Ladies & Gents:
SUMMER! It’s here. It’s hot. Humidity is, as always, gross. I’ve looked forward to this summer much more than in years past knowing I won’t be training for a marathon through it. I’ve set my sights on the Fifth Avenue Mile in September, which will require hard training, but no double digit weekend long runs. Bring on the beach! Or the softball games! Which is what is pictured above. And my brother. This is what we did for Father’s Day. My Dad is so lucky.
I also tried karaoke for the first time. I chose “Sloop John B” by the Beach Boys and “Cecelia” by Simon & Garfunkle. It was okay, though a lot more stressful than when I sang in high school musicals.
Anyway – it may still June, but my brain is turned toward July for two big reasons. First: I started last week with six July 6 deadlines. I’m knocking those down now because people scatter this time of year, and the last thing I want to do on holiday weekend is work. Second: in mid-July I’m going to Nova Scotia. I’ll be gone for nearly two weeks (that’s including the few days I’ll spend in Portland on the way back).
Since I’m driving, I’ve ordered a AAA TripTik. Yes, a paper one. I’ll add an international data plan to my phone, but I’m not going to just leave that on while driving through Canada because it’s not cheap.
Plus, this is road trip tradition. In my family, planning for any long drive always involved going to AAA for a TripTik. It was like magic: my mom gave the agent a destination, then he or she went back into a room and returned with a customized book of directions. It was so exciting to flip a page! A lady talking to me on my GPS just isn’t the same. AAA has an online version, but I’m glad they’ll still do paper ones. I’ve also loaded up on their TourBook guides, state and regional maps. I’ll probably get Canadian currency through their service too, which is what I did for Italy last year. If you too want a paper TripTik, just know that AAA takes seven to 10 business days to get one to you.
My Dad buys me a AAA membership for Christmas every year, and even beyond the times I’ve had to use it for roadside assistance, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks Dad!
[And in case you’re wondering, AAA didn’t pay me to say that. I don’t take free products or services, so anytime I recommend something, you can know it’s because I like it, not because I got a check for saying it. The only exception is preview copies of books to consider for review, but that’s how the book review industry works.]
Speaking of books – Inkwood Books, which is my favorite bookstore of all time, just opened a branch in Haddonfield, N.J. The original location is in Tampa. I went there a lot while in college, and I try to visit every year when I go back. I’m extremely excited that they’re here.
“Oddyssey costume almost made him extinct” for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Yes this is the same guy whose photo kicked off the last newsletter. Turns out he was the best man in one of my editor’s wedding. The after picture is priceless.
What I’m Watching
Finished Gilmore Girls! The last season seemed a bit disjointed, but I enjoyed it. I’m saving the Gilmore Guys podcast for when I train for a spring marathon. Lots of road time to work through it. Now I’m onto the third season of Orange is the New Black. I could have used a bit of a transition in there, but here we are.
What I’m Reading
Yesterday I finished The Devil’s Share by Wallace Stroby. It’s the latest in his Crissa Stone series. I interviewed him about writing crime a few years ago, and also wrote about his third book in that series on my old Book a Week blog. I was just wondering when we’d get another installment when this book popped up in my mail. It comes out July 7.
I’ve started in on Racing the Rain by John L. Parker, Jr. It’s a prequel to the cult classic Once a Runner, which I also wrote about on my old book blog. The new book comes out July 14.