Year Fifty-One & Getting Warmed Up

My annual birthday selfie.

Last year on this day I was turning 50. That day I agreed to take on Space and Time. We were also approved for a loan to buy our first house. I’ll never top my fiftieth,” I remember saying. “I got a house and a magazine for my birthday.” Somehow, this birthday has been better.

Less grand, to be sure. There have been no new houses or magazines but both have turned out to be wonderful decisions. We love the house even more and the magazine has become a living, evolving part of our lives.

I did get a pretty big surprise—a near life-size poster came to me in the mail with a poem written by a dear friend. Few things are as surprising (at least to me) then a mystery package arriving and inside is… me! The poem is beautiful. Thank you, you know who you are. I’ll post a photo of it when I have it ready to hang. Until then I’ll leave it wrapped for safety.

The photo, by the way, was taken by Chelsea Hunter at CryptiCon 2018. It’s probably one of my favorite photos. I have to thank her, again, for taking it. She’s a fantastic photographer.

Otherwise, it has been a peaceful and busy day. I did some writing of my own, spent time with my family, cuddled dogs and answered emails for the magazine. I paid almost all of our #135 poets* and thanked them for their work. I took a long walk through the park, explored a construction site in the dark and spent some time thinking under my favorite tree. Yes, I have a favorite tree.

Thank you Laura D. for the BIG surprise! Photo by Chelsea Hunter

At the grocery store I bought a cake and the cashier accidentally bumped the frosting inside the container. She offered to get me a new one but I told her it was my birthday so I was going to do a lot worse to that cake with a fork—a nick in the frosting didn’t matter.

She discounted the whole cake to $2. I discovered $2 cake tastes much better than $10 cake. She also carded me for buying beer. When I laughed and told her it was actually my 51st birthday she acted like she didn’t believe me. She is now, of course, my favorite cashier.

I also got an amazing surprise in my messages. I was invited to write a story for The Wicked Library! If you have never heard their productions, you are in for a treat. Professional voice actors, music composers and authors combine their skills to make audio magic happen. I grew up listening to productions like this. To be an author of one is beyond exciting.

It’s pretty much on the same level for me as getting a house and a magazine for my birthday. They have a long line up of top-notch authors in their line up but I saw one name that made me fan girl out: Neil Gaiman. Don’t tell them, but I’d pay to share a list with my hero. More on this later, of course. In fact, here’s a disclaimer: You may be hearing a lot about The Wicked Library in the future so you may as well go check them out and follow now:

Now the second part of my life is officially underway and I’m really excited. The first fifty years were pretty wild, but it’s only getting better. Who knows what I’ll find at the end of the next half century?

Please note, no where do I say I am moving toward the second half of my life. I am having way too much fun in this one to move on. Between supernatural possibilities and science, I’m fairly certain I’m not going anywhere.

More exciting announcements coming soon, most likely Saturday if I get everything in place in time.

*If you are one of the last three unpaid poets, I just saw your contracts hit my email. I’ll be wrapping you guys up tomorrow.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at
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