Publicity and Privacy as a writer

Eye in front of a fence
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The first week of the year is normally one of the best weeks in my mind. I love planning, setting new goals, getting excited about what the new year has to offer and what I want to accomplish – this has been such a shitty week! You better prepare for some foul language.

There is a great contrast between publicity and privacy in your life when you’re a writer and how we approach that is different from person to person. I started this year with a book release, thought it’d be a fun way to start the year. And as always when you release something you need some publicity or it’s all in vain. If I didn’t want anyone to read my books I wouldn’t publish them so one part of being an author for me is to get people to discover me. Sadly, I suck at it. When I say I’m an introvert, I mean I’m an introvert, not I’m an introvert because that’s what’s writers are supposed to be.

I break out in sweats just logging onto Facebook (though I’m getting better at it, yay me!), if someone knocks on my door my first thought is to hide and pretend I’m not at home, and when it’s time for a get-together of some kind I try to come up with a way to cancel. I could sleep for a week right now because these fucking holidays have stolen every ounce of energy I possessed and I haven’t had time to recuperate – RL work and all.

But the reason I’m so upset right now isn’t due to publicity or lack thereof, it’s because someone touched what’s mine, my private fucking things no one has the right to touch. During New Year I had a few people here. They stayed overnight as often is when it’s New Year and they had phones that needed charging. I wasn’t super pleased to see that they’ve pulled out my phone charger and the cord to my laptop to make room for their phone charger – that actually wasn’t theirs at all but my husband’s and they’d nicked it from his desk – but you don’t make a scene do you?

On the first of January they left and I drew a sigh of relief to have my house back as my own. I sat down and tried getting some people to review Worth His Salt since it was its release day and I hadn’t had the time to reach out to people earlier – those fucking holidays again. The day after I was working and then on the third I sat down to do some graphics for my website. I reached for my drawing pad which is hidden on a shelf by my desk only to realise the cord was missing. I never pull it out, ever.

I have four kids so naturally, my first thought was that one of them had taken it, but that didn’t quite add up. This was in the evening so my husband and I turn on all the lamps in the house and crawled around the floors looking under sofas and tables to see if it somehow had ‘disappeared’ in under there. We couldn’t find it and I had this niggling feeling of something not being quite right about the missing cord. The drawing pad is hidden, it’s up on a shelf tucked away under a few notebooks and some papers, this simply because I have four kids and I know how tempting a pen can be.

My husband looked at the shelf and frowned, then he said it had to be a grownup who had taken it. Three of our four kids don’t reach that high and it isn’t visible where it is so why would the fourth take it? And if he had, he would’ve asked if he could use it, not nicked the cord.

I agreed and a knot formed in my gut. I knew there had been people by my desk – adult people who knew not to touch my stuff. I sent a text to my sister, a ‘Hi, you didn’t happen to take a black USB cord when you were here, did you?’ This was quite late at night so she didn’t respond until the day after when I was at work. First, she sent a ‘No’ then she said she’d ask her friend.

Yes, the friend had it. He’d taken it home with him. Was there a hurry to get it back?

Woman in chains
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I’m so fucking angry. I haven’t been able to sleep this night because at this point I’d fucking kill him if I saw him. There are very few people who manage to rile me up but he could make me commit murder, I’m not kidding. He has gone through my papers, my contracts, a notebook with passwords and shit for my husband if I should happen to die or something, notes about my stories, my goals and dreams, stories I want to write, my journal – everything about my writing life is there – the PRIVATE part of my writing life.

And as I said, one part of being a writer is publicity, but there is a whole lot that’s very VERY private. I’m fucking furious, but what bothers me the most, and perhaps make me even angrier, is that I feel violated. Silly perhaps, but he touched something that’s mine, that he had no right touching, and I bet my ass he knew exactly what he was doing. Why else put everything back the way it was, the drawing pad was back at its normal place, hidden away just that the cord now wasn’t there. This is my stuff – MINE – and they’re private. Not only did he steal from me, he went through my personal stuff.

If this is an indication of how the year will turn out I’ll be in prison before it’s over.

Fucking, thieving, son of a bitch! (Sorry about the language and that the rant ran so long…I still want to commit murder or at least hire an assassin. Anyone happen to know a good one?)

Writer’s Life: How to fit everything in

Writer's Buller JournalI was sitting down to do my weekly spread in my bullet journal and apart from all the everyday stuff (that I haven’t filled out on the picture because you don’t need to know what my kids are up to or what we’re having for lunch) I was gonna fit in my writing. Usually, I have my daily writing goals, my blog posts and social media posts etc planned out. But staring at the spread I came up blank.

I know what I ‘should’ do, but then my MIL is coming and she is my total opposite. Should I go visit someone it would be filled out in my calendar in advance, I’d plan around it, fit my writing goals to cover up for the days I won’t be able to write, would have prepared my blog posts etc. She? She called yesterday evening to say she hasn’t decided if she’ll be coming tomorrow or on Thursday. If she’s gonna stay Tuesday to Thursday (and then she usually stays an additional day or two) or Thursday to Sunday-Monday. So now, since I’m a bit anal, I can’t fill out my calendar.

How am I going to fit everything in when I don’t know what days I have to play with?? Yes, that is panic in my voice. My inner planoholic if having a meltdown, because how am I to cross things off when I can’t write them down?

Well, I have today, that I know. And now, since I wrote this slightly neurotic good-for-nothing blog post I can cross that off my list, and I will, as soon as I’ve posted this, post the next chapter of Eight Feet of Magic on Wattpad – two things down!

Now I just need to write 8.375 words to hit the 45k I was hoping to hit this week…preferably before my MIL arrives.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out, I’m a delight to live with…

Writer’s Life: Five Things a Day

Do you ever get feeling you’re not getting anywhere? I’m one of those people who always has to have a goal. It’s not that I’m competitive, I sometimes wish I was more competitive than I am, but I need to have a project, a goal, something I strive towards.

I always say my life is chaotic and chuckle a little, but it really is chaotic. I have a husband who’s gone Wednesday to Friday one week, Monday to Wednesday the next, and Friday to Monday the one following that. I have a job where I never know from day to day if I’ll be working or not, some days I work 10-12 hours, others I don’t work at all. On top of this, I have four kids, one dog and three cats. It’s how I live, it’s not ideal for me since I’m one of those people who would pack her calendar to bring to a deserted island, but it’s the reality.

Sometimes it makes writing hard, it’s hard to find continuity, it’s hard to keep focus and I often feel as I don’t know where I’m at because I somehow fail to see what I’m doing as a whole. The only thing keeping it together is my indefinite lists, stick-its, journal pages etc.

So this month I’m trying out a new thing – Five Things a Day – to help me keep track of what I’m doing, and so far I really like it.

I was watching a video on youtube by Michelle Chouinard where she showed her writer’s bullet journal, and she was doing this five things a day thing. You can do that about anything you want, doesn’t have to be writing, but it’s to keep track and make sure you do five things every day to move you forward towards your goal.

I stole it from Michelle who stole it from Lawerence Block….so feel free to steal it.

I did one in October as a trial and decided to keep doing it. So here’s my Five Things November tracker. It’s a bit hard to see, but I have writing (of course) plotting, editing, reading, blogging, social media posts because I hate those so they need to go there, mailing to my mailing list, podcasts, info videos etc. You can add whatever you feel like, I’d say, and next month I might have other things in there. I actually have meditation in mine, not really writing related but I put it in there anyway.

And sometimes I don’t do five things, but it’s something to strive for.

Writer’s Life: Preptober Freak-Out

As many of you know November is National (though I would claim it’s a highly international event) Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo. People all over the world sign up to write 50.000 words in thirty days, that’s 1.667 words a day.

You don’t have to be a fiction writer to participate, there are other options – non-fiction, blogging, and I believe there is one for poetry too, though that’s in April (and probably not 1.667 words per day, or maybe it is, what I know.)

You can do anything you want as long as you write. Being in the reading community, I know there are those who do NaNoWriMo book reviews, and why not? As long as you write something, you’re good to go.

I did NaNo in 2015 and 2016 and I want to do it this year too. I told myself there is no way, I simply don’t have the time, but then the other day I signed up. I’m not saying I’ll do 50k in a month but I figured perhaps if I used half of December too… And I told myself to stand a chance I should plot.

I wouldn’t normally call myself a plotter, though perhaps not a pantser either – I usually have a few scenes roughly stretched out, a few cards made up in Scrivener, and then I make up the in-betweens, and most often everything changes along the way LOL.

But this year, since I don’t have any time to waste on coming up with things, I figured I should plot.

I’ve read up on story arcs, hero’s journeys, the sixteen personalities etc and I love doing that. I’ve studied literature at the University and I love reading ‘the behind stuff’. I’ve made notes in my journal, I’ve made notes on stick-it, I’ve drawn a bookshelf with fifty books to represent the 50k words I’m to write (because all the cool girls online have one) but I’m nowhere close to having plotted my story.

Really, two days to go and I don’t know what I’m doing. The consolation; I didn’t the other years either LOL.

Are you writing this year? Add me as a writing buddy! I’m here…I think.

Writer’s Life: Walk into Mordor with me!

“One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor”


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Or maybe one does… As a writer, I spend a lot of time sitting down. If I don’t write, I plan, waste time on social media, read, organise my stick-its and lists (don’t know if I can blame that on being a writer) etc etc. The only thing I do while standing or walking is thinking and listen to podcasts.

I used to walk a lot, not having a driver’s license it’s how I get around, but two years ago we moved out into the woods and since then my walking has dwindled considerably.

Before I walked to the shop, I walked to work, I walked to playgrounds with the kids, and just about anywhere I wanted to go. Here there are no playgrounds, no shops, no real destination, really. Before it was transportation from one spot to another, now it’s something I do when I can fit it into my schedule, but looking at the raindrops crashing on the window it’s easier to convince myself I need to write instead of walk.

But, the thing is that miss walking, and a couple of days ago I stumbled upon a clip on YouTube about a walking challenge.


I’m going to walk into Mordor and I would love it if you did too!


Over at someone has calculated the distance Frodo and his mates walked when going to Mt. Doom and back and then to the Grey Havens. It’s a short little trip of 1779 miles, and I figured a Monday was a good day to start. To make it a little easier they’ve divided the distance into several parts:

  • Hobbiton – Rivendell: 458 miles
  • Rivendell, through Moria, to Lothlorien: 462 miles
  • Lothlorien, down the Anduin, to Rauros Falls: 389 miles
  • Rauros – Mt. Doom: 470 miles
  • Minas Tirith – Isengard: 535 miles
  • Isengard – Rivendell: 693 miles
  • Rivendell – Bag End: 397 miles
  • Bonus! Follow Frodo to the Grey Havens and return home with Sam: 467 miles

So I’m gonna expose my astonishing drawing skills and show you the spread I did in my journal. Each square represents one (at this point, unwalked) mile, and there are 458 squares. I’ll start out easy by walking from Hobbiton to Rivendell *snort*.

Walk into Mordor challenge by Ofelia Gränd

See you there!

Let me know if you’re walking into Mordor, too.

O Gränd – a writer’s body double

Yesterday I sent out an email to my Mailing List where I told everyone that I’m cutting myself in half. It’s not quite as drastic as it sounds, but I’ve created another me. Those of you who have read more than one of my stories know that I tend to be all over the place genre-wise.

I’ve never seen it as a problem, always figured readers will read the blurbs, the categories the story is listed in etc, so despite knowing it goes against all marketing advice out there, I’ve jumped between romance, horror, weird fiction, gay fiction, paranormal and so on. I’ve always kept the MC a gay man (except A Christmas Princess where the MC is a transexual kid) and somehow been thinking that the lgbt flag has been enough to keep it all together.

Lately, however, the one-star reviews including warnings to the fellow readers out there about this not being romance story have left me a bit puzzled. Most of them make me laugh, but despite me finding it comic that someone is looking for romance in horror flash fiction the rating is still there and a reader is out there feeling cheated.

I talked to my writer buddies about it, because what more can I do than write THIS IS HORROR? They suggested removing the dark and horror stories without romantic elements from my name and put them on another. I thought about it for a while and then I did, because what do I have to lose? Except for the time of keeping two names going instead of one, not much. So meet O Gränd.

O Gränd

O Gränd—writer of coffee break sized fiction

O Gränd is an introvert living deep in the Swedish woods. She spends most of her days staring at the computer screen and dreaming up characters. Placing her writing in a particular genre is hard, though most of her stories lean towards the dark side and they’re most often short.

She likes the challenge of telling a story in just a few pages and has had some of her works published in a Canadian flash fiction magazine.

When she isn’t caught up in her writing, she is spending time with her husband, their four kids, three cats, one dog, and a various number of fishes.




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