What happened in 2018?
I didn’t do all of my resolutions for last year, and it wasn’t all amazing all the time, but here are the highlights!
- I became lactose intolerant. It happened all of a sudden. It was awful. I miss eating cheese without having to take a pill first BUT for the first time in my life I don’t have the acne face of a fourteen year old. It turns out, cheese was my enemy all along.
- I published my first ever horror novel, Infernal, with Grinning Skull Press! I’m so excited to have it out in the world.
- I discovered audio-books. When I was younger I couldn’t listen to books because I got distracted and stopped paying attention. I went on with life believing that I couldn’t listen to audio-books. I WAS WRONG! I spend so much time outside walking or at the gym and this is perfect! I love it. I can finally multitask reading.
- I wrote another horror and outlined a few more!
- I discovered Stephen King. I know, I’m behind. I tried reading Stephen King as a kid and totally hated it. I was reading fantasy almost exclusively back then and doing it for escapism. Stephen King’s work was just too close to reality for my younger self and I didn’t get it or appreciate it. I went on from there with the continued assumption that Mr. King and I did not jive. The truth is, I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t at the point in my life where I would appreciate his books. But I am now and OH MY GOSH there are so many to read! So far I’ve consumed: Carrie, Cujo, In the Tall Grass, A Good Marriage, The Outsider, Joyland, and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. <3
- World Weaver Press published the second book of my Crowns & Ash series, Detox in Letters! And @writendesk did live tweeting while reading it and it was one of the coolest, most thrilling, events of my life!
- I visited my family in California for my mom’s wedding party, survived the aggressive heat, and ate matcha soft-serve in a fish shaped cone in San Francisco!
- I wrote a rough ROUGH first draft of book 4 of the Crowns & Ash series and sent the 3rd off to my amazing editor, Laura Harvey!
We don’t eat at fast food chains often but Phong had a craving for Sibylla fries and I figured I might as well snap some pictures! This is a classic burger chain here akin to Burger King or McDonalds.
Notice on the menu that they do have meatballs. They also serve kebab meat with sauces and chilies. They have all the usual suspects of a burger chain, of course. Onion rings. Fries. Burgers. Double burgers. Chicken burgers. And the always classic kid box.
There’s even a plate of sausage and mashed potatoes.
Of course, as you might have noticed already, Phong and I are vegetarian so we’re limited to the green meal. As far as vegetarian food has come, the veggie patty at fast food places is still pretty unamazing. The fries were great though!
(Vegetarian burgers with fries and coleslaw. It was a bean patty and eggplant. It was so big that I had to open mine up and eat it one side at a time with coleslaw on top.)
We decided to go out to dinner on Thursday and wanted to try one of the restaurants in Kiruna we haven’t been to. SPiS is pretty new and we’d heard about it but not been. It was amazing! We went for dinner but they also serve lunch earlier in the day. They have a deli with meats and cheeses and bread as well as some other foodie goodies.
Bread while we wait. It was great! I would have loved this place if only for the bread. The darker one had fruit in it and the lighter one was some sort of sourdough.
I ordered the garlic bread (more bread, I know) with veggies for a starter. Really yummy.
Phong had the shiitake soup and this was pretty interesting because it was made with shiitake mushrooms grown in Kiruna. There’s a lady here who grows shiitakes underground and sells them to local restaurants.
It took a while and a bit of teamwork, but we did it! This meal was so good that we didn’t even get dessert. We will definitely be visiting SPiS again and I would recommend that you try it too if you ever find yourself in Kiruna.
The bun is traditionally a cardamom yeast bun. You carve out the insides and then blend the crumbs with almond paste and cream, filling the hole and then topping it off with whipped cream and then the little cap before dusting it in powdered sugar.
Admittedly, they are not as beautiful when I make them myself, but they still taste good! I like to add strawberry jam to mine. The bakeries here sell them in February. They even have a semla day!
This year someone thought to do a twist on the original and created the semla wrap. It was pretty great. A lot lighter than the classic bun. I’m not sure how common they were across Sweden this season, but we had them in Kiruna!
So, if you ever find yourself in Scandinavia in February, try a semla!
We’re moving to a slightly larger apartment this weekend, not far from our current one, but I thought I’d take a moment to immortalize the pictures I have snapped from my window here. This was our very first apartment together alone and it has been a pretty fun year.
The view has come and gone depending on the weather. Sometimes there’s a mine out there across the city of Kiruna and sometimes there is just that eerie grey.
You wouldn’t think it from all the snowy pictures, but summer was unreasonably warm in our apartment. It had no circulation at all and just the one old window. And I have no summer pictures because we opened the window all the way and put up a mesh netting to keep out bees and mosquitoes.
Looking at these pictures now, I’m a little worried that my neighbors might have thought I was peeping on them. I wasn’t, I promise!
Things that will not be missed about this apartment:
The mini-fridge with an unreasonably tiny freezer.
The itty bitty kitchen.
The pigeon that seemed to be living inside the wall.
The crazy warm summer.
The short ceiling.
The two flights of narrow spiraling stairs in my clunky snow boots.
Things that will be missed about this apartment:
Always knowing if there’s anyone else there.
The cat outside in the summer with the incredibly creepy meow. It sounded like a psycho asking “Hellooooo?” and inspired some pretty funny bedtime conversations.
Being less than a five minute walk from my gym.