Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Doing a little research in aid of Buttons and Bones this past Saturday, Ellen and I drove down to New Ulm, a placid little city on the shore of the Minnesota River about ninety miles from my home in the Twin Cities. New Ulm is very German, it was settled by Germans and they try to keep up the German atmosphere with such things as German restaurants, German gift shops, a beautiful museum built in German Renaissance style, and even a Glockenspiel.

Oh, and Herman the German, a statue in a park just on the western edge of town. Herman is really Hermann of Cherusci, aka Arminius, who in the year 9 A.D. defeated the Romans to liberate his people. He is a mythical figure in Germany and his statue in New Ulm is a scale model (!) of a much larger statue over there. Nevertheless, in America he is the second-largest free standing bronze statue, second only to the Statue of Liberty. If you look closely at the photograph at the top of my blog entry you can see two humans standing at his feet, which will give you an idea of the size of the fellow.

New Ulm is going to hold a big festival September 18 to 20 to echo faintly the enormous celebration planned in Germany to mark the two thousandth anniversary of that mighty victory.

And I was all excited to be in England in 1966 to mark the one thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Hastings during which William the Conqueror changed the course of English history b defeating King Harold. (There was a man in England who every year on the anniversary of the battle, put a notice in the obituary column of the London Times "In Memory of Harold, Last English King." I wonder if it still gets put in. Probably. Some people just can’t let go of things.)

The book I’m working on had come to another one of its inexplicable halts, but seems to have gathered itself for another run. I hope this time it lasts until the end. I have an extremely busy time coming up in October, doing lots of travel and signing for Blackwork, and I can’t afford to have Buttons and Bones go all shy and reluctant on me again on those short and broken periods when I can work on it. The deadline is December 1 and I am determined to meet it.
I got a panel at Bouchercon! It’s called Retail Murder and it’s about sleuths who are small business owners or in some fashion connected with small businesses. I’m going to have to squeeze more time out somewhere to make sure I’m familiar with the books of my fellow panelists, moderator Maggie Sefton, Madelyn Alt, Juliet Blackwell, and Kate Collins.

No golf on Tuesday, I had one of those days where I spent the morning on the phone and the afternoon running errands and writing. But I am determined to get onto the links tomorrow. Wish me luck. Maybe I’ll get another bogie.


Terri Thayer said...

Sounds like a great panel. I'm sorry to miss Bouchercon. Have fun.

Camille Minichino said...

Is New Ulm the site of the movie with Renee Zellwigger -- about a manufacturing plant. I thought it was a fictional town!

Monica Ferris said...

Camille, I heard something about New Ulm being in the movies. I'll have to look into it. It's a neat little town but for all its German culture, in appearance it looks pretty much like any other upper midwest city. A good friend of mine, who immigrated to the US from Germany as a young woman says it's kind of disappointing to Germans who go there looking for a scene like back home. It's an American kind of German, she says.

Betty Hechtman said...

Your panel sounds interesting. I wondered why you weren't on the craft panel with Joanna and me.