AM HELLBERG MOBERG
independent multilingual writer
independent multilingual writer
First of all, apologies for the long silence and hope you’re all keeping well.
Here in the UK, spring has finally sprung after a few false starts. This I know for sure, because of a severe increase in sneezing lately! But just this once, spring arriving doesn’t bother me too much, as I’ve enjoyed a real winter for a change, spending nearly six weeks in Northern Norway and Svalbard. This was meant to be my 50th birthday trip, but due to the pandemic it had to take place a few years later than planned.
For the month of January I was based in the small town of Vadsø in Finnmark (https://nordnorge.com/en/ – has more info on the area) and, while there, I participated in some of the preparations for their annual summer festival, Varangerfestivalen (August 9th – 12th) (https://varangerfestivalen.no/), named after the scenic area of the Varanger Peninsula.
My stay “up north” was good for both body and soul and I hope to return later in 2023 or early next year.
Since my last newsletter I’ve mostly been focusing on the first year of an MA in creative writing, but I have managed a few things on the side, such as this full-length feature on the literature of my region, Värmland, in western Sweden:
I admit I was quite chuffed that they also chose one of my images for the front page – Karlstad, my birthplace, in the late evening summer sunshine.
The feature was great fun to research and write, and it gave me the opportunity to connect with several interesting contemporary authors, well-known throughout Sweden. Feel free to share the feature widely.
And on that note, I’d also like to share a message from my friend and professional storyteller Vanessa Woolf, who runs the excellent London Dreamtime:
“Since 2020, FOUR of the venues I used to tell stories in have stopped offering free space. Last month, The Vaults Festival in Waterloo lost their home- due to the cost of space. In December ‘22, Pollocks Toy Museum, a magical London institution, were kicked out of the building they had occupied for decades- again due to of cost of space. ENOUGH! We are working to make a free, accessible space for storytelling in central London, especially to benefit young/new/beginner/disadvantaged and untapped talent. We already have a powerhouse of support and only need to raise a bit more £ in order to make it happen. If you think this sounds great, you can help us over the line by claiming one of the amazing storytelling books and rewards on our crowdfunder
If anyone is able to donate to this wonderful, much-needed venture, please use the link above.
I’m also doing my bit for this cause and will be telling a story at their event on the 3rd of May, here in London:
I have recently joined the Society for Storytelling and you can view my “rambling profile” here:
A lot of my storytelling is, of course, still in writing and back in September last year I set myself a rather ambitious goal of writing one new story every week. OK, if I’m honest, the goal was not just to write a new story, but to take myself out and write in a different location each time… After writing one story in my kitchen and one in my living room, I realised I was scraping the barrel and gave up that part of the plan! But the new stories are still going strong and I’ve penned about 40 since the 1st of September. Perhaps, they may turn into a short story collection in the future, but for now, they’re just a fun way to keep the creative juices flowing.
I will leave you with a couple of snippets:
“I was, to be fair, very young and perhaps not overly discerning. He seemed like such a nice man. How was I to know, back then, that he had such a sinister character? No, he was ever so charming. Polite. And handsome. One must not forget handsome. Quite an important quality in a young man, wouldn’t you say?”
[From The Young Miss Marple)
“I could scarcely believe it.
Did that unknown woman just call us evil?
There we were, quietly queuing, minding our own business when a woman holding a young child – a girl – by the hand came up to the queue snaking down the high street towards the temple.
She pointed her finger at us, speaking directly to the child, and said in a clear, haughty voice. ‘See these people, my child? Look at them, yes, look. These people are evil!’
Whatever conversations had been going on in the queue stopped abruptly and there was a sudden hush, all attention on the woman and the poor child, who had no choice but to stand and stare at us, the woman holding her firmly by the hand.”
[From These People are Evil]
As always, feel free to get in touch to say hi, send feedback and of course, purchase oodles of my books @ www.amhellbergmoberg.co.uk.
All the best,