I am not sure how many times I have thought about writing to you, and it feels a bit unreal to finally sit down to actually do it. I have no idea if this will even reach you, but I`ll take my chance, since I´ve already after 28 years on earth, have learned that I rather do what I want, and not regret what I didn`t dare to do.
I was around 13 the first time I read a book from you. I remember it vividly: How the women in the library said that maybe it was time I advanced to the “adult” books instead of just books from the “youth” apartment. How she picked out your book “Insomnia” from the shelf and put it in front of my curious eyes. “I`ll think you`ll love his books”. I was full of anticipation and eagerness to start reading. An actual book for grown-ups! Would I understand a thing? I remember how the front of the book looked, the invisible impression in an empty bed, and how I immediately fell in love with it (“Insomnia” it was called). ItTALKED to me, and I could not wait to discover the story behind the title and picture on the front. I don`t remember how quick I devoured it (probably lightning speed), but I do remember the feeling I had while reading it. I can still resurrect amazement when I realized how special this book was. “This is art” I thought, while smiling as I understood I`d been touched me a way that cannot be described in words. Full of ideas and lust for life, I immediately set a goal: I had to either read or see (if I didn`t have time to read all the books) everything that you`d ever wrote.
“I changed it. I had to. Do you know why?” She studied him, her eyes grave. “Because that was then and this is now. Because the past is gone, even though it defines the present.”
— Stephen King (Doctor Sleep)
Today I work as a psychologist, and I am sure that your books were one of the factors that made me especially curious and interested in the people around me.
Maybe it also was the other way around: My inclination to explore other world, led me to reading what I could, and by coincidence you were the first “real” author who made a lasting impact on my reading experience. Your books gave me much more than satisfaction of curiosity though; I’ve also found my imagination raising to the sky like balloons on a birthday party, and have kept that light alive since then. I wrote my first little novel when I was around 12 and last year I started a blog that already has over 300 posts.
Even if I’ve read a lot, I never fail to be mesmerized when I turn another page of your work. Your stories never fail to activate my synaptic roadmap, when I delight through your own spiderweb of connections. I also feel I know you a little, through reading the result of a mind baptized in a nurturing fantasy-world. Reading your books feels like watching a Pixar movie, and that is one heck of a compliment from a Pixarholic like me.
My birthday is the 22.09, and I guess you know why I want to mention that. I was born during the night, and have been happy I was born into this beautiful life most of my life (but I’ve had my depressive moments, of course). My other favorite author is by coincidence born on the same day as you, and comes from Norway (Lars Saabye Christensen). Maybe September children have been fed with some strange creative cereals? No matter what, I especially like how your books opens my autumn moods and intermix it with the hopeful emotions of spring.
Honestly, there are thousand things I love with your books, but it would take to many pages (and that`s not good for the environment) to write them down. But I want to mention a few examples: I like how you use names to signify something else, or to underline some points. An example is the name ‘Momo‘ that reminds me of a book by Michael Ende with the same title. My mother read those stories to me when I was a small half-German girl, so reading the name in a different setting, pulls another magnetic perspective on a story already blessed with different layers. Or like you would say: it’s like a dream within a dream, inception-style.
I also love that you use the same areas in your book, and how one can find one character in another book.
I have another confession to make about the reason for me being a fan: The feeling of reading work from a brilliant mind, that works in a interesting way. For example: In an interview you said you suddenly get new ideas, like when you thought about writing the sequel to “The Shining“.
It sounds like you`r mind always works on new exciting ideas, and luckily, they produce plenty of them. I’m not sure what I hope to achieve by sending this, but I know I never want to stop my dreams or stop believing in coincidences that lead me towards rare diamonds.
I would feel honored to hear back from you, but understand if that`s not possible. I just wanted to say, like I hoped to do, that I think you´r a wonderful man.
Thank you for giving me many moments of pure joy
Doctor Sleep Read Along, Chapters 1-6 (thebookstop.wordpress.com)
Doctor Sleep (gilmiller.wordpress.com)
What I’m Reading… (sassafrasandmim.wordpress.com)
Stephen King: Why I Wrote Shining Sequel (newser.com)
Norway, a long little land thatcountries far away hardly know about. The following quotes come from people I`ve met on some of my journeys: «Norway. Ah! Ole
gunnar Solskjær», «It’s VERY expensive there» or: «Ah! Ice-bears! ». Some also look at me with knowing glances, before they ask me in a voice ready to hear the truth:
«Isn`t it awfully cold there? You can move down here, to us!».Some also say: “Ah, you party like crazy”, if I meet people on the Turkish dance-floor. I can probably do little less than agree, since the probably of blue-eyed girls with long, blond hair dancing
on the table in front of me, will be huge. Norwegians are also known for being awfully shy, or boring, depending on the eyes of the beholder (unless we party, of course).
This might stem from the fact that many people grew up with cows as
their closest neigbors, or on a island together with a couple of fishermen that spend their time cutting fish and talking about the song they heard on a radio last week. Some have also observed that we don’t talk before we REALLY have something to say.
So, is this reality? Is this my country? Well, I have to confess that some of it has a
grain of truth to it.
Stereotypes are, and will always be, stereotypes. Many have a grain of truth, and so it is with the Norwegian. Just to he clear: I’ve
never seen a ice-bear and it’s still not cold enough for snow to fall. It’s true that many Norwegian drink too much during the
weekend, because they are to shy to ask girls out when sober. It is expensive here when it comes to certain things, and many have in fact grown up at small places. But: we’re so much more than inhibited Eskimos. True, some Norwegian must be defrosted before their body language can be labelled under ‘enthusiasm’ , but when
they first do, they can become loyal, long-term friends. Our society has always tried to make a country where everyone can have a good life. We have also given a lot of money to countries abroad, taken in many refugees, treat all humans with the same respect and help sick and elderly people. For those of you that remember 22.july at ‘Utøya’ where Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed over 100 teenagers.
You might also remember how Norwegians responded. We did not want more violence, so we came together rather than rage and demand harsh punishment. In every city people gathered to demonstrate what we stood for: Compassion, love and
pride. We didn’t want to be at the same level as the killer (then we would be no better). We showed dignity, rather than need for revenge.
I’m generally proud of my fellow Norwegians. We live in a small country, but we do accomplish big things. I hope we will continue to do that, even if we’ve gotten a new government that practice politics based more on individualism and
egotism. This individualism is still opposed by strong voices who have their freedom to speak and to influence the attitudes of our fellow citizens. Many of these left-wing parties have values based on kindness and sharing, than just thinking about ourselves.
Equity is important for us, as we think everyone deserve a good life, rather than just the lucky few who are born into luxury. So still, Norway is a good country with few worries, and we use the energy this gives on our families and sometimes on helping others. It`s also a beautiful countries, like some might now. In the post “the sound of silent beauty” I`ve posted some pictures, and here comes two more, and I will post more later.
Have a great Sunday, everyone!
Sexual performance is still the only power this society grants to young women, and it grants it grudgingly, rushing to judge and humiliate them whenever they claim it.
By Laurie Penny Published 11 October 2013 8:55
What does empowerment look like for young women today? That’s the debate du jour and, as ever, it stars a pretty young pop star in her pants. It all started when Sinead O’Connor wrote an open letter to the perennially halfnaked sexpot of the moment, Miley Cyrus, advising her not to let the male-dominated music industry “make a fool” of her.
Cyrus responded, as she usually does, by sticking out her tongue and taking off her clothes. Other female rock stars weighed in: Amanda Palmer wants O’Connor to respect Cyrus’s integrity as an artist. Annie Lennox is disturbed by porny music videos. Whose camp are you in? And who is being exploited – apart from the millions of readers who have flicked guiltily through endless snaps of Miley Cyrus in her scanties just to check how shocking they really are?
Nobody has covered themselves in glory in this insalubrious episode. Not O’Connor, whose “motherly” advice strayed into slutshaming, as she warned the younger singer about the dangers of being a “prostitute” and advised her that “your body is for you and your boyfriend”; not Cyrus, whose response was a cruel jab at the older woman’s mental health history. Nor the rest of us, the clickbait hunters and tabloid outrage merchants rubbing our hands with glee.
This is a familiar discussion. On the one hand, the worried middle-aged woman lecturing the ingénue on the importance of wearing clothes in public; on the other, the girl who is sick of being cast as a pure and perfect princess, who wants to have fun and feel powerful and has limited options for doing so in a society that remains intolerant of women trying to claim space as anything at all except hot and half-dressed. Miley Cyrus grew up in public as the Disney Channel’s tame tween everygirl, Hannah Montana – a role every bit as artificial as the power-toolhumping sexpot pose. In a recent sketch for Saturday Night Live, Cyrus declared that Hannah Montana had been “murdered” – and her glee was obvious.
So, is Miley Cyrus empowered or is she exploited when she wriggles around naked on an enormous wrecking ball, smashing into a music culture already saturated with images of slender girls in tiny pants? Is Sinead O’Connor being selflessly brave, or is she a hectoring, prudish old hag? Are young girls better off stripping and twerking for money, or covering up for fear of being judged, exploited or attacked? Should they be allowed to make mistakes in public in a society whose horny hatred for young women’s real bodies is so treacherous to negotiate, or should we just lock them up for their own protection? On and on and on. The debate has been raging for years and it will continue for as long as we continue to treat young women as commodities, rather than human beings.
When you are a young girl in a world that hates women’s bodies, your developing sexuality is a loaded weapon and your parents, peers and teachers line up to make sure you never learn how to use it. Instead, you are meant to polish the thing to a shine, twirl it about; perform sexy but don’t actually have sex. You can play with power, as long as you never claim it; you can enact desire, as long as you don’t act on it. All the while, you’re told that being young, beautiful and vulnerable is still the best thing that a woman can possibly be – that you’d better grab what power you can right now, before time and gravity take that away, too.
How are young women meant to grow up free and brave in a world that covets our commercial potential and despises us when we demand control of our destinies? It would help if we stopped speaking of “empowerment” and “exploitation” as if those things were mutually exclusive. When a young woman puts on latex panties and grinds with a middle-aged creep on stage, because she knows that doing so will get her money and attention, is there power there? Hell, yes. Is that power bounded on all sides by patriarchy? Yes, again.
When I was 20, I did some very silly things in search of that brief, thrilling sexual power that is the privilege of the young, drunk and naked. I stripped and bounced and let myself be exploited by older, more powerful men who couldn’t care less about my inner beauty; I danced half-naked onstage with fabulous drag artists in purple suspenders and I looked ridiculous and had a lot of fun. I am lucky to have more scars than I have regrets. Now, when I see younger women I love and admire trying to negotiate that vanishing territory between slut-shaming and self-objectification, it makes me want to cram my whole fist in my mouth – but I will swallow it before I judge them.
Sinead O’Connor is right about one thing: the music industry does not care about young women. Society does not care about young women – not, that is, about female people who just happen to be young. Rather, it cares about Young WomenTM as concept and commodity, Young WomenTM as pose and performance, Young WomenTM and how much money you can squeeze out of them before they turn around and demand to be treated like human beings – which is still the most shocking thing an actual female person can do.
The problem is not that we cannot decide whether nearly-naked pop stars are empowered or exploited. The problem is that bland sexual performance is still the only power this society grants to young women, and it grants it grudgingly, rushing to judge and humiliate them whenever they claim it. Rather than condemn girls as they try to negotiate this strange, sexist society – a society that offers temporary, dazzling power to those who play the game –we should be supporting them as they grow up, make art and stick out their tongue at the whole stuck-up world – and that starts with a stand against slut-shaming.
Laurie Penny is the contributing editor of the New Statesman
- Twerking Gone Wrong ?? (therealdealtv.com)
In the woods I run. Another tree, green needles nipping my soles. Another blind road. Turning back, my dress fluttering behind me, breathing heavily. Where now?
Back again? I run to the left instead, a shrub scraping my leg as I fly past it. My pulse lifts anxiety sharply. Where? Another step forward in the confusing forest. Back and forth. How many hours have I been running? How much further, before I collapse in a tired heap and let leaves cover my body? The pulse is on its brink. Colorful explosions lurk behind the next breath piercing my lungs. I must stop, my thoughts manage to whisper. As I take another step forward, I notice something strange happening. Like I was the main character in inception, my foot step on air. The air hardens, builds under me and push me upwards. My eyes wide open from bewilderment. Needles from the trees now scrape against my ungracious flailing hands. I never learnt to fly. Am I supposed to do swimming motions? Flapping my hands up and down? Suddenly I realize I`m floating over the tree-tops. I see I was running in circles. To my satisfaction, I realize my castle was in the clouds and not on earth, after all.
Such is the feeling of shifting perspectives
I was in my bed, head throbbing from the most fun I`ve had in months. Suddenly Sherlock Holmes knocks on my mind, begging to be let in.
He is a determined man, and the solution is never out of his reach. An example is the story about the horse who vanished. A man has been killed, at the same time as a price-winning horse disappear right under everyone`s eyes. All suspects are questioned, but before long, every possibility has been exhausted . That is when Mr Neuroscience puts his feet on the same invisible air-step and fly over everyone`s theories. He breaks free from all details, the impossibilities and arrives safely at eureka station. The killer was the horse, and the horse was not who they thought it was. It’s the obvious logic of looking at something upside-down.
Another handsome smile rise inside my mental fantasies. The main character from Perception`s face change into his personal aha-moment, and the features align to the attractive “off-course look” I`d gladly sell my iPad for. The episode is about a serial killer who begins a new killing spree after a 20-year sabbatical. The detectives and hunky Dr. neuroscience have found his diaries, but still search in vain for the persons described in it. After a while it hits him like a bullet from outer space: The killer had never had the experiences he described. Everything was a twisted dream the killer needed to feel happy
Lifting thoughts away from the dusty ruts, is a wonderful experience. It is those moments when everything you thought you knew is thrown away. You still feel that things make sense like never before.
The importance of our minds taking leaps like these, are obvious. When we are able to rise from one network of associated cells to a new one, the result is insight. Just think about the color red. What will automatically also pop up in your head? I would think other colors, a rose or a heart might just have been on your mind. Our nerve-cells are a fine spiderweb of interconnecting stations, and where we go off and on usually follow a typical pattern.
Did you know that manic and schizophrenic`s have associations that often create a mess? And what about the dissociative patients, who in their mind’s eye transform their fright to a little girl shaking in a corner. In anxiety the nerve-cells clump together in shaking companionship. They have enough with the task of protecting their walls, and do not stretch out to their neighbor cells. The outside focus likewise shrink to some threatening hotspots, leaving
out any other source of stimuli. This is the way our cells of life behave. Sometimes they erratically send sparks in every direction, at other times not bothering with sending signals at all, when the sun has sunken and let depression clip their wings of dendrites. So, when is it likely that Eureka comes? When will the the sound of weaving make its masterpiece?
Some minds are naturally more flexible than others. They consist of a social bunch of nerve-cells that love to connect with fat-shrouded cells from a variety of areas. They are not afraid of flying, even if they risk falling. To not make a mess, like an enraged cook who takes everything he sees and throws it blindly into the frying pan would do, their cell-knots are balanced carefully. Read the rest of this entry »
in Norway we are on 2 place when it comes to overall happiness. So why don`t we do more for others?
When you think about the world today, its easy to get overwhelmed. We see news every day, where the current themes are war, unemployment, hunger, extreme weather and people dying of different diseases. I am lucky, and live in one of the wealthiest countries on earth, just because we were lucky and had a lot of oil that we could sell to the rest of the world. We have also saved a lot of the money, so that it grows fat and can protect us in the future. We have it all. I remember a friend in United Kingdom (a wonderful man who doesn`t realize it himself) shaking his head because we actually GET paid for studying, and we can study for 8 years without having a severe effect on our economics. He worked from
early morning to late in the evening, and he was lucky, because it is so hard to actually find a job in London. Here this would lead to outrage and news in the papers (in the local news, it was actually top news that one doctor had worked for several years without a proper summer holiday). We are also a country that contributes a lot to the welfare of other countries and we often give of our own money when it comes to a good cause, but more than that, we don`t do. Of course its easy to feel a bit miserable and overwhelmed when you live in luxury while you know that so many people don`t. When we throw away food, because it is a bit too old, while somebody could kill another man for just one bite, our view on ourselves as good human beings, falter. Therefore, we have to construe a reason for not doing more, and here, I think, is where our brains help us.
Heard of cognitive dissonance before? If not, please read this before continuing:Cognitive Dissonance & Self-Justification (htycm.wordpress.com).The basics are: If we do something that don`t fit our view of ourselves, we find an explanation for not doing the “good” thing. For example, if we know smoking is bad for us, but still not quit, it must be because “we know a lot of people who haven`t died from smoking”. That is one of the reasons they include a phone number on cigarettes, so people feel they actually can DO something with the problem, since research show, that when we have the chance to do good, we often do so. Especially if we see others “do the right thing”. Maybe that`s why exercising together with friends, or quitting smoking together with your partner, might be extra motivating. We are often more concerned by what others think about our will to commit, then we are if we break our own mental “standards”.
So, what is the reason that I write about this at all? If we so easily give up, why bother at all? That might be a conclusion, an actually an example of cognitive dissonance. Because something seem too hard, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to change it. We see the effect of one person gathering people who care all the time (but maybe don`t hear to much of it in the news) and if more people started to actually believe in themselves and at least try to do something, I don’t think this necessarily would take a lot of time. Think about how popular earth hour has become. For 1-2 hours the whole world turn of their light, and this small and easy effort done by everyone, helps the environment so much. What if all persons were supposed to at least ONE time during the year, not take the car for work, but a bus/cycle or walk instead, would not everyone want to give? In the oil crisis in -73 people started to talk together so that they had to share cars, thereby decreasing traffic, and even getting more social as an extra bonus (main complaint from a lot of patients I see: They feel lonely and unconnected to the world). A lot of people know how influenced our climate gets by pollution, but since we do nothing to change it ourselves, cognitive dissonance sets in (our contribution is just a drop in the sea, anyway). But all these small drops can have an enormous effect! A lot of hotels these days, have some kind of information about saving energy and water; by installing environmental friendly equipment for the shower or putting up a request for guest to use their towel twice, to save water.
C. P. Pierce says it like this:
- Cognitive Dissonance & Self-Justification (htycm.wordpress.com)
- How to Ensure You Benefit From Your Failures (alleywatch.com)
- Dealing With Cognitive Dissonance, Yet Again (thespectacledbean.com)
Dealing With Cognitive Dissonance, Yet Again (thespectacledbean.com)
- Cognitive Dissonance (arrasdariuskhaledi.wordpress.com)
Cognitive Dissonance & Self-Justification (htycm.wordpress.com)
- Cognitive Dissonance (arrasdariuskhaledi.wordpress.com)
The lies we tell ourselves (fatcatistification.wordpress.com)
- Cognitive Dissonance (arrasdariuskhaledi.wordpress.com)
Cognitive Dissonance & Self-Justification (htycm.wordpress.com)
- Cognitive Dissonance (arrasdariuskhaledi.wordpress.com)
- Let us change the world (forfreepsychology.wordpress.com)
I hear the soft humming of a computer nearby. The sun is already up, caressing my feet who had the pleasure of justing waking up and be put in warm penguin slippers. The morning has in some ways come far too early for my still drowsy mind, but I am just filled with happiness and contentment, even if I am nauseated after the lack of sleep. I look forward to this day. I have so many things I want to do. I will probably enjoy a little more time in bed, before I dress for the sunshine outside. I long for the sunlight warming me, just lying there and listening to the silence that can be found on farmland. The beautiful, green grass, so alive and thriving, still not knowing anything about the strain our planet is under. Its task is to grow, stronger and healthy, and it does not care about issues like pollution or starvation, it is lucky enough to just be there, without a care in the world.
I will care. I will enjoy every second of my life. First my favorite green tea with orange, then just read a bit on a new book from Victoria Hislop. I also want to work more on the post that my sister will get for her birthday (hoping she doesn`t read this so that the surprise element will be ruined), and to pack out my scrapbooking stuff to make more cards (a new hobby of mine). It is sunday, I have started on two weeks of vacation, and I am already falling in love with it. I have freedom, time and happiness pasted on my heart, and will protect it like I would protect an innocent child.
Good morning, everyone.