOMETHING at least two days a week. You can dooooo it.

And that’s going to have to do because there’s a game on in 15 minutes. LET’S GO PENS.

021.

I actually have a more serious type post brewing but right now I’m so full up on Christmas and housework and baking and making presents that i seriously can’t think that much about anything. My writing is suffering, you guys. I can’t wait to get back to it. I started the holidays out DETERMINED to do a proper Christmas, as I think I’ve blogged about before. By now? I am loving having stuff nice around me and I enjoy sewing and baking and proper non-computer time but oh my God I’m tired. ONLY ONE MORE DAY. (Ahhhh.)

So here’s some pictures. Because I can, that’s why.

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I bought cookie cutters on Etsy because I wanted some proper ones with icing and stuff in the tree. Except that it turns out I am icing impaired so that latter part didn’t happen. These are also plastic, made from a 3D printer (how can you even print in 3D? It’s a mystery), so I don’t think they’ll last very long. But they were cheap so that’s okay.

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My sister usually make the gingerbread house because she’s the artistic one. I can write and sew. She can draw and paint and make awesome looking baked goods. It’s just how it is. This year she won’t get home until the 25th though, so I took it upon myself to make one. It… did not go well. My icing incompetence is showing, and then we ran out of powdered sugar so I couldn’t make more and I got so mad so I just stuck the candy to the roof with glue.

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The tree was a bit of an adventure. My cat loves playing with it. See picture one. I tied it to the window sill and it hasn’t fallen over since but WHO KNOWS. Also, that bow? I learned how to make it from the Martha Stewart website. I don’t know what that says about me.

I kept adding stuff to the tree and it wasn’t until today I was happy with it. I knitted tiny socks (I blogged the pattern here and put in there, I hung the sole surviving Dalek (I dropped most of the ones with holes for a ribbon, boo) in it too, and dried orange slices as decorations. Which I do every single year, because I love the pretty and it’s super easy.

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Lots of hearts! And really amazing ginger clove cookies. You should make them. The fresh shredded ginger adds a tiny hint of spice and I lovelovelove them. My floated out lots, probably because I used other kinds of flour but they taste amazing so I don’t even care.

Two kinds of candy, one kind of cookie and lots of cleaning and sewing left to do. And when I’m done I will sleep for a week and also eat all the food in the world. And WRITE.

020. Unfuck your habitat

Remember how a year ago or something, the whole Unfuck Your Habitat was a Thing? (It’s apparently still a thing, judging from Tumblr, but I had no idea.) I tried a bit back then, but I just couldn’t do it.

To put it plainly I’ve spent the last three or four years living in what could, if you were generous, called a bachelor’s pad, or ‘a spoonless disabled (?) (I will write more about that later) person’s display of inadequacy’, if you want to be less so. And let me just say, I don’t judge other people that harshly, but for myself? Yes. I’ve seen every square meter of this apartment as a way of telling myself how much I suck. I still do, to an extent.

As an example: I don’t do visitors. I don’t open the door if people don’t call first. I prefer not to have people over, period. This space is mine and I love it and I’m ashamed of it at the same time. But during NaNoWriMo I found new ways to procrastinate. Mainly, cleaning. The high of meds that were (are) working played a part too I’m sure, but I started tearing shit apart and putting them back together, and sure, it would’ve been faster to get rid of the visible messes and leave the rest for ‘later’ (or, you know, never), but I’ve tried this a million times. So I went through my desk.

When I was done my desk no longer had four chapsticks (I hate chapstick) in it. I had one functioning hole puncher, not one that worked and one that didn’t. The two years worth (yes, seriously) of bills piled on top got its own binder. I may have gone a bit overboard, actually. But yes. I decluttered. A lot. I threw some stuff away. I put some to be given away. I put some in a box labelled ‘The Big Box of Decluttering’. When I was done I did my closet, and put some stuff in a box that I may or may not give away. And when I was done with that I did the doomiest thing of them all: I attacked my yarn stash.

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I brought my dresser into the bedroom (it had lived in my sewing corner before, filled with fabrics), and moved my book shelf out into the living room. I got rid of small balls of yarn. I bagged up some icky acrylic to give away. I was reminded that I own a spindle and some seriously gorgeous wool. And then I sorted it all into the dresser. So yeah. After doing that I still have a whole dresser full of yarn. Shut up. It’s totally normal.

And because I’m five years ago I then labelled each drawer with owl stickers. In English. I don’t know about that last part. But I knit in English (I seriously need a glossary to decipher knitting patterns in Swedish) so maybe that makes sense.

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I did my sewing corner next, and realised that it’s so much better to keep fabric in tubs like this, because you can fold them so you can see all of them at once. I may have sorted them by colour. I’m planning on stealing another one of those green things from my parents (yay Ikea!) and sort some small stuff in it, but otherwise I’m happy. And yes, that is a cutlery drawer… thing for my thread. Best idea ever. I had one over because once upon a time I lived in an apartment with really tiny kitchen drawers. And I totally own that many buttons and asked for another one just like this for the ones that didn’t fit.

This probably took me about three weeks, because I still don’t have an unlimited amount of spoons available. And I did do stuff like leave my book shelf in the middle of the room for four days. (That’s my TV in the background.)

And seriously? It will probably (definitely) become messy as hell soon again. But when it does I can read this and remember how nice it was to have everything all tidy.

And for reference, things I threw out:

- underwear that fit me 20 kilos ago,
- three year old chapsticks,
- pens with no ink,
- receipts,
- old newspapers,

etc, etc.

Things I put in the big box of decluttering:

- pencils and crayons my grandma gave me after my grandpa died even though I never paint,
- a basket I wove four years ago and hate,
- bracelets I haven’t used for ten years,
- two old ipods (I could possibly sell those),
- a camera that doesn’t work,
- old letters,
- a weird mug with a castle on it,

and a hundred other things. I can probably throw most of it (not the letters) out without missing it, but I can’t let go quite yet.

And wow, this has to be a boring post.

019.

So I did finish NaNoWriMo. Sixth consecutive year, seventh over all. Last year was a struggle and I pretty much hated the book by week 2. This year was a lot easier, once I swapped the tense and points of view around a bit. Once I’ve had a breather and submitted some other stuff I will go back to it because it’s a story I will finish. Once I read a lot of comics and watch a lot of X-Men, that is. Because I still have no idea what I’m doing in regards to the powers these kids have or how they even work.

Yep. I’m writing superpowers. ME. It’s really different, but fun. Lots of fun.

Another good thing: I feel well enough to actually do things like cleaning for Christmas, thinking about baking cookies and saffron buns and making my own Christmas cards. Last year I couldn’t even be bothered to put up the tree. This year I’m buying decorations. I may run out of spoons and not do half the stuff I have planned, but but just thinking about doing these things and not freak out from the pressure is weird. Good weird, but weird all the same. Basically: I think the meds are working. I’m tentative in the whole NOW I’M HEALTHY AGAIN HOORAY thing because I don’t trust my body enough to believe that this is it, but even small steps like this is exciting. Which I guess tells you a lot about the last few years in Kaialand.

Finally, a few pictures…

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They can be summed up as: hand knits are awesome, I love my sewing corner, I do all my typing with my hands sticking out under my cats belly and I don’t recommend living through the biggest snow storm in years with a window that doesn’t close. Also, it’s advent.