A Refreshing Author Weekend

Have you ever run yourself so ragged that you just couldn’t even put two and two together?

 

That’s where I was about a week ago. This season of my life has been challenging. My oldest daughter graduated from high school in May and I’ve been doing ALL THE THINGS, like shopping trips for college, helping her apply for student aid, gearing her up to pack, scheduling last visits (like doctor and dentist). And…trying to keep my author business going.

It’s been a lot.

From left to right: Kari Trumbo, Elana Johnson, Cathe Swanson, Mandi Blake, Laura Ashwood, and Chautona Havig

I’m about to break the fourth wall here, but we are in a “pivot” season as far as being an author goes. Marketing books is vastly different from what it was pre-covid and even during covid. While I know there are still cases, the world’s way of thinking is different and authors are having to adjust to the way people are now consuming entertainment. Figuring out what works now, is challenging.

So, all that to say, I needed a reset!

I met with 5 other authors over the last few days in northern Minnesota. We talked, we had devotions. We worked through stuck plot points. We fellowshipped… It was fantastic.

AND, it was exactly what I needed to keep going. You see, even professionals get tired. We need someone to refill our cup too. I didn’t know who to ask, I wasn’t even sure exactly what I needed, but God knew.

The only thing I’m bummed about? Jessie Gussman was supposed to be able to come but had to cancel. Having her there would’ve been fantastic. I will meet her in person some day.

Other than myself, at least two of these authors have been on the blog before and all of them are fabulous.

The setting for the retreat was a very rural, rustic cabin out in the woods. We saw deer and one of the authors even had close encounter with a coyote. Luckily, they are afraid of people it turned tail and ran the moment it saw her.

 

Beyond the refreshment I got (and hopefully gave) to these great women, was the scenery. We took a day trip to Lake Superior, and everyone loved experiencing the ‘big water’, some for the first time. There is something incredibly relaxing about huge bodies of water. The waves, the sound, the scent, and the blue of the water

meeting the sky just creates this amazing internal worship. I can’t explain it any other way.

What do you do when you need a refresh?

In the past, I’ve been able to grab a good book or talk to friends and recharge my batteries, but I think I let myself get too low. I needed to get away from the ordinary for a short time (Thurs.-Sun. morning). While I can’t do a retreat every time I get in this situation, I now know that I can look forward to this every year and I’m excited for 2023.

 

Ah, the Pioneer Life! Sort of . . .

Hi! Kit Morgan here. As I’m the newest filly in this corral of wonderful western authors, I thought I’d let you know a little more about me.

Most folks don’t realize that I grew up in a log cabin in the woods with a lovely creek flowing through the property. Back then the cabin had a fireplace and a wood cook stove, the only sources of heat. It was built as a summer cabin and had no insulation. It was made to stay cool. And it does! I live in said cabin still. My sister and I bought our older siblings out and are in the process of making the cabin better suited to year-round living.

Growing up I remember my mother cooking on wood cook stoves. The picture you see is me, seven years old, standing next to our first little stove. The second was huge, but I couldn’t find pictures of that. The electricity often went out in the winter, so having a wood cook stove meant we didn’t go without a hot meal. We used oil lamps and candles for light and had to haul water up from the creek. Our mother would then boil it so it could be used for drinking, cooking, washing and other necessities.

We had to chop and haul wood, feed the livestock and walk a mile to the school bus stop in all kinds of weather … yes, I can say I did that! We also often ate trout and steelhead fished out of our creek.

When we were older, our dad got my little sister and me horses, and playing cowboys and Indians was our favorite past time. Is it any wonder I write western romance?

Growing up in the woods away from everything gave one an appreciation of the simple things, like the pleasure of writing outdoors. Besides, I get a few visitors while working, and like to stop and watch them.

So, having lived like a pioneer (a little here and a little there) gives added insight into writing historical western romance. Though I wouldn’t want to live like that year round. It was hard enough when the power was out for days at a time. But back then we didn’t know anything else, so it wasn’t a big deal. Now I might be tempted to check into a comfy hotel if the power went out for more than a day or two! Yes, I’ve gone soft in my old age! Besides, you can’t binge watch Downton Abbey when the power’s out …

Until next time, happy reading!  Kit

The Good Kind of Cabin Fever + A Giveaway

If you were to ask me to describe my ideal getaway, I would describe a picturesque log cabin in a mountain forest. Beautiful walking paths through the woods. A babbling stream nearby. Perhaps even a waterfall within hiking distance. The cabin itself would be cozy. Lots of wood features and fuzzy blankets with western/antique decor. But my practical side insists on having the Internet (pretty essential for a writer). And since I’ve never really been much of a “roughing it” type camper, I would prefer it have all the modern amenities. Let’s give it a hot tub, too, while we’re at it.

You see, if I’m going to have cabin fever, I want it in the best possible way. I want to create a place so cozy and comfortable that I won’t want to leave. So, I decided to go online and do some research, and I think I found the log cabin that I would be glad to be stranded in.

The home is called Pine Haven, and it was designed by Teton Heritage Builders. If you feel the urge to drool, you should definitely check out their website. There’s plenty of room in this cabin if anyone would like to join me for a feverish getaway.

(All photos credited to Roger Wade Photography)

Love those wood beams and chinking.
Main living area – gorgeous windows to let in natural light and an astounding view.
Master bedroom with fireplace and balcony – so romantic!
Upstairs hall with so much light and fun look-overs.
Bedroom for my guest – that’s you!
Gorgeous kitchen with all the amenities. Might as well have good food while we’re stuck here.

And since everyone knows that the best way to deal with cabin fever is to get lost in a great book, I’m handing out a dose of cure today. Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of Short-Straw Bride, a book featuring a secluded cabin in the Piney Woods of Texas housing four brothers who never leave their land. Until the right woman comes their way.

  • So what do you think? Want to share some cabin fever with me at Pine Haven?
  • How would you describe your ideal place to get cabin fever? (An actual cabin is not required.)