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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

September 2018 in This Awful Awesome Life

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Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed the August issue of This Awful Awesome Life. Special thanks to our talented writers for their creativity and originality.

September is Banned Books Month. For our second year covering this important event, we consulted social media to find out what you think about censorship and banning books.

Several of our regular contributors were on vacation in August or busy getting their kids back to school, but we have some exciting guest contributors this month.

Margo Sue Bittner discusses censorship in an article about her uncle, legendary writer and television personality, Studs Terkel. This week’s guest contributor from the University of Pittsburgh Nutrition and Dietetics program is Kristen Bryk.

In keeping with the fall season, Orlando Bartro is back with some thoughts on change. In addition to her regular column, “What’s for Dinner Ask Linda,” Linda Cahill is back with her husband Joe to talk about smart swaps for your plant-based diet.

Cry Wolf, the seventh book in the award winning Zoe Chambers Mystery series by Annette Dashofy hits the shelves on September 18th. We have a Q&A with the author and I have my review for you in this issue. I interviewed Annette a couple of years ago and I’ve been a Zoe fan (and an Annette fan) ever since. You will be too after this issue.

Our Six Degrees of Separation Quiz is back with a twist of censorship as we match authors and actors through their connection to a banned book. Try your luck and let us know how you did on Facebook.

We have some book recommendations for you and your kids based on banned books and authors of banned books, but please check these authors/books out for yourself – we respect what’s best for your family.


“Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.” Stephen Chbosky

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I wish we had better news, but Samantha Sayers is still missing. On August 1, she failed to return from a solo hike at Vesper Peak near Seattle, Washington. Sam is an experienced hiker who was familiar with Vesper Peak. The Snohomish sheriff’s department has officially stopped searching, but will conduct periodic helicopter sweeps and follow up any credible leads. . The Sayers family is from Girard, Pennsylvania (the Erie area) and Sam attended the University of New York - Fredonia to study theater arts. She relocated to the Seattle area for work. Please keep thinking positive thoughts for Sam, her family and the many volunteers who are still searching with dogs and drones.

If you are a person of faith, please pray for her safe return to her family.

Because we are an online publication, we will update this article and our Facebook page with any news. You can also visit a special Facebook page #findsamsayers or their website, for information and ways to donate to help keep search efforts going. Please be sure any comments you leave are positive and kind. This is an incredibly stressful time for her family.

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Next Month in This Awful Awesome Life - November 2018

Tell Me How You Really Feel about Banning Books: Facebook Users* Weigh In on Censorship by Fran Joyce