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Daily News
from Iceland
February 27, 2003

Letter of the Week

Iceland: it's not only a small country, but also a small world unto itself. My experience happened last August in ReykjavÝk.

I photograph and write children's books in the US. Of the more than 40 I've had published, five have been photographed in Iceland. Well, I was back again, this time to photograph for another book. The new book was about fishing and set primarily in Stykkishˇlmur (west Iceland) and a little in ReykjavÝk. This is what happened one afternoon:

I finished the week-long shoot on the fishing boats in Stykkishˇlmur and returned to ReykjavÝk to do some more shooting with my six-year-old star. I also planned to do a bit of research on the fish he catches with his grandfathers in the story (cod and lumpfish).

So I go down to the National Fisheries offices, a multi-story building by the harbor. On the second floor, I find the library. I've never been there before. I know nobody in the building.

I go in and introduce myself to the director, EirÝkur Th. Einarsson. I explain who I am and what I am researching, when he politely interrupts and says, "I know who you are and what you are doing."

"You do?" I replied incredulously. I was quite surprised and thought he mistook me for someone else. This can't be. I've been visiting Iceland 14 times in the past ten years, but nobody really knows about this book, since I just planned it and arrived at the end of July. It's too new.

"Yes, I saw your web site," he said.

"My web site? You mean www.brucemcmillan.com? But that's my author web site and I don't have anything up about this book on that site yet," I puzzled aloud.

"No, I saw your Stykkishˇlmur web site," he said.

"You did?" I asked. I was really puzzled by now. "How? I just made a few pages and only just sent the link back to the librarians in Maine." Plus, there hadn't even been enough time for any of the search engines with their Web crawlers to add the pages to their databases.

"One of my librarian friends sent it to me from Maine," he explained.

"No, really? What a small world. Well, that explains the e-mail I got about the site from a librarian who sent a copy to someone named EirÝkur, EirÝkur Th. Einarsson. What a small world."

If you're curious to see the home page I made for my Maine librarians, you're welcome to visit. I made it to share information about the public libraries in Stykkishˇlmur and Vestmannaeyjar (south Iceland), and to show what a photographer does with his computer on cloudy, rainy days when he's not shooting for a book. Cloudy, rainy days in Iceland? Yeah, right.

Bruce McMillan

PS Readers here at www.brucemcmillan.com are welome to visit the page mentioned that I made for the Maine Librarians.

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