Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day and May memories

Today is Memorial Day. As I said in a post from several years ago, I find it very odd that it's celebrated with cookouts and picnics here. In Canada, we only have Remembrance Day, not both Memorial Day and Veteran's Day (which is the same day as Remembrance Day). We don't "celebrate" Remembrance Day; we commemorate it with buying fund-raising poppies from veterans, and having parades and ceremonies in honor of all vets, living and dead. It's a somber occasion when we express our gratitude for those who have fought, and died, defending our country and the values it stands for. Hot dogs and barbecue? Not so much.

Tangentially, bagpipes are always played at these ceremonies. Maybe that's why I associate bagpipes with sadness and have never liked them. Or maybe it's just because bagpipes sound like someone is trying to kill a noisy exotic feline...which is also sad.

And because we're still talking sad here, I have a list of what other things were sad in May:

1) My aunt, my mother's only sister, died. My uncle, her husband, passed away only last summer, so my poor cousins have lost both parents in a span of less than a year. My aunt also died only two and a half years after my mom did. Mom was only 72 when she passed away, so my aunt, being the younger sibling couldn't have been any older than 72. As my sister pointed out, this does not bode well for women in the Fung (Mom's last name) side of the family.

I'll miss my aunt; she was the best cook in the family, with my mom a close second. But, she was in poor health, so at least she's not suffering any more.

2) My sister left for home after a 3.5 week visit with us. It was so nice having her around to chat with, to keep us all company, and to work on craft projects that I start and never get around to finishing. :}
I'll have this to display at Christmas! 
3) A rejection, albeit a nice enough one, from an agent on my birthday. Ouch.

4) The asparagus haven't been doing well. My sister only got a tiny bit to eat during her visit.

5) My favorite dermatologist, and a good friend, is closing his office in our town. I'm happy for him, but sad for me.

So, you may be wondering (or not), whether there was any not-sad news for May? Well, I had an amazing time at the SCBWI Conference. I'm still alive (always terrific news as far as I'm concerned), and I still have a wonderful life overall. Silver lining, people; look for it. ;)

I hope your May has been nice. Anything really good happen to you? I want to hear about it!

Next month may be crazy for me, though, hopefully, it'll be the last crazy month for a while. I start Susanna Hill's Making Picture Book Magic class (which everyone, and I mean everyone, tells me is phenomenal!), Mira Reisberg's Illustrating Children's Picture Books class, and am participating in Shannon Abercrombie's 100 Days of Summer Writing Challenge. These are on top of my regular writing for my sci-fi critique group, the 12x12 Challenge picture book writing, and finishing up the middle-grade novel I'm writing for the Institute of Children's Literature advanced course. Plus, there's still homeschooling and baking (lots of baking!) to be done on a regular basis. Well, I'm exhausted and your eyes are probably glazed over, if you made it this far, so I'll wish you lovely last week of May.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams