Tuesday, June 30, 2015

growing up

at about age 10, -were you short or tall, small or big compared to people in your class and how did that affect your life?

I was a real shorty. didn't quite like it. My "friends" picked me up and carried me around like a toy. They never asked before if I wanted to be picked up or if I wa OK with it. They just picked me up.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Just one more week before we leave for Sweden. Can't believe it. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exciting day for this family

I'll be meeting up with a favorite author and his students to talk about Swedish children's books (picture books in particular). 

Vanja is going to an amusement park with her school as an end of school year celebration.

Joel is having an all day picnic with his school. 

Niki has mini-olympics at her gymnastics place.

Anders has an important meeting. 

Will be great to see everyone tonight and hear how it all went. 

What's happening in your lives today?


Sunday, June 21, 2015

A midsummer's night in NYC

Inside out

How Niki and I had looked forward to the new Pixar movie Inside Out!

Went to see it yesterday and...it just wasn't for me.

To me, it felt like an all too peppy TED-talk on emotions and memories.
And the inside of one's mind has all the charm and uniqueness of a sterile 90s shopping mall. I understand the graphic analogies were there to make the whole complex how-the-emotional-side-of-the-brain-works-concept easier to grasp but it was not a landscape my inner child/person could appreciate at all. A world with no trees. No thanks.

The rest of the movie house crowd did not feel like I did, they loved it all and gave it a big applause at the end.

Every reviewer seem to agree it's mind-blowingly fantastic too.

have you seen it? what did you think?

oh well, on to the next! now waiting for:
Finding Dory, Hotel Transsylvania 2, Kung Fu Panda 3.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


so meaningless, hateful and hellish.

beyond comprehension.

it's a sad sad sad day.

My second book is off to the printer's!

So happy!

Currently working on nr 3 and 4!

it's happening. so darn hard but it's happening.
The hard part is overcoming the notion that I have zero talent and no original ideas and just keep writing despite that. to have writing as a profession is such a privilege.
so grateful.

still hard though. even after 20 years.

Does your newpaper have this?

Sweden's biggest newspaper has a "good news" section. 
When the world seems too horrible, I go there and read a little and feel everything is not solely completely nuts after all. 
Thank you, DN!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weird stories I've stumbled across that might be added to summer culture diet

Heard interview with the author of this book on radio yesterday. So weird and scary the world of weapons and warfare. 


Then a story on how 6 brothers, growing up secluded, reared by Harekrishna-influenced parents, found solace in movies and became the topic of a documentary themselves:


what troubles are you facing right now?

you can be anonymous.
I'm very interested in challenges. Small and big. No trouble is too small for my interest!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

wrap your heads around this one, young people

before internet, hashtags and tattoos, we used T-SHIRT PRINTS to express our beliefs and find peers. It was very very important.

perhaps it still is? t-shirt print culture seems alive and well.
have recently seen the following prints out and about in New York City:

Spiritual Gangster

It'd be a lot cooler if you did (wooderson fans know this one)

It's not broken, it just needs a little DUCT TAPE


Monday, June 8, 2015

Feel free to rain on my parade

Perhaps because I grew up in a country largely devoid of sunshine, beautiful weather stresses me out.
I love rain, dark skies, thunder and windy afternoons. When you can stay indoors and work.

Should I move to England?
Where is the weather terrible to you, terrific to me?

Now only need to interest rest of my family in this setup.

Overheard on NY Street

3 teenage girls talking to each other.

"Her parents are SOOO naive!"

"Yeah. I mean what do they think would happen after prom? That we would just have tacos and soda?"

"Yeah right."

thinking to myself: I will be those parents. very soon.

Overheard at garden days at Cloisters

Mom: Come over here and smell this flower. It smells F_A_N_T_A_S_T_I_C!

Teenage son: nah.

Mom: What do you think will happen if you smell it? Think I'm trying to poison you?

(Teenage son reluctantly walks over to mom).

Mom: Didn't it smell amazing?

Teenage son: Mom, I'm hungry.

All you goth people

How about something like this for your wish lists?
Memento mori-jewellry with worms crawling out of dead man's mouth and a ring that splits in two to reveal the span of our lives - from baby to skeleton. 

No filter

Christianity doesn't do it for me. But some of the art conceived within the faith is great. Like this little ivory sculpture at the Cloisters. So much more about trust and love than anything else. Through the centuries, to us.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015


a while ago

Growing up, I started having depressive periods from about age 12. Real gloom, existential angst, terrors that could only be lightened by intense exercise, a body in motion, loving people holding me tight, telling me everything would be all right and meaning it.

In college, thousands of miles away from my family, I kept having bouts of severe sadness. In those days before e-mail, I'd fax letters to my family. 

I remember one fax I got in return from my dad. 
He said (roughly translated): 

"It seems you have an artist's soul, so your mood swings swing a little wider. "

Such a calming effect, those words. Nothing to fear. Not worse or better than anyone else. Just wider swings. Not even sure if I have an artist's soul or just an artist's mood swings.  I've learned to live with it. I keep walking through the sadness until it lifts and becomes manageable.

It's one of the reasons I can't stand tight skirts or high heels. I need to be able to walk it off, whenever it comes over me.

this spring

2 years in

I keep having pangs of homesickness.
It's ridiculous in so many ways. New York has everything. Everything. Almost.
But not my childhood friends. Not my parents or brother and his family.
Not my sense of belonging, completely.

New York is adventure, diversity, excitement, surprise. All that and a generosity with daylight the Swede isn't used to.

But Stockholm is my shell, my home.

We're a family divided when it comes to these feelings. Beyond seeing a few loved friends, Joel doesn't see the point in going home over summer, he might as well stay. Anders feels the same way.

Staying at least one more year here, I wonder whether this rift will deepen or not.

Recurring thought

I miss my books.
The books I left in Sweden.
Some of them I've had to buy again to have with me here.
The books are my friends.
I've thought about this fact. The books as friends. Isn't it then the authors I consider friends, kindred spirits?

But no. It's the books themselves.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Character and consequence

Character and consequence - what is that? Is that an unpublished Jane Austen novel? NO! It's my current project.

I'm building a library of characters for upcoming books and would love any help.

What I need is this: What are your positive characteristics and what are your negative ones?
What consequences have these traits had on you and your life?
If too hard to talk about yourself, talk about someone close to you! You can omit name, age and gender if you'd like!

mail me at emilieguner@gmail.com if you'd like to participate in this/help me and I'll send back an e-mail with more in-depth questions (THANK YOU!!!!).

Not sure what reward I could give in return beyond my deepest and most sincere interest. Have copies of a book I just translated if that would do it for you. It's all about vintage hairstyles.

Example of what I'm trying to say here:

Emi Guner was born with a (severe) tendency to exaggerate. She's kind of a loner who loves company (makes little sense but is true). She also hates set times. Loves: Books, museums and the internet.

Guner turned her exaggerating ways into paychecks by writing positive things for brands  - yes she became a copywriter. Furthermore, she's self-employed and often spends her days writing at the Met. She has a very hard time turning down any social invitation.

In above pic, Guner is caught thinking about whether her latest exaggeration will really slip under the radar.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Overheard at street crossing

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a nice but strange place teeming with middle/media class 30-somethings  on their ways between Apple stores, start-up planning, yoga classes and beer drinking.

Here's an authentic snippet of conversation I overheard the other day between a young man with 30 little braids in his hair, glasses and jumpy eyes talking to a young preppy-looking man:

Braid man: I would really love to hang out with you again soon.

Preppy man: Sure.

Braid man: I mean, we should do a lock-in. Just stay in the whole day and be creative. Do art, listen to music, just stay inside and make stuff.

Preppy man: Yes. But I'm busy.

Braid man: So when could you do it?

Preppy man: The only day would be tomorrow.

Now so curious if they did their lock-in. No way to find out. Unless I see preppy man with 30 little braids in the street this week.