Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Writers retreat

A warning - this post is not very intellectual. (Not that you have come to expect it)

Old habits die hard. I am now in Florida, visiting my sister and I had not been here for a day when she commented that I was 100% certainly the only person in the whole state wearing a coat. She said that I looked like someone in the witness protection program, relocated from the north. Not really the look I was aiming for.

What I meant to do here is write. What I have done here is shop. Everything is so inexpensive compared to Iceland that I cannot withstand the allure of the endless shops and malls. I came here with a husband and two suitcases and will be leaving with six and hopefully my husband still in tow. He is not superimpressed with all the shopping and has fallen asleep in one shop, deep enough not to wake up when paged. Me and my sister ended up having to so a search and rescue, eventually finding him in the garden department stretched out on a sunbench. In another store he got so bored that he began doing blindtests on bedding materials to see if he could guess the thread count. Instead of looking away he actually made his way around the aisle with his eyes shut. His behaviour in stores is so bizarre that the staff don‘t dare be rude as they probably think he is a secret shopper, testing their reaction to oddball customers.

We have actually done more than just shop. We saved a turtle. It was on the road in my sister‘s neighbourhood and we stopped to move it onto the grass. Then we went back into the car, only to exit again as we wanted a picture of the animal. When we were moving it around to find the best spot for a photo a guy in a truck pulled over and told us that if we left the turtle on a lawn it would die. We had to get it to water. As this neighbourhood is built around small lakes like most Orlando residential areas, we picked up the turtle and took it to the closest one. When airborne it retracted its feet into the shell but as we came in sight of the lake it stuck them back out and began running in the air. When we put it down at the water‘s edge it then ran into the water. Watching its speed I can see that there is probably more merit to the tortoise and the hare tale than many would believe.

As we watched it swim away it first occurred to us that it might be somebody‘s pet turtle. So we went from feeling like heroes to feeling like complete shits in no time. We have luckily not come accross any flyers on lampposts advertising a lost turtle. Our redemption might involve a heron hip replacement as we often see such a bird lurking around that appears to have some problem with his joints. Seeing that my sister is a doctor we have been discussing jumping out of the car when we pass it next time and doing some minor surgery on the sidewalk. Me and my husband sould do the passing of the instruments, my sister the cutting and fixing. But seeing that her medical insurance is not yet in place we are hesitant as we might get sued.

The weather here is really warm and sunny, which is no big surprise. If not careful one can experience heat stroke and I think I had this happen as I actually jogged. Not once but three times. My sister has taken it up and when she heard me say that I had been considering it she took us along. It was not a long jog but we were all three extremely curious as to how long exactly. So on the second run we took the GPS system from the car along and set it to measure our trip. It turned out to be 0,8 miles. Not exactly marathon premise. We had contemplated putting the GPS on top of my head as it has a small beanbag attached to its base but decided that my balance was precarious at best and ended up holding it. I have always loved GSP systems but I am now a fan for life. I would really like to stick one to my cat to see how far and where it goes when outside but I do not think Mjása would appreciate a beanbag on her head.

What I like about the weather here are thunderstorms. We do not have many of those in Iceland and almost never in the Reykjavík area. There is something so wonderful about lightning and how it lights up the sky and the anticipation that follows during the wait for the rolling thunder. Today there was a really big downpour, lighting and all and during a run from the car into the resteraunt which took about ten steps I managed to get completely soaked. When I came in a woman came up to me and asked „Oh dear, are you the lady that fell into the lake?“ I do not know what incident she was referring to but as my husband and sister somehow managed to keep dry I must have looked like someone stepping out of a lagoon in comparison. My witness protection program coat awould have come in handy at that point.

Next stop NYC.

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. Thank you for posting this Yrsa, must visit Iceland soon, even though you say it is expensive. I enjoyed 'The Day is Dark ' Will you have another book out soon ?

  2. Hi there - I recommend Iceland, it is not as expensive as it used to be, having dinner there at a restaurant is probably cheaper than in most European cities for example. And shopping is not what you would want to do there anyway, there is far too much to be seen to spend time inside. Regarding my next book in English, the next one out is Someone to watch voer me which should come out either in the fall or late this year - the final touches are beign made to the translation. It will then be followed by a kick-ass standalone novel called "I remember you". That one has hit the best seller lists in those countries it is already out it and will hopefully be to readers' liking in English territories as well.

  3. I can't imagine anything you do not being to everyone's liking. Except possibly to that poor turtle's. Did the guy who said put him in a lake happen to mention alligators?

    I know, I'm a bad person. But I love what you have to say. Can't wait to hear how NYC holds up to your pen/keyboard.

  4. Haha, Hi Yrsa. Somehow I have randomly come across this blog and I must admit I have thoroughly enjoyed my first read about my home State. I will definitely be reading more, AND passing it along to my "literary" friends and family.
    Bestu kveðju og goða skemmtum í Ameríku!

  5. Hi Jeff - consider what a speedy gonzales that turtle was I think any alligator would have a hard time catching up. It would have to be a cheetah. :-)

  6. Fyrirgefðu, Mike(með eldhúsinu)

  7. Hi Mike - I am loving it here and will be frequenting Orlando now that my only sister has moved here. Hvar lærðir þú íslensku?

  8. Nú skil ég þetta með íslenskuna Mike - Óli nennir ekki að skoða eldhús hér, þau standast ekki samanburðinn, hann lætur rúmföt sér nægja.

  9. Ég er alveg sammála að Óli. Mikið þakklæti og ég óska ykkur alls hins besta.

    Fyndið, ég hef ekki séð þig án "braces" þínum. :-)

    Vinsamelgast gefa bestu kveðju til Óli og systurina þína líka.

  10. Having been enormously entertained by this piece, I am now entertaining myself by deciding if the title of it should have an apostrophe and if so where!

  11. Your comments about the sidewalk surgery gave me a chuckle. My daughter is a veterinarian and her specialty is shelter medicine, so helping animals-in-need is something we hear about every day. I can imagine her having the same kind of conversation, although if I were the person she were with, she'd need a different assistant as she did _not_ get her medical inclination from me.

    Good luck and long life to your turtle friend.

  12. I'm so glad to hear about your new books. I save them so I won't run out. great post. Florida is an adventure :)