The last year has in many ways for me resembled something that could be described as a tale from within the Matrix. In August 2021 I made the decision to return back “home” to the UK, where I was born and lived until 2010, when I moved to Sweden.
Almost twelve years away hit me unexpectedly hard and I found the UK to be a very different country from the one I left in 2010. I too, had changed and found myself unable to settle and rather like a foreigner in my own country in many ways. Apparently, this is a common occurence for ex-pats who have made their nests elsewhere – After a period of time, you move on and become accustomed to your new home overseas, and your homeland leaves you behind, too. I began to miss my adopted home of Sweden.
Given I had ties to Sweden professionally still and had continued to work remotely for a Swedish employer, coupled with the fact that I am a Swedish citizen too and have dual nationality, it made sense to return back to Sweden to live, at least for the short to mid term, And in May of this year, that’s exactly what I did.
Last year, I completed writing a novella titled The Locked Room which I then submitted to my Editor who sharpened her carving knives and went to work on it. The changes and re-writes have been extensive and I decided to just take my time with this, follow the advice of a well established and brutally honest editing professional – and boy am I glad to have hired her!
This novella has been the bane of my life for the last two years and whilst I have dabbled and done a few pieces of flash fiction and also written a few short stories for another short story collection project I’m working on, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with the finished project of the The Locked Room, and it’s why I’ve held back in releasing it. It is to be the first release of my publishing label Strange Days Press and I want to be happy with the final end product. It’s almost there and given I have a brilliant editor and very talented artist on board for the cover art duties, I know it’s my responsibility to put out the best product I can -and that is worth taking my time.
Now that I had my little moving experiment, fell flat on my face and corrected the mistake, my plan is to push ahead and finish the projects I have on my desk and get myself back into a routine of writing again regularly, as opposed to the fits and starts of the last year. Settling back in Sweden and having a new home, I hope the feeling of being settled will trickle down into my writing and enable me to be in the frame of mind to focus and be more productive than I have been.
I’ll update this blog in time with progress. I have a website built for my publishing label, and all the ingredients there to make it work. I just need to unlock that final end product of the novella itself, make it the absolute best it can be and then let the wheels turn for everything else.