It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it

My next novel is going to be published in Sweden in late August (the preliminary English title is Pine Away Motel and Cabins, publication date so far unknown), so right now I’m in the final stages of editing. I love this part of being a writer, when you get to work on a story that already has a beginning, middle and end and when even small changes has big effects.

That being said, it is even better to send in your manuscript and just kick back, knowing that the editor is the one that has to do all the work for a while. And no one can say I didn’t plan it well: an unprecedented summer heat wave arrived just as I had sent in my manuscript. So while my poor editor sweats away, I get to go swimming and read in the grass (so called “research”).

No one said this life was fair.

PS. I had ice cream as well, but I ate it before I had time to photograph it.

The cute story about some postcards and the pirate ship

Now, I know. I know. I did promise you a cute story about some postcards and a pirate ship. And here it is:

The story of the smile that travelled from Penza to Linn Valley, by way of Stockholm (including the pirate ship)

So one day not too long ago I was exceptionally good. Not only did I clean my bathroom drain, I also wrote on my book. And in one of those rare instances of instant karma, I immediately got my reward: an increadibly charming letter from a young woman in Russia. She had read my book, found my adress on my webpage, and decided to write a real letter, since far too few people do that nowadays. She wrote that she was convinced that my book could only have been written by a person who believes in miracles (very true), and that it had inspired her in her own creativity. She writes prose and poetry and makes beautiful postcard from her home town, Penza, and prints them at the local print shop. And she included with her letter three amazing photos of coffee, plums and a paris wheel over beautiful autumn trees, and she hoped they would be a reason for me to smile.

And while I was sitting there, grinning like an idiot over the postcards, I got a message on Facebook from a teacher in Kansas. She told me that every Monday she began the week by asking her young students what they had done during the weekend, and when the time came for her to tell them, she said that during the weekend she had travelled to Iowa and met a friend from Sweden, Sara. Sara was in Iowa to meet a pen pal, but unfortunately, when she got there, the pen pal had already died!

Being children, they immediately seized upon the most important thing: how did her friend die? They asked, and the teacher answer: Do you know, I don’t think the book ever told me that. I love that story because it so perfectly matches my own view on what books give you (what have I done this weekend, you ask? Helped miss Marple solve several murders), and since I had the beautiful postcards from a Russian town in front of me, I naturally offered to send some postcards and a little greeting from Sweden to her pupils. She answered: ”you can’t imagine how big my smile is right now!”

Which means that a smile has been sent all the way from Penza in Russia, via a short stopover in Stockholm, to Linn Valley, Kansas. I went a bit overboard with the postcards and the greeting (but I did TELL the pupils not to swim to Stockholm, since their parents might not like it), and the teacher told me afterwards that one pupil had decided to travel to Sweden by way of pirate ship.

People travel much too seldom by way of pirate ship, if you ask me.

Do you have any good hymns for me?

Yes, yes, I know. I’ve been terribly quiet lately. So quiet, in fact, that an friend of mine got in touch and carefully asked me if everything was all right. And it is. I’ll just have you know that I have been writing this summer!

And speaking of which, my American friends out there, do you have any good hymns for me?

(Yes, I did return to my blog only to beg for help. I’ll return again and actually, eh, write something. But you will have my eternal gratitude etc etc. and one day I will share with you a very cute story about some postcards and, perhaps, a pirate ship. But not now. Now I’m off to write!)

Memoirs of an imaginary friend

was recommended to be my Caryn in Illinois, and I loved the amazing idea of telling a book through the voice of an imaginary friend:

I absolutely love Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.  It is narrated by a young boy’s imaginary friend.  What a creative way to set up a story.  This friend goes above and beyond for this boy as he navigates his school year.  I just loved how the author came up with this idea