July 1, 2013

Writing, Friends, and Ticks, Oh My!

I just got back yesterday from an amazing time with some awesome writing friends. We visited our friend Gabrielle Meyer's home in Little Falls, Minnesota.

We set aside some time each day for brainstorming our next stories (on Wednesday, Melissa Tagg will be sharing a little bit about what we each came up with!). I'm very excited to finish revising my current story and get started on this next one.

Brainstorming next to the river in Gabe's backyard.
But we didn't just spend time writing. No, we did a lot of sightseeing and hanging out as well.

Here we are above the Mississippi River (which I'd never seen before!):

Melissa, Gabrielle, Alena, and me!
 And here we are eating lunch on Lake Alexander:

Beautiful day!
We also took some time to celebrate our 2013 writing accomplishments, including agent signings, book releases (Made to Last by Melissa Tagg comes out September 15!), contest finals, finishing book revisions, etc.

To celebrate, we got dressed up and attended a fancy fundraiser dinner at Linden Hill.

My pretty friends!
We also had fun driving around in Gabe's husband's Jeep. We took this picture for our friend Beth Vogt, whose second book, Catch a Falling Star, features a red Jeep on the cover.
Chillaxin'.
Gabe also took us to a lot of historic sites, and since she used to be a tour guide, she's darn good at it! Charles Lindbergh grew up in Little Falls, so we visited his old home and the state park named for him.

And that is where the ticks come in.

*deep breath*

We were taking a walk through the state park--on a trail, mind you--and Gabe was teasing me about the term "cidiot." As in, a citified person who is stupid about all things country.

She laughed and said she wasn't calling me that...but c'mon. I'm about as cidiot as they come. Bugs and me = no bueno.

So we're walking through this grass, and Gabe says, "You know, this is the kind of grass where we'd be most likely to find wood ticks." She laughs.

Alena looks down and squeals. We all look down and squeal.

There are like thirty-bajillion (or just thirty, but um, ew!) wood ticks crawling on my pants.

We start racing away from the ticks--me screaming "I don't like it, I don't like it" over and over again--as if we can outrun them. I mean, they're on our pants. Already stuck. But dude, I ran away from those creepy crawlies as if they were a T-rex and I was in Jurassic Park.

In fact, in her amusement, Gabe snapped a shot of me in all my whiny glory. Notice Alena is just laughing.

I may have returned to 115-degree weather in Phoenix, but at least we don't have wood ticks.

I'm still shuddering and imaging I have them all over me. Pretty sure I dreamed about them too.

But seriously. Other than what will forever go down in history as the "tick incident," I had an amazing time. There's nothing like spending time with other people who just get you so totally and completely. I'm so blessed to have each of my writer friends in my life, and to be following this calling God has laid on my heart.

Your Turn: Ever had a really horrid bug encounter? Do share! 

***
Gabrielle is sharing more pics and her perspective on the weekend at her blog today! Check it out.

27 comments:

  1. You don't want to know. I don't want to relive it.

    But I'll say this...I've been IN the Amazon Jungle. IN the JUNGLE. Tarantulas ON children. Cockroaches the size of an adult shoe. Things that fly...

    And it was WORSE.

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    1. Okay, yeah, that sounds pretty bad...

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  2. LindsAy, I feel your pain!! I've never really hated bugs until I brought bed bugs home from a trip a couple of years ago. Six months of horror!! So I totally relate to your "whiny glory." I had a mild case of PSTD due to bed bugs. Horrendous! So glad your trip was wonderful and productive!

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    1. Oh, Lisa, you poor thing!! I cannot even imagine how freaky that must have been...and for 6 months!! That's similar to how I felt when the puppies got parvo. It could have been anywhere and so easily spread...though bugs are probably worse. *shudder*

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  3. Okay, 30 ticks is pretty horrific. I hike with my dog daily and always do a "tick check" afterwards. There's almost always at least one and sometimes as many as 3 or 4, but 30? Yikes! Glad the writing part of your week was awesome!

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    1. I guess if it was a daily part of my life, maybe it wouldn't freak me out so much. But I'd never even seen a tick really, much less had one--make that several--on me!

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  4. Hahahaaaaaa!!! I'm sorry but that is hilarious. And it's ALOT of ticks. I live in FL so there are always bugs all the time. Spiderwebs everywhere in summer too.
    What a great and memorable trip though. :-)

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    1. Thanks for laughing at my pain. ;) That's okay. All three of my friends who witnessed my terror laughed at me too!

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  5. Oh, honey, "I don't like it, I don't like it" either.
    I almost didn't read this post because it had the word "tick" in it.
    My kiddos have a wonderful memory of their mother absolutely LOSING HER MIND when, during a pleasant family hike, I looked down and saw ticks on my socks. Can you say "Momma went BESERK"?!!!

    The red Jeep photo? Now that I LOVE!!

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone!!

      And so awesome we got to take the pic with the Jeep. We all immediately thought of you!

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  6. WAAAAHHHH I miss you girls already. Seriously. I NEED you all to move to Iowa. We don't have that many ticks here...or, well... :)

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    1. Not sure I believe you on that one...but yes, I miss you too!!!

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  7. LOL. Ticks are the worst. Really gross.

    Glad you ladies had fun!

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    1. My relatives in Oklahoma get them out on their farm. Do you get them where you are?

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  8. I've personally killed two black widows and I feel pretty proud of that. I also regularly haul dead moles, chipmunks, and other rodents out of my yard--gifts from my outdoor cats and dog. So nature is definitely a regular part of my life. Glad you survived the "tick incident" intact and had a blast w/your writing buddies!

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    1. Okay, black widows are pretty creepy too. And poisonous, right? Yikes.

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  9. I am so glad you all had such a great time! Loved the pictures! And ticks! Ahh! That is terrifying! What's especially funny is I JUST had my first tick last night after walking on a nature trail! Talk about total panic! I can totall relate!

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    1. That's crazy!!! Our first tick incidents in the same weekend. What are the odds?!!

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  10. Yuck!! Oh yes. We lived in NC and used to run through the beautiful forest...so nice until I came home with a deer tick on my side! I had to be tested for Limes disease. Ugh!

    I don't like BUGS!

    Glad you all had fun!

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    1. Oh, that's horrid! At least we don't have them here in Phoenix...yes, we have 115 degree heat, but no ticks...

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  11. I do a "tick check" on the kiddos every night. Kind of feel like a grooming mother ape minus putting them in my mouth to dispose of them ;) I can't say as though bugs, insects, etc. creep me out. Spiders on the other hand ... dear God save us all!

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    1. I had to check Lindsay's hair like I check my children's. :) She also had Melissa check her, too. I'm still smiling about the whole thing. ;)

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  12. Ah haha! Yeah, I'm not a big fan of ticks either! Who is really? Looks like you all had a great time! Makes me miss my alley cats, but also gets me even more stoked to see you all in September!

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    1. Yeah, I guess no one really runs around screaming, "I love this, I love this, yay ticks!" huh? ;) Can't wait to see you in September too!

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  13. In my defense, I really wasn't calling you a cidiot! If you recall, I was talking about how my brothers call me that when I get all creeped out by bugs. :) It really was funny. I'm still laughing two days later! We all survived and have a fun story to tell now.

    I miss you and I'm so thankful you were able to come to Minnesota!! Despite the bugs, it was an awesome time. I hope you're not sweating in Phoenix today! It was 85 here. :)

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    1. Suuuuuure, you weren't. *wink wink* I'm not exactly laughing, but I've cracked a smile then and again. ;)

      Miss you too!! I'm not sweating because I'm staying inside with my AC. That's how you survive the heat.

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