Story Time!

Let me tell you a cheesy story!

Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I fell in love with my first love this year

I promised you guys the cheesy story of how I met the man that I’m now sharing a home with, and it’s quite the story.
It all started the summer before 7th grade. One of my good friends in my class had a cousin that was moving to town and he was going to start in our class. Now, it’s been 20 years. I don’t remember our exact first meeting, and I don’t remember who asked who, but somehow we ended up being girlfriend and boyfriend that summer before school started. One day I will find my old diaries and see if the whole detailed story was written down way back when.

Mikael was the first boy I kissed. Not just a peck, but really kissed. That happened when we were at a school dance. I remember being all excited about the prospect of the big first kiss happening, and I even told my best friend Kirsti all about how it was going to happen.
He and I went outside and sat behind a big mound that everyone used to play King of the Mountain on recess. We nervously looked up at the stars, I told him I was a little cold and he offered me his jacket, and then it happened. The very first REAL kiss! I was all nervous, giddy and sweaty-palmed.

Sounds like something right out of a way too cute movie, right?! But I promise you that it’s all true!

We were together for about five months. There were monthly anniversaries, making out in the dark while listening to R. Kelly’s “I believe I can fly”, and lots of emotions.

Then, (cue dramatic music) disaster happened!
His parents decided to move. He had to change schools, and it was over 20 minutes to drive there. That doesn’t sound so dramatic, right? But at the age of 12 and extremely few amounts of buses that could easily bring us to each other and back again, we decided to end the relationship. We both cried.

Many years went by, and we met now and again. When we were seventeen, we went to the same school once again, but not in the same classes.
I moved away from home after that year, and I didn’t see him for quite a few years after that, but (as we’ve discovered later on) we stayed in touch. He was much better at keeping in touch than I was.

He also started to spend a lot of time with one of my brothers as they had a mutual interest in music production and DJing. So, for many years he was still close with my family, but not that closely connected with me.

There was a birthday party of mine quite a few years later on that he attended, but I had a boyfriend at the time.

I turned 18, and I started doing some photoshoots here and there. Because of a modeling job I did at 18, I was invited to a specific party some years later. I brought three of my girlfriends with me. Apparently, he was there, and I didn’t even see him, but he saw me. And he has later on spilled the beans and told me that he was too nervous to come up to me for a chat. Silly Mikael!

Quite a few years went by after that were we texted now and then. Mostly Mikael trying to get in touch with me, and sending reactions to stuff I posted online, and me thinking that he was being a total dude who was only interested in me for one single thing, I paid little attention to these messages, and politely chatted with him if he started up a conversation. Oh yeah, way to make myself sound like somewhat of a judgemental sourpuss. I blame a lot of the men I’ve dated over the years for that.

We did, however, text a bit about the challenging times we both experienced in our relationships. Mikael had moved to Copenhagen in 2012, and I moved back to Oslo around the same time.

Then came 2018. Jason Mraz posted the schedule for his European Good Vibes Tour in 2019, and he wasn’t coming to Norway. But not going was not an option, so if Mraz wouldn’t come to the Norwegian, the Norwegian had to come to Mraz.

After going through both the tour schedule and my schedule, I was left with three options: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Vienna. I found out that Amsterdam had already sold out, and flying to Vienna was a lot more expensive than taking the bus to Copenhagen. I had also been looking at a tattoo shop in Copenhagen where I wanted to get my next piece of ink. The decision was made, and the tickets to see Mraz in Copenhagen were booked, and several months of waiting began.

The end of February arrived and I was sitting on an overnight bus to Copenhagen when Mikael and I started texting, and we talked about meeting up while I was in town.

“I’m headed to the Jason Mraz concert tomorrow, and there are still tickets available. You’re more than welcome to come along if you’d like!”

I didn’t think he was going to say yes, but he did, and then he booked his ticket. Then I started to get a little bit nervous.

What if it got super awkward? What if it turns out that we have nothing to talk about?

All of a sudden, I was 12 years again, with a belly full of butterflies that didn’t really make sense to me.

I had a few hours during the day where I checked in to my hostel, walked around the city and just enjoyed being the traveler that I am.
And later that night, we met at the train station. We hugged, and it was obvious that we were both a little shy and awkward, but it turned out that I had nothing to fear when it came to conversations. We talked and talked. We had some wine, and then the concert started. Mraz got up on stage after the warm-up band, and a little while into the concert, Mraz turned into the greatest wingman ever.
“Put your arms around the person standing next to you.”
And he did. I leaned into him and it all felt so new and known, exciting and safe, all at the same time. We stood there, swaying to the music, and his arm stayed in place around me.

After a little while, my mind started to race:
Is he going to kiss me? Why hasn’t he tried? Why do I want him to? Why do I feel like a nervous 12-year-old again? Why am I freaking out? IS HE GOING TO KISS ME ALREADY?

I’m usually not the one to make the first move, but right then and there, I decided to kiss him. And again, I had all of those feelings. It felt so familiar, but then again, it also felt totally new to me.
It was a night of swaying, kissing, blushing and beautiful music. We both cried.

I went to the hostel, and he went home, but before we went our separate ways, we made plans to meet for dinner the next day.
I remember going to bed that night (slightly tipsy and surrounded by 10 other snoring people) wondering if I might have made better choices when it came to love at the age of 12 than I had in the years after. Or could it all just be unfinished business that made it exciting? My tipsy self was confused and didn’t know what to think. My sober self the next morning was none the wiser.

We met for dinner the next day after I had gotten inked, and we were both acting like nervous teenagers. Both unsure of how to act. None of us daring to kiss each other. Both regretting not to after I got on the bus to go back to Oslo.

We texted a lot in the weeks after that visit, and we agreed on the fact that there was something there, but none of us felt sure about exactly what that something was. Both worrying that it might have been just unfinished business that made it all seem so exciting, or if it could be something more than that.

But what we did know was that we wanted to find out more about what that something could be. So we decided to spend Easter together. He booked a bus ticket to Oslo for April, and then life went on while we waited.

Easter came, and we were both quite nervous. It turned out to be the most wonderful time. We spent hours talking, day and night. We cuddled. We took things slow. And it felt so comfortable, so right, and so exciting, all at the same time. And when the time came for him to go back to Copenhagen, I didn’t want him to. I also didn’t feel like dating anyone else. He was my guy if he would have me. He did!

Trips back and forth. Phone calls for hours. And texting… So much texting!

And I realized one thing. Long distance relationships are tough! Especially when you live in different countries. I didn’t feel like missing him all the time. I wanted to look him in the eyes, not stare at a screen.

So, we talked it over, and he decided to move back to Norway. Not just that, but move in. Normally I would freak out at the prospect of moving in with someone that quickly, but for some reason, it just felt right.

And because this post is way too long already, I will just say that the rest is history!

Adjusting to living together has been interesting, challenging, but also fun and wonderful! I love him more and in a different way than I’ve loved any man before him. My plans for the future have changed as we’ve made plans together, and I’m so excited about all the new memories we’re going to make! And we’re bringing you guys along for some of it as well!

I’m so grateful, and I feel so incredibly lucky! And I guess that fills my cheesiness quota for a while.

Wish you all a wonderful week filled with love, laughter, experiences, and adventure!

The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson 📚

I read a digital edition of The Return of King Lillian that I received for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Literary fiction, fairy tale, fantasy.

Publisher: Pilmsthistle & Co.

Originally published: November 1st, 2012 (as a shorter novella)

Pages: 390 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 11 hrs and 54 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

A new hero’s journey for dreamers of all ages…

When Lillian, the one-and-only heir to the throne, is cast out of her kingdom by malevolent forces, she accidentally wanders into the Forest of Forgetfullness, where she is rescued by wolves and raised by an eccentric old wise woman. When she comes of age, Lillian is called by Destiny to return Home, but when she steps out of the Forest, she has no memory of who she is or from whence she hails. Undaunted, the spirited, self-reliant young woman sets off into the unknown, determined to rediscover her long-lost self and to reclaim her stolen birthright. Most of the tale is told by Lillian herself as she chronicles her extraordinary adventures.

My thoughts:

Going into this story I was expecting it to be an entertaining fast read meant for children. I was not prepared for the adventure that I set out on.

First off, I want to just mention the brilliant idea of having Lillian mentioned as a girl-king instead of a queen! That was the thing that caught my attention in the first place and made me curious for more.

The Return of King Lillian is a brilliant fairytale that reminded me a lot of stories like “The Wizard of Oz”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Gulliver’s Travels”. The whole story is written as if we’re reading Lillian’s diary. This made the reading experience very unique and personal, as if Lillian and I were sitting in front of a fireplace while she told me her whole story.

The thing that truly blew me away with this book was the beautiful way it is written. Sometimes it read like the fairytales I remember my parents reading for me when I was a kid, other times, it’s felt like I was reading a whimsical poem.

Lillian is such a wholesome, pure and naive character because of her time isolated in the Forest of Forgetfulness. But she’s also a strong character, and a lot of the challenges she meets throughout her journey can easily be linked to the problems that we meet out here in the real world. She takes them on with a positive and free-minded spirit, and the character development of Lillian is just a pure joy to witness as the pages go by.

Plakson has written a story that can be enjoyed by both kids as well as adults, with colorful characters, adventure, wisdom, and a good dose of wit and humor.

The Return of King Lillian is not a book that I speed read (as I often find myself doing with fairytales), but it was savored and enjoyed over time as the masterpiece that it is!

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it💛

Tick Tock by Dean Koontz 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of Tick Tock by Dean Koontz 📚

I listened to an audiobook version of Tick Tock on Audible.

Genre: Horror, fiction.

Publisher: Bantam

Originally published: January 1st, 1996

Pages: 340 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 9 hrs and 27 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

Tommy Phan is a successful detective novelist living the American Dream in southern California. One evening he comes home to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. It’s a simple doll, covered entirely in white cloth, with crossed black stitches for the eyes and mouth, and another pair forming an X over the heart. Curious, he brings it inside.
That night Tommy hears an odd popping sound and looks up to see the stitches breaking over the doll’s heart. And in minutes the fabric of Tommy Phan’s reality will be torn apart. Something terrifying emerges from the pristine white cloth, something that will follow Tommy wherever he goes. Something that he can’t destroy. It wants Tommy’s life, and he doesn’t know why. He has only one ally, a beautiful, strangely intuitive waitress he meets by chance–or by a design far beyond his comprehension. He has too many questions, no answers, and very little time. Because the vicious and demonically clever doll has left this warning on Tommy’s computer screen:
“The deadline is dawn.”
Ticktock
Time is running out.

My thoughts:

Dean Koontz is an author who’s been on my radar for a long time, but for some reason, I haven’t gotten around to give his books a chance. That was until my good friend Alex talked about Tick Tock, and I found the premise to sound very much up my alley.

Wonderfully horrific with its Ragdoll that comes to life with what seems like a mission to kill Tommy Phan.

The whole story kicks into drive pretty quickly, and it didn’t take me long for the story to grab hold and take me along on its journey of horror and wonder. And the story took another interesting turn when the character Del was introduced into the whole mix. I found her to be brilliantly weird, but also the kind of open-minded person that gave depth to the whole story. Kudos to Koontz for introducing an absolutely wonderful female companion character.

I’ve come to find that the horror that I enjoy the most are the ones that focus more on the people in the stories, and what the monsters or the horrific setting makes those people do. Because it’s in the times of despair and fear that our true selves often gets a chance to come out and play, for good or bad.

The other thing that really made this into such an enjoyable read was the humor that’s present throughout the whole book.
It’s hard to review this story in much more detail without spoiling the plot. So, it’s fast-paced, funny, creepy, and stays true to the horror genre.

I highly recommend Tick Tock to the horror lovers out there!

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The Bachmann Books by Stephen King 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of the four novels Stephen King published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman📚

I read a hardback version of The Bachman Books.

Genre: Horror, fiction.

Publisher: Erid Press Inc. 

Originally published: May 22nd, 2019

Pages: 263 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

Rage

A disturbed high-school student with authority problems kills one of his teachers and takes the rest of his class hostage. Over the course of one long, tense and unbearable hot afternoon, Charlie Decker explains what led him to this drastic sequence of events, while at the same time deconstructing the personalities of his classmates, forcing each one to justify his or her existence.

The Long Walk

In the near future, where America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. The game is simple – maintain a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings, and you’re out – permanently.

Roadwork

Barton Dawes’ unremarkable but comfortable existence suddenly takes a turn for the worst. Highway construction puts him out of work and simultaneously forces him out of his home. Dawes isn’t the sort of man who will take an insult of this magnitude lying down. His single-minded determination to fight the inevitable course of progress drives his wife and friends away while he tries to face down the uncaring bureaucracy that has destroyed his once comfortable life.

The Running Man

It is 2025 and reality TV has progressed to the point where people are willing to wager their lives in exchange for a chance at enormous wealth. Ben Richards is desperate – he needs money to treat his daughter’s illness. His last chance is entering a game show called The Running Man where the objective is to elude police and specially trained trackers for a month. The reward is a cool billion dollars. The catch is that everyone else on the planet is watching and willing to turn him in for a reward.

My thoughts:

First of all, I want to thank Alex Ochoa, the wonderful YouTube subscriber that sent me a hardback copy of this book! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I was very excited to get my hands on the stories that Stephen King chose to publish under a pseudonym. This edition also has “Rage” in it which is a story that is no longer being printed. This is because a real-life event in 1998 was inspired by the book and Stephen King felt morally obliged to let the book die from the publishing world.

The typical Stephen King voice and references are definitely easy to spot when you already know that it is his work.
So let’s go through each of them, story by story.

Rage

The story of a young man named Charlie Decker who has been sent to the principal’s office because of an assault on a teacher. After that, he goes on a tirade in the school and holds a class hostage.

I thought it was interesting to read a story like this with the thoughts in mind of how often events like this take place nowadays. It’s equally as current now, and maybe even more so than it was back then. It is hard to try to set oneself in the shoes of someone who acts out in such an extreme way, and maybe even more interesting to see just how confusing it can all be inside the head of that person as well.
The story is one of slow-burning suspense and I thought it was quite interesting.

I can definitely understand why King felt it necessary to take it off the market, but in the same way, it seems like all the school shootings around are not specifically inspired by the literature that takes on that specific setting but more inspired by other events like them. Even so, I highly respect King’s decision to take the story out of print.
Rage was an interesting read, but it didn’t quite grab me.

The Long Walk

And what a long walk it was indeed! I have no idea why it took me what felt like forever to get through this story. It’s a really interesting story about the will to live. You have 100 boys setting out for The Walk where they have to hold a certain pace and always stay on their feet until there’s only one boy left who will win “the prize”.

It touches on some really good subjects of mental strain and mental health. Showcasing the way a mind can completely fall apart when it’s put under too much pressure. It’s also a take on a very conservative futuristic America.

It is a gruesome tale of staring death in the eye and trying to find the will to survive when everything feels hopeless. I also really enjoyed the friendships that we got to see between the contestants, as well as the rivalry. The pressure put on humans can bring out both the best and the worst in us all.

Roadwork

Roadwork tells the story of Mr. Dawes who has a lot of anger towards the new highway extension project in his town that forces him to move away from what has been his home for many years. We also get to know a lot of Dawes’s emotional hardships, and his unwillingness to let go of the past throughout this story.

We follow a man on a mission. A man who completely unravels.
Reading Roadwork is like watching a train crash in slow motion. You know it’s going to end in horror, but you just can’t look away. It’s a detailed and interesting journey of how a single thought or an idea can grow into something truly insane when fuelled by hate and unresolved issues.

I enjoyed it as much as I found it uncomfortable, but in a good way. If that makes any sense?

The Running Man

In The Running Man, we visit a dystopian US in 2025 where there’s a television game show that hunts its contestants to their death. Ben Richards joins the game show in the hope of winning enough money to get medicine for his gravely ill daughter. The contestants earn $100 for every hour they stay alive, an additional $100 for each law enforcement officer or Hunter he kills, and a grand prize of $1 billion if he survives for 30 days.

It’s a suspenseful cat and mouse kind of story, with an interesting and mysterious countdown going on throughout that has you guessing.
I really enjoyed this story and found it to be the only one in the book where I felt like I was kept at the edge of my seat and did not want to put it down.
It touches on some interesting subjects of the economy and society. How far are we willing to go? How much are we willing to accept as entertainment instead of cruelty? How easily do we eat up the information fed to us by the media?

Again, this truly is a story of how horrible and selfish some people can be. I loved it!

Overall I found The Bachman Books to be a solid collection of good stories. It took me forever to get through them, but not because I didn’t enjoy them. I kind of wish that I would’ve read them as separate books instead of a collection. It might not have felt as intimidating as individual books.

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