book signing

on June 7th from 4 till 5pm, I’ll be signing books at the Javits Center in NYC (Book Expo America Conference). I’ll be at the Science Fiction Writers of America table. Come see me!

It’s just a number

Yesterday was my granddaughter’s fifth birthday. There will be a round of parties and celebrations this weekend, cupcakes and ice cream, gifts galore. Adriana is interested in many things and isn’t afraid to ask questions. (Neither am I and I’m somewhat beyond five.) Some of yesterday’s discussion concerned age numbers. Her father’s number, 37, is “not so old.” But her remark regarding my age number was, “that’s old.”
What does she know!!!
If I were a tree or a planet, I wouldn’t be thought of as old.
Or a star!
I have some of the same components of a star; we all do, but in different proportions, of course. In those terms, I’m an infant and I identify with infancy in some ways–I’m aware of an amazing world waiting to be explored. And I have a lot to learn.
Without some care and a great deal of moisturizer, parts of me could come to resemble (the bark of) a tree. Trees are formidable but I still prefer to think of myself as more of a star-like creature–not the sort that appears in movies and gossip columns, but the kind you see in the sky, one of many shining points of light. I assure you that my light hasn’t gone out yet.
My children, their spouses, and my grandchildren shine blindingly bright, and I have friends that are quite dazzling. All of this light reflects on me as I orbit about and adjacent to them, enhancing my own light (or so I hope). We may all be just a glint in the eye of the universe but isn’t it grand to sparkle?
Happy Birthday Adriana!

Spring

I can’t say I’m unhappy when temperatures get warmer; I’m always sick of winter by February or March. But I don’t like spring. It’s rainy and muddy, always colder than it appears to be when you look out the window. Bright sun reveals filth previously hidden by snow and gloom. There may be a few tentative flowers and a bud or two, but the “great outdoors” remain forlorn and unappealing. Frisbees, bicycles and skateboards compel you to take life in hand when walking or driving.
It’s presumed that you’re gleeful regarding the onset of warmth–a warmth that hasn’t quite arrived, or worse, has appeared momentarily as a tease. You’re expected to unwrap winter layers and expose yourself to chill weather, smile as if you’ve been released from a dungeon. Spring feels less like a season of rebirth for me, than a cause of dread–the end of the excuse for a cozy winter hibernation, and realization that I haven’t accomplished what I’d hoped and will soon be plagued by temperatures so hot that I’ll be unable to think, mobilize, or fulfill any goal. What good is “spring in your step” when you’re stuck in the mud, a common springtime hazard?
Spring cleaning? It means tackling those corners and high places you’ve avoided all winter (or longer). And, ick! The things you find…a good feeling when it’s over, but taxing on body, mind and emotion in the process.
Fall is my season, the cool breeze after summer’s heat, the riot of colors and cascade of leaves (Can you tell I live in the city and don’t have to rake?). The anticipation of another school year, even if you’re too old to attend you’re never too old to learn something new. Sign me up!
I’m in the fall of life now, and hoping for a long season. I’ve pretty much finished clearing out the corners and dark places of “life-spring,” survived the foolhardy. So far “life-fall” has been great–travel, weddings, grand-babies…a few tense moments, but eminently agreeable and always interesting. Our fortunes have dwindled somewhat but we’ve been blessed with good health. (OK, there’s the requisite aches, pains, and sleepless nights, but nothing dire.) I have a fine partner to share the tribulations with, friends (virtual and flesh), honorable and successful children, and the “grands”…well, they’re a hoot!
I’ll be entering late Autumn soon. It’s the season that brings my favorite holiday–Halloween! Permission to be who ever you want, to rollick in a secret identity you’re afraid to reveal normally. Apple picking, pumpkin pie, the most fun time of the year!
When I was a kid, folks my present age were old. They behaved like old people; they were treated like old people. No one seemed to realize there was a choice to be anything else. Maybe it was because their health wasn’t as good as ours is today, or because the world wasn’t as readily available to them. They forgot who they had been and became generically Old. (O.K., there were a few exceptions…Ruth Gordon…).
I hope to get older because I still have a lot to learn. I’m looking out for my health but I haven’t stopped living. Competent at making a fool of myself, I’ve lost the fear of revealing my foolishness. I look forward to embracing the Halloween of life.
Boo!