This winter has been dreary—cold, snowy, lots of time spent on marketing instead of writing—so I decided to get started on the next book to boost my spirits. I’m ready to get moving. I have ambitious plans for this year, with two books to market and plans to research and write two more. The third book will cover the Mississippi River from Lansing, Iowa north to Hastings, Minnesota, territory that includes what is arguably the most scenic stretch of the river.
I had planned to get started after a book event in Iowa, but another major storm forced us to cancel the event. I wasn’t in the mood to stay home, so I decided to hit the road, anyway, even though it meant driving through the tail end of that storm. It really wasn’t too bad; I stuck to the major highways and got to La Crosse (Wisconsin) in about nine hours, only a little longer than it would normally take.
Call me a geek, but it was worth the effort to get the feeling of being back on the road, even if back on the road means spending all day in the library reading local history books. After all, sorting through these old books, it’s not unusual to come across an occasional gem like the picture below.
Julebakk is an ancient Norwegian Christmas tradition that involves dressing up in tacky costumes, wearing a mask to hide the fact you’re wearing a tacky costume, gathering your friends who are all wearing similarly tacky outfits, and harassing your neighbors until they guess who’s who. Yea, it sounds like Halloween, but the prizes are not candy and chocolates but lefse, lutefisk, and grog. I love it, and I think we should all give it a try this year.
So begins the work for book three.
© Dean Klinkenberg, 2010
I just released a tongue-in-cheek stop-action video describing the philosophy of the Mississippi Valley Traveler. Check it out below. Feel free to praise/lambaste and share with your friends.
The second book went to the printer this week. Yea! This book will cover about 170 miles of Mississippi River real estate (on both banks) stretching from LeClaire, Iowa/Rapids City, Illinois to the Blackhawk Bridge at Lansing, Iowa. I’ll have more to say about the book later.
For now, my main task is adding content to the Mississippi Valley Traveler website to support the release of the book. I’ll be adding content nearly every day for the next couple of weeks, at least until I get the entries for each town completed. I’d like to find a better navigation tool for the right sidebar and need to improve the look with a few formatting changes, but I haven’t had time to dig around and figure out how to make those happen, yet. I will probably rewrite the intro in the near future, to0.
Check it out and let me know what you think. Tell me if the information would be useful to you, if you’re having trouble getting around the site, or anything else you feel like commenting on (about the website, anyway). And, if you’d like to volunteer some time to make the site more kick-ass, please let me know. I’m open to adding more kick-assedness.
I look forward to your critiques.
© Dean Klinkenberg, 2009