Novel Sneak peek​: Chapter 1, page 26

“How funny is it that you paint!” She suddenly burst out, as a desperate attempt to avoid answering the questions he had interrogated her with earlier. “May I ask … why do you prefer calling yourself a painter and not an artist?” Jean shrugged. “Artists don’t interest me in the least. They can throw a painted shoe on a blank canvas and call it art. Anything you do can fall into that category. I paint. That’s what I do. No more, no less.”

Long silence.

Kathy didn’t know what to say next. On their long walk to town, she had already passed by beautiful neoclassical houses with terraces and rose gardens – matters of which she would normally have strong, insightful opinions about. Now, however, she was put into a situation where she was confronted with her utmost weakness: The art-world. Half stunned by the stranger’s bluntness, half ashamed of her own ignorance, she managed to utter a few more words: “I don’t quite understand – so you paint, yet, you’re not an artist?”

“What I do is a craft.” He said firmly, as he put his rugged hands on her shoulders, leading the way to an outdoor café. “It takes years of practice and hard work. The art-world consist of cheaters, liars, and people who’ve been brainwashed with the idea and notion that having no skill at all – means something. I refuse to be a part of that club.”

 

-A S. Nerdrum 

Today I saw something that gave me hope

unnamed-3

And what I mean by that is … what I saw was a reminder of what life is all about. 

 

So what happened exactly?

 A normal Sunday. Around. 1o o clock in the morning. I’m sitting alone in the corner of a cute Italian coffee-shop where they sell the best espressos I’ve ever tasted so far. This is obviously a big part of the reason why I go here every morning. But not entirely. I also go here to eves-drop on conversations. This way I gather inspiration for my work and store them in a notebook for whenever I’m in need of ideas for a written dialogue. What I do is that I carefully note down the person’s words, their gestures, their unique attributes. And let me tell you – each conversation is entirely different and true to its stereotype: 

-The couple on their first date; Nervous voice, shaky hands, awkward questions.

 –The business meeting between the new employé and the boss; Excitement, loud voices, energetic hand-movements. 

-The retired couple on vacation; Relaxed faces, smiles that light up the whole room, mundane conversation topics. 

But today I saw something different – something that put a spark in my eyes and lit a fire to my soul:


A couple who look like they could be around 20 – 21 enters the café and sit down by the table next to me. Immediately, I’m able to spot where they’re from – The boy; Blonde, curly hair, blue shiny eyes, reddened skin, tall. The girl – brunette, brown eyes, fairly light skin. They’re from the States. 

“So, where did we end our conversation earlier?” the boy asks after the waiter has handed them two ice-lattes. 

“How do humans store their memories.” the girl replies and casually puts her iPhone aside.

“Oh right! What would happen if a human cloned themselves? Would they have the same memories or would they start from zero?” 

I stop reading my book and look up to the ceiling as to pretend I’m staring at something while listening to their conversation. For a whole hour, sentences flow out of their mouths without stop: Ideas, patterns, psychological aspects of the human mind, physics. Soon the conversation takes a turn into the more advanced theories about the world, such as Quantum mechanics, alternative universes, the probability of aliens being single-celled organisms, the differences between the brain-state and the mind-state, how human beings only think in algorithms etc. My eyes are glued to the wall and my mind is swimming around in delicious new ideas, facts, statistics, and terminologies. I am their listener, but I am also their student.


That hour of eves-dropping made me think in different ways, contemplate new ideas and form new, interesting conversation topics with my friends later. Not to mention — I regained my hope for our millennial generation. They were only kids. Yet, they were knowledgable, capable of seeing patterns and interested in unlocking the secrets of the world. 

They were interested. Not interesting. And THAT is the kind of youth that we need more of today. 

Before today, I thought they didn’t exist anymore. I thought iPhones and Computer screens had ruined our attention span and altered our ego. But here I was, listening to something which later in time would prove me wrong.

I realized how ignorant I still am and how much there is yet to learn. And this … gave me hope. 

So don’t give up on us. Continue to believe in magic. This couple was more infatuated by each other and their ideas than they were in their iPhones – and THAT is a miracle in itself. 

 

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

Prose #1: The Other Woman


She was the portrait every one stopped to see just one more time before leaving the museum. 

She was the Nordic light at dawn; mellow enough to keep you sane, yet distinctive in its presence – leaving you there like an old fool, wanting more. 

Words that came out of her mouth were only ever spoken in melodies. But you’d have to hold your guard. Because if you listened close enough, you’d find yourself completely captivated, mouthing pretty sonnets to yourself, day in and day out – all dedicated to her. You’d be drunk on her mouth, her tongue, her ocean of words –  your mind and your life would – without your wanting – become infused with the whole persona of one woman – you’d speak like her, smile like her, read the books in her manner. 

I knew from the very instant this happened to me – that music, literature, and paintings were all crafts invented to describe women like Alice. And I found myself – for the first time – forgiving him for leaving me. She was the other woman. But she was the better one.

 

– A. S Nerdrum 


 

20 things I’ve learned in 20 years

IMG_5204.jpegIMG_5206.jpeg1. Your body is a machine. Whatever you feed it – food or information – it will react accordingly. If you feed it junk, you’ll be junk. If you feed it with crappy reality-shows and celebrity-news, you will become like them, talk like them. If you don’t refill your battery with exercise (endorphins) and stimulating thought-processes, you will be depressed and fatigued. It takes a lifetime to find the perfect pattern that will tell you how and when to refill your battery properly and with the right portions. So start now. Don’t take this machine for granted.

2. Decrease your options in life – and you will eventually realize that it gives you MORE, not less. Don’t say yes to every event, don’t spend time with a million friends, don’t follow people you don’t care about on Social Media. Eliminate everything that doesn’t define you, lift you up or leave you feeling satisfied – and you will find where you need to be. 

3. Everyone is religious. Even atheists. Some people devote their lives to depression or anxiety. Others focus their energy around facts and figures. You might be religious about your phone – or your craft – or a God. But you ARE religious because none of us can actually survive without being submissive. We need something to guide us. Find out what your religion is, then decide whether it’s helping your life or destroying it.

4. In life, we will all suffer one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Choose wisely. 

5. Human beings tend to inhale the very thing that kills them, only to feel more alive. That’s why we smoke, drink heavy alcohol and do drugs. We don’t necessarily like the substance in itself – but we enjoy the feeling of having done something we know is wrong. It doesn’t give us a “high” – what it gives us is a sense of PURPOSE. But it’s a short-term one, and it’s only attained by those who are too scared to take the big leap – too scared to finish that manuscript, go to those auditions or try something only to realize they’re bad at it. That’s why drug addicts are generally interesting people – they once had an intention to do something great with their lives. But when fear got the better of them, they relapsed and decided to drown their souls in short-term pleasures. And for the rest of their lives, they’ll continue fooling their body (with this substance) to think that they’ve done something great – to think that they have a purpose in life. 

6. Most of what you see and believe are human constructions. The city you’re born in, the border that divides yours and your neighbor countries, the name you’re given, the institution you’re forced to stay in for ten years (also called school), your hopeful parents – expecting you (or forcing you) to go to college and get a degree and become a doctor. Time, money. They’re all just abstractions that human beings – who are not smarter than yourself –  have created to put you into a box so that you can be a robot and serve a functional society, just like the rest of them. When you actually start playing around with these ideas, you’ll discover that everything is meaningless. Why should you care? You can break out of these constructions. You can make your own little island,  live by your own rules. A couple of people will be disappointed in you, but so what? You have one life. Don’t waste it on public formalities that changes every ten decades or so. 

7. Books will make you more tolerant. When you read a lot, you come across a lot of villains. Kidnappers, murderers, rapists, corrupt politicians, heartless bastards … the list goes one. Now, if you’re lucky, you might find yourself reading about these villains from a narrative perspective – meaning you’re in their lives now. YOU ARE THEM. And somehow, you discover the villain’s weak side. You begin to sympathize – and that’s when you’ve managed to put yourself into another person’s shoes – a person you never thought you’d be able to relate to. This will make you more mentally mature and it will strengthen your character in ways you never thought was possible. That’s why reading is so magical. 

8. If you want to change yourself, start with your environment. You are on average the five people that you spend the most time with every day. So choose your friends carefully. Whatever they talk about the most will enter your subconsciousness and become a part of YOU. If you’re an aspiring writer, find a group of writers. If you’re a painter, find a group of painters. Never underestimate the power of social influence. 

9. Being angry at someone can actually hurt YOU more, than the person you’re angry at. 

10. The first seven years of a human being are years in which the child will download ALL the exterior information into the unconsciousness. In fact, 95% of what we do in life, derives from those programs that we have ALREADY stored in our subconscious mind. In a way, we are living a life that has already been lived for us. What we watched our parents do – how many times they doubted themselves – what decisions they made – when they had success – all these things are ideas and choices that we unknowingly carry with us and use in times of decision-making. THAT is why it is SO SO important how you raise your child during these first years. And that is why the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich. Children of poor families (from age 1-7) have watched their parents struggle, doubt themselves and lose courage – this is why those children usually tend to have problems with this later in life. Whereas rich parents – they can have a stupid child who does stupid things and is stupid with money – but they will still be able to make money and live a decent life?! Why? Because they’re doomed – they’re already programmed to make these unconscious choices because of their parent’s success. This can apply to many other things. The trick is to ask yourself – where do you struggle in life? If you know the answer, it will likely be something you were NOT exposed to as a child from 1-7. How can you fix it? By repetition. Just like when we’re kids, we learn by things happening before our eyes over and over again. You need to practice, every day, and it will eventually stick to your subconscious mind. Only 1% of the world’s population find out about this and fix their flaws. The rest of the 99% continue living the life that is already (subconsciously) set out for them to live. 

11. We complicate our lives way too much. As human beings we are inclined to seek destruction – we tell ourselves, no, it can’t be that easy! “My life is complex and messed up and I’m never going to be like … happy. I’m just here and I hate the place I’m at right now but I can’t change it because life is just more complex than that.” No! It’s not! if you open your eyes – you’ll come to realize how easy things are. You either make a change, or you don’t. You either work on that task every day and become great at it or … you don’t! There’s no magic formula out there – that only SOME people are lucky to get in life. Life is not that complex. It really isn’t. It’s not that hard to be content and it’s not that hard to enjoy the little things. There is so much of life to enjoy already – hell, the very fact that you woke up this morning is a miracle in itself. If you take a look at the big picture, nothing really matters except that life is beautifully chaotic, filled with opportunities and YOU are more than lucky to have been born because the very fact that your parents met each other and fell in love was a coincidence. Stop complicating things, please. 

12. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it. Seriously. Just don’t. 

13. No matter how “talented” you are, your talent will eventually fail you if you don’t practice your skill. Repetition and a hard work-ethic come first. Always. 

14. For a relationship to work, you both need to be free, independent individuals. You both NEED to have your inner home. You need to be able to make yourself happy, even in the worst of times. You need to have your own hobby, your own “cave” – that place you escape to when you just want to be alone – and you need to have your own friends. This might sound cynical and very anti-love, but it’s not. It’s highly crucial for the love, the chemistry, and the fire to still have a spark, even after many years. Perhaps your hobby or your activity is something that doesn’t resonate with your partner at all. Perhaps they don’t even like it. That’s okay! In fact, that’s better! Then you have something entirely for yourself, which is kind of awesome. Because being dependent on someone is not love, that’s an obsession. You should only ever need YOURSELF. Period. 

15. Your friends are not there to be changed or fixed – or to change/fix you. They are there to love you in spite of your differences. Dolly Parton once said: “The best friends have everything and nothing in common, all at the same time.”. Focus on your common grounds, don’t meddle with your differences. It will only ruin the relationship and create complications. You can give them guidelines, but you can’t fix them. 

16. You need to embrace an emotion before you can let it go. Go all out. Lie in your bed and cry. Scream. Talk to people about it. Analyze why you feel this way, how and why it arrived in your head and what you can do to diminish it. You need that closure because if you don’t have it, it will stick to your brain and slowly eat up your soul. Do yourself this favor today. 

17. Any bad situation can bring out something positive. Because in life, you are always the student: The abusive boyfriend that you held onto for too long was your teacher – he/she was teaching you every day what NOT to look for. Your terrible boss taught you how to handle terrible people. Your economical failure taught you what NOT to invest in next time. 

18. Treat yourself with respect and other people will start respecting you. 

19. Your life can ALWAYS, ALWAYS be rearranged. We are ever growing, therefore, ever-changing. If you think you’ll never be able to get out of your current situation, you are wrong. The reason why you haven’t done anything is just lack of courage. But this can easily change. The first step is always doing something. 

20. You’re not a writer unless you do it every day. The same rule applies to every craft. 


 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum

I joined the San Miguel Writer’s Conference​ & Literary Festival — this is what happened and this is why it changed me …

unnamed-7.jpgIMG_0014.jpgIMG_0013.jpgIMG_0016.jpgIMG_0018.jpgunnamed-6.jpgIMG_0009.jpgunnamed-5.jpg

We’re in Mexico.

We’re in the new cultural capital of North America; San Miguel de Allende.

It’s been exactly twenty days since I left my comfort zone up in the North. 

It’s the day after my last day at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference and I’m speechless. 

Where to start? 

 

I had never been to a writers conference before.

Why?

Perhaps I didn’t see the point, or perhaps I was just too scared … was I even good enough? What about my age? People will laugh at me when they discover how young I am. A twenty-year-old little girl hoping to make a living off of being a writer … give me a break … 

Anyways. So there I was, about to sign up for something I had been reluctant towards doing for years. My heart was pounding and my mind wouldn’t let my body rest; going through a dozen different expectations all at once – and let me tell you: ALL WERE NEGATIVE. 

In fact, these were my exact thoughts that moment: 

#EXPECTATIONS

The workshops will probably be rather boring and academic, held by a heavy-eyed professor with hearing-aids and poor eye-sight, located in a classroom with a whiteboard. The speeches will be all about how difficult it really is being a best-selling author (and that you really shouldn’t do it unless you’re prepared for a handful of tears, regrets, and rejections), the authors will most likely not want to talk to you (because let’s face it, when you’re finally famous and over-paid, why would you want to talk to a hopeless nobody, who’s scribbles of writing haven’t even made it to the editor yet, and most probably, never will?) The other participants will be much older, much wiser, much more published and therefore earn the right to meet the younger crowd with arrogance, rejection, and phrases like “so what does your book include – a hundred pages showing text-messages from your smartphone?”

As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly proud of my millennial-generation – without any choice in the matter, I have been automatically put into the category of inarticulate, empty-headed hipsters who, in the future, will be responsible for making the world’s population burn to the grounds and rotten in their own ashes; Also called ignorance.

So you can’t exactly blame me for being scared of talking to adults. They know things! And better yet, they know how stupid we are becoming! 

 

#REALITY

Well, let me tell you what actually happened … 

The workshops were held by fun, engaging published authors who didn’t seem to shy away from making a couple of sarcastic jokes every now and then. Not only were their words motivating, but their very presence made you feel like you weren’t alone in the everlasting fight for creative recognition. Every lecture was saturated with a handful of valuable, practical information – advice which you could only receive from those who really know the playing field, not from Google. The location was a beautiful hotel with an enormous garden – and everything was included in the package: The cute coffee-stand with free coffee and pastries, the daily gourmet lunch in the restaurant – catered by the very best chefs, the outside bookshop, covered by a tent, featuring all the best-selling authors from the states, Canada and Mexico – the public open-mic where unpublished writers would share a piece of their soul in front of an audience, the book-signings – where you could actually have a conversation with your favorite contemporary author whilst getting your book signed, the park where participants would meet, picnic, read or share their scribbled notebooks with one another. AND LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE SPEECHES – The speeches were held by authors who had flown all the way from the US or from Canada, just to inspire struggling writers with their personal stories, their highs and lows, their ten rejections and how they found their loophole through the rocky road to publishing. Most of the writers were exceptionally humorous – something that stunned me and made me think things over; WHY and HOW had I not received this information earlier?

Of course – you have to be FUNNY in order to be a successful writer! (I guess we have a lot to work on, myself and I …) 

Trust me on this – it’s not a lie – it’s not flattery – I BROKE OUT LAUGHING ABOUT 10 TIMES on average through every speech. These writers know the game; They know how to turn a vile reality into a Woody-Allen-like joke, they know how to charm and THEY KNOW how to gain the audience’s attention. (So if you’re reading this and you’re an aspiring author – LEARN HOW TO CHARM THE PUBLIC. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good way to get there.)

Oh, and the people – they were the kindest, most generous human beings.

Some DID point out my age, but it wasn’t with arrogance – they were just surprised by how young I was and that I was actually interested in going to a writer’s conference! I even had a conversation with a couple of writers from the US, got some contact-information and on top of that – I was invited to writer’s groups, poetry-cafés and more! I was in heaven! 


To sum it up, I will give you a list of a few things I learned – that I didn’t know before entering this conference:

  1. The best writers are humble people (they won’t meet you with arrogance and contempt, but rather with understanding and sympathy. They remember how hard the playing field once was for them and they would like nothing more than to show you guidance and meet you with mutual respect.) 

  1. Traditional Publishing is an expired tool (I was also sorry to hear this, but if you want to play, you have to accept the changing times. You can still do it traditionally, but it will be much harder for you to market a book properly and you won’t be able to publish your work under your own rights.) 

  2. Being a writer is not just a profession – it’s a lifestyle (If you really want to do this, do it right. If you’re a writer, you’re a living story-teller. You observe everyone and everything around you, every day. You note down random conversations in coffee-shops, you analyze people’s gestures, their weird attributes, their way of expression. You tell stories to your loved ones when you come home after work – what happened, what did you see, what did it make you feel and think? ALWAYS have a pen and paper with you-you never know when you have a good story – and remember – you’re never really out of your office. Your office is wherever YOU go.)

  3. As a writer, you have to be funny (I envy those who started off as stand-up comedians, then turned to literature. Man, they had it easy … Well, for us boring people, we have to practice! Because whether you like it or not, you have to be entertaining on the outside as well as on the inside. Fine, your book is funny as hell, but it doesn’t help if you can’t use this magic in spoken words. STOP BEING SHY. Just … STOP IT! If you are, I want you to stand up and yell out these exact words: I AM NOT SHY!! Now go out of your house and be awesome. Earn those laughs. Because you know you can. Anyone can. It’s just a matter of courage. 

 

Alright, better get to writing — AND watching YouTube videos of standup comedians … 

I hope you loved this article, and if you’re wondering about anything else, hit me up on my social media or email: 


INSTAGRAM: HERE

EMAIL: afturspildo@gmail.com

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

#writersconferance #sanmigueldeallende #sanmiguel #smwc19 #2019 #writer #bookworm #howtopublish #tipsforwriting #howtowritewell #blogger

Introducing French​ culture through books, music, films, painters and more!

318x1cPQ-NL._SY355_.jpg

Oh, Paris – I am so lucky to have you, right where you are … IMG_5018.jpgIMG_4852.jpgunnamed-3.jpgunnamed.jpgunnamed-2.jpg

Who else is OBSESSED with everything French at this moment in time? 

 

France is a country that’s filled with culture. Sure, they do have their ups and downs when it comes to the cinema – they experiment a lot and sometimes a bit too much! 

HOWEVER …

When they do something well, it ends up being a masterpiece! Yes, I’m thinking about you Simone de Behavior, and you, Christophe Barratier, and you Edith Piaf … 

So let’s begin my list of absolute FAVOURITES in French culture, some have been recent, some have been with me all my life. I hope you get inspired! 

 

BOOKS 

 

  1. “When things of the Spirit come First” by Simone de Beauvoir 

“When she was alone again, an immense happiness flooded into her: at last she was going to be able to show what she was made of! She opened the window and leant out over the garden: thousands of sticky little leaves twinkled in the sun and all springtime murmured in her bosom – the inner wealth accumulated in solitude was yearning to blossom into action. Ecstatically, Marcelle greeted the renewal of her heart as the dawn of the renewal of the world itself.”

612852.jpg

 


2. “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo 

“The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.”

9780375403170.jpeg

 


3. “Bonjour Tristesse” by Françoise Sagan

“A Strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me but now I am almost ashamed of its complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.”

83f245b7a6f2e64ba1e467b56cbe0ea5.jpg

 

CINEMA 

 

  1. “The chorus” (directed by Christophe Barratier) 

61UAkX8O9yL._SY445_.jpg

Why: First of all, Christopher Barratier did a great job with this movie! The scenery, the music, the actors – everything is on its place. It’s beautifully rich with drama, forgiveness, love and the discovery of new talents. 

 

2. “Amélie” (directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet) 

AMELIE - American Poster by Laurent Leufroy.jpeg

Why: It’s not a lie when I say that Amélie will actually change your life for the better. She’s cute, she’s smart, she creates her own inner world and she’ll inspire you to do the same! Somehow, she makes being alone look simple and even fun – because it’s all about your attitude and what you make out of your time here on earth. Also, it’s set in beautiful, spectacular Montmartre, which is a sure stimulant for the eye! 

 

3. “Jean de Florette” (directed by Claude Berri) 

81MYaKZSfcL._SY445_.jpg

Why: Beautiful is too little a word to describe the scenery, the people and the story of this movie! If you wish to see a little bit more of the French country-side, watch this movie and you’ll for sure enjoy every second of it! Moreover, it’s about love, envy, hatred, revenge, family-tragedies and much more! French at it’s best … 

 

MUSIC

 

  1. Edith Piaf 

A-156406-1451398702-4294.jpeg.jpg

Favorites: 

  • Non, je ne regrette rien
  • La foule 
  • Je ne’en connais pas la fin
  • La vie en rose 

 

2. Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille-Saint-Saens.jpg

Favorites: 

  • Le Cygne 
  • Dance macabre in G Minor, Op. 40 
  • Carnival of the Animals, R. 125: VII – The Aquarium 

 

3. Claude Debussy

debussy-56a153305f9b58b7d0be473f.jpg

Favorites: 

  • Clair de Lune 
  • 2 Arabesques in E Major, L. 66: Adantino 

 

4. Erik Satie 

594c7f-20160516-erik-satie.jpg

Favorites: 

  • Première Gymnopédie 
  • Gnossiennes: No. 1 – Lent 

 

5. Carla Bruni

photo_wide-5df601f9eaac2545d368a6c0fbc6f0a6dcf20cb0.jpg

Favorites: 

  • Quelqu’n m’a dit 
  • Chanson triste 
  • L’amour 

 

PAINTERS & SCULPTORS  

 

  1. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

 

2. Jean-François Millet

 

3. Edgar Degas

 

4. Auguste Rodin 

 

Hope you liked my list, keep on being inspired, every day. Remember that♥

 

 

Amour, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

What Jane Austen’s New Years resolutions would sound like …

cropped-aftur-writing-stories-she-likes

“Hmm … I wonder what one would want to fix on one’s behavior if one would want to be a more well-mannered, educated young lady with good wife-potential in 2019?” Jane asked herself in the darkest of dawns while getting her pen ready to write down a couple of notes before midnight:   

1. Complain less. You want to be the heroine, not the heroine’s best friend. 


2. Nurture your love for the home. Remember that there isn’t any better place on earth, and your papá wouldn’t like all the traveling that you constantly find yourself day-dreaming about. 


3. If not dancing, then submit all your remaining love and commitment in the pianoforte. Stick to duets and light afternoon-background music. It will charm both your life and others. 


4. Whenever you find yourself in confusion or in doubt, take a long walk. It is the second best remedy after books.


5.  Do not take carriages with people you hardly know. Stick to family. One never knows what situation one might find oneself in! 


6. Avoid any kind of romance when it comes to handsome men with sideburns – before investigating his past thoroughly. Better be safe than sorry. 


7. Take a chance on love, or take no chance at all. Better to remain single, than unhappy in a marriage. 


8. Seriously. Stop reading stories that end in tragedy for your sister, Cassandra. She’ll only grow fonder of staying in her despair. Rather, try searching for books with happy endings, and if you can’t seem to find one, write one yourself. 


9. That hero-character that you’ve been daydreaming about for years now – you know, the one who acts all proud and arrogant in the beginning, but ends up being the sweetest, most humble creature on earth – yeah that one; Make him come alive this year. Write that character down in your notebook. Who knows, it might end up becoming a novel …?


10. If you’re in search of a true lady-friend, try looking for someone who can write a long letter with delicacy and ease. 


11. Don’t focus on the time you mispronounced a word or sang a false tune in the company of refined gentlemen. Make it a rule to think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure. 


12. Do not fall into a passive rage next time you hear something about being a failed daughter or ending up an old maid. The very point of having a mother is learning to accept her flaws – and if the subject of matrimony matters as much to her as writing does to you, try to understand her next time. 


13. Not everyone’s lives are meant to be meddled with. So next time you feel like telling someone they shouldn’t marry a farmer, hold your tongue. Things aren’t always what they look like from the outside. 

 

With love, 

Jane Austen ...


 

#janeausten #janeaustennewyearsresolutions #jane #newyears #resolutions #femaleliterature #thejaneaustenclub #books #mrsknightleyslibrary

New Year’s​ resolutions don’t often work out – try this instead!

unnamed-20.jpg

The New Year is coming up, and I can already feel the anxiety creeping up on my body.

Can you feel it too? 

I don’t know about you, but I never really liked this ritual with New Year’s resolutions. They’re usually too demanding and energy-draining, knowing that we’ll most likely fail them within a week or less. HOWEVER – this year I decided to make a difference. 

By researching my way to a better and more effective way of doing resolutions, I stumbled across a video by Valeria Lipovetsky (my favorite YouTuber!) – she came with some brilliant questions that you can ask yourself – as a smarter and much more effective way of actually sticking to your goals. (If you want to check out this awesome video, click HERE)

Here are the questions she presented: 


STEP ONE – REFLECT ON YOUR YEAR

 – What moment stood out in 2018? Why?

– What happened in 2018 that helped you grow as a person?

– What happened in 2018 that you are most grateful for?

– What in 2018 didn’t work for you? Why?

– What is your biggest takeaway from 2018?

STEP TWO – ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

– What areas do I want to focus on in 2019?

– If I accomplish only one thing in 2019, what would I want it to be?

– How do I want to grow as a person in 2019?

– What should you stop doing in 2019?

– What do I need to do to bring myself happiness in 2019?


Eager to make a change, I decided to write down all these questions and make a very girly, inspirational, motivational bullet-journal out of it – which you can also try out!

In fact, I’m going to give you FREE templates on this journal –  just click the PDF-file further down in this article♥

IMG_4740.jpegIMG_4749.jpegIMG_4744.jpegIMG_4753.jpeg

TO DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE, CLICK ON THIS LINK: 

New Years Resolutions Girly Template

I hope you liked my little idea of a bullet-journal for New Years, and I hope that some of you decide to try it out! I would love to know whether it worked for you or not, as well as different ideas and solutions on how to stick to your goals next year♥

Speak soon, and … HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 


SAY HELLO♥

INSTAGRAM: aftur_spildo 

Email: afturspildo@gmail.com

#newyearsresolutions #goals #bulletjournal #motivation #mrsknightleyslibrary 


 

10 tips and tricks for hosting the best Christmas/book party

IMG_4638.jpgIMG_4635.jpgIMG_4657.jpgIMG_4627.jpgIMG_4614.jpgIMG_4625.jpgIMG_4646.jpg

IMG_4535 2.jpgIMG_4528.jpgIMG_4461.jpgIMG_4441.jpgIMG_4127 2.jpgIMG_4152.jpgIMG_4417 4.jpgIMG_4523 2.jpgIMG_4452.jpgIMG_4515.jpgIMG_4513.jpgIMG_4520.jpg


“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Andy Rooney


 

Alright! There are only a few hours until the big day and I can already feel the stress and anticipation coming from the people walking in the streets.

Floors must be washed.

Ingredients must be bought. 

Cookies must be ready. 

The Santa Costume must be hiding in the garage. 

The tree must be decorated. 

Presents MUST be bought! 


If I’m not entirely wrong, Christmas can sometimes feel a little bit too demanding and not as joyful and relaxed as expected. But don’t worry. If you thought Christmas ends after the 25th, you’re wrong!

Remember that you can always host a delightful Christmas-gathering/party any day between Christmas Eve and New Years! And why not throw in a book-club while we’re at it? 

 

#1 – Limit your guest-list to only 7-10 people maximum 

No need to appear over-social. It’s so much better to only invite your closest and dearest family and friends for this kind of gathering. It makes it more fun, cozy and you’ll feel freer to come with inside-jokes and talk about whatever you want with the people who really know you. Also, if you’re doing a book club/Christmas party, it’s safer to only invite the literature-interested among your group of friends! 

#2 – Stock up your house with homemade cookies, finger-food, christmas-wine and Christmas-cocktails! 

merry-christmas-decoration-tea-orange-punch-wine-novyi-god-2.jpg

HERE ARE MY BEST ESSENSIALS:

  • Recipe for gingerbread: HERE
  • Recipe for Whipped shortbread-cookies: HERE
  • Almond snowball cookies: HERE
  • Christmassy Finger-food ideas: HERE
  • Best Christmas martini: HERE
  • Best Christmas poinsetta-drink: HERE

 

#3 – For predrinks, make cotton candy champagne glasses! 

cotton-candy-champange-drink-receipe.jpg

This is a very festive and holidayish drink + very easy to make! Just put a bunch of pink cotton candy in a glass and pour the champagne in. Can it get fancier than this? 

 

#4 – Have a Christmas-playlist prapared! 

Personally, I prefer instrumental, classical music to these kinds of gatherings. But you do whatever suits you best! The point is to set the mood so that your guests feel comfertable and well relaxed. Here is a good playlist that I use: 

 

#5 – Brew lots and lots of coffee and make lots of hot chocolate! 

It’s important. Firstly, some of your guests might not drink alcohol (you never know!) so then it’s crucial to have something festive and Christmassy that they can enjoy as well. Plus … who doesnt want some coffee with their cookies? Always, always go overboard with these things. The more the merrier! 

#6 – Select a theme for the evening

If you’re doing a book club/Christmas-party together with your other bookworms, why not have a Charles Dickens theme where you focus on discussing his most famous holiday-book; “A Christmas Carol”? You could all dress up in clothes from his time and bring original copies of the same book with beautiful drawings and illustrations in them? There’s alot you can do literature-wise for a Christmas-party. Let you imagination go wild! 

#7 – Make sure your house is decorated and put lit candles in every room

You have no idea how much this sets the mood. And the candles are not optional, it’s a MUST! 

#8 – Prapare activities for your guests

If you’re doing a book club/Christmas party: 

  • Play the literature-roleplay-game: One person is chosen to play a character from a famous book, while the other guests have to guess who it is and from what book. If you manage to guess the character, you get 1 point, if you manage to guess both the book and the character, you get 2 points. The goal is to get 20. The winner gets a price. 
  • Discuss a book with the theme of Christmas (fex: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens or “The Father Christmas Letters” by J. R. R Tolkien). 

If you’re just doing a normal Christmas party: 

  • Make your guests decorate your tree together 
  • Have a DIY-night, where you all make the christmas-decorations from scratch! 
  • Make everyone bring gifts and Play Secret Santa 
  • Decorate Christmas cookies together 
  • Bring a saved box of chocolates with different types and flavors of chocolate. Blindfold one of the guests and make them eat one. Can they guess which flavor it is? 

 

#9 – Make the house smell nice and christmassy by bringing in a lot of fir-twigs, orange peel, cinamon sticks and cloves

1450736701024.jpeg

It’s nice decorations AND it smells heavenly in the house! 

 

#10 – Drink some alcohol or do something that relaxes you while you’re praparing the party 

This is the most important one on the list. It’s so easy for us to feel stressed and moody and stiff in the neck during hilday-times. Yes, there is a lot to do and prapare, but remember to take it easy. Drink some wine while you’re making food or do those yoga-stretches in-between baking. It may seem like theres no time for it, but you should always put yourself and your own health first, above everything else. The Holidays are for spreading love and happiness. It’s for relaxed time with family and friends. Remember this. 

happy-mature-couple-having-red-wine-while-making-dinner_13339-74020.jpg

Merry Christmas everyone♥


 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

Aftur’s Christmas Calendar: 22nd of December

SARAH LEMKUS 

31bc49850704b2ef172481b130dca1c5.jpg

She is a YouTuber, a mother, a wife and a nutritionist living in Australia together with her family. She makes videos about family life, food, personal stories/sufferings, health, philosophy/psychology and much more! Ever since I found one of her videos, I have been feeling so inspired by her. She always wanted to be a mother, however, she was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovaries (PCOS) at age 16, which includes having very unbalanced hormones in your body. Because of this, her doctor told her it would be very difficult for her to have a child. But that didn’t stop her! After marrying at 19 and settling down, she dived into lots of different research about nutrition and health. She started taking care of her own body, testing out different diets etc – and then – despite all odds – she fell pregnant at 20 – just ONE YEAR after getting married! It was what she always wanted, and she didn’t let her diagnose stop her from having it. I love this type of mindset and drive – really, you can relate it to anything that’s going on in your life right now. If there’s a job you really want, but you don’t have all the qualifications needed – don’t let it stop you! If this woman managed to get pregnant with her diagnose – you can get that job too! It’s all about what’s going on inside your mind. Thank you @sarahlemkus  for making me realize this and for showing me the ups and the downs and lovely positives of having children at a young age. You inspire.

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum