The Summer That Was: Part 2

Welcome to July 2012!
(If you missed The Summer That Was: Part 1, click HERE : )

The center month of summer seemed to be a fantastic mix of adventure and work--reading and love. Here, let me show you.

Adventure and excitement filled July, in many forms. My husband and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary by spending the night in Philadelphia.
Nineteen years ago. What a day, what a man, what a life we've had together.
We walked the historic streets hand-in-hand, visited the Philadelphia Art Museum, and dined out in style. When we got home, we were greeted by this homemade sign that our boys and nephew made for us. Feel the love!


Excitement continued in the form of the Treepocalypse. We lost three trees this summer, two of which fell in July. Our fallen tree total for 2012 has hit TEN. Yeah.

Believe it or not, the trampoline survived. Unscathed.
This one used to have a tree swing on it. Thank God no one was on it when it crashed to the ground!

Even though this one fell in August, it fits in perfectly with this post ; ) And yes, that is our neighbor's yard and smooshed fence!

Moving on....

I took my boys on a really cool day trip. We drove three hours to Scranton, PA and visited the Lackawanna Coal Mine and the Houdini Museum. Both venues proved to be worth the drive.
We took a train-like contraption down, down, down into the mine, and then took the guided tour, 300 feet below the surface!
Yes, that is me up there on stage, dancing with Dorothy Dietrich. She called people out of the audience to help her during her magic act, and I was one of the "lucky" ones. We set things on fire and danced. For real.

I also read to fantastic books in July, both of which I would highly recommend.

I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga
It's Jasper Dent's story. Jasper (Jazz) is the teenaged son of the most notorious serial killer in US history, which means he was privy to unspeakable acts while growing up. I HUNT KILLERS lets you crawl around inside Jazz's mind as he wrestles with dark and light, good and evil, all the while, hunting a copycat serial killer recreating his father's gruesome murders. It's a fascinating read - well written - fast paced - twists and turns.

EVERY YOU, EVERY ME by David Levithan
This incredibly unique and haunting novel is told partly in verse, partly traditional narrative, but also with photographs every so often. The photographs either added to the mystery or propelled the story further. The fascinating thing was, Levithan got the photos from photographer Jonathan Farmer, one at a time, and would build the novel based on the latest photograph. Levithan had no idea what the next photograph would be. It's the story of Evan--very alone Evan--and how he's dealing with the aftermath of his friend Ariel's death.

The work part of July took the form of writing workshops that I conducted for PAWLP's summer programs for teen readers and writers. I was given the opportunity to be the visiting author and run four writing workshops. Meeting the teen writers, sharing the craft of writing, answering their thoughtful questions, all proved to be highlights of July!

What was your favorite part of July? Do tell....

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