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How I Rocked the Drop!

Today is Teen Literacy Day and I participated in Rock the Drop! Well, I’m actually still participating because I have one final book to drop, but am waiting for a ride into either Hollywood, Westwood or Beverly Hills…. I think any one of those locations would be the perfect spot to drop Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday. Though it will be an evening drop.

My first stop was at Santa Monica Place, the shopping center at the base of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. I took the elevator up to the third floor and went to the eating deck with the ocean in the distance and found the perfect spot to leave Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock.

I almost didn’t get this shot as I backed up to take the photo and someone grabbed the book off the table. I told them it was fine to take it, but that I needed to get the shot first. So, I decided to take a closer photo than I’d originally planned, just in case….

My next stop was on the Third Street Promenade. They have these great sculptural fountains. If it had been raining as it was for the past few days I would have left The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting at Pinkberry, but since it was a gorgeous day, this amazing book found a temporary home at the base of the fountain.

I turned back when I reached the corner and didn’t see the book sitting there. So I’m hopeful it found a great home.

I headed over to Ocean Avenue to the park that sits atop the cliffs overlooking the freeway and the ocean. As there was some construction, I headed just a bit north and found this great statue of a cannon. I decided to set my copy of Slide by Jill Hathaway at its base and got this great shot of the park, palm trees and a hint of the ocean in the distance.

I also ended up helping a few tourists get their photographs taken with the ocean backdrop before I made my way to the next drop stop.

I am not fond of doing the highway crossings over these caged bridges, but as it was such a perfect day and I wasn’t ready to hit the pier just yet, I ventured across. As it was heavily trafficked I thought it would be the perfect spot to leave A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix.

Focusing the lens and seeing the traffic zip by underneath the bridge gave me a slight case of vertigo, but I managed to get this fairly clear shot just past the highway median. As I went on my way a family passed me heading back the way I came. When I turned back again they were taking a peek at the book. Maybe it found a home with them.

I never realized the expanse of beach in this area was quite so long. I had headed to a different lifeguard station but as it was manned I was not able to take a picture or leave the book. Those lifeguards are pretty strict. And the station closest to the pier was packed full sunbathers and loungers.

So I made my way to this one just a bit north where I had to wait for two photogs to finish their photo session, then I popped Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe on the deck and took the shot. The area was surrounded by quite a few sun worshipers so I’m hopeful that one of them decided to add this book to their beach reads for the day.

After a quick detour to the water’s edge – you can’t go to the ocean without at least touching it, right? – I headed to the pier, which was incredibly crowded as it was the first nice day out in ages. While you can’t see it, Steel by Carrie Vaughn is actually on top of the wood plank mini boardwalk leading from the pier to the ocean. I wanted to get a longer shot in so that you could see the ocean as well as the book, but it was just too crowded.

I’m sure this book didn’t last too long as there were quite a few families and teens passing by.

I finally made it to the pier and while I wanted to get a shot of Thumped by Megan McCafferty in front of the Highway 66 sign, it was too high and the group of people surrounding it were not as willing to help out in holding the book as this man was.

It was quite windy and it wouldn’t stay on the lip of the view-finder device. So he offered his hand for the photo, and then I dropped it on a step about 6 inches below for someone to grab.

I wanted to take The Calling by Kelley Armstrong on the Ferris Wheel with me today, but it wasn’t operational. It was either the weather earlier in the week or the winds that kept it grounded. And so I enlisted Hello Kitty to help me with my next drop.

As this was her livelihood, there was a gratuity involved – but it was so worth it to get this shot. I left the book next to her spot on the south-facing side of the pier.

For the first time ever, the carousel was open when I was on the pier. I thought it was completely out of commission, so I was thrilled to go into the building to drop this copy of Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig.

The soda jerks at the old-fashioned ice cream shoppe in the carousel building gave me a look when I walked out without the book, but as I’d printed this nice bookplate I’m sure once they read it they realized I wasn’t some creep-o wandering in, staring at young children and leaving some mysterious reading material behind.

I wanted to get a picture in front of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, but as my two remaining books just didn’t seem to fit that look, I decided to take a pass. I headed back to Santa Monica Place for an iced latte, because wandering around for an hour-and-a-half with eleven books in tow, with sand-filled shoes, is thirsty work.

This great seat in a small lounge area on the ground floor was the perfect place to leave a copy of Balthazar by Claudia Gray. So perfect in fact, that when I went back to Ugo’s Italian Cafe to get my mozzarella basil panini a woman made a beeline to the very chair where Balthazar was resting and started to peruse the book. Clearly she has great taste.

***

My one remaining book, as mentioned at the top of this rather long-winded post, is Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday. I had always planned on leaving it somewhere glamorous and I hope that I can get a great shot of it somewhere in Hollywood.

I would have liked to leave it on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or in front of Mann’s Theatre, but as I’ll be dropping it after dark, I don’t know how trafficked those areas will be. So, now I’m thinking Cinerama Dome. They have a great outdoor lounge area, and with the dome in the background, it could be a seriously cool pic. We shall see.

I have nearly six hours left to make the drop. And I will update this post with my final Rock the Drop book.

UPDATE….

Well, I did make it into Hollywood tonight. Though without a great lens I couldn’t possibly have taken a shot of the book, sign and dome. So I chose the sign. And while I didn’t drop Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday on the sign, it looked much better being held up by my dude in front of the sign and then left on the flip side of the theater near the new Arclight entrance.

And it only took ten photos to make this happen. Between trying to time the flash and the fact that those letters don’t stay lit made this this last drop the most memorable of the day.

Fortunately it was quite crowded there tonight, so I’m hoping the book found a good home. Because not two hours later it started raining. Who was it again who said it never rains in Southern California?

And so I end my adventure. The trip to Hollywood was my final stop for a day of Rockin’ the Drop. And I’ve got to say that this was an incredibly fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours.

END OF UPDATE….

***

And even though I’m not quite done with my RTD experience, I just want to thank HarperTeen so much for bringing my attention to this amazing day and sharing seven of the eleven books I had to drop. I had no idea it was Teen Lit Day and I’m so glad to have been able to share the bookish love and support teen literacy!

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