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Nov 19

4 Steps to Read Like a Writer

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015 in Writing links

When we read, we change our world, and we write because on some level, we want to do the same for others. Do you want to write something that affects others the way you were affected? Then you have to learn to read like a writer—with your brain turned on.

Read more here.

Nov 4

How a Reader Turns Into a Writer

Posted on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 in Writing links

What turns a reader into a writer?

We must understand that all writers are, and will always be, a reader first.

Read more here.

Aug 3

Indian tea-seller who hawks his books on Amazon

Posted on Monday, August 3, 2015 in Links, Literature

The most famous tea seller in the Indian capital, Delhi, Laxman Rao, is also a prolific Hindi-language author whose novels are now available on online platforms like Amazon.

Read more here.

Jan 3

An interesting day

Posted on Saturday, January 3, 2015 in Literature, My life

Yesterday was a rather interesting day. I don’t mean that the snow had melted after New Year’s Eve, which it had and which I loved. Some not so nice things had happened lately too – but fortunately not to me or my family or anywhere near here.

A relatively famous popular historian (real, academic historian, but with a big popular following) had written an editorial piece for one of our biggest (conservative) newspapers about how immigration can be an asset, not a drain on our resources. Immediately after the piece had been published, he’d been hit really hard by internet hatred. I happen to know that he has been bullied in the past, and this must have been rather traumatic for him, but he decided to post about it on his History Blog in the same newspaper, and that’s where I read about it. He claims not to be scared and will continue to stand up for what he believes in.

Since I have enjoyed numerous fantastic books by him, a tv show about history, a ‘live’ lecture by him as well as many fascinating blog posts, I decided to email him to show my support. Very soon afterwards I received an email in reply where he said that emails like mine make him realize the world is a lot better than it’s seemed lately, in his inbox. It was very nice of him to reply although I know he tends to do that, since I’ve emailed him twice before and asked for blog posts about different interesting historic topics and he’s always posted about those topics almost right away.

All this was nice enough, but also on the same day, I read a blog post by an author whose first two (fantasy) books I’ve read and enjoyed, where she talked about her writing and book related plans for the year and asked her readers for our plans. I decided to dare to reply and before the end of the evening I got a very nice reply where she thanked me for my well-wishes and in return wished me luck with my writing. I’d never imagined this woman who is sort of famous in Swedish writing circles would be so nice.

It’s not the first time though, that authors I admire have been nice and replied to my comments on their blogs.

A writer of historic romance even found my blog and commented (another blog than the one I’d posted my review on) and added it to her links list.

A science fiction writer and I even had a long conversation about his books in the comment fields on his page on Goodreads.

Another sf writer didn’t reply for nearly a year so I assumed he didn’t check that blog or had decided not to reply to any comments, but then suddenly I received a very polite reply.

A fantasy writer  of two books I really loved, also replied politely and told me he had an idea for a sequel but that other projects had come up instead.

I guess that’s it, but it’s unusual for me to have such nice things happening to me. Maybe it’s a good omen for the new year.

Dec 22

Useful Tips & Guides For Writers, a masterlist by cyrusassists

Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 in Writing links

Check out the list here.

Sep 25

Good reader…

Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 in Other

“Tis the good reader that makes the good book.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sep 3

Five common traits of good writers

Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 in Writing links

Read more here.

Apr 1

Which fantasy writer are you?

Posted on Sunday, April 1, 2012 in Fandom

Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?…

Ursula K Le Guin (b. 1929)

23 High-Brow, -33 Violent, -15 Experimental and 7 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Peaceful, Traditional and Cynical! These concepts are defined below.

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin is definitely one of the most celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers of all times. Her most famous fantasy work to date is the Earthsea suite of novels and short stories, in which Le Guin created not only one of the most believable societies in fantasy fiction, but also managed to describe a school for wizards almost three decades before Harry Potter. Although often categorized as written for young adults, these books have entertained and challenged readers of all ages since their publication.

Le Guin is no stranger to literary experiments (see for example Always Coming Home(1985)), but much of her story-telling is quite traditional. In fact, she makes a point of returning to older forms of story-telling, which, at her best, enables her to create something akin to myth. One shouldn’t confuse myth with faerytale, though. Nothing is ever simplified in Le Guin’s world, as she relentlessly explores ethical problems and the moral choices that her characters must make, as must we all. While being one of those writers who will allow you to escape to imaginary worlds, she is also one who will prompt you to return to your actual life, perhaps a little wiser than you used to be.


You are also a lot like Susan Cooper.


If you want some action, try Michael Moorcock.


If you’d like a challenge, try your exact opposite, C S Lewis.


Your score


This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you’re at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn’t mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.


High-Brow vs. Low-Brow


You received 23 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.


Violent vs. Peaceful


You received -33 points, making you more Peaceful than Violent. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you aren’t, and you don’t, then you are peaceful as defined here. At their best, peaceful people are the ones who encourage dialogue and understanding as a means of solving conflicts. At their worst, they are standing passively by as they or third parties are hurt by less scrupulous individuals.


Experimental vs. Traditional


You received -15 points, making you more Traditional than Experimental. Your position on this scale indicates if you’re more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, traditional people don’t change winning concepts, favouring storytelling over empty poses. At their worst, they are somewhat narrow-minded.


Cynical vs. Romantic


You received 7 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you’ll find the sentence “you are also a lot like x” above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

Author picture from


Take Which fantasy writer are you? at HelloQuizzy

Aug 1

Another Swedish mystery writer

Posted on Saturday, August 1, 2009 in Books

I suppose I might mention Anna Jansson too. A few years ago, I read some of her books and thought they were quite ok, but at the time, I was busily devouring other, more interesting books – Barbara Nadel’s mysteries and Eliot Pattison’s among others – so I wasn’t particularly impressed. This summer I got my hands on a few other books by her and either she’s improved or I’m in a different mood right now. Last year one of her mysteries was turned into a tv series, which I quite liked.

Anna Jansson is a nurse who turned to writing mysteries. Her books are set on the island of Gotland. The setting is one reason I find these books so interesting. Gotland is a very special place, with a fascinating history. Her heroine is female cop Maria Wern. She seems quite intelligent, but not particularly tough, not like the tv version, played by Eva Röse, who is an excellent Swedish actress. In a few of the books, there’s a medical theme, which seems appropriate.

Dec 29

A dime a dozen

Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 in Writing

There are times when I feel like this. That what I’m writing is of poor quality, lacks originality and is plain boring. At other times I can be more hopeful. But… The truth is, I know there are plenty of girls like me, some very young, some a bit older, who write about almost exactly the same themes I do. Many of them write as well as I do or better.

What do I have to offer, really?

Times like these, I just know I’ll never have my books published. Who would like to read them?

But then again, sometimes I consider this: others, less talented writers not only get published, but sell like mad. Then I think, why not me? If they can make it, so can I. Maybe I’m even a little better than they are, these writers who shall remain anonymous. They might be among your favorites. The last thing I want is to insult my readers.

At the end of the day, all I know is that I don’t know anything. Someone a lot smarter than I am, came up with that, but it’s still true.


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