Mayday on May Day
Today is May Day, the first day of May, a day when we used to place goody bags on the houses near my elementary school when I was growing up. It’s a day full of maypoles and celebrating spring. There are parades and various festivities.
Mayday, the radio call, comes from the mistakenly translated “Help me,” or “M’aidez” in French. History Myths credits Guglielmo Marconi, inventor and pioneer in the field of radio, for coining the phrase, but its origin is a little fuzzy. Regardless, “mayday”* is widely recognized as a distress signal.
I feel like the latter is more appropriate for posting about, since I’ve been absent here for almost a month. I apologize for the radio silence. It’s been a busy three weeks, and I feel like I could use an assistant.
Since I last posted, I participated in the Cracked Walnut Literary Festival, which wraps up next week. For the event “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I read a choose-your-own-adventure nonfiction piece, with audience participation. It went pretty well, but it took a little while for the crowd to warm up to it, and (just as it happened the last time I read a CYOA piece) one lady had the “stop-this-ride-I-want-to-get-off” look on her face the whole time.
I auditioned, and tonight had callbacks, for a storytelling performance group. I also found out I’ll be performing improv on Friday nights this round.**
I finished two more chapters of my second book and made progress on a few more chapters.
I paid my taxes. A haiku of mine was published in the StarTribune. I made a quiche.
I went to the doctor. I went home for Easter. We flew kites and hunted for eggs. My brother-in-law and two youngest cousins took first place, but I really think we all won.
It has rained and rained and rained. I haven’t been sleeping.
I’m currently trying to write out a description of the job I’ve only had for three months, and I’m a little bit worried that I’ll miss the mark and somehow make myself irrelevant.
A piece of mine got rejected in the most loving way and another piece, that’s forthcoming,*** was given the nicest praise I’ve gotten. Ever.
Another improv video went up on YouTube. A car crashed in front of my building. The Wild won and the rain kept on and there was a blood moon lunar eclipse.
And, last night I told a story in front of a sold out crowd at Amsterdam bar for a radio series called The Moth. You basically put your name in a hat and they choose ten people one at a time to tell a true story (no notes) in five minutes or less. I was the first storyteller, and it was my first time storytelling, at least in that venue, and I was really, really nervous. I told about a time when I was lifeguarding and rescued someone for whom we then called an ambulance. My first mayday, if you will. It was a magical experience, and I would write it here but it’s better told. Just ask me about it next time you see me.
I’m sorry I haven’t posted here, that I’ll probably be posting less frequently this summer because I’m trying my darnedest to get that second book done, but know that I’m saving up ideas and jokes and things to write about for when I have the time and energy to do it. Probably every other week from now until September. Mayday. Help me. If you have an idea or something you’d like to see written about (or you’d like to guest post) please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, au revoir!
*It’s always said three times in a row in an actual emergency to differentiate it from mere conversations about mayday. Or May Day.
**You can see me on 5/23, 5/30, 6/13, 7/11, and 7/18 at Brave New Workshop Student Union at 8 PM for $5. It’s pretty amazing and I love love love seeing familiar faces in the crowd. I know improv isn’t for everyone, but think of it as a charitable donation and a way to make a friend feel important.
***The anthology featuring my essay, “Cold Feet,” Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, is coming out soon. You can pre-order a copy; if you want to order through me I get a discount. And there will be related readings coming up over the summer!