Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Technical difficulties and a book about trolls

Good morning!

Thank you, thank you to everyone who stopped by from last week's IWSG post. I promise I haven't forgotten you and I WILL repay the visit. Ever since my laptop died over a year ago, it seems I've had one technical glitch after another. Wednesday, after I posted my post for the hop, the mouse died and navigation on the desktop was impossible. Le sigh. BUT new batteries and an old mouse forgotten in the belly of a great beast of a backpack came to our rescue...sort of. It's a temperamental little thing and in order to get it to move where you want it, you have to move to the bottom of the mouse pad, slip your hand under it, and gently place it back on the pad. Otherwise, the cursor goes to the bottom corner of the page and you have to start all over again. Now I know I'm not the most tech-savvy person out there, but I do know to operate a mouse and THIS is NOT the way to go. Ah well...better that no mouse at all (I suppose...)

But enough of my gripes. How's your New Year going so far? Honestly I can't complain. I've been tweaking those ideas that trickled in the first week and honing in their importance in the direction I see my life going. Pruning I guess you could say. It's very freeing, really. When I was younger, I figured that if I made a goal then by-dern it was going to be done. NO MATTER WHAT! Do not back down and never retreat! I was like a miniature Churchill on myself only...it got me nowhere. In reality, all the harping about never retreating freaked me out and I froze. Even though the only person who knew of my goals in many cases was myself, I still freaked out about letting myself, and in turn, my family, down.

Balderdash! And I'm happy to say I now know that my goals are my goals. If I feel the need to tweak them half way through the year, then so be it! If I've told someone and they don't understand, call me fickle, let them. I have to live with ME and I have to live as authentically as I can. Deciding not to sew a dozen knapsacks this year will not make or break the rest of my life.

Pruning aside, I finished a very wonderful, very disturbing book this week. The Shapeshifters by Stefan Spjut.

Ooooh, Dear Reader, if you like a story that gets under your skin and slowly sinks in days after you've finished it, this is the book for you. It starts out innocent: a young boy and his mother spending the summer in a woodland cabin. You get the sense they are running from something but that's not the focus. Then the boy goes missing, snatched, and the mother swears he was taken by a giant. Fast forward to present day Sweden and a main character who is about as flawed as they come, a cast of characters who are rather plain and dry, and a quest started by the MC's grandfather that involved trolls and "stolli": shapeshifters. To tell you anymore would give things away. 

This is a very carefully crafted book. It starts slow, meandering, giving you time to get your bearings. It's translated from Swedish and the language is lyrical, as most books-in-translation are. I loved the prose! About half way through this 580+ page tome the pace picks up and you don't realize you're reading faster, holding your breath, and being hunted. Then: it's over.

You close the book, sit back, and think, "Hn." Then you start to think, really THINK about what went on in those last two dozen pages. And the eeriness creeps in. The book is like a Twilight Zone episode. The more you think about it, the more disturbing it gets. I couldn't shake the feeling I was being watched for two days and let's just say I'll never trust a squirrel again.

Not that I trusted them to begin with.

Happy Tuesday all! May your week be filled with adventures, goal-tweaking, and books that haunt your every step!

If you're weird like me and, you know, like that sort of thing.


  1. I suspect the mouse has a ball. Open it up and remove the lint captured in the cavity. If that doesn't work use some rubbing alcohol on the ball.

    Hope that helps. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  2. Not sure I want to venture to the Twilight Zone.
    Hope you guys can splurge for a new mouse soon, because that sounds like a royal pain!

  3. My new year has been going splendidly so far, but I will say I'm having a hard time jumping back on the writing train at the moment. I feel fulfilled in everything else, but I do actually want to finish my projects, but I just feel like writing keeps taking a backseat, and I don't know why.

  4. Re that mouse, I have used a Q-tip very gently to clean the insider parts (after reading a how-to online). The result? My mouse was happy again. I really do like your talk about goals, making them more attuned to realistic achievements. So far I'm climbing a mountain of a goal, scene by scene, and making progress. Except I stop for research now and then to callibrate the senes to what once was real. I think it will take forever, maybe all of 2016 to finish. But slowly, slowly. May your own writing be filled with those good words.

  5. You make that book sound intriguing and creepy. Too creepy? I guess I won't know unless I give it a try. Hope you enjoy all the goal tweaking and creating.


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