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?
PS – Want to win a copy of your choice of any of my available titles from Amazon.com? Send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.