LA Angels vs Seattle Mariners

This morning I woke up at 6:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. The other two girls experienced the exact same thing. I think we all slept like babies the first night because we were just so exhausted. We didn’t yawn as much today as yesterday, but after sitting out in the sun all day, I feel tired and almost a little as if I have sunstroke. Pale Swede in California.

When I was awake enough, I started preparing the presentation I’m about to give on Tuesday. I really look forward to that. We had breakfast out on the balcony in the sun. It was amazing!

We then drove to Anaheim baseball stadium where we met up with Miriam and her sister’s family to watch today’s game. LA Angels vs Seattle Mariners. I remembered most rules but there were several situations that arose today that I hadn’t seen at any San Diego Padres games before so I learned new things today. The Angels won. They are usually a very good team, but are in the bottom right now. Seattle Mariners are usually a very bad team, but are currently in the lead. Fun game. The score was 8-1 up until the last inning where The Mariners took 5 points. Crazy.

After the game, we went to a brewery next door. I was declined to buy a beer, even if I’m 28. They refused to accept my Swedish drivers license… Stupid. But it was nice to hang out there for a bit.

On our way home we bought candy (for tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones) and then pizza for dinner. Today was all about food and I so look forward to playing some beach volleyball tomorrow to burn off these calories.

Great day! And now Ghirardelli chocolate and Game of Thrones.

Huntington Beach

The first full day back in California is over. I managed to get 10 hours of sleep and it was well needed. The day started with renting a car. 9 days for $650 doesn’t feel too bad. Especially not if we are 3 people sharing it. I got to be the designated driver. Something I definitely did not mind, it’s fun to drive here and it was etched into my memory and I quickly got back into it, even if it’s been many years now.

We drove to Huntington Beach directly, stayed there for an hour before it was time to head back to Fullerton where one of the girls is staying with her sister for some Easter bbq. Really nice evening.

At the beach, we did a little bit of planning for this trip, like we decided that a couple of days down in San Diego would be nice, so we will probably be going on Friday and stay until Saturday. That will be fun! I really want to go up to SLO, but I haven’t really figured that one out yet. To be continued. We also tried the wind a bit by some beach volleyball peppering. When we left we found so many nets where we will hang from now on. Can’t wait until we can play there.

This day ended with half an hour in the community jacuzzi. Such a sweet way to end this day!

Back “home”

I have been awake for almost 48 hours now. Except for those 2h of sleep I managed to get last night. I had a very weird evening and didn’t start packing until midnight (6 hours before take off). Stupid, but honestly, not only my fault. And I didn’t manage to get any sleep on the flight today. But I did manage to see four movies and finish chapter 16 in my own book.

I rode to the airport with one of the girls, another got another ride and the fourth is coming on Monday. What’s funny about today’s flight was that we three flew on all different routes and only with 10 min between our flights. Funny!

I am now laying in bed, it’s 9:30 pm, and I will most likely have the best night of all time. It has been a long day. In Sweden, this day is called “Långfredagen” which translates to Long Friday but in Easter it means: Good Friday. It truly was a long Friday. Almost everything today has gone well, but my flight from Munich to LA was delayed with an hour and a half. We had left the gate and were on our way to take off when the plane turned around and parked at the gate again. Super weird. Then US customs and borders at LAX took more than an hour. And we had trouble getting a Lyft (another type of Uber) and lost $10 because they were waiting for us on the second floor when we were waiting on the first.

The day ended with dinner at In N Out and we bought groceries for tomorrow’s breakfast.

I am seeing double now so I will turn off the lamp and hope I am restored tomorrow. I usually am not suffering from jetlag and I also usually (so far) manage to turn the day around in just one night. So let’s hope it is like that this time as well.

50k

I recently read on  Writers Write that a debut fantasy within the fantasy category should land on approximately 100 000 words. Yesterday I hit the 50k mark and am therefore halfway done with my debut novel!

I am currently writing on the 16th chapter and as soon as that one is written, I will also have reached milestone 2 out of a total of 8 for this story. Initially, I thought that this would only result in one book, but the more I thought about the story and everything I wanted to have in it, I realized that it would be way too much for one book. At least as the debut. And now, done with 2 milestones, having the perfect cliffhanger for the first half of this duology after milestone 4, I am one hundred percent sure that it will be two books. And probably a third one later on.

I am so excited and thrilled when I see everything unfold inside my head right before I write it down.

I am proud of myself to actually have managed this. I am actually writing a book that might be finished in the not too distant future. And I really like the plot and believe in it. I think I would have stopped writing a long time ago if I didn’t.

Review of “The Atlantis Complex” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Atlantis Complex
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #7
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 357
Published: 2010, Puffin Books
My Grade: 3 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Young Artemis has frequently used high-tech fairy magic to mastermind the most devious criminal activity of the new century. Now, at a conference in Iceland, Artemis has gathered the fairies to present his latest idea to save the world from global warming.

But Artemis is behaving strangely – he seems different. Something terrible has happened to him . . . Artemis Fowl has become nice.

The fairies diagnose Atlantis Complex (that’s obsessive compulsive disorder to you and I) – it seems dabbling in magic has damaged Artemis’ main weapon: his mind. Fairy ally Captain Holly Short doesn’t know what to do. The subterranean volcanoes are under attack from vicious robots and Artemis cannot fight them. Can Holly get the real Artemis back before the robot probes destroy every human and life form?

MY REVIEW

It’s been a while since I read The Time Paradox and I don’t think I misremember when I think back on the five previous books as really good ones. But while reading this, pretty early on, I felt that this was not in the same class as the rest of the series.

I love everything that has to do with underwater environments so The Atlantis Complex has always been a book in this series that I looked forward to. But, small spoiler alert, it doesn’t have much to do with Atlantis. And it didn’t really feel like the typical Artemis Fowl book where Artemis had a goal, a heist to complete, but rather circle around events that doesn’t really impact the rest of the story (the last book in this series).

In other words, it kind of felt a little bit uneccessary for the whole Artemis Fowl story. But what do I know? It might be of importance that Artemis developed an OCD-like complex in this installation.

Still entertaining, but I have higher hopes for The Last Guardian. It gets 3 out of 5.

Review of “Kingdom of Ash” by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Kingdom of Ash
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #7
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 984
Published: 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 worlds

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

 

MY REVIEW

I don’t like finishing series. Especially not one of my all time favorites. Many years ago one of my mom’s friends told me about this series. At that time, there were only two or maybe three books published and Maas had a long way to go before this series was done. Fortunately for me, and all other fans, I didn’t have to wait unreasonably long between each book (unlike other great authors who can’t seem to keep the years between releases under a decade). And when it was teo years between, she released a book in her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses which is also one of the best I have ever read! And on that note, before I start reviewing this thousand page brick, she managed to intertwine these two series in a perfect way. It was a spoiler, but I guess I knew that would happen anyway. But it was fun that she did that, the characters of the both series briefly meeting and helping each other, or at least one helping the other.

This book was long, 273k words to be exact. That is insane. No wonder it took me forever to finish it (also because I have been writing non-stop during November-January instead of reading). But it was worth every page. There was so much to be wrapped up and she did it really well. Many battles, many plot twists, many unpredictable saves. It was exactly what you’d expect after reading all of the other books in this series.

I still think that it is kind of silly that all main characters end up together as couples and all the relationships starts with trouble but turns out to be destined to be. It doesn’t really feel like that fits with reality right now, if that makes sense. But I did like that the focus was more on the events this time, not the trying-to-write-sexy-thing she did a few books back where the sex scenes just became a bit awkward.

Something that I have noticed, but not quite sure if if bothers me or if it is really, really smart of her as an author, is that she doesn’t write everything. She leaves out huge parts where Aelin for the most part, is plotting and making plans and they are not even mentioned the slightest until it saves the day. It makes it very unpredictable, but after seven books, you kind of know that Aelin’s secret plans will save the day, somehow.

But overall, the ending was great, all thousand pages of it. I am sad that this was the end and I truly hope Maas will write a new similar series. I get the same kind of cozy fantasy feeling from both Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses and I hope that she will find some new inspiration toward a new series with the same feeling. It is new, it is original. I call it good-feeling-fantasy and this is what I am trying to aspire in my own book that I am currently writing. This feel-good sensation while it at the same time feels hopeless and you can’t stop wondering how more messed up the plot can become.

I have to say though, that intertwining of her two series was a true delight, so I suggest you read all of those books before reading this. Otherwise you will miss it and just have an amazing book behind you. The whole series gets a five out of five! Easy!

Last day in Seoul: Gangnam

Last day in Seoul has come to an end and I am now back home, all hairy again, sitting on the couch. It is like last week was a dream beacuse as soon as we were in the car back home, everything was normal again, not extraordinarily cool and exotic and time had just flown by. Crazy feeling.

It has been an incredible week with lots of new food, amazing colors, and basically everything was different. A completely different culture. Stressful people, a city that was alive like nothing I have ever seen. But still with nature so close by. Incredible place.

The whole city was so clean. All the public bathrooms were as fresh as anyone could imagine a public restroom to be (and all were free). What really boggles my mind is how that can be so? How can a city be so clean when there are no trash cans?? There were, of course, but very very few. Does everyone seriously carry around their garbage until they find a trash can half a kilometer away?

Something that I wondered for a long time was, where all the kids were? Doesn’t there live any kids in Seoul? We barely saw any!

Did you know that South Koreans use tunes for everything? When a metro train is incoming, a tune plays (most metro stations have different tunes). When the washing machine is done, a tune plays. It was funny!

It would be very interesting to see exactly how big the metro stations were on a regular map. I’m sure there is somewhere. But I can’t really understand how big those places were! Shopping centers connecting with the metro stations. I would not be surprised if it was almost as much space used under ground as above ground in that city. It was like there were underground cities under the real deal. If Metro 2033 (by Dmitri Glukhovsky) happened, then I think the Seoul metro system would be better to be stuck in instead of Moscows. Not that I’ve ever been there, but I can’t imagine it being bigger than this!

Anyway, that were just a few of the thoughts I had during this week. There were more probably, but I am getting pretty tired now and must have forgotten tons of them.

It has now been 45 hours since I woke up in Seoul yesterday. We packed everything, checked out and left for Gangnam where we went to WSP’s office building. We came in the middle of lunch, so didn’t meet anyone, but I was still there. Two floors in a skyskraper in Gangnam, not too bad. We walked around, took a look at the Gangnam Style statue, another temple and had a sweet potato pizza for lunch.

We also stopped at Samsung d’light, an exhibition on new technology from Samsung. Or more like their view on the future. It was really cool. Can totally recommend. Their version of the future seems amazing! Especially the full-body mirror which helped you exercise. There was also a personality test of sort where I turned out to be a Peace Barista – Making peace one spoonful of love at a time. There was also a 4D VR experience to try. It was going on the rollercoaster Tatsu from Six Flags in California. What are the odds? I have actually gone on that one for real. This experience was really cool and it felt surprisingly real.

We met up with Felix one last time to have Korean bbq for dinner. Then the metro to the airport.

When the flight took off, we had been awake for 17 hours. Another 16 hours until we landed in Gothenburg, and now 12h awake. I am glad that I managed to get some sleep on the first flight. I feel kinda normal now, but I am starting to see double. The sleep I got on the plane was definitely not of any greater quality because I remember being awake at several points to change positions. But all of a sudden there was just 1.5 hours left, when last I checked, we had only flown for 1.5 hours. That means 8 hours of sleeping. “Sleeping”. But it was enough to not be completely ruined today.

When I got home, I cuddled with the cats tons. They were really happy to see me. To keep myself occupied and from falling asleep, I have been cleaing the whole apartment. But it took so long because of the attention-seeking fluffies. They have been so cosy today. Almost aggressive in their snuggling.


This screen was the coolest thing! QLED 8K and ridiculously big!
Samsung d’light.
WSP occupies the third and fourth floor of this building.
Gangnam square.
Seoul airport.