From Germany to Sweden

It’s been over a week, and I still miss our Nuremberg kitty friends Sally and Rocky. Talk about charmers! Since leaving Germany, we’ve made out way to Sweden, starting off with four lovely days in Stockholm. Between tasty tapas and super-fun shuffleboard, we had a killer time there.

Now we’re in Gothenburg! This will be the longest I’ve stayed put since leaving Canada three months ago. We’ll be here for three full weeks, cat-sitting our new friends Neo and Smilla. Though we’ve only been here a few days, I’m already impressed by this cool and beautiful city.

Praise to the gods you may or may not believe in, I’ve FINALLY finished the Artist’s Way! I’ve had my ups and downs with this so-called spiritual journey to creative recovery… from its constant references to god to its random and often pointless tasks, I really didn’t buy what it’s selling.

I’m more excited by my year-long subscription to Masterclass, which I’ve already dug into with classes from Dan Brown. The content is engaging, and certainly more practical than the Artist’s Way. Plus, I can still look forward to classes with Margaret Atwood, R.L. Stine, and Judy Blume. 

Another thing I’ve cracked into is a personal reading list. Realizing that I’m not the fastest reader (with limited space available), I’ve picked up a couple of smaller fantasy books. Right now I’m on the first of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, and next is my beloved Neil Gaiman.

Luggage is already stretching maximum for comfort, so I may need to offload the books as I go. I’ve considered lighting a fire with the Artist’s Way. (Seriously, “reread this book” as a final instruction was like receiving a hot poker to my backside. But somehow more infuriating still.)

In any case, that’s what’s shaking for now. We’ll be in Sweden until Dec. 19th and then it’s back to the U.K. for a while. Hope to see (some of) you then! 

-Janice

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Apparently, I’m a Writer

I leave for my European adventure in less than a week. I’m so excited!

A few people have asked me what I’m actually going to *do* on my travels. Besides just being somewhere else, seeing pretty things, and eating / drinking my face off?

I’ll be writing. A lot.

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The only “spiritual path” Munchie is interested in is the one that leads to her food dish.

You’ve probably heard of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a 12-week program to help you “discover and recover your creative self.” I guess I should probably start telling people that I’m just going to Europe to, like, find and unleash my creative potential?

To my credit, I have completed NaNoWriMo five times. And while certainly an accomplishment, it’s hard to say whether a 50,000-word novel spit out over a 30-day period can be any good. (Spoiler: it can’t. At least, not without heavy revisions.) But given a bit more time and consideration, under Cameron’s expert tutelage, I *might* actually be able to produce something slightly less irksome.

(Hot garbage is a phrase I reserve exclusively for people who slow down in the passing lane, and the five novels I’ve written during NaNoWriMo.)

I’m still drawn to participate in some sort of writing challenge, however… like maybe the CBC Short Story Prize! When I was a kid, I wrote endless short stories. And sure, while some (or realistically most) of them were crap, I like to think I’ve improved a bit since then. I mean, I’d hate to read the Yelp review of the first meals I ever made, too. “The sticks were a tad chewy, but I found the bog water mixed with grass truly inedible.” 

Finally, of course, there’s blogging. A relatively simple and fun way to produce writing intended for the public eye. It’s also a pretty good way of holding myself accountable. And *obviously* I’ve got to satisfy the hunger of my gargantuan readership!

But seriously… thanks to the five of you. 🖐️

-Janice