Guest: Megan Hart

I’m a little late this morning. So sorry! My computer hasn’t been cooperating.
Anyway, it’s a great pleasure to have our guest cruising with us today. If you’re looking for sensual, emotional stories (with some great, sexy heroes) you MUST read Megan Hart. Be sure to visit her at meganhart.com and danehart.com. Now here she is, fresh out of the RV…


I am not “outdoorsy.”
I live in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, in a neighborhood where you can’t see the houses next door in the summer because of all the trees. I love it there. I have no lawn and my landscaping is whatever will grow when I throw it down and will come back year after year.
Despite this, I’m still not the hike-up-a-mountain sort of woman, probably due to the childhood traumas inflicted upon me by my dad, who often insisted on taking me on hikes up “the mountain” when I would rather have been reading a book.
And yet, who suggested my family take a two-week, cross-country trip to Yellowstone National Park this summer? Yeah. Me. In a motorhome, no less, which meant camping! Okay, so I know that while camping in a motorhome isn’t even close to hiking into the back country with a tent on my back and sleeping on the ground (I have hard camped, and I do know the difference) it sure isn’t the same as staying in a luxury suite someplace in the Bahamas with houseboys fanning me while I sip a fruity drink, either.

Two weeks in an RV with my kids and that man I live with, a.k.a. Superman. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to survive it. See, I’m the sort who really, really, REALLY needs time alone. I could deal with not showering every day, I could deal with the hikes and the wildlife and the hours of driving even though I can’t read or write in the car without getting sick. But not being alone? I was pretty sure that was going to outright kill me, or at least drive me a little bit crazier. As I write this now we are on the way to Colorado on our last leg toward home. We’re going to be staying in the Stanley Hotel (Stephen King fans will know it) before heading back East.
And I’m still alive.
If you’re reading this blog entry (and many thanks to the women of RWTTD for having me!) I made it home.
And let me just say, what an amazing trip this has been. I have seen countryside that took my breath away; I have passed through towns that boast a population of 10. I’ve bathed in water from the world’s largest hot mineral spring, been to the country’s largest mall, seen the world’s largest bull’s head, sat upon the world’s largest Jackalope, fed prairie dogs, nearly been attacked by an angry, in-rut buffalo, seen the country’s oldest recreational vehicle, and worn cheese on my head. I’ve seen a giant gas grill, guitar, prairie dog, horse, cowboy boot, dinosaurs, fish and fishing rod, cowboy and a buffalo all made of plaster. I’ve watched geysers go off, been inside the world’s only corn palace, shopped at the Wall Drug store, seen National Monuments, toured the country’s second largest cave, survived the Cosmos Mystery Area, escaped alien abduction at Devil’s Tower, crossed the Continental Divide (four times!) and held a 150-million year old dinosaur bone. I’ve been through ten states, not including Pennsylvania, and in less than 24 hours I traveled five states and crossed two time zones in order to get home.

Boy, am I tired.
And what have I gained from this trip? An appreciation for the vast and wild beauty of the United States of America, for one thing. A renewed confirmation of my own very small place in the world, for another. It’s hard to feel impressive standing next to a steaming fountain of magma-heated water or looking at the stone faces of four men who shaped this country more than I can ever hope to. I appreciate a hot shower and cold water more than ever (not to mention flush toilets I don’t have to “dump.”) And I came away inspired to tell a hundred new stories, books that will take what I’ve seen and done and weave those experiences into the stories of someone else’s lives.
Writing is by necessity a solitary experience, and while I’m mostly glad to be at my computer type-typing away for hours on end, listening to my music and losing myself in a fantasy world where I pull all the strings, I also believe experience is what helps a writer tell great stories. In the past two weeks I’ve not only researched books I already wrote or am in the process of writing, I’ve seen and learned things that have already begun percolating into new stories I can’t wait to tell.
Everything I do leads back to writing. I can’t help it. It’s the way I’m made. Everyone I meet, every song I hear, every food I taste gets stored away to be used somehow, somewhere, at a later date. I love what I do and I’m so blessed to be able to do it.
And I’m so glad we took this trip.
Thanks again to all the ladies of Riding With The Top Down for having me here today. I know many of you have taken some amazing trips and seen amazing things, and so have this blog’s readers.
What kinds of stories have they inspired you to tell?

—M

PS – Want to win a copy of your choice of any of my available titles from Amazon.com? Send me an email to: readinbed@gmail.com with RWTTD CONTEST in the subject line and I’ll enter you in a drawing. I’ll pick one winner by Sept. 29! Thanks for reading, everyone.

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20 Responses to Guest: Megan Hart

  1. Michele Hauf says:

    Welcome, Megan! And I feel so bad about getting this up late!I haven’t traveled since I was a kid, and then it was two weeks every summer. Our family did every state except the 13 original colonies. (Not sure why we missed those.) I remember Yellowstone and the geysers were SO cool.Now I travel mostly in books. But I did do Paris a few years back. Everything was like taking mental notes for stories. I need to go back!

  2. Debra Dixon says:

    Welcome, Megan!Very nice to see you made it home.But did the kids survive? (g)

  3. AuthorM says:

    Michele — no worries on being late.I’ve never been to Paris, but I’d love to go!Hi, Debra. The kids survived juuuuust fine. There were a couple moments I was pretty sure NOBODY was going to survive because I thought I might explode. Or implode. But it all worked out.M

  4. Liza says:

    Welcome Megan!You are much braver than me. My sister wants me to RV it with her family one summer, but I can’t see 3 adults and 3 kids having enough space. Plus, I like my alone time too and I can’t read in a moving car. Who knows, maybe in a couple of summers(her youngest is 4).

  5. AuthorM says:

    Hi, Liza. I definitely wouldn’t go with anyone else’s family or invite anyone along with mine. It is tight quarters and I prefer to keep loving my friends and family! LOL!M

  6. Helen Brenna says:

    Hi Megan!!Your trip sounds amazing. My family and I did the RV thing up in Alaska. To this day, it’s one of our favorite trips.

  7. Kylie says:

    Hi Megan!I did a few days of nature-lovin’ this summer after San Francisco when I went to Oregon to hike in forests, crawl through caves, explore waterfalls, etc. Actually I was researching my next book and needed a place to hide bodies!Found it, too. There’s room for about a half dozen bodies in one of the caves I only heard about. I’m a happy writer!

  8. Until this past summer I was skeptical that families could travel together- but we drove across the country with the kids (ages 6 and 8) and it was the best time ever! I love my alone time, but we saw so many cool things and the kids were sooo good. We even found this place in Texas, called Shamrock, where the real Ramone’s from Cars is located. What a neat little gas station- very retro. We are now planning a return trip next year! Our goal is to see all 50 states and since we lived in Hawaii for about 5 years we already have the hard state taken care of.

  9. AuthorM says:

    Helen – I never thought of doing an RV trip in Alaska. My husband worked/lived in Alaska (Barrow! like…the farthest north you can live) and I never much wanted to go there. He says we’d avoid that place and hit the “nice” spots…Maybe in an RV!M

  10. The DH, #2 son and I did an RV trip in Alaska in 2000, and like Helen, it’s my favorite trip to date. At least the fave in the US. We had the privilege of living in Europe for 4 years back in the late 70’s and had some great travel experiences there. And on our 30th anniversary in 2003, the DH and I went to the Mayan Riviera for a week. We got to see the Mayan ruins, and wow!We were just talking about doing another RV trip sometime — maybe going back to Yellowstone. I don’t consider RV’ing as “real” camping despite having to dump tanks and stuff. I definitely don’t sleep in the ground in a tent, but I didn’t mind the RV at all. Of course I’ve never done it with small kids; #2 son was 17 at the time and he got to do the tank dumping. LOL!Marilyn

  11. AuthorM says:

    Hey, Marilyn! Nope RV camping isn’t quite the same as tent camping, esp. when you pull up along side some of those rockstar tour buses! Man, that’s living in luxury. Even so, I was glad to be OUT of the RV after two weeks.I wanted to take two weeks to visit Scotland but we did this instead. Maybe next year or the year after. Went to Ireland for two weeks on our honeymoon and that was a blast, but, sans kids of course. It would be different travelling to Europe with two extras!M

  12. lois greiman says:

    Megan!!! So glad to have you here with us. Thanks for taking a turn at the wheel.Isn’t Yellowstone amazing? I haven’t been there for years, but I hiked some high points with Travis and my daughter on the way to RWA this year. Then he and a friend went on to Yellowstone and have great pics to show for it.

  13. AuthorM says:

    Heya, Lois. Yeah, Travis told me he was going to be there around the same time we were but…alas…we did not see him! Which would have been incredibly odd and funny if we had, considering the size of the place and all.It was really amazing, the beauty and just…gah. So much country, so much WORLD, if that makes sense. So much horizon! I felt very small.And when I think how it’s all natural, I just get a little shiver, you know? I’d go back for sure.But not in a tent on the ground with bears around!M

  14. robynl says:

    a few weeks ago dh and I went with my sister, her dh and 2 kids to Mount Kidd in Kananaskis out of Calgary, Ab. We had a great time- went on a small hike, sat outdoors and ate and had a campfire in the evening and made S’mores and had colored fire and Sparklers for the kids. All of us enjoyed it immensely. BUT we slept in a big trailer with shower, sink, toilet, microwave, stove, fridge and beds. Wow, what a change to tenting.

  15. AuthorM says:

    toilets and beds really do make all the difference!

  16. Amy S. says:

    Hi Megan! I’ve never RV’d but my aunt is trying to get us to go camping with her. I think in Oct. I’ve only done the camping thing once and I didn’t like it.

  17. AuthorM says:

    Hi, Amy. I like camping…in theory. We went camping often when I was a kid. I can deal with a lot of stuff about camping, but I’m not hardcore about it. One thing about this trip, it was NOT relaxing. Every day we did a ton of stuff. If I’d had to come back to a site and pitch a tent and sleep on the ground and cook over a fire I’d have been miserable.

  18. Anonymous says:

    glad u are back .looks like a fun trip, i want to do taht sometimes. travel across the us. kh

  19. flchen1 says:

    My husband’s not too fond of road trips, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do some exploring of this country by car 🙂 Thanks for posting!

  20. Estella says:

    I don’t like to travel. I prefer to stay home and work in my yard or read.

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