“There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it,” said my mother. “Put yourself in the way of beauty. Cheryl Strayed from Wild: Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Mornings have always been golden moments to me. For some reason I wake up relatively early, and when I have to get up early, I still wake up before my phone alarms. I suppose 6-7 hours of sleep is enough, but it would be nice to sleep in occassionally. The upside is that I get some work done. I love my family, but living with two chatty girls isn’t always conducive to writing. The mornings are especially golden during the Covid-19 drama, because with my daughter home every day (school is closed), it’s hard to get the work peace I need. I guess power writing could be a thing.
I write the same way I read, which means 3-4 projects at the same time. I’m working on what will be a series of four books. The first manuscript is almost done, but I also work on number two and three whenever I have some ideas. I’m not one of those who can sit down and write 2 000 + words a day. It always puzzles me when I hear authors on podcasts like So you want to be a writer? (Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo) or The Worried writer (Sarah Painter) talk about how much they do every day. I decided I couldn’t let that stress me, because the words come to me eventually.
I have spent a lot of time in the Viking age lately, but I have revisited one of my future projects this week, which means World War II. People who have read this blog for a while may have detected a certain ambivalence when I think about my hometown. I loved her for a long time, but our relationship has been rather dysfunctional for a number of years. I have discovered my old friend in a new way now. I’m working on some ideas for a story that takes place during the 1940’s, and I’m thinking about the places my mother would have gone to. A neighbourhood usually has street names from the same group, and my mother grew up in a part of town where all the streets are named after kings. She was eight years old when her family moved to King Sverre’s Street (this king died in 1202) in 1948. This is also the street where I think King Fairhair (died 930) was buried.
I love and hate this neighbourhood. The school is in Queen Gyda’s Street, and she was one of King Harald Fairhair’s wives. According to the legend she refused to marry a man who wasn’t the king of the entire country, and he accepted the challenge. He also decided not to cut his hair until he had accomplished the mission,which is where the nickname came from, and when he had, she agreed to marry him. The oldest part of the school was built in 1897, and I went to the same school as my mother. We both had pretty mixed emotions about our years there, but the neighbourhood itself is beautiful.
They built some very nice houses in that area roughly between 1830 and 1930, and this is where I imagine my protagonist living. I’m having a lot of fun writing this, and I’m thinking now that I don’t actually hate my hometown. There are many possible lives or routes, and I sometimes wish I could have continued one of the many I had to leave. I could see myself living in this neighbourhood. The last life could have happened when my wife and I were viewing apartments in the area around this school, for several years before we left town. In the end we decided to try somewhere else, which turned out to be a good call.
There are some painful memories assciated with the Hauge neighbourhood, but I still think of the area that has been important to my family as home.