Category Archives: writing
Oh this shiny new computer…
There just isn’t nothing cuter.
It knows everything the world ever knew.
And with this great computer
I don’t need a writing tutor,
‘Cause there ain’t a single thing that it can’t do.
It can sort and it can spell,
It can punctuate as well.
It can find and file, underline and type.
It can edit and select,
It can copy and correct.
So I’ll have a whole book written by tonight
Just as soon as I can think of what to write.
Not including Labor Day, today marks the “first” Monday of the month. Which means it’s time for another MRC Member Spotlight, easily one of my favorite parts about this blog. Since October of 2012 we’ve posted about one of our inspiring members every month, and while the success of this month’s member might be slightly different than most, he is still an inspiration.
When I was young my father desperately wanted me to learn how to play the piano. I gave it a try but it just wasn’t my thing…
Flash forward and none of my four, plus one (stepson) seemed any more interested in playing an instrument than I did.
Then our sixth (and last!) child came along. This one was different or should I say Unique, he’s quiet and always keeps to himself. At three-years-old he was diagnosed with autism. Unable to participate in team activities, he started piano lessons. He unenthusiastically played for about three years before moving on to the guitar. A few years went by and he lost interest in that as well.
Sorry Dad, it doesn’t look like the grandkids will be playing for you either.
You can only imagine my surprise when last summer this son, now eighteen came to me and asked if he could start playing bagpipes!
Bagpipes in Norway? Who would teach him? Where would we buy them? And how much do they cost?
I calmed down when he told me he could take lessons online and we didn’t need to buy bagpipes (yet). The first step in learning to play the bagpipes is on a chanter. A chanter by itself doesn’t cost much.
He stuck with it for a whole year, didn’t lose interest and was really starting to sound good. Now convinced that he was serious, off to Scotland we went. We bought bagpipes, ordered a kilt and he attended an intensive bagpiping course in Glasgow.
That was two months ago. He practices everyday and I think he sounds great… Have a listen for yourself.
The first song is Corkhill, the second is Itchy Fingers and the third is Amazing Grace.
This is for you, Dad…
It’s Thursday and that means tomorrow is the last day to get your FREE Kindle version of Fly Away Home (Just by clicking on this link)
For those of you who have already read, or are planning to read… Here are pictures from some of the different places I write about in the book.
Chapter 2, Jersey Girl
The Jersey Shore is the 130 miles of New Jersey coastline, where summertime tourists come to enjoy the white sandy beaches and boardwalks. By day they pack the beaches, soaking up the sun and cooling off in the rigorous Atlantic surf. By night they flock the boardwalks, emptying their pockets at the arcade, riding the roller coasters, enjoying things like snow cones and cotton candy. In winter the action slows and the locals can stroll along the boards, breathing the salt air and enjoying the peace.
Chapter 3, My Maiden Voyage
In New Jersey everything was spread out and people would drive here and there, for this and that. There was a constant blur of activity everywhere. Norway was the complete opposite, I never saw any traffic or crowds, just small towns with quaint little shops located in quite, pedestrian only areas. Egersund reminded me of a miniature town I’d once seen on a train board.
Chapter 17, Mixed Blessings
We could hardly believe our luck. We built the house of our dreams on one of the most idyllic spots on the island. I now had my own little place in the world and over the next few years, life couldn’t have been any better…
Chapter 19, Life Goes On
All I wanted to do is run away as far as I possibly could. In hope of breaking the circle of grief, Harry, Alexander and I took a trip to Hawaii. It was not a vacation, more of a distraction.
Chapter 20, A Window Opens
The house the company rented for us was on a shady cul-de-sac in a quite neighborhood. It had a built in swimming pool in the back yard and palm trees in the front. The house looked like a mini mansion with 4000 square feet of pure grandeur, which included Swarovski chandeliers hanging in both the marble foyer and formal dining room. A spacious living room with a fireplace, a game room, modern kitchen with breakfast nook, three bedrooms, plus a master suite and five bathrooms all for us! The house was light, airy and adorned in crown molding, it was, in a word, elegant.
Chapter 22, Going Dutch
They say God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland. The Netherlands is an architectural masterpiece. It’s designed down to the last detail and only a minute portion of the country has been left in its natural state. Because of their struggle against water more than a quarter of its surface is below sea level. The Dutch leave nothing to chance, instead they create their own nature and this makes the Netherlands a beautiful and fascinating place.
We cycled through the most magnificent vineyards where clusters of dark purple grapes hung irresistibly from the vines. We rode through fruit orchards and dried up sunflower fields. We pedaled down tight little streets lined with crooked stucco houses painted in pale colors, with shutters hanging on every window. We stopped along the way to eat cheese on long loaves of French bread and drink wine among the olive trees. We spent our nights tucked away in tiny old provincial towns oozing with charm. After making our way down to the Mediterranean we headed up through the Alpilles Mountains of Provence and back to Avignon. The jagged rock formations protruding upward through the oak and pine forests created panoramic views at every twist and turn of the road. We were escorted everyday through Van Gogh country by a warm September sun, and the experience was unforgettable.
For me there is nothing better than a comfortable chair, a pot of hot tea and a book. I’m also happy reading poolside, or under an umbrella on the beach and I would never - ever go on vacation without one!
I’m sure we can all agree there is nothing better than a real book in your hand however, Kindle has made book buying so much easier. Especially for me, living in a small town in Norway, where most books are only printed in Norwegian. I don’t have a Kindle, so I download them onto my iPad and I’m ready to go…
I’ve signed my book Fly Away Home up for a five day giveaway on Kindle from 10-14 June. There’s no gimmick, it’s totally free, ready to be downloaded and read.
The book is about my life. Leaving America under duress, with three young children in tow. Finding love again, rebuilding my life in a foreign country and a lot more… If you’re interested just click on this Amazon link and get your FREE copy now: Fly Away Home
Feel free to leave a review on Amazon after you’ve finished and Happy reading
Here are some pictures that were sent to me last summer:
This used to be a garden
A sunny, happy place
Where someone pruned and planted, with a smile on her face.
I remember Hanna’s patience and all the love she gave
I remember Hanna’s laughter, as I passed and gave a wave.
A gentle rain would fall
The wind would softly blow
And that’s what made the garden a place where things would grow.
Now, the keeper of the garden must rest her weary back
For time has taken over, the weeds are growing fast
She pulls the covers close and dreams of flowers past.
As many of you may already know, I wrote my life story. I was also given the opportunity to publish and so after some long hard consideration, I did.
Last April family and friends traveled with me to the Netherlands to celebrate the launch of Fly Away Home!
From there I was swept into the whirlwind of cyberspace… Tweeting, blogging and trying to promote a book. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into but worked around the clock doing whatever necessary.
To promote the book here in Norway I contacted a Woman’s magazine (called Hjemmet) and asked if they’d be interested in taking photos of my house. They were and did! I blogged all about it, which you can read, here and here and here.
It’s been ten months since the photo shoot and the article was published this week!
At first glance, I was excited… Then I started seeing flaws…
They took forty-two pictures. Eighteen of them made it into the magazine but were not the photos I would have chosen!
The glossy pages make my walls look canary-yellow, instead of the pale yellow they really are.
They left out the best pictures showing the incredible view we have of the water.
Worst of all, I told the photographer no bedroom pictures. One was taken anyway -I was assured it would not appear. It did!
Looking back I have to wonder, why did I publish my story and open my house to the world? A lot of theories come to mind but I truly don’t have one definitive answer.
It’s been quite a year and I’ve experienced many different emotions along the way… Surprise, glory, good fortune, stress, insignificance, embarrassment and maybe even a little regret. But as the Norwegians say… Gjort er gjort, whats done is done.
For those of you who don’t live in Norway, here are the pictures:
I’ve hit a milestone today and I’m celebrating with tea. This is my 100th post!
Last year at this time, I had just made the monumental decision to publish my life story. In other words, share the good and reveal the bad. All of it. To-the-entire-world!
If that wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, I was also strongly advised to start a blog. Me? A blog! The thought was terrifying. I was afraid people would show up looking to read great posts, written by an experienced author and instead find me. What would I write about and what would it sound like without an editor to help polish things up?
Obviously I found stuff to write about, this is my 100th post and everyone’s been great in overlooking my bad grammar. Everyone except my daughter Michele, that is…
Stick it out for one year, or one hundred posts, whatever came first. That was the deal I made with myself last April, when starting the blog. But what will I do now? I honestly don’t know.
My biggest dream is to have my book translated to Norwegian and yet I haven’t spent much time working on that. I have one son leaving for college and another who will be a senior in high school next year. I also have three, precious little grandchildren living right up the road and I’d love to spend more time cuddling with them. I hate that I sit at one end of the house and my husband the other, on our computers every night. If there was only more time, or I had more energy.
For now all I can do is thank everyone who’s followed along, stopped by once in a while, and pushed the like button. I’m also giving away a signed copy of my book, Fly Away Home. If you’re interested, pop over and visit Janneke, at DrieCulturen and leave a comment. She writes an interesting blog about growing up in other cultures. Check it out…
My daughter is five years old. She is in kindergarten. She likes to wear a hat everywhere she goes. As she falls asleep, she gently rubs her blanket with the tips of her fingers. She is afraid of the vacuum. She loves bacon and stealing sips of my coffee. When she's hurt, she'll ask me to kiss her "boo-boo-owie." She's watched "A Bug's Life" so many times, she has the dialogue memorized.