Wasn't planning to blog about this because frankly, it's none of your business. But May has always been my favorite month of the year. For lots of reasons, I guess. First of all, it's the month in New England in which winter finally seems to give up the ghost. It's not at all unusual to get snow in April. But snow in May is unusual indeed.
Another reason is because when I was in high school, I was in lots of plays. The biggest plays, the ones that brought out the biggest audiences – the annual school musicals, the senior class play – were always held in May. From tenor in the barbershop quartet in "The Music Man" to Sir Lancelot in "Camelot" (which not by coincidence gives us the song "The Lusty Month of May") to the Emcee in Cabaret, I trod all of those boards in May.
May is also the month when the school year begins winding down, when teachers (sometimes) would finally give in to the pleas of "Can we have class outside today?" I remember too it was in May of my senior year when I first (gasp!) took a skip day with my friends.
In later years, I often found myself traveling on business in late April or early May, leaving behind a Boston that always seemed (to me, anyway) still in the grip of winter (or maybe an unusually cool spring) to visit Tampa or Houston or Los Angeles, sunnier climes all. Each time I traveled that time of year, upon returning home, I discovered that a miracle happened while I was away: the days were warm; the air was redolent of freshly mowed grass. The forsythia had bloomed in my absence.
For some reason, May also seems to be the month that brings me the most fortune. I do admit that maybe it's only because I'm paying extra attention during that month and expect good things to happen. But still, they invariably do. Normally it's small things, little things that delight. But I do remember a few years back being in a casino, playing electronic draw poker, and hitting a Royal Flush.
The machine was still buzzing and people were all looking my way when it occurred to me, and I smiled. It was May 15th. And as wonderful as all of May is, things always seem to peak for me in the middle of the month. Certainly, before that and after that are all delightful too. But it is always mid-May that holds most of the delights and surprises.
And so when I learned a while back that one of my favorite authors, who hadn't written a "horror" novel in more than twenty years, was releasing a new one, I wasn't surprised to learn it was coming out on May 15th. Because that's my day, the one day of the year reserved especially for me. Already got my order in for Robert McCammon's "The Five" and can't wait.
When I later learned the date my own publisher had selected to release my novel "Applewood," I wasn't at all surprised to learn that it too was coming out on May 15th.
Because that's my day.