6 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

To celebrate me signing a new employment contract, I invited my parents and brother out on a nice restaurant. Afterwards we strolled in a winter wonderland a la Christmas.

Things to look out for in a contract

While signing quite a few contracts, I have learnt the importance of actually looking over it very carefully before putting my signature on that line at the end of the paper. My boyfriend and in general people in position of recruiting, have revealed to me that there are in fact a great amount of people who simply trust the employer. Some which just neatly write their signature on the last paper without even reading the contract. Imagine my astonishment to this. 

Personally, I know too many which have been screwed over by an employer and of course, I have been facing difficult situations as well. I know the trust we have when we are eager, finally getting this job we have dreamt of. It is thrilling and the last thing we want to do, is to point out a missing little line in the contract which we find unnecessary at the moment. But honestly, even if everything is amazing at the beginning (as it should be!) – chances are unfortunately that this will not be the case when we talk of the quitting process. See it as a marriage. When we get married we are all happy and grateful for everything. But when approaching a divorce we may witness parts of each other which we do not appreciate so much. 

1.Job Description

What are our tasks? What is expected from us? This is one of the most important things to have written in those contract papers. Otherwise, even if we trust our employers, they may be able to change what we do at work. Suddenly even if we were supposed to organize meetings, we may end up doing something completely different. I know from personal experience the importance of really knowing the words in the contract, and make sure that they are there. 

Additionally, the employer will not be able to use us for precisely everything if the job description is precise. One favorite I find among contracts is ”typical work of an *blabla* and everything surrounding it.” I know it is hard to point out the fact that we want another way of describing our type of work and work tasks that are this diffusive – but I promise it is important. Again, I do have a great understanding that the last thing we want to appear in an interview, is being too demanding. Specifically when it is our dream job or simply that we are desperate to get a job, this job. 

2. Job Title

Not only is this an official title we can write on LinkedIn, but one which will remain on our business cards and resume. Before, I did not use to put a lot of energy in what title I had, more of what I was supposed to execute at work. How I would spend my days. In a way, that is a way to go. But let’s face it. There are many titles while the work may be the same. Therefore, today, I am a bit more selective to point out that I would prefer a specific title before signing the contract. If I am a business developer and the employer wants to recruit me as a seller, I would not again agree to this. If I do the work of a business developer, then I want to be credited as one. So, I admit I did this ”mistake.” However, I will not be doing it again. 

I think the same goes with being a salesman. There are tons of different ones and I would, like I said, not accept a title which does not describe my precise position. This would be an advice I give to you to actually look over. Even if the job opportunity is written in a post in the newspaper, business blog or whatever does advertise for a specific title – it is negotiable. After we have sold us in for the job and it is ours – we just say we want to be titled for what the role is. Of course we shall be realistic. We may not claim to be called for a CEO when we in fact sit in the reception dialing phone calls throughout the day. No, what I wanted to emphasize was the lack of many employers not giving the title to an employer which they deserve! Keep this in mind, please. I know that there is a discussion of inflation of titles thrown out as well, but I preferred pointing out the opposite here.

3. Salary (and what goes in it + how to get it) 

Salaries can vary a lot. It may be based on provision, bonuses, an hourly wage or a monthly one. This will differ a lot. As a month where there are less days is a month we would have earned to have a monthly salary while a month where there are more hours – we would win with an hourly wage. Also with provision, it is important to really read into this. What is required and what happens if we do not manage fulfilling this result every single month? Is there a floor preventing us to fall into the basement? And what happens if we crush the roof and needs to aim for the sky? Will it benefit us or is there a protective and rock solid unmovable roof? In the excitement – READ this and if we do not understand it fully, ASK. Frankly, when reading these lines, we should be able to interpret them correctly. It should really not be a job for a lawyer. Because that screams trouble already then. 

Many times there are lunch included/excluded in the job deal. Phone bills, a quite new but common thing to have included. I think it is very important to have this particular one in your contract. As if not, while the employer promises to pay the bill and actually does so, we will still be the loser in the end when quitting if the employer suddenly decides to make a major cut in our last salary. Now claiming that since this is not written in the contract, the company has its’ right to reclaim this money. Yup, it has not happened to me but I know from friends that this is such a huge yet tiny thing to point out. And crucial. Love that word. But it is very suitable here. Because it is crucial. 50 bucks in phone salary each month which the company pays for, will be quite a lot if we have worked there for over a year and the employer wants to regain it. 

Here are some questions that also must be answered in an employment contract. 

What happens if we will go on maternity leave? What happens if we get sick? Vacation? WHAT is included in this job opportunity? If we are not happy with what is written down, we may negotiate with the employer. It is not at all an impossibility to get what we want. Well, often we need to prove it then with good sales skills of what we deserve. But still, if we are good with negotiating a contract, these are typical stuff we can expand. 

Another important line I do know many companies offer are vehicles. How does those papers look like? Gasoline, gas station card and insurances? What are the rules to this? I know many people just think the obvious here; that everything is included and pinkish heaven. The employer may even assure us that. But, he or she does not in fact assure us that before we have it on a written paper with both signatures. 

Remember other stuff which often are included when starting at a working place: IDs, transport (do we need to use a cab when heading to meetings and who will pay for it?), products and clothing or shoes. Also, keep in mind if one of these things go missing. Will it be up to us to adjust this and open our wallets or does the company? 

4. Start (and end) date + notice period

As simple as it sounds. So, when do we start working? Is it a limited period of time? And how does the notice period look like? Here we must check what happens if we quit our jobs for example on the tenth of October. If we for example have three months notice, does it mean we work October, November, December and until tenth January? Another way can be that quitting when already starting a new month means that the notice period first begins when November starts. Which means with a three months notice period, we would work until last January/1st February. As it means that our quitting statement starts taking place 1st November, even if we officially did quit our job two weeks prior to this. 

And, remember that even if we quit by saying so by mouth: it is important to do this by a written form. Again, as proof if something somehow would go wrong. The employer may brush it off and wave at our arrival with the piece of paper as we carefully knock on their door. And they may claim that they do not need it. Here, we must politely insist that the employer takes it anyhow. Or, send an email. Just do it in a written form regardless of how. First, I recommend of course to reveal our quitting confirmation by talking face to face. But afterwards, it is important to follow up with a written form. An example can be to write ”As we spoke of, I (name) have now decided to quit (+date),” and here we must add our signature. Get it from the employer as well. If done professionally, leave them a copy and keep the original. – Or, do this on two papers. 

By now, we have read the agreements on starting period and perhaps an ending one. Regardless, another check is to make sure what hours we work. Is this a work where we will work 24/7, or is it strictly from 8.am to 4.pm with thirty minutes lunch? Alright, and then what happens when we travel for conferences further away? We may even have to stay at a hotel for a few days for this cause. Keep this in mind. Is the schedule flexible? Often when the work really is based on results, typically those hours will expand or change somehow. Talk with the employer and ask how the others do their work and what will be expected of ourselves as we start here. Also, is there a learning process included? How long and is it paid (as we should demand)? 

Also, notable thing to mention. Check the schedules if we are supposed to work on weekends/nights and holidays. What is expected really? What does the contract say? It does not matter that the employer promises us only working one weekend each month. Because what happens when two coworkers decide to quit, I can assure you that suddenly the employer has forgotten all about his promise and since it is not noted in the contract – we can forget all about it. Also check out that if we do not have a mon-fri work sort of job but one that also contains weekends or evenings – check the salary. We want more money to work on ”uncomfortable” hours. Or, do we not? In addition: location should be noted. Where do we work? The company may have different offices and where will ours be? Across the city or right on the next street to our house? 

5. Clausules 

Typically when accepting a new job, this is not the department among the pages we are looking for. So we have checked the salary, which is great, the hours and in general everything seems to be alright. This is a part of the contract many people just browse with not that focused eyes. And I want to remind that this is after all yet another important deal. Well, according to my opinion every single written word in a contract is important. 

Here the employer may bring up that they do not accept us working part time elsewhere. Or creating our own business. Maybe also that when we quit, we sign onto having a certain amount of time pass before we are allowed to start working for a competing company. As we can see, this is a heavy part of the contract. Specially if we are keen on maybe freelancing a little and try our wings with our own company. It can be as simple as creating a grayish zone if we decide to help out a friend and get paid for it. If the employer finds out, and as result that he or she may not be happy about it, we see the employer angrily point her/his fingertip against this section in the contract to remind us what agreement we have broken. Please, do not end up in that position. 

If we consider working elsewhere too or simply are suspecting we may be eager to have a paid hobby in the future, it is often not harmful to bring this up to the employer and ask them write differently. Of course, we must ensure the employer that this other hobby will not be in the way of the daily work. But after signing the papers as they are and afterwards still work elsewhere too, it can really end badly. For both parts. Chances that the employee will get caught is from what I have seen something that is not too unlikely. We never know about who knows whom and what locations our employer or coworker hangs out at around midnight on that particular Thursday. Really, we will regret it awfully much if we would get caught with a misdeed. 

6. Sign Every Paper We Read

After reading each paper and we agree to the terms; we sign each paper. Many people may raise their eyebrows at this, but I think it is a very smart move. That way, no part can add or remove a paper from the pile. Every page we read we sign (if agreeing). And when we are done, we get the original and the employer gets the copy. At least, I have not experienced a case where it is the opposite. 

Do not ever leave the contract there because the employer wants to sign it another day. Do not EVER let that happen. If that happens we suggest that we can return another day and go through the contract. Even better, let them send it to us through email and that we can return another day to sign it and print it out at their office. In any case, both parts need to be there to sign it at the same time. It is never acceptable to leave a contract with only one signature. We can never assure that there will be no change. Because when both lines are signed, that is the official agreement. And if new words are added or removed, we return home and cry our eyes out. Now, we do not want that, do we? So – always sign the contract with the boss together! And read the contract! 

Good Luck

Lastly, I hope this opened our minds for a more analytical head. I wish you good luck with your new job or simply new contract at the same work place. I wish you get what you wish for and that this text helped you know a little better what to look out for and the reason why it is so crucial. And – read the contract. 🙂 

Love, Emelena

7 GOALS AND HOW TO ACHIEVE THEM

Last winter we stayed at a friend’s house in the Norwegian mountains up in the north. It was truly like a fairytale cottage.

Goals and How to Achieve Them

Happy New Year! A new year and new challenges! This is often a moment of time when many people sit down to reflect over the past year, the future and try to set new goals. Personally I tend to do this at the end of every summer, however this year I wanted to try setting a few goals from the start of the year, which will last until the end of it. 

As I like to start the posts – let’s grab a cup of cocoa (or coffee/tea) and hopefully view a wonderful winter wonderland, as we go through this article together. I will share some ideas and thoughts on how to achieve the goals that we now are setting for the year to come. 

1.Long-Term

In general, these are less stressful than short-term goals. Obviously because we know if we miss doing this or that a particular day, we will probably get another opportunity along the day. In short-term it may be it. No more chance. And that knowledge can be stressful, also resulting in us performing less than we otherwise would have. 

A mindset to develop, and also a suggestion of mine, is to think ”A little each day”. Having a bit of discipline in performing perhaps 10 minutes each day, rather than finishing the whole task in a week. I think achieving those 10 minutes will boost our confidence kind of as much as if we wrapped up the to-do in a short time. Reaching our goals, growing towards them step by step boosts our confidence. It makes us more confident in taking on a new goal afterwards as we will have more confidence in achieving that goal too. 

A mindset I go by and recommend all of us to have, is – ”What do I wish tomorrow that I did today?”. This can help in situations where we stand between choosing going to the gym or not. What do we wish for tomorrow’s outcome? Will we be happy to have dodged the gym and saved up some energy for tomorrow? Or do we need to pump ourselves with energy for the gym? Do we need to get into a peaceful mood or a prepped one? 

Another example can also be when it comes to those 10 minutes. When we look back to today, tomorrow – do we wish we did something to work on our goals during 10 minutes or not? Suddenly 10 minutes may not seem like such a big deal and we are able to sit down to write that assignment, walk that powerwalk or take that phonemail after all. And again, afterwards we may feel pride and successful in achieving our goals. Even if we are far from crossing the line of our long-term goal, we know that we are on our way to do it. That is why I recommend us doing 10 minutes each day, rather than 0 to 20 every second day. Doing 10 minutes each day reminds us daily of how we grow towards what we want to succeed at. 

2. Motivate Us

Some people point out the fact that we cannot be motivated 100% of the time. I suppose I agree. Some may be able to, but I dare to guess the majority may not. So, what do we do? – We realize the difference when we instead swift the word to discipline. Having discipline, is to do something when we do not want to. Some days when we just really do not want to do something and yet do it, that is when we grow on our discipline mind. 

To make it slightly easier, we can ask ourselves questions like: ”How does this help us? How do we grow to a better person by doing this/achieving this goal?”. Find positive reasons. If we find the reasons as to why the goal and process are two important things for us, it will be somewhat easier to energize us and see the reason why we do this. It is important though to have a true positive reason. This way we will continuously remind ourselves as to why this goal is important and we will want to achieve the sensation of success. 

Took this photo during a walk up in the mountains. It looks lovely, does it not?

3. The Beauty of Habits

I wanted to emphasize us making an action plan. How do we achieve these goals? What is required and what shall we put an extra effort with? A notable famous quote, is the saying of ”If we want a different outcome, we must change something. Only a fool will do the same thing twice and expect a different result.” Is this not highly relatable to aim for completing goals correctly? If we do not naturally in our daily life (for example) manage to save a certain amount of money which we aim to do this particular year. Obviously something must change for us to do this? Right? 

We start with our habits to begin with. If we have three goals for 2019, it can be a handful for us to start off trying to manage all three of them. I suggest us to begin with one of them and completing one each. Also, just reading the letters of our goals may stress us somewhat. We may not even know where to start, and that can be overwhelming. Instead we can see the routines/habits we must create to let some space into our lives for these causes. It is said to take about 21 days for each habit to be. 

For example, if we want to feel more focused, read more and save X amount of money, we must divide these goals into habits. Perhaps that extra grocery shopping can be cut into a more planned one? We can look for coupons or something else that can lessen the price and amount of money we spend on food? Maybe have a stricter budget when it comes to shopping? Cutting the credit card and only go by debit? Instead of saving at the end of every month, let’s start every month with saving X amount of money. 

And if we want to be more focused… what can we do? What is required? A different type of intake of food, better sleep and better activities? Alright, what does this mean? Gym, comfier bed, stricter when going to bed, eating last meal by 7 pm and prepare a meal for the after without? Then we must look at out schedule and try to map it out. How can we make a day go by and do all of this? And if we want to read more, maybe we can fit this into the last moments of every day, as a result calming us down and making us fall asleep. Further result in increasing our sleep quality? And we will feel energized to exercise in the morning? Start with one habit and master it fully before taking on another one. Achieving goals most of the time do mean a change in our daily life. Otherwise we would have piled those goals on a growing shelf already. 

4. Why? 

Ask the why question. ”I want to earn tons of money!” – ”Why?” ”Because I want to buy X and Y,” – ”Why?”. ”Because I want to..,” and so on. Eventually with every goal, and with every why-question, we tend to end up at a certain feeling. This do not only help us point out a true goal, it may even change our goals when we realize that all we want is a sensation of happiness. Regardless, it develops a road to our goal and we see and feel a sensation towards our goal instead of just a written line that is supposed to make us magically be motivated. Instead, these feelings can help us to remain being motivated, or rather using my favorite word; ”Disciplined,” when we are not in the right mood. 

Because there may be a moment we cross, when we think ”Nah, I do not need ten grand, and I might as well just cross that line to go on for the next one.” But suddenly, we do remember that we wrote that goal because we wanted to prepare our parent’s home, because they need it. And we will feel genuine happiness when being able to help them out. Suddenly that goal will stay important and we will put an extra effort, again, to reach it. 

5. Be Specific

There is a great difference between having an unspecific goal versus a specific one. Example can be: being more active versus always taking the stairs. One is concrete and the other one is a bit loose. This will dissolve when we come to those situations where we can choose either the elevator or the stairs. If we specifically have said to always choose the stairs, we will choose the stairs and as result be more active. If we had not defined it, chances are that we may never have thought about taking the stairs during that moment. Just to clarify a simple daily thing that can be chosen in different ways. 

6. Unrealistic Goals

I have noticed many people urging others to never aim for ”unrealistic goals”. Hmm… is there really any unrealistic goals? I firmly believe the impossible is possible, yes – quoting Selena. But really, with the mindset that there would be unrealistic goals, it would mean that we are overly limited. If we budge those so-called limitations, there is a whole new world to explore. I suggest us to remove that mindset and instead believe everything is possible. Because everything IS possible!

How I cope with ”greater” goals (yes, that is a much better word), is that I tend to give them a bit of more time. Claiming that I shall be the president next year would of course be a possibility, but I rather lessen the pressure on me so I would rather set in within a 20 year old span of time. Instead focus on attractive attributes for that role within perhaps a shorter amount of time. Like picking a piece of that long term goal and set that one for year 2019. 

This is also the reason why I have chosen not to bring up the S M A R T model here. It talks a lot of realistic goals and I just want to remove that mindset completely. 

This cottage… Reminded me of one that goes in my family in Finland. Here I brewed coffee in the early mornings to enjoy by myself. I would use the time wisely for reflection, some imagining and of course – writing. 

7. Visualize

Law of attraction, which I personally believe in. At least it has worked with me when I really have put an effort into it. Visualizing what we dream of as if we already have it. We will behave like we have accomplished this and there are many informations about how this thing works. Like a mindset being ”Magical” and we attract what we focus on. Which I also think scientifically can be a truth. 

At least, this puts me in a very happy mood and as result, usually helps me achieve whatever I have put my mind to. I believe in the saying that ”I will.” Not ”I would like to,” or ”I might,” but ”I WILL!”

I have tried to bring out different tips and tricks in how we can grow as persons when it comes to goal setting. To sum it up, my personal opinion is that twisting goals into habits is what is required to have a working plan. 2019 has begun and I believe that we together can go through this. 

Love, Emelena 

Merry Christmas

Captioned a snap in Norway’s Christmas Land during an early morning.

Merry Christmas! 

It is precisely a year ago since I crossed that hospital corridor with my father, for a last time meet my grandfather. Talk about Christmas forming into a forever special day in my heart. I cherish this day. Some families are lucky enough to afford giving each other gifts, some are not. One thing I wish though is for each family to be able to spend this holiday with each other. A person is missing in mine, but the rest of us are together. In the Christmas holidays I wanted to share some inspiration of what we can do for personal self development! As writers.

At the Royal Castle. 

1.Welcoming a New Person

This can be a new partner to one of our relatives. Maybe it is the person’s first Christmas. Belonging to the main family, I am always very open and extra welcoming to this person. It takes a lot of courage to meet the partner’s family for the first, second and perhaps third time. Usually we want to make a good impression and do feel a bit of pressure. Therefore I try to show the person he or she is very welcome in our home. 

One thing to really remember is the name. Imagine something more awkward than for example mixing the person with another person, or actually not just remembering it at all. When someone knows the name and actually pronounces it correctly, we do tend to feel flattered and, maybe not ”special” but at least very welcome, and approved. Christmas for me represents a beautiful love that we share among each other. It is a perfect moment to pull one tight to our side for a warm hug, give lovable words and show each other that we care for one another.

2. Get Inspiration as a Writer

Some countries and families have a tradition of giving each other a book, which every person reads before going to bed on Christmas Eve. The holidays often mean (but not for everyone!) a lot of free time. This is a great time to have that alone walk and just stroll in silence, check out the new sceneries surrounding the neighborhood and perhaps picture a story going on. 

There is a lot of time for watching movies. A time where all family members can bunker up in the living room and together share an experience – watching a classic Christmas movie. According to me, this is the hight of Christmas coziness. A bowl of popcorn and chocolate pralines that often is from a Christmas gift from under the tree. Lovely. I tend to get loads of ideas flowing in my mind after watching an old movie.

3. The Spirit

In general, people may appear more stressed. But also friendlier. It is after all Christmas, a period of time where we tend to smile a bit more and welcome each other. Although even if we so take that stressful person, we can get an opportunity in finding characters for our stories. People bring out their strong personalities. If it is behind the Christmas gift game and the competitive side appears, the overly happy one, the one who feels blessed by all lovable relatives, the one who hates Christmas and everything that has to do with it. There are a lot of things to notice in a short span of time, which can help a writer who quickly needs a character. Just pick one during Christmas time. 

So, this was a shorter portion of what I tend to offer in my posts. However it is enough for what I will deliver during Christmas. I am wrapping up with a lovely dinner in company of my family and relatives. Tomorrow my boyfriend is coming over because we are traveling to both the Alps and to Rome, Italy for New Year’s Eve. 

Merry Christmas

Love, Emelena

EMAIL PITCHING OR COLD CALLING?

Sharing a few photos from a late summer evening out with me in the old city of Genova, Italy. 

Email Pitching or Cold Calling?

Which alternative of these two is the ultimate one? Not so uncommonly, this is a question many sellers face when realizing they need to reach out to potential clients and set up either a meeting or sell right away. After my fair experience in different areas as a saleswoman, I think I am ready to share my opinions on this matter. 

Obviously there are cons and pros with both, with the ability to switch one of the cons into the other’s pros. So, here it goes. 

Email Pitching Pros

    • Timesaving. Reaching out to more in less time.
    • Better choice when scared of calling by phone.
    • Afraid of conflict.
    • We are better in written format than by speech.
    • Socially scared.
    • We can take our time in figuring out a decent reply to whatever they answer.
    • The prospect may read this when it suits the person.
    • We can get a positive respond a long time ahead when the potential client feels ready to meet us.
  • Chances are higher they snap up every little detail in our written format rather than hearing a salesperson’s voice through phone.

Email Pitching Cons

    • A no is harder to change.
    • When receiving a dismissing response, we may not know the reason why and how we can improve when reaching out to the next one on our list.
    • If sent out to a great mass and there is the slightest grammar mistake or typo of any kind, every single email may contain it. Also, requires much attention to write correct spelling in names and such matters we regard.
    • The email account can get marked as spam if used incorrectly. (Which is rather easy when sending out a massive amount of emails to different people. Annoy a few and it is marked).
    • Email pitching requires a certain mysterious yet informative talent when writing the pitch. (Perhaps we can get into that in another post?).
    • There is a risk that we will not get any kind of response back at all.
    • If our company has a bad reputation, it will be greatly shown when the curious prospect googles the company.
  • The prospect may forget about responding as it is busy and suddenly the email gets deleted by mistake.

Cold Calling Pros

    • We speak directly to the prospect and get an image of the person by its voice.
    • A chance to manage convincing the person when he or she tries to dismiss us.
    • In cases of dismissal, finding out when or how we can contact them again.
    • Letting us know who the person we shall contact is, if he or she is not the correct person. Perhaps even if someone is on vacation and when we can expect to be able to reach the person at work.
    • Sharing a friendly conversation and grow a ”personal” relationship – also known as, getting a like.
    • This is personal for me, but I get energy from speaking with people.
  • We are amazing speakers with a pleasant tone and voice, gaining attention. This is our call.

Cold Calling Cons

    • It is time consuming.
    • Every time we pick up the phone we inwardly cringe and literally hate it.
    • Simply we are not a good enough speaker.
    • Not quick enough to come up with spot on replies.
    • Not comfortable or have skills enough to turn the prospect’s nos into yeses.
    • The prospect might be totally busy and therefore do not listen to what great words we really tell them. They may have been interested on another day but are totally in a bad mood this particular moment when we called.
    • They forget who we are five seconds after hanging up and will not remember our services two days after when realizing it is precisely what they need for their company.
    • They mark us as a seller at once and do not want to continue hearing because of the bad reputation many sellers has dragged down into the mud. Therefore believing we only want to fool them.
    • They get no chance to regret their response by checking up what we really are about before agreeing to meeting us/buying from us.
  • Gatekeepers that refuse letting us pass.

Just a few mentioned in each category. Surely there are tons of positive views and negative views on each. Some people urge that cold calling is timeless. It always works and always will work. That it will remain the best way to reach out to new potential clients.

On another hand. Some bosses believe email pitching is the new revolutionary thing in technology and that cold calling is as good as dead. They think this is the kinder version to costumers and that every seller manages to get the word out to more costumers.

So really – what is my personal opinion?

Many buildings appear like coming straight out of a movie. 

My Story

I have worked as a door to door salesman. It was fun, I learned to become quick-witted and rather ballsy. Utterly daring and outgoing, totally crushing my reputation as a shy girl and I loved every moment spent on work. Interacting with clients was fun and every car ride out to a neighborhood left me with a rushing wave of happiness.

Back in my home country I figured out one thing. I quickly knew working within telemarketing would not be something for me. Sitting beside a phone in front of a computer or notebook, dialing calls every hour awake to talk, talk and talk. Because my voice has never been my greatest strength. I do not want to sit here and say my tone sucks, but rather that my writing skills and interacting face to face are two of my attributes I know give higher results. Thereof the analyzed decision to actually become a door to door salesman.

As I later chose my work at this commercial real estate firm, working for their database – my responsibility was to be ”head” responsible for expanding the department regarding all suppliers getting involved when a company moves. I never want to speak bad of an employment, so this was just a mere misunderstanding during our interviews. Probably because my boss was an amazing talker in the phone and that it never crossed his mind that everybody clearly is not. Me included. So when I brought up the question if I would work as a ”booker”, or had to pitch on phone, I got the reply no. Feeling relieved after the clear words ”You will simply head from meeting to meeting holding a business presentation,” I thought, ”This sounds too good to be true. How easy!”. Well, it was kind of too good to be true. – Also a note to why I will ask straight for what responses and expectations employers will have for me before signing contracts in the future.

Rather quickly it came out that those meetings would be appointments I would book for myself. Alright. With a twitched nose I examined the front-page of Google and realized I would have to find every single client myself. And contact them. My boss wanted me to call them. As I tried so, clearly outside my comfort zone, I was taken as a salesman the prospect absolutely did not want anything to do with. I tried, I tried and I tried. I got an appointment here and there but it was simply not working. I tried to find some coaching and eventually turned to my boyfriend for advice (as he literally is the best motivating coach with good inputs when it comes to sales as a person possibly can be).

Doing these calls over and over again, fearing dismissals (as I struggle with fearing failure…) I was yet determined I would make this, that I would succeed. That is how I work. Whatever mission I take under my arms is something I am determined to finish, following the saying “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” However this was not a working strategy from my part and I decided to send out a few emails. Just a few. I googled around for good information in how to shape the pitch email and eventually I got my first respond.

I remember the shock on my face as I returned from the office room surrounded by glass, completely silent to shut out any noise and any other chatting seller. This time my heart raced as I saw the notification and surely, a prospect wanted to set an appointment with me! Instead of jumping around the office yelling ”I told you so!” I was quick to analyze what I did right here. Why did this particular client answer and how can I repeat receiving yeses? Soon I found my perfect email pitch and sent it out, turning my rate of getting a yes by every 7th phone call to get a yes from 75-90% of all emails I sent out.

Soon I had gotten courage enough to even dial the rest 10-25% and wonder why they had not answered or why they said no, sometimes leading to another appointment anyhow. My confidence was on top and suddenly I began filling my calendar with meetings. Talk about feeling proud as I did right then and there.

The funniest part was a particular one. I had called him probably around five times by this time in late spring. I had tried so many times to tell him that I wanted to set up a business meeting with him. Rather rudely, he neglected me each time and rarely let me finish. When coming out from an appointment I see not only the response from him to my email, but that he had called me three times! He wanted an appointment with me that badly! The person who was rude to me, that I had begged to meet five times now suddenly almost took a cab straight to my office just to see me?!

One time later at the day we had planned on having a meeting, he showed me around the company. Which in fact most of the clients do when I am welcomed to their office, building or factory. The grand tour, so to speak, when they show everything and I get a few samples of coffee, furniture advice or office items to bring home with me. Not only was the appointment a true success, me totally clicking with the owners, the CEO and the head of marketing in this conference room. One of them even drove me back to my office in his private car. Right then when jumping out of it, I thought of how ironical the scenario turned from being unpleasant to a complete positive and happy success. Just because I actually tried a different way. The email pitch.

My Conclusion

My opinion is that every salesperson should take a few moments to think about which parts of us that are the strongest. Ask ourselves: What am I good at, and what am I less good at? The reason is not to never do what we are bad at, but simply knowing where to focus for ultimate result – if that is the goal. Another thing can be to try out both ways to see which fits the seller the best. It may not always be the one he or she thinks. Additionally I would like to say that an excellent coach may be to good help and make a seller confident in one of the areas if he or she feels unsure about emails/calling. A good coach is also crucial for success.

For me, it ended up with emails when reaching out to absolute new clients and phone calls when re-connecting with them. If I really needed a meeting quickly and I had no time to wait for a response, then I would just pick up the phone and dial until the hour I had free was set. Simple as that. My actual strong thinking is that we should not be conservative here and say that one way is the right way. Really, try both in each situation as to what fits us. Also, looking over what type of costumer we are contacting can be a good idea. An IT company may spend more time in front of a computer (making them look over emails more AND even prefer getting an email rather than a pushing seller on the phone) than a marketing boss of an event bureau who just loves to talk to people straight away. Do we see the point?

I hope this helped you out if you were this confused salesman or saleswoman wondering what your call was. Analyze your skills and try out both ways until you know what works for you!

Love, Emelena

5 AMAZING WAYS TO NAIL THAT PERFECT ONE SHOT

Snapping a few pictures outside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. What a place!

Good afternoon! Today we can discuss the matter of how to write the perfect one shot. Let’s heaten up an afternoon tea or brew a hot cup of coffee. This winter weather, darkness and chilly air, definitely causes me to urge remaining inside, bunkered up in the couch with a fireplace in front of me. Together we can evolve and grow as writers as we dig into this topic of one shots. Welcome Thursday!

What is a One Shot?

A one shot in the fanfic world is often much shorter than a multichapter story (in words). It is one page/one chapter. Instead of being about a long journey, it is rather about a scene or event in that journey. Pick one moment and dig into it. A notable explanation of a one shot may not only tell in the two words, but also to call it a teaser. When being desperate for a movie or program on TV, we may find snippets of it on YT. This is a clip, a teaser, to attract us to the full story. A little bit towards this is what a one shot is. Except that a one shot is so much more – but it is good to head for this direction. It makes it clearer for us to understrand how to think when structuring and planning our one shots.

1. A-B

Of course, every story goes from A-B. However in a one shot, I suppose we can define it as clearer. It is easier to spot the A spot heading for B. A defined start and B destination. While naturally longer stories should have this too, a one shot really needs this. A good plan is useful. When we decide to write a one shot, the first thing we should do is to sit down and note what the event is. What do we want to achieve when writing this? What is the purpose? When we go from A to B, it is important to notice that there are only two letters here. We are not going from A to D and pass stops such as B and C. No, we simply go from A to B, meaning we shall know what is not necessary to have in our story.

One example when writing fanfics can be to avoid “unecessary” characters and OC ones. Further so, we should be very careful in how we write the summary (again). As the summary is the first impression, we shall avoid writing about OC’s there specifically.

The problem with bringing an OC into a one shot is that it usually requires us to give a bit of information about the person. It can put the reader on a sidetrack and a one shot does not really give room for a sidetrack. Not that wide at least. A one shot should be as concise as possible. Only bringing up the most important things. If there is a line we can delete and still get to the point, then we should. While this is a rule for longer stories it is extra crucial in a short story such as a one shot. There is simply no room to confuse a reader. While we must not misunderstand that for keeping the readers on an edge and on the thrill, there is a difference as to babble about irrelevant stuff.

We can sum this up by comparing a wide picture being a muli chapter story, and as we zoom in to investigate a tiny part of the picture – we find the one shot.

2.Can This be a One Shot?

This is a question of both our ability to prioritize and what kind of potential a story has. If we have an idea and really feel the many elements we want to devour, then perhaps we should try our wings on a longer story. If we have this grand idea to a story and a partly additional one, but not enough ideas to a fullenght multichapter story – then we can consider writing two one shots instead. Like a followup or something of the first one. But trying to force a story out of a one shot may not work, and we can have that in mind.

The best one shots that I have read have made sense. I have seen that either way there is a real great deal of planning to lay the story out like that, or, the author has a great talent of connecting elements in its head. To increase our chances of achieving this effect, I think we should put a bit more time to actually plan our story. To structure it and maybe note down the dialogue as well. If there is no dialogue, write the important elements that we want in this piece of moment.

I would say that one of the hardest things we face here is definitely to learn to prioritize. Is it worth it to write a partly well multichapter story because we think the idea has potential of a one shot+ rather than cutting it down into an amazing plain one shot? I have several times set aside ideas of a multichapter story as I have realized that having it down to a one shot would result in a much better and entertaining story. It would give more to the readers compared to expanding it into a longer one.

3.Read Other One Shots

By reading other one shots we will gain experience. We will grow and learn as readers. What is good, what works and what does not work that well? It will make it partly easier for us to spot dos and don’ts when we write our own stories. We will notice further what one shots we remember, those who leave a trace of a mark within us. To learn a rhythm through this type of text. What we like and what we like less. We may get inspiration as well, but most of all I think reading other one shots is one of the greatest lessons when it comes to learn writing our own. That is to come after writing one shots, of course.

We can compare those we read to our own. If they are about the same lenght, is there any unneccessary written, etc? By observng others mistakes and successes, we may learn a bit ourselves.

4.Lacking That Little It

To create a memorable one shot we really must have that one little it. In a multichapter story we are grateful for many thrilling events, but a one shot is… a one shot. One shot. One chance. We do not really have the time to build up like in a multichapter. We can create this make a grand ending, but it definitely requires a bit more of us, or simply in a different way, than the requirements would have been in a longer story.

As the one shot is one chapter, we do only have one chapter in giving the setup, opportunity, change of plans, point of no return, major setback and climax. Everything goes into a chapter and it really says it all: Consise. This is probably the reason I am often left impressed by writers delivering many well written one shots. That they manage well to see what is important to keep and what can we afford to erase. What balance do we need in revealing information and what can we let remain untold. While in a longer story it is amazing to always think like this too, but there is a bit higher level of acceptance in wrong doings.

5. Sum Up – Deliver Emotionally

Most of all. Those stories that we do tend to remember are those which deliver emptionally. Those who leave us feeling something. It can be stress, relief, pain, love, sadness, hatred, happiness. But they do twist something in us and that is why we remember them. It is said that we remember people by how they made us feel. It is the same with stories. We remember them by how they made us feel. I can raise my hand to this myself, as I know I can return to stories only by the want of reliving the emotion I had when reading the story the first time. I suppose it is the same with music and movies as well. We seek what we want to experience emotionally. Really, a thoughtful saying from the bottom of my heart. My own words to you.

Love, Emelena

4 THINGS TO DO WHEN FACING A CONFERENCE ALONE

Took this beautiful picture yesterday when we had a “break”. A shuttle picked us up at the hotel for a tour at this villa, where the Norwegian constitution was written, 17th of May 1814. It was special to see the old interior and secret corridors inside the walls. When we came to this spot I had to snap a shot. Would it not be nice to sit in that chair beside that window, with a view and write a story? 

Good morning, people! I packed my bag Monday evening after a weekend spent at my in-laws’, and now I am off on a job trip. Conferences seem to have become a part of my professional life. At least every now and then. Before heading for a hearty breakfast to a wonderful view of this grand lake – I decided to share a bit of tips and tricks of what we can do when being at conferences by ourselves. I have brought my own coffee brewer with me and at the moment I have bunkered up in my bed with a cup of coffee. A winter wonderland is forming right outside the window and the level of coziness is high! So let’s dig into the topic of today.

4 Things to Do When Facing a Conference Alone

Or in fact, whenever you are a newbie to a social place. It can be literally awful, stomach flipping and we may loathe it, while others enjoy it – to have to start from scratch, in an environment where we know absolutely nobody. It feels just like first day of school, or when we moved to that new neighborhood all over again. After facing this situation quite a few times last lately, I decided to share what I went through and how to overcome the ugly feeling. Perhaps how this can benefit us as writers.

A year ago going to conferences were a routine every single month. Usually I kept my eyes shut before opening them to browse the file of papers my boss just had slid across the table in my office room. I would quickly throw a glance over the long lists of names, the people invited and those who had accepted to the invitation of the conference. Fairly seldom was a name written which I was familiar with. And I did dislike it as I knew everybody tended to be over their forties/fifties with a long experience within the business area, meaning they already have their mingling groups and friends among each other.

I would be the newcomer.

After once finding myself completely on my own as every coworker was either busy or not attending, I locked myself into a restroom. Here I brought up my phone to desperately google ”What to do when being at a conference alone.” Do I need to mention that even I found the scenario pathetic? Yes, indeed I did. But what could I do in my desperation? I tried to take my time, sitting on the top of the closed seat to just fold my legs and hope there was no line outside waiting for me to come out of there. Because I feared standing there outside all alone, appearing like the black swan nobody wants to be around. It was a desperate moment, really. And awful.

Now, I will tell you how I coped with this and how the evening turned out great.

1. Get Out There

After a while, I figured that I am an adult now and just have got to pull myself together. After all, I do have a company to represent and how bad would it sound if I dared confessing that I had locked myself in the ladies to avoid social awkwardness? Now, I never did say anything but I am sure my boss would not be too happy about it. Not to mention letting myself down. In the end of the day, I do believe in the motto of growing a little bit each day. Those days when I know I have stepped out of my comfort zone are the ones I cherish the most and can be proud of myself. I happened to want that outcome out of this event as well.

One thing to realize is that even if it seems as if everybody knows someone – truth is that they do not. Perhaps they all have just been able to join a group faster than us. Honestly, there are many people attending who also do not know a single soul. Even if they happen to be elder than us, many people in their forties and fifties also change career path. And what better opportunity to befriend new people within the industry than sending them straight to a social conference? Well, that is how many bosses think.

Typically there are name tags on each person, informing both the name and what company they come from. Here we can just go straight to a group and join, listen and present ourselves. Normally there will be a discussion regarding the companies we come from, our positions and what we do. We need to be sure to have a whole package with business cards with us, as chances are high we will have to exchange some. It does appear more pro to in fact be ready with a card. If absolute not; we can ask for their card and assure them we will contact them right away when situation lets us. Another case can be to find each other on LinkedIn and add one another. That way we can make sure to remain connected.

2. Champagne and Sweets

What drinks and pastries set on tables will differ from conferences to conferences. But, many times they will serve champagne and sweets. If we still stand somewhere alone, or the group of people somehow has dissolved into each way and we are left standing there alone – we can still find a new group. Maybe we can take a deep breath and walk straight towards a group, or we go to the table serving food.

Typically people will surround it, throw a joke about the food or help each other out with grabbing napkins for the cookie crumbles. Another opportunity laid out for us to be able to more smoothly and ”spontaneously” slip in to recommend that a certain cookie there is really good (yes, we have never tasted it), and suddenly a conversation is set. Out of nowhere, the person we are talking to is missing to its’ group. Either way, one from its’ group will look for him/her and join the two of us. Or the best, we follow the person to its’ group and are automatically introduced. ”Hey folks, I just met *blabla* from *blabla*. The person does this and that and this is unique,” and immediately they are all interested in us and what we have to say.

I know it can be hard to ”just go over there” to these randoms. I really do. But we have to if we want to socialize. If our intention simply is getting out information from the lectures, then feel no need but to plop down on a nearby coach to enjoy a drink. However, many of us are specifically sent to mingle and learn knew people, new business strategies and get inside information from other companies. By opening our mouths and get into a conversation with a person, well, it does help.

When standing there alone, we can ask ourselves some questions. Like, what is the worst thing that can happen? Chances that we will be dismissed and totally ignored are small. Yet if they so happen, we will not die. Unless we die, is there really anything to fear? – Appear like a fool, being all alone? Well, we will not end up talking to anybody unless we make an effort, will we? But to emphasize the truth. People are too busy with themselves, many of them panicking just like us – that causes them to not even get a moment to examine us with an analysis.

I think the best approach (yes, no surprise) is to not think, just do. Just walk up to a group and introduce ourselves. Even if they are in an eager chat, be cocky enough and speak up as we promptly take that step between two persons, reach out our hand decisively to one of them and present ourselves. If we happen to know of the topic we may even just join in, even show off our fake laughter to charm our rather ballsy motion. There are tons of ways to enter a conversation, but mine is typically to pick one person and slowly expand to more. When I enter a group just right away, I do find it somewhat more difficult to really engage in a chat as I know nothing of how people are related among each other. While when hanging out with a single or two persons, they tend to always introduce someone when passing by someone. So, an advice – pick a person and go for it!

3. Do NOT Do This!

I know the temptation of picking up the phone. Letting our finger browse and browse, we pretend being totally busy and occupied as the popular soul we are. What we do not think of is how this creates a barrier surrounding us. Like a glassy cloud nobody can enter. A bubble. When we are this imbibed into whatever goes on in social media, we can take a step back and wonder how we look like from an objective eye. If someone were to check us out, probably we look like someone busy and occupied – just as we want.

If we ourselves would stand there and two persons in the room are standing with three metres away from each other. One of them sipping a glass of champagne (or water for that matter. I will not market alcohol) and views over the room with scanning eyes, and then we have the one totally into its’ phone. Which one would we pick to approach? I can tell by my own words, that if I would approach the one with a phone, it may be if he or she wore a watch and I happened to wonder what time it was – or, if she or he would turn out to be Sophia Loren. Otherwise, I am 100% we all would go to this alone observing person and try with an opening phrase. Simply because that person appears more approachable.

Another great DON’T! Is the alcohol part. Conferences tend to serve not only champagne, but an awful amount of wine to dinner and then I shall not mention the tables filled with Baileys, Whiskey and Grappa when leaving the dining restaurant to head for the bar/club on another floor. So, have in mind to take it easy with the drinks. Nothing can be worse than waking up the following morning with a great headache, joined by anxiety over what happened yesterday. Perhaps even what we vaguely can remember. So, remember that this is a situation where we in some way present ourselves and the company we work for.

Another thing can be to simply not just hang out only with the people we do know. We never expand our network unless we dare interacting with new people. So another no-no can be to not be open and invite new people inside our group. Remember that one day we might be or we may have been that sole person. Would it not be nice to be approached and invited to join a group of people? I personally think it is one of the nicest things a person can do. That person will remember us for doing this, and who knows when this person can be there for our aid?

4. Where To Sit At Dinner

We all know the easy choice. We find a familiar face and slip down on the empty chair next to it to surely set that we will have a person to talk to. As much as this can help us secure a pleasant evening, making sure to get to know new people means sitting at a random table. Not fully random, but if we have been stalky beforehand (mening that when we received the guest lists – we googled the faces of the names behind), we know which one to ”spontaneously” end up beside. Quite manipulative but it works. How we accidentally end up with a new friend or future business college while it was completely a strategic move from our side.

Sitting down beside strangers at a table is according to my opinion even easier than joining a group of people/reaching out to strangers. Mostly because everybody MUST sit down and there are limited chairs at each table. Also, it is unlikely that a company around a table would take their stuff and stand up to swift table. It simply rarely happens. In a way, we appear by the table in the rush as everybody frantically looks for seats, and we sit down at the one we please. Also, being alone or a couple, it helps being a smaller number as it is easier to get seats at the ”best” tables, referring to those in the centre towards the front. Another reason to straight away head for the ones in the centre is because those tables ALWAYS fill. Everybody wants to sit there, thereof if we so happen to be the first one arriving there – people will join eventually.

It is typically during dinner that I befriend most people. Maybe it has to do with most of the guests’ intake of wine, but really, people opens up and suddenly it feels as if we all have known each other for ages. Some hold speeches and in between it seems to be a common topic to discuss what the person has stated. Also to comment on the cuisine served and discuss wine. Of course, conferences are various, but to have a little knowledge of wine, the business in general and the speech holders, can be an advice as well. At least for me, as a youngster to be able to come with a good reply when the fifty year olds debate on wether the Italian Amarone is heavier in taste than a sweet Portuguese Porto. Sí, I do have my fair experience – haha, I try.

My Previous Experience

During that time in the restroom I went out. I had called my partner and revealed that I despised standing there alone while having nobody to talk to. Whenever I did meet up with someone, the person seemed incompetent of social skills and maintaining a conversation. I would over and over again be left alone and have to start over, feeling like I screamed desperately. So at the end I headed towards the wardrobe, upper body hanging over the counter in my eager to hide from people maybe being able to recognize my escape from this real estate conference. As I had my card pressed at the wooden counter, my fingertips pushing it hard enough to pale and my searching gaze for a staff member who could hand me my jacket – I was approached by a guy.

He came with a glass of champagnen to me (yes, never accept a drink from a person without having eyes on it from start, ladies. And yes it is awful that I in soon 2019 need to say that). I accepted it but never drank from it, pretended sipping. It turned out that he was also there alone and suddenly I ended up having quite a laughter with this young man. Folks wondering what the two of us found hilarious would come from around to join us, and suddenly ”I” had built up a little gang of new friends. So this was fun. When the staff member finally passed me and held his hand out to take my jacket card, I snatched it back to me and shook my head to say that I had changed my mind. He smiled, I did too and off I was to join the conference at dinner.

I did have fun. It was actually the best conference when I look back. I did not share table with this gang, as I was too excited to get to know more people now when I was in the mood. This led me to end up at an ambitious table, filled with the elite from Norway’s real estate life (if I can claim this without sounding too poshy). We laughed so much throughout the night and at the end of it when my boyfriend picked me up, I sighed and told him all about how strange I found it. It had all begun with me, desperately locked inside a bathroom and me ending up mingling and having fun with tons of new people. What a day, and night.

To Sum Up

Summering my advice coming from me, I will divide this:

  • Do not pick up your phone to ”escape” the scenario.
  • Do not drink too much. Getting wasted is a big No-No. Depending on culture, at least do not get wasted too early.
  • Do not underestimate the fact that there are more people there not knowing a bloody soul.
  • Smile! I did not mention this but really, a smiling person is more approachable.
  • Speak up and present yourself.
  • Join a group.
  • Read one’s nametag and ask questions.
  • Mingle at the food table!
  • Do research beforehand and know what faces to look for.

Now, off we go! I will see if I find someone to talk to at the breakfast buffet and tomorrow my boyfriend picks me up for a trip abroad, to the capital of Sweden. What a lovely weekend it will be.

Love, Emelena

WHAT’S IN THE FUTURE FOR PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN?

This is one of those lovely evenings where I listen to Ennico Morricone – Once Upon a Time in the West (gah, what a piece of sound!). I am awaiting my amore’s arrival as he has been away in Poland with his job. I bunker up with a box of dark chocolate pralines I bought in Copenhagen (my boyfriend gave me a surprise weekend to the capital of Denmark), I put on the socks my maternal grandmother has knitted for my cold Norwegian winters, and, I am all set for watching my absolute favorite movie. From Pirates of the Caribbean. Is this not just such a fascinating bunch of movies?

What’s in the Future for Pirates of the Caribbean?

Being the die hard Pirates of the Caribbean fan I am, I thought it would be suitable with a review. Even if it happens to be almost a year after Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar’s Revenge. When browsing internet it seems as if fans are quite parted regarding opinions of the followups. Everyone appears to be on the same page about The Curse of the Black Pearl, the first one. This is a clear favorite. But when we go over to the second, third, fourth and even fifth, the audience is quite divided.

Some prefer the first, fourth and fifth – and the other half seems to enjoy more of the first, second and third. Maybe the fifth as well. I do love all movies, and can watch them several times. Anyhow, instead of dwelling which movie is better than the other one, I thought about considering what’s in for the future. It seems as if Carina Smyth/Barbossa’s actress has signed contract for the sixth installment (from Wikipedia and IMDB sources). An interesting input and her character is very much in time. Being an astronomer and horologist, a woman with her own willpower, it seems fitting for 2018/19. A trend going and a trend I hope will stay forever.

Then again, I think Elizabeth Swann’s character alongside Angelica Teach are quite modern too, in this sense. Elizabeth Swann has the apparent character development of growing from a wealthy and proper Daddy’s girl into a pirate captain. Kind of gentle but with a decisive tone. Angelica Teach is fighting off Jack in most parts, and even though she decides to give up her life for her father, I find her modern as well. She does locate herself at edges and has her own character development of going from becoming a nun into – sí – a pirate. A person who has obeyed to a person who rules.

But now, we discuss the last installment, Salazar’s Revenge or as I know it – Dead Men Tell No Tales. How it ended and what we can expect in the future. Do you have any ideas? I have some theories. So far I have not found a storyline for the sixth movie, therefore I dare taking wild shots in guessing the following outcome. However, I have heard a funny rumor of the main character being the son of Jack and Angelica. Who knows.

Storyline

Dead Men Tell No Tales has a plot with Captain Jack Sparrow (would I be a fan if I forgot the title?). Now, Henry Turner, son of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner is a grown man, still missing his cursed father. As we know from At World’s End (III) Will is doomed to run a ghost ship, pretty much. And Henry wants his father ”to come home.” He knows of Poseidon’s Trident, which is hidden somewhere and he needs this to be able to break the curse. In the triangle Jack has sunken Captain Salazar’s ship ages ago. Now when Jack trades his compass for (what else?!) a bottle of rum – the compass releases the mountain walls and Captain Salazar is no longer trapped in there. He obviously wants to avenge Jack (when is Jack not hunted to pieces?).

So Jack wants to find the trident too, to break this curse. Alongside all of this, Jack and Henry are in search for the trident. They pretty much side with Carina with them who wants to find it too, mostly for her father’s sake. She is an orphan and wants to honor her father. Now all three share this matter in a wish of finding the trident. All the while Salazar specifically wants to take Jack down.

Fun Facts

  • Apparently the faces Jack sees when facing the guillotine and is about to be executed are the Norwegian directions Espen and Joachim. Personal opinion: Yes, I find it too cool that I happen to not only live in Norway where they come from, but live literally two streets away from their office. Is this bragging or just extreme fangirling?
  • Mullroy and Murtogg are back! Yay, the funny men guarding the harbor in The Curse of the Black Pearl. If we remember those two gullible men Jack easily talks out of watching his every move. Loved those two and they were equally in character in this movie. I am totally giving points to whoever suggested and accepted having these two back. They surely have their place in the movie series and bring a bit of comedy to the film.
  • Elizabeth Swann is the mother of Henry. But in real life, the age difference between the actress and actor is merely four years! Henry is a perfect fit though. I dare to say I think he even looks like a possible offspring from a blend between Mrs and Mr Turner. He does look a bit like Elizabeth.

What’s In For the Future? 

Clearly when checking on reddit and diverse forums, people have their ideas. So far I have yet not come across an idea that actually works. As a result of seeing After Credits, where we see a shadow of what seems to be Davy Jones visiting Will and Elizabeth at night, people discuss his return. At first we think it was all a dream, as Will wakes up. But there are barnacles on the floor, revealing that surely someone was indeed there.

Some people also consider a fact of Barbossa returning, once again coming back from the dead. I wondered about this idea and had to google it. It seems as if the actor neglects the idea somewhat, commenting that it would be more true and honest if his character actually died this time. Mostly because it makes a stronger impact on the fact that this first antagonist character actually has a heart, as he died for the cause of his newfound daughter. And I agree to this. Even if I would love to have him return, as his character is totally EPIC. In a way, his legacy does live on. Carina is an interesting character and I am glad she got as much room in Dead Men Tell No Tales as she actually did. It was perfect.

In the ending scene Jack sees Will and Elizabeth’s reunion. Something which seems to bother his ego and he gets slightly upset over the fact that a lady has not been swept off her feet for him, he refocuses his attention forward and says that he has a ”rendezvous beyond my beloved horizon.” According to IMDB this means a meeting, ”usually prearranged with a friend.” Some think this hints him encountering Barbossa again, saving his butt from the locker. Some also point out a true translation and definition is that this refers a romantic encounter.

I wonder if that can be though. Not only letting Barbossa Mister Actor’s thoughts in consideration, but to think of the storyline. Would it be too repetitive if we brought him back? In a sense, I would be delighted to have him back. And for me, a Pirates of the Caribbean movie cannot really be bad. Unless they kill off Angelica, that is to say. I love and sympathize too much with her to accept her leaving the franchise.

Many Willabeth fans (aye, I checked the ff network), obviously wants more of Will and Elizabeth. Elizabeth with her cameo in this previous movie and Will both having scenes in the first and third act. But I wonder what storyline possibly could bring them back in? What shall happen in case to throw these two lovebirds back into the game? Theories are infinite, but I cannot really come up with many ideas myself. Some wonder if now the curses are all broken, then so is Davy Jones and that is why he is back. But does this still really work? Can we truthfully support this theory?

A lot of movie franchises though seem to forget about small details making the storylines not work perfectly well together. In fact, now when I think about it, it appears to be more of a rule than exception that something quite is not following up in the storyline. Often, there is this trouble with math. How old is this character if he was five in the last movie and now five years has passed in the movie. Can he be sixteen then? Oh, yes, he can. We will go with that one!

So, in how many routes I try to draw in my notebook, I still cannot come up with a reasonable excuse to rightfully bring Barbossa back. However, there may be a genius out there thinking of ideas I have not come across. I will never close the door. Right now, it remains ajar. I will wait until I sit in the movie theatre enjoying the sixth installment, for sure. One can never know, right?

What is My Personal Idea of What Happens in the Following Movie? 

Well, we should of course consider this after credits scene. After all, someone was visiting Will and Elizabeth. And it did, in fact, look like Davy Jones.

Then there is this with Syrena and Philip. Will this French actress return or did they have a happy ending in the fourth movie, On Stranger Tides? Is there more of them in the future, or are we settled and happy with how their story so far has ended?

Carina, which actress has signed a contract for one more movie, I do wonder what she has in mind. Will she now try to take over Barbossa’s fleet? Maybe? She seemed proud to be a Barbossa in the end after all. Perhaps she is off out on the oceans to discover treasures or following maps. But then, how does this work with Henry?

Henry has accomplished what seems to have been a very dedicated life goal. He has brought his father back home. Now what? He was a sailor before, but quite a troublemaker. Fortunately that, or else he may not have had such an adventure he indeed did have. The question I muse on is what we can see of him in the future. Is he by blood a true pirate or is he a good noble man? Or both, like Will Turner?

There is good old Jack. Now with a compass not working. Oh, my apologies, now it actually works. But like a normal one and it does not point into the heading of what we want the most. So, as the ending words declared he is off to meet a friend. Which friend? In Tortuga? It cannot be Gibbs right? Since Gibbs was behind him on the Pearl. I can be Barbossa, after all. And it can be Angelica. I mean, yes, Jack knows a lot of people but he does not seem to be a friend to all. More likely that he has upset an awful amount of people trying to chop his head off. Therefore I only find two possible friends if not regarding his father, uncle or unknown friend we have not met yet.

And then, there is Angelica. Voodoo queen on a deserted island claiming she was pregnant before Jack left. What can we see in a future movie? She has a voodoo doll of Jack. Will she do anything with it? Can we expect a return with this character? I sure hope so, because she if any character does put Jack in its’ place. I think her character causes a development in Jack’s character. Jack actually puts another one’s needs in front of his own. Think of that. Narcissistic Jack is putting someone else as prior.

So, the interesting part is this fact of the curses broken. Are they broken? In that case, how come we got to see a glimpse of Davy Jones returning? How does this puzzle work out? And if they are broken, does that mean Angelica’s voodoo doll does not work too? All curses? Will a sixth installment be about non-fantasy piracy or have the developers come up with an idea to walk around this information of ”no working curses”?
What do you think?

Another interesting quest; what will the new villain be like? Who will he or she be? A made up character or based on myth? I see popularity go among fans to see Captain Hook. But, would that not be to involve Peter Pan’s fairytale into Pirates of the Caribbean? Like a crossover? Or have I missed something here? So many questions and unfortunately not too many answers. The only thing I do know so far is that I will see more of Captain Jack Sparrow and Carina Barbossa. Surely I would bet my money to see Henry Turner, Joshamee Gibbs and Scrum as well. Then I could only hope to see more of Angelica Teach, maybe Hector Barbossa and Willabeth.

Regardless, I look forward to the sixth one no matter what.

Love, Emelena

4 MORNING ROUTINE TIPS THAT BENEFIT A WRITER

I took this awesome picture on my way to work in Oslo. 

Early awake in my parents’ home. This weekend trip fitted me perfectly as my partner is in Warszaw with his work. I just love mornings like these and could definitely imagine staying here for a bit longer. There is something very special about an early morning, spending it in silence and the sensation of peace. As I am a person who in the majority of my teens would sleep almost until afternoon (!), I nowadays proudly will go up between 4-5 am even on weekends. Here, we can go through the benefits and perhaps explain why this phenomenon is a bit hyped. What we can achieve by doing this and how it can help us as writers.

Grab a cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa (we are in the mid of November) and let’s dig into this topic together. The benefits of waking up early and setting up a good morning routine that works which as positive consequence can favor us.

1. Set Goals and Plans the Day Before

It actually starts the day before. Preparation is key to a good following day, according to my say in this. To be able to optimize the other day, I suggest us to start planning it the night before. This way, we may not only be somewhat more eager to start it, but we know in details of what will be required of us, how it will dissolve and further what goals we have.

A simple to-do list is sufficent. We note down what our musts are for the other day, and maybe even schedule tasks in detail of hours. One thing here is to be able to prioritize. There is no use to write everything from the world and back, but rather focus on a few tasks. Mentally it takes a lot to be able to face an almost similar to-do list the following day, as a result of us not being able to accomplish as much as we thought. Personally I think it is better to write fewer tasks which I will be able to accomplish, and perhaps a bonus in the corner of the paper if I manage to be in position for reaching out to another goal. This will rather result in a confident boost instead of feeling disappointment of not accomplishing what I was supposed to do. Also, this may bring down the stresslevel somewhat. Because now we now what will be required of us tomorrow. We will imagine the processes and also achieving the goals. There will be nothing to really memorize in the back of my head and have a stressful sleep if we instead note it down on a piece of paper, preferably an A4 blank paper for each day.

I suggest us writing a checklist before bedtime where we finish the dishes, make a quick-clean and in general do what we can to not feel heavy when waking up the following day.

A newly purchased pineapple lamp and a vanilla scented candle. Level of cosiness high.

2. Start the Morning at 5 AM (Or Earlier)

Many people claim waking up at 5 am is lifechanging. Even the skeptical me has to agree upon this matter. Waking up at 5 AM has shown been benefitting in many different ways. It may be very tough in the beginning but let’s go through the pros together.

– More time in the morning – the obvious one. A few more hours offer us more time to prepare ourselves for the day. Whether it be putting on make-up, having a longer shower or whatever events we tend to have in the early moments. Instead of stressfully jump around the bedroom as we try shoving our legs into those jeans – we can in a more relaxed manner get dressed. Instead of opening the bottle of juice and drink directly, we have time to sit down neatly and enjoy a heartly breakfast. Instead of quickly giving our significant other a peck on the lips, we may have time to share a conversation. Instead of throwing half the world inside our bag and even so forget that important paper, we can take our time to carefully go through what we put in our bag. Better would of course be to pack our bag beforehand on the night before. The emphasis I want to point out is that we have time to fully prepare ourselves, mind and body for the day. We get to let things take the time that they do.

– I have heard about the psychological effect as well. That when we do this, chances are higher we feel a rush of discipline. This is something I want to agree with. I certainly do feel more disciplined when waking up around 5 AM or earlier. Additionally, one common psycological effect is the sensation of leadership. This comes with the feeling of being awake before “everyone else.” One thing though that I like to mention is that we shall not really compare ourselves to others. It is much better if we just realize the positive effects of waking up early within ourselves.

– In these early morning hours, there will be less distractions than later in the day. As the majority of the world has not woken up yet, we are more alone at this moment. We can use it to our advance by doing some of those important tasks or goals we set up the night before. When completing them, chances are we will feel a rush of pride as by 8 o’clock we may think “The day hasn’t even started yet and already I am halfway through to completing all my goals for today!”. This excitement may also push us to a level of really beliving in our discipline, like; we have already proven what we can, so why should not the rest of the day result likewise? A major confident boost, is it not? A following event can be to go through the list and see what we already have done and what we will have to face within the near time capsle. It is lovely to cross and check that line which has bothered us for a while. Now it is finally done.

– There have been many discussions of people claiming that one is more productive during the morning. Mostly because we have lots of energy after a night’s sleep. Also, when we have a “deadline” of wrapping up before going to work – we know we have to put 100% in whatever we do to be able to finish. More effective work, that is to say. The line of being more energized is something I want to repeat again, as when we wake up we tend to feel more excited of life itself.

Love eating vanilla “yoghurt” from Alpro together with cinnamon and frozen berries. 

3. A Morning Routine That Works

So, what we need is a longterm goal. Set for example a goal of writing a screenplay but we never really prioritize the time that it takes. Note that this works for whatever writing goal we may have.

First, we need to define our goal.

Then we decide a moment during the day when we will sit down with a pen and paper to form our dream morning. What is required to achieve this longterm goal? How many minutes or hours are realistic to devote to this goal in the morning?

Can we possibly squeeze in a bit of reading, exercise and mental peace as well? These three is according to me the most important tasks of all.

From at least 5 AM – the moment when we leave, we are free to design our routine. We picture ourselves in our imagination doing all of this.

Always a good book around, and snacks. 

4. Sticking to the Routine

Sticking to the routine WILL be EASIER if we prepare the night before. Really, it makes it easier not to push that snooze button and just go out of bed. We can also lay out the gym clothes and fill a bottle of water which is in the refrigerator, prepare a breakfast and also charge the laptop with battery the night before. Also, making mood boards, dreams and a journal  – laying out the to-do. 

What I do:

  •  I prepare coffee the night before so I can just press the “brew” maker right at once with a partly open eye in the morning.
  • Water of bottle is prepared in the cold fridge.
  • Gym clothes are laid out and a podcast is waiting in my phone.
  • 4 – 4.30 my alarm goes. I brew my coffee at once and enjoy it in the darkness beside my boyfriend. Sometimes I sit beside my windows to view the street.
  • 4.45 I am dressed and go to the GYM.
  • 5.45 I am home again after a workout where I have pumped my mind with a positive thinking podcast. Very important that I do not check regular social media (but only positive thinking accounts) and ignore the news.
  • After a quick shower and breakfsat, I sit down and read in silence (a bit of snoring from my boyfriend of course). This to feel how my brain works and loves to take in information, imagine a little and simply get new impressions. This usually makes me to want to write myself, which leads me to do so.
  • By 7.30 I am ready to leave for my day to day job and then I have written a bit on my online business and read a bit, exercised and I am pumped on positive energy. Additionally I have gotten a confidence boost by feeling high on self discipline that I almost bounces to work, ready to kick ass.:-)

Now, as we saw on my to-do list of the day; I need to wrap my things up as I am heading out with Mom to a Christmas Market. This will be a lovely Sunday.

Love, Emelena

Come September Villa – Villa Delle Palme – Santa Margherita Ligure

The fantastic house in where Gina Lollobrigida and Rock Hudson’s movie Come September took place, back in 1962. Since seeing the movie years ago, I fell in love with the villa right away. A google search away, I quickly noticed that I am not the only one.

Talk about coincidence when I was in Genova with my love and we decided to head south. Right between Rapallo and Portofino is this beautiful costal beauty – Santa Margherita. Absolutely stunning and wonderful! An Italian fairytale.

When leaving the train station behind, this is what we faced. It resembles of a painted picture that I could just as well hang onto the wall in my home. An absolutely stunning view. Quite behind us is Rapallo (can I imagine my parents vacationing there years ago when they were my age?). Straight ahead of us past St. Margherita is Portofino. This is such a beautiful costal line.

The train station and grand finale of the movie Come September. I absolutely adore this scene. From start to finish I think it is a truly eventful movie that always leaves me entertained. I feel so lucky to be able to see these locations at where they filmed it.

I have, hands down, never seen a more beautiful house. This villa is beyond a fairytale. When seeing the movie, repeating – I fell in love with the villa. Seeing it in real life did certainly not lessen that love at all. It looks like a shimmering pearl at this sort of edge on top of this hill. Whoever owns this must feel so grateful for being able to reside there. It would really be a dream.

Have I mentioned that I literally dragged my boyfriend up this hill, along zig zag roads upwards in this major heat in the middle of the day? Later we would eat gelato to thank our legs which surprisingly agreed on this grand tour. The cars we met on this popular road must have thought we were crazy tourists. Which may be true. Who else would hike in that heat? I like to point out my great fan-girl heart to La Lollo and specifically to this movie.

The roundabout where the boys had their tent. My GOD, can you believe we sat there on a bench they now have placed in the middle of it? It was amazing just to imagine Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida moving around the area. While my Amore tried to catch his breath, I strolled around back and forth, checking out every single dust in the nearby area. When we think of those tiny toddlers where everything catches their attention, we can bring that imagination to how I appeared during this moment.

And here Rock Hudson drove his  Rolls Royce in the movie. How he rounded the corner and drove to…

The gate.

Down on the Santa Margherita beach walk, we promenaded happily and quickly fell in love with the town. What a wonderful piece of jewel. I will definitely return to this place. Hopefully one day with my family if we ever have children. Most people around seemed very relaxed and there was a very peaceful aura over the town. 

This is definitely one of my favorite locations that I have been at in Europe. We would return another time again during our stay in Genova, that time for a day at the beach. The water is clear (perhaps not as clear as around the coast of Sardinia) but definitely alright. At the beach I brought up a screenplay I was reading during the summer. At points when I looked up from under Amore’s cap I borrowed, I really took in every moment. To fully grasp a moment as it happens is something I am quite good at doing. The best of both worlds: a dazzling beach in Italy and a fantastic screenplay to devour – you have got the definition of me. 🙂 

A Margherita in (Santa) Margherita! This pizza was AMAZING. When I saw it on the menu it was a must. I always choose Margherita anyhow regardless of where in the world I order the pizza on a regular basis. So when spotting it on the menu here, it was just no way that I would not eat it here.

During a cloudy moment, we had a little siesta at the corner of the bay. A hotel had a wonderful terrace where we ate snacks and drank cold drinks. As the partly Southern European young woman I am, I have grown up with “siesta” and prefer having this nap/resting moment in the middle of a hot day.

Such a colorful and fine town. Being this huge fan of Sophia Loren as well, I sometimes wonder what a specific life she must have had doing all these movies in Italy’s beautiful towns. I love all of her movies.

The local boutiques offer different cheeses, wines and ham. Cute fashion stores as well. We bought bread from a bakery along with cheeses and ham, some nuts and dried papaya. As we sat on a bench eating it, in the shadows of a covering palm tree, I reminded myself how fortunate I was to experience such with my boyfriend.

Arriverdverci, Santa Margherita!

/Love, E

The Best Pros of a Classic Notebook

 

Benefits of a Notebook

While some people will evolve with new technology, not only preferring to download an ebook but fancy filling their electronic calendar with pretty notes – there are some of us others left. We, those who really enjoys drawing an old-fashioned inc pencil over a paperwork notebook. Just like people have for decades, if not centuries. After having this extraordinary love for notebooks, I decided to share how it actually can boost our productivity and help our lives. Even regarding the disadvantages I do find apparent to these lovable items.

Now, grab a cup of coffee and share this Thursday with me. Let’s look forward to a peaceful weekend and maybe even drop by a local book shop to buy ourselves an old fashioned notebook!

Never Runs out of Battery – Did you forget to press the bottom ’save’?

Have we not all experienced this? We are sitting in a classroom, perhaps in a so-called computer room. The teacher is walking among us with a watchful gaze, and we have a very important school project we have worked on for so long. And this afternoon we decide to press the sunny tempting weather going on outside, to the back of our minds. Suddenly five minutes before deciding to print this school work out – the computers crash. It may even just freeze. Just something makes us too, freeze. Freeze in horror as we realize our work is not yet saved and we are going to have to redo all the information, formatting and writing we have accomplished so far. Inwardly we scream about what an idiot we were to not save this in time. And depending on anger issues, we may even consider throwing the computer out the window.

It seems as if most people need to make this mistake at least once (or a couple of hundred of times) until we learn from it. Quite, nothing is as frustrating as when effort has been at one hundred percent and we finally are seeing the light in the tunnel. And then it is all erased. We are back at square one. If we cannot grab the class’ computer hacker, we must face that he is at home this day, calling in sick and we must just restart the computer without having our precious work back. Tough life.

Now, with the negative outcome here, this does not happen with a simple and plain notebook. Obviously there is no save bottom to be pressed. On the other hand, a notebook is very vulnerable when it comes to rain, water in general and definitely fire. However, a computer would be too. But typically, one does not use a laptop over the head when running from the front gate door to the bus station. There is a greater risk we may fumble up the jewel notebook and keep our faces somewhat drier by using it as a sheltering umbrella.

To Do Lists and Notes

The first I do every single morning, if we dismiss the idea of coffee, it is to open up a brand new page. I note down what I must accomplish the day and I may already have a few lines written from the day before. If I have not had time to finish them by the late hours of yesterday that is to say. Naturally they will transfer over to the next page. In a way, I feel more productive when I get to grab a proud hold on the pencil a few hours later just to cross some of the lines. There is this self esteeming sensation inside me which grows when I get to do so. As if I really am a doer and not a talker. At least, this is the outcome such a ”tiny” task actually does to me.

Of course, nowadays I have also discovered the nice system within the notes system in Mac computers. I need to admit that I do feel enthralled when I get to block the lines I have empty for checks. I suppose this goes hand in hand with an urge of feeling like I really take a step forward every single day.

Otherwise I use this for writing plots to fanfics, screenplays and goals. What goal do I have for this week, this day, this month, year or lifetime? Before, I used to have these little bookish diaries and using post-it notes for what to buy from the grocery stores. Although I keep doing this in between, my main focus is the previous stuff. In a sense, I think it is easier to concentrate when using a classic notebook rather than a computer.

Focus
 
If we neglect the possibility of emptying battery resulting in us jumping ninja-style down the staircase in search for a charger, there are tons of distraction sections a computer offers versus a notebook. Yes, we may have interesting parts in our notebooks, specifically if we have dug out an old dusty one from 2010 we have in a moving box in the basement. But a computer typically do not only have folders with documents, it has photos from that amazing tropical vacation last year, it typically offers internet and all social media there are. News, blogs, videos and what else does not a computer give us? Pretty much everything. I was just going to suggest food, but then I remembered that we nowadays can order food online straight to the door within an hour, so… Yes. 
 
When I bring up my notebook with those bent overused edges, I immediately get into a mood of focus. There are less distractions and all I can think of is the written words and what goes on in my imagination. Which often is a dramatically comedic story as I try to plot it all out in my notebook. It is so nice to just write and write when I get into this flow. It is as if the pencil is living its own life and I can go on forever until it is almost three o’clock in the morning and I receive an upset glare by the little light still on to help my eyes out. 

Memories
 
Sure, when reaching those last pages of a notebook, it should be set aside to the trashcan (recycling one). That is to speak if we are done with the notebook. If there are a few pages left which I have noted on but have not worked with regarding unwritten stories, I just tear them from the book and put them in the next one. They will be loose but surely among new ideas I will write down. 
 
Sometimes I may be better and sometimes worse at this whole thing ”throwing” notebooks. When I lift out my box filled with notebooks I sometimes get slightly nostalgic, finding notes from 2009 about fanfic ideas from my first fandom. Even at points I can get baffled at what ideas I had, sometimes impressed and at points embarrassed. At least it is fun to see how my personal opinions have grown and what type of characters I am most pleased to develop. I thought I was all grown and knew it all by what age I was in back in those days. Turns out… I apparently did not. And it makes me know that I will probably grow a lot from the person I am today, even if I must embrace her now as well. 
 
Easier to Design
 
Yes, with an inc pencil it is not easy to change our minds. ”Oh, crap, that is a sentence I regret or want to change.” I do not really have to reveal that what we must do is to rewrite the sentence below, draw a line over the previous one or fill in with words. Basic stuff I dare to think an elder toddler must know of. But, I want to point out this part of drawing lines between sections, maybe even paint a little house or a filled heart somewhere on the page. Put arrows a bit everywhere as to emphasize what we mean a bit extra. Yes, the options are enormous and surely as of today, we get to do most of this at the notes on our computers too. But, yet a but, it takes longer time than just moving our pencil a bit differently for half a moment. We do not really have to search in menus to find an icon looking like a pencil or so to do this. 
 
I think that if someone would open one of my notebooks, their eyebrows would raise higher on their foreheads for every turning page. That not only have I stolen lyrics from the most passionate songs to quote in the beginning – I quickly go into a painted blue print of my dream house. Then I have a full page of numbers, me trying to calculate my salary or taxes, then on the third page I have different events I want to have in a fanfic. Perhaps a complete other screenplay is plotted on the following pages. Then there is a page of what I need to do during that day. On the following one we find my goals of a lifetime to again meet fanfiction writing on the next one. To make things worse, I always write my fanfiction notes in whatever language. When I talk (to myself) I mixture Norwegian, Swedish, English, Spanish and Italian. So, we can only imagine how those notes looks like. Surely, every single sentence is a mixture of all languages and unless we speak them – we will not have a clue of what they say.
 
And then at the last page I may have painted the features of my hand pressed against the paper. 

 

So to speak…
 
When someone speaks of their laptop, I agree with confessing that it is my little baby. I know my laptop better than the back of my hand. After all, it contains all of my stories which I have noted in notebooks. But a notebook is a notebook. I always bring one with me wherever I go. If I so happen to get a sudden idea that I will not have a use for a notebook while vacationing, mostly because I aim to save weight in my suitcases, I will still in the end of the day end up going to a local gift shop to buy me one. I simply cannot spend a week without a notebook. My fingers will itch until I get a pencil in my hand and a notebook to write down what ideas have come to my mind in the meantime. 
 
Only clear disadvantage I can find is the heaviness of a notebook. Perhaps not by a single one, but after a few years there will be a pile of notebooks. While a computer can search for whatever document we are searching for, I do sigh when I collapse beside the pile of notebooks. It is just to open up the one at the top and start browsing until I reach the one containing what I am searching for. Regardless, my love for notebooks remain. 🙂  Side note: Perhaps I should write a post about how to structure this? (To avoid going through them all over and over again?) Well, I know that I surely need one of those assisting texts. 
 

Love, E

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