|I made another cartoon avatar|
Apologies, readers-mine. I have been remiss. As you have no doubt guessed, I have been a busy soul.
Since I last wrote on here, there have been: three deaths, two weddings, a new business started, a college application season nearly completed, an old friend has become a newly minted inner-circle soul, and a bunch of poetry has been published. See? Busy. I know you’ll forgive me. Right?
I’m going to go in order of my list. This means that I’m starting with Madison Cornwell. Madi was my youngest sister’s first and best friend in the US. She was bright, cheerful, caring, and kind. Being around her was like having another little sister. She and Kitten were so often the twin blonde heads that bopped along beside me, in front of me, or behind me. Unfortunately, this past June, she was taken from this world far too soon as a result of a drunk driver. The crash was well-publicized in this area as it was an active-duty marine who killed both Madi and her good friend as well as put other UCSD medical students in the hospital. Their little Prius no long looked like anything resembling a car after the accident and many lives were changed forever. Madi was big into volunteering, loving life, and helping anyone and everyone she could. Madi would have soon been traveling to Malawi to help malnourished children; she had deferred her third year of medical school for this express purpose. Her potential was unlimited and her spirit was bright. Madi was a sunflower. Her friends and family are helping her favourite charity, Project Peanut Butter, through donations and fundraisers. If you can help out, please click the link and help continue Madi’s work and love for the Malawi people.
In August, my nouna died after a painful battle with cancer. My nouna was a gift to her patients, friends, family, and community. She was quiet, funny, sassy, brilliant, and forgetful. When I was a kid, the godparents my parents had chosen at my baptism had nothing to do with me, so I chose my dear, darling Kaywi. My zoo companion, fellow book lover, and easily amused favourite cousin. Our relationship was special because of that. She wasn’t a godmother that my parents had chosen for me. She was the godmother that I had chosen for myself. At her funeral, I walked with her sisters and mother. After it, they gave me the cross that she is wearing in the picture to the left. She wore it every day, now I do too. One day, I will leave it for the next generation. I strive to emulate her in my relationships with my godchildren and in life. She, like Madi, cared more about others than she did herself.
The day after Halloween, my uncle died. He also fought a battle with cancer, in his case, lung cancer. My Uncle Jeff was goofy and loving. As a little kid, he used to tease me constantly and make up tales about getting struck by lightning multiple times (this is why he said he could do Elvis lip). He was also the man who took my brother and I to play tennis every time we were in Florida. One of my favourite memories is riding on a golf cart with him to and from the courts, hitting the ball around, and the various cartoon voices he would give me instructions in. He was my mother’s youngest brother and was one of the family members I went to see when I stayed in Florida to help my aunt and cousin out. He was always friendly and always warm. His love of the Buccs, Red Socks, Rays, and Pats could rarely be beat. He was a man split between loving New England, where he was raised, and Florida. He grew up skiing and playing tennis and grew into fishing, boating, and more tennis.
On to the weddings…
In June, I was a bride’s maid for Mel Mel in Monterey, CA. It was on a ranch that the couple rented for the weekend. We got to have an old-fashioned girly slumber party in the back room with awesome people and go all stealth mode and hide from the boys on the day of. I had a blast and think I looked rather awesome in my grey dress and red jewelry. I got to decorate a cake (the bakery messed up), make a bouquet, make boutineers, lace up the bride, and set up tables. Mel Mel and I had gotten together and worked on centerpieces throughout the year, so I got to play with ribbon, wood, and all things ceramic bell.
In September, I was wedding posse for my childhood friend Alisha’s wedding in Roslyn, WA. There, I got to stay at an amazing house (with more awesome people), see childhood friends, string lights, make a display board, do decorations for chairs using baby’s breath and tiny mason jars, build an arboretum, hide Darth Vader (yes, you read that correctly), and run about generally having a good time. I’ve known Alisha and two of her bridesmaids for nearly 30 years. It was like seeing my sister/friend get married and I adored it. It was so much fun being her go-to gal for anything needed and I loved working with her maid of honor on things. I’m telling you, I could totally do small weddings for kicks and giggles on the weekends with much joy and gusto. I have a blast with all the craftsy bits.
On to the business…
Please check out http://thinkersandinkers.com/ This is a project that I am working on and will be teaching at soon. Classes open for registration on 1 January 2016. I’ll be teaching courses in fiction writing, science fiction and fantasy, writing for employment, and a young adult book club. My friend Jess will be teaching literature classes and a course on college essay writing. We also have a tumblr, instagram, twitter, and facebook.
As to the application season and friend, those are stories for another time. if you want to check out some poetry, go here. I’m now published on HelloPoetry, a website where you send in an audition piece and then, if the owner likes it well enough, they let you post your other work. So far, people seem to like my writing. Feel free to check it out.