Quick update

Writing was going great for NaNoWriMo (12,000+ words) until the kids got sick. First Maya, then Liam, then Maya again, and I quickly followed with this odd high fever/stomach virus loveliness. So 2 days out of commission, and I have to try to catch up…tonight!

In the meantime, the kids missed their St. Martin’s Day parade, a big deal here in Frankfurt. St. Martin’s is celebrated on the 11th day of the 11th month at exactly 11 minutes past 11 o’clock. The holiday originated from France, then spread to Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. It is one of the most popular of all the saints’ days.

St. Martin’s day celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of the harvest. It also marks the end of the period of all souls that began on November, 1st with All Saints’ Day. In Germany, St. Martin’s day’s activities resemble those celebrated on Halloween in other parts of the world.

Children walk down the streets with handmade lanterns and sing Martin’s songs that praise the saint’s generosity. Martinstag is all about giving to others and shedding light in the darkness….like so many ancient holidays that have survived in modified form during this time of year.

Children visit neighborhood homes and earn sweets by singing songs, dancing, or citing poems.

Maya and Liam’s school parade began at the school and included a walk down to the park, ending with a bonfire and the eating of the traditional Weckmänner (“sweet bread men”).

Maya still had a 102.5 fever, so to make her feel a little better, we had out own St. Martin’s Parade with the lanterns that Maya and I made last week in school (and handy lantern sticks and lights that I picked up at the store). Here’s a picture of the kids with their lanterns (they’re in their pajamas because they just got out of the bath).

We walked all around the house several times singing a made-up St. Martin’s song, and then we had our dinner by lantern-light. The kids loved it.

So now, back to writing…


Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on Mastodon.social @valya

3 thoughts on “Quick update”

  1. traveler64 says:

    Oh, mine! Looks like the flu gremlins struck with their always perfect timing! I hope you all are better. It sounds like a lovely holiday and it’s too bad your kids missed it; but, there’s always next year, right?

    Writing going well? I haven’t even considered doing it this year. I can’t write on those terms. Just now I am finishing the little novel I started for NaNo last year! MIDNIGHT IN LALALAND. The title ought to give you an idea of the tone of it. 🙂

    BTW, how is it going with your ‘Silence’ novel? The excerpts i read were powerful.

  2. charyvna says:

    We are feeling better, thanks. Although now the youngest seems to be getting a fever. I suppose the husband is next. At least the weekend is coming.

    Writing is going well. This story has been alive in my head for the last 6 months, and now I am just writing it down. So my only real obstacle so far is time. I wrote a bunch last night, and I hope to catchup in the next two days. I always do best under pressure, so I have high hoped for NaNoWriMo. I’ll be happy even if I come close. I love the title of Midnight in Lalaland! Good luck with it.

    Silence is in the hands of my agent who is supposed to be shopping it around, although I haven’t heard anything from him. Time for another email follow up soon.

  3. hollyheartfree says:

    I love these kinds of things you post, different cultures, different traditions and names, but still so similar. I would never have known about St Martin if not for you. Thanks for helping me complete my own knowledgle.

    Now if only the kids would feel better and the bugs don’t travel to mom and dad…

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