Doubting myself

I annoy myself. I think about life, and wonder if it always has to be such a desperate rollercoaster, a battle of good and bad days. One day I’m excited about writing, and believe in my abilities. The next, it’s all an illusion, megalomaniacal dreams that I can’t reach. Publishing a book feels as an abstract and unrealistic a goal as normal weight. I have been writing for years in English. I have hundreds of readers all over the world. People who want to read what I write, whatever it may be, people who follow my stories, who like them. I, myself, am happy with my texts sometimes. Sometimes I go back to a story that I’ve written years ago, and feel amazed about how I’ve managed to get the text to flow so smoothly. Could I still do it? I doubt it, although I don’t know why I’m so insecure. My imagination, or should I say my muse took off when my mother died. Work, kids’ hobbies and volunteering was a perfect hiding place, instead of dealing with the sorrow head on. I sowed, and I’m still reaping. No one probably could’ve told what I was going through, I myself haven’t really realized it before now, a year and a half later, as the brain-fog is finally clearing.

And just because I was on a writing course in real life, I have decided to try to become at ease with writing in Finnish (my native language), so here’s the same text, more or less, – in Finnish.

Ärsytän itseäni. Mietin elämää, pitääkö sen olla tällaista epätoivoista vuoristorataa, hyvien ja huonojen päivien taistelua herruudesta. Yhtenä päivänä olen innoissani kirjoittamisesta ja uskon kykyihini, seuraavana kaikki on vain suurta harhaa, suuruudenhulluja mielikuvia jostain jota en kuitenkaan voi saavuttaa. Kirjan julkaisu on jotenkin yhtä abstrakti ja epätodellinen tavoite kuin normaalipaino. Olen kirjoittanut jo pidemmän aikaa englanniksi, ja ympäri maailmaa lukijoita on jo monia satoja. Ihmisiä jotka haluavat lukea mitä kirjoitan, on se mitä vain, ihmisiä jotka seuraavat tarinoitani, jotka pitävät tuotoksistani. Itsekin olen teksteihini aika ajoin tyytyväinen. Välillä palaan takaisin tarinaan, jonka olen kirjoittanut vuosia sitten ja ihmettelen, että miten olenkin onnistunut kirjoittamaan noin sulavasti ja mukaansatempaavasti. Osaisinko vielä? Epäilen, vaikken tiedä syytä epävarmuudelleni. Mielikuvitukseni, tai sanotaanko vaikka muusani otti hatkat, kun äiti kuoli. Työhön, lasten harrastuksiin ja yhdistystoimintaan oli paljon helpompi piiloutua surulta, kuin että olisin sen käsitellyt järkevästi. Tätä kylvämääni satoa korjaan edelleen. Päällepäin tätä ei välttämättä ole kukaan nähnyt, en itsekään ole tajunnut asiaa ennen kuin vasta nyt puolitoista vuotta myöhemmin, kun sumu on vihdoin hälvenemässä aivoistani.

 

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Clueless on vacation

Oh boy, I suck at having time off work. Day 2 of 28 and I’m already going nuts. The weather sucks, so I’ve just been bingeing on House of Cards all day.

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I don’t know if I should be rooting for or against Frank Underwood. On one hand he’s appealing in a strange way, but on the other hand he’s a total egomaniac without a conscience. I wonder if the series is a somewhat accurate description of the congress, and politics in the US in general. Could be. Or not. I can’t help trying to guess who is the one pulling the strings behind Trump? How far will they let him stray before they admit that he’s doing the GOP and the US more damage than good. That CNN wrestling tweet… Seriously?

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Enough politics. Back to my problem at hand. Apparently I’m a workaholic that is going through withdrawal, I feel anxious and moody. So basically I don’t know how to vacation. A change of scenery would probably do me good, but I don’t want to a) change out of my pajamas b) go meet people. I have only checked my work email once so far, and I didn’t reply to any so, that’s a step in the right direction, right? Hi, my name is H and I’m an workaholic.

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Apart from going through withdrawal I’m also going through a food-crisis. I have to cook something for me and the kids (hubs eats at work), and I have zero, nada, silch motivation for it. We can’t eat out every day, or at least we shouldn’t. Could I just get myself a housekeeper or a cook? I wonder if anyone would be offering such services… Probably not. Days like these I really miss my mom. If she were alive, we could go over and she’d have lunch and dinner cooked, but now it’s all on me. Don’t get me wrong, I miss her for so much more than just her cooking.

There was something else I wanted to get off my chest, but can’t remember what it was.

Happy 4th of July to the US peeps!

 

Why, what and how come

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Picture from Pinterest.

So, perhaps maybe you have noticed that I’ve been away. Probably not, but someone might have.

Well, I haven’t been away, but I have been struggling ever since early morning Sunday 17th of January, when my dad called and said “I believe your mother has passed away, the paramedics are here.” Of course the conversation wasn’t in English but anyway… He sounded totally strange in that call, I remember. “Are you sure? No, that can’t be, I’m sure they will fix her.” I think I said, but it’s all a bit blur. “No, I don’t think they will, I’m sorry but she’s gone,” my dad said and we ended the call because he needed to talk with the people (paramedics, doctors, police, I guess even the firefighters because the emergency dispatch sends anyone who is near) there. I hanged on to the hope that they would get her heart beating again, you know like in the movies, where someone yells “CLEAR!” and then they jolt the person with electricity and they wake up. Yeah, apparently all the other things – except the waking up part happened. A few minutes later my dad called me again, and just repeated. “I’m sorry, but she’s gone.”

So, I called my brother who had just traveled on a working trip to the other side of the world. He was in the cab on his way to the hotel from the airport when I reached him and blurted out “You need to call dad. Mom died.”  I did apologize later on for not softening the blow, but at the time I barely managed that.

We had no real warning signs, okay, she had a bit of a flu and was coughing the last week, but nothing _serious_ that would’ve led us to believe she’s about to die. On Christmas she was doing her thing like all other years before. And then less than a month later she’s gone.

Basically her last words were (just a few minutes before she died) “Let’s go back to bed and lie down for a while, it was so warm and comfy, we’re not in a hurry anywhere.” Dad tucked her in and said he’d come to bed too in a bit. He sat in the room adjoining to their bedroom when he heard a strange sound, jumped up and by the time he got to her he couldn’t get any reaction from her at all, when he tried to wake her up. She wasn’t breathing anymore. He called 112 (our 911) and started with CPR. The ambulance arrived quickly, as did all the others, but there was nothing they could do.

So what a start to the new year, eh?

I notified my boss about what happened and then stayed with dad for a few days until my brother managed to fly back (18 hour trip one way, so that doesn’t happen just like that) and come stay with him. After that it has been a bit blurry. February went by, we had the funeral and all the legal stuff what needed to be done. March, April and May just flew by…

Work has been busy, in a good way but since my brain has been a bit off due to all of the stress of this spring, I’m now cleaning up the messes (not big ones, but I hate fixing my own mistakes) I’ve made working on overdrive when I should’ve taken a step back and said – I can’t do it.

Outside work, I’ve been arranging a two-day football (soccer) tournament, that is a week away, or actually less than a week away, because this time next week it’s over and done with. Yeah, I do question my own sanity volunteering for these things. Needless to say, had I known that I would lose my mother, I wouldn’t have volunteered. Why didn’t I back out of it, I don’t know.

So besides work, kids, tournament arrangements, I have taken on worrying about dad, checking up on him, first few weeks (months?) I made sure he always had ready food in the freezer that he could just heat and eat. After all, they were an old school couple, married for more than 50 years and mom always did the cooking and washing – so he has had to learn how to fend for himself. But he’s doing okay, considering he lost the love of is life.

So there you have it, my excuse for being AWOL, for leaving my stories hanging, for ignoring my blog.

I hope to get back to writing, but before that I need to find myself again, and I just don’t have the time or the energy to do soul-searching.

‘Tis the season…

…To be sick. Yup. Nothing jolly about a cactus stuck down your throat. But I’m fighting it. I’ve loaded up on vitamins C and D – and ibuprofen, now writing this as I’m waiting for my tea with honey to cool a bit.

So not to worry, I’ve got this covered!

Last year this time I was posting daily updates to a story. This year… Well nada, niente, zilch. The writing bug is still avoiding me like the plague. But hey, at least it’s not November anymore so I don’t have to worry about not taking part in NaNoWriMo. Yay. -__-

Keeping it short this time. Got tea to drink and a flu to beat.

Falalalala la la la laaa…..

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Okay…?

Got into my typical weekend funk it seems. Regardless of the amount of coffee, I just haven’t got into gear today. But hey, slouching around in your PJ’s all day is not a bad for a Saturday, right?

Do you ever get that feeling when you look around your house and go, oh crap. Yup. One of those days, definitely. It seems certain things won’t ever end. Cleaning and laundry… Cooking, doing dishes… Picking up Legos… Ad nauseam.

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Although, I do feel quite proud about myself as I managed to filet a salmon. Okay, Gordon Ramsey would have died laughing and then thrown me out of his kitchen, but hey, I got that fish (somewhat) nicely into three pieces. So salmon soup on the menu tomorrow.

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Now, I don’t know where you guys and gals are at, but over here winter has descended upon us. And not in the nice snowy way, but in the dark, darker, wet, rainy and generally blaaaah way. Mark my words, I want snow! Then at least there would be some light out. Because now it’s just dark. It’s dark when I go to work, it’s dark when I get back. And you know what? People need light. Ugh.

Anyhow… Got to go get my beauty sleep (baahahahahaha – like there would be hope left) so that I can drag myself to a Futsal game at 9 am on a Sunday… The life of a soccer-mom.

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Stuck, busy and exhausted

That just about sums it up, really. I can’t get anything written, the infamous writer’s block has struck – well, that, or my imagination has gone AWOL. Either way, I hope it’s only temporary.

I know, I know. I should take my time, and it will come back when the time is right, but still, I can’t help the guilt that spikes every time I get a notification for a new follower, a new review or a PM on FF. People are waiting for me to write (which is still mind-boggling BTW) and each day that goes by without a single word typed just makes me feel like I’m letting people down. I’m sorry, okay? Bear with me.

So as you might have guessed, NaNoWriMo, is so not happening for me this year. I’m seriously starting to doubt that I ever will manage to participate.

For the last x months I’ve been waiting for things to calm down. Real life has slowed a bit, but work is still really busy. My bad, I know. No one forced me to take on the projects, I wanted to do them. So I don’t have a right to complain. Right? I come home, my head buzzing with work-related stuff and even when the buzzing finally subsides and I sit down to write, it just doesn’t happen. My muse (or whatever) has packed her bags and left an ‘I might not be back’ sign on the door.

Then to my other permanent issue…Weight-loss. Ha! What a joke. I can’t get my head on straight, how am I supposed to keep track on losing weight? Trying to ignore the whole issue at the moment. Which really isn’t helpful. But stress and dieting (yeah yeah yeah, dieting doesn’t work anyway) aren’t really the best of friends.

Can you tell I’m in a foul mood tonight? Just waiting for the weekend so I can catch up on sleeping. Here’s to hoping I’ll manage without a headache this week. Stay strong, it’s soon Thursday.

A flash fiction story again…

I’m having a hard time finding my muse for writing fiction, romance, or whatever with the current state of the world. The news are flooded with refugees, and idiotic politicians that are just making people more divided.

Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling
Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling

To keep my head together I decided to write a submission to the FWAR Flashers prompt that was in its simplicity “Escape” and here’s what I came up with.

I titled it “Running for safety” but I’m not quite feeling it.

One night the building across the street was crushed by dropped bomb. The window in the living room tumbled down shattering into a million pieces as the dust cloud swept in over the furniture. The girl cried in her mother’s arms as they lied awake in the tiny room furthest from the windows, and listened to the nightmare going on around them. They both prayed that they would survive the night.

As the dawn came, they were even more silent than usual. They sat in the kitchen and ate breakfast, both still shaken to the core by the night’s events.

“Today we leave,” the mother said.

The girl just nodded and continued nibbling away on her piece of bread. She didn’t quite understand where they would go. Her father and uncle had died or been imprisoned, no one really knew for sure. Her grandparents and their farm had been casualties of war a long ago.

Although she couldn’t imagine where they would go, she knew not to question her mother’s decision. There was no future for them here. The only thing left was fear and destruction. The fear was so overwhelming that she had started to become numb to it.

“You can take one toy only, and a set of clothes,” her mother said as she gave the girl a pink backpack. It was the backpack she was supposed to use when she got back to school. But now, there was no school left to go to. That building had been destroyed a month back.

The girl packed her favorite teddy bear in the bag. She took out the photo of her family from its frame, and hid the picture in the back pocket of the bag. She packed her second favorite shirt too, the one her father had given her for her birthday, even though it was more than she was allowed to take.

Hand in hand they walked the narrow alleys until they came to the edge of the deserted market square.

She squeezed her mother’s hand as fear gripped her. It was here her cousin had been shot by snipers hiding in the abandoned buildings.

“Quickly,” her mother tugged her arm as they ran across the square.

“Mama… Ow… You’re hurting my arm,” she whined but not loud enough for her mother to hear.

They breathed of relief as they reached the buildings on the other side. The fighting wasn’t as bad here anymore. The ruined buildings stood as reminders that the war was still going on just around the corner.

The sound of an approaching helicopter made them vary. People around them stood and looked at the sky.

“It dropped a bomb!” Someone yelled and a mere second later they heard the explosion. A pillar of smoke rose from the direction of their home.

“Hurry.” The men around them urged them on. The girl and her mother climbed into the back of a car and held each other close as they drove through the city.

“Where are we going?” She asked her mother.

“We’re leaving Syria.” The mother said, stroking the girl’s hair. “We are going somewhere where you can sleep without fear, in a beautiful bed fit for a princess.”

A few days on the road had already worn them out. But they kept going because they knew tonight would be different. As darkness descended upon them they stood on a beach, waiting for their turn to board the already overcrowded rubber dinghy.

Safety was waiting across the stretch of water, they were told. They only had to survive the rest of the journey.

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Just checking in…

I haven’t quite fallen off the face of the earth, although I seem to be in a social media rut at the moment. Either it’s really quiet or Facebook has once again changed something and no one’s posts are popping up.

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On the writing side of life, it’s been quiet as well. Or semi-quiet at least. I sent a submission to the Drabble and they posted it – yay!

If you want to read it, it’s here -> Waiting for Life by Henrika Frost

I posted a reply to the FWAR Flashers prompt as well, and I think I shouldn’t have done it… Because now Yvonne (the protagonist) has taken on a life of her own inside my head. And by the looks of it I won’t have any time to write it down in the next few days – unless I skip sleeping. Sigh. It’s just so typical.

August has also brought on another try at dieting. I’m starving striving to follow the FMD 28 day challenge, but honestly, I’m happy as long as I manage to keep myself from eating sweets (and junk food in general). So far so good. But it’s been like five days, so that’s not saying much. Let’s just say, I’m being realistic and not getting my hopes up.

Have a great weekend y’all!

… and nothing.

Yup. That’s writer’s block for you. I know I barely qualify as a writer, but I still suffer from a that devious thing called writer’s block at the moment. I want to write, the voices are whispering – no, I’m not losing my mind (I hope) – and story ideas are popping up even in my sleep. But when I finally get a few minutes to spare – to write – nothing comes out. The words feel wrong, unsuitable somehow, making it impossible to even get the first row written. Hence this blog post which will probably mostly be random thoughts stringed loosely together. I just have to get through this block.

There are so many stories somewhere there inside the dusty corners of my mind, but unfortunately they are all buried beneath work and football tournament stuff. Remind me again why did I voluntarily take up the responsible organizer job for the tournament? Like I don’t have enough to do without that? Must learn to delegate… This has to become my mantra until I get it. Because now I’m in the I’ll just do that myself-mode. And at some point this camel’s back is going to break.

I could do with a little less stress though – but I’ve brought that on myself so do I have a right to bitch about it? And if I’m not stressing over something else, then I’m desperate to get updates to my stories done. It seems that just being, and not doing something has become an impossible task. I can’t say I’m waiting for the summer holiday even, because I think of 4 weeks off, I only have one week that is truly free – as in not already booked with kids hobbies, games and travel. Sigh.

Oh, to be a kid again, to have a long, lazy summer, when the days are filled with lying on the beach, reading a good book or ten.

But alas, it is what it is.

Mindless babble

It’s been a strange week. I don’t even know why it’s been strange, it just has. Working without email for four(ish) days has set the mood. On the positive side, there’s less work thanks to the email blackout, but but… I don’t actually like calling places, and that’s what I’ve had to do. Calling people and actually printing stuff on paper. Hm. 20th century anyone? Aren’t we supposed to be in the 21st?

I’ve written some (like updated The Intern), but not much. Mostly I’ve been sparring with a few plot-bunnies for my (numerous) WIPs. I know, I should just get the stories finished. Especially Sunsets, which is the first story I’ve ever written. It’s fanfiction in case you hadn’t figured that out yet. It only has a few chapters unwritten, and I’ve been avoiding writing it for ages. I don’t know why it’s so difficult to finish it? I have the plot outlined, so I don’t even have a problem figuring out what will happen, just with writing it.

Come to think of it, I have difficulties finishing a lot of stuff. Diets, knitting, cleaning… I could go on.

So to make procrastination even worse easier I’ve started playing Candy Crush on FB. I really, really need to deny myself all games like that. I’ll never get anything done, for crying out loud. If you are on my friend list, I apologize for the requests I’ve sent lately. I always used to frown upon game requests, and now I’m the one sending them.

One of the better strange things about this week is the fact that yesterday someone posted the Fifty Shades of Grey film on YouTube. I managed to watch it before it was taken down (I won’t post the link, because it’s not there anymore). I have to say, I enjoyed the film much more in the privacy of my own home than at the cinema.

So, now I’ve seen it four times. Yes, I’ve definitely done my share for the box office numbers. I would’ve gone again, but my husband said enough is enough. So, then I pre-ordered the DVD. I know, I’m obsessed. Have I ever claimed not to be? As for the DVD, like with all good things, I have to wait for months for it to be on sale here. I don’t understand why the release date can’t be the same as in the states? That irritates me, almost as much like the fact that the Grey intern app only gives goodies to people living in the US. Hello Universal?! You do know that the fandom has a huge fan base that’s spread all over the globe, right? Talk about first world problems, right! Sheesh.