Saturday, September 29, 2007

far from the maddening crowd

or not~~

I thought I might have some news to share this weekend, but I don’t. All I can say is that I made an offer on a house in – of all places – rural Wisconsin. (No, not Tuonela! Drat!) My offer was accepted, but the inspection won’t take place until October 8 – so everything is up in the air right now, and there is no sense in saying much else about it until it happens. I can say it is a place with some really big negatives and some really big positives, so that’s very strange. It’s a space that’s not extremely livable at the moment, so it will be a project. And I know everybody will wonder what happened with moving south. Well, I’d love to live there in the winter, but not sure I’d want to do it year round. And it was just too hard and time consuming to find a place down there from up here. And once I moved into this condo, I realized the most important thing was to simply get out of town and away from people, at least for right now. I moved to the city over seven years ago, and I’ve always had a harder time writing here. Never could get used to all the distractions. So anyway, if this thing goes through I’ll post a few pics and tell everybody about it!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

it's not you

My trip to Sweden made me realize just how much the computer was contributing to my chronic neck pain. The only time I experienced any significant pain during the entire trip was at the Stockholm airport (return flight) when I got online to check my email.

I’m addicted to the internet, so now that I’m back home I’m making a conscious effort to stay away. I’m not reading blogs – not because I don’t want to read blogs, but because I’m forcing myself to stop. But it’s hard. I’m also trying to stay away from forums for the same health reason. Sorry, Daniel! I thought about shutting down my blog completely, but I’m going to try posting once a week – I’m thinking Sundays – and see how that goes. But anyway, just wanted people to know I haven’t been sucked into a black hole and I’m not depressed and I’m not pissed off and I miss you.


Getting some reader/reviewer feedback on Garden of Darkness. Some of you might recall that I agonized over point of view in that book, finally deciding to take the riskier path and write one new character in first person – something that was quite possibly a self-indulgent experiment. So far one reviewer (Word Nerd) didn’t care for it, and I think it impacted her enjoyment of the book. Another reviewer (Armchair Interviews) loved it, and it enhanced her read. I’m guessing it might alienate quite a few people, so it probably wasn’t the thing to do. I should have written all characters in third person. On the other hand, I think this very kind of thinking is what is contributing to the sameness of books – so it’s a tough call. I hope to have a better handle on it as more reviews come in.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

In For Questioning -- the podcast

In the first weekly podcast at In For Questioning, Angie Johnson-Schmit interviews Daniel Hatadi, founder of Crimespace. Let the cool fun begin!

In For Questioning

Daniel Hatadi


Friday, September 07, 2007


photo descriptions:
view from the poop cabin
forest in borlange with our friend sofia and her dogs
stockholm -- where I actually saw the troll from my troll post!
some idiot tourist

Thanks for all the well wishes in the previous comment section! I’m home and wanted to give you a bit of info about our amazing trip.

We took off from Minneapolis at 7:00 pm and flew into morning to arrive in Reykjavík five hours later. Iceland is such a bizarre, barren moonscape and I have to go back. We caught another flight to Stockholm, then a two-hour train to Borlange to arrive early afternoon.

What initially struck me about Sweden:

The quiet

Even in town, even in the train station and the airport.
Quiet. So quiet I thought my ears were plugged.

We were met by friends Karin, Linda, and baby Elvira who frowned at us like an old man.

Then it was off to our cottage on the lake, which would later be affectionately called the poop cabin because the septic system wasn’t working.

Things I learned:

I knew about the red houses, but I didn’t realize that 99% of the homes are red. And 99% of Sweden is beautiful. Organic. They live in the landscape, with narrow, winding roads and secret dark forests and deep glass lakes that can turn black in a moment. Clouds that constantly move across the sky. Boulders covered with blankets of moss, and the repetition of white birch and red pine. Fika, fika, and lights in every window. Lots of vivid accent colors that are perfect there, but never look right when you bring them home.


I loved it and miss it.

I didn’t have much trouble adjusting to the time difference. We lost a night of sleep on the way over, so I think that first crash helped me catch up. On the return, we didn’t lose a night of sleep and I’ve had a harder time adjusting. I’m eating breakfast at 3:00 am, and chips and salsa at 7:00 am. Which would be noon in Sweden.

i didn't take enough photos, but i have a few up on flickr:

Sweden photos

cost of our adventure: even though the dollar isn't worth anything right now, the total cost for the trip was a little over 1K. My daughter and I split everything down the middle, we borrowed a friend's car, plus got a partial refund on the poop cabin.