Let’s Kick Back Today

We’ve been working hard lately. All these heavy posts about coping with life in the second half, brain function, and mortality. I don’t know about you, but I could use a break.

Yep, you know what’s coming. Grandbaby pix!

Once upon a time, I “retired.” Now I provide a significant amount of childcare for my grandbabies. We (yes, Bill is there alongside me) work four days a week, ten hours a day. It’s challenging, but we get back more than we put in. I love seeing Grandpa read to the little gal, his voice all high, babytalking.

Grandpa reading to Ella

And hearing the ten-month-old sing along (“ah yah yah yah yah”) when I “play” the piano. I’m just making up stuff, but he doesn’t know. He loves it, grinning and showing all eight teeth.

I don’t have time or energy for the gym, but with the babysitting gig, who needs it? According to my pedometer, last week I walked twenty miles and climbed fifty-two floors. I climb up in the playhouse and get down on the floor. I crawl (carpet only – the skin on my knees provides no cushion anymore between tile and bone). I run. I lift. I carry, as when the little gal got obstinate at the end of our walk a few days ago. We were a long block away from home, but I gave her a horsey-back ride the whole way. And here I am, lifting thirty pounds of two-year-old with just my forearms:

stronger than I thought

I still have a business to maintain, though, and having to fit in blogging, writing, and marketing Dakota Blues during naptimes and on weekends is a challenge. But they’re growing up so fast! Any day now the baby will be walking.

Here they are making Sand Soup.

making sand soup

Thanks for taking a break with me. Enjoy your weekend. See you next Friday.

“Boomer Lit” Should be Compelling, not Childish

I have looked for good books about middle-age, but 95% of them seem to be frothy upgrades of young adulthood. At our age, we’re in new territory. We need to know about things like:

  • Are you braver now or more frightened?
  • How are you different from when you were younger, and is that a good or a bad thing?
  • What would you still like to learn?
  • What ass-kicking talent or strength have you finally mastered?
  • Is there anything you’ve given up on achieving? What made you decide that, and are you okay with it?
  • Have you discovered anything about your life that you were doing wrong for, oh, say the last 30 years, and now that you know, you’ve decided to change it?

Because I’m hungry for Boomer Lit or Midlife Lit (fiction), I put together a pageful of recommendations here.

I also found a blog post by a writer named Latham Shinder, and he put it into words for me:

“Some critics have called the genre chick lit for the senior crowd….But boomer lit doesn’t have to be about…getting the guy, makeovers, (or) suburban shopping sprees…

“In other words, Boomer lit doesn’t have to be shallow. The best boomer lit is about the human condition-human emotions, values and beliefs. It’s about the search for meaning. The same search for meaning that literary fiction has been struggling with for decades…

“If you could simplify any great boomer lit novel to a single theme or controlling idea, it’s this: self assessment. Boomer lit is the mature version of the coming of age novel. It’s about taking a good hard look at your life, sifting through the hay stack of forty years of “issues” and “opportunities” (Boomer code words for screw-ups and bigger screw ups), and deciding where to go from here.”

Lynne again. That last paragraph? That’s what my novel, Dakota Blues, is about. It’s a coming-of-age novel about a woman who turns fifty and realizes she’s been sleepwalking. Now that she knows, what’s she going to do about it? That’s the story. I loved writing it, and I think you’ll enjoy reading it.