Tag: Duluth

01
Jul

Book Signings & Sight Seeing: An Author on the Go!

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Book Signing at Book World!

Hello, all my lovely readers! Did you miss me? I can imagine your dismay when 7am Monday morning rolled around there was no post from The Open Book. Sorry I didn’t give any warning on Friday. Shane and I went to Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin to visit his grandparents this past weekend and I didn’t know that their cabin was beyond the reach of the internet. We stayed in a cabin nestled deep in the Northwoods, and I savored every second of it!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about my book signing at Book World! It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside, but luckily, the store was just as lovely as the sunshine. The Baxter Book World and its staff were wonderful, and I spent a delightful 3 hours meeting new people, getting some new readers, and hugging old friends. I had a fabulous time, and was told by the staff that my book signing was one of the most successful they’ve had! WooHOO!

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Ready for my adoring public!

Shane got some great pics of me chatting up new readers!

Shane got some great pics of me chatting up new readers!

There's my adoring public!

There’s my adoring public!

Thanks, guys! :)

Love these guys!

THANK YOU to Book World and everyone who came to check out Seven Stones and support my writing! If you missed me in Baxter, I’ll be making another stop in the area at the Brainerd Public Library as a part of their Brown Bag Author program! I’ll be there July 13th from 12-1pm reading excerpts from Seven Stones, talking about the writing process, how I got published, answering questions, and–yes!–signing and selling books.

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From the book signing, Shane and I made an obligatory stop at Culver’s for some much needed custard, and drove 5 hours to Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin. Never heard of it? Lake Tomahawk is up near Lake Superior in the Minocqua/Rhinelander area of the state. I gotta tell you, it was some of the most scenic drives we’ve had. Everywhere I looked was breathtaking forest or lake views. We were lucky enough to stay at Shane’s grandparents’ cabin in the heart of the woods overlooking a large pond.

The Lee Cabin

The Lee Cabin

Early morning view from the pier

Early morning view from the pier

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View from my writing spot

Shane :)

Shane ūüôā

It was there that I found my perfect writing spot. I wanted to stay out there for hours with my little notebook, but there was so much else to do–and eat!

Minocqua!

Minocqua!

We drove to Minocqua and explored the quaint downtown area. One of the coolest parts of Minocqua are the murals. Painted on old brick buildings all over town, these were really cool surprises that we couldn’t resist taking photos of.

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A French mural we found on the side of an old building.

Shane couldn’t resist “drinking” from the fountain

Our favorite part of Minocqua? The Minocqua Fudge Shop. Oh. My. God.

Dan's Minocqua Fudge

This place is where dreams come true

When you walk through the door, rich, buttery aromas practically lift you off your feet and pull you toward the rows and rows of homemade fudge. Just breathing that air made me feel like I gained five pounds.

Where the magic happens

Where the magic happens

Like walking into Honeydukes!

Like walking into Honeydukes!

Then, there was the ice cream. All of it is made at the shop with quality ingredients–and boy, can you taste it. Shane and I tried to practice some self-control by¬†splitting a double-scoop, and THIS is what they gave us.

One massive scoop of Bear Paw and one of Pistachio ice cream.

One massive scoop of Bear Paw and one of Pistachio ice cream.

You can tell we were really heartbroken.

YUM!

YUM!

After another day and too many Euchre games to count, we said goodbye to Shane’s wonderful grandparents and headed back home. But the adventure wasn’t over yet! We stopped in Duluth to stretch our legs on the Lake Walk. We both fell in love with Duluth last September and were really glad to have an excuse to go back to Lake Superior and the rose gardens. We spent two hours walking hand-in-hand along the shore. I guess you could say we take stopping and smelling the roses very seriously. ūüėČ

View from Duluth Harbor

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You know those rare weekends that are so relaxing that two short¬†days feel like five? That was this weekend retreat for us. A book signing, visiting family and friends, and a jaunt in Duluth. It was perfect. I still can’t get the smile off my face.

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Happy Wednesday!

27
Feb

A Writer’s Road Trip

Friday Favorites: Road Trip Style

Road Trip Essentials: Notebook and a Clicky Pen

Road Trip Essentials: Notebook and a Clicky Pen

Who doesn’t love a road trip? Singing along with your favorite songs, hanging out with your best friend, and (of course) the snacks. Fresh and dried fruit, nuts, veggies, a mushroom pizza with truffled goat cheese, smoked mozzarella, and brie…I am all about the road trip snacks.

Road trips are a writer’s best friend. While I don’t usually write a ton during a trip, I am always looking out the window and tucking tidbits away for future stories. Writing is all about observing, and the constant change of scenery, people, and new experiences are an inspiration goldmine. Driving through the small towns that are sprinkled along the route often give me ideas for a setting. As cars pass me on the highway, I often wonder where that person is going or what her day has been like. Before I know it, I’ve got the beginnings of a story.

Most of all, road trips take me out of my element. When I’m traveling, my brain relaxes and just takes everything in.

9 hours is a long time, so you might as well make it fun. We do everything we can to make the trip part of the vacation instead of just driving time. Though there is quite a bit of napping, there is plenty of time to talk, laugh, and just enjoy some extra alone time. Some of the best memories of a vacation can come from the drive. Here are some of my favorite things about our road trip through Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend:

Duluth

A view from Enger Tower

A view from Enger Tower

I love this city. Shane and I went here on a mini-vacation last September and had a blast. From the lake walk to Enger Tower, this town has some seriously beautiful views. Every time we pass through Duluth, we make pull over at the rest stop just outside the city. Situated on a hill, the rest stop offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Gorgeous.

Wisconsin Cheese

I'm HOME!

I’m HOME!

I’m a cheesehead in every sense of the word. A road trip simply isn’t a road trip without stopping at one of the many local cheese stores and creameries. This past trip we visited Ehlenbach’s¬†Cheese Chalet¬†in DeForest and sampled dozens of cheeses from Vanilla-Carmel-Coconut Chevre to Bacon Muenster. In the end, we took home a pound of Brick cheese (my favorite), a pound of Smoked Cheddar (Shane’s favorite), and a half-pound of Ginger-Apricot Cheddar. Suffice to say that we’ve been enjoying exquisite grilled cheese sandwiches all week.

Audiobooks

The road goes ever on and on...

The road goes ever on and on…

Audiobooks are amazing, especially when you are as busy as I am. Between graduate school, the book release, writing, work, and life, finding time to read for pleasure is tough. With audiobooks, I get to read while I’m driving. They are freaking fantastic! For this trip, we brought along The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien is one of my favorite authors and Shane’s never read him before!) and Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan.

What is your favorite part of a road trip?

22 DAYS UNTIL BOOK LAUNCH!