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Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

GISHWHES

   So I have referred to GISHWHES several times in the past, and promised to tell you about it. Well this is that promised post.

   The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.

   It was created by the actor Misha Collins to bring his fans from across the world together to do and create strange and wonderful things. It is for a good cause, supporting his charity "Random Acts of Kindness".

A surprisingly accurate definition.

   My personal experience of doing GISHWHES for the first time was a breathtakingly fabulous one. It is very hard to describe if you have never participated in it. I can tell you about the tasks we did (posing next to a taxidermy moose head, reciting 'The Raven' to a crow, making armor out of pounds of cooked spaghetti  etc...) but the entire feeling of the week long scavenger hunt is something beyond words.

A cucumber kilt and kale jacket made by Nikki and Chelsea

  Most daylight hours were spent creating, weaving, gluing, crying, trying to stay awake, laughing, and cursing the existence of Misha Collins. Nighttime was spent plotting, planning, calling businesses, crying, not sleeping and cursing the existence of Misha Collins. 
I'm not even joking. I think Samantha and I probably stated how much we hate Misha over ten times a day. Of course, we love him and were happy to be doing GISHWHES. But at that very moment, with sticky slimy spaghetti in a giant pot waiting to be woven, we hated him.

Posing by a taxidermy moose head.

   I think one of the best bits of GISHWHES is not the tasks, the 7 days of craziness and inspiration and creativity. No, it was the friends I gained from the experience. Our team was made up of 15 girls.

Spaghetti armor & pistol
We are Team Trenchcoat:

1. Julia (myself)- TN
2. Samantha- TN (she lives about 5 minutes away)
3. Cheyenne- TN
4. Hailey- VA
5. Maura- NJ
6. Loi- PA
7. Symone- WS
8. Hannah- MT
9. Nikki- MI
10. Chelsea- MI
11. Alicia- CO
12. Fiona- Ireland
13. Annie- England
14. Maria- Portugal
15. Lucy- Australia

   We were scattered across the world and yet we all became friends. Our ages varied from 14 to 29- a fifteen year age difference. Yet we all had so much in common that we worked well as a team. Now of course there was headbutting. In a group this size, personalities clash. But we were able to keep the peace most of the time.
Jensen Ackles's "Blue Steele" look, done by Hannah

   Personally, this group of girls became like a family to me. I could be completely and utterly honest with them on things. And they made me laugh. God did they make me laugh. There was more than one occasion where my face began to hurt or stopped breathing and almost fainted. I get along better with some than others but I can say that each and every one have a special place in my heart.

Nikki standing with a piece of advice in front of a famous land mark.
I was never really a social person, one who went out and looked to interact with people. I'm basically a huge introvert, extremely shy and nervous in public places or around strangers. With friends, of course, I can be much more relaxed. With these girls, it didnt take 6 months, or 3, or even just one. It took one weekend. One weekend and I was just as relaxed and familiar with them as I was with friends I've had for YEARS.


Nikki makes a Jello Angel
Made by Nikki

A 'fanmade' website Jared Padalecki would make about Misha Collins.

Crow hunting with Poe (aka Samantha)

The things I learned during GISHWHES are countless. Like people won't always slam the door in your face if you ask for help. But they also can, and when they do, they do it rudely. I learned there are no crows willing to listen to an entire reciting of 'The Raven' in the entire Tennessee Valley. Or hey, maybe Chattanooga isn't all that bad. We do have a fabulous bookstore downtown that has dogs staying there.

A dog reading Kant, and Samantha, Mom and I reading Dr Suess.

We didn't win GISHWHES, but it doesn't even matter now. We pushed our comfort zones so far and wide, we are all much better people because of it. I still hope to meet some of my wonderful team members during the next year or so. Others I plan to stay in contact with for a very long time to come.

Hailey's fabulous hair

 GISHWHES 2013 is supposed to take place during the summer, which is very exciting because most of us are students and thus don't want to flunk out! (Something that came very close to happening for a few of us!)
We may split into different teams as we found out that some of us are much more serious and focused than others, which there is nothing wrong with, but why cause friction when none is needed?

Thanks to GISHWHES, I'm now working on a memoir of sorts to have self published for our team to keep as a souvenir. I'll always be thankful to GISHWHES and I definitely plan to do it for as long as I can!!

A proud Taco and Burrito and their little baby. (Thanks Hailey!)

(What did you think of some of our wonderful photos? These are a few that I could dig up. We did over 20 items, consisting of photos and videos! Look for Team Trenchcoat!!)

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
xoxo Julia

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