Cool Stuff Friday

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:22 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday still hasn’t seen the new Spider-Man movie 🙁

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

“There is a common poor attempt at a joke … that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it … as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.”

Invisible 3 CoverAlliah is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which came out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can order the collection at:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.

As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.

#

Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities

Growing up in the 90s and early 00s in the south-east of Brazil, all I saw in mainstream media were the same repetitive, harmful and offensive stereotypes about travestis in telenovelas and badly written comedy TV shows, and the effeminate gay men and macho lesbian women token characters whose non-conforming gender expression was grossly caricatured for cheap laughs.

As an openly queer young girl in school, I learned that I could be queer, but not too much, not too visibly. I’ve heard those laughs, and I internalized through bullying and ridicule that I should change how I presented myself to the world—which I did really fast by becoming the stock image of a non-threatening feminine girl, although I never hid my sexuality. My first awkward attempts at a masculine gender expression didn’t have time to blossom. I shoved it down some unreachable recess of my mind and avoided it for 10 years, which (along with compulsive heterosexuality and a binary cisnormative culture) is why it took me so long to understand my bisexuality and figure out my transmasculine non-binary gender identity.

Once I did, I uncovered a gender euphoria I’ve been cultivating ever since.

It took me years to understand the ways in which I inhabit my queer transmasculine genderfluid neuroatypical body, and my most powerful illumination came unexpectedly through the stories of a queer non-binary neuroatypical green witch: Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked: Cover ArtI first met her in the book series The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire, where most aspects about her gender and sexuality were ambiguous or obscured between the lines, and later in fan fiction, where the depths of Elphaba’s intersectional identities (canon or not) could be explored to the fullest by writers that shared those same identities.

Despite being an avid reader of speculative fiction since childhood, it was only after these encounters with trans and non-binary characters in fan fiction during the first half of my twenties that I started researching these topics, that I found out where I belonged. I discovered a thriving community of authors from marginalized groups creating astonishing rebellious versions of every world I’ve ever dreamed of and countless others I couldn’t imagine would be paramount to my process of liberation.

I owe it mostly to the fictional characters and their creators that illuminated me—from early readings like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando to the most recent fan fiction stories about a non-binary autistic Elphaba, a genderfluid bisexual Korra (from The Legend of Korra), and an agender transhumanist Root (from Person of Interest). I wish I could’ve met them sooner. Along the way to self-discovery, I had to collect all sorts of missing pieces with jagged edges and weird fractal shapes, and figure out a way to put them together myself. I was lucky to stumble upon the stories that I did and then to be able to find the communities that I needed. That’s why representation is vital. You cannot search for something you don’t even know exists.

There is a common poor attempt at a joke (that I’ve seen in both Anglophone and Brazilian online spaces), often directed at dehumanizing non-binary people and mocking activists working at the multidimensional core of intersections, that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it, using the accumulation of these identities as a joke in and of itself, as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.

One of the things fantasy author Jim Anotsu and I wanted to acknowledge when we wrote the Manifesto Irradiativo—our call to diversity and representation in Brazilian speculative fiction—is that our lives cannot be reduced to an isolated shelf in a bookstore or a niche market, thus we cannot be constrained to discussing the realities of our identities in those compartmentalized terms. We’re so much more than single-issue stories, than the same old one-dimensional narratives constructed to serve the gaze of the oppressor without making them examine their privileges and dismantle their systems of violence.

Those single-issue stories exist and persist for several reasons concerning the maintenance of racial, economic, and social power, amongst them because there is a fear of “too much” diversity. As if a book about a bipolar asexual bigender Afro-Brazilian person, for example, would scare away or alienate the common reader—who is always presumed to be the neurotypical cis straight white default that can handle only one unit of diversity at a time, served lukewarm, unseasoned. But as Audre Lorde said in a 1982 speech at Harvard University: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Stories matter. And we shouldn’t have the full extent of our existences cut, segregated, and dimmed in them. We deserve to live as a hyperdimensional mesh of identities when they want to flatten us, to be loud when they want to silence us, to occupy the spaces that have been negated to us, and to be wonderfully written and represented as such.

***

Alliah/Vic is a bisexual non-binary Brazilian writer and visual artist working in the realms of the weird and pop culture. They’re the author of Metanfetaedro and have various short stories published in themed collections and on the web. They’re currently building too many independent projects, working on their first novel, and haunting your internet cables. Find them tweeting at alliahverso and newslettering in Glitch Lung. Or buy them a coffee at ko-fi!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:44 pm
kseenaa: (GoT White Walker)
[personal profile] kseenaa
HOLY FUCK! I just watched the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones, season 7!!!

I can NOT get over this show. It's so damn well made. You can tell the money, care and love is put into every episode. And this was no different. Let's see if I can gather my thoughts here...

There be spoilers behind this cut! Click at your own risk!!! )

This entry is crossposted between LJ and DW. Comment where you are comfortable.
kseenaa: (GoT Daenerys)
[personal profile] kseenaa
Oh hum... I just finished off my rewatch of Game of Thrones. And my goodness, this show. I just can't even. It's so amazing. I've changed favorite characters more than once, even if one of them is quite constant. And I keep nagging on one, because FUCK HE IS SO DULL!!! Anyhow, I can't wait to see the beginning of season 7 tomorrow after work!

Yes, tomorrow I start work again. I've been on my summer vacation for four weeks now, and it's been great. It really has. On one hand it'll be good going back to work. On the other hand I wouldn't mind staying home more. Peting is staying home for three more weeks (envy!) so at least I don't have to concern myself with daycare and such things... Lazier mornings. Yes please!

I've packed everything tonight, so I should be good tomorrow. I also have the car, so that would make my morning even lazier. YAY!

Not much else to tell really. These last days before going back to work we took one day where we went to Borås Zoo for full day. And we ate out twice that day to, both lunch and dinner. Which was really great! Not sure what it is with that zoo though... but I think they're doing something right, because those animals spurt babies EVERYWHERE! X-D Even the orangutans that are supposedly really hard to breed have two babies, I think? Good match there, I'd say! *lol*

The other two days, Saturday and Sunday, we just stayed at home being lazy. Which was pretty much what I wanted. I took the time to clear out a bit of stuff to give to charity. And also I got a TON of stuff up on Tradera (swedish Ebay) so I hope I'll make some money on that. Mostly kid-clothes.

The stuff to charity is in the trunk in the car, so I'll be dropping that off tomorrow. And shop a bit for the post-apocalyptic LARP that is going to take place in two weeks. I need weird stuff that I can sell in the store my character will run. ;-)

The vampire-LARP however is on hiatus. Since there'll be a restart with it, and I wasn't to keen on joining in. Peting talked me into it though with a really cool character idea, so... we just might see what will happen there. :-)

So I'm moderately busy. It'll be worse soon, I'm sure. *LOL* At least there won't be any kids in the school for quite a couple of weeks yet. BLISS!!! ;-D

My mother is doing fairly well. She cries sometimes over Ozzy, of course. But she is doing quite well, and is doing her exercise for her arm. So I'm positive she'll recover on both accounts.

This entry is crossposted between LJ and DW. Comment where you are comfortable.

Mazes and Monsters: The LiveTweeting

Jul. 15th, 2017 08:29 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

A couple of weeks ago, I asked people to share an announcement about Invisible 3, saying that if we got at least 100 retweets, I’d do a livetweeting of the 1982 made-for-TV film Mazes and Monsters.

Mazes and Monsters movie posterThe film is based on the novel of the same name, by Rona Jaffe, and warns of the dangers of fantasy role-playing games. It’s based at least in part on rumors and legends of students sneaking into the Michigan State University steam tunnels to play Dungeons and Dragons and disappearing.

Most of this background is, as you might imagine, complete bugbear twaddle.

On the other hand, this was a chance to see Tom Hanks in his first starring role for film.

You’ve got Robbie (Hanks), a troubled kid whose brother vanished years ago. He comes to a new school after failing out of the last one for playing too much Mazes & Monsters. He tries to avoid M&M’s siren song, but because he’s “Level Nine,” Kate, Daniel, and JJ really need him to join their game.

When Robbie and Kate hook up, JJ gets depressed and talks about suicide, but instead decides to run a live-action version of M&M in the local caverns. Robbie promptly has some sort of mental break and “becomes” his character, on a quest that takes him to New York City to find the Two Towers.

All four kids seem to come from rich families (I’m not 100% sure about Kate), because the film is so much more powerful if it shows that even rich white kids can be broken and destroyed by the evils of role-playing game.

Invisible 3 CoverThere’s also a bird, a lot of hats, a mother who likes to redecorate her son’s room, and a skeleton having inappropriate relations with a flashlight.

I’m embedding the Storify of my tweets below. If any of this makes you laugh, or if you just want to show your support or sympathy, please consider checking out Invisible 3 and/or leaving a review. Thanks!

And now I’m off to try to recover some of my SAN points…

###

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Arthritis? Thanks, Mom…

Jul. 13th, 2017 04:14 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

You know those autoplay ads that sometimes run before an online video? Here’s the text version. Libriomancer is still on sale for $1.99 at Amazon, B&N, etc! (I believe this is limited to North America, though.) No idea how much longer this will last, so if you’ve been thinking about checking out one of my books, now’s a great time.

#

Anyway, I had a checkup with my doctor this afternoon, which confirmed something I’d suspected for a few months now. I’m starting to develop arthritis in the middle knuckles of my index fingers.

For the moment, this is a minimal annoyance. It doesn’t interfere with my writing. I notice it mostly when I’m trying to make a tight fist for karate. Or when I bump one of the knuckles against something. But it’s the first sign of what’s likely to be a progressive problem.

(Please note that I’m not asking for medical advice, thanks!)

I mentioned this to my father, and he was happy to tell me I inherited this particular problem from my mother. Which seems fair, considering the diabetes comes from his genes.

Mostly right now, it’s a worry for the future. I mean, I’m a writer. I spend way too much time typing at a keyboard. I know dictation is an option, but for the moment, I rely on my hands. And between some tendons tightening up in my hands (Dupuytren’s contracture) and now this, I’m not sure what’s going to happen as I get older.

Hopefully I’ll just get some bionic hands or something. Maybe I’ll be able to moonlight as a superhero. I could write a noir-style bestseller about my first case: The Hand Job.

Okay, maybe not…

In the meantime, I guess the best thing to do is write as many stories as I can. Just in case 😉

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

kseenaa: (Cat Magical Moon 1)
[personal profile] kseenaa
Yes, indeed.

I've now posted about our great vacation and all that... And now we'll go to the horrible things that have, pretty much, happened at the same time. To my mother.

It started the day I drove [personal profile] snowstormskies to the airport, I think. Or the day before that. Mom called and told me she'd taken a fall on the cobblestones in the city where she usually goes to shop. She'd had her dancing shoes on, with a little heel. The heel had gotten stuck, and she'd fallen over. Hit her elbow, her chin and her knee. She thought she'd just twisted her elbow or stunned it, and figured it would pass by itself. Even went to visit my brother that day. He said her knee and her elbow had been really swollen, and he'd told her she was nuts not going to the ER. But hey, she was in a good mood and not in much pain.

However, that night her elbow had gotten worse, so she'd gotten her gentleman caller to drive her to the ER. And... she'd broken her elbow. Badly. They did x-rays and after seeing the doctor there, they told her they couldn't help her there since the elbow was just such a broken mess it needed to be replaced. And that specialist was in Gothenburg, two hours from there and he'd call as soon as he had the possibility to do the surgery. Most likely Friday.

The Friday we were going to Astrid Lindgren's world, mind...

Both me and my brother sighed, but were prepared to cancel our trip so my brother could drive her to the hospital, which he has done to everything nearly so far. She, however told us in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that we should go, have fun with our kids and as soon as she'd wake up she'd call us so we'd know she was fine.

Me and my brother was a bit nervous about it, but OK. Our kids were all excited about going so off we went (and had a great time, as you've seen). On Friday mom called and even though she was groggy from the medications and all that, we could hear that she was doing fine. The surgery to replace the crushed parts of her elbow had been a success! No complications, she'd done great before, during and after the surgery. SUCH A RELIEF!!!

Considering our dad died when doing a replacement surgery in his hip, our mom hurting herself and ending up doing surgery DOES make me and my brother somewhat nervous. BUT THINGS HAD GONE FINE! She just had to stay at the hospital for a couple of days for observation and to start learning how to train her elbow to make sure it didn't lose muscle and all that...

So that went well!

And, yesterday, she was allowed to come home. So, my brother and his kids picked her up all hugs and all that. And went home to my moms house, so they could spend time with her in the evening and make sure she was settled after being away from home for... four-five days.

They walked in the door and first thing she saw her cat Ozzy, her HUGE Maine Coon cat, unmoving on the carpet where he usually sleeps. Now he barely moved... nor breathed. Cue panic.

To mom her cats are her sweethearts. They're her babies. And she loves them SO MUCH. Nearly as much as she loves me and my brother and her grandkids, I'd say.

My brother just helped mom get the cat in his carrier, then he took her and his kids and the cat to the animal hospital, which is quite the drive away, but he just did it. He, as I, know how much those cats mean to my mother.

When they got there Ozzy was so weak, they didn't dare to put him through x-ray, he was placed in intensive care with extra oxygen to help him breath. Mom was a mess, totally heartbroken.

They stayed there all evening. There were a few exams of Ozzy, although they didn't dare to disturb him to much. Apparently his intestines were clogged up for some reason. And they suspected he'd eaten something that wasn't good for him. Telling mom and brother there were nothing they could right now, Ozzy would be under constant watch in intensive care and they'd call them as soon as they knew anything or there were any changes.

So they left. And shortly after they came home to moms, deciding my brother and both his kids spending the night at moms... (Brothers kids didn't want to leave their grandma alone... gawd, I love those kids!) Anyway, shortly after they came home around 11pm late late at night, the animal hospital called. And Ozzy had died when they'd tried to take a sample of his blood to find out what was wrong with him.

Beautiful, majestic black gentle giant Ozzy had died right then and there.

*sob*

Mom is ABSOLUTELY heartbroken. That huge cat was her baby boy. He and his best mate Eddie, a small lean farmcat. Eddie and the other two cats she has, Måns and Svea, are all alive and well. But yeah. Mom is so upset, heartbroken and sad over losing Ozzy, I just can't even.

They buried Ozzy in her yard today. Next to the two cats I grew up with 20 years ago, Pyret and Ida, and her other Maine Coon, Sigge, that also died after being attacked by a wild animal. My brothers kids and mom had picked flowers, and my brother dug the grave.

If you have any good thoughts to send to my mom, please do. We're all heartbroken over losing Ozzy. He was a HUGE gentle giant and a true personality. He'll be greatly missed.

RIP Ozzy.

This entry is crossposted between LJ and DW. Comment where you are comfortable.
kseenaa: (Me Fae Pink)
[personal profile] kseenaa
Let's continue from where we left off, shall we?

After I'd dropped [personal profile] snowstormskies off at the airport, I went straight home. We had dinner, and... we packed.

Because the day after that, we went on a little trip with my brother. To Astrid Lindgrens World. It's a park built around the worlds and characters from the books written by Astrid Lindgren.

We were going together with my brother and his two kids, which had Alexandra totally excited! We'd rented a cabin and my brother brought his caravan. :-D We didn't get access to our spots in the camping ground until after we'd been at the park, but it didn't matter. It was the park we were aiming for, after all. :-D

First day we walked around the most. We aimed to see a few shows/plays they have around the park. It's split up in various areas, each for a book and their characters.

That first day we saw most of the park and the various themed areas. And of course caught a few shows as well.

Thing is, each area has seatings around the main building of the area. And there's shows and an actor playing the character is there during certain times. So we caught a couple of those shows/plays. About 20 mins long each.

We caught Brothers Lionheart, Pippi Longstocking and Karlsson-on-the-roof that first day. It was lovely! The actors were great, and clearly cared about their characters! Even the kid-actors!

But the best part about this park is, I have to say, how damn well made the place is! There was no plastic, no cheating, nothing like that. The whole place is built with pure craftsmanship, and a skilled one at that! If it was a wooden house, it WAS a wooden house built from the ground up, even the miniature once! A stone wall, WAS a damn stone wall even if it might not be a big one, but it was built as if it could have been! There was no cheating going on.

Even in the restaurants and FIKA places, you had real plates, real glasses, real mugs. No paper or plastic. The food, sweets and FIKA-snacks? All produced, baked etc locally. Everything tasted damn homemade, and was DELICIOUS!!!

Price? Not to bad. The entrance fee was the highest, but once you were in there everything but food and souvenirs was for free. And not even the souvenirs were hugely expensive! But those for later. :-)

Anyway, we enjoyed ourselfs. The kids ran around and played and explored everywhere. At Ronia the Robbers area, Matt's Fort, Alexandra fell and scratched the palm of her hand and was very upset. It was just a small scratch, but she did walk around begging for bandaids all day. She get it, and then after a while she pulled it off and wanted a new one... Thank heavens the staff at Astrid Lindgren's World was both kind and patient! :-D

Less than an hour before the park closed, we left and went to get my brothers caravan set up and get to our cabin. Which we did. And the cabin was GREAT! Very beautiful and comfy. And my brother could set his cabel up, so he got electricty in his caravan. :-D All good! And he also invited us over for a mini-barbecue, since he had his mini-grill with him. So we had hotdogs as a late dinner before we all collapsed in our respective beds. :-)

Photos from Day One at Astrid Lindgren's World (multiple on each!): One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

The next day it was RAINING!!! Pouring down when we all woke up. But at the point where we'd emptied our cabin and all kids had eaten, been to the bathroom and you know... all that. It had stopped raining, but the sky was still grey, so we made sure to have the proper equipment with umbrellas for us adults and for the big kids, and Alexandra had rubberboots and half her rainsuit, just the rainpants since she wanted her normal jacket and an umbrella like everyone else. Deal!

Said and done and we went to the park with the goal to see as many shows/plays as we could possibly figure out! The park had an app and, of course, a brochure where all the shows during the day is listed.

We aimed for Matt's Fort, area with Ronia the Robbers Daughter, and to let the kids have fun on the way. But, on the way we stumbled upon Madicken's area as well! So we stopped to check their show before we moved on... And suddenly someone started talking and singing close to us again when we continued! We'd stumbled upon Rasmus and the Tramp as well! *LOL* Amazing! So we watched them as well. :-D

Then, finally, we arrived at Matt's Fort to watch Ronia, her robber father and all his robbers! IT WAS SO GOOD! For those not knowing, Ronia the Robbers daughter is my favorite book! I ADORE IT!!! So to see it on a tiny stage, part of the story, that was AMAZING! So good! Also, they sang the songs from the movie, which I loved, and it was just all around great! The kids loved it to, since the robbers sang good and were some funny characters to. :-D ALL GOOD!

After that we focused on the kids favorites... First off Emil of Lönneberga! So we continued on to that area to watch a show play there. It was great! So funny! And the songs written for that story and movie are so so so good! Probably some of the best written for Astrid Lindgren's stories, to be honest. So that was great! And the kids loved it!

We'd forgotten to eat, so we took a break for food, then we went to watch Pippi Longstocking again, because she's Alexandra's favorite and she's the youngest. ;-) The other two kids loves her to, so that was an easy decision! So went there, the kids played around with a ton of other kids in Pippi's house and then we watched Pippi. Just as good and funny as the day before. Best part was to see how Alexandra got all into it as we watched Pippi. *grin*

Then we had some FIKA, because dads need coffee... *lol* Then we went back to Emil of Lönneberga and watched another play there... Again, very funny and the songs are WONDERFUL!!! Emil is not my favorite of Astrid Lindgren's character, but the songs are some of my favorites. :-D

And then... it was time to leave. In between the shows, the kids walked around and explored. Checked out things. Tried things. And we bought homemade candy. And they just enjoyed being together as cousins. My brotehrs kids, Tilda and Theo are 10 and 8 years old. And Alexandra is just 5 years old. But Tilda and Theo are WONDERFUL with Alexandra, really loves her! Makes sure she's OK, they don't run away from her, they help her climb around in all the fun houses, explore things, explain things to her... It's just... They are just SO GOOD with her! I LOVE seeing it!

Anyway, we finished our day with Alexandra getting a toy there. Since she's learned to use the toilette properly instead of the potty. *lol* Positive reinforsment. ;-) And I figured she'd pick a Pippi doll or an Emil doll, since those are her favorites. But no. OF COURSE she picked a softie toy... a softie horse. Pippi's horse. *SIGH!* We have so many softie-horses at this point... Not surprised though.

And then we packed up, and started our journey home. After about an hour we split up, my brotehr and his kids going one way and we the other for another hour and a half. Then we were home, and all of us collapsed in the bed after getting our bags up to the apartment.

It was a great, great, great trip though! I had SUCH a good time! And us adults decided that we have to do something together next year to, because we all had such a great time. :-D

Photos from Day Two at Astrid Lindgren's World (multiple on nearly each!): One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven

And that concludes my vacation adventures! We were supposed to go to the coast to, but the weather there was supposed to suck during the time we were there. And who wants to be at the coast and not be able to swim, eh? So no. We'll do that at another time.

This entry is crossposted between LJ and DW. Comment where you are comfortable.

Post-Vacation To Do List

Jul. 11th, 2017 04:59 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

✔ Unpack.

✔ Process ALL THE PHOTOS!

✔ Page proofs for Death of All Things story.

✔ Page proofs for Unidentified Funny Objects 6 story.

✔ Groceries.

✖ Clean the gutters.

✔ Pet ALL THE ANIMALS! (With the exception of the fish and my son’s frog.)

✖ Page proofs for Terminal Alliance.

✖ Dedication and Author’s Note for Terminal Alliance.

✖ Plan and write Terminal Uprising.

Catch up on email.

✖ Livetweet Mazes & Monsters viewing as part of Invisible 3 promo.

✖ Figure out what to do with secret 15K-word novelette, finished last week.

✔ Write blog post to procrastinate working on those incomplete items…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

kseenaa: (Me Rainbow)
[personal profile] kseenaa
And so, nearly all my vacation is done and over with... This last week I'll do nothing but laze around and not do shit. Well, apart from the necessary, of course. :-P

So, as you saw on my previous post, the midsummer trip and following week staying with my mom went really well! Better and more awesome than I had expected! So grateful for that! I love my mom to bits, and just to get to stay with her and be around her was bliss.

Anyway, we came home and we had just a few days and then my DEAREST [personal profile] snowstormskies came over! Which was AWESOME!

She didn't stay as long as she did last year, arrived late on Sunday and left midday on Thursday. So, effectively we had three days we could do something fun and hang out. And that we did!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen photos of what we've been up to already. :-) (I'm very active on Instagram...)

We spent one day at Karlsborg Fortress, which is totally cool! If you want the history of the fortress either go there or check out the wiki-page I linked to there. :-D It's an incredible place. Biggest fortress in Sweden! And the short story is that it was built to protect Sweden's gold reserve, government and royal family in case Russia attacked. Historically Russia has been a very real threat to Sweden.

And the guided tour sure reflects that! It's called A Historic Adventure Tour! And an adventure it was. You get to see a movie about how life was like in the fort when it was active. And parts of the tour you get to experience loud fake bombardments and talking dolls as if russians are attacking the fort. So it was a bit hectic and.... quite exciting there for a while! I wouldn't recommend it for anyone with PTSD or any other mental illness!

Alexandra joined us to, and she might have been a bit to young. She was very frightened. The tour guide was great though, said she was a brave princess and feed her and the other kids 'gold coins', aka chocolate coins. :-) And both during and afterward we talked to Alexandra about it very clearly and properly and it seems as if she understood. She keeps saying since that loud bangs are bad. But that she's a brave princess. I couldn't agree more!

Pictures from Karlsborg: One, Two, Three, Four, Five

The day after that me and [personal profile] snowstormskies decided to take a shopping and having a SPA afternoon. And that we did! I usually don't shop much, but I got inspired by [personal profile] snowstormskies and do a fair bit of shopping as well. :-P Mostly useful stuff or things that have broken that I replaced. All good though! I did end up buying scented candles just like last year and the year before that. I guess that's tradition to do now when she visits. X-D

And of course that meant Alexandra got to have a calm day at home with dad, which I think she needed. :-)

So the spa was lovely and the shopping was nice and we ended up having a great dinner in the evening with Alexandra and Peting as well, so that was wonderful. :-)

Spa picture: One

Last day we got to do something together, we decided to go to Torpa Stonehouse. It's a pretty cool medieval mansion/castle that has been in the same family since it was built... and still is. No joke. :-) I took [personal profile] snowstormskies there the first time she visited, and she liked it so much she wanted to go again. So we did! The tour guide was really great, and did the whole tour in english even though she was very insecure in the language. She did great though! She even assured Alexandra there'd be no loud bangs! :-)

After we'd explored the house and all it's crooks, crannies, secret passages and all that, we went to a moderately small house outside where they sold a TON of handmade stuff! Like household items, knitted things, sewn things, leather work, metal work... You name it. :-D All handmade from people around the area. [personal profile] snowstormskies LOVES that sort of thing, and so do I, so that was awesome! Aaaand... we spent some money there, no surprise. X-D

We also went to a neighboring farm/mansion that was a bit younger, I think they started out there during the 1500's... There to they sold a lot of handmade stuff and things, so... we spent some more money. X-D Alexandra got a giant handmade softie snake that she fell head over heels for!

So we had a really good time, you could say!

Pictures from Torpa Stonehouse: One, Two, Three (Most are multiple images.)

Next day I helped [personal profile] snowstormskies clean up the little cabin she stayed in at the camping ground here, Borås Camping. She really enjoyed that little cabin, and it was really easy to clean up as well, to make it ready for the next person renting it. :-)

After that we went to have lunch, picking up Alexandra on the way. Peting choose to fix his own, since he felt his blood sugar levels had gone through the roof lately... Diabetes is such a pain, seriously! But we had a good time still, just us three girls. :-) Then we dropped Alexandra off, hugs all around!

Then I drove [personal profile] snowstormskies to the airport, waving her off. That's always the hardest part. I love, love having her here visiting! And she claims it's good for her somehow. I'm just glad she enjoys my company enough to come visit me once a year. She already plans for next year... ;-)

Saying goodbye: One

So that was the first post! Next post will deal about... adventures with my brother, our kids and Astrid Lindgrens World!

This entry is crossposted between LJ and DW. Comment where you are comfortable.

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