The Bookshelf Tag

Time for another tag! And this time I’ve actually been tagged in it so it’s twice as exciting this time! I know I also quite recently did the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt tag, but this tag’s different, it’s just the Bookshelf Tag, which means that we’ll chat a bit about organizing bookshelves and stuff like that.
This tag was created by Sajiid from Books are my Social Life and a huge thanks to Ceri from Bookmarks and Postcards for tagging me!

A note before we start; I have already accepted that this tag is going to expose me as the book hoarder I am. It’s not that I get all that attached to the books I read, but I really like the feeling of having books in the room, if that makes sense? Like, I feel like a shelf filled with books you’ve read and loved gives the room a chill and cozy vibe, and so the books do pile up a bit. I’ve also been able to keep my shelves in my room at my parents’ house while I’ve been away studying and moving around, so I haven’t had to have any proper clear outs yet either, meaning there are a lot of old favourites in there. Now let’s get started!

1. How many bookshelves do you have?
I’ve got two proper book cases and then four shelves in two other cases. Not the best solution but it works. In our old house I used to have these really beautiful “floating” bookshelves lining the top of the walls, framing the bed room. Here the ceiling is too low for that, and I’m just happy I’ve got enough space for all of the books.

2. How many books are on your bookshelf?
I’ve never actually counted them before, but doing so really surprised me! Turns out I’ve got exactly 450 books on my shelves right now, a lot more than I thought!

3. How do you organize your books?
Very badly. Let’s have a look:

My bookshelf is a a chaotic mess, and I’ve gone through so many different ways of organizing it throughout the last couple of years. Colour-coordinated, organised by genre, height, alphabetical order, year of publication – you name it, my shelves have probably seen some attempt at it. I also originally tried to have one Norwegian and one English shelf, but quickly discarded the idea. As you can see, I’ve got a little Norwegian shelf on the top there, but that’s only Norwegian children’s books. I’ve got both English and Norwegian editions of a lot of books, and I wanted to keep those together, plus I like having the different languages together, as it kind of represents how languages can mix in your head! Now, most of the books I care the most about (I’m big on nostalgia, gotta be real with you) are organized by authors (not alphabetically, though) there is a poetry-and-fairytales-shelf, a shelf for old “fandom” books (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Supernatural, etc.), all of my uni books are sitting together on the bottom shelf there, and there is a top shelf filled with both well-loved and unread classics.

4. What is the oldest book on your bookshelf?
The answer for this one is already featured in the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt, but I love this book and am excited to talk about it a bit more:

The Journey to the Christmas Star by Sverre Brandt.

Published in 1925 and given to my grandmother as a Christmas present when she was a child, this is one of my favourite books. Every time Christmas comes around I have to get it out and have a read of the story about the little girl who travels on the northern wind to find the Christmas star that the evil count has cursed. It’s a wonderful book and I cherish this illustrated version of it.

5. What is the newest book on your bookshelf?
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I talked about this book in this www Wednesday-post, and it’s so good!! You should definitely read it, right here, right now.

6.What is the longest book on your bookshelf?
Bringing back Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, here.
This book is too much book. What I’ve managed to get through is really good, it’s just a lot of book.

7.What is the shortest book on your bookshelf?
New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood

On the other side of that spectrum, this book could be a bit more book. Gatwood’s poetry is hard hitting and gritty, witty and smart, and the end of the book just leaves you with this longing for more like it.

8.What is the predominant genre on your bookshelf?
It’s either YA fiction or fantasy. Like, not high fantasy (even though I really enjoy high fantasy as a genre), more realist, modern fiction.

9.Have you done a bookshelf tour?
I have! It’s here if you wanna take a look!

10.Go on a random number generator and talk about the book that corresponds with that number.
I used this number generator, and got the number 199. This corresponds to the book
How to Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.

This was the first classic I read when I was about 16, and I remember really liking it. I’ve never read it again since, though. Might have to get on that sometime soon.

11. Do you have fan merch or any other decorations on your bookshelf.
I do have a few book-y fandom decorations in and on top of my shelves, but one of my favourites is this Jane Austen pendant-thingy.

I got this at the Jane Austen House museum in Chawton with my sister and I really like it. It’s a quote from Sense and Sensibility that says “Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name and call it hope.”

12. Show us your bookshelf!
Sure! Here we go again, + the four extra shelves.

13. Tag someone!

I got so excited when Ceri tagged me, and now I’m excited to tag other people! Of course, if you’ve already done this or you simply don’t want to do a post like this, that is perfectly fine and nothing to worry about at all. If you do want to do this though, please leave me a link so I can check out your bookshelf! It’s my favourite thing ever to look at other people’s bookshelves. Also, if you’re reading this and I haven’t tagged you, this very much applies to you too! Just do it and comment a link if you want to!

For now, though, I’m tagging:
Molly from Silver Button Books
James from Real Life Protagonist
Mary from Sophril Reads
and Inga from Journey In Bookland

This post also got pretty long, but it was a lot of fun, and if you managed to reach the end of this, cheers to you.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a lovely day!

-Andrea

WWW Wednesday July 11, Poetry On the Beach

Wednesday again! This has been a reading heavy week, but all the books I chose to put in this post were books I brought along to the beach; small book-friends that fit in a beach-bag or in my pocket. There’s been lots of beach reading in between work shifts, and this week’s been pretty poetry heavy, so get ready for some poetry on the beach!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, and anyone can join. All you need to do is write a post about your three W’s, and the three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you just finish reading?
What are you planning on reading next?

I am currently reading:
Our numbered days by Neil Hilborn

Okay, both the “current read” and “recently finished” in this WWW are rereads, but they’re such wonderful books that I find myself reaching for them again and again and again and they deserve to be mentioned here at least once. Our numbered days is a book like that just keeps growing in my hands every time I read it, and this time’s no exception. I feel like raw is such an overused word when it comes to talking about poetry, but Hilborn’s voice is just that, raw and funny and sarcastic and wise, all at the same time.

Blurb:
“When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly.”
Neil Hilborn’s debut collection, Our Numbered Days, is funny and mad at itself for being funny. It’s sad, and it thinks that’s also funny. It’s smart, even when it’s calling itself stupid. It says “Love me” while insisting that loving it is a bad idea. Our Numbered Days is like playing mini golf on a first date: it will be embarrassing at first, but, it swears, you’re gonna love it.

I just finished reading:
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay

This was the first “proper” poetry book I got after moving to England and getting into poetry, and you can see from the somewhat battered cover that it’s been a loyal companion since.I had seen videos of her poems around the internet for a while, but got her book to use as a reference for a poetry essay, and fell madly and desperately in love. This collection has kept me company on many a train journey, and held me through many a homesick night. Like with the last book, I’ll just let the comments from the blurb talk for themselves.

Blurb:
In her powerful debut collection of poetry, Sarah Kay navigates a decade’s worth of writing to present us with a book that combines new poems and beloved favourites. Both fresh and wise, Sarah Kay’s poetry invites us to join her on the journey of discovering herself and the world around her.
Sarah Kay is a fearsomely open and generous talent. In this collection she will give you moments so intimate and beautifully rendered you will come to know them as your own. An unalloyed joy from beginning to end.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda


Next book on the list:
Helium by Rudy Francisco

I’ve had this book for a couple of months but still not read it, so it’s definitely next on the list now that I’m in this “poetry on the beach”-mindset. I really enjoy the way Rudy Francisco performs his poetry, his voice and how he holds himself in front of an audience, and so I’m excited to see how all of that “translates” onto the page!

Blurb:
“Rudy Francisco’s powerful collection Helium is full of the kind of clear-eyed, hurtful moments that make the best poetry, no matter how difficult they are to render as music: all the merciful questions, all the rejoicing and letdowns that come from family. All of the knots of honesty and near honesty that bump against us with abandon at this time when truth is a thin thing. Helium cracks open what it means to be human and vulnerable in America, when liberty is a pliable and dissapearable thing. These poems should be read and reread like an antidote for now.” -Adrian Matejka

That was my WWW post this week! Better late than never, at least it’s still Wednesday even if it is quarter to 11 in the evening.
If you wanna talk books; please hit me with any sort of book talk in the comments!
Blue was apparently a color theme for me this week, do you find that you tend to react for books in some sort of colour code?
And I know I keep saying this, but I still really enjoy the community feel around these kinds of posts, and so please post your WWW Wednesday post in the comments so I can check it out!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

-Andrea

 

WWW Wednesday July 4

And it’s Wednesday again! Norway’s so warm right now, so all the time I’m not at work I basically spend at the beach with a book. Life’s pretty great, to be honest.

I am at work today doing shifts at the supermarket, and so this is the perfect day for another WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words , and anyone can join. All you need to do is answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading
Hamlet by William Shakespeare

A bit like with Jane Austen, I’ve always really liked the idea of Shakespeare, but never really gotten through any of his plays. Norwegian schools also don’t set away all that much time for Shakespeare’s works either, and so it wasn’t before I got to England and met some very enthusiastic Shakespeare fans that I really got into his plays. In February, my really good friend Cathy, brought me along to see my first play at the Globe and I’ve seen (and loved) the film version where David Tennant plays Hamlet. Now I’m reading Hamlet in Norwegian, and the translation is wonderful! So sprightly and playful, not heavy and long-winded like I expected it to be. I’m loving every page so far!

Blurb:
“Å være eller ikke være, det er problemet.
Om det er mere edelt av et sinn
å utstå skjebnens slyngekast og piler,
enn ta til våpen mot et hav av plager
og ende dem ved motstand? Dø, å sove –
og ikke mer, å si med en søvn
vil all vår hjertesorg ta slutt og alle
de tusen slag naturen har å by på
og kjødet tar i arv – det er en slutt
vi inderlig må ønske oss.”

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.”

I just finished
Villskudd by Gudmund Vindland

Last year I discovered that I’ve got a very big soft spot for books set in Scandinavia in the 60s, and especially books about the LGBT community in the big cities at the time. So if you’ve got any recommendations for this (rather small) niche market of books, please throw them at me!
There is something about the language used, the characters that always seem stereotypical but then defy all those stereotypes, the places I recognize but depicted several decades ago, before I was born but not even that long ago. I really enjoyed this book, because it was such an unapologetic love story from the protagonist to himself, if that makes sense. It showed young gay men finding their way, really screwing up and having each other’s backs. It also had a lot of hope and good laughs, great humor and fantastic pop-culture references. A very good book!

Blurb: (Translated)
In Villskudd we get to know Yngve, who is gay in late 60’s Oslo. “This book is a little piece of Norway. A tale of a young Norwegian’s journey across the earth; a song of his doubts and his beliefs, his insecurities and his struggling desires, of shame and infamy and the dream of becoming someone.” (“Villskudd”, 29.02.16, http://www.skeivtarkiv.no)

Next on the list
Sky chasers by Emma Carrol

I’ll buy anything with hot air balloons on it, any day. Not entirely sure why, I just love the aesthetic of them soaring through the skies, especially since I have absolutely no idea how they work and so they’ve kind of kept that air of mystique around them! I bought this book purely because of the cover, and I’m really excited to get reading on it!

Blurb:
Orphan Magpie can’t believe her eyes when she sees a boy swept off his feet by a kite… or something that twists and dances in the wind. She goes to his rescue only to find herself dangling in the sky. The world looks so different from on high and suddenly Magpie knows what she wants – to be the first to fly in a balloon above the King and Queen of France.

Have you read any of these? What are you reading right now and how are you liking it? And how is your relationship with Shakespeare?

I really appreciate the community feel around these www Wednesday posts, and would love to read some more! Please drop your link in the comments, I’d love to check it out!

As always, have a wonderful day!

-Andrea

WWW Wednesday June 27

Time for another WWW Wednesday, this wonderful challenge hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words!
I’m still really enjoying these, and I hope you are too, so let’s get started:

I just finished
Longbourn by Jo Baker

I know you’ve seen this picture before, as I wrote about this book a couple of WWWs before. On the original post, a couple of people left some curious comments about this book, and so instead of the blurb, I thought I’d put in a little mini-review here! If you do want to read the blurb, though, it can be found here.

The pacing of the book feels a bit slow and from time to time I was so infuriated with the various characters the reader gets to follow, but as a whole I really, really enjoyed this book. It didn’t have that “stiff-ness” that I’m struggling a bit with in Austen’s books (a time-thing, I know, I’m aware people wrote very differently in the 1800s than they do now writing about the 1800s), and I enjoyed the descriptive language and how Baker uses dialogue to show the character’s relationships and social statuses. Also great to get the Bennet family’s situation put into perspective by seeing the story from the servants’ perspective. On my many attempts of getting through Pride and Prejudice I’ve always enjoyed Lizzie’s character and how she doesn’t care about what people think of her, but while reading from Sarah’s point of view, I get how Lizzie’s free-spiritedness caused the servants a lot of extra work (i.e impossible-to-clean muddy underskirts and torn boots after the walk to Netherfield). Great book; a good historical read that can be enjoyed by anoyone, avid Pride and Prejudice fan or curious beginner.

I’m currently reading
TimeKeeper by Tara Sim

I may have been a little bit snobby about ebooks a couple of years ago, but this year I’ve really started using them. I one hundred precent retract and apologise for my snobbiness. Ebooks are wonderful! The reason why I’ve started using them are because my bookshelves are so full it’s not even funny, ebooks are a bit cheeper than physucal books, and a lot of the books I’d like to read aren’t as easily available here in Norway as they were in the uk. I’m of course not ever just gonna stop buying and reading physical books, but I’m excited to start using ebooks as an alternative to always getting the physical book.
When it comes to this specific book, I stumbled upon it and was completely captivated by the promise of a steampunk clocktower romance. I’m here for it.

Blurb:
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

Next on the list is
Dammyr by Victoria Kielland

I have no clue what this book is about, but it’s  set in my hometown, in a “part” of town (Dammyr) I used to walk through almost daily. I’m intrigued to read about my home from the point of view of someone else, to see the town I know so well described and fit into the plot of a novel. Plus, the book looks really pretty.

Blurb:
It doesn’t have one, the cover’s really minimalist with only the title and the author’s name, plus a little embossed rose, I think? The back is empty.

So that was this week’s WWW! Sorry this post was a bit wordy, but I hope you either found some books you’ve read or some covers that peeked your interest. As always, please feel free to leave your WWW posts in the comments below, or fire any sort of book related comment at me. I love talking about books, and last week’s WWW post initiated a lot of great book conversations with lots of lovely people, which I absolutely loved!

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-Andrea

WWW Wednesday June 20

Thank you so much to everyone for how kind you were about the Bookshelf scavenger hunt! I’m so grateful that so many of you took the time to read it, and hopefully, it made you want to read some of the books!

On the topic of books, though; Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday!

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking On A World Of Words , and anyone can join. All you need to do is answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading
Strange the dreamer by Laini Taylor


I can’t tell you how excited I was to get my hands on this book! Just the concept of a dream choosing its dreamer seems so fascinating to me, and it’s something I feel like I need to learn more about. I also read The daughter of Smoke and Bone years ago, and really like Taylor’s writing style. Only a 130 pages in or so but already hooked!

Blurb:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

I just finished
Søster by Gro Dahle

About a hundred pages of Norwegian poetry about really wanting a sister. Dedicated to the bond between sisters; related sisters, book sisters, brothers who are sisters, or sisters who aren’t sisters at all. A rollercoaster of a book that I went from really enjoying to properly disliking as it turned angrier in the middle, to being in complete awe of the beautiful simplicity Dahle masterfully handles towards the end.

Blurb
En som vet om meg
som bare en søster vet om meg.
En som er i rommet
slik bare en søster kan være i rommet.
Et søsterhode.
En søsterrygg.
En søstervegg
å lene meg mot.

(Translation)
Someone who knows me
like only a sister knows me.
Someone who’s in the room
like only a sister can be in the room.
A sister head
A sister back
A sister wall
to lean against.

Next book on the list
On Love by Charles Bukowski

More poetry! So many people say that Bukowski is a must-read if you like poetry, which (clearly) I do. I’ve never read any of his work before, and I’m excited to see what it is about his voice that draws so many people to his poetry. This book is also another one of those I bought at an airport somewhere once and said “I’ll need something to read on the plane” while at the same time lugging along 4 books in my backpack. I like to be prepared.

Blurb:
In Our Love, we see Charles Bukowski reckoning with the complications of love and desire. Alternating between the tough and the tender, the romantic and the gritty. Bukowski exposes the myriad of faces of love in the poems collected here – its selfishness and its narcissism, its randomness, its mystery and its misery, and ultimately, its true joyfulness, endurance and redemptive power

So that was another week gone, and another WWW Wednesday done.
Last week I got to read so many people’s WWW posts and it felt almost like a little community. I loved it! So please please please, if you’ve done a WWW either now or in the past, drop me a link in the comments and I’d love to read it!

As always, have a nice day x
-Andrea

Currently listening to:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1152742552/playlist/2ePd46K3QMVYo9YqXuhJuu

The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

It’s finally here; The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt!
Okay, I know it’s not “finally” for you, as I haven’t really told you about this, but I’ve been planning this post for ages.

The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt is quite an old challenge, created by TheLibraryOfSarah, but I’ve never done it before, and thought maybe this post could work as a loose recommendation post, to remind you of books you’ve left forgotten at the back of your bookshelf, or maybe the covers will make you curious and eager to try something new? I also hope this post can work as a reminder to myself about what these books mean and why I keep them around, that they’re not just a static collection on a shelf, but items I cherish.

This post’s gonna be a long one, so go make yourself a cup of tea and hit that “Continue Reading” bar and lets have a good chat about some books!

Read More

WWW Wednesday June 13

Wednesday again already? Where did this week go?
Work, really. That’s where this week’s gone. But work I thoroughly enjoy, though, so no complaining here!

But yes, time for another WWW Wednesday; this wonderful thing hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Anyone can join the WWW Wednesday! All you need to do is answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading
Longbourn by Jo Baker

Even though I’m not doing all too well with it, I’m still attempting to finish all of Jane Austen’s novels in 2018. Maybe reading this could be the push I need to get started again!

Blurb:
“If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d more likely be a sight more careful with them.” In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs.

I just finished
Nærmere kommer vi ikke by Monika Steinholm

Last summer I started working shifts at a library, and this year I’m doing full weeks of shifts, enabling me to really get into the routines and the work. I enjoy it a lot, and one of the (many) reasons why I love it so much is that it gets me into reading Norwegian books again. As much as I love English literature and the English language, there is a certain kind of charm and comfort in a really good Norwegian novel; a novel such as this one.

Blurb: (translated)

Jens is scared of making a fool of himself, scared of water and scared of blood. Edor is dating Beate and he’s practicing new skateboard moves, skinny dipping with Celia and swimming further from shore than he ought to.
The only thing Edor is scared of, is how Jens makes his stomach flutter.
A novel about all-consuming love, painful and wonderful all at the same time. A love everyone can recognise, whether they’re gay, straight, bi or just a little bit queer.

Next book on the list
Sunshine by Melissa Lee-Houghton



A poetry book I’ve had on my shelf since my first semester-third year poetry module, and keep telling myself I have to get on reading. There idea of the pink ice cream front contrasting the heavy subject matter fascinates me, and I’m excited to put it on this list to keep myself a bit more accountable and actually read it this time!

Blurb:

Sunshine is the new collection from Next Generation Poet Melissa Lee-Houghton. A writer of startling confession, her poems inhabit the lonely hotel rooms, psych wards and deserted lanes of austerity Britain.
Sunshine combines acute social observation with a dark, surreal humor, born of first-hand experience. Abuse, addiction and mental health are all subject to Lee-Houghton’s poetic eye. But these are also poems of extravagance, hope and desire, that stake new ground for the Romantic lyric in an age of social media and internet porn. In this new book of poems, Melissa Lee-Houghton shines a light on human ecstasy and sadness with blinding precision.


I really like doing these WWW Wednesdays and would love to read more of other people’s WWWs! If you’re doing a WWW this week or has done some before, please feel free to leave the link below, I’d love to have a look!
Also, I hope you don’t mind that some of the books won’t be in English from now on! My bookshelf is a mess not organized by language, and some days just call for a Norwegian book, as other days need an English one.
Once again, would love to hear from you about your WWWs!

Have a wonderful day,
-Andrea

Journal #6

AFAC29B9-6BB3-4A6F-B409-DEE8A8EFDE38They say everything comes alive in spring, but I believe summer brings out the best in us. I’m sat on a veranda enveloped in the smell of roses and foxgloves, nursing a mug of strawberry tea, wondering how a warm drink can feel like a cold treat in this heat. Blue tits and flycatchers have been flying around me all morning, gliding from pine to spruce to silver birch. They’re small reminders that no matter what happens, the chatter of birds and the flapping of small wings will always sound like home. A couple of ants are walking in an uneven line along the stem of the peonies. In contrast to the skittering ants, my book is moving at a slow pace and it’s just the way I want it right now. I wonder how many days like this you get in a year. Days where the sun is awake and the clouds are busy somewhere else, and the breeze is playing around your feet and you have nowhere else to be. Summer has hit our little part of the world, and it’s charging batteries that’ve been empty for too long.

-Andrea

WWW Wednesday: 6 June

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blog “series”, created and hosted by Taking on a World of Words. I heard about it through BookBoodle’s post and thought it could be a nice little weekly posting habit to get into, both to write about books I’m currently enjoying, but also to keep track of books I’ve gone through and want to get through in the next couple of months.

WWW

Everyone can join in, you just have to answer the Three Ws you’ve gotten through or are working in this week, and the Three Ws are;

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading
Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

A clever collection of free form poetry and black out poetry, presented as Side A and Side B of a cassette tape.

Blurb
:
Doesn’t have one.

I recently finished
The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

A children’s tale with a bigger story to tell; about love, loss, unanswerable questions and the importance of letting people in.

Blurb:
“Marinka dreams of a normal life, where her house stays in one place long enough for her to make friends. But her house has chicken legs and moves without warning. For Marinka’s grandmother is Baba Yaga, who guides spirits between this world and the next. Marinka longs to change her destiny and sets out to break free from her grandmother’s footsteps, but her house has other ideas.”

Next book on the list
London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp

Picked this up on the airport on my way home (even though I was lugging around 2×23 kilos of luggage, and a significant portion of said luggage was books…) and I’m excited to give it a chance!

Blurb:
“Jack Rose begins his apprenticeship as a rent boy with Alfred Taylor in the 1890s, and discovers a life of pleasure and excess that leads him to new friendships, most notably with the soon-to-be-infamous Oscar Wilde. A century later, David tells his own tale of unashamed decadence while waiting to be released from prison, addressing his story to the lover who betrayed him. Where their paths cross, in the politically sensitive 1950s when gay men were the target of police and politicians alike, artist Colin tentatively explores his sexuality as he draws in preparation for his most ambitious painting yet, ‘London Triptych’.”

Okay, so this has been my first attempt at a WWW Wednesday post! I’m still trying to figure out how to properly format it, but we’ll get there.
Thanks for reading, and please leave anything you’re reading, anything you’ve read, book recommendations and chit chat + your WWW Wednesdays if you’ve written one, in the comments if you’d like!

-Andrea

Tricking Motivation Pt.3

And now we’ve reached the end of this mini-series; how to unblock your mind if you’re feeling stuck while writing.

We’ve looked at how to find the motivation to get started, how to stay focused during long sessions, but what if you’ve settled down in your designated workspace, you’ve got your writing music on, and still find yourself stuck? Maybe it’s a creative issue, like where to take a plot or how to handle a character or maybe you’re struggling with finding the right angle for an essay question or finding relevant connections in your resources and references.

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There is a key-phrase for this post, and one phrase slithering like a red thread through this issue of being stuck; change of scenery. If you stay staring at your computer screen, in the exact same place, on the exact same word document, you’ll most likely stay right where you are on your problem, but with a little change of air, you might see some solutions start appearing. Read on for some ways to find this change whilst working!

7. Go for a walk

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Leave your computer where it is, leave your documents and notes and research behind and get outside. Walk through town, have a wander through a nearby park, do a little hike if you live and work near some woods. Getting out, feeling the wind on your face and breathing some fresh air might help you see your issue in a new light, and even when you’re not actively thinking about it, you’re processing the issue in your head, subconsciously working with your problem. I always find an essay feels less daunting and chaotic after a little walk, after you’ve seen some people and heard some bird chatter. You don’t have to go too far either, just a stroll around campus might be enough if you’re on a tight schedule or just not feeling a long walk. Try it, maybe you’ll be surprised!

8. Have a shower or a bath

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This point is quite similar to the one above; take a break and just think about what’s got you stuck, without staring at your screen, actively trying to solve it. Let the warm water wash over you and let yourself relax completely. Then put on some comfortable clothes, tie your hair up, put on some moisturizer and pamper yourself a bit. Make yourself a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate, and get back to your writing or your work, and have a look at it with fresh eyes. This has helped me so many times and might be my favourite trick to get going again when I’m stuck.

9. Change up your workspace

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Pack up your stuff and move to a different space. This does contradict creating a consistent workspace, but if you’re really stuck, it might not be enough with just a break to clear your mind, you might need a new workspace altogether. Grab your laptop and your notes and get comfy in a cafe, in a park or just in a different part of the library. The new people surrounding you, the new smells and sounds and different impulses, might help jolt your brain out of whatever rut it’s stuck on, helping you find that new angle or the solution to that plot-hole.

And last but not least, a point that spans over all three posts in this “Tricking Motivation”-series;

10. Write with someone else

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If you’re stuck, if you’re struggling with keeping your focus and motivation or if you catch yourself whittling time away on your phone, collaborative writing may be the solution for you. Working with someone is very useful for writers for a lot of reasons. First of all, writing is often quite solitary work, but having someone to bounce ideas off of, to brainstorm with and to workshop sentences and pieces with, can both make the process of writing quicker, more productive and more fun, and it will most likely lead to a better product. Working with someone also means that you have someone who keeps you accountable for how you spend your time. They can catch you if you start drifting off before the designated break time and they can help you keep your eyes off your phone and your fingers on the keyboard. This is, of course, as long as they’re not the one drifting off or distracting you with chitchat and cat videos. I do believe everyone’s been both of these people, one or two times before.

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So, there you go, three posts about how to find motivation, keep focused, and get back on track when you’re stuck. This was my first attempt at a scheduled “article-esque”  mini-series on this blog, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot! Looking forward to writing more posts like this in the future. Hopefully, you found some of these points helpful, either as a reminder of something you already knew or as easy solutions you’ve just not really thought about before.

Thank you so much for reading these “Tricking Motivation” posts, and I wish you all the best for your writing sessions in the future.

Question of the day: What do you do to get your brain going again when you’re stuck?

-Andrea