I've been following Laini's blog practically since I started blogging myself. She's an artist and author and has written several fantasy novels that are top notch as well as a fantastic collection of short stories. She used to have a line of beautifully crafted art/ornament/stationery objects called Laini's Ladies that I loved, but sadly they are no longer in production. I hang my Christmas lady every year from the chandelier and delight in it. :)
My friend Camilla has also read Laini's books and was excited to go with me. I got up at 6 and left the house about an hour later to drive to Lund and pick her up. It takes about 3 hours to drive to Gothenburg but it's easy...a straight shot up and the convention center is literally right off the highway. It was a beautiful sunny day, if a little on the chilly side and we had an excellent time roadtripping up: chatting about everything that had happened since we'd last seen each other a few weeks ago.
We got to the Fair right after they opened, around 9:30 and proceeded to take in the "sights"...booths FULL of books, albeit mostly in Swedish, plus plenty of other paper products: stationery, maps, cards, napkins, posters, artwork, etc. There are always a few booths that have English books too, and I've always found something to tempt me. This year, I was pretty good. I only bought 3 books, 2 boxes of Christmas cards (with moose on!), Christmas napkins and my first Christmas present! (that's right! less than 3 months of shopping days left until Xmas, kids!).
Laini's first talk was at 11:30 and was with the Swedish translator of her books. The second was at 1:00 p.m. and was a co-talk with a Swedish author named Mats Strandberg who co-authored The Circle (Engelsfors Trilogy books), also a YA fantasy series. He has a new adult book out that is horror (Stephen King-like, said one commenter). And the third presentation was a conversation between Laini and interviewer/journalist Ika Johannesson on Feminism, Fantasy and Succes. Ika was an excellent moderator and asked great questions...several of which were ones Camilla and I would have asked and were glad to have the answers to. And Laini was so interesting and honest and funny. It was a real pleasure to sit and listen to her.
Before the first talk, Camille and I got up to the hall early as we didn't know how long the lines were or how it worked, never having been to the seminars before. I turned around and saw Laini standing talking to two women. She's hard to miss, with her bright pink hair :) I waited until they were done, and then went up and said hello, and as soon as I said who I was, she said, "Oh my god! HI!" and gave me a big hug. :D I felt like the biggest geek in the world! She was so nice and easy to talk to and I'm so glad we went and that I had a chance to meet her in person.
Stupidly, I didn't take any of my copies of her books with me to have her sign them, but she did assent to a photo.
Camilla and I had a great time, going to the talks, walking around the fair, shopping, having lunch. We left about 4:30 for the drive back, which felt like it took forever...but partly that was because we stopped at the Laxbutik (Salmon Shop) halfway home and bought a bunch of nommies at the deli: warm smoked salmon, gravad lax, new potatoes, and lax meatballs. They're for my salads but I bought enough to share with my family, too.
Today, we cleaned house, and I went for a bike ride with Karin and a walk with Martin. I haven't been on a bike in something like 18 years (there's nowhere much to bike right around here), so it was an adventure for me. We were only gone for 20 minutes and MAN, were my knees protesting by the time we got home. I don't know if biking is for me, but I'm willing to give it a go at least while the weather holds, especially if Karin will go with me. She's a good motivator. And it was sunny today too, and warmer, so walking with Martin up the hill into the fields was really nice.
At one point, we could hear birds calling or honking but we couldn't figure out where they were coming from, and then suddenly realized the sound was moving, but we couldn't see any birds. Then Martin finally pointed out a huge flock of geese flying south in a couple of great big vees high overhead. We could hear them long after we couldn't see them anymore. I still haven't seen a sugarbeet on the side of the road, but there's no denying fall is here.
Anders invited his mom and sister and her husband over for dinner tonight, and now we are winding down the weekend. It's a busy week ahead for me, with evening plans 3 out of the next 5 days. And then Anders leaves again for 2 weeks (this time for Thailand, so don't feel too sorry for him).
Thank you for all your kind words and emails of advice and support from my last post. I really appreciate it. I'm doing well so far on my motivation levels and am working at changing the things that need changing. No easy ways, but it's not THAT hard. Yet, anyway.