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One year later

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‘Hjemmet’ means the home

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:

drøm ved sjøen means a dream by the sea

‘drøm ved sjøen’ means a dream by the sea

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I've collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I’ve collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

the dreaded bedroom picture

the dreaded bedroom picture

The article also explains how my husband and I met, where we live and of course about the book

The article also explains how my husband and I met and where we live 

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And of course the book

Fly Away Home

photo by Martin Brigdale

photo by Martin Brigdale

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…

win a free copy!

win a free copy!

 

 

Confessions of a (writer?)

I have six children!

Four of them live here in Norway (two still at home) and two are living in the States. My travel goal each year is to at some point visit these two missing children of mine, whether they come here or I go there. This past May my son and his lovely wife came to Norway and my daughter came to the Netherlands for my book launch. My daughter is also coming to Norway in September and as a bonus, she is bringing her son. The only bad thing is her daughter can’t come because of school (that stinks). It’s not easy when an ocean separates you from your family, but this is my life.

Life has been both good and bad, in fact it has thrown me twenty-three chapters worth of curveballs to write about and thats what I’m getting to with this post…

I never thought sitting down to write my story three years ago that it would be published but for once, I was in the right place at the right time. I got lucky. Not that it isn’t a good story, because it is! I defy anyone to read it and not find something they can identify with.

The reason I feel so honored to be published is this… I’m not really a writer. I lived and yes, wrote, but if it weren’t for the talent of a skilled editor, I’m afraid my book would be nothing more than endless rambling.

The reason for my confession is this, I follow dozens of blogs, half of them are written by people who are (whether published or not) writers in every sense of the word. I can see how good they are and yet they struggle for recognition (this in my opinion is a true writer). They are gifted, dedicated and deserve to be rewarded. I on the other hand work for hours and then break out into a cold sweat every time I press the publish button on my blog. More than once I’ve found mistakes that have left me spinning in my bed at night.

I don’t want it to be like that. I want it to be fun. Thats why I’m declaring this blog to be the endless ramblings of your average everyday person (who just so happens to have an edited book out there).

Phew… That felt good!

My daughter and her family in Norway:

My son and his wife in Norway:

 

A new chapter in book shopping


I love to shop!

Its true, and the things I like to shop most for are shoes, bags (especially Coach), scrapbook supplies and books! (and not necessarily in that order)

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and I’m always either starting or finishing a book. Because of where I live in Norway, I haven’t always had the best selection of English books to chose from. Thats why whenever we were on vacation and came across a bookstore, my family would moan as I made a beeline to ecstasy. They know me well and therefore had good reason to moan. I’m like a kid in a candy story. It’s always been one of my greatest pleasures to wander through racks of colorful books, feeling and smelling my way through in search of a new gem. Thats right, smelling…who out there doesn’t like the fragrance of a new book?

The only problem is, I was left powerless in deciding which ones to buy and would end up taking all I could carry. Then we’d fly home with books evenly distributed amongst our suitcases. For years my husband accused me of being a book hoarder, and I would again have to explain the importance of not running out of books to read.

While I still feel an actual shop is a book-lover’s treasure trove and a novel in your hand is worth two on your Kindle, we have entered a new age. For Christmas this year my husband gave me an iPad and I must admit, its a handy little device.

I can download any book or magazine I want and now have more room in my suitcases for shoes and bags. I wile away the hours in online bookshops, drinking unimaginable amounts of tea, all in the comfort of my own home. My iPad has literally freed the book shopper with in, and my husband no longer sees how many books I buy.

I will now post the logo of my favorite online bookshop and hyperlink it so you can go directly in and take a look. It’s a warm and inviting space where book lovers from around the world can shop.

The Expat Bookshop was started in late 2011 by Jo Parfitt and the team at Summertime Publishing to showcase books by people living abroad for people living abroad.

Here you can find: anthology, fiction, how to books and memoirs, like my own. You can also get information on how to publish your book, or have it featured in the Expat bookshop.

Go on, check it out…


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