Warren Adler, best known for the book and movie of War of the Roses, will turn ninety this year. He’s an inspiration.
Great Saturday morning to you! If you haven’t seen the news, I’m offering a free download of my award-winning novel, Dakota Blues, today through Monday (9/28-9/30/13). If you don’t have a Kindle you can read it on your computer – or most other readers have a Kindle app. Rock out, my friends! I’m doing this in honor of my sweet grandbaby’s birthday. Since midnight
225 895 almost 14,000 people have taken advantage of this gift. I hope you do, too. Enjoy!
Click on the image BELOW to go to the free download page.
After the book signing on August 25, a half-dozen of us sat around, drinking wine and BS-ing, the best kind of sisterly gathering. The topic was looks. Specifically, what we do at our age to look good, and what constitutes “good.” The gathering happened in Indio, in the looks- and wealth-obsessed Coachella Valley, home of Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, and La Quinta; those monied resort towns.
We agreed we should try to feel good about how we look. But we’re trained to try to look younger. It seems every other billboard in the Valley is for body work.
We all want to update our thinking, so we can feel satisfied with our looks even if we’re older, and not automatically equate looking good with looking young. My wise friend Dorys said the reason we do this is we’re in competition. I asked for what? One woman laughingly said for men but that wasn’t really true anymore – we’re beyond that now. If the men are smart enough to see how cool we are, far out. If not, hell with it.
In some cases we are competing with younger people in the business world, whether as employees or purveyors of a service or product. In that case, you want to look younger because employers equate that with a better employee. It’s a mindless prejudice , but it’s out there, and like my shrink used to say, if you’re in the game, play to win.
But my friends and I kicked this around: if we’re not trying to get a job or something (i.e. manhunt) that benefits from looking younger, why do we hold that up as our goal? Why don’t we just try to look good for our age?
Dorys said it’s because we have a metro mindset. In the Coachella Valley, we’re competing with Los Angeles and New York. We all agreed we need to change our thinking. That’s where the strength of age comes in – we ‘re strong enough to say, “I don’t need to look young. I’m not competing.”
One of us, Kathryn, lives on an acre of land, in a house built in 1948. She has horses and chickens, and the property borders one of these wealthy, cosmopolitan cities. Although she’s very stylish, she doesn’t try to look like she’s twenty. She said, “I don’t live in that place. I may physically live right next to it, but mentally, I don’t live there.” Kathryn lives wherever she wants, because that place is in her head. She creates that place, that world. She defines that world to her own satisfaction.
I thought that was an enlightened point of view. We can move away from that place in our head. We can live anywhere we want: the land of hyper-competition or the land of mental peace.
Thanks to Tammy Coia, the Memoir Coach, for sponsoring this gathering. Your community of women writers is a loyal and supportive group, and I am honored to be part of it. I’m also excited to be speaking at the Women Inspiring Women Conference on January 26, 2013.
Here’s a bonus for you from Debra Ollivier, who blogs for HuffPost 50: Five Big Misconceptions About Growing Older.
Also, I’m rededicating myself to a passion of mine: I’m going to find good midlife (age forty and up) fiction and publicize it. I want to create a gathering place for books and readers who want to read about the experience of the second half of our lives. If you read or write one, let me know. I’ll add it to my Midlife Fiction – Book Recommendations page. I hope you’ll help me build this into a fun, lively, and awesome resource for all of us.
After earning a self-created, home-cooked degree in How To Write A Novel (with a minor in How To Build a Platform)…
After writing and throwing away hundreds of pages that just weren’t quite good enough…
After years of answering my friends and family: “Almost!” and “Pretty soon!”
Two big things happened.
I discovered a passion for the topic of aging powerfully, and
On July 17, a date that would have been my mom and dad’s 63rd wedding anniversary,
I published my very first novel!
Dakota Blues is about:
- midlife reinvention,
- the quest to find meaning and empowerment in the second half of life,
- the need to feel a connection with our ancestors,
- dealing with the issues that hit without warning as we age,
- whether we’re too old at a certain point to start something new,
- whether it’s selfish and ungrateful to want more, and
- finding the courage to change later in life.
Or, putting words into pictures, here’s what you’ll find in Dakota Blues (available now in paperback, and on Kindle in the second week of August, +/-):
I can’t tell you how much this means to me, to have reached this goal, and to have done it at fifty-eight. This is a time when many of us are rethinking our lives, and wondering whether to break through the age limitations placed on us by an earlier set of beliefs.
This is what we’re supposed to be doing, folks: chasing our dreams like there’s no tomorrow, excited as kids, refusing to lie down and let the culture of low expectations steamroll us. This is how to live in the second half. This is how to live, period. That’s what my character, Karen Grace, struggles with, and that’s what Dakota Blues is about.
I hope you buy a copy, and if you do, I hope you love it enough to add a rating to the Dakota Blues page on Amazon or Goodreads. Ratings mean everything in this online, digitized society, where there’s far too material to sort through without help.
Thanks for standing by me while I struggled. I hope I can do the same for you someday.
PS Today is the fourth anniversary of my father’s passing. I hope he can see what I’ve done. I miss him more than I can say.