Ah, the Eiffel Tower. See how it glows in the night.

Ah, the Eiffel Tower. See how it glows in the night.

Hi honey I’m home! After about three weeks in England, France, and Germany, I’m finally back in the States. I will definitely miss being in Europe (I will especially miss transportation made easy through the Metro systems), but I was beginning to miss my family and my life here and I’m glad to be back.

Of course, now that I’m back I’m not going to spend the whole time on my butt (though for the most part that’s what I’ve been doing while I get reacclimatized). In addition to catching up on all my shows and going to see some movies that came out while I was abroad, I plan to be very busy this summer. I’ll be doing my usual chores and errands, for one thing, and I’ll be working in the financial aid office for the whole summer (and if I can find one, I’ll try for another job that’ll allow me to work one or two days a week to help with the income). I also plan to finish my novel-in-progress Laura Horn, which I think I can get done by mid-July if I don’t get too distracted. I also hope to write plenty of short stories after I finish the book, because God knows I have plenty of ideas for those (I came up with about 40 ideas for stories while in Europe, most of them short stories. The lesson to be derived from this is that if you’re a writer and you find yourself on a trip abroad, bring a notebook to write down any ideas you have).

What else do I plan to do? Oh yeah, Snake will be coming out on June 10th, so I’ll be getting ready for that. And The Quiet Game’s one-year anniversary will be in July, so I plan to hold a sale for that on the e-book. And I’ll try to do some author interviews now that I’m back in the States, as well as finally getting around to editing Video Rage, the sequel to Reborn City.¬†And maybe I’ll finish some of the series I’m watching on Netflix.

In short, I’ll be very busy.

But enough about that. I said I was going to share some of the stories from my study abroad trip. I think I’ll start with my last night abroad, with the final dinner. Why? Because it shows how much we bonded over the trip:

We were having a special dinner on the second floor of a beer garden at Alexanderplatz in Berlin called Lindenbrau. The weather was cloudy and rainy, but we didn’t really care, because we were all very happy. Maybe that was because of the alcohol and warm food, but we were happy. I was talking with my teachers and y roommate Henry and my friends, and I had a wheat beer in front of me. Most of us were really sad to go, but we were also glad that we’d had this experience together. Also, a few of us were itching to go home, or to go to other places if we were staying in Europe longer (I might have and gone to see Poland and Italy or maybe go back to England, but I couldn’t afford it).

And then our teachers, Dr. Steigerwald and Professor Willging (affectionately nicknamed Dad and Mom, respectively, by our group), stood up to say some words. They said how proud they were of us, and how they hoped we would all stay in touch for years to come. And then they handed out awards to us, the kind like “Most Likely To…” or “Least Likely To…” awards. We were invited to guess whom each award was for, and I got about three or four of them before anyone else. My award was, “Most Likely To Wander Into Rommel’s Chateau.” Considering how oblivious I can be sometimes, that’s not very surprising.

And then something interesting happened: Ramsey Hardin, one of the people on my trip who had become probably my best friend while on the trip, arrived late and hungry. He’d gone to a museum to get a little bit more culture, but on the way back traffic had been really bad, and he’d ended up about an hour or so late getting to the beer garden. Believe me, he was upset, and only a jug of beer and a really huge ham could possibly relieve that anger.

Happy Birthday Ramsey Hardin! By the way, that's David Corrigan photo-bombing te shot. What a goof!

Happy Birthday Ramsey Hardin! And that David Corrigan with him, by the way.

But then a huge surprise came out: the waiter brought Ramsey a piece of chocolate cake with a single blue candle stuck into it, a flame dancing on the wick. It was Ramsey’s twenty-fourth birthday. Boy, did that cheer him up! I wonder what he wished for, though. He probably asked for a big book of history. Ramsey’s a huge history buff, and reads anything about the past. In fact, he was voted “Most Likely To Teach Alexander the Great History” or something like that.

We ended the evening with dessert and a few more drinks, and then I went back to the hotel, to get ready for tomorrow’s flight and to store all these wonderful memories in my head.

And trust me, I’ll have a fun time relating them to you all in the coming months (or until you’re sick of hearing about them). That’s all for now though. Hope you enjoyed the story, my Followers of Fear. I’ll tell another one when I have a moment.

  1. Nice to hear about Germany, I was wondering how that part of your trip went. But that’s mainly because all I’ve heard has been about the Paris Catacombs, and that city is fresh in my memory. Good to know there’s stories aplenty coming!

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