June 7, 2015
The S's of Minnesota (Snow, Spam and Sites) with Author Debbie Kump
Birthplace of Spam canned luncheon meat and the mighty Mississippi River, Minnesota may be known as the
“Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but the official number is closer to 12,000. In the north, the state borders Lake Superior—the largest fresh-water lake in the world by surface area. With more lake and river shoreline than the states of California, Florida, and Hawaii combined, it’s little wonder that the sport of water skiing originated here in Minnesota in 1922 by 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson who proposed if you could ski on snow, then you should be able to ski on water as well.
To pass our long, grueling winter months where temperatures plunge to –20ºF or below and snow often blankets the ground for more than half the year, many Minnesotans live and breathe hockey. Minnesota has more hockey rinks per area than all but two countries in the world and many families (including ourselves) build rinks in their own backyards.
Minnesotans and tourists alike flock to one of the largest indoor malls in the United States, The Mall of America in Bloomington, which contains an entire amusement park in its center. Annual dogsledding races along Superior’s North Shore draw large crowds. Minnesotans also enjoy lesser-known sports like broomball (originally played on frozen lakes with an orange leather ball and brooms dipped in a coat of rubber) and turkey bowling (where a flooded lane carved through the snowbanks provides an excellent bowling alley for frozen supermarket poultry).
Spring usually comes quickly to Minnesota when the snow melts quickly. Trees erupt in brilliant shades of green and cottonwood seeds give the impression of summer snow showers. Some of my favorite hikes this time of year are found in the Twin Cities at Minnehaha Falls and on the North Shore in Duluth and Grand Marais.
Minnesotans have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Storms may arrive quickly, but pass through just as fast. Landlocked and lying at the northernmost tip of Tornado Alley, the heat of summer occasionally brings wild weather including golf ball-sized hail, swirling clouds in angry shades of olive green, and straight-line winds that twist mature trees like strands of licorice.
Minnesota’s exciting—and often unpredictable—weather provides inspiration for my novels including the new Young Adult Fantasy trilogy, The Elementals from Turquoise Morning Press, the YA Romance, Exiled to the North from Whiskey Creek Press, and the Middle-Grade Suspense, Disappearances from World Castle Publishing.Regardless of the time of year, a transplant like me has found there is much to see and do here in Minnesota.Debbie Kump is the author of 8 YA and Middle-Grade novels, teaches high school Earth and Physical Science, and coaches youth soccer, hockey and lacrosse.
For more information, please visit Debbie’s website: http://sites.google.com/site/debbiekumpbooks/
Debbie offers up for grabs, TWO PRIZES to two different winners this week: One free ebook of her Middle-Grade Suspense Disappearances from World Castle Publishing and One free ebook of her YA Romance Exiled to the North originally from Whiskey Creek Press. Both novels are set in Minnesota. Her new YA Fantasy trilogy, the first book, was released last month and the other two are scheduled to come out this spring.
Good Luck, comment to win and please leave contact info so we can reach you if you win!