Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Getting away from it all - and a giveaway

Coming off of "busy season," my girlfriends and I do an annual getaway from it all. This year we rented a cabin (with all the amenities - I'm NOT a camper) near Starved Rock State Park (Illinois) at an old boy scout camp. Removed from civilization, we don't set any schedules, just talk and laugh and unwind. We found a mushroom festival in a neighboring town where folks went hunting for morels, but rain forestalled our hike at the park.

Relaxing by the campfire
So here we are relaxing at a "boy scout camp" when, on the last night, at dinner, the thunderstorm bounced us all out of our chairs at the kitchen table. We later discovered lightning struck a tree near the office - maybe 100 yards away from our cabin. And then, overnight, in this quiet, remote setting with limited cell phone coverage and no Wifi (unplugged made the relaxation aspect so much more achievable!), I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to men shouting. An author's imagination runs wild! How am I going to call for help with spotty cell phone service? (my girlfriends assured me 911 would go through.) No, I won't be writing a story about that experience. That trope has been done to death. (And in case you were worried about what we'd do if we were in trouble, the owner's house was probably 200 yards from our cabin, AND they had a land line at the office.)

Virtually two weeks after the deadline, I'm finally caught up with all the subsequent mess that needed cleaning up, and I'm following all the trails I've left for myself trying to keep moving ahead with the third book in the Kundigerin trilogy (breadcrumbs I leave when I run out of writing time at the end of the night).

What's the giveaway part of the subject line (you might ask)? I subscribe to a page that sends me pictures of real-life venues that spark imagination, and a picture popped up this week that nearly matched one I took myself! Which inspired me to share. If you can find the picture below on my website, tell me where you found it. I'll gift one random commenter a copy of either Gathering Mist or Heart for Rent, with an Option (which is the book I wrote after visiting this venue). Ready? Go!
Eze, France

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