Oh, yeah! The great and wonderful elementary school writing project.
"Write me an essay about what you did on your summer vacation; one page, single spaced," the teacher would say.
I dreaded that essay- yes, I wrote several over the years and I'm sure many of you did as well. One year I tried to fill the page by writing my essay in letters that were three inches high-
What I did during my summer vacation-
I WATCHED TELEVISION.
I didn't receive a grade, just a short phone call to my parents informing them I'd need to do the assignment over again.
So, I listed every TV show I watched. I got a C.
Now, that I do exciting things over the summer, no one ever asks me to write a summer vacation essay. Since such is the case, I am going to take it upon myself to write one for all of you:
What I Did During My Summer Vacation
During the summer of 2008 I traveled around the United States and to several areas in Europe and Africa. Despite high airfares and flight delays, my travels went off without a hitch.
I began with a short trip (from Utah) to Wyoming and spent a few days there. Then it was off to Chicago, North Carolina, Philadelphia, then across the pond to England and Ireland. From there, I headed to Africa- Botswana and South Africa (I've visited there once or twice before). Once finished there, I headed back to New York. I finished my summer vacation in the Hushlands.
I know, it seems a disjointed and eclectic trip, and no doubt you are now asking yourselves, "Where are the Hushlands?" Well, since I need to fill one full page, singled spaced for this essay, let me explain. I didn't fly, drive or walk to any of the aforementioned places. But, I did read some really great books that took me there.
Wyoming: "Another Man's Moccasins" by Craig Johnson
Chicago: "Chasing Vermeer," "The Wright 3," and "The Calder Game" by Blue Balliett
North Carolina: "Down River" by John Hart
Philadelphia: "Bitter Truth" and "Fatal Flaw" by William Lashner
England: "The Glass of Time" by Michael Cox
Ireland: "In The Woods" by Tana French
Africa: "Twenty Chickens for a Saddle" by Robyn Scott
New York: "The Hunter" by Richard Stark
The Hushlands: "Alcatraz vs. the Scrivener's Bones" by Brandon Sanderson
I even attempted a few side trips that were stopped short due to boring places, bland people and bad writing. Once or twice a new place to visit was suggested, but I had to put them on my list for future travel due to a full travel schedule. It was a great summer filled with intriguing people, amazing places and great books. And, I must say, it was far better than my childhood vacations to Televisionland.
Is that one page?