Dear Lisbeth Salander: Post-Election Tension

This week's guest columnist is Lisbeth Salander, who's a hacker but not a hack, Wasp but not a WASP, and an all-around tough-as-nails badass.


Okay, so by now you’ve read or heard about the presidential election in the United States. So many people are either sick to their stomachs or elated, depending on the success or failure of their chosen candidate. The world I knew has gone crazy and turned completely upside-down. People are at each other’s throats and saying all kinds of horrible things.

My question to you is: How do I deal with all the changes that seem to be coming down the road? I’m only 22, and I feel scared, anxious, and angry. What can I do to make sure that my own future is secure and not totally screwed?

Please help!

Uncertain Future Girl

Dear Uncertain,

I hear you, girlfriend. It’s a scary time for everyone in the entire word, not just your area of it. Generally, my answer would border on a tough, suck-it-up kind of advice—but not today. You’re afraid; I get it. Believe me when I say that even I have been afraid at times. The fact that I’m a tough, practical woman who takes care of business doesn’t mean that I’ve never been frightened—I have. But here’s the deal …

Life goes on. The sun rises and sets, and you have choices to make about what you will allow and not allow to be in your future. That future has to reflect what is possible for you with your available resources. In other words, you are in charge of your own life no matter what insanity is going on all around you. Toxic people and politics have degenerated to rank-and-file hatred of the other side. You have to step back from any hatred (yeah, I know it’s hard to do), get a solid grip on your own life, and move forward. 

I see myself as a warrior—albeit a lone one—but I’m fighting to live my life on my own terms. I allow no bullies into my world. Do I succeed? 99.9% of the time, I do. I don’t care about political pundits who try to tell me how I should live. I live the way I want to live, and I dare anyone to stop me. I’ll go down fighting.

But seriously Uncertain, take your life into your own hands and stop listening to people who say negative and scary things. Protect your own life and live it the best way you know how.

Or, hey, you know what? If you like the cold snow and bright sunlight, you could move to Sweden, my country. It’s not a bad place to be, and we can toughen you up the old Viking way. I heard we might be getting many more “tourists” wanting to stay here now that Canada is almost filled up. Think about emigrating.

—The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Kristen Houghton is the author of nine top-selling novels,  including For I Have Sinned and Grave Misgivings, books 1 and 2 in the best-selling new series,  A Cate Harlow Private Investigation.  Book 3 in the series, Unrepentant: Pray for Us Sinners, will be published Fall of 2016. She is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own.

Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories which appear in popular anthologies. 


  1. alan william hopper

    This is a nice way of settling rattled nerves about the outcome of this damned election. Well written and to the point. Sweden looks mighty good right.

  2. wiltrip

    The election left me very depressed and I actually got sick. I love the girl with books and am very happy to see Kristen Houghton write as she might do in an advice column. I still feel upset by Trump’s supposed win but like this artilce a lot.

  3. ferryboat

    good advice but I’m still scared!

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