The Beauty of Art part 6

Here we go again, it is time for another Beauty of Art quiz!

Just like in part 4 I have chosen a sculpture.

It is quite big: 927 by 891 by 1023 cm to be exact.  Let me know what you know about it and what you think about it!

What is the name of the sculpture?
What is the name of the artist?
Where can this sculpture be found?
How does it make you feel?

A summary of your answers will be posted in the next blog post, including information about when and where I saw this sculpture.


Do women need to be stronger than men?

I recently listened to a documentary on Sveriges Radio P3, called Gamegirl. It is about Mia Westin, a girl who is succesfully playing Counter Strike and streaming herself while doing so. She has many followers and makes money on her stream.

Photo from the documentary in Sveries Radio P3

That is all good and well. But like so many women who are successfull, especially online, Mia receives a lot of sexistic and judgemental comments from men and women who dislike the way she looks, the way she acts, the way she is. Mia stated the following in the program:
"Som tjej tror jag det är tiotusen gånger viktigare att ha ett riktigt starkt psyke. Ha en bra självbild och tro på sig själv." (As a girl I believe it is ten thousand times more important to have a really strong psyche. To have a good self image and believe in one-self.)

Having listened to the documentary I can tell she has a strong psyche and she does not let the haters get to her. Her statement reminded me about what Charlotte Whitton once said:
"Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men, to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult."

I agree that it is important for women to have a strong psyche.
I agree that it is harder for a women to be considered competent than it is for men. 

But that does not mean men can (continue to) be mentally weak. Secure and mentally strong men and women do not express hateful comments, they have no reason to pull others down.  The haters are the weak, insecure ones.

To reduce the hate, we need to reduce the fear, reduce the insecurity. We can do that each day, by letting the people around us, especially kids, know how great they already are.

Or, as Mahatma Ghandi put it:

The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear. 


It´s my birthday and I´ll write if I want to

If you are like me, or like Jenny in my debut novel, the title will make you hum, silently or out loud, the Lesely Gore hit: It´s my party and I´ll cry if I want to.

Well, it´s my birthday today, but I have no intention of crying. Actually I will be working all day and in the evening I will (I hope) get some home-baked semla from my husband and congratulations from friends and family.

On Saturday we will celebrate some more, and as "the birthday child" I will be able to do whatever I choose. I know exactly what I want to do.

Many people ask me how I find the time to write novels, being a mother of three and working full-time. And when I talk about the hours here and there that I use for writing, they re-phrase the question.
Hur orkar du?  (How do you find the energy?)
That question always makes me smile.

How do I find the energy to write? By writing. Doing what I really like doing, gives me energy.

So when my husband asked me several years ago (when the kids were smaller and needed more or less continuous attention) what I wanted for my birthday, my answer was simple: I want to have a full day to write.

This birthday I will write. If you are curious about what I am currently writing, take a look at Annikas Läsare: Writing.

It´s my birthday and I´ll write since I want to,
write since I want to, 
write since I want to.
You would write to, if you liked it like me!


Your anger does not help

There is a lot of anger going around. Not surprising maybe, since there is a lot to be angry about.

But does spreading your anger to others help?

Does the world get better when you take that piece of news that upsets you, add an angry comment with many exclamations marks after it and share it?

Do you improve the world when you talk over lunch with colleagues about all the things that are wrong in the world and how angry it makes you?

If that is all the action you take, the answer is, in my opinion, no.

Anger and frustration can be great fuel, a kick-start to action that makes a difference. (When I say action I mean something else than tapping on an angry emoji in social media...) You can take action everyday. Help someone. Smile at those around you, greet them. Make a positive difference in someone´s life.

The first time I read about what Stephen Covey calls "the circle of influence" I found it a bit too careful.Why focus only on the circle of influence, when so much of what needs to change in the world happens outside of it? That was before I read the second part of his reasoning.

 If you focus on changing what you can within your circle of influence,your circle of influence expands.

Of course. If you are the person who takes action, who helps others, who gets things done, people will notice. Your influence will increase.

If you are the annoying, whining, always angry person who seems to do nothing but complain, your influence will shrink.

I hope you will focus your efforts and have the courage to change what you can within your circle of influence. Maybe one day we will both have increased our circles of influence so much that together we can actually change the things that make so many so angry and upset today.


The Beauty of Art Part 5 - The answers

So, here they are -the answers to the Beauty of Art part 5.

First some clues.
I chose to post this one as number 5, since there is a link to the beauty of art part 4.
The artist is the woman in the photo, and the man is her American art dealer.

Her work Ongetiteld (untitled) was exhibited in Democracy´s images at  Bildmuseet in Umeå in Sweden 1998. That work also includes herself; it is a video in which she shaves off all of her body hair.

She is from South Africa and here is another work of hers: Venus Baartman:

The photo I posted in the Beauty of Art part 5, was this one:

I like it, as you may have understood by now. I like the contrasts (black, white, male, female, edges and curves) and I like the combination of tenderness and playfulness.

Some of your comments abour how it made you feel / what you thought about it were:

"Happy! Love is Red!"
"Happy and intrigued"
"It shows limitless love, but not in a very attractive way"
So, have you, possibly with the help of the additional clues in this post, figured out the answers to my questions yet?

The connection with part 4, is the title. Rodin´s sculpture is called le Baiser, the Kiss. And the photograph above is also called the Kiss.

The artist´s name is Tracey Rose.

Thanks for looking and participating!


The Beauty of Art Part 5

It has been a while since I posted the Beauty of Art Parts 1 to 4. I hope you are looking forward to part 5!

So far we have looked at sculpture and paintings, the paintings have covered the art forms Impressionism, Post-impressionism and Expressionism.

This Beauty of Art goes into a different field: Photography.

I saw this photo in a Spanish magazine, In a section called Escapadas (escapes) they recommended different cultural events. This photograh was part of an exhibition they recommended. There was something about it that appealed to me, so I ripped out the page to remember the artist and this particular photograph:

Now it is your turn:

How does this piece of art make you feel? 
Who is the artist? 
What is the name of this photo?

Please let me know by adding a comment!
The answers to the two latter questions will be published in the next blog spot.


Therapeutic Reading: For helping you embrace life

In the last blog post I wrote about what novels to read to when you are "wishing you had a Valentine"

In this third blog post about therapeutic reading, we will look at what to read to "embrace life".

The bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkind prescribe:

Jitterbug perfume by Tom Robbins.

This is considered a cult classic where the past and the present collide when the characters discover the unexpected path to life-everlasting.

Another way to embrace life is to discover that what you already have is something to be truly grateful for,and that it should not be taken for granted.
For this I prescribe my latest novel: Qui sine peccato est, where Leyah finds herself in a situation where nothing can be taken for granted anymore.

Extract from Qui sine peccato est:

Insikterna är inte bara fysiska. Vi lever verkligen. Jag menar inte bara att fyra av oss än så länge har överlevt. Jag menar att vi verkligen lever. Ett avskalat, basalt och naturligt liv. Ett liv där vi gläds över småsaker som vi i våra vanliga liv tar för givet. Att ha en hink vatten att tvätta sig i. En säng och ett täcke. Mat, ibland god mat, och när vi berättar att vi tycker om den går det, trots masken, att se på kocken att han blir stolt. Jag gläds över att ha fått låna en t-shirt som är mjuk mot min härdade kropp. När vi lever våra dagar på bara några kvadratmeter blir glädjen desto större när vi får komma ut ur våra celler. För att äta, för att tömma latrinhinken. Jag gläds över utsikten från vår lilla glugg. Gräs, berg i fjärran, ett böljande landskap precis utanför. Det som jag vanligen skulle ha tittat på i ett par sekunder och kanske kallat vackert innan jag gick vidare kan jag nu betrakta i timmar. Varje blad och blomma har en skönhet som jag till fullo kan uppskatta. Även om vi medfångar blir irriterade på varandra finns också en närhet som inte kan beskrivas och som ingen annan kommer att kunna förstå. Holyany och jag har pratat om döden och hon har funnit ro i tanken att hon är redo för den. Vi har berättat för varandra hur vi vill att våra begravningsakter ska gå till så att om en av oss överlever men inte den andra så kan vi se till att avslutet blir som vi har tänkt oss. Även om vi inte kommer att kunna styra över själva dödsögonblicket. Men vem kan väl det? Döden kommer när den kommer och den skrämmer oss inte längre.