May 11th every year is a special day for Swedes. They have dedicated this day to chocolate balls – “Chokladbollens Dag”. For one especially chocolate craving person, Alaine Handa, the search of making the best chokladbollar has almost become an obsession during the last five years. She has released her coffee table book dedicated to chokladbollar, the Swedish concept ‘fika’ and a balanced way of living.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN you discover that you’re writing the wrong memoir? Well, if you are Louise Ross, you make the decision to write the right book. In this case, it was going from writing her own memoir to instead writing a collective one that includes the tales of the women she met in her expatriate journey. Ever had the feeling that what you are writing is not the right book? I think it happens to every writer at one time or another. If you’ve ever wanted to shelve one idea for another, please come along with Louise and find out how to make that decision. Here is a guest post from her featuring her newly-published book.
What was it that prompted you to write it?
“Not long after moving to Portugal, I was hearing captivating personal stories from women in the international community, the caliber of which caused me to take stock of just how exciting and stimulating it was to be mingling with a group of worldly, educated, well-traveled and intrepid, multi-lingual individuals. I decided some of those stories were worth recording, for posterity, because the oral histories that make up Women Who Walk straddle two centuries and the massive global changes that have taken place during that time.
And ultimately, I was motivated by my conviction that the truth of women’s lives matter: the personal triumphs and disappointments, educational and professional achievements and failures, travels, adventures and discoveries, the decision to marry or not marry, the decision to have or not have children; plain and simple, women’s lives matter.”
“I went to Les Roches hospitality management school in Switzerland for my postgraduate studies and loved being in the kitchen, as well as behind the bar. It was here that I started dreaming up crazy recipes for my favourite Swedish chokladbollar (chocolate balls), which I was already making every week for my friends! It took me a few years to perfect the right proportion of ingredients to get a consistent and good chokladboll.”