I’m a be-leaver

The suitcase is wide open on the living room floor, pretty much packed. I’ve got my essentials, my T-shirts, jeans, underwear, suit, shirts, shoes, and books to take me through the hockey world championship extravaganza in Switzerland.

How many pairs of jeans would I wear at home in the next three weeks? Probably 1.5. How many T-shirts? Probably just six different ones, but with a good rotation, and yes, washed in between uses. Why do I then pack 4 pairs of jeans and 15 T-shirts?

Because you never know, that’s why. Better safe than sorry.

I’ve read two books in the past three weeks, which – on a rotating weekly average – is a record for the 2008-09 season, but for the trip, I’ve packed three novels, magazines, and hockey stats books.

Because, let’s face it, covering 32 games in 17 days – with two off days which aren’t really off days because those stories won’t write themselves – is a walk in the park and I’ll mostly be just reading and changing clothes.

So, for the next 20 days, I’ll be blogging, twittering, and skyping from Berne, Switzerland about all that, hockey, and how to travel light right here, a little here, twittering here, and blogging some more on THN’s site.

But right now, I’m already looking forward to coming back home in 20 days. And I imagine walking through those huge doors at the Arlanda airport, and seeing Jessica and the kids waiting for me, she holding a fresh caffe latte in her hand, and the kids dancing and singing songs about the best dad in the world. (Me.)

Au revoir

And we came to the end. After 19 days in Quebec, with 29 games covered, I climbed down the 89 stairs from the Colisée Pepsi press box for the last time, in a hurry to get to the mixed zone to get the players’ comments.

Then, just a couple of last things, and we were done. Check out www.iihf.com for our full coverage over the past three weeks. Some of that came from here:

The IIHF editors' tournament office

I’m a lover, not a fighter

Today, I suddenly realized that I didn’t become a pilot, a policeman, or a pro hockey player like I thought when I was a kid. Didn’t become a rich businessman like I thought when I was in business school. Didn’t even become a media consultant like I was told to say to clients when I switched careers for the first time.

I’m a writer. This is what I do.

Even on a Sunday.

Be happy

Moderated a roundtable discussion today, the topic being work atmosphere at a Swedish company. By the end of it, I asked the participants to give some pointers to the readers (in the same company across the world) on how one person can make the atmosphere better for everybody.

“Just be happy and stay positive,” said the first.

“Yeah, I say the same,” said the rest.

So easy. To forget.

Free breakfast

There’s no such thing as free lunch? Maybe. But there sure are free breakfasts, I just came back to the office from one. Not only did I get breakfast, I also got material for Scanorama’s Web & Tech, a soccer ball for my kids, and a calculator for my wife.

Gotta love Canon and their wonderful EOS 450D camera, recommended price of just 900 euro, including the 18-55 mm IS lens!

(There, now we’re all happy).

Life’s a pitch

A freelancer is always pitching stories or he’ll be out of business. Or, he’ll slide into a business he really doesn’t want to be in.

Pitching stories is actually a lot of fun. It can be stimulating on many levels. One part Sherlock Holmes, one part Stephen King, two parts Home Shopping Network spokesperson.

First you need the idea.

Continue reading

(That was) The week (that was)

When I’m not working on this blog – writing new entries, adding links to the sidebar, spamming my buddies with links, selling ads, chatting with celebrity bloggers, designing T-shirts to be sold on the blog and so on – I work.

I write.

Like this:
» Karalahti in limbo (iihf.com)
» Hey, ref! (nhl.com)
» Suhostelua and another column about the European league (sm-liiga.fi, in Finnish)
» Belfour carries Leksand (iihf.com)
» The one below, Where’s Hankenstein?, on nhl.com.

and then another column, another story about Belfour, but those were for real magazines, the kinds that are printed on paper, so I can’t link to them.

Off The Post!

Now, I know that you, my loyal reader, have read all the blog entries on NHL.com, and for that, I am grateful. But maybe you have a friend who hasn’t or maybe you’ve missed something, or can’t find the older entries on the Web anymore?

Here’s a thought:

Get your friend a copy of [edit:] Off the Post: hockey stories from across the world, a 150-page paperback that’ll be out in the fall. It’ll include all the nhl.com blog entries posted in 2006 and 2007, plus a few new short pieces.

Pre-order yours now, for 9,99 dollars, Order yours now by sending me an email with Off The Post in the subject title. Price: 14,90 euro.


How to write for the Web?

It’s as easy or hard as writing for a printed magazine. Who said writing was easy anyway? A writer colleague of mine once said that a story doesn’t exist until it’s been read. It’s the reader who decides what works and what doesn’t. Same with the Web. And I think people have showed that they can read stuff off of a screen as well — once they have decided to read something.

The question’s not how to write for the Web, it’s more about whether you should write for the Web at all.

More about this on Tuesday, after the Finnish Custom Publishing Day.

Edit: here are the slides.

Edit 2: NY Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger: “I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either.”