Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things


on June 18, 2012

Over the weekend I’ve enjoyed having the flexibility to write what I want to, and not to have to respond to the weekday challenges laid down by Jeff Goins.  I’ve blogged, I’ve filled in a couple of the holes in my novel (although, on going back to it, I discovered I was a lot further on with that than I’d thought), I’ve written a couple of letters.  But I can’t deny that I am better off for having completed the first 9 days of the 15 Habits.  Without them, I’d probably not have spent any time on the novel at all or, if I did, I’d most likely have focused on reading and refining the parts I like the most rather than moving the story from one place to another and “finishing”.  I wouldn’t have sent someone a short story to read over the weekend, partly because it wouldn’t have been written and partly because I wouldn’t have thought to “put it out there”.  And I certainly wouldn’t have received a reply to the email I sent Sue Moorcroft in response to the Connect challenge (interestingly enough, her reply encourages me believe in myself as a writer, work hard and connect with other writers, all of which suggestions might sound familiar…)

Today, the word is share.  I have to confess that on a few occasions when I’ve looked through the list of 15 one-word habits, I’ve wondered about the apparent overlap. either between two words on the list before I’ve reached either (who’d have thought that “initiate” and “start” would be so completely different?) or between a topic that’s been covered and one I’ve yet to reach.  So I really had thought that “sharing”, would be very similar to “practising” and we’d all have to keep passing round our work for all and sundry to see.

It comes as something of a relief, therefore, to discover that the focus today is not on what I’m doing.  Jeff asserts that “Great Writers Share Others’ Work”, not because they hope to gain anything by it, but just because they recognise it’s good.  A writer wants people who listen to him/her to start listening to the things which inspire or influence him/her as well.  Jeff suggests that to do this we should be:

  • Telling someone else’s story
  • Promoting a friend’s work
  • Making someone else the hero

I have an idea for sharing someone else’s story.  I have long been inspired by the story of how my grandparents met during WWII and, since my Grandfather’s illness and death, have heard much more about it.  Ideally I’d like to write a historical novel based on their relationship but I know something focused on the 1940s would take a phenomenal amount of work.  Also, maddeningly, my Gran admitted recently that she kept all their correspondence for years but then threw it away when they were moving house in the 80s.  I’ll keep you posted on any developments!

In the meantime, I’d like to spend the rest of this post telling you about a different blog.  As always, I’d recommend any of the blogs on my blogroll (in the right-hand column, quite far down the page).  If you point your mouse at the titles you should see a little comment about each, which will help you understand what it’s about and decide if you want to visit it.  Most of the authors are fairly well-known, at least in a certain sector of society.  But today I particularly want to tell you about Scandineighbour.  I got to know the author when the Bookworm was at nursery school.   Sally’s eldest son was in the same class and we both had a younger child in a pushchair, so often got talking when we were waiting to collect the children at the end of the day.  We had something in common as non-locals, in a community where pretty much everyone else had grown up together from childhood, and we carried on meeting up over the next couple of years.  Then they all relocated to Denmark with her partner’s work.  Both having children to deal with (she now has a third) and life generally getting in the way, we don’t stay closely in touch, but we are Facebook friends and about a year ago she began her blog.

As she says herself:
“I write this blog having lived in Denmark now for more than four years. Time that has moved me beyond being an occasional tourist into getting to really know and appreciate Scandinavia. The longer I live here the more I find to enjoy that I would almost certainly have missed had I stuck to the guide books. This is my Scandi neighbourhood”

The blog is a beautiful guide to life in Scandinavia – mainly Denmark, where they live, but also some information about Norway where her partner is from.  There is information about museums, shops, places to eat and things to do outdoors, all helpfully divided into categories with clickable links at the top of the page.  Often there will be a focus on things to do with children, and all the information is interspersed with snippets of family life or childhood memories which lend a very warm and human element to the posts.

My absolute favourite thing, however, is the gorgeous photography.  Each article is accompanied by several stunning, colourful images taken by Sally herself with beautiful attention to detail.  There are pictures of the weather, food, plants, books – in short, anything that has caught her eye.  I particularly love the pictures of the brightly coloured buildings and the hotch-potch of boats at Nyhavn, Copenhagen, which remind me of a holiday Southern Daddy and I took there in our pre-parenthood days.

If you live in, or are planning a trip to Denmark, you should definitely visit Scandineighbour to see if you can pick up some tips for interesting activities or places to visit.  If you’re not likely to find yourself there in the near future, take a look anyway – it’s the next best thing!


UPDATE: Since this was posted there have been some difficulties with the original site and the above links no longer take you there.  If you still wish to see the blog, you can now access it here or in my Blogroll to the right (it’s now known as iScandineighbour).


3 responses to “Sharing

  1. janereads says:

    I’m interested to find out more about how your grandparents met. It sounds like an intriguing story. Are you going to give any hints or do I have to wait to read the book? 🙂

    • northmum says:

      It’s a great story – my Gran was engaged to his cousin (whom she’d met when they stayed in his family’s guest house whilst seeing her brother off to the war). The cousin was killed just before they were due to get married and my Grandfather started writing to her just to cheer her up and it all went on from there! 🙂

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