Sunday, December 22, 2019

Preparing for Christmas and for the new year


So, I am not yet sure but this might be the last bog until next year.
As the end of the year approaches, it is time to think about celebrating Christmas with the family and dear ones. This is the best chance to recall all the blessings we have received this year, the achievements that made us smile and the disappointments that made us almost drop everything.
Life is made of all of these, and they represent the balance of a lifetime.
As for me, I have to say that I have been blessed with many achievements, which were interrupted by some other failures and disappointments.
There have been many times when I thought I could have just step back, because I could not take it, and the difficulties, at that time they seemed to be insurmountable.
However, it also returned to my mind that most of my achievements came after disappointments and went through failures.
So, my proposition for the next year is not to give up on the difficulties that will certainly appear on my path.
That is also what I wish to everybody: finding the way not to give up, continue, and try to improve starting from the first failure.
A bad result means only that you need to recalibrate your shot, and not that you need to quit everything.

This year I was supposed to publish three novels, but things went a bit on my way, and I could not make it on time for the third one. Nevertheless, I could take more time to review the next novel and older novels, plan the next year's marketing, goals, and consider/planning the box set for the trilogy Deadly Deception.
I have also started to check up my new website and I'm considering making some changes in the layout, which will make it easier to navigate.
I will keep you updated when it's ready.

With this in mind, and also waiting for the next travel adventures that are waiting for me next year, I am going to leave you.
I wish you all the best for this end of the year, and for a brilliant success for the next year, regardless of the goals, you will set up.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Night fell on Earth

It's nine o'clock in the morning, the sun hasn't yet risen. It's the darkest month of the year here in Finland.
Even though Helsinki is located in the south of the country, there is just a small chance to even see the sun. This because at half-past two in the afternoon the sun will start to set, giving space to a long night.

For an outsider, this might seem like something cool, but I can assure you that there is nothing cool once you start living here, and northern winter starts to be your normality.
To begin with, the simple biology that we need sunlight to live should tell you that surviving in a place where for a long period you won't see the sun, is strongly affecting your mood.
People in winter are less talkative, feel depressed, and constantly tired.
At the moment, we have five hours of light, and no snow to give any sort of joy to our souls. Nature is just dark, damp, and cold.
The sky is covered by a thick curtain of clouds, and it really doesn't make any difference whether it is completely dark or just dark grey.
 
Nevertheless, if you move to the city center, particularly now that we are reaching the Christmas period, the lights and the decorations for the incoming festivity, give a good reason to feel hopeful and improve the general mood.
We are just missing the snow...
Well, the recent years have brought a slight change in the seasonal plan of the Finns, living in Helsinki, and we are not having a decent amount of snow until the second week of January. This means that we need to clench our teeth, brace ourselves, hold onto each other for another month before having two main important things: more light, and more snow.

One important happening, people still follow, is the crowning of Lucy.
One week before the winter solstice, in Finland, there one event historically tied to Swedish culture: the day of St. Lucy. 
St. Lucy is celebrated as a “beacon of brightness” in the darkest time of the year. The first records of St. Lucy's celebrations in Finland are from 1898, and the first large celebrations came in 1930, a couple of years after its popularization in Sweden. Every year, in the Helsinki Cathedral, a girl is going to be crowned.
She bears a crown of candles to fight the darkness, and will walk as a bearer of the light for the streets of Helsinki:
 
She comes to remind us that within one week the days will start once again to get longer, and this means walking toward the spring. You might consider this a bit funny, but in this period, every second added to the length of the day is a great step toward the season when the sun will shine for most of the time.
With my heart full of hope, but still tired as hell, and slightly moody, I wish you all a fantastic weekend!



Saturday, December 7, 2019

It's a magical world!

Today I am going to tell you about one of my passions besides writing: photography.
I believe there is a very close connection between all forms of art. In my case, the three things that go hand in hand are writing, traveling, and photography.
How do they relate to each other? Well, writing needs inspiration right? What better inspiration than visiting new places, experiencing cultures, meeting people, reading other countries' newspapers.
Photography offers inspiration. This one helps me to think outside the box, see the world from different perspectives, and clear my mind whenever I feel stuck with a page or chapter.
Here, the weather started to be quite unstable. It began with a chilling period, when we had the first snow, to the time we are now with temperatures that raised far above the seasonal average.
Despite this, during this winter, I was lucky enough to have a camera with me right when I needed it and could get some interesting shots that helped me going through the last few weeks.
Due to stress at work, I couldn't proceed with my writing, so I just got out and took a walk in the forest.
What I found was really stunning, and I spent most of the time taking shots of those crystals. 

The perfect harmony between the white of the snow, ice, and the blue of the sky (believe me, it's quite rare) was extremely inspiring. I could have spent the whole day there.

 And that was exactly what I did. Not caring about the temperature, I stayed the whole day out, to take pictures, and admire the sceneries.
I also got the chance to take a shot of a hawk, who was taking a rest on a tree, checking the food situation on his territory.
Undeniably, days and walks like this give a lot of inspiration, besides offering the chance to unwind from the stress of everyday life. 
With those images, I greet you for this weekend and wish you a great day.

Back from the cave

I've been deserted social media recently to get deeper into the preparation for the next novel. People who aren't in the writing bus...