Books Read in 2011

Tessa's books-read-2011 book montage

Clockwork Angel
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer

Books Read in 2011 »

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fun Facts about Iceland

Since I’m still working on my agency list, which is sneaky, time-consuming work, I thought I’d mention a few little facts about Iceland. They’re not all scientifically proven; this is just stuff from my head.

- If you walk through a field of tall grass, it is very unlikely that a bug will stick on you.

Garin Hay at MySpace

- Up until recently, Iceland only had very small spiders. A contractor I know of imported machinery and with them came rather large spiders with red and yellow bellies (eugh!). The contractor couldn’t be bothered to have them exterminated and so they’ve spread (thanks a lot).

- I have never seen a cockroach in Iceland. I’ve heard that there are some back at the old American base, and that they were discovered after the Americans left (thanks a lot).

- There are no ants in Iceland.

- When the American soldiers and their families left, they also left behind a lot of useful stuff, including playgrounds and gym equipment (thanks a lot!).

- There are not many rats in Iceland. In fact, I’ve never seen one with my own eyes. If I saw one, I’d probably think it was a big mouse.

Budget Baby: 10 More Ways to Live Green for Less by Rachael Brownell

- The largest wild animals (not including the very occasional polar bears that float on blocks of ice from Greenland/North Pole) are reindeers, but foxes are the second largest.

- Yes, I’ve seen a live polar bear. Not a wild one though. I’ve also seen live Orcas. The Orca was scarier.

- “Orka” is an Icelandic word for “energy”.

- Our clocks have 24 hours, meaning that we always write (and often say) 15.32 etc. Americans call it "military time"; we just call it "time".

- The northern lights (Aurora Boreales) are so common that I don’t really think of them as anything magnificent. I just think they're "cool". I grew up seeing the green lights, and I, with my wild imagination, could see little human figures walking upwards in a row. They peak every eleven years, and I’ve twice been awed by purple, red, orange, and pink lights dancing wildly in the sky (I’m not being poetic here, they were literally dancing). The lights in the pictures, by the way, are very cool.

- There is daylight 24 hours in June. That’s when Icelanders are very gleeful and chipper. That’s also when Icelanders go camping and drink a lot. I don’t drink alcohol and I haven’t - ever. No special reason, I just don’t want to.

- I know one other person who has never tasted alcohol in his life, and he happens to be my cousin.

- People always dress up before heading to the pubs/nightclubs.

- There is maximum 3 hours of daylight in December, when it is darkest. That’s when way too many Icelanders are depressed. We go to work in darkness and come home in darkness – but then we have Christmas to cheer us up.

- There was winter celebration in Iceland way before people were forced to take up Christianity here. The purpose was to cheer people up the gloom of darkness.

- People also dress up for clubbing in the winter - girls don't let the cold bother them and if short dresses/skirts and tank tops are in, they wear it.

"Dreki í nýju ullarpeysunni sinni"

- After the 2008 economic catastrophe, new and innovative businesses have been popping up everywhere. Every woman, it seems, was suddenly interested in knitting (including me), and former career women published a number of knitting books. More Icelandic knitting books have been published in the last two years than the last decade, and probably a decade before that, too.

Cartoon at

I'll post more of these later when I have no news of my writing. I've compiled a list of 42 agents so far and I have some more to go. I didn't list the snail-mail ones and the one-man agencies, but I bookmarked them and I'll list them down later. This doesn't mean that I'm less interested in them, I just decided to work in this organised order: list big/medium agencies (tons), list snail-mail agencies (a handful), and then list one-man/woman agencies (a few more than the snail-mailers). I intend to query everyone.

Just for the record, it has taken me two whole days to list down the medium/big agencies and choose the right agent from each one. This is a lot more work than I thought it would be, and it'll be a lot of work to personalize every query (read the query guidelines from everyone and make sure everything's spiffy). I think I'll send the queries out in batches, maybe 5-6 at a time.

Task for the day: clean the apartment and continue listing agencies.


  1. Hi, I followed you here from your comment on Rachelle Gardner's site. Interesting that you live in Iceland, as my family lived there for two years from 2007-2009. You forgot to mention that the Icelanders have the best New Year's fireworks in the world!

  2. Oh yes! The night the sky flares up in fireworks. I'll be sure to mention that in my next fun facts.

  3. Lovely Blog - hoping to visit Iceland at the end of the year - do you think that's a good time to see geysor and sights or should we wait for more daylight? Thanks really enjoyed reading and will be back for more.