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On writing

writing

For as long as I’ve been able to form sentences in writing, it’s been a hobby of mine. I’ve kept journals in both paper and digital form since I was a kid. I worked as a writer at several magazines before starting my education at University, and some of the assignments I enjoy the most at University are the ones that require me to do a lot of writing.

A couple of months ago, I came across the website 750words.com. Basically, the idea of 750words is to write 750 words worth of anything that comes to mind as a means to clear your mind and allow your creativity to flow throughout the rest of the day.

One of my favorite things about the site is that it gives you stats on your writing, for example how long it took you to get to 750 words (and thus how quick of a typist you are), how many words you’ve written in total throughout your time on the site, your quickest written entry, and how many words your longest entry had. It’s pretty interesting looking over the statistics.

It will of course come as no surprise to you that I joined and started writing the same day I found 750words. It’s become my routine to write every day. I’m now on a 66 day streak. In 66 days I have written a total of 69,316 words (my longest entry has 2,299 words). My quickest entry (time it took me to get to 750 words) was written in 9 minutes. I average 80 words per minute.

My mom is constantly encouraging me to put my writing into a book, but you know how moms are… I will however admit that the thought of one day maybe writing a book has long been in the back of my mind, but I haven’t had an idea for a book. At least, that was the case up until a couple of months ago when a couple of personal insights suddenly gave me an idea for a book. I’ve since been toying with the idea, brainstorming in my mind on my train rides to school.

Today I finally mustered up the courage to start penning my ideas, thoughts, and words for said book. To my surprise, the words came flooding out. Before I knew it I’d reached 3,000 words.

So far, it’s just an unstructured bunch of words. I have no idea what will become of it, or if it will ever be finished. For now I’m just enjoying the writing, but out of curiosity I googled how many pages in Word an average novel is, just so I know when I’m getting close. Apparently I’ve already wracked up a novel with the writing I’ve done on 750words.com. But, that’s a novel I’ll never let anyone read.

Review: Fifty Shades trilogy

Fifty Shades Triology by EL James

Now that I’ve tortured my way through Fifty Shades Freed - the final installment in the Fifty Shades triolgy – I’ve tried, and tried again, to form sentences describing my complete and utter disgust for these books. But words fail me. So instead I’m going to share with you these reviews of the first, second, and third book. They’re written by Katrina Lumsden, a member at GoodReads.com, and they pretty much sum up my feelings perfectly (and they’re really funny too).

Here you go:
Review: Fifty Shades of Grey
Review: Fifty Shades Darker
Review: Fifty Shades Freed

Penning my thoughts in journals

Journals by Weston

I’ve kind of got a thing for journals. I love slipping my journal in my handbag and going to one of my favorite cafés for a coffee and some quality time spent writing. I try to place myself in a spot at the café where I can people watch, or stare out the window, pausing every so often from my writing to consider how I want to form my sentences.

I have a sky scraping pile of journals full of words, and each time I’m faced with the task of finding a new journal it’s a bit of a challenge. It’s a little bit like finding that perfect pair of shoes to fit an outfit, it’s got to feel right. I came across these gorgeous notebooks by Weston the other day and nearly choked on my coffee – I love them! I’m nearing the last pages of my current journal, so maybe it’s meant to be? Perhaps I’ll get one as an early birthday present for myself.

Review: Fifty Shades Darker by EL James

I don’t even know where to begin with this. I felt like banging my head against the wall while reading the second book in the Fifty Shades triology, Fifty Shades Darker. I honestly don’t know why I’m even reading these books.

The writing is so bad it makes me cringe. Repetitive doesn’t even cover it. It’s like having a bad song stuck on your mind, the same words, phrases, and descriptions are used to exhaustion. I found myself skimming through passages because it all felt like déjà vu. I mentioned in my review of the first book that I felt a kind of love/hate relationship to the book. Well, it’s more hate now, and the fact that I’ve contributed to the author by buying the whole trilogy kind of makes me want to gag.

Sure, the story was kind of intriguing at first, and with the classic cliffhanger at the end of the first book I thought that maybe the story would get better in the second book. I was so wrong.

Not only is the writing some of the worst I’ve ever read (there’s lists of the 50 worst synonyms in Fifty Shades of Grey), the story and characters are so weak (here’s Ellen Degeneres making fun of the books). Like the main character Anastasia, she’s such a moron. The conversations between her and Christian are just mind boggling. There is absolutely no substance to their relationship whatsoever. And the sex? EL James obviously lost her imagination and is repeating the same scene over, and over again, describing it with the same exact words no less.

I’m torturing myself through the final installment, Fifty Shades Freed right now, and stifling my desire to whip out my highlighter to mark all the errors and repetitive use of bad synonyms. Oh, such a waste of time, but what else is there to do when all it does is rain? Finish what you started, right?

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Prior to diving into Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James, I didn’t have a clue what the novel was about. I’d picked it up solely because I’d seen it mentioned everywhere. Expecting some sort of crime novel (as it was placed alongside the crime novels in the book shop), I was in for a big surprise.

Somewhere around chapter seven I realized this is not a novel you want to be reading on the subway. Or anywhere in the presence of anyone, really. What happened in chapter seven can be summed up in one word – erotica (which, by the way, describes the rest of the 500 something pages of the book). No details spared. This is full frontal, eye widening, blush inducing S-E-X. It’s also addicting in that familiar can’t-put-it-down-I-need-to-know-what-happens-next way.

Here’s the gist of it: 20-something Anastasia Steele comes into contact with a painfully attractive, rich and powerful man named Christian Grey. Mr. Grey soon proves to be several shades of mystery, and as the two plunge into a relationship, Steele is in for many new experiences, and unexpected surprises.

Fifty shades of Grey is the first in a trilogy, and as trilogies go, the ending left the story hanging with a lot of questions unanswered. After finishing the first book, I’ve concluded that I have some kind of a love-hate relationship to the story. Part of it makes me fume with anger at how the main character is made out to be such a weak woman, allowing herself to be controlled by a man. And yet, I couldn’t resist going out and buying the second book today, desperate to know what happens next.

One thing is certain, I’m not the only one enticed by this story. Twitter is all over #fiftyshades, as is instagram, and pinterest too. And of course, discussions about who should play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele are also in full bloom, since Universal Pictures and Focus Features secured the film rights to the trilogy. Matt Bomer seems a popular bid for the part of Christian Grey. As for the part of Anastasia Steele the opinions are slightly more diverse, Alexis Bledel, Emma Watson and Ashley Greene, to name a few.

I’d say Fifty Shades is the new Twilight, only for a slightly more mature audience. A word of advice: keep these books out of children’s reach unless you want to deal with…er, uncomfortable inquisitions.

Summer read: Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

I’m very much enjoying my brief time off and not having to think about Uni, studying, reading course literature, and cramming for exams. I’m doing things I enjoy doing, like little DIY projects, and reading books (just for pleasure).

I’m a sucker for a good crime novel so that’s likely where you’ll find me in a book shop, hunched over somewhere along the shelves of thrilling novels. I picked up Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James the other day because the name, and cover, had etched itself on my mind after seeing it on blogs and instagrammed on a beach towel or two. It’s the first in a trilogy, which is always a plus because (provided it’s good) finishing a book is always such an anti climax of sorts, right?

I’ve only read a couple of chapters thus far but it’s already rather addictive. It was filed under crime at the book store so I’m eager to find out what exactly is crime about this novel, so far I’d call it more romantic mystery-ish. I’ll get back to you with my review.

Weekend reads

If you’re in Stockholm (or Sweden) this weekend you’ll know it’s a sit-inside-with-fluffy-slippers kind of weekend. The weather is dreadful, low temperatures and the rain hasn’t stopped pouring down for two days.  Since I’m currently drowning in a pile of lecture notes and course literature while cramming for my exam, I thought I’d share with you a couple of fun weekend reads:

Sneak peek into Sass&Bide designer Heidi Middleton’s home
Interior decorating and beautiful homes whisk me off into an endless daydream (I could spend hours pinning “my future homes” on Pinterest). As a big Sass&Bide fan, this particular home was especially intriguing to peek into. After browsing the photos on Tales of Endearment, my list of future homes just grew a little bit bigger.

Bake a cake this weekend
You know how I love baking, and even did a bit of volunteer baking for a year at my local hospital (something I’ve sadly had to put on hold for now). It should be no surprise then that my baking nerve started to twitch when I came across this fantastic post on Anthology with a list of absolutely gorgeous cakes. The above Cherry pavlova is by Call me cupcake!, a blog I’ve followed for a while now and absolutely love. The mastermind behind the blog is a Swedish girl and her creations are absolutely mouthwatering. With rainy weather calling for indoor activities I cannot think of a better thing to do than bake a cake!

The Devil Really Does Wear Prada
Remember that Lauren Weisberger book, The Devil Wears Prada (that later inspired the movie by the same name)? Most may have assumed that the story was a bit exaggerated (surely the work environment at a top fashion magazine couldn’t be that bad?), but reality really can be (and is) that bad. Emily Louise Overy left her internship at a fashion magazine after only a day and a half, and I can only nod in agreement and recognition as I read her article about her experiences. And speaking of Weisberger, she’s writing a sequel, titled Revenge Wears Prada (due out in 2013).

Behind the Scenes with Rachel Zoe
Here’s an interview with Rachel Zoe and a peek at the lookbook photo shoot of her latest collection. The clothes fall a little flat, as with all of her collections so far, but I’d like to have a closer look at those shoes that she “can’t even talk about” because she’s so excited about them.

Pretty Cover

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on the cover of Vogue Dec. 2011

Photo: fashionista

Lula <3

I picked up the latest issue of Lula today. Love.

Bookshelf: In The Woods by Tana French

I picked up In The Woods by Tana French while I was in the US in July, and I just finished reading it. Set in Ireland (author Tana French is Irish), In The Woods is a psychological thriller about the murder of Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old girl from Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb. Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox are assigned the case, which appears to have connections to an unsolved case 20 years earlier involving the disappearance of two children, also from Knocknaree, who were Ryan’s childhood friends.

This book has a lot of admirable qualities, like the eloquent descriptions and the way it’s like there’s several levels to the story (the murder investigation, Ryan’s past, the relationship between Ryan and Maddox). However, I wasn’t thrilled about this book. It’s wasn’t that “can’t-put-it-down” kind of material that I was hoping for. I was disappointed by the ending, and I struggled to get through the book because I felt like the descriptions were sometimes just a little too many, and that slowed the story down.

What’s the latest book you’ve read?

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