Blog Break!

I’ve gone back to recording and playing. I’m currently working on “Berit-Vol.2” and feel way more energised this year than what I did when I first started working on “Berit-Vol.1” If you want to follow and support the making of my new album then please go here: Please support my music! It is also possible to support my creativity via PayPal., and get the same rewards as a Patron.

I’ve already written several new pieces of music this year that has nothing to do with the “Berit” series, I’ve also gone back to proper practising and have picked up the creative pieces from before I got sick.

Back in 2016 it appears that I had made it my mission to complete the lyrics and concepts for my unreleased metal music, in addition to this I find myself overwhelmed by an abundance of audio notes, written notes, etc; featuring song ideas, lyric ideas, book ideas, character ideas, you name it.

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I feel very strongly that I need to sort out as much of this as possible, in addition to this I have lots of ideas churning in the back of my mind in regards to relevant/timely blog entries, but I’ll let those simmer in the background as I finish up on all of these others things that are “cooking.”

The other day I was out in town doing something unusual in this day and age; browsing through library books on the quest for references for my 2nd illustrated lyric book. I will probably post a picture of my 1st illustration as I’ve only shared this with my followers on Patreon so far. I made a pretty cool artwork last year and have pretty much mentally mapped out how I want my new lyric book to look like so now it only remains to put all of the individual pictures together. Here are some pictures from my 1st lyric book, it is available as an ebook right here: ILLUSTRATED LYRIC BOOK the physical version is only available through my Patreon. 

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As I’ve regained my inspiration and drive I’ve lost interest in regularly blogging so I’ll take a break from this hobby, at least until I’ve sorted through all of these lyrics, story ideas and songs that are spread around all over the place.

Until then.

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Feel free to check out all my new Merch! I’ve designed a lot of cool products this year both in my Teespring & Zazzle store!

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11 Ways To Improve Your Skin.

At the beginning of the year I announced that I would probably be moving in a different direction here on my blog in order to cater to the popularity of self-help articles and skin-care related entries here on my site.

As it turns out it was easier said than done.

I only use make-up whenever I’m shooting videos, performing or creating content. In fact I let my skin rest most of the time because I’ve had this theory that that is better long-term. Whenever I leave the house to take care of an errand I’ll normally just put on some foundation, so I always end up with a very natural look.

During a podcast I listened to yesterday it was said that the average woman leaves her house with a 120 chemicals on her body! The greatest offender is apparently perfume since this can cause headaches, etc;

After listening to this very girly conversation I understood why my Skin Care. Red Flag Alert. is so very popular. Women are waking up to a cleaner lifestyle and are not interested in being poisoned long-term by the beauty products that they use!

It was an interesting episode which reminded me of the moment that my song “Toxic” came to me. Originally it was inspired by beauty products but I changed the topic since I didn’t think that it was very “rock’n’roll.”

As more and more women are becoming sceptical of what they put on their skin (which I also read in an article a while back), then maybe my 11 “beauty tips” below will become increasingly relevant.

My tips would be:

  1. Avoid prescription drugs unless you cannot.
  2. Don’t use make-up regularly.
  3. Don’t drink alcohol regularly.
  4. Don’t smoke.
  5. Don’t do drugs.
  6. Try to get hold of good quality food.
  7. Don’t eat ready meals.
  8. Only use what you have to use in terms of beauty products.
  9. Try to establish a routine of doing a face-massage. You can do this yourself. There are plenty of good tutorials on YouTube. Just go on there and do a quick search!
  10. Try to avoid what makes you emotionally upset.
  11. Create. If you are not artistic then I would recommend buying a colouring book or puzzles, anything that can get your mind off your troubles and the problems of the world. Journaling is something that is commonly recommended in wellness articles.

Another obvious advice would be to go to bed early, but I’m not very good at this!

In terms of self-help I hope that my upcoming faith-journey videos will help people find happiness. The other day I was listening to a guy who proclaimed that “pain was good for business.” Why? Because you can then offer people a solution to their suffering and make a profit.

What if you could get hold of a solution that was free of charge?

Stay tuned – my faith journey videos will be released soon!

In the meantime: take care!

Lots of love! ❤

10 Years of Acne Hasn’t Made Me Any Wiser…

The first time in my life that I ever experienced anything looking like a pimple happened during a family holiday in the UK.

It’s funny that I never really thought about that until recently because once my family left England I did not experience anything else resembling acne or excessive pimples until several years later when the family actually moved to the UK.

It could be that it was all just a coincidence or it could also be that there is something mysterious going on…

My skin did really great when I hardly ate back in 2017. So it seems like not eating is a great tactic for calm skin besides eating homemade bird-based vegetable soups. That was what I mainly consumed in ’17 and not only was this good for an irritated stomach it also reflected well on my face.

What I’ve noticed in fact is that if I eat pre-made (yummy) burgers from one of the main supermarket chains here in England I instantly break out, even if only eating one burger.

That makes me wonder … if a person breaks out on their cheeks it is said that it is “hormonal,” so does that mean that I break out due to hormones in the meat that I’m consuming?

Obviously you can’t stop eating. I do find it annoying though that after 10 years of dealing with acne and pimples I still have the problem. I’ve used some products that work, but it never sorts out the problem permanently.

There doesn’t seem to be a permanent solution, once you start breaking out you’ll have to battle it seemingly forever, with good and bad days of course.

I would recommend using TEA TREE OIL but make sure that you get a bottle of 100% pure tea tree! If not you’ll only get watered down products with a myriad of other things thrown into the mix! It is not expensive, TEA TREE OIL is an affordable remedy. It is not a permanent solution but it makes it better. 😉

 

12 Lessons Learnt From Being A Big Sister.

“Helping out” used to be the norm back in the day when our ancestors were more tribal and more connected to their immediate and (probably also) extended family.

The modern concept of “responsibility” means: gathering resources (making money) so that you can pay the bills that you have your own name on.

It usually means moving away from your family, preferably as far away as soon as possible, but not because you are starting your own tribe. It’s just vital for you to get away!

Back in older times responsibility meant: gather resources (hunting, foraging and/or farming), while there were other layers of responsibility that were acknowledged such as doing housework and looking after children among other things.

My situation as a teenager was dramatically different to that of my Norwegian peers since I actually had to help out with my younger siblings.

I did my part but felt miserable about missing out on what my friends were doing, in addition I also found gender-bias to be frustrating: namely that it was merely assumed that I as the oldest girl had to help out. When older women pointed out that this would be great experience for me when I one day started my own family, I was further angered at how it was just assumed that I would go along with gender-typical alignments.

When we moved to London and our Asian landlords assumed that I would be helping my mother in the kitchen I once again felt an inner dissonance, why did people just assume this?

Fast forward and I’ve realised a number of things:

  1. I didn’t really miss out on much during my teens.
  2. Whatever lessons I learnt from helping out; other people my own age simply had to learn later.
  3. A number of my old friends had to acknowledge that their parents had been right and that their own “rebellious” time as teenagers had neither empowered them nor benefited them long-term.
  4. While other people were hanging out and partying I acquired  proper skills.
  5. What I learnt from dealing with my family taught me things that I’m sure can be applicable to other situations, it even inspired me to write a children’s book.
  6. Helping out in the family is the norm in Africa, South America, The Middle East and (probably also)Asia and this is a benefit when it comes to having strong family units.
  7. It is much better to be part of a tribe (family) rather than family duties being outsourced to the impersonal State/government. It also saves taxpayer’s money to keep as much as possible within the family.
  8. I would much rather help out with stereo-typical female things rather than going to war or lifting insanely heavy objects.
  9. Stereotypical gender roles became stereotypical gender roles for a reason; and most people don’t even question it or think about it.
  10. The more people can do on their own and the less dependent they are on the supermarket-culture the more they enhance their chances of survival.
  11. I’m probably one of the most well-prepared Millennials in the Western world when it comes to managing and running a household properly due to my experience of co-running things with my mother. Not because I’m so awesome, but due to how uncommon it has become with traditional family structures and inter-family responsibilities. This is not a bad experience to have, especially when considering that the world is filled to the brim with other cultures where family is still seen as an important corner-stone.
  12. Nobody is too important to take out the trash. The Western world is failing due to an attitude problem and a value deficiency I’m sure!

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How Plastic Integrates Without Disintegrating….

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll probably know that I started a vegetable patch a while back and that this organic vegetable project of mine was greatly expanded last year. I’m now co-running a vegetable patch that is actually quite substantial.

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One thing that you cannot miss if you do something like this are the plastic bits that sneak their way into your compost or those annoying remnants of broken pots,etc; that are hiding underneath the surface of the soil.

It is terrifying how difficult it is to remove this since plastic does integrate the only issue is that is doesn’t disintegrate, which leaves you with a bit of a nightmare if you seek to remove it.

Please throw your trash where it is supposed to be. 😦

This is what I found on the property where I live, it looks even worse when you walk along the countryside roads. People throw everything out of their car windows….

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This is the issue with plastic. Everything that is red in this picture should be removed. Good luck trying to clean up something like this.

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It ain’t my trash – but I’m picking it up anyway!

 

Self-Care For Entrepreneurs & Indie-Musicians.

One of my absolute favourite entries that I’ve written so far is: The Glorious Hustle.

In fact it might be my number one favourite blog entry.

The funny thing about hitting the wall health-wise is that you easily end up going back into the same patterns of behaviour once you feel better.

This month I’ve had the flu but I’ve still been “hustling” and only stopped once I was forced to physically.

I guess that should turn me into a 21st century icon especially if I die of exhaustion.

When you exit the system and become an entrepreneur your rights are directly linked to whatever portion of the market you are able to reach.

There is no union or government department ensuring that you only work so-and-so many hours or that you have an x amount of paid holiday days or sick days.

Whatever percentage of the market that you manage to reach and expose yourself to decide as a demographic whether or not you deserve a holiday or time off due to their purchasing power.

The best thing that can happened to you as an independent artist is that the entertainment establishment gives you a call and want to hire you to do some work for them, this gives you a proper salary and you’ll know upfront what you are dealing with.

It will also give you a spike in online engagement and sales if a major outlet writes about you. This will be instant and very noticeable.

Most of the time though there will be a direct relation between how much time that is spent online and how much money you make. 

I’ve been very lucky since I don’t work alone but have a manager and representation, however these last few months I’ve had to be very active online myself since there has been lots of health issues within my family. This means that I’ve hardly touched my instruments since I’ve been busy promoting my videos and music online in addition to spending time reading and watching videos updating myself on all sorts of changes in the music world.

Pledge Music for example now find themselves in the middle of a scandal and Spotify has changed some of the services that they offer unsigned artists, which are things that I wouldn’t know about if I hadn’t been reading myself up on certain things.

My sponsored video was also the result of me finding out about an online site connecting brands and YouTubers, a site I didn’t even know existed.

Posting updates and being active online raise awareness of your product and results in tangible sales, this then obviously means that you lose out on potential sales if you turn off your gadgets and don’t engage! You also need to have something to sell and this should be of the best quality possible which means lots of blood, sweat and tears when it comes to creating quality content….

Being accessible and “open” might result in extra opportunities and work coming your way since people who follow you gain insight into your charity work or interests, so cutting yourself off from the online world as an artist is a bad idea especially since fans and followers love to connect directly with you as a creator.

So how on earth do you then manage to have some me-time?

  1. If someone offers you some sort of establishment contract you’ll have some sort of financial predictability. You’ll have access to infrastructure and increased exposure for your brand, in addition to the networking-opportunity that comes with it. Considering how much money the establishment have access to I personally see this as the best option, even though you’ll probably have to deal with difficult attitudes and personalities if signing a record-deal.
  2. If more of your followers sign up to your Patreon and/or PayPal. If 10.000 of my subscribers on YouTube signed up to my Patreon for 1$ each it would change my life, sadly though I’ve seen people with millions of subscribers on YouTube have only a few hundred signed up to their Patreon. Whether you engage in crowdfunding or a sign up model you’ll never get the majority of your followers to sign up, not even half of them. We started my first crowdfunding campaign due to suggestions from Facebook fans, but we got a bit annoyed afterwards when we had to persistently campaign in order to reach our goal (which we did) since the majority of those who had suggested crowdfunding did not sign up for it… What happened to all of those who promoted this as a good idea? Much talk, not much action.
  3. The only immediate solution that I see when it comes to me-time is: AUTOMATION. The other day I decided to try Facebook’s scheduled posts. While I was officially active on my profile I was actually keeping my brother company as he was eating his afternoon supper. I was reading a bedtime story for him, but officially I was posting online. Likewise this morning I woke up to a spike in statistics here on my blog since my latest blog post was scheduled to be published at 01:11AM, which I’ve now set as my “publishing time.” In an ideal digital-world it would be possible to automate across all of your various social media profiles for free. Sadly that isn’t the case yet.

If how much money you make is directly linked to how much energy you spend online (without your reach being restricted on social media) then it goes without saying that you can never disappear.

I’ve now heard it repeatedly said that the old model of artists creating something and then vanishing for a couple of years is over.

Just like your social media activity has to be consistent well so does your artistic output. This works well for those who just put things out there, not so much for perfectionists who believe in quality over quantity.

It might even make it less common with creative “masterpieces.”

The whole aspect of you having to be a “social media” person as well will reward characters that aren’t totally socially retarded which also might reduce the amount of masterpieces produced in our time since it is unreasonable to expect that talent or genius should go hand in hand with “agreeableness,” “openness,”etc;

I also see an increase in individuals online becoming upset if they do not get an instant reply when they contact an artist/business. It is in fact very telling that Teespring (the company that I work with on t-shirts) have a system in place that makes the service as close to instant as it gets.

Because of people’s detachment to the production and delivery of goods they seem to think that no effort is required in the stage of production or delivery. Everything ought to be instant!

I receive lots of videos/music from other musicians all the time and that has always been the case. We as a team have also been approached by people who seem to believe that we have the power to get people endorsement deals, even record deals.

Sometimes people have reacted in anger as if thought they are entitled to priority time-wise when we have so many other things to be concerned about both in business and privately.

Every single revenue stream has to be monetised when you aren’t part of the system and it might even prove to be a good idea to share pictures and updates about your life outside of music. I started a blog because there was a demand for it.

This obviously blurs the line between who you are as a person and who you are as a professional person, I see no way out of this because what people expect from their artists and public people have changed so dramatically. Even sharing your artistic process and recording sessions is now a thing. It is all about being accessible as an individual.

The establishment is not static either and have suffered enormous financial losses these last few years due to the digital revolution. Everyone regardless of stature has a social media presence and I do get the overall impression that you somehow have to be extra-likeable and extra-nice if you are very skilled professionally or famous as if thought people are looking for asshole-signs.

People are weird, yet what people want colours where businesses go.

Once again I see AUTOMATION as the solution to me-time.

It will also satisfy the market’s desire to get instant replies and attention once social media platforms offer more diversity when it comes to automated responses.

AI to the rescue.

 

How To Help Out!

I’ve never been a huge fan of artists using charity as a marketing tool or as a way to make themselves look nice; yet it is a positive thing if you can inspire your followers to get more active with their own local communities! 

Tomorrow I’ll be helping out again by doing a fundraiser for a local village hall! This is the best way that I can help as an artist so I hope that the event will be well attended!

This is the poster for the concert:

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Now follows an entry that I wrote a while back about getting involved if you want to help out but isn’t quite sure how to go about it! 

A major difference between living in a major city vs. country living is that “life” is more “valuable” in a territory where humans are scarce! An interesting and spooky detail to note! Whenever you run into someone in a village you establish eye-contact and greet one another; in addition you have interactions that are based on trust.

If you then go into town and see some of those characters that live in the same desolate territory as yourself you’ll notice that they just blend into the town landscape together with all the other people, creating the impression of a big, unidentifiable, mass. It is even worse in big cities where you walk down a crowded street without ever establishing eye-contact with anyone and where everyone is consumed with their own things.

Last time I was staying at a hotel due to work I thought of it as comical when I passed a young woman in the corridor who just walked past me all glassy-eyed without even looking at me; “how rude” I thought to myself, “she didn’t even say hi.”

Yet it has become the standard that there are thousands of parallel paths that never cross one another as everyone goes about their business.

I’ve been guilty of this myself, because this has become the default setting of human beings in our part of the world.

You can get out of this habit if you move into an area where human capital is a rarity. 

To give you an example of how detached humans have become I offer this tiny story that I’ve never shared with anyone before: 

Some years back when I was travelling with Craig Ogden (my classical-guitarist-partner-in-crime)  I saw a young, female, drug addict, who was stumbling around in the main pedestrian street of Oslo. 

Out of all of the people who were walking down this street, nobody noticed this woman who was clearly in distress. 

She nearly got hit by a car and was clearly a danger to herself.

She was in need of urgent care.

So what do you do in a situation like that? 

First we walked behind her like two baby-sitters watching over a self-destructive toddler…. 

This was obviously not something that could go on indefinitely since we had a plane to catch, nevertheless we “stalked” this young lady to ensure that she didn’t succeed in her suicide mission. 

Second we had to find someone else who could take over since we weren’t going to be there forever, so we started inquiring around asking various security personnel outside some of the shops if they could call an ambulance or some sort of authority figure. 

Some of the people working inside the shops were less enthusiastic; they displayed no empathy at all, and brushed it aside, since “there is a lot of that around here.” Among the other pedestrians there were a couple of people who walked up to the woman and asked her how she was doing, which was very superficial. She was not doing ok at all. Yet once she feigned that she was alright, clearly drugged and/or intoxicated, the individual who had asked if she was ok just walked on. This was just a polite, little hick up in their autopilot, the concern did not seem genuine nor heartfelt. Just superficial politeness.  There was one furious man who came thundering over to the security personnel we were dealing with demanding that they do something to save the life of the woman wandering about. 

One man and us.

In the end I have no idea what happened to her since we had to leave, but it was an interesting experience to observe the general indifference, and the helplessness of the security people who seemed confused and clueless about how to deal with our concern. It was obvious that they struggled to think outside of their own personal pattern and mission statement. They were there to look for shoplifters, not to call an ambulance or the police to take charge of a drug-abuser. They didn’t know how to handle something that was outside of their own perimeter and framework. 

As far as “the people” was concerned they simply did not see her. 

This can explain how little kids can drown in overcrowded pools. People are locked into their own activities to such an extent that a child can drown behind them or a young woman die of an overdose right next to them. 

If more people had valued “life” that day they would have noticed the self-destructive woman stumbling amongst them; several people would have taken action and she would have received medical attention.

So what do you do if you notice an issue and you want to contribute?

Here are a few examples:

  1. A while back I wrote about the “crumbling state of affairs” regarding England’s places of worship. I pasted in links to some churches that were in desperate need of repair work and wrote about the importance of England’s irreplaceable heritage. First I shared my knowledge of the problem since I did not have the ability to sort out the issue myself. I wrote about it several times actually. Then I decided that the best thing that I could do was to do a fundraiser concert in order to raise funds for my local church. Not knowing whether or not it would be a success I did it anyway and was very happy to see the turnout! We raised the money that we wanted and I could say that my initiative had been a success since the goal had been fulfilled!
  2. During the crisis of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose I was asked by a follower if I could shred a riff for my American followers. This gave me the idea that I could help out by writing a song specifically for the victims of the extreme weather, while posting links in the description area of my video to organisations looking for donors to facilitate their volunteer work in disaster areas. I don’t know how successful this venture was, but I thought it was a good idea and helped in the way that artists can help, by using their talents and gifts for a purpose.
  3. After attending a shocking lecture about persecuted Christians around the world I shared the information that I was handed out on my blog. I urged my followers to check out the organisation working to help Christians who are imprisoned, maimed, alienated or impoverished due to their Christian faith. This organisation obviously look for donors and money like all other charitable organisations, so I was wondering how I could be of any use. That’s when I realised that there was one thing that I could do which was to write cards to persecuted individuals. It broke my heart when I wrote individual letters to an entire family over in Asia and then saw that their names had been taken off the website of the charity since I assumed that maybe they had been killed off or imprisoned as well, which was what had happened to the father in the family. I have no idea what happened to my letters, but I hope that it brought some light to the recipients. A little ray of hope in a dark and cold world. Once again I resorted to using my artistic skills in making custom-made, hand-made cards.
  4. I decided to get involved with my local “Village Show” since I know that they are always looking for people. I took it upon myself to do online PR which was a challenge since you need people to spread the word in order to get the social-media snowball rolling. There simply weren’t enough people who signed up for the Facebook page and out of those who did there were only a few who ever interacted with the content that I put out there. I did however write a little promotional text for the event which was printed in the local news-letter, I made a hand-made drawing for one of the promo leaflets as well and volunteered on the day of the show by working in the children’s tent. I also helped with putting up the various marquees before the event. Even though I contributed a little it was obvious that it was appreciated since every helping hand counts when arranging a “Village Fair,” when thinking about all of the people who turned up it is quite astonishing what a small group of volunteers can accomplish. The various stalls and the show looked great.
  5. MicroPlastics is something that I’ve been writing about here on my blog and something that I’ve singed petitions about as well. I sent some emails to local representatives asking about our water but received no reply which is the standard when it comes to these type of things. I championed using biodegradable cutlery, cups and plates at the local “Village Show,” and was happy to see that biodegradable straws were present in the bar at the show, at least. Yet it can be difficult to know how to go about an “eco-issue” as you don’t want to come across as an annoying eco-warrior, in addition you also need manpower if you are to exert any political influence. The good news is that petitions have been flying left-right-and-centre to such an extent online that it has resulted in  governments across Europe taking the issue seriously due to citizen pressure. The quality of our environment is such a pressing and serious concern regardless of race, ideology or location, yet it is one where organisation is needed, with the exception of minding one’s own garbage and/ or picking up the trash after others.

These are just some examples of small things that can be done! It is possible to volunteer one’s time and/or create specific objects/things in the name of charity! When I was going to throw away some old clothes I put them all in a “clothes bank” so that others could get them. If more people engage with their local communities we will gradually create a much better and friendlier world, and I much rather experience that than the coldness that has become so prevalent, in a detached, atomised, modernised, reality!