Maiju’s Teapot 14/7/2017 Things I Learned Today…

Things I learned today
Are all such one can read from the bottom of a teacup.

That leaving chocolate chip biscuits on the stove will turn them heavenly.

That apples fall if you drop them but you should rather eat them.

That there is a well at the bottom of the teacup and that is where stories come from.

And that well is bottomless.

And you should never question tealeaves.

And you should always catch and eat apples.

And you should always, always leave chocolate chip biscuits on the stove.


Maiju’s Teacup 8/5/2017


Today there’s hibiscus in my teacup. I took stock of all of the tea I have left and found this and a lot more tea in my cupboard. I did finally manage to fit my teas on three shelves (see photo at the end of post). That’s totally a miracle, as I used to have two whole cupboards of the stuff in my last flat, and those cupboards had much deeper shelves than these.

I’ve been trying to avoid reading Marie Brennan’s In the Sanctuary of Wings. The trouble is, it’s the last book in the series and I totally and utterly do not want for the series to end. The protagonist claims that who would be interested in reading about her dull experiences in the ordinary day life of a scholar: I WOULD!!!

But yeah, I get it. It’s good for series to end at some point and good for the author to be able to move onto the next thing which inspires her. I’ve just enjoyed the Lady Trent series so much that I’m going to miss it a lot.

I love fantasy series with female protagonists. They aren’t as rare anymore, but when I started reading fantasy, there were a lot of books about teenage boys and young men finding, fighting, flying dragons. It might have been just the selection of books the local library had decided on. But still, when I grew up, fantasy was considered somewhat of a boy’s department. Well, I never cared for such “rules” and read everything anyway. But I love series such as Lady Trent and Kristen Britain’s The Green Rider. The next part of The Green Rider is waiting for me on my eReader so when I’ve finished at least one book, I get to start that.

Another writer who has always been close to my heart, surprise surprise, is Neil Gaiman. I requested our library to get his The View from the Cheap Seats, which is a collection of his non-fiction. Speeches and introductions etc. I requested the book a year ago when it came out and finally last week the library got it (I guess they had to wait for the paper back edition). I’ve been taking my time, reading those pieces as inspiration and, I guess, when I would like a few moments to talk with a friend.

I have never met Mr. Gaiman (though he was at Hay Festival a few years ago, but missed him because of my friend’s sister’s pesky high school graduation party πŸ˜‰ ). But before I read his novels, I never really believed anyone could actually be interested in the stuff I really wanted to write. I hadn’t ever read (nor ever since) quite something like what he wrote, except that they resonated with my dreams and the stories I made up in my mind.

I think I found his blog a few months after he started writing it and I kept going back to it. Reading the non-fiction collection reminds me of those “good old days” when he blogged, if not daily, at least weekly. I get nostalgic about events that he describes which I first read about in his blog. It’s fun to actually read the speeches that he mentioned having given. It also reminds me of the person I was at the time when I first read about them. That’s why I feel like reading The View from the Cheap Seats is a much more social experience than your regular book.

I guess I’m even writing this blog because I used to read Mr. Gaiman’s blog (well, still do, if he ever blogs).

Alright, still daylight left to write (two hours, the sun barely sets anymore).


Maiju’s Teacup 3/5/2017


So, my morning tea nowadays is a very nice Darjeeling First Flush I’ve bought, at some point, from Kofeiinikomppania in Oulu. It’s really nice, fresh and does not crave milk. I started reading Victor Hugo’s The Notre-Dame of Paris (which is the same as The Hunchback of Notre Dame). The edition I have is in Finnish and it has been printed in 1915. Someone has added an Ex libris on the name page which says the previous (or at least probably the first owner) got it in the summer of 1918.

I have always had a very warm relationship with Victor Hugo. Up until I read Les Miserables when I was 13, I did not really believe I was into thick and long classics. I had only ever read Montgomery, Alcott, Finnish YA novels and The Lord of the Rings. I revelled in Les Miserables. It’s just so beautiful. I read several of Victor Hugo’s novels and plays after that, made a presentation of him for class in school and named my second goldfish after Victor Hugo’s father (Leopold Sigismund – now that’s a perfect name for a goldfish). I read this book then as well, but a later, corrected translation that I borrowed from the library. I got this edition a few years later.


Yesterday, when I got the first rejection letter for my novel, it did two things for me. The first was to ground me, and the second one to motivate me.

In the evening I filled out a few job applications and tomorrow I have my first interview for a job. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s more money. It’s a year-long contract with a steady salary and extra rewards for good work. That’s more than I got from my last job.

The motivation bit is a really good thing. I occasionally feel a bit anxious about whether or not I’m ever going to make it. And it’s sometimes hard to start writing. I experienced that feeling today. But I had to only glance at the letter, to feel a surge of energy and start writing again. It sort of clears my head.

And I’m really glad. I did not know how it would affect me, having never done this before. I feared that when someone rejected my novel, I’d crumble in a heap and hide and think I will never ever get anything published. But really, if anything, the opposite has happened. I know I am a writer. I know my text is good enough to be published. It’s just going to take some time to find the right fit of a publisher. And until then, I’m going to write.

Maiju’s Teacup 2/5/2017


It feels like someone would just casually go ahead and stab me with a dagger and then saunter past not even bothering to glance back. It feels like climbing a mountain for years and years and someone already on the top of it giving me a little push downhill just as I’m reaching the treeline.  It feels like those things and many more which I just can’t bother to type right now because what’s the point of writing. 

So, I received my first rejection letter for my novel. I have drained three of those teamugs (black Tetley with honey and milk) after the fact (hour and a half ago). And yet, I don’t feel desperate. I just feel sad that someone read my story and didn’t think it good enough. And I know this is not the last time it’ll happen, but it’s the first, so I’m going to revel in my self pity and eat a lot of chocolate and drink a lot of tea and down a few gins tonight.

But. What I actually really feel like is writing.  

Maiju’s Teacup 28/3/2017


March is over soon!! Come back March! Although I miss the hour stolen by daylight “saving” more than the month. I think I got quite a lot done in March. Besides finishing a pretty good edit of the novel manuscript, I wrote several short stories and read enough books.

April’s going to be yet another writing month. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to at least try to get 1K words written per day.

I’m reading Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast As You CanΒ and she mentions a writing technique that I realise I’ve pretty much been using successfully. It’s funny (not) how you can read about a thing and when you try the thing in the framework of it’s thing-yness, it doesn’t work. But when you work for a few years and come up with the same thing yourself, only more in your own framework, it works like a charm.

The cat is doing a bit poorly at the moment, but we are going to the vet tomorrow for blood tests. I fear she might have anemia, but I’ll be relieved if it’s just that. I’m a bit mad at myself and the previous vet that they didn’t take the tests last time. It would have saved me a trip and a lot of worry and money. But I’m progressing with reading Middlemarch. Apparently I only read it when the cat is sick.

Anyway, I’m going to try to keep writing yet a bit more today, surprise.

The huge mug of tea (my regular size = 1 litre) is Tetley black tea with milk and a bit of brown sugar. Yes, it’s that kind of day.

Maiju’s Teacup 19/3/2017

Well, technically it’s 20th already as it’s 1 am… 

I’m drinking a cup of TeaWitty’s nightime tea to calm down. 

I decided to spend today self-caring and finish reading a book. I did. After that I felt so relaxed that I polished my novel synopsis and sent the manuscript to one publisher. It’s the first place I’ve sent it to and it feels like a huge leap. 

I’m kinda terrified that my manuscript is waiting in the inbox of an unknown person but kinda exhilarated and relieved. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this but I guess the first time is the hardest.

A friend tweeted me that she’s been following my journey on Twitter and it inspired her to dig out some old drafts. I really love the idea that my random tweets can have such an effect. So I will keep randomly tweeting and blogging 😊

Maiju’s Teacup 17/3/2017

It’s more like the whole pot today. What else would one do on St. Patrick’s Day than wear green, drink tea and listen to Irish trad music? (Oh, Guinness. Right.)

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everyone! 

The tea is TeaWitty’s Natural Glowing Tea. While I hope I will not actually find myself glowing in the dark tonight, the tea is delicious! Last summer I put a teaspoon of the stuff every night in my water bottle and by morning I had delicious cold steep tea (is there a word for that, I wonder?).

Today I’ll be continuing the next novel, which does not have a title,  not unlike the first one. Or the first one has a “Anne of Green Gables” type working title. I really need to get on that.

Tonight I’m heading to the opening event of Vaasa LittFest. I know, not as impressive as those friends who are enjoying London Book Fair but it’s the most literary event this town has. The years I’ve made it there, it’s been excellent. 

This year I hope to badger my author friends about sending their first novels to publishers. Because I should but I’m scared shitless, to put it nicely…