Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | September 5, 2011

Life in the slowwwww lane …

I’ve been editing other people’s words for so long that I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to put my own thoughts down on “paper.” Yeah, I can write a memo, an encouraging note to a colleague. I’ve sent love letters to my wife and advice-filled missives to my daughter.

But I haven’t really written for years. About myself. About my thoughts. About my ideas. About what I’ve done and hope to do. Frankly, after 28 years of daily newspaper work, all I’ve thought about on most days is how to get the paper out, what to put into the paper, how quickly can I get to the office, how soon can I leave …

My wife, Melody Gilbert, and I now find ourselves in the first month of an adventure. We’re teaching at the American University in Bulgaria and we’re living a new life, one filled with late dinners and leisurely mornings, spirited bike rides and college teaching. We are sauntering to cafes and enjoying a Mediterranean climate. It ain’t bad.

What will follow, in the days and weeks and months to come is a breakdown of that effort. I’ve already made forays into the mountains around Blagoevgrad on a new bike. I’ll share with you how I came to own this bike. I’ll introduce you to new friends and new experiences. I hope, through this blog — and our lives — we’ll get you to come visit.

I hope I can write well enough to keep you coming back. But if I don’t, that’s OK. I’ll keep plugging away anyway, because, damn it, I’m just happy to be writing for myself.

The new office, home of the American University in Bulgaria and the one-time home of the Communist Party here.



  1. Beyond excited for you – GO MARK!!!

  2. Keep ’em coming, Mark. Your writing is engaging and the subject is, of course, fascinating. So you DEFINITELY have an audience of one! Me!
    Glad to hear that things are going so well. I am enjoying Bulgaria vicariously through you!
    Marsha Smith

  3. […] blog started with a similar leave of absence. It was 2011 and I had stepped away from my job at the Minneapolis […]

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