X Mags the Spot.

So, I must have mentioned this before, but this term I, and seven other Roehampton Students, have been creating a sex magazine.

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It has been amongst the toughest things I have ever done and my stress level has hit the roof. Our 24 pages magazine went to pint on Wednesday the 2nd, together with three other mags from our course, and after hours and hours in front of a computer and indesign we were done and we could send it to the printer. I cried. The exhaustion hit me then and there and I couldn’t hold it back, we had worked so hard.

A week later, Wednesday the 9th, we held a pitch to four experts from the industry (including Paula Akpan, Sagal Mohammed, Dominic Mills, and Laura Kelly Dunlop) to prove that our magazine deserved to win. But, I’m sad to say, we didn’t. But I am so proud of what we have done and how we finished, our pitch was great. We made everyone laugh and finished the term in the way we intended to, we made people talk, and we made people talk about sex.

Writing a sex magazine has been so inspiring and challenging. We have had to be very careful, there is a fine line between sex and porn in this industry, but we managed it very well.

Also, we had a erotic short story on the back of our magazine, written by me. It was quite odd to have some of my favourite lectures sitting there reading about a woman’s sexual fantasies that I had jotted down. But they liked it, and I am both proud and embarrassed. I asked one of them, shoutout to Chris, if he was blushing reading it, he said he didn’t and asked if I did, and yes, yes I did.

Thank you to my team, my wonderful hardworking team mates, who took care of me at the brink of breakdown, and to Alison who has helped us through this process.

And finally a MASSIVE congratulations to D_RT Magazine who won the pitch, you truly deserved it (shoutout to my girls Saskia and Ola, you are queens).

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The artwork is made by my wonderful and talented friend Diana Verba @verba_art and the pictures features members from X-Magazine and D_RT and the great Sagal and Paula.

Multitasking from hell.

As I am working my way through my last couple of month of university I am slightly panicking, but weirdly seem to have everything together?

I have just started my first post-university job as an editorial assistent at a content creating company called Eric, and it takes up most of my brain capacity at the moment. At the same time I am trying to finish all my assignments, produce X-Magazine, prepare for editing sessions of my short story, blog, and, you know, eat and sleep.

Luckily, this is something I want to do, and something that I want to be better at. I want to be brilliant.

I am looking towards the finish line, to when I have finished all my tasks, and to when I can solemnly focus on my career. But, until then, I am multicasting the shit out of this spring.

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STOCKHOLM

So I did this thing….

I trashed my ticket to London this weekend and took the opportunity to go to Stockholm. I came on Sunday, and will leave for London on Wednesday, and I have had the best time.
I have been spending time with my uncle, his wife, my cousins and their partners and of course little Linton; one of my cousins 1 year old WHO I ADORE! We spent the Sunday together, had Easter dinner, drank too much beer and wine, and played family games; we do love Pictionary!
Then I have been to a floorball game where I got to see an old friend of mine (whom I met in London 4 and a half years ago, he’s called Gustav), play against my local Kalmar team. Gustav’s team bloody smashed the Kalmar team, and it was amazing, it was intense, and it was so much fun.
I have missed watching floorball; it is a special feeling to sit there and feel everything, and to get swooped in with the other supporters.
After the game I was invited for dinner at Gustav’s house, and it was so lovely. We talked about floorball, the time that has passed, school, work and everything in between. His family are so into floorball that we kept talking about the game over and over, which I loved.
Today I’m enjoying the sunshine.

Now, always when I see people back in Sweden I am asked “So, what will happen next? Will you move back to Sweden?” and my answer has always been No.
I don’t really feel like I want to go back to Sweden, I am way too restless for the Swedish Lagom (Lagom means ‘Just enough’) and I want to travel and see more of the world.
But, if I were to move back to Sweden I would move to Stockholm.

Stockholm feels like home, although I have not actually lived here. We moved down to Öland when I was six, so I haven’t really experienced the Swedish capital properly. But I have so much family, and so many friends, living here and I wish I had the opportunity to spend more time with them and in this city.
I want to find the best coffee in Stockholm, I want to go and see all the football derbys, I want to live the quality life I know exist in Sweden, but maybe not just yet…

I am not quite done with London and the hectic, crazy, wonderful life I have there, but I can’t deny that Stockholm is an intriguing thought. I will continue to say No to Sweden for a while longer though, but when I feel a bit more Lagom I will start considering moving back to where it all started.

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X-MAG

There’s is a lot of exciting things going on at the moment. One of my projects this term is to create a magazine, and we are creating a magazine about sex. Our team is trying to create a safe space for conversation about sex and everything around it. Everything from erotica, to porn, to asexuality and swingers and we want to do it in a inviting, body positive and inclusive way. Please join our conversation!

We have just launched our Instagram and I cannot wait to show you the rest. Check us out at: x-mxgazine at Instagram, you wont regret it.
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Roehampton Anthology.

I have news. Big ones.

Every year University of Roehampton has a competition to select the work of students that will go into our anthology – a collection of flash fiction, short stories and poetry developed by creative writing students. A Creative Writing Soiree is held to announce the winners, and last Wednesday was the big night.

I entered this year and, believe it or not, I won.

I still have a hard time believing it. I can’t quite grasp the fact that one of my stories is good enough to go into print, mainly because this has been the dream for as long as I can remember but also because I had a hard time understanding the feeling in my tummy before the announcement. It was so weird to walk up on that stage…

Now it is time to go into the editing process, which will be fun, but also scary and stressful because of the amount of work I have to complete before May. I have three modules this term, and around 8000 words to write.
The anthology will be published in, I think, autumn, and I can’t wait to see the book and read my fellow students entries.

At the moment I am in Sweden, a few days away from London to check on my cervix that I had a tiny operation on six months ago, and, like Dennis said and now regret saying, I am a soon to be published writer with a dysfunctional vagina.

(God I love that tag line.)

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A chaotic journey.

After a full on crazy-oh my god what is happening-I cannot handle this-kind of week I am now in Sweden, having a beer with my father. I am here to check on my cervix, you know, as you do.

But my morning, and the start of my journey, was absolutely crazy.

First off, the we went into summertime, and I lost one hour of sleep. But also, someone in our building was having an afterparty and I woke up at 3. Two hours later I got up and started checking my trains. It was more confusing than usual and I thought that Victoria Station would be my best chance, although I might have to go with the Gatwick Express, which is a total rip off.
I got there, in an uber, got a coffee and checked my trains. The 6.30 was cancelled and it looked like I had to take the next Gatwick Express. I bought a ticket and went on the train. At 6.58 they announce that the train wont leave and that the next train wont be until 7.22. Shit.
I got out, really annoyed at this point, and talked to a person working there. I asked why the hell I wasn’t warned that this might happen when I got there to buy my ticket, because this had obviously been going on all morning. He said that they don’t know what will happen and that they couldn’t know that this train also would be cancelled, neither did he say that the next one might be cancelled too. I was pissed off. I had an hour to get to the airport, or I was most likely missing my flight.

As I walked out from the platform a guy approach me and asked if I wanted to share a cab. YES PLEASE! I went to take out cash for him and he says “I’ll get two more”. So there we were, four strangers ordered an uber and got into it, half stressed and half laughing at the situation. The planned time of arrival was 8.15, my flight was at 9.20.

My three new travel buddies were all going to very different places, they were all from very different places and were leaving after spending very different amount of time in London.
A woman, late twenties, who was from the UK, was going to Valencia. Her flight was at 9.10. The other man, also late twenties, was from Mexico City and was heading back to Seattle after visiting the UK for a wedding. The man who brilliantly spotted us angry and stressed, was from Belgium, he had been in London for three years and was now heading to Nepal and later South Africa after quitting his job in the City two days ago. It was a good group of people.

We came to the airport, dropped the English girl off at north terminal and went on to the south. I, who only had an hour before my flight was due, ran away from the lovely guys and sped through security. Thankfully, all went well and I could join the group at my gate. I made it.

I had had a bad feeling before the trip and I knew something would go wrong. I didn’t know what, so I just went with the flow. Still, I was super annoyed with the blood suckers that are Gatwick Express.

When I got to Copenhagen I went through faster than ever before, and I was soon on a train to Malmö.

Now I am home, on my little island, having a beer with my father, and I am so so so exhausted.

Still it has been an interesting day and I am grateful I ended up in that car with three very interesting people. I am sure we will meet again, but maybe in another life.

How can I influence?

I’d like to write about these people called influencers.
The last couple of years social media platforms have become increasingly important for brands, celebrities, but also for businesses. In this wave of marketing people who have a lot of followers on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, blogs etc, have become a tool to reach out to a wider audience: introducing influencers.

For me, an influencer is something very different from what brands and our capitalistic society wants it to be. I want an influencer to influence people to do good, to give back and to be the best person you can be. But this is unfortunately rarely the case.
Our most loved influencers are usually the ones coming from a stabil and wealthy background, girls (because most influencers are girls) who have had it all, and girls that are the norm: beautiful and skinny. They are women who are encouraging you to buy this and that, instead of encouraging self love and a healthy living.

I’m mainly aware of Swedish influencers, because somehow they are a lot more up in my face than anyone international, and there are two kinds. The first one is the most common one, and sadly the most popular one: the beautiful normality. The other one is the opposite, the influencers that call out on the ones that influence the “this is how we are suppose to look and act”. These are the influencers I want to be influenced by. But I’m like a fish in a stream, I do follow the main.

What many influencers don’t understand is the amount of young girls who look up to them, who buy the same clothes as them and who does anything the be like their idol. Some would argue that of course they do, that is how they get payed, they make other people buy the stuff they promote. And yes, they are aware of this, but they don’t understand how the tiniest little hint of self hate can turn a girl from healthy to insecure.
It is absolutely okay to dress, eat and act in any way you like (as long as you are nice to people), but don’t talk about diets, how to look thin as fuck in photos (that was Khloe), and about how you are not enough. It hurts more than you think.

Yes even influencers doubt themselves, and yes they are allowed to have bad days and make bad decisions, but they must be able to do it in a much better way. They know how many followers they have, they know the norm oh so well, they know they earn money on being this inspiring person, and they know they can help many by doing better.

If I can influence anyone to anything I want them to feel like they can be themselves, and that being yourself is fucking amazing.

Here’s to the influencers who inspire me to be my healthy self, to people who encourage me to read, to give to charity, to dance in my underwear, to drink wine, and to make a fool of myself on Instagram. I like you.

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Here’s a picture where I don’t look skinny as fuck. It’s just me, and that’s okay.
Photo by Johanna.

How to Adult – Weekly Shooping

The thought of it is not actually intimidating. I like the list making, the planning, the read through a brand new cookbook or the saved Tasty recipes on my Facebook. I feel responsible and very much like an adult (which is something I have been avoiding feeling like since always). I plan for both breakfast and dinner, the meals in between are a bit more fluid, and I make sure there’s enough room in the fridge for what is suppose to fit in there. I go through the list with my partner, to make sure that if he complain later this week he cannot blame me.

The walk there is fine (although it’s pouring and we have to avoid the big streets where we might be showered by trucks) and we brought three bags from home: Stop the unnecessary plastic waste people! It takes around 15 minutes to get there and it feels good to have a big supermarket nearby.
We arrive to the shop, a big Tesco, and I am thrilled with the selection within. Bring me the veg!

We walk around and start picking stuff to put in our trolley. Yup, another adult thing: you buy so much that you need a basket with wheels. As we go and Dennis pick out his meat he says ‘This is why I don’t like weekly shopping, everything is about to expire?’ Sure enough, on every package of chicken, mushroom, broccoli and the rest, the expire date is in like two days. I guess we just have to hope it’s an exaggeration?
We continue and quickly go through my list, which I brought, another adult point right there. We make sure the coffee is up to my Swedish standard and go for one called Fika and we make sure that the vodka is up to Dennis standards and buy one called Absolut.

We make our purchase, use all our brought bags, and head home through the rain. I feel very happy with how smooth it all went down and with how organised I’d been.
We get home, wet but satisfied, and start unpacking. It all fit in!
Now, you must wonder if we forgot anything? Of course we did. We have no conditioner, no laundry liquid, I need painkillers and tampons, and we don’t have any oil. I think there will be a few trips to our local little supermarket throughout the week… if not for oil, then for wine.

International Women’s Day

Today is a beautiful day. Not because of the flowers we are receiving, not because of the congrats, not because of the pink beer or the whiskey in a dress, and certainly not because of the hate.
Today is a beautiful day, because once every year, on the 8th of March, women remind men, and each other, that we are important. That we are strong, that we will continue to fight for issues that we live with and we will do that for all women around, for the women without a voice, for the women unsure what to think. We will continue to raise these questions until everyone is listening, until every Harvey has fallen, until an act of goodness will just be that, and not a heroic sacrifice for the greater good.

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It has been a big year. Huge. The TIME person of the year was WOMEN, Silence Breakers, standing up against the power that has been crushing them, women who finally spoke of the secret (not so secret) events that has been going on, since always.
We have been wearing black, we have been wearing roses, we have marched, and we have been writing. And writing. And writing. We have shared our stories, #metoo, and we have been heard. But we will keep writing. We will continue to write until we will wake up to a world without having to fight for respect, for a chance, for equality.
Let’s make this year even bigger.

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TIME’S UP, she screamed high over the roof tops, over the patriarchy, over the masses, over the unwilling. But ,most importantly, she screamed towards her sisters, standing united, finally, together. TIME’S UP.

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This embroidery is made by my fantastic friend Cornelia (I’ll tag her on Instagram) and I am so grateful that she let me use her stunning art work for this piece. Thank you hun.

A Portrait

Last year my friend Andrea made a documentary about me for her university course. She studies film and art in Brighton and honoured me with documenting on my life as a writer, a student and a feminist.
It is so weird to hear and see myself on film. I will never get used to my voice.

Around 3.20 into the film I talk about how we were creating a magazine for university, but this project has been closed down. I decided to keep that bit in the film though, because when I talk about the magazine that I was going to be a part of, I talk about stuff that I am passionate about and topics I still want to share with the world. My original magazine is no more, but the issues that we were going to rise are still around.
I am creating another magazine now, but more about that later…

Andrea is a great filmmaker and I felt comfortable in front of her camera. She asks good questions and are interested in the person she is covering.
I feel a bit (read a lot) self conscious, but she did such a good job that I want to share this here.