Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vacation Heaven

by Stephanie Black

Big thanks to Jordan McCollum for last week’s fantastic guest blog. I was at a family reunion, having an absolute blast. This was me all week:

Note the cheerful smile and the soggy state of being. Ahhh. We spent the week at a lake in Tennessee, swimming, tubing, jet skiing, kayaking, fishing (not me--fishing is for crazy people who like to get up early and pursue creatures that can be caught much more easily in the frozen food section at Costco), and enjoying being with family. I love this lake--clear green water, warm enough so you can just relax and float around without freezing. It's one of my favorite spots on earth.

Here are my daughter and me, having fun tubing behind the jet ski. Tubing is my favorite water sport. Tubing is my only water sport. I tried kneeboarding again this year, but couldn’t do it. Too weak and wimpy and uncoordinated. Water sports haven't ever been my thing. I tried water skiing a few times as a teenager, but sending my body pinwheeling into a lake at speeds normally only reached by motorized vehicles didn't turn out to be my hobby of choice. Maybe I would have liked it better if I'd ever gotten good enough to stay up for a significant lenghth of time, but even after I learned to get up, I knew I was going to tumble into the water sooner or later, and it might hurt, and one of these times I might really hurt myself. Eventually I figured the heck with this. But I can tube because it involves no skill. You just sit in the tube and hang on like crazy. I do make a policy of not tubing behind drivers who actively try to kill their riders. I like staying in the tube when I ride.

Random tube trivia: the tube I was riding was named the Surf Savage. This would be a good nickname for Jeff, if he ever decides to ride the waves. My daughter was riding in the Airhead, a title which doesn’t apply to her very well. She’s fifteen years old and reads Dostoevsky for fun.

Another source of entertainment at the reunion was the rope swing. You climb up on platform, sit on the swing and wheeeeeeeeee!!!!--you swoop down the hill, out over the lake and back up again. I did ride the swing—I get courage points for that, right?—but unlike my husband and several of my children, I elected to stay on the swing for the whole ride. Some people liked to jump. The key was to land on your feet in the water. Not on your back (ouch) or your belly (ouch). I thought I might try jumping, until I was up on that swing about a million feet above the water and decided forget it. I was afraid I’d land wrong, jump when the water was too shallow (unlikely—the lake gets deep very close to the shore, but I'm paranoid). So I left the jumping to braver souls, like my nine-year-old son and remained in my chickenhood. Note to self: cancel sky-diving lessons.

But despite chronic chickenhood, I do occasionally write a book and throw it out there, risking whatever comments people want to post on Goodreads. Methods of Madness is now in bookstores. Here I am--with my hair combed this time--happily holding my new book. While my outfit doesn't match my book cover this time, note that the bush behind me is quite coordinated with the green lettering. Groovy, eh?


At 8/12/2009 6:43 PM, Anonymous Jordan McCollum said...

Thanks so much for asking me, Stephanie! I'm glad you had so much fun.

Oh, I got a hold of The Believer and have a review of it up today ( ). Loved it, and I'm eagerly awaiting Methods!

At 8/12/2009 7:34 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I have mixed feelings about tubing. The kind I did when I was in high school was fun - we floated down a lazy river (the Ichetucknee) Unfortunately, it was spring-fed, and butt-cold! It was relaxing, though, once you got used to the cold; a nice way to cool off from a hot Florida summer day.

Then I tried tubing in Utah, down the Provo River. This was not bad - same water temperature problem - but nice in the summer. I went with some friends to American Fork canyon and then I started not liking tubing so much. Someone had strung barbed wire across the river. We escaped without injury, but alas, my poor tube was not so lucky. That deflated my interest in going back for several years.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I tried your kind of tubing, behind a boat. I had several unsuccessful attempt to get ON the tube, and when I did get on, I was only able to hold for a couple of minutes. Overall: not all that much fun. I'd rather just swim.

Out of curiosity, did you come back from TN saying "y'all" ? There's a girl at work from there, and I just love hearing her talk. =)

At 8/12/2009 7:56 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

I love tubing. I haven't done it in years but back in the day, I was the queen. =P

Love that the books match the trees. Very clever, Stephanie!

At 8/12/2009 11:15 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Dumb question time. My granddaughters insist that the cover of your new book features My Pony. I have to admit that hair covered nose does look awfully long for a girl and I assumed it was a horse too until I read the book. It has nothing to do with horses. Fantastic book though. Even if the girl on the cover is kind of horsy looking, the book is your best yet.

At 8/13/2009 12:02 AM, Blogger mathmom said...

That is fascinating Jennie. I didn't think it looked like a horse at all. I'm still not done reading the book though, so no spoilers! I'm really enjoying it!

At 8/13/2009 12:44 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Jordan, thanks for the review of The Believer! I really appreciate it and I'm so glad you liked the book. I'm still hoping to get a sequel to The Believer out there someday.

Jon, I think the southern accent is awesome. It was fun hearing it at church.

L.T., I have to confess that I didn't think of the matching tree until after the fact when I was looking at the pictures :) But it still counts, right?

Jennie, that's too funny--I never thought of a horse! And I'm absolutely thrilled that you enjoyed the book!

mathmom, I'm so excited that you're reading it and hope you enjoy the rest of it!

At 8/13/2009 2:12 AM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

I'd forgotten that you could go tubing in the water, too -- I always remember it as rushing down the frozen side of a mountain using an inner tube instead of a sled. Not that I've never been on a tube in the water -- I have. I've just never been pulled on one behind a boat before. Cool idea, but now that I am old(er) and feeble, I'll watch from the shore, or better yet, through the internet.

Maybe that's part of the reason I love books; I can experience all the action, suspense, uncertainty, and the final happy ending from the comfort of my easy chair without having to put my old, feeble body into actual danger. I'm really looking forward to experiencing Methods of Madness!

At 8/13/2009 12:45 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I can relate, Melanie--I prefer my danger to be imaginary!

At 8/13/2009 1:05 PM, Blogger Josi said...

Looks like a great trip--and I think the picture coordinates nicely. Welcome back--can't wait to read Methods of Madness!

At 8/13/2009 2:02 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

That looks like so much fun--in a I'm glad it's you and not me way. I can't swim. Plus there are critters in the lake. So I wouldn't do it myself. But theoretically, it looks like great fun.

Got my copy of your book last week. Hoping to read it soon. (I put it on the top of my Read Me pile.)

At 8/13/2009 3:36 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

I am also reading your new book, Stephanie. Told you I'd get it. It is very good so all you slackers who haven't got it, get it already. Do I hear Whitney for 2009?

Sounds like you had fun in Tennessee. My wife and I passed through there last November on our way to Atlanta to visit her sister.


At 8/13/2009 3:46 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy - congrats!

At 8/13/2009 5:57 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Karlene, my four-year-old agrees with you--she was creeped out by the fish in the lake. They didn't bother me.

Charlie, you're so nice! Thank you so much and I'm glad you're enjoying the book!

Josi and Karlene and Kimberly, thank you, and I hope you like it! I really appreciate all the support!

At 8/13/2009 8:54 PM, Blogger Pat said...

I've got my copy - can't wait to get started!

At 8/13/2009 10:11 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you, Pat!

At 8/14/2009 7:04 AM, Blogger susana said...

Thanks for the information its very interesting........
Online Marketing of your brand

At 8/18/2009 11:08 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

I loved hearing about your trip! And I LOVE the cover to your new book!!!!

At 8/19/2009 12:22 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you, Julie!


Post a Comment

<< Home