Gravel and sand hang - entombed - in the bumpy ice on the pavement, leaving the surface shiny and slippery. The temperature keeps switching from above to below freezing and back again, and the sun sets almost as soon as it has risen.

The last time I sat down to write a blog entry was the same season as it is now - winter. A whole lot has happened since then, but as usual my yearly "creative year" post will focus on the creative aspects of my year.

So let's get to it!

Writing

I published a Swedish digital poetry chapbook, "Bygd & betong"! It's available for purchase in three online stores: Adlibris, Bokus and iBooks. It's comprised of 16 poems, all around the subject of life in the city and life in the countryside. I'm really happy about how it turned out, even though I realize it's not something that's going to generate any real profit. I'm also not sure how to market a poetry chapbook, and it's unlikely that anyone is going to just stumble upon it.

Beyond my first published e-book, writing hasn't gone all too well this year. I've written two first drafts for short stories in English, working titles "Alkin Alone" and "Valkyrie". I've also taken part in the first part of a writing course. I started off the year trying to really focus in on writing, but I got stuck in certain projects and sort of drifted off onto other things.

Illustration

This was the second year I took part in - and completed - Inktober. Just like last year I learned a lot from it, and also found a style of drawing that I liked. I'm pretty sure I'll take part in it again next year.

I spent a lot of time this year making a portfolio, redesigning the website, creating a new logo, and making a cover image for various channels, all to sort of build a brand or platform to work from.

Setting up an online shop was a goal I had for this year, and just a few weeks back I did just that. You can now buy a few of my designs on RedBubble, and I'll be adding new ones with some regularity.

Photography

I had a few photography projects planned for this year, but they didn't really pan out. I did, however, make sure to get photos for each month to make a calendar with. I've also gone on a few photo excursions and tried my hand at making videos around and about them.

Equipment wise my camera gear has changed a bit. I've sold off all my Fujifilm gear and made a complete switch to Panasonic. I wanted a camera that was good for both stills and video and after trying out the Panasonic Lumix G80/G85, I was so impressed that the switch was easy. I now have both the Lumix G80/G85 and the Lumix GX80/GX85 (I got that one to be my bring-along-anywhere-camera).

I've done a fair bit of shooting film as well, trying my hand at an old collapsible medium format camera from the '50s, and trying to capture the evening summer sun against the red blueberry leaves with my trusty Nikon F3.

Looking forward

I'm hoping for a big year in 2019. This year was a lot of thinking, planning, testing and trying to figure things out. Next year will be more about doing. I really look forward to producing a bunch of products and finishing projects. I've set up a short list of goals:

  • Extending my online shop - I hope to add much content to my online shop on RedBubble and to perhaps add other shops (maybe Zazzle?), and once I have enough designs maybe I could get approved for a "Merch by Amazon" account.
  • Take part in Inktober again - Third year in a row! It's always a challenge, but I also always learn a lot and get a lot out of it. "Nothing worth having comes easy."
  • Website changes - I'll be rebuilding parts of this website. The most important part is that I need to migrate to a new way of storing the information. Today I'm using XML files, but it looks like I'm gonna migrate to using a database instead. That will also make it easier to add the ability to comment on these posts. I've been looking into using an existing CMS like WordPress, but haven't found anything that suits me so I'll probably keep developing my own.
  • Focus on Swedish - When writing any sort of fiction this year, I will - in most cases - be writing it in Swedish. This means that the robot book I have planned will most likely be written in Swedish. I'm also thinking about how to handle languages here on the website. I'm probably gonna keep writing most blog posts in English but when the post is about something that's only interesting for a Swedish speaker (like me having published a book in Swedish) then I'll probably write a short summary in English and the rest in Swedish.
  • Traditional publishing - Send at least one novel-length manuscript off to traditional publishers. This will likely be a collection of short stories.
  • Short story contests - Take part in at least three short story contests.

Okay, that about sums it up for this year.

Happy new year, everyone!

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