How did you spend your summer?

I spent mine in flights of fancy.  I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mojave to Portland; I wallowed around in an unhappy childhood with my crazy mother near Boston; I donated my cells to science without knowing I did and, in the process, advanced science and medical advancements; and then I still had time to time-travel back to the 19th century where along with my family I was a pioneer, growing up in the woods and on the prairie!

In other words,  I spent the summer reading, reading, reading, and then, when it was too hot to even hang out in my garden, I read some more.  And I did some writing.  It was a wonderful way to pass the time!

I’ve been preoccupied with the amazing genre of contemporary memoir writing.  What advances have been made in the field in the past 10 years, especially by women!  Here are a the titles I’ve recently finished and loved, and the ones that took me on my flights of fancy:

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed Wild

 

With or Without You: A Memoir Paperback by Domenica Ruta With or

 

 

 

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack by Rebecca Skloot Henrietta

 

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pamela Smith Hill Pioneer Girl

 

Would love to know what you’ve read lately or what ever else has kept you busy this summer!

What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver The Summer Day“**

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**  “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 

 

Oh Barack, won’t you please stay for four more years?!!

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Feb. 14, 2013 “The President genuinely enjoys being with kids. Here, he played a magnifying glass game with children during a visit to a pre-kindergarten classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Georgia.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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Oct. 30, 2015 “The President and First Lady react to a child in a pope costume and mini popemobile as they welcomed children during a Halloween event on the South Lawn of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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Dec. 4, 2015 “The President acquiesced to a selfie with 11-year-old Jacob Haynes and four-year-old James Haynes after taking a family photograph with departing White House staffer Heather Foster.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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President Barack Obama hugs Mari Copeny, 8, backstage at Northwestern High School in Flint, Mich., May 4, 2016. Mari wrote a letter to the President about the Flint water crisis. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Jan. 25, 2013 “On a cold day, the President races down the Colonnade with Denis McDonough’s children en route to the announcement that Denis would become the new Chief of Staff.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

 

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President Barack Obama and a young boy point at each other as the President greets Marine personnel and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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President Barack Obama talks with 8 year-old members of Girl Scout Troop 2612 from Tulsa, Okla., during the 2014 White House Science Fair, in the Blue Room of the White House, May 27, 2014. The fair celebrates the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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President Barack Obama signs a photograph as he greets people on the tarmac upon arrival at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, La., July 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Ê

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President Barack Obama greets guests before an event at Oyster River High School in Durham, N.H., June 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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Nov. 21, 2015 “The President talks with a young refugee at a Dignity for Children Foundation classroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She was working on a painting.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

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President Barack Obama plays with Sarah Froman, daughter of Nancy Goodman and Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, in the Oval Office, July 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Ê

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President Barack Obama greets a girl while touring a neighborhood affected by Hurricane Irene in Wayne, N.J., Sept. 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.