Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | July 17, 2017

OK, OK, OK …

When I was visiting my parents a few weeks ago, I told them excitedly that I had written a new piece at My mom’s response wasn’t curiosity or glee that her son had written something … anything. It was this: “Well, you haven’t written on your blog in six months.”

That’s my folks. Always keeping me grounded.

Properly chastised — and after a couple of more weeks of delay tactics — I figured I’d jump on here and update my loyal readers (which much surely number in the dozens) about what’s been happening since our return to Minnesota in mid-January.

The lime at night

Our building at night, with our very convenient bar/restaurant in the lobby.

After a couple of weeks of couch surfing/house-sitting at the homes of some of our friends, we took the plunge and rented an apartment in what has to be Minneapolis’ second-youngest neighborhood (next to the University of Minnesota campus). Our building is called Lime and the property company’s motto is “Everyday is Saturday,” or some such thing.

We’ve got a party room. We’ve got a pool. We’ve got a hot tub. Our lobby is a restaurant/bar. We’ve got a nice big second bedroom and a full bathroom (come visit, for crying out loud!). And most of the residents are younger than our daughter. Ha. Feels like we’re right back in Bulgaria, surrounded by young people. And it feels right for now.

Here’s a grab bag summary of the past several months:

Mark ID pic V3

I blanked out the Employee ID#, but I couldn’t fix the misspelling of my name. This is kind of fitting because during my previous 20-year stint at the paper, my name was misspelled in an entirely different way. Hail journalism!

• I’m back at the Minneapolis Star Tribune after six years away. I’m working part-time on the night news desk as a copy editor and enjoying the return to a newsroom. The newspaper is doing well, under new local ownership, in a spiffy new downtown location, and the vibe in the newsroom (at least from what I can gather in my 20-25 hours p/week) is super positive.

• I’m locked in on several freelance gigs, and I’ve tried and dropped a couple of others. I’ve got a website. I need to add to the work samples and client roster, but you get the idea. If you know someone looking for writing and editing help, hook me up. Clients don’t need to be in Minnesota. I’ve worked with clients in Miami and Chicago and even Central Wisconsin. I’m writing stories, providing research and reporting services, and doing a little “ghost writing.” I’ve also had a couple of interesting editing gigs; short-term but fun. I like the variety and I’m hoping to build on it so that in “retirement” (whenever that comes), I can work (a little) while we roam the earth.

• I’m back on my bike regularly. Nothing nearly as intense as last summer’s cross-country trek. But I’m enjoying it. Melody and I even took a spin to Sunday brunch with our friends Dan and Mary (and their son Gus), and then to the farmer’s market in Minneapolis. We leisurely pedaled back home with our take of vegetables and flowers on the warm and sunny afternoon. I haven’t done much leisurely riding in the past several years. It was nice.

Mark and Mel from the roof

Melody and Mark from the roof of our building. Sweet sunsets, guaranteed.

• As for Melody, she’s been busy, busy, busy as usual. She’s working on multiple film projects, applying for grants, teaching workshops and in a couple of weeks, she’ll be heading over to Kosovo to do a workshop and work as a film festival judge at Dokufest, a major international documentary festival in Prizren. She’s also heading over to Moldova in late September, where she’ll be running a weeklong storytelling/filmmaking workshop for the second year in a row there. Like me, she continues to look for meaningful work while we figure out what we’ll do when we grow up.

We’ll get out and travel together again soon. But for now, I need to keep working here while Melody’s work takes her overseas and all over the U.S. So if you want to see us in the same place at the same time (and not via Skype), you might want to come and see us in Minnesota. It’s lovely in the spring, summer and fall — and the winter’s not so bad, either. Especially when you have heated, underground parking and a bar in the lobby.












  1. The Stribe doesn’t have a fact checker??!!? Glad you’re back in the saddle!

  2. I’d pay good money to see you and Melody in a “parents gone wild” video (with a hats-off to your piece in Medium). But all joking aside, how wonderful to hear that you’re putting some roots down in Minnesota again! Welcome home, Melody and Mark.

  3. Well….if your mother was not impressed that you had written a piece for, I was! How did you manage that? I thought it was very good.

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