"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
In many ways, April 2011 has not only been cruel, but devestating. Mother Nature showed her raw fury on Good Friday with the tornado that caused damage and destruction in Missouri and Illinois. Thankfully, no one was injured. Sadly, the tornadoes that whipped through the South last week left death as well as destruction. All who have been affected by these storms are in my prayers.
I was also saddened to find out that last week, New York Times bestsetting author Beverly Barton passed away from a massive heart attack. Beverly was a "steel magnolia" from Alabama and a robust and sassy romantic suspense author whose books I've reviewed, as well as interviewed for Bookreporter.com. Although I never met Beverly in person, after reviewing so many of her books and reading her answers to my interview questions, I felt as if I knew her--and I respected her as a writer.
That's the sad news about this past month.
My lilac bushes by the front porch are blooming, and their sweet fragrance greets me every day.
This week, my husband and our grandson spent time out at our country place in Osage County. Our grandson is on spring break. With all the rain, the Gasconade River (which abuts our property) is up, but it didn't keep them from having fun. The found several pounds of morel mushrooms and saw turkeys and deer. I can't wait until they come home later today day so I can see all the pictures they took.
My granddaughter had a good month, too. In the middle of the month she traveled to Columbia after winning first place and the right to represent this district in a state-wide leadership conference. Her soccer team won 1st place in a local conference and her team was undefeated (until last night). The team that defeated them last night "played dirty," with slide tackles and faking injuries when our players had breakaways. And sadly, one of her teammates was injured and had to be carried off the field.
Alice Muschany won a 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd place award in the sponsor and chapter categories at the Missouri Writers' Group Conference. Marcia Gaye won a 1st and a 2nd place in the sponsor and category awards at the same conference.
Claudia Shelton, also a member of my critique group received outstanding news. She is a finalist in the Daphne Du Mauier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. Her unpublished category suspense (Please Be Careful) was among the five finalists. Keep your fingers crossed.
* I won 1st place in the President's Award category for Best Short Story at the MWG conference this month for published short stories. My story, "Criminal Minds," had been published in Hot Flash Mommas, A Shaker of Margaritas by Mozark Press.
* My personal essay "Read Away Vacation" was published in Flashlight Memories by Silver Boomer Books.
* Two of my short stories have been accepted for anthologies to be published later this year.
* I finished three reviews and two interviews for Bookreporter.com and Teenreads.com.
And finally, who could not be swept up by the pagentry, drama--and yes love--of the Royal Couple, William and Kate, in yesterday's ceremony in London?
Now that April is behind us, with its mixed memories and desires, I wish you all a wonderful month of May.