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ingebjorg9: (Ola Rapace)
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 10:42 pm
At long, long last I've posted the next chapter of The Assignment, which I have been working on for I don't know how long.

Read on FFN

Read on AO3

I'm also planning on updating my Martin Beck fic in the near future, and just trying harder to get The Assignment finished.  I hate leaving stories hanging for too long!
ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 09:35 pm
 I've posted on a couple of comms now, to spread the word about the awesomeness of Wallander!

Pitch on Fandom of One

Fandom pimp on Small Fandoms Fest

And at some point I'm going to get some fanfic written.  If only there were 26 hours in a day!
ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Monday, April 8th, 2013 10:07 pm
Yesterday I finally finished working through my photographs from my trip to Ystad last September.  The final count is 430 of Ystad, Skåne and a detour to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, but I had a couple of hundred more that I didn't keep.  This is the most photos I've taken of anywhere.  I wanted to document as much of what I saw as possible, but then again Ystad is amazingly photogenic anyway.

I've posted some of the pictures at my Tumblr blog, and a good few on Panoramio.  The hard task now is deciding which I want to have printed for my walls.  This is a strong contender:

as well as this:

Ultimately, though, it's just lovely to have so many reminders of a great trip.  I hope I'll be back there soon!

It's been good to get through all the photos, but now I really need to get back to writing.  I've signed up to pimp my beloved fandom on [ profile] smallfandomfest, so I have to have something ready by April 30th.  I also need to get on with The Assignment and The Men From Stockholm.  The longer I leave them, the guiltier I feel, but on the other hand I'm relishing the thought of all this writing!
ingebjorg9: (Franka Potente)
Friday, March 1st, 2013 01:59 pm
I'm trying to get things tidied up and in order for this month, when I'm going to make a concerted effort to write something every day. Blog post, book review, Tumblr entry, bit of fanfic, or just an excruciating piece of poetry.  Whatever.  I've got a little plot bunny in my head for something that I might post on here, but I'm also somewhere in the middle of quite a major Wallander fic that I'm trying not to neglect, and also a Martin Beck story that is being written extremely slowly (think two chapters in two and a half years.  Yeah).

In the meantime, for easy access, I'm going to post links to the fics I have so far, so read on!
Read more... )
ingebjorg9: (O RLY?)
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 01:47 pm
Mari Jungstedt is a Stockholm-based journalist who for about ten years has been writing crime thrillers based on the island of Gotland.  Her detective, Anders Knutas, is a happily-married family man who gets on well with his wife, has a great relationship with his kids and is happy with his life.  The opposite of Kurt Wallander, then.

Gotland is a beautiful, peaceful island, marred (if Jungstedt is to be believed) only by the ocassional brutal murder.  Knutas is a highly functional individual, as are most of his team, and while I really like the noir-ness of Wallander it's refreshing sometimes to come across a protagonist whose life is not a depressing mess.

So what's the problem, then?

Apart from the fact that, compared with writers like Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indriðason, some of Jungstedt's writing feels like noir-lite, the main flaw in her work is her insistence on inserting into her stories two of the most unlikeable author avatars I have ever met.  First of all we have the ladies' man, Stockholm journalist Johan Berg.  Then we have the vaguely neurotic teacher Emma Winarve.  In the first novel of the series, Unseen, Johan is a TV news journalist sent to Visby by his irritating boss to investigate a series of violent murders of women.  It's not surprising that Jungstedt would choose a journalist as her author avatar, as you tend to write about what you know, but there's so much description of how a TV newsroom works and how to be a journalist that it derails the narrative a bit.  However, it gets worse when he meets Emma, wholater ends up being kidnapped herself, and nearly finished off by the murderer, who was a boy who she was mean to in school
.  Although Emma is married with two young children, she falls for Johan's somewhat dubious charms, and he for hers.  He's not put off by the fact that she's a got a family and commitments, and she doesn't seem to care that he's been round the block a few dozen times.  They end up besotted with each other.  Of course.

In the next book, Unspoken, they're back again, derailing what is actually a very compelling plot and providing distraction and annoyance all round.  Emma finds out she's pregnant and wants Johan to give her some space so she can decide what to do, Johan agrees, then turns up at her house anyway.  In the middle of a family meal.  Despite the fact that she's asked him not to contact her for a month.  Sigh.  Then they turn up again in the next novel.  And the one after that, and the one after that, and so on.  I had to stop reading after the third, as I was getting tired of their constant intrusions.  The flat affect of the prose and the added-on angst were also not helping, nor was the standard of the translation, which is diabolical.

Quite what Emma's appeal to Jungstedt is, I can't quite figure out.  She obviously identifies closely with her for some reason, but I'm sure that the real life Mari Jungstedt is a much more pleasant person than Emma appears to be.  Emma is self-centred, whiny, clingy and, for a teacher, not very smart.  For some reason, though, Johan (and Jungstedt, for that matter) finds her fascinating and can't get her out of his head.  He's no great prize either.  I may have described him elsewhere as charisma-free.  Quite why Emma is so taken with him is something of a mystery to me, I'm afraid.  He too is self-centred and lacking in insight.  He butts into the police investigations, yet somehow gets away with it, whereas in real life he'd probably have been hauled over the coals by the authorities.  He knows Emma is married and needs to think of her kids when she's deciding whether to commit to him, but he can't give her the space she needs to make the decision.  Taken individually, each of these characters is irritating.  Together they're actually a little nauseating.

The worst of it is, had they both been bumped off at the end of book one, nothing would have been lost from subsequent books.  In fact, if they were removed from the stories there would be an instant improvement.  Fewer narrative derailments.  Less needless angst.  More time spent with Detective Knutas, who actually is a likeable and interesting character.  The fact that they keep turning up again when they're really not needed points to them being Jungstedt's favourites; characters that she just can't bear to be separated from.  A lot of beginning writers do this.  Hell, a lot of experienced writers do it too, but they tend to be able to get away with it more because they can create likeable or at least interesting characters.  Although Jungstedt has been doing this for ten years, I understand she's still primarily a journalist – and unfortunately it shows.

I would really like to enjoy this series of books more, as there are also a lot of positives about the stories, Unspoken in particular being a compelling and thought-provoking study of how vulnerable young people can be victimised.  But I just can't get past these two characters, or indeed the clunkiness of the translation, which makes everything even worse.  However, for my own writing, I now have more of an idea of how not to create readable characters.  And it begins with not having them derail the plot every chapter or two.
ingebjorg9: (Picard facepalm)
Monday, October 15th, 2012 09:38 pm
Get the hell away from my Spem In Alium!  Grrr.

And now a palate cleanser:


Now that is a beautiful man.
ingebjorg9: (Krister)
Sunday, September 19th, 2010 03:47 pm
I've just realised that I haven't posted anything since June.  Ouch.  You don't want to know about the drama that's going on in my life just now, suffice it to say that I'm very tempted to up sticks and do a runner to Ystad to get away from it.  Anyway, date three, in which Wallander finds out more than he needs to know...

It took a lot of persuading from Linda for Wallander to agree to go on another date after the debacle he had had with Agata. It was three weeks before his colleagues at the station had stopped sniggering and teasing him about it. Even Chief Holgersson, who he had expected to take a dim view of his date with a suspect, had stifled a smile or two during her rather excruciating interrogation of him. He wasn't ready to trawl the newspaper for another potential train wreck of a date.

In the event, though, it was an acquaintance who had set him up on a blind date with a woman who was, apparently, the "perfect match" for him. Beautiful, intelligent, not too young but not too old either: she sounded too good to be true. Wallander was sceptical, but secretly curious about this woman. In his experience there was always a catch with a woman that perfect.


Read on... )


ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Sunday, June 27th, 2010 03:39 pm

Date two, in which all Hell breaks loose.

Wallander shifted from one foot to the other.  She was late and he was getting cold.  Meeting on the seafront was now seeming like less and less of a good idea, especially in Ystad in April, when the weather could be unpredictable to say the least.  He pondered morosely that perhaps he wasn’t the only one with cold feet: she might have changed her mind about coming.


Read more... )
ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Sunday, June 6th, 2010 08:44 pm
Encouraged by his daughter Linda, Wallander looks in the Personals column of the local newspaper to try and cure his loneliness.  Consequently five less than wonderful dates follow…

Date One, in which Wallander has a lucky escape.

Wallander arrived somewhat nervously at the restaurant.  They’d arranged to meet for 7:30 and he was a few minutes early.  He hoped they would be able to recognise each other.  If she was as attractive as her voice on the phone had suggested he would have no trouble picking her out, but he hoped she didn’t take one look at him and change her mind.

“Who wants an aging policeman anyway?” he thought.  It had mainly been his daughter Linda’s idea to answer the advert in the Personals section of the paper.  Given his own previous experience with such things he could be forgiven for feeling sceptical.


Read more... )


ingebjorg9: (Don't Panic)
Saturday, April 10th, 2010 03:28 pm
This is a piece I wrote after I saw "The Secret", the final episode in the first series of Wallander.

**Spoiler alert!!!**  Towards the end of the episode Stefan shoots himself because of the dark secret he's been carrying and its consequences.  I found this quite upsetting, not least because he's my favourite character.  Because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to him yet, I wrote this story, which creates an alternative reality in which he doesn't die, and actually has to come to terms with what's happened in his life.

I had the gun to my head and I was waiting for the resolve to pull the trigger.  You see, I didn’t shoot him.  He shot me, but I didn’t return the favour.  And when I crawled out of that animal’s hole, Roffe, that even bigger animal followed in my tracks.  He fired the gun, then came to screw with my head.


Read more... )