by Toni L.P. Kelner / Leigh Perry
Every year has milestones, but 2013 is just chockful of them, personal and professional, parental and psuedonymous. In fact, I've already passed a couple but there are plenty more to come.
May 9: Fiftieth Birthday
No, not mine. I passed that particular milestone some time back. But this year, my husband Steve turned 50. Unfortunately, we haven't thoroughly celebrated yet because of all the other milestones coming this month. But I can say that smooching a fifty-year-old is even better than smooching a forty-something-year-old man. Practice makes perfect.
May 23: High School Graduation
My ittle baby Maggie graduated from Matignon High School. Gulp. Not only was the graduation itself a momentous occasion, but there were so many other mini-milestones associated with it: the school Art Show (Maggie won an award), Awards Night (she came home with four), the Prom, the funny school tradition of driving around the school honking on the last day of classes. I would have felt melancholy about taking that last drive to school on grad night had it not been for an upcoming milestone.
June 1: Authorial Anniversary
Tomorrow will be the twentieth anniversary of the release of Down Home Murder, my first book. Though I had a couple of interviews and a dozen limericks published before that, I count June 1, 1993 as my debut as a professional writer. In twenty years, I've published eleven novels, five co-edited anthologies, twenty-eight short stories, a few more limericks, and an assortment of essays and recipes. I figure that's a good start.
June 7: Junior High School Graduation
Next week, my even ittler baby Valerie graduates from junior high school. We are particularly glad for Valerie to graduate because this is her third grammar school. She had two close while she was attending, and we've been on tenterhooks for the past three years that this one wouldn't die. And it didn't! As with Maggie, there are a multitude of mini-milestones attached. The school play (Val was fabulous), the school Art Show (Val won in her class), the art class Art Show, and a graduation banquet on this coming Monday. I'm starting to think they cluster all these events so you'll be so busy that you don't remember that you're supposed to be sad.
June 18: Silver Anniversary
Twenty-five years ago, Steve and I were married in Charlotte, NC. Marrying him was one of the smartest things I ever did. I was explaining to Valerie that the twenty-fifth anniversary is known as the Silver Anniversary, and she wondered why. Actually, so do I. It may refer to the silver showing up in our hair. All I know is that this marriage hasn't tarnished a bit.
September 3: New Book, New Series, New Name
September is the day my new book comes out, and as you can see from the cover, I'll be morphing into Leigh Perry for the Family Skeleton series. Now you know what the L.P. in Toni L.P. Kelner stands for.
September 5: Starting High School
You remember how I said I almost felt melacholy about that last trip to Matignon? Well, it was far from the last time I'll make that drive, because history will repeat itself as Valerie starts at Matignon. She excited about many aspects, but I think the part she likes best is knowing that she won't have to wear ugly plaid skirts ever again.
September 14: Starting College
Maggie will be studying animation at the Atlanta campus of the SCAD. Though I'm very proud of her, I don't want to even think too hard about this particular milestone. According to Mapquest, SCAD is 1115.77 miles from my house. That's a whole lot of milestones.
There may be more milestones coming this year--after all, life is full of them--but that's about as many as I care to contemplate right now. Of course, the good thing about milestones is that every one represents a chance to celebrate and share the excitement. I just hope that by September, I'm not worn out from passing so many.
What about you, Gentle Reader? What milestones do you have coming?