Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greetings from Minnesota!

Quick post. I'm in Minnesota for a few days visiting one of my old penguin-wrangling cohorts from my aquarium days. We're way out in the boonies in her charming little village, which is basically run by her mom and stepdad. The beating heart of town is the BP gas station, where I'll shortly be grabbing a coffee (16 ounces for 95¢!) before we take a walk.

This is my third and final day here, and may I just say, Minnesota rocks. Garrison Keillor always had me believing it, but now I know for sure. We're out in farm country, and so far I've met guinea hens, regular chickens, a rooster, several cows dressed as Oreos, a gazillion barn cats, four horses, a half dozen dogs, three turkeys, and who-knows-how-many no-see-ums. I got to take a guided tour of my friend's childhood, and see where she was crowned Butter Queen. It's also homecoming week so the town is very bustley and excitable, plus the fall foliage is putting on a good show.

Yesterday I got to shoot skeet for the first time ever. Despite growing up in Maine, I was never a hunting gal, but I'd done target shooting before, with both a rifle and a hand gun. The shotgun was heavier than anything I'd held before, and I tucked the butt against my armpit, not my shoulder, for the first couple shots, so I now have a lovely black bruise as a souvenir. But on the bright side, I hit two of the dozen or so pigeons I took aim at, which I think is pretty respectable for a first attempt.

We later got burgers at a place called Guenther's (delicious) and went bowling in the MSU student center. I was hoping to break a hundred, but I think I only got 94…though I did get to do my strike dance. I used the hot-pink wussy ball, and the end of my thumb nail came off. Still, it was nice to do some proper bowling for a change, as I live in Massachusetts where candlepin is mistaken for "real" bowling. Sorry, Mass, but you're just wrong on that one.

Today we're planning on doing a little mini-golfing, so I'm getting to indulge in all sorts of awesome non-sports. I'm later meeting some more of my friend's relatives, some of which have a whole house full of animals, including, it has been alleged, some button quails in the basement. Not sure if a basement is the best place to raise quails, but I'm curious to get my hands on them if the opportunity presents itself. After that we're swinging by the town's bar to buy a six-pack, then it's off to a bonfire.

This morning, post BP coffee, I'm recording my part of a podcast for Harlequin. Ooh, my first audio interview! I'll be chatting about how I got into writing, and about my first Blaze book, Caught on Camera. Two other new Harlequin authors will also be taking part, and the podcast will be out next month. I'm wretched at public speaking, but luckily this will be more like a casual conversation, so I think I'll do just fine.

Better get some Cheerios in me. Minnesota waits for no woman.

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