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.

017. NaNoWriMo, day 19.

32132 / 52500 (61.20%)

I went to the library after my doctor’s appointment today (which I had to ask for a bill for because I didn’t have the 300 SEK – that’s about 40 USD – that it cost), and wrote for two hours. You would think that I would get my words done in that time but because I’m insane I started restructuring things and swapping POVs around so that took most of that time. I do like it better now, though, so that’s good. I attempt to write books in different styles, tenses and such, but I seem to always end up with first person, present tense and a multitude of narrators. I guess it’s just my thing.

I’m also reading this book called Makalösa kvinnor which is Swedish for ‘Exceptional women’, except make (male) or maka (female) also means spouse, and lös also means ‘loose’ or, in this context, ‘-less’. As in ‘spouseless’, which isn’t a word in English, I know, but it’s really not one in Swedish either. ANYWAY. It’s about women transgressing gender barriers in history, and there’s a number of essays, most which are really interesting. One of them talks about how in the 16th-17th century there were a range of genders; male, female and ‘other’, although ‘other’ also had a range within itself. You could go to a midwife and get a paper confirming your sex, and there was at least one (biological) woman who did it and was proven to be male after the midwife glanced at the bulge in her pants. Which I assume she’d stuffed with something. And no, her employer didn’t see anything weird in his employee suddenly showing paperwork about being a dude, because people had already been gossiping that she was (and I quote, I hate this word) a hermaphrodite. You know. Since she wore men’s clothing on occasion.

There was one woman who was executed for this, and the verdict specified that she had to wear men’s clothing and a woman’s headscarf as she was beheaded. Further back there were women who were similarly executed, but it was done by hanging, because that was a ‘male’ way of doing it, while beheading and so on was more a women’s crime type thing. I’m not sure if this was done to shame them further or what, but it seems a bit odd, since it’s basically confirming their status as men. But then again, I am not a historian. At all. There might be Reasons I don’t really get.

I was also amused by the amount of women who married these women-pretending-to-be-men and when they were found out they just flat out said that no, they had no idea. Sex? Oh no they just weren’t into that. And the courts usually accepted it without further questioning, probably because the idea of women sleeping with women was a bit uncomfortable, to say the least, and they just didn’t want to poke around in it. The thing that’s sad about many of these stories is that most of them end with the person in question falling in love with a (biological) man, marrying him and going back to being ‘a proper woman’. Mysteriously they suddenly become really into female type activities too, even if they previous were really bad at and/or hated sewing and such.

And yes, this might just be research for a certain anthology. I didn’t mean to do so much reading on the topic, but once I got started it was hard to stop.

016. NaNoWriMo, day 12. And muffins.

20875 / 52500 (39.76%)

I’m doing decently with NaNoWriMo. And yes, my wordcount is 52,500 rather than 50,000. It turns out the short story I wrote to get myself familiar with the universe didn’t want to be a short story. It wanted to be a first chapter. So yeah. Extra words needed.

Now that my meds are (mostly) working I am trying to actually remember how to be functional. After spending most of the year hiding under the covers because I had no medication that worked and couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment, that’s really hard. I’m just not used to it. The schedule I posted about last time is going so-so – I’m definitely not going for walks every single day, and I never “work” for four hours in a day. Ever. But I try to do a couple of hours and it’s sort of working. Even if I still go to bed at 3 am more often than not because my tragically CST timezone afflicted friend never gets home from work before 1 am my time. But you know, it really doesn’t matter when I do my sleeping. If my goal for the day is to cook something, do some dishes, and write for two hours because that’s all I have spoons for, why does it have to be at 9 am? (It doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.)

As far as food goes, today I made these using this recipe. The flours used was about 150 grams random gluten free flour mix (this one had whole oats sprinkled into it, which was weird but very yum), 50 grams buckwheat flour and only 30 ickle grams almond flour, since the latter is so expensive that buying it makes me want to cry. It makes really good food though. I used three medium eggs instead of two large and about 400 grams of bananas. Aaaand the magic ingredient (as it turned out) was to replace half of the walnuts with dark chocolate chips.

(This is all notes for when I make this recipe again, #sorrynotsorry.)

And as it’s 3:06 am I suppose I’m past my bedtime. So if you’ll excuse me, I will congratulate myself for having the energy to both cook, clean out the fridge, do dishes, bake and write 2500 words in one day by creeping to bed. And hopefully using all those spoons today won’t leave me at a shortage for the next three days.

Fingers crossed, etc.

014.

I have so many half finished thoughts right now, and I end up not blogging and not tweeting because they’re not finished, and it is a bit annoying, having all those not quite formulated thoughts hanging around. So here’s a few of them.

1. When I heard about Downton Abbey and the awesome plot (twist would be generous) they added in to spice things up a bit I raged a bit, and then I realised that mainstream media and people who don’t do genre have the same reaction to this as we’ve had about fantasy and the random rape just to show… something… for years. I don’t watch it anymore (I rage quit after Sybill died), but it was interesting, I thought, to see people who aren’t aware that this is a Thing and a conversation that has been had for years, react to it.

2. One thing I’ve realised that people don’t get is that it takes spoons just to get up in the morning, to go somewhere and talk to people even if you don’t really do anything. I’m (probably) going to start a rehab type program soon, and made clear that I won’t participate every single day because I don’t function on that level. To which I got this long explanation that I don’t have to actually perform if I’m having a bad day, and can just take a walk with the dog on the farm or whatever. Which. Yes. It misses the point. So hard. I do look forward to starting this because it sounds fun and more giving than some programs I’ve attended, but that annoyed me a bit. Just getting up earlyish in the morning, eat breakfast, go somewhere, chat with people and be vaguely social is a lot of work. It might not sound like it, but it so is.

3. NaNoWriMo in two weeks. Not prepared. At all. I have a vague idea about superpowered teens, but that’s basically it. I’ve struggled with my writing all year and what used to be easy (remember the year I hit 50k in two weeks?) I’m dreading a bit. I refuse to break my streak though, so I’m pushing through. I’m determined. And as usual I wish there was a NaNo group in the smaller Swedish towns.

4. I need to read Untold. I have it here and I’ve been meaning to, but I just… haven’t. Hoping to do some writing and then do that. Wish me luck.