November 6, 2012

You Never Read the Same Book Twice

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:23 am
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Save one unfortunate decision to return to an old job (it lasted 2 months), I’ve never moved back to anything in my life. Not to my home town, not to my old school, not even to my old hobbies. Until now. Now, I’m back in Oslo.

I used to say that there’s no going back, only forward, so the thought of returning scared me. I worried that I’d feel the same way I had when I tried to go back to that other job: that Oslo would be an old dress that no longer fit. Not to mention all the people – writing buddies, colleagues, friends – I would leave behind in Montreal.

I do miss my Montreal people, I even miss the Montreal version of me, but being back in Oslo is exhilarating. I’m trying my hand at a new career in freelance translation, I’m figuring out how to write in Norwegian, and I’m re-connecting with old friends.

And, as it turns out, my self-made saying held true. Going back is impossible. Although I’m back in Oslo, I’m not back in my old Oslo. People have changed and so have I. It feels like I’m rereading a well-worn favourite, and finding a whole new book inside the old covers.


October 25, 2012

Make or Break Your Routine

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:28 pm
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In a writing rut: break your routine.

This is the advice I’ve gotten lately. Go on vacation, take a walk, write at different times of the day. But as someone who’s suddenly without a home or a conventional job, I have to admit that the lack of routine is what gets me. Sure, I have no trouble finishing my freelance gigs on time, outside pressure is a perfect motivator, but my own projects? Forget about it. I’ve written 1500 words in 2 weeks.

I’m sure it will be different once I settle down in a new country and the vacation feeling passes. I’m sure it will help once I get a few more freelance gigs so the paycheck thing will be taken care of. And I’m sure renting office space with other freelancers will help me mimic a traditional work day. But I don’t want my creativity to be shackled to an apartment and a set space.

So what is a poor girl to do? I need your advice here. How do you keep up productivity without set routines? Or how do you create routines when everything else is fluctuating?

October 4, 2012

That Gypsy Feel

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 7:18 pm
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We handed over the keys to our apartment on Tuesday morning, leaving our beloved place behind for someone else to fill with memories. It was a bittersweet farewell, but since I had two freelance gigs running at the same time and a fever, I didn’t have too much time to think about it.

(Cafe Abraco on 1st Ave and E 7th S. It can’t guarantee that it’s the best coffee in New York, but it’s damned good coffee.)

Our ride to New York cancelled on us at the last minute, so we hopped on the train. To be honest, it was a bit of a relief as it meant I could keep working during the ride. And with a panorama view of the East Coast in fall, it was inspired work indeed.

Once we arrived in New York — a few hours late but in good spirits — we met the guy who’s renting us a room, a screenwriter named Mark. He’s lived in the same apartment on the Lower East Side for fifteen years, and it shows. Everything is comfortably worn in and he is impressively laid back about us crashing. And if that wasn’t enough, the neighborhood is gorgeous and filled with artists and families. It makes me feel like a new person. I could write a novel from here (but I’ll settle for finishing my second writing gig, due Friday).

So far, we’ve experienced New York as locals rather than tourists. We’ve wandered around, tried new cafes, worked, and met people we already know for drinks. Living in someone’s apartment makes me feel at home, and not having anywhere else to call my own adds that comfortable gypsy feel to my existence. It is definitely my kind of vacation.

September 30, 2012

What to Do When You Have Too Much to Do?

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 10:00 am
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My freelance writing career has taken off, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I get paid to write. How cool is that? And to use a trite saying: once it rains, it pours. So in the next couple of days I need to pitch two books and write what amounts to a complete magazine. It might not sound impossible, but I also have to pack up my apartment, clean it and move out.

So I pose the question to you: What to do when you have too much to do?

How do you manage your time when work is pouring in?

December 17, 2011

Parallel lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 2:02 pm
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It took me almost two years, but I finally feel like Canada is my home country too. It’s weird, having two homes, but it’s kinda nice as well. It means I have people I love in both places, different though they are, and that I lead two parallel lives that are equally awesome. Montreal-Martine is more laid back than Oslo-Martine, but she’s a bit less confident. Oslo-Martine is more driven than Montreal-Martine, but she’s a bit less satisfied.

Oslo-Martine has plans every day, she runs from one meeting to the next and she loves every minute of it. Montreal-Martine walks everywhere, watching the world around her, spinning tales in her head as she strolls past families and famous buildings, breathing in familiar scents and sounds, and she loves every minute of it.

As I said, it’s nice to have two homes at once.

June 29, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:52 pm
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Hi everyone!

All the boxes are unpacked, all the furniture in place (including my beloved Torbjørn IKEA chair), so it’s time to get back to work.

I’ve moved across town to a smaller apartment. I now live in a concrete box with a small veranda. It’s not as bad as it sounds. For someone who’s lived in an old building with paper walls, concrete is quite refreshing. And for someone without an interior decorating gene, moving from an apartment with banana shaped floors and no 90 degree angles into a box-shape is heavenly. And going from no veranda to even a small one, well, you can fill in the blank. We just have to hang pictures on the walls and buy stuff to fill this place with, and everything will be dandy.

Plus, we now live in the hip part of town. All I have to do is step outside and I’m in a wonderland of little cafes, corner shops and fancy dressed Quebecois. (Nobody mention the fact that I live my life almost exclusively in yoga pants. I’m making a fashion statement, I swear!)

All in all, this should kick-start my writing, right? Right. I’ll keep you posted!

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