fredag, december 29, 2017

Another "The Iron Age' event

Sometimes I throw a random thought across the dinner table for my family to discuss. The other day I said 'In my next life I'm going to be a stand-up comic' My droll son looked up from his dinner and said drily 'You are already!' That's the last thing I expected to hear!
He continued 'At the "Finland100" event when you talked about your book The Iron Age with the other two Finnish writers (Tiina Walsh and Hanna Tuuri) you were a stand-up comic'
Then he said 'Of course not every joke needs to be self-deprecatory... although with an audience of Finns maybe you struck the right note, it seem to go down well. But another thing, you should have told them to buy the book from the Tramp Press website instead of saying that they could get it from most book shops. It's easier to shop on line'
How right he is. How astute. Of course it's always easy to know what one should have said afterwards. It is well known.
I think he has esprit d'escalier by proxy.

torsdag, december 28, 2017

The Iron Age, a novel.

I've written a book, tra la la! It is called The Iron Age and I'm well pleased with it. And everyone who can read between the lines will understand that it is a hilarious book. But also bleak in parts and set in a harsh climate. There's the chiaroscuro for you, your light and shade.
It is all very well to write a book and get it published. But I still had to do my bit to promote the book at book festivals. It came as a bit of a chock to me.
The first book festival was the scariest and a most inauspicious start. I was set up to be on the same stage as a writer who had just bagged a big prize and may have wanted to be paired up with a more high-ranking writer than me. Or going solo. Whatever the reason this prize-winning writer didn't turn up for the meeting an hour before the event with the moderator and me. We talked about the weather for an hour which you can easily do in the West of Ireland with its changeable weather. Every now and then the moderator would turn her head full circle and say 'where's the other writer then?'
With the hour up and no sign of the writer we ran for the event where we, rather out of breath, found the prize-winning author set up and miked up and sitting on stage. The prize-winning writer had a well prepared introduction and then read a few pages. When it was my turn I opened and shut my mouth like a ventriloquist's dummy with nothing much coming out. So I went straight to reading a few pages out of The Iron Age hoping that my hands holding the book wouldn't tremble noticeably. And so my humiliation went on until it was over and it was time to sign books. It was quick work for me and a long queue for the prize-winning writer.
Before I left I went over to shake the prize-winner's hand to take my good byes and to say congratulations on the prize. She gave me a puzzled look because she had forgotten me already, the wagon.
After that I failed better.

torsdag, april 27, 2017

Autobiography, memoir or novel?

Illustration: Susanna Kajermo Törner

A while back I took a notion that I would tell the story about the kind of childhood that my brothers and I had in the 50s in Finland.  My brothers are no more. I am the only one left so I had to catch this fast fading childhood by the tail and pull it back if I wanted to make a record of it.
But would it be an autobiography or a memoir?
Hardly an autobiography because such mighty tomes are written by men of national or international importance. A memoir then?  Tove Jansson's Moominpappa says that if you are a 'father of a family and an owner of a house' you can poise your memoir-pen and start. He also says 'Everyone, of whatever walk of life, who has achieved anything good in this world, or think he has, should, if he be truth-loving and nice, write about his life,  albeit not starting before the age of forty'. It sounds as if it could be a convoluted and lengthy business.
It will have to be a novel I thought. It would give me the freedom to boil down many samey events to one intense event. And by tweaking the story a little  I could give it a better structure. But my story would still be true in its essence.
And all the paper I would save! 

fredag, mars 10, 2017

My Amazing Mother

Every weekend I ring my amazing mother. Not only is she 92 which is amazing in itself but she can also DO stuff, for example she can talk to anybody without having a shared language. One Sunday(this was when she was only in her eighties) during her brief visit in Dublin with her pal she said they were off to church. My husband offered to drive them to the Lutheran church in Adelaide road. No need, she said we're going to the local church. My mother does not know about the Reformation and the schism and even if she did she wouldn't give a hoot I suspect. And did I mention she doesn't have a word of English?

Anyway, the two ladies came back about three hours later a bit giggly. I asked them where had they been. My mother said that after the lovely service everyone seemed to be heading in the same direction so they followed. Turned out they all went to the pub. Going from God's house to a public house seemed a bit strange, mother mused, couldn't happen at home.  But they sat down with the ladies who ordered lemonade and mother and friend did the same.  Mother and her friend were offered something stronger from the naggins that the ladies had in their handbags. And time just flew, my mother giggled.
The next time we took her to the pub she spotted her 'friends' as she called them and ran up to them and embraced and had an animated 'conversation' in god knows what language. Esperanto?

That is the kind of brilliant social skills my mother has and I don't. Must have skipped a generation.  I'm green with envy.  

söndag, februari 19, 2017

Dirty Dublin Strip Cartoons

Dirty Dublin Strip Cartoons! My first cartoon book. Published by In Dublin and Ward River Press 1982. Sold for £2.95. Remaindered at £1.49. I should have bought them all!
Because now they sell at between $25.57 - $240.15 on the net. (Why would you pay $240.15 when you can get a copy for $25.57? There's another thing I don't understand).

This book sold like hot cakes initially so Ward River printed another shipload of them . That shipload didn't sell at all. And Parsons Bookshop, the famous literary landmark and the centre of bohemian Dublin, refused to stock it. I was told by a 'friend' that the two famous ladies who ran the shop thought I should go back to my own country and mock my own people.
Would that it were that I had my very own country!


lördag, januari 28, 2017

End of dog blog

The marvels of modern technology! I haven't been able to access my blog for yonks&years. But now I'm back on the blog, glory be and thanks to my IT-genius! It took him nearly the whole day to get it back so it wasn't a simple task.
 My dog has been a bad dog in the meantime (=while I have been on blog silent)  She got into a row in the park with a Yorkshire terrier over a biscuit and somehow nearly tore the tail off the unfortunate yorkie. We have now been barred from the company of the lap dogs. Or I barred us. Can't afford to have tails stitched back on too often, what with the price of vet's fees. We both miss the camaraderie of the dog gang and their 'mums'.
The vet thinks that my little fluffy dog goes into 'pseudo heat' every so often because she may have retained a bit of ovary even though she has been spayed. Or she may have a third ovary. (Too much information?) She has 'hormonal problems' and can be a bit of a b****

onsdag, oktober 22, 2014

Home sick

How long have I lived in Ireland? Lightyears! At least 30 years anyway (And don't start about lightyears being a measure of distance, not time. You know what I mean, dear pedantic reader).

Anyway people still ask me if I am homesick:
'Are you homesick?'
'  mumble..mumble..I have been here thirty years...more than thirty years'
'Then you must be really homesick!'

But I am not homesick. I live here now. My home that was is gone. It is in the past. I can't go back. This is my home now. I have no other home to go back to.

But my dogged well wishers will not let go:
'Must be terrible for you not have a home to go back to'

This is very Irish. Swedes don't (usually) ask their foreigners if they are home sick because Swedes are a confident people. They think if somebody has the good fortune to be washed up on their shores that person must surely feel so lucky that they will never pine for anywhere else ever again.
(Also they are not that into to intrusive small talk. They don't ask and they don't want to know).