Major Change!

Hey guys!

Today, I have something to tell you. I’ve decided to stop posting on this blog for now. I’ve recently started another blog called Infinitely Obscure, and I just don’t have the time to regularly update two blogs at the same time.

But here’s the good news: I’m going to incorporate this blog into Infinitely Obscure, meaning that I won’t stop posting about writing – it’ll just be under a different blog. That way, I can actually plan writing posts into my editorial calendar and have content regularly. Unlike on this blog, that’s been really neglected lately, and I’ve felt really guilty about it.

So if you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, I ask you to please go check out Infinitely Obscure and subscribe there. I post there five days a week, Monday through Friday, so there’s more content than here.

I’m still working on the projects I’ve shared with you on this blog, so I’ll update stuff about them there. (Including the e-book on writing a play for beginners, that I’ll hopefully get out this year!)

I hope that you can embrace this change with me. Luckily it’s not the end – it’ll just look a little different.

I hope to see you there!

Love,
Aino.

Conversations with My Inner Critic, Part One

Yesterday, I finally completed the first draft of Manna, my newest play. Time to party! WOOOO…

…OOO…

…ooo…

…egh…

Only not really. Why didn’t I feel like celebrating, even though I finally managed to finish the draft that I’d been struggling with for a really long time? By the time I got to the dramatic, emotional final scenes, I was exhausted, tired and frustrated. Why? After saving the draft and stepping away from my computer, it finally hit me. My inner critic. This was the first time I could see him, in my mind, staring judgmentally into my soul. Yes, him. My mind often personifies inanimate objects and apparently, voices inside my head.

So, my inner critic looks like this:

I know he’s been with me ever since I started writing, but this time he was exceptionally loud. I’ll walk you through one of our conversations. Maybe it can help some of you – at least it helps to get it out of my system:

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Tell Me About the Character Who Won’t Leave

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One of my favourite feelings when I write is realising that a character has won my heart for good. From the moment their story starts unfolding, I know they won’t leave my side. Ever. And I don’t want them to. Obviously every character is memorable in their own way, but some just have that extra something special.

I’ll tell you a little about one such character. Share your stories in the comments or on your blog and leave me a link. I’d love to fall in love with your characters as well!

So, Kristiina.
That’s her name. She lives in a small cottage in the forest with her husband and 9-year-old son.
She was born in the forest. She lived there until she fell in love and became human.
She knows magic. She knows of the wonders that exist around us, of the creatures and spirits that live everywhere.
She’s strong; she’s fragile; she’s passionate. She makes mistakes, some of them almost unforgivable.
When I first wrote about her, the story was meant to focus on her son. He never lives past 9, but continues to haunt a big farmhouse near his home.
The story was supposed to be about him, the boy in the wall. Then I started seeing that how he got there is more important.
I think she has everything to do with that.

And that’s how Kristiina took over the entire first draft.

I think one of the reasons why she’s still in my mind is that I haven’t finished her story. But I find it unlikely that she’ll ever leave. She’s like a mysterious friend, and I get to know her more every day. I don’t want her to leave.

Which character won’t leave you? Who keeps reminding you of their existence? Which of your characters do you turn to for advice, and whose face do you keep seeing in the crowd? Share your successes! Why do you think they’ve stayed in your mind?

Love,
Aino.

Living the Dream 1: Beginnings

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I’m sorry for my horribly long absence! I promise it’s because I’ve been writing. I’ll post some quick updates later, but today I’m starting a new series called Living the Dream: Adapting Beauty Sleep for the Stage. In this series, I detail the process of adapting the film Beauty Sleep by Elias Koskimies for the theatre. I’ve been dreaming about this project for years now, and finally seeing it happen is… beyond amazing! So here it is:

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Extreme Deadline: Halloween Edition, Part 3

Today I thought I’d share a quick update on my Halloween play project.

Right now, we’re in rehearsal. It’s been tricky, because our performance has changed locations a couple of times. We’re performing in a Halloween event, so the locations are dependent on their organisation. Our final place is better than the earlier one, but we have to change bits and pieces in order to be seen. There’s a huge solid bit of wall with a rail right in front of us, so all the sitting and lying down had to go.

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Photo from today's rehearsal. instagram.com/vaasanylioppilasteatteri

It’s interesting to see my imagination come to life on stage. While I had some idea of our resources during writing, it’s always a surprise to see how it looks. Also, this time it’s me solving all the “how do we show he’s dead without having him on the ground” -problems. Well, me and the co-director, of course. Our actors are also packed with ideas – luckily for us!

We still have a week to go before showtime. At this stage, we’re already perfecting details. Seeing my text performed always feels like a little miracle.

Love,
Aino.

Read All the Books

I’m so sorry for the inactivity last week. I was so busy I didn’t know what to do with myself, but I’m back now (I think).

I took a short trip to Helsinki last weekend with my friend. While my thesis was not the point of the trip, I made some progress. Most importantly:

Oh, the bookshops!

I came home with three books that are guaranteed to make me learn something new.

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The first one is Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (2010) by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. What attracted me to this book was its extensive collection of essays by different contributors, mostly on gender identity and sex/gender radicals. Whether I end up using the book as a source or not, I’m sure it will be an interesting read.

The next book is a Finnish book on the actual craft of thesis writing. It’s called Uusi graduopas (2008; “The Revised Thesis Guide”) by Juha T. Hakala. I’m about half-way through reading the book, and it’s super useful. All you Finnish-speaking students out there – I warmly recommend this book. It’s a general guide into the different elements of thesis writing, with quotes from students and professors to illustrate examples on the advice Hakala gives. I’d call this book an eye-opener.

The third book is Sukupuolen filosofia (2011; “The Philosophy of Gender”, original title Filosofia della sessualità) by Vera Tripodi. It’s translated by Tapani Kilpeläinen. Based on the contents list, this book is a general overview on the philosophy of gender. While I may not end up quoting this book, it will most certainly explain theories and guide me to the original sources. Looks really useful!

So, as always, thesis on my mind. Do you know any of these books? Share your thoughts on them or thesis writing in the comments below!

Love,
Aino.