The Wolf Song, Astrid Lindgren

    a wolf howling to the moon

    LET’S LISTEN to Vargsången (the wolf song) by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren and composer Björn Isfält. This is the second of this year’s Advent Calendar treats. You can find the lyrics in English, and the reason why I decided to make this song the second stop on the guided tour…

    Odysseus, Björn Afzelius

    An aerial photo of the Indal river in Sweden with the text Odysseus by Bjorn Afzelius

    LET’S LISTEN to Odysseus by Swedish singer, songwriter, guitarist and author Björn Afzelius. This is the first of this year’s Advent Calendar treats. You can find the lyrics in English, and the reason why I decided to make this song the first stop on the guided tour of my backwaters,…

    In Books, Films and Games

    Animal characters in storytelling: a husky with clear blue eyes looking into the camera

    ANIMAL CHARACTERS A – Z is like a Who’s Who of animals I’ve come across in storytelling. I list the main/central animal characters from books, tv-series, films and games. Because there are so many of them, I won’t be able to list every single animal I’ve spotted in the stories. …

    When To Pay Attention?


    HEY WRITER, do you know when you need to pay attention to negative feedback? And, by extension, when you should just ignore it? “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and…

    DOs and DON’Ts for Critics


    HEY WRITER, have ever you been a critique partner? Maybe a member of a writing group? Or, my personal nightmare, had friends and/or family ask you to give them feedback on something they wrote? After all the posts about being on the receiving end of criticism, today, I want to…

    -Can Criticism Be Healthy?


    HEY WRITER, do you think criticism can ever be healthy? I do, and in this article I’m going to tell you why. “The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale When the emphasis of criticism is…

    – You Do You, Boo


    HEY WRITER, do you know that successful people tend to look at criticism as feedback? And no, that doesn’t mean that all criticism is correct. It goes without saying that the word criticism has a negative connotation. It can easily make us defensive and resistant to the benefits we could…

    -3 Ways It Makes You Stronger

    3 ways criticism makes you stronger

    HEY WRITER, did you know criticism can make you stronger? Most of us could share quite a few stories about the criticism we’ve received and the mark it left on our psyche. We all know it can leave us feeling weak, misunderstood, and vulnerable, but it can also make us…

    3 Reasons We Hate It

    AWW 17 REVIEWS Why Upset

    MOST PEOPLE hate being criticised, so as writers we’re in good company. It’s just that criticism can sting more when it relates to something you have created. But then again, as Aristotle said: “Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” As writers,…

    Who Can You Trust?

    AWW 14 Reviews Critique Who to Trust

    I CAN’T STRESS this enough: Not all feedback is valid! As I’ve mentioned before, people can’t help themselves. They just love to dish out criticism for all sorts of reasons, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. As a writer, therefore, it is vital to know when to…

    Everybody Gets Them

    AWW 11 Rejection Bad Reviews

    NO, LOVE, you’re not alone. Every single storyteller (or any other kind of creative person) gets bad reviews. Granted, some get more than others, but generally speaking, we all get our confidences knocked down a peg or two every now and then. But it doesn’t have to be the end of…

    Don’t Be A Dick!

    AWW 8 Reviews or Critique

    ONCE UPON A TIME I used to love reading the reviews in The Sunday Times. It was my most precious indulgence while I was a poor single mum living in Sweden. I’d pick up the thick envelope from my newsagents on a Wednesday and put it aside so I could…

    What Does Fantasy Mean To You?

    AWW 6 Fantasy

    FANTASY IS PROBABLY my favourite genre in storytelling. It gets a bad rep among literary snobs, but fantasy is so versatile it can, literally, be anything. If you think about it, quite a few of the stories that are held up as beacons of Good Literature (or words of a…

    How I Get Inside the Stories

    AWW 4 Workflow

    IF YOU WERE wondering how I go about dissecting the stories that interest me, I thought I’d make a post about my workflow. This is a system I have “perfected” over many years analysing different types of texts and finding interesting ways of presenting the information. As I only have…

    To My Pandemic Panic Room!

    AWW 1 Intro Post

    HELLO AND WELCOME to my pandemic panic room! This is a fictional writer’s room. A happy place I’ve created to make the solitary confinement of COVID-19 shielding bearable. As of today, my front door is locked. Like millions of other weak and vulnerable people across the globe, I will be…